Saturday, May 25, 2013

EcoEmi April 2013 - Box Review

Hi friends,

What a great box this was and without further ado, here is the April 2013 complete review and grade!

This is the box I received for the month of April - very exciting (and intriguing) product samples:

As always, I will review and grade each sample, in no specific order:

Shea Radiance - Moisturizing Hair Milk - A+

What an amazing product. This leave-in conditioner/serum is meant for curly/kinky hair. My hair is curly and frizzy and can at times become kinky as well. It has always been difficult to manage, especially in mid and long length. I am actually so fed up with my hair right now that I am considering cutting it short to simply blow dry it every other day and am really not looking forward to the effort either. That said, this moisturizing milk came at the right time for me and I would go as far as saying that it created some kind of truce between myself and my hair (let's see how long this will last!).
Let me start with the scent: though ingredients are chamomile, hemp and avocado, this smells like a mix of nut, coconut and peppermint! It smells amazingly fresh and could be used as a hair fragrance as well. Overall I felt it did wonders to my curls, separating them while maintaining a good bounce. It also completely tamed the frizziness on the top of my head. It lasted throughout the day but as with most serums, once brushed out, the curls would not come back into shape, yet my hair remained manageable and silky. I really like this product and am considering purchasing the full size. That said, there was one single thing I did not like about it and that is the packaging! The spray itself is not a fine mist, more like a tiny jet that comes out with force onto your scalp. I am not sure whether this is a problem with the sampling bottle itself or whether this is the way the spray is meant to be. Either way, by not providing a finer mist, the product goes unevenly on your scalp, with gobs of it where the spray hits your hair and not so much in surrounding areas, so you do have to brush afterwards to even out the application. It is not a huge problem but I could see where real kinky hair may not look their best as a result. I still love it though. You can purchase Shea Radiance Moisturizing Milk for $16 - full size.

Oluv - Care - Intensive Relief Salve - A

This is supposed to be a miracle product that does it all from cuticle softener/moisturizer to boo-boo cream. It comes as a thick waxy paste with no scent. I tried it on two areas of my skin: first on my nose to heal a major sunburn that had turned to peeling and on my cuticles before going to bed. I am not sure how it would work as a  relief for skin conditions or a scar eraser since I do not have any issues in this area. But I can attest to the fact that my peeling skin was gone the following day! What? Yes, gone and I don't know where it went either. As for my cuticles, they felt moisturized and overall my nail bed looked better. I have not used this product consistently enough so I cannot review its effect on nail growth and/or nail strength, but as a cuticle cream I would say this is a very good product. As a sunburn treatment, even better. This tidbit is from their website:

"Natural multi-use salve. Made from estate-cold-pressed, 100% extra virgin olive oil, medicinal herbs, raw unfiltered Shea butter, virgin coconut oil, unfiltered bee’s wax and lavender essential oil. OluvCare absorbs quickly to smooth, repair and revitalize even the most damaged areas; cuticles, elbows, minor cuts and burns. It is effective for diaper rash, great for soothing eczema and other skin conditions, and it is a wonderful face moisturizer
Ingredients: 100% extra virgin olive oil, plantain leaf, chamomile flower, rosebuds, cleavers, calendula, Echinacea, clover blossom and lavender flowers, raw unfiltered Shea butter, virgin coconut oil, unfiltered bee’s wax and lavender essential oil."
Very good product, you can find it as a 0.25 0Z or 1 OZ container. Price varies between $5 and $16 depending on the size. Visit their website at: 

Rainwater Botanicals - Dead Sea Mud - Face Mask - B-

I was super hyped about trying this mask but unfortunately was disappointed, not by the result, but by the overall application process itself. I have tried mud masks before and was always pleased with the results. This one left my skin very soft with a visible difference in the size of my pores on nose and cheek areas, it evened out my skin tone and pores looked much less visible with regards to color. That said, and despite the great results, I did not like the experience at all. This was not a relaxing and enjoyable spa-like moment for me. The mask itself is hard to apply because it comes out as gooey and gel like in texture, so I had to go over the same areas several times to ensure it was evenly applied. Then, it dried quickly and to a point where my skin started to pull and tingle (almost burn). I ended up running to my sink to splash it off before it was completely dry since I could not stand how it felt on my skin anymore. Not good! Basically I am torn about this product, it works great but it is not a relaxing experience (at least for me), hence the B- grade I give it. I did not find the mask itself on their website (Rainwater Botanicals) but they do have other products you may want to consider.

Lauren Brooke - Cream Eye Shadow - Dahlia - B-

I would have liked this eye shadow to be easier to apply. I was expecting it to be similar to Maybeline's color Tattoos and though it is similar to a mix of Barely Branded and Inked in Pink with regards to color, it was not as creamy and did not apply with ease. The color itself is sheer and very good as a base color for your eyelids. It does not have an overpowering shimmer (a good thing) and overall, I found it had good staying power. I am not sure if the hardness of the cream was based on the fact that this is a sample or whether this is its true form. Lauren Brooke's full size cream eye shadows come as sticks rather than tubs ($9.00) and I can see where the product may be less subject to drying as a stick form. Either way, I can't say I would switch to this product since I absolutely love the Maybeline's color Tattoos line of cream eye shadows. You can visit Lauren Brook's website to view more organic cosmetics.

Colorganics - Organic Hemp Shine Lipstick - C

You can either wear this lipstick alone as a lip balm or over your regular lipstick to boost its shine. I personally do not care to put these kind of products over lipstick since the pigment from the lip color ends up rubbing off onto the balm stick itself and it not only looks gross after a while, it also ends up coloring your balm and pretty soon your lip colors start getting all weird and not true to their shade. That said, I tried it several times as a lip balm itself and really did not like it. I felt it was hard to apply, the balm itself is not smooth, and does not glide at all. I am not sure whether this was specific to my tube and others may have had a different experience. But for me, this was not a product I enjoyed or would continue using. So this was one of the two products (alongside the mud mask) I did not like in the April 2013 box.  I would not mind trying one of their pigmented lipstick since I have seen some interesting colors on their website. Full size is $17.25 which is way too much for what it does (just my opinion).

Crystal - Body Deodorant Towelettes - B

I thought it was weird to try a deodorant that came as a towelettes rather than a stick and as I mentioned in the open box post, there is a bit of a shift to be made here. That said, it worked great. The towelettes are large enough, they could be smoother in term of texture but they did the job in that by end of day, my underarms were just the same as in the morning, post shower (you get the idea without me having to go into details about sweat and BO).  I really like the idea of a deodorant that is organic and does not contain aluminum and other ingredients proven to have negative effects on your health. I know there are other forms of crystal deodorants (solid and cream) and I think I would prefer to use those rather than the towelettes themselves. That said, I can see where they would come in handy for traveling or at the gym. So my grade reflects the packaging rather than the results. This product works but as a towelette form, it is expensive ($2.99/6pck). You can find this product (stick or towelletes form) at your local drugstore, or by visiting their website.

Aura Cacia - Comforting Geranium Mineral Bath - A
What a great product! I love mineral bath salts for several reasons: one, they do not foam (bubble bath) and therefore do not leave crazy goo all over your tub. Two, they are spa-like with regards to the experience and effectiveness and three, they always have great fragrance. This one was really good. It contains all natural oils of geranium, rose and lavender and while bathing, each note takes turn in that you would at times smell the geranium over the lavender, then the lavender, then the rose and again. Which is pretty neat. You can tell these are natural essences because the scent really does penetrate your lungs (if that even makes sense). What I am trying to say, I guess, is that it is pretty intense with regards to fragrance. The sample itself was very big and I think I could have split it into two baths. The salts melted quickly (no gritty stuff at the bottom of the tub) and the scent itself had good staying power. I am not sure about the "comforting" element to it, to me a bath is a bath. But it was a good bath!
The only thing I do not like about it is that it is colorless. I like bath salts, but this one is completely clear. I have used salts that had a slight tint, not the kind that would leave your bathtub in all sorts of rainbow colors after you drain it, but still, a hint of tint would have been nice, only because I don't really care to look at my humongous legs as they lay under water! It did leave my skin soft and I would say this is a great experience on a night where you feel like bathing before heading up to bed. It is a tad expensive ($2.63/pkt) but it also comes as a 16 OZ jar which would allow you to have more control over the amount to use. Personally I felt this was a luxury product with great quality and I would be interested in purchasing more or even trying their shower tablets (you put them at the bottom of the shower to release the fragrance). Their website offers a lot of varieties of essential oils and skincare products, so you may want to check it out.

Simply Organic - Guacamole Dip - A-

Before I get into reviewing this food item, I need to let you know that I am not one to judge Mexican or Tex-Mex or any kind of food that would fit in this category. I do not care much for Mexican Food in general. I do go to Chipotle once in a while and enjoy that, but I would not consider myself a connoisseur. My husband is the one who actually tried this product on the night he made us burritos (not my favorite night of the week, LOL). What you basically do is mix this powdered/dehydrated food with an avocado and create a pasty guacamole. The taste was very good and color was true to guacamole itself. We used it to stuff our burritos rather than as a dip. I did not find it to be overly salty and quite frankly I liked it enough, but I can't say it is a replacement of choice for actual and fresh guacamole. I did not like the texture itself, not sure whether it was Scott who did not mix it well enough, but I did not think it came out very creamy, it was more gritty than anything else, but still very good to taste. If you are short on time and ideas for dinner and want to add a little condiment to your table, that would be it. And it's all organic, always a plus! Simply Organic offers a large variety of healthy food items, and you may want to check them out. This one dish packet sells for $1.69 which is probably much cheaper than all the ingredients combined together to make real guacamole and I can see the advantage of using it in stead of the real thing.  Their website also offers a lot of printable coupons for a variety of their products. Their coupon for the guacamole mix is $0.50 on two, which doubles to $1.00 at your supermarket (if your supermarket doubles coupons). That way, you could buy two mixes at $1.69 and only pay $1.19 each, so why not try it! 

Overall, this was again a very good box from EcoEmi and I give it an overall grade between B+ and A-.  There were two products I did not care for (lip shine and mask) but I was still excited to try them. So far, I have not been disappointed with any of my EcoEmi boxes and am always looking forward to the new one.

Again, and my opinion only, EcoEmi is a great way to try natural and organic cosmetics/Skincare/food items without breaking your bank since it only costs $15/month. I continue to believe every box has great payoff and is worth way more than the $15 I invest in it each month. If I had only one wish: I would like to see more skincare items in the like of moisturizers and eye creams.

Thank you for reading and sharing my blog.

You can find me on FACEBOOK and YOUTUBE.
Sophia, NJ

* This blog contains affiliate advertising. I receive a commission from the purchase of items advertised on my blog but I am not solicited to review any products. I am not affiliated with EcoEmi, Maybeline or any companies included in this post. All opinions are my own.



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I welcome your feedback and comments. If you have a question or a specific request, do not hesitate, I am here to help! Thanks, S.

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