Sunday, June 23, 2013

Eco Emi - May 2013 - Full Review

Hi friends,

Now that the B&BW giveaway is over, I am taking the time to thank all of the fans and new comers who have participated and shared the news with their friends and family. It is overwhelming to even try to grasp the large amount of response and feedback I received both for my Filofax vlog and the B&BW Giveaway last week. You guys are awesome!

From the look of it, your feedback has pointed in the direction of more DIYs and more beauty product reviews. I also received requests for makeup and routine videos. I have to take some time putting all of this together and make sure that I continue to provide a high quality content that fits my readers' needs. And, without further ado, guess what? Here's another product review post!

The May 2013 Eco Emi was an okay - to - good  box (overall) for me, and definitely not the best one in 2013. There were a few things I really liked, so before I get into reviewing the products,  here is a little reminder of what I received:


The Seaweed Bath Co. - Natural Seaweed Powder bath - F-

This product was a total fail for me. First of all, I should have known better from a company warning you that you will need to carefully wipe your tub from residue after bathing. I am thinking: What kind of a relaxing experience could this possibly be if I have to work and clean after I take a  supposedly detoxifying bath and start sweating all over again (trust me, my tub requires work, it is one of those half enclosed tubs you actually have to crawl into in order to get the job done). Anyway, so this Lavender scented seaweed detox bath took forever to dissolve in the water, matter of fact, it never did truly dissolve. Instead, I found myself bathing in some kind of dried up rebellious mud clumps that neither floated nor sunk, but smeared onto skin and surfaces under the slightest pressure. The worst part for me was the effect on my bath scrunchy (you know what I mean, I don't know the name - my bath puff). It was white when I started the bath, It turned brown when it was over and has never recovered since! My puff ha Seaweed PTSD!
I took a picture as I was drawing my bath that night....does this make you want to hop in and relax?
And it pretty much stayed like that, it never really dissolved. On the good side, it did smell like good lavender and botanical ingredients, however, I just could not sit in the stuff and relax as I kept thinking about my now brown bath puff and the cleaning I would have to go through afterwards.
Sorry Seaweed Bath Co. but this product is just too awful as an experience and the aftermath is just not worth the trouble. I am definitely NOT recommending this bath soak.

Beauty Without Cruelty - Shampoo Volume Plus for fine hair - A

First, kudos to the company for not only being cruelty free but also incorporating its values and beliefs into the brand's name as well!

I was surprised by the results from this shampoo since I was expecting another manic episode on the part of my mane, with crazy flyaways and all. Not at all!
Instead, this shampoo does not lather, not one bubble, nothing. In essence, it is very similar to Aubrey Orgnanic/botanical shampoos you can find at WholeFoods Market (matter of fact, I think BWC can be found there as well). In any event, this is a very fragrant shampoo and again, because it is botanical, you do not smell perfume, you smell actual plants and herbs and this one is very pleasant, a mix of orange peel and wood. This is the product description:

Conditioning jojoba, penetrating plant proteins, panthenol, and biotin strengthen and add volume to each hair strand, improving your hair's look, feel and texture.  Natural vitamins, organic aroma-therapeutic essential oils, and vital botanicals leave your hair clean, shiny, protected and full.
My hair was very manageable afterwards and it did not feel as thought it had been completely depleted from its natural oils. Because I have tried Aubrey shampoos before (this is the only other organic/botanical brand I can compare BCW to) I would go as far as saying that BWC yielded better results and my hair is not even fine to begin with!  I do love Aubrey shampoos but this is even better and  definitely a better alternative to drugstore shampoos. I would recommend this product and I am actually planning a trip to Whole Foods to find a damaged/coarse hair version and a matching conditioner. Another good thing noticed while using the Beauty without Cruelty Shampoo, Volume Plus for Fine Hair, is that you need only a little bit of product. It does require a learning curve not to add a huge amount of shampoo in the palm of one's hand and the lack of lather does make you feel that perhaps not enough product has been applied - not so! I found this to be a very economical shampoo and well worth the $12.50 per 16 oz. I recommend!

Suncoat Girl - water based Nailpolish in Coconut- C

What a disappointment! I was really looking forward to trying a nail polish that is water based (non-toxic) and therefore would not damage my nails nor my lungs from nauseating fumes!
This nail polish is indeed odorless which is just amazing to me. However, and I think I mentioned that in the open box post, the brush really sucked. I am hoping this is only a sample size brush and that their full size is of higher quality. More importantly though, is the quality of the polish itself, did it measure up to say, a brand like O.P.I or China Glaze?
Here's the verdict, I am not going to mention the not so flattering color sample I received because while I did not care for it, I can see how some other gals would find it very attractive. However, as a nail polish, the weirdest thing happened to me on day two of wearing it. It did not chip nor crack, it simply peeled itself off as a whole, one entire nail surface at a time. Very weird, it started from the top of the nail, where the "film", for a lack of a better word, would start curling up and coming off the nail bed. So I would pull on it, and it would simply peel off in a very latex kind of stretchy way, all at once, and not leaving any residue on the nail either. So by day two, I was without nail polish, having had a good time pulling it off, one sheet at a time! I would give Suncoat an A, if it was being rated for entertainment value. As a nail polish however, it does not make the mark for me! That said, I can see the attraction; here is a nail polish you can wear for 24 hours and then "peel off" the following day and start over with another color. That's pretty cool, but it's not for me, so yeah, it's getting a C .

Suncoat - Sugar Based - Vegan Mascara - B

As a mascara this is just okay. I felt that the texture was very weird, not smooth at all and felt as though it was hardening upon contact with air which made it difficult to apply several coats. Very weird. I did not care for the color at all either. It is one thing to have a brown mascara but this is more like chocolate with a dash of rust which is not very subtle. That said, I thought it was okay as a bottom lash mascara because it is not as obvious as black mascara. I went as far as trying it over my brows and that worked okay as well. but it is not waterproof. If  I have to find other uses for a product because the initial intent is not working for me...maybe it's not the product for me.  I am not rushing to the store to get this as a full size for myself, black or other.

All Terrain - Herbal Armor Insect Repellent &

All Terrain - Aqua Sport - SPF 30 Sunscreen - B+
Let me be brief on these products. They work great. I gardened all day on a hot steamy day and not one mosquito (I am The original mosquito magnet) dared coming near me. I also did not get a sunburn in particular on the top of my hands where I usually tend to burn and blister after being in the sun for  too long. So as sunscreens and insect repellents, these are amazing products I would recommend.
Okay, so where is the "but"? You may ask...Well, there is indeed a "but". If you plan on using this as a daily routine for the summer, prepare yourself to stick to every surface you touch. These are super thick creams and no matter the amount of heating and melting in between the palm of your hands, this stuff comes out as goo and stays pretty much like goo on you! Not too glamorous now is it?
I would think that these are awesome camping products or on a day trip. Now if All Terrain could make the same formula in a more fluid and city-girl variety, that would be perfect. Until then, it remains as a B+ because of the consistency and an A+ for results.
There is good news though, I did discover the spray version of each of these All Terrain Products on amazon, so you may want to check them out. I am not sure whether they would be as effective in spray formulas, but would definitely take the goo factor out of the way.

Eco Lips - Mongo Kiss Honey Vanilla Lip Balm - A

Image Source
I am always excited when there is a new lip balm in my EcoEmi! I have tried a few that were just so-so, however, this one is very good. First of all, as a full size product I have to say that this is almost double the size than a lot of drug store balms out there. This is quite chunky! As a result, the balm covers  the surface of the lips in one to two strokes, which can be a plus. The texture is very similar to a 100% cocoa butter type balm, a little bit gritty at first, but very smooth shortly after. It is not sticky nor too slippery, I would say that this is actually a good lip balm for winter and mid season, but it might be a tad heavy for summer. I did not know that EcoLips had such a great following, they are self proclaimed best lip balms in the world ( I can see that) and their Mongo Kiss balm is part of a series made with Mongongo Oil. You may want to check out their website to learn more about Ecolips and all their different lip balms and products. 

And their website tells you how many gallons of oil they save by making their products
petroleum free. How cool is that? Anyway, great lip balm, totally worth the price tag of $1.99.

Lauren Brooke Cosmetics - Pink Champagne Powder Eye Shadow - A+

Last month I had received a cream version of one of Lauren Brooke's eye shadows. I was not crazy about it and did not really find it to be a valuable replacement to my similar Maybelline's Color Tattoos. Well, this is a whole other kind of shadow and it totally won me over!
This pink champagne is the most beautiful color, I would say for a brunette, like me, or any other hair color or complexion. It is the perfect pink with the right amount of shimmer. I use it on my lower lids and more towards the corner of my eyes then blend the outer edges with whatever other color I feel like wearing that day.
So far, I have found that it goes well with all other colors. It really is a beautiful shadow and though it is very shimmery, the sparkle is elegant enough to give you a pop of light without making you look like a teenager on her way to a concert.
You can see my previous swatch (left), and now that I look at it again, this picture is very true to the original color.
This one is actually part of the shimmer collection and retails for $9.00/pot. I am not sure whether the pot itself is supposed to be bigger than the one I received, but I can tell you though that this is such a quality shadow, with great lasting effect by the way, that I would not mind paying $9 for that one little pot alone.
So far, I have used it everyday and a little, tiny amount goes a long way. As always, it is about the brush you are using to apply the shadow - do not apply eye shadow with your fingers, you will waste too much product. Best makeup I have received in any of my EcoEmi boxes thus far this year! You can ask for a sample on the website itself for $1.40. Do it!

And now...the food item!

Athena Bars - Pomegranate Greek Yogurt Bar - B

Really quick review: too chunky, chalky, cardboardy as a texture. weird taste, very sweet right away, then not so much. Was starving one hour after eating the bar. I would not use that single one bar as a meal replacement, It does have 10 g of proteins so perhaps before a work out (like that would ever happen for me to have time to workout, right). Anyway, not impressed, I did not find anything special about this bar that would set it apart from anything else outside on the market when it comes to protein bars etc. Pomegranate is a weird fruit anyway, it is neither sweet nor tart, and that bar was just like that, somewhat confused and screaming to be a Clift Bar. Just saying.


Well, that was my review for the May 2013 Eco Emi box. Again, I loved the Lauren Brooke Shimmer Shadow in Pink Champagne, Beauty without Cruelty Shampoo and the EcoLips MongoKiss Lip Balm. So overall, this was a good box, not the best, probably the least earth shattering for me since I have started with EcoEmi and I still gave great reviews to 3 of the samples. I guess EcoEmi still rocks!

So I have read all comments and feedbacks and it looks like folks really like the reviews on the blog. I was thinking that I could also do the reviews or open boxes or both as vlogs with coordinating blogs. What do you think? Would you like to see the reviews rather than reading about them? Please leave a comment below.

Thank you for liking and sharing my post.
Sophia, NJ

You can find me on

*This site contains affiliate advertising. I am not affiliated with any of the brands mentioned above or EcoEmi. All opinions are my own.


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