Thursday, February 26, 2015

Eco Emi Box - January 2015 - Full Review

Hi friends,

So we all know by now that I am a big fan of Eco Emi, it is one of my favorites each and every month. Unfortunately, the January box was a total disaster and by that, I mean the box was awful all around.
Let me dive right into the review and I will keep it brief since I almost disliked every single product I have received!

January 2015 - Eco Emi Box

You may want to check the open box video first, I think my "live" reactions said it all:

1. Yoreganics - Soap Nuts - $12/bag (5 nuts)

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I really do not know what to say about this product. These are natural berries which are dried and meant to be used in lieu of laundry detergent. So I did a little bit of research on this product, it turns out that these have been used for thousands of years both in Asia and the Americas because they contain Saponin (a natural detergent). The premise is that you would place the berries inside the bag for up to ten loads. While they do not leave any scent on the clothes, they are supposed to do a better job since they are all natural with no additive or thickening agent such as you would find in regular laundry detergent.
I am a skeptic by nature. I also do not have any kind of allergy related to detergent or chemicals used in general household products so, for me, this is truly a non essential item which I tried purely out of curiosity with no intention to further purchase.
Do they work? I could not tell. I did two loads with them, one of darks for my kids clothes and one of whites, mainly towels. I have a relatively new washing machine, though it is a top loading one, it is generally speaking a good machine that washes well. For me it seems that the cleaning was mainly the result of the agitation rather than the berries themselves as I noticed no difference between using these versus using regular detergent. If you have allergies, this may be an alternative for you but at this price, I really think there ought to be better choices. I was not impressed. D.

2. Natural Deodorant (unscented) - Phresh - $7.99/item

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Some folks have been using the same deodorant brand for years, personally I could not care less, I buy what is on sale as long as it is a gel variety because of the white residue any other deodorant would leave.
This deodorant is all natural fragrance. Aluminum Free. Gluten Free. Paraben Free. Propylene Glycol Free. Petroleum Free. Cruelty Free. Vegan and, Made in the U.S.A.
Because I received a sample, it came in a small tub with a spatula to scoop the product out and apply with. Obviously, the actual product comes in a regular twist-able container.
Overall, I am not giving this product a positive review. The formula was very chalky and difficult to apply, it also crumbled and pretty much made a mess. Because I received the unscented variety, I was not very pleased since at the end of a strenuous day of work around my office (you can watch my ongoing makeover series here) I expected the product would be a deodorant, getting rid of odor causing bacteria. It did not. By the end of the day it also felt like my armpits were covered in caked up baking soda. It was very uncomfortable and dry and I ended up taking a shower to get rid of it. Granted this may have been the result of applying the product with a spatula, but still, I am not impressed with this product as well. D-.

3. O'Keeffe's - Working Hands - Repairing Hand Cream - $6.98 / 3.4 oz

O'Keeffe's - Working Hands

If you have dry hands, cracked hands, peeling cuticles etc. This is the ultimate in hand repair.
My father in law has diabetes and tends to have the tip of his fingers crack and split open, in particular during the winter months. He has been using this product for years with great success. Having tried it myself on both my hands and feet, I can attest to its efficacy. It is everything you would want a hand or foot cream to do, minus the glamour of a nice tube and pretty fragrance. You can't get more industrial than this and I guess this is the reason why, us ladies, continue to splurge on expensive hand creams based on their scent and label while this stuff is really all we need! O'Keeffe's also sells the Foot Cream variety in a blue jar, if you feel so inclined to have both. A.

4. Blum Naturals - Oil Absorbing Facial Tissues -  $2.99/50 sheets
Blum Naturals - Oil Absorbing Facial Tissues

These are practical and I believe every woman should have Oil Absorbing Facial Tissues in their purse and car. They do a great job at removing oil from cheeks, forehead, chin and nose, something that truly helps in the reduction of clogged pores and breakouts. 
I tend to gravitate towards the Palladio ones since they have a hint of rice powder on each sheet, providing a nice skin finish (the rice powder can also be purchased in different tints whether Translucent or Warm Beige ). But these are just fine as is, they do the job quite well.
The only con, for me, is the packaging. This is a company that promotes a natural product but instead of dispensing it in a recycled cardboard container similar to the Palladio one or other brands, they have chosen a huge plastic container which is not all that obvious to open, not to mention cumbersome to carry around. For that reason, I am only giving it a B.

5. Allergease - All Natural Herbal Supplement- $7.99 /box

Both my boys as well as my husband suffer from seasonal allergies. It is up to the point now where over the counter medications rarely provide relief and their suffering pretty much lingers from the first week of May until Mid June!
I was very intrigued with this product, it claims to be an alternative to OTC medications and anti-histamines. I would tend to believe that allergies can be reduced, if not cleared, through the use of natural products since they are, at least in their case, the result of natural allergens. For instance, one can be disensitized to pollen by taking local honey in small doses over a period of time prior to allergy season. 
Because these are natural, they do not produce the side effects one would generally encounter from using OTC medication (e.g. drowsiness). They taste pretty good, very similar to the Riccola herbal drops and are pretty affordable when considering you get 21 lozenges for the price. 
I cannot tell you whether they work or not since we are not in allergy season yet. However, their website has received amazing reviews from users who all claim their allergy symptoms were seriously reduced by using these drops. 
Until I can fully review them (and update this post) I am giving them a good rating based on the taste, price and ingredients (Menthol, Honey, Vitamin C and Eyebright). B+.

6. Pur - Aspartame Free - Spearmint Gum -$5.30 / pack of 60 gums

Pur Gum
I am all for a ban on Aspartame as it seems to have done more damage than good in today's world. These gums are all natural, Vegan Friendly; Non-GMO; Gluten-Free; Nut-Free; Dairy-Free; Diabetic Friendly; Soy-Free; Peanut-Free; Egg-Free; Casein-Free 10 calories per serving of 2 pieces. Sounds good.
I have received the Spearmint variety, though there are more to chose from. Unfortunately, I felt this was just too strong as they pack a serious punch. I ended up spitting mine almost immediately, but not without having seriously refreshed my breath first.
My husband, who is stronger than me in this area, liked them and thought they did taste more like natural ingredients as opposed to other brands that are obviously loaded with names one cannot even spell never mind pronounced. B

7. Kawaii - Chocolate Chip Brownie Bar - $3 / bar 

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I am a chocaholic, we all have established that by now. If anything remotely related to chocolate comes to my house, it will have a survival rate below 30 minutes. For that reason, I rely on Eco Emi to provide me with enough chocolate on a monthly basis to sustain my ravenous chocolate appetite...I hereby declare that Eco Emi should have a minimum of one chocolate item per monthly box!

So, of course, I was super psyched about receiving this Brownie Chocolate Bar...It is made of all natural ingredients, Gluten and Dairy Free and though pricey ($3 per bar), it is a good chunk and should sustain you for quite some time.
HOWEVER...This could possibly be the worst chocolate bar I have ever tried, in fact, it is still in that basket upstairs, since I only tried one tiny piece on camera for the January video but immediately put it aside. 
Folks, if chocolate has lasted 30 days in my house as opposed to the average 30 minutes, it's bad chocolate. Plain and simple!   Awful, bitter, weird texture, tasted like water with cheap chocolate flavor in it, overly chewy, after taste....just plain awful. THIS is making it to my Wall of Shame! F.

8.  Gourmet Body Treats - Flawless Primer - $32/tube

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Face primers are important, in particular if you wear foundation and work all day. They help keep your makeup in place, provide a smooth surface and generally make your pores appear smaller.
I have received a sample of this primer in a little black tub which you can spot on the picture at the top of my blog.
There is nothing good I can say about this product. It comes out as an unbelievably greasy gel-like mayonnaise texture that is difficult to spread without it melting all over your skin and leaving a sleek residue on it. It does not absorb at all. I am not sure if that is what they intended for it to feel like but I absolutely refused to put that stuff on my skin outside of the testing area of my hand.
Another awful product making it to the Wall of Shame. F


As you can see, this truly was a bad box, I am not sure if the products they wanted to start the year with had not arrived yet and all of this was nothing more than an assortment of after thoughts, but based on this box alone, I would not recommend Eco Emi to anyone. Thankfully, I have had only two terrible boxes in the almost 2 years that I have been subscribing to Eco Emi,  an average of one terrible box per year. I am expecting greater boxes in the coming months and continue to find the monthly boxes real treats (especially if there is chocolate involved).

You can get your own box here.
You can view all my Eco Emi open box videos here.
Check out my other subscription boxes here.


Thank you so much for reading my blog and watching my YouTube videos! Share the love!

Sophia, NJ

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