Indie Style Awesome Box

It's Awesome! :}

I've purchased subscription boxes in the past, including Julep Maven and Birchbox, and they haven't really been my "thing." I usually received nice items in each monthly surprise box, but more often than not the products weren't usable for my hair type, skin type, etc. The concept behind most subscription boxes is simple: you pay a set price, get a surprise box of samples that exposes you to new brands and products, and ideally you would then invest in the full-size version of your favorite products. As previously mentioned, most of the subscription boxes I had received weren't really catered toward my beauty preferences, and I found most of the samples rather lackluster. Enter the Awesome Box, with a similar concept but much more appeal than others.

Taken directly from the Indie Style blog, Indie Style "is a site specifically devoted to promoting indie business through a bi-monthly mailing of samples and goodies. It’s designed to offer you a wide variety of indie samples, pulled together in one place. The Awesome Box is a collaborative effort between indie companies to support each other and grow."
Some features that make it different from others: the Awesome Box isn't a subscription box, so you're not obligated to purchase one every time they're offered. Also, you'll know before you purchase exactly which indie companies will be participating in the upcoming Awesome Box, though the exact products will be kept a surprise. Most importantly, the Awesome Box doesn't exist as a means for profit; instead, the purpose of the Awesome Box is to support indie businesses by offering samples of their products to consumers who may not have tried them before. From this comes an appreciation for indie business owners and an awareness of the high-quality, unique products produced by indie companies {way better than mainstream companies in most cases, in my opinion}. If you want more details about Indie Style or the Awesome Box, please check out the Indie Style blog linked to above, and also HERE.

*Note: the next Awesome Box will be sent out in February, and goes on sale in January. Check the blog for the exact dates. The boxes are first come, first served, with a limited quantity available, so I highly recommend stalking the Indie Style blog when it gets close to the release date. But save one for me! :}

Now for the fun part! Here's a run-down of everything that was included in the very first Awesome Box {this was considered a "mini box" so it has a smaller amount of items than the regular box will — although I thought for a mini box it had a pretty freakin' great assortment}.

:::  Whimsy Beading coupon
:::  Geek Chic eyeshadow samples (3) and coupon
:::  Innocent + Twisted Alchemy sample and coupon
:::  EM Jewelry earrings
:::  One Hand Washes the Other solid perfume sample
:::  Evil Shades Cosmetics Deviant Lipstick sample and coupon

:::  THE ITEMS  :::

{A list of items inside and an extra goodie bag}

{Wrapped in tissue paper with the handmade ornament and candy cane}
{All of the items included in the Mini Awesome Box}

{Earrings by EM Jewelry - gorgeous!}
{The sample from Evil Shades Cosmetics}
{Swatch of the Evil Shades Deviant Lipstick in Jenaveve - Natural Light}
{Swatch photographed with a flash}
{Sample from OHWTO - 1605 Solid Scent - check out the description of this complex and awesome scent HERE}
{Sample from Innocent + Twisted Alchemy}
{Swatch of the color "Innocent + Twisted" - Flash}
{Swatch photographed with a flash, blurred to show sparkle}
{Swatched over NYX Jumbo Pencil in Milk - Natural Light}
{Samples from Geek Chic Cosmetics}
{Swatched over NYX Jumbo Pencil in Milk - Natural Light}
{Natural Light - Katamari King}
{Natural Light - Across the Narrow Sea}
{Natural Light - Solid Snake}
{Photographed with a flash}
{Photographed with a flash, blurred to show sparkle}

:::  THE OPINIONS  :::

Indie Style's Awesome Box did exactly what it set out to do — it exposed me to new indie companies I had not tried before, and I ended up placing orders with two of them so far! I envision the Indie Style project becoming a big deal in a short amount of time, especially as more people buy it, blog about it and spread the word. It's such a lovely way to support indie businesses, try new things and appreciate all of the hardworking talent we have in our communities! I'm not disappointed with a single item, and in fact, I adore everything! To top it off, the mastermind behind Indie Style, known by many as simply "Grey," included a handmade ornament with each mini box, giving it an extra personal touch that exceeded expectations. I hope you'll consider purchasing the February Awesome Box, if you hadn't already planned on it. I would love to see this concept really take off!

Stay Fabulous!


Darling Girl, Quite Darling Indeed!

Darling Girl Cosmetics has turned into one of my favorite indie makeup sellers, after just a small order! Susan is the brains and talent behind Darling Girl, and while I don't know her personally, I have interacted with her via a makeup group on Facebook, and she seems as sweet and accommodating as a person could possibly be. Darling Girl has a very personable feel to it, as a result of Susan's desire to ensure her customers are happy and satisfied with their orders. I didn't feel like "just another customer" when I shopped at Darling Girl. Do I recommend it? Um, yeah, I'd say so. :}

:::  THE SPECS  :::

Darling Girl has quite an extensive variety of beauty/makeup-related products, but the eyeshadows and lipsticks/glosses seem to be the most popular. Because of the wide range of options, I won't run down the list of prices for each product. The specific products I purchased were as follows: 10 sample baggies at $1 each and 5 petit jars at $2.25 each. I believe there was a sale going on at the time, which brought my total down a bit, but the prices are completely reasonable even without a sale. If you opt for full-size jars, they are $5.50 each. TAT is usually 14-16 business days, depending on the time of year or if it's during a big sale/promotional period. I received my order well within the stated TAT for the holidays.

:::  THE PICTURES  :::

*Swatched over NYX Jumbo Pencil in Cottage Cheese. Click images to enlarge.*

{The packaging}
{The extra freebies - the jar is Luna Lovegood gloss}
{All of the sample baggies}
{All of the petit-size jars}
{The lovely Luna Lovegood lip gloss}
{Close-up of Sushi Flower}
{Close-up of Jeweled Taupe}
{Close-up of Moon Dust}
{Close-up of Apparition}
{Natural Light - L to R: Corpse Candle, Jeweled Taupe, Apparition, Sushi Flower, Moon Dust}
{Corpse Candle - Natural Light}
{Jeweled Taupe - Natural Light}
{Apparition - Natural Light}
{Sushi Flower - Natural Light}
{Moon Dust - Natural Light}
{Photographed with a flash}
{Photographed with a flash - different angle}
{Close-up Flash - Corpse Candle, Jeweled Taupe, Apparition}
{Close-up Flash: Apparition, Sushi Flower, Moon Dust}
{Natural Light - L to R: Ethereal, Lap Dance, My Little Pony, Sugar Minuet, Daydream}
{Natural Light - Ethereal}
{Natural Light - Lap Dance}
{Natural Light - My Little Pony}
{Natural Light - Sugar Minuet}
{Natural Light - Daydream}
{Photographed with a flash}
{Photographed with a flash - different angle}
{Close-up Flash: Ethereal, Lap Dance, My Little Pony}
{Close-up Flash: My Little Pony, Sugar Minuet, Daydream}
{Natural Light - L to R: Sparklers at Dusk, Snuggle, Hana Maru, Balletusa, Curious}
{Natural Light - Sparklers at Dusk}
{Natural Light - Hana Maru}
{Natural Light - Balletusa}
{Natural Light - Curious}
{Photographed with a flash - Sparklers at Dusk, Snuggle, Hana Maru, Balletusa, Curious}
{Close-up Flash - Sparklers at Dusk, Snuggle, Hana Maru}
{Close-up Flash: Hana Maru, Balletusa, Curious}
{Freebie Sample - Natural Light - Prancer}
{Photographed with a flash}
{Freebie Blush Sample - Photographed with a flash: Virgin Duochrome Blush}

:::  THE OPINIONS  :::

If you hadn't already guessed from my intro statement, I *love* my Darling Girl order. My favorites out of the whole bunch are Apparition, Jeweled Taupe, Hana Maru and Ethereal. It seems I'm especially fond of the neutrals at this point in time, and Darling Girl does neutrals like no one's business. My first impression was adoration for all of the sparkles. Every color I ordered had some element of sheen/shimmer/sparkle/all of the above — but not overkill. I've tried other glitter-packed shadows in the past, and they just didn't have the staying power that I look for. Darling Girl's eyeshadows, on the other hand, last all day! I should also mention that the staying power is without the use of glitter glue — just over UDPP and NYX Jumbo Pencil. I was thrilled. Since I first received the order, I've been wearing Apparition the most, with Jeweled Taupe a close second. They're totally lovely colors that blend nicely and stay in place for hours. I couldn't ask for much more! In terms of the blush sample — this particular color, Virgin Duochrome, was in the works shortly after I placed my order. I made a comment about how much I loved it when Susan posted a sneak peek, and lo and behold, a sample ended up in my order. :} The Luna Lovegood lip gloss is wonderful as well! Heck, everything is fantastic, so just go and order already.

Note: Darling Girl is on vacation until after the 1st of the year, so while you can still browse the products and make a list of things to buy, the shopping cart won't be enabled until next week.

Stay Fabulous!