Sunday, July 27, 2014

Nadine West July 2014 Style Subscription Review, Risk-Free Shopping!

If you like the idea of getting surprises in the mail but don't want to pay for them before seeing what you get, Nadine West just may be the subscription service you're looking for. Each month, they send one top and two or three pieces of matching jewelry that are based on a style quiz taken when you sign up. The combination does vary but almost all of the items are under $25; some are well under that amount. You have ten days to review them, then are charged only for the items you keep.  Send the rest back using their postage paid's easy and absolutely risk free!

Included with your shipment is a personalized letter showing the items you received and their prices if you decide to keep them. There is a space beside each item to write a comment if you want to return something.  

When my first Nadine West bag arrived, I was a little taken aback, thinking it was an Ipsy bag...which I have already received this month.  Nadine West uses the same hot pink metallic bubble mailers that Ipsy uses.


I received an absolutely beautiful grass green trapeze style racerback top by "d'closet". This very light and transparent top would look great over a tank. I was hoping to receive something a little more fashion forward than I usually choose for myself and this was definitely it.  BUT...the top fits as if it were one to two sizes smaller than the size stated on the tag.  Sadly, it must go back.  I am really disappointed about this because I love the top and would have liked to incorporate it into my summer wardrobe. There is no retail price on the top but the price to keep it is $16.49.

Next was a pair of black chandelier earrings.  These are lightweight and pretty but chandelier earrings just aren't me. I'm sure that I indicated in the Style Quiz that this was not my preference so not sure what happened here. No retail price was given but the price to keep these is $7.99.

The third item I received is a beautiful evergreen leaf pendant by Sumni.  This is a long necklace with a pretty gold box chain.  The leaf is about 3-1/2" long and loaded with sparkly green cabochons and rhinestones. (The photo really doesn't do it justice!) The retail price marked on this is $46.99 and the price to keep it is $24.99.

When I send the top back, I'll definitely indicate that there was a size labeling issue and see if that gets corrected next month. I really like that you don't have to call or e-mail Nadine West for a return authorization.  Everything you need to return an item is included in the shipment. Don't you wish ALL returns were that easy?

Nadine West is a fairly new company and as such, they seem to be truly dedicated to customer service. With no commitment and no monthly fees, there really is no risk in trying them out. Shipping is free both ways. Also, you can skip a month or cancel at any time just by e-mailing customer service. 

It remains to be seen whether I can count on Nadine West for wardrobe and accessory updates but I do like their concept and have high hopes for this kind of risk-free trial shopping experience.  Plus, I can use ALL the style help I can get!

Have you tried Nadine West?  If so, what did you think?


Thursday, July 24, 2014

New Beauty Test Tube July 2014 Review + $5.00 Discount

It's New Beauty Test Tube time again!  This one doesn't come around as often as some of the others so it's always exciting to see that hot pink box on my front porch.  The New Beauty Test Tube is a sampling program that sends a variety of the latest breakthrough beauty products six times a year.  Each colorful cardboard tube contains both deluxe and full size products from the hottest beauty brands. Members also get a subscription to NewBeauty magazine, which is delivered quarterly.  For subscription details, please refer to my May review.

The NBTT is usually so packed with products that they also include a clear plastic zipper case (called the "Beauty to Go" bag) that contains extra products. That was not the case this time; all the products were in the tube. As you can see, the box was half empty when opened...a little disconcerting!

However, there were a lot of great products and nice variety in the tube! Three...maybe four of them are full size and the rest are luxury sample sizes.

New Beauty always includes a magazine like brochure that gives full information about each product, including what's in it, how to use it, where to buy more and the full size retail price.

The first product out of the tube is a full size bottle of Color Therapy Lock & Protect leave-in treatment by Biosilk.  This contains maracuja oil, antioxidants and essential fatty acids that hydrate and nourish hair.  This lightweight oil is easily absorbed and leaves a smooth surface free of frizz and flyaways. Supposedly, it leaves a mirror-like reflection on your hair.  Really interested to see if that's true!

Next is a .5 fl. oz. sample of Mela-D Deep Cleansing Brightening Foaming Cream by La Roche-Posay. This gently exfoliates to reduce dark spots, help even skin tone and boost radiance. Looks like there is enough here for four or five applications.

There is a full size High Shine Liquid Lipstick from Mally.  This one is in the most beautiful "Orchid" shade. This is a super shiny full coverage formula that keeps your lips well hydrated.  It is packaged as a clickable pen with an applicator brush on one end and a twistable base on the other end.

A shampoo and conditioner duo were enclosed in a pale blue organza bag.  These are from Dove's Advanced Hair Series - Oxygen Moisture.  They provide weightless moisture and up to 95 percent more volume.  Unfortunately, I need about 95 percent LESS volume!  A little customization would have helped a lot here.

There is a sample of StriVectin-EV Get Even Brightening Serum. This is intended to lighten discoloration and dark spots and leave a smoother, more even-toned complexion. It is also a radiance booster that brightens up dull skin. Results are said to be noticeable within two weeks. The retail price of the full size (1.7 fl. oz.) is $89, so I figure this 1 oz. sample is worth about $52.35....well over the price of the tube all on its own.

There is a small foil pack sample of another facial serum called Grande Face Lift.  This is a finishing serum that instantly smoothes lines and tightens skin. This sample is attached to a flyer with a lot of FAQ's, application, coverage and troubleshooting tips.

Next is a full size tube of Age Defying Wrinkle Remedy Line Filler from Revlon.  This is a lightweight formula with hyaluronic acid that fills fine lines and wrinkles and visibly smooths skin prior to makeup application.

The last product is a tube of Time Freeze Anti-Age CC Color Correcting Cream from Lumene.  I really like Lumene products, especially their night cream, but this is in the "Medium" shade which I think will be too dark for me.  Again, a little customization would go a long way here!  I will say there is a lot of product here for what I think is a luxury sample size.

That's what came in July's New Beauty Test Tube.  It doesn't look like quite as much as I've received in previous shipments; however, there are several products here that are quite expensive in their full sizes.  So I believe the overall value is there. 

The only discount I know of for new subscribers is available through NBTT's Refer-A-Friend program.  If you're interested, leave your e-mail address in the Comment section below and I will send you an invite for $5.00 off your first Test Tube. (Or send me a note at  Also, I believe you can click here to get the same deal.

Hope this review was useful and thanks for reading!


Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Eco Emi Earth Friendly Products Subscription Box Review, July 2014

Of all the subscription box companies, Eco Emi just might be the one that set the standard for attractive and creative packaging.  I've been a subscriber almost from the beginning and every box still feels like a little birthday present with lots of small things to unwrap inside.  Eco Emi items can include cosmetics, cleaning products, edibles, bath & body products or anything else that meets their eco-friendly requirements..  

Eco Emi's regular monthly lifestyle box contains 7 or 8 products.  Payment is recurring with discounts for longer term subscriptions. They don't do discounts or promo codes but you can get some savings through multi-month subscriptions.

Regular monthly price:  $15
3 month subscription:  $14 per month, total $42
6 month subscription:  $13 per month, total $78
12 month subscription:  $12 per month, total $144

They also offer one time purchase Custom boxes for $10.  These contain four items that you choose from their list of available products.

Eco Emi periodically offers themed Special Edition boxes.  There was a Spring Cleaning special edition box (not sure if it's still available) and there is an upcoming one featuring baby produts.

Sometimes extra monthly boxes are for sale individually, although I think the price is a bit higher than the subscription pricing.

July's Eco Emi box contained a number of interesting items packaged in multi-colored chevron striped tissue paper.  

They always include an information card with occasional special discount offers from some of their vendors and/or informational brochures and business cards.  Among other things this time, there is a promo code ECO-EMI which gets 20% off any order at, a vegan cosmetics bath & body site which provided one of the full size products in this box.  Another promo code is ecoemi2014, which is good for 20% off any purchase at, a site that sells all sorts of wellness products and remedies.  

The first product in the box is a small bag of essential oil bath salts.  The scent is not listed but since the picture on the front of the tag is lavender, I assume that's what it is.  This product is actually hand-made by an Etsy vendor. I believe this is the first time I've seen an Etsy product in an Eco Emi box.  Really hope they continue that trend!

The one full size product in the box is a "Diva Stix" in Black Kohl from The All Natural Face.  This is a hefty looking crayon eyeliner; nice product but wish we'd had a color choice!

There is a small "Tropical" cookie from Caveman Cookies which contains almond meal, honey, coconut, macadamia nuts and ginger.  A small vial of Bug-A-Boo insect repellant from Wellinhand came attached to an information card.  This one is in the Vanilla Rosemary scent.

Next are two individually packaged Aquatowels, "the premium personal towel for your hands, face and body".  These portable towels are multi-purpose and can be heated in the microwave or cooled in the refrigerator before use.

A small pot of "BeeUtifully Organic After Sun Cooling Lotion with Coconut Oil" is included. I'm leery of this one because it has a very odd appearance.  It looks like a clear liquid with an oval-shaped gelatinous mass floating in it.  Reminds me of the pods in the movie "Cocoon"!  Not sure I'll be using this at all.  (Really looks like the form has degraded into something it was not intended to be.)

The last item is a foil package containing one ounce of Organic Cold Brew Coffee by Cool Bean Perks.  The flavor is "Organic Guatemalan".  This makes a smooth and tasty cup of iced coffee...another first for an Eco Emi box, I believe!

That's all for July's box.  As you can see, they crammed a lot in this small box....I really enjoy the variety you get in Eco Emi's boxes.  Of course, you're also being introduced to healthy and earth-friendly products that you might not otherwise have tried.

If you enjoy reviews of this type (or are just entertained by them!), please subscribe to this blog in the box in the upper right hand corner.  That way, the new reviews will be delivered automatically to your e-mail.

As always, thanks for reading!


Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Wantable Makeup Box Review for July 2014 + 10% Cash Back through eBates!

The only subscription box I know of that has three completely separate services is Wantable. You can subscribe separately to their Makeup, Accessories or Intimates boxes.  For each one, you have the option to fill out an initial preference survey to indicate your likes and dislikes.  Then they customize the boxes accordingly. Through personal experience with the Makeup and Accessories boxes, I've found that they do a very good job of this; I've never received an item that was really a miss.

To remind you of the choices you made, they include a card in each box.  You may remember from a previous review that mine looks like this:

A really nice feature is that you can tweak these preferences at any time to change the curation of your box. I've been very happy with what I've been getting but I may try that next month just to see how sensitive Wantable is to such changes.

My July box included four full sized items from top brands, a blush, a face primer, a lip gloss and a bronzer.  As you can see, all of those fall under the "Love" category on my preference card.  In reading other reviews, I see that the products are vastly different for other subscribers, presumably due to their own choices.  That level of customization really isn't that common in the subscription box world!


The Pearl Glow Luminizing Primer by Tarina Tarantino is an elegantly packaged product. The shade name is "Pearl" and it blends flawlessly into my skin becoming invisible as a well matched primer should.  Retail $32.


Next is a liquid blush by Ofra in the shade "Pink Lady".  The color looks pretty intense in the tube but it blends out beautifully to whatever shade you want...from hot pink to barely visible.  I have very little experience with liquid blushes so am interested to try this.  Retail $20.

Then there is a Face & Body Bronzer by MICA Beauty Cosmetics in the shade "Sunlight". This can be applied anywhere you want a little extra shimmer.  Again, it can be blended out to the intensity you desire. There is a sifter inside the lid that makes brush application much easier.  I would say the color is sort of a coppery blush.  Retail $45.


The last item is a lip gloss from a company I've never heard of...(PLA) Beauty in the shade "Sheer Beauty", which is a mauve pink color.  This is a lightweight long wearing formula that is full of antioxidants and other things that are good for your lips.  Retail $22.

I'm quite pleased with the contents of this month's Wantable Makeup box.  The items were clearly chosen with my preferences in mind.  The total retail value is $119, not bad considering that the box price is $36.  That is definitely on the high side for beauty boxes but the products are all full size luxury brands and you generally don't get things that are completely wrong for you.  I also look at this as an affordable way to try some high end products that I would otherwise not purchase because of price.

The Wantable boxes have been so popular that they apparently don't feel the need to put a lot of discounts out there.  However, if you sign up through eBates, you can get 10% cash back.  I believe this only applies to your first purchase so it might be advantageous to sign up for a multi-month subscription if this looks like a good fit for you.  

Wantable's Makeup boxes have definitely upgraded my cosmetics collection by introducing me to quite a few top quality brands at a fraction of their retail prices!


Monday, July 21, 2014

Treatsie Artisan Sweets Subscription Box Review, July 2014 + Discounts & Promo Codes!

If you've read my reviews describing my dog's reaction to the arrival of various pet subscription boxes....well, the same pretty much applies to me when Treatsie boxes show up at my door.  Instant day brightener!  Treatsie sends beautifully curated boxes of artisan sweets crafted by small independent confectioners.  Aside from indulging in delicious sweets, I always like the idea of supporting small businesses so that's another plus.

Treatsie's monthly plan is $15.00 plus 4.95 for shipping and handling. That is a bargain, during the summer especially, since they go to great lengths to package their products (particularly chocolate) properly to protect them from the heat.  My last two Treatsie boxes arrived sandwiched in the midst of thick radiant cooling envelopes with ice packs included.  Despite temperatures in the mid 90's, the chocolate inside was in perfect condition!

Treatsie also has a new Chocolate Bar Subscription which includes five or six full size gourmet chocolate bars from a different small batch vendor each month.  This service is $39.00 + 6.95 S&H.  This price is a bit steep but if you're interested, you can get your first box for half price, using the promo code CHOCOBOX50 at checkout.  I haven't tried this one yet myself so if anyone can tell us about it, please comment below.

The July Treatsie box (called "The Sweets Subscription") contained six items attractively packaged in brown crinkle shreds and mint green tissue paper.  

Most prominent in this box are three all natural 2.5 oz. chocolate bars from Seattle Chocolates.  The retail price on these is $3.50 each.  These are beautifully and colorfully packaged and the flavors included are:
  • Milk Chocolate - Milk Chocolate Truffle Bar
  • Total Toffee - Milk Chocolate Truffle Bar Loaded With Toffee
  • Dark Chocolate - Dark Chocolate Truffle Bar     
These look wonderful but I do have a suggestion for Treatsie regarding chocolate.  In my experience, many people strongly prefer either dark chocolate or milk chocolate...often, not both. If Treatsie could add just enough customization to their site to allow users to express a chocolate preference, I think that would greatly increase satisfaction with their boxes.  I'm a dark chocolate fan myself so I always have to give away anything that is primarily milk chocolate.  In this case, I will devour the dark chocolate bar and find another home for the two milk chocolate bars.  But that's just me!

Next are two cute little bags containing three caramels each from the Shotwell Candy Co. (in Memphis, TN, I believe) One bag has "Old Fashioned Cocktail Caramels" and the other has "Hand-Crushed Espresso Caramels".  Since I love anything with espresso flavoring, I tried one of the latter first. You can actually taste and feel the tiny crushed up espresso beans. Oh my...all I can say is YUM!  

The last item is a repeat from February's Treatsie box.  At that time, it was called "Love Mix" but now it's been customized and re-named "Treatsie Variety Mix".  These are just fruit flavored hard candies with cute little pictures on them...very similar to the ribbon candy you get at Christmas.  They are attractive but not my favorite item for a gourmet sweets box.  These are hand made by Raley's Confectionary in Tallahassee, FL.

Overall, I'm happy with July's Treatsie box.  I do hope they'll add one or more customization options at some point but there's no doubt that the value is there for now.  

Treatsie has some very generous promo codes available for first time subscribers.  At the time of this post, the codes below worked.  Also, I think if you click on any of the highlighted Treatsie links in this post, you can also get your first box for free. (Someone please tell me if that is not the case.)
  • FRBUCOEM01 gets $15 off your first order (just pay shipping)
  • FRBUCO01 gets first box for free
  • WELCOME44 gets $10 off your first order 
  • SUBSCRIBE5 gets $5 off your first order
If you have a serious sweet tooth like I do, I think you'll enjoy Treatsie!


Sunday, July 20, 2014

BarkBox Dog Subscription Service Review, July 2014 + 10% Discount!

My pup Tucker and I have been happily reviewing his July BarkBox!  We were sad to see Happy Dog Box end their subscription service but glad that BarkBox is still available. If you missed my first BarkBox review, you can check it out here and get all the subscription details.

The arrival of BarkBox is like Christmas around here!  Each month, they send three or four full sized food or treat items and one toy.  This month's box has a "Surf's Up!" theme with several seashore inspired items.

Some dogs might rip into such treasure but not my Tucker.  He takes a disciplined approach, going over his BarkBox with meticulous attention to detail.  Every item gets professionally sniff checked and inspected with intense interest. In case you can't tell, this is one focused dog!

First out is the blue information card which tells about each item in the box and gives its retail price.  Tucker does not care to waste time with this.

The first snack is a five ounce package of Bixbi Daily Essentials Chicken Breast Jerky Treats.  Like all BarkBox edibles, these are made in the U.S.A.  The ingredient label says these include chicken breast, blueberrie, cranberries, reishi mushrooms and vegetable glycerin.  Retail $10

Can you see a wee bit of impatience while waiting for the camera to focus?  This Bixbi treat disappeared instantly.

Next is a big container of "Blissful Banana Crisps" by Healthy Dogma.  These include only bananas and coconut oil.  Hey...I like banana chips!  Wonder if Tucker would care to share? (Side note--these look a hundred percent better tasting than some of the awful banana ribbons I've received in human subscription boxes lately!) 

We're not gonna lie. These must be an acquired taste because Tucker wouldn't touch them. He politely sniffed a banana chip but absolutely refused to eat it.  I left a couple on the floor for him...there they still sit!

In keeping with the beachy theme, the toy this month is a big orange and white crab squeaky toy.  This is a hand crafted plush toy with a double layer exterior and extra stitching at the joints for extra chew resistance. It is also completely washer and dryer friendly.  As cute as this crab is, Tucker usually prefers hard toys like bones and rope tugs, so I'm not sure if he will accept this.  He may decide to give it to his neighbor Marley, a beautiful Rhodesian Ridgeback girl with a penchant for squeaky toys!

The last treat in July's Barkbox is a package of PetSafe Indigo Triple Chews in Natural Chicken & Blueberry flavor.  These are chewy on the outside and moist on the inside. This is a "sized" treat for dogs weighing 25 to 60 lbs.  Tucker weighs 24 lbs. but being a chewer by nature, I know he's up to the challenge. 

Tucker really liked these; they are tough enough that he can't just gobble them down in a few seconds.  However...don't feed these to your dog on the carpet as they do stain. They have a dark blue color that tends to get mashed into the carpet since the treat requires some work from the dog.  I was able to get the stain right up with some carpet cleaner but next time I'll feed these on a hard surface or outdoors.

So that's it for July box. They always send enough treats to last us easily until the next box arrives. Thanks to BarkBox, Tucker has more high quality treats available now than he's ever had before. Their careful selection of U.S. sourced and made products makes me feel that he's getting the best treats available. That's the least I can do for my sweet and loyal companion!

If you and your dog would enjoy a monthly BarkBox, click here to get 10% off your first subscription.  

Now I need to go see if a neighbor dog might enjoy those banana chips!


Friday, July 18, 2014

Battle of the Blushes! Nine Contenders....Does Price Really Equal Quality?

Cosmetics marketers are famous for their skill at seducing us with sky's-the-limit promises, claims of superior quality and often, gorgeous packaging.  Most of us fall for the hype at one time or another in the vain belief that only THIS product or THAT product really delivers what we need. Somewhere deep in our prefrontal cortex, we KNOW our buying decisions are mostly about perception.

I recently saw a blush from a not-so-well known but high end label on a major department store's website for $85. $85!!! How can a blush deliver ANY benefit worth that amount of money?  Is an $85 blush really that much better than a $10 blush?  I decided to conduct my own focus group (membership of one) and see for myself. The results might interest and surprise you!

Face color products include blushes, bronzers and highlighters as well as a few hybrids. They come in many forms...creams, loose powders, pressed powders, stains, sticks and liquids. For my little experiment, I decided to focus on pressed powder blushes only, using a range from well known department store labels to inexpensive drugstore brands. I wanted to find out if there is really any performance based reason that warrants spending $20 or $30 more for a particular product.

The nine products I chose for this test range in price from $5.00 to $30.00.  There are a lot of pressed powder blushes above that price range but let's face it....if you're paying more than $30 for a blush, more than half the price is paying for the name and the packaging.  I didn't want prestige brands or extravagant compacts to influence the outcome.  (It should be obvious why the $85 blush was not included in this test!) Having said that, some of these blushes DO come in very attractive and/or innovative packaging.

Let's see how these products perform!  Three layers of each blush were applied to my arm with a MAC 129 blush brush.  I worked in groups of three with product photos and reactions under each swatch test.

Clinique Cheek Pop Blush Pop - "Ginger Pop", .12 oz., Retail $21.00.  This one wins hands down for cute packaging with its clear lucite case and embossed daisy.  Light buildable ginger mauve color with good pigmentation and subtle shimmer, goes on smoothly and easily. Very little product for price paid.

MAC Powder Blush - "Well Dressed", .21 oz., Retail $21.00.  You get a good amount of product here but it was quite hard to get it to show up on my skin at all (probably because of the very pale shade).  It is very blendable, almost to the point of invisibility. This is a very natural looking light blush with some shimmer to it. 

Maybelline FIT Me! Blush - "Light Mauve", .16 oz., Retail $5.99.  An annoyance with cheap blushes is getting past all the retail store security features.  The sticker on the front of this package would not come off and there is a security tag on the back that tore the packaging when removed.  This one goes on easily and gives a soft natural glow.  The included brush is quite stiff and just barely gets the job done; I would only use it in an emergency.

With the next group of three, I'm starting to realize that my pale skin tone and color choices do not lend themselves well to this type of test.  But I'm committed, so onwards......

Michael Marcus Blush - "Lavish", no weight given, Retail $20.00.  This is an extremely loose powdery blush with product flying everywhere during application.  (Because the powder is so loose, I wonder how long this blush will last?)  It goes on easily, is very blendable and gives a nice light color with a bit of shimmer. Just to give an idea of how much of the total price is attributable to packaging, refills for this blush are sold for $6.00. So...fully 70% of the retail price for the original product is attributable to packaging, which in this case, is sleek but very simple.  Keep that in mind if you're considering purchasing a medium or high end blush.  

NARS Blush - "Orgasm", .16 oz., Retail $30.00.  I don't have access to sales data but if I had to guess, this is probably one of the all time best sellers in the blush category. Of course, the provocative name has a lot to do with it but this is also a very nice blush. I was surprised that it went on much lighter than it looks in the pan. Because of that, I think this would make a great layering product...even a good highlighter.  This has a silky, creamy feel and is very subtle on the skin.  I think a major benefit of the more expensive blushes is that they do not look harsh on the skin...just blend in beautifully, leaving a nice glow. One this price, there should be more product.


NYX Blush - "Dusty Rose", .18 oz., Retail $5.00.  NYX is well known for its beautiful array of affordable and easily accessible blushes.  This one is so close to my own skin tone that it barely shows up at all.  It is definitely darker in the pan than on the skin. It sweeps on easily and gives a nice smooth effect.  Next time, I'll try a more adventurous shade! Overall very nice quality and blendability for the price.

The last trio contains two of my most used blushes, Tarte and Physician's Formula. Tigi is a new brand to me and one I don't know much about.  

Physician's Formula Happy Booster Glow & Mood Boosting Blush - "Natural", .24 oz., Retail $11.99.  I think this is the third or fourth Happy Booster blush I've owned.  The claim is that this blush contains plant extracts which "boost happiness".  I'm not sure if that's true or not but the combination of the beautiful product itself, with all its sizes and colors of hearts plus the way the different shades fuse to form the perfect glow...well, it does indeed make me happy!  The pigmentation on this one is not strong because it's in the "Natural" shade; however, the other two shades I've used (Pink & Rose) give a more pigmented glow. The packaging is also ingenius; the pan lifts out to expose a well underneath in which a tiny 2-tone pink brush is stored.  A mirror is on the back of the pan.  An absolutely beautiful product in every way!


Tarte Amazonian Clay 12-Hour Blush - "Frisky", .20 oz., Retail $26.00.  This is the blush I've been using most often lately.  The color is darker in the pan and for some reason, is darker on my cheeks than it looks on my arm in the photo above.  This is an elegant blush with quite a bit of shimmer and strong pink tones.  As the name suggests, it also has good staying power.

Tigi Glow Blush - "Awaken", .07 oz., Retail $10.00.  This one has the least amount of product of any of the blushes shown, which is certainly not justified by the price. The blush has an interesting domed shape and comes in a sleek silver compact.  Although the matte color is lovely, I think it's lacking in pigmentation.  It does blend out nicely to a natural glow.

So that's my battle of the blushes!  When you consider quality, appearance, price and quantity, my top three would be:  

  • First Place - Tarte Amazonian Clay ($26.00)
  • Second Place - Physician's Formula Happy Booster Glow & Mood Boosting Blush ($11.99)
  • Third Place - NYX Blush ($5.00)

  1. Great blushes can be found at every price point.  Price does not necessarily denote quality.
  2. It is extremely difficult to differentiate quality and value within the same shade category.  (Obviously, all of these blushes were chosen with my skin tone in mind. Even so, there were considerable variations in color in the pan.  So I was really surprised at how little color difference there actually was when applied to the skin. Much of the time, shimmer intensity was more definitive than actual color.)
  3. Both the Clinique and NARS blushes would have been in my top three if they had had more product in relation to the price paid.
  4. Packaging accounts for a significant percentage of the retail price.  That percentage increases dramatically as the retail price increases.  Above $15 or $20 for a blush, I don't think there is much room for improvement in product's ALL about the packaging.
  5. The same can be said with regard to a provocative or even shocking shade proven repeatedly by NARS and Urban Decay.

I hope you found my little experiment interesting and beneficial and would love to hear your feedback!

Thanks for reading,