The Monkey Is In.

So be prepared. Bring a banana.

I'm a writer of horror and dark fiction. I've been doing this since 1999 and believe me when I say, it's cheaper than therapy and safer for the world at large.

Filtering by Tag: monthly

Notoriously Morbid Mystic Monthly 3-Month Review

Gaaaahhhhhh…. yeah.

Okay, so I’m a little behind. You can go read my latest Monkey Musings to know why. Instead of doling out this monthly review one at a time, I’m just going to talk about the last three months, and leave the final month review for January. I also had the timing wrong on my past reviews, so for this post, we’ll disregard the designations from the past and talk about September, October, and November from Notoriously Morbid’s Mystic Monthly subscription service. And because I’m behind, I most likely will be missing a few details and pictures. Sorry about that.

For the newbs, NM has a monthly lip product subscription service. For $10, you get one full sized Mystic Matte liquid lipstick, plus one other full sized lip product. The lipstick is exclusive to this service, and each year they follow a specific theme. For 2018, it was The Dragon’s Tail.

(I pay for this service with my own money and all opinions are my honest ones)

SEPTEMBER

I only have pics of the lipstick from this month. I can’t remember what else came with it, nor did I keep the slip of paper that has all the mythology on the month’s dragon, though its name is Fafnir.

Ugh, I suck.

However, the color of this month’s lipstick is gorgeous! A beautiful, mid-toned orange with a pink base, and some kind of sparkle - I wanna say silver, possibly gold as well. I smudged the swatch on my hand so you can see the pink base.


OCTOBER

For this month, the dragon is from Slavic mythology, and named Zmey. This is a cool toned pinky-purple with copper sparkles - you can sort of see them along the edge of my lower lip in the second lip swatch pic. You also get Smoke & Fire, one of the cosmic glosses. A gorgeous dark berry color that smells like strawberry cake. The pigmentation on this one is so much better than the one I got in their advent calendar.

NOVEMBER

This month’s dragon comes from the Welsh flag - Y Ddraig Goch, the red dragon. This lipstick is a warm toned red with red shimmer. You also get a Slumber Salve, Entombed, flavored with sangria and vanilla.

At first I though the red was going to show up more orange, but with the red shimmer, it’s a perfect Christmas holiday color - which was NM’s thinking behind this shade. SO PRETTY!

All righty. I’ve got one more month coming for the 2018 Dragon theme and then I’m going to cancel the subscription. Not because I don’t like the formula or any of the colors I’ve received (well, one was kind weak.) I just don’t need dozens of the same kind of lipstick. Does that make sense? But if you’re in the market for this kind of product, that comes in some unique and gorgeous colors, by all means, sign up! It’s been worth it for me!

Universal Yums January 2018 Review

For those who may not know, Universal Yums is a monthly food subscription service. For $14 or $25, you will get a box of 6+ or 12+ candy and snacks from a different country. Check them out here: UNIVERSAL YUMS

(I pay for this service with my own money and all opinions are my honest ones)

January brings us goodies from GREECE. Here's some trivia for you. Answer at the end of the post.  TRIVIA: In ancient Greece, throwing an apple at someone was a way to say: A.I'm in love with you!; B.Happy New Year; C.Good luck!; D.You and your family shall be cursed

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There are a couple items in here that I will NOT be eating. One, because they're too hard to chew or two, I vomit a little just thinking about them. I'll get those out of the way first.

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Olympas Sesame Pasteli with Almonds: I couldn't even break this bar within the package to test how crunchy it might be so yeah. Not gonna eat it. Which makes me sad because there are only 3 ingredients: sesame seeds, honey, and almonds. It sounds so good, dammit!

Bliss Cocoa Toffee: Even without my Invisalign issues, toffee is hard for me because of all my crown work. Sometimes if there's sufficient chocolate coating, that helps to break up the stickiness. But these little bricks...no way. *all the crying*

Parthenon Green Olives with Fennel & Corriander: Olives, man. EWWWWWWWWWW.

Tottis Onion Bread Chips: Remember bagel chips? That's basically what these are if they had a one-night stand with some Melba toast. The onion flavor is a little sweet and subtle, not too overpowering. Very nice.

Serenata Dark Chocolate Wafer: I think EVERY country has some kind of wafer cookie in their arsenal. I have to say that I think this is my favorite so far, though. Because it's dark chocolate, it's not overly sweet and the filling between the layers is not too thick or too thin. It's pretty dang perfect.

Bergamot Jelly Candies: Though the bergamot in these tasted a LOT like perfume (and not in a good way like those mints from Turkey), I loved the texture. They're like a cross between Jello Jigglers and a Chuckles Fruit Slice.

Tottis Chips: I'm not a huge oregano fan but the flavor is these chips is subtle enough for me to handle. Texture is like any regular potato chip so they're easy for me to eat, too!

Derby Chocolate Bar: OMG this is my favorite item from the box. Coconut, caramel, crisp rice, and chocolate. What's not to love?!?

Overall, a very nice box (that's what he said). The clue for next month makes us think we'll get some snacks from France. It would super cool if, like last year, we get the bigger sized box as a Valentine's ILY. Yes, I'm a greedy bitch.

TRIVIA ANSWER: A.I'm in love with you! Hey, it's a lot cheaper than a ring! Throwing an apple at a woman in ancient Greece was considered a marriage proposal. As that tradition slowly faded away, a new one appeared: many couples in Greece ate an apple as part of their wedding festivities as a sign of their love for one another.

Universal Yums July 2017 Review

I guess 2:30am is as good a time as any to write up this review!

For those who don't know, Universal Yums is a monthly subscription service. For $14 or $25, you'll get 6+ or 12+ snacks from a different country in each box. Check them out here: UY

I purchase this box with my own money and all opinions are my honest ones.

This month's goodies come from South Korea! Here's a little trivia for you before we get to the snacks (answer at the end of the post). Koreans who win Olympic medals do not have to: A.Pay taxes; B.Join the military; C.Follow the speed limit; D.Pay child support

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I'll start off with the snack with no picture, because the hubs and I split it and both ate our halves in about 18 seconds.

Lotte Chocolate Rice Cake: This is not like the crunchy rice cakes we have here. This was like mochi. Think two layers of mochi as the outside 'cookies', a chocolate filling between them, and the whole thing covered in chocolate. Might sound odd but holy balls this was probably THE best snack in the whole box.

Tteok-bokki Snack: I've seen the street food this snack is based on in a lot of the K-dramas I watch. I've always wanted to try it. And though I know it's not crunchy like this stuff, if the flavor is anything similar, I'd be happy to eat myself into a coma!

Lotte Moncher Creme Pie: I thought this would be like a moon pie, which is what the Korean Choco Pie is, but the filling is not like that marshmallowy crap (sorry Moon Pie fans). This is a smooth delicious creme center between layers of soft cake and covered in chocolate. So delicious!

Scorched Rice Candy: Somehow Korea has figured out how to make burnt rice taste good. And it's in this little candy. I also taste a little burnt popcorn going on, which probably comes from the corn flavor mixing with the scorched rice. Doesn't matter to me because it tastes pretty dang good.

Malang Strawberry Candy: This has a similar texture to a Hi-Chew but it's much softer, more fluffy like a marshmallow. It's also kinda bland and boring and not all that special.

Choco Heim: It's another wafer style cookie (really there's no flavor - it's like a communion wafer) that's filled with a hazelnut chocolate creme. Tastes good though!

Kook Hee Biscuit: These are what Nutter Butters SHOULD taste like! Not sugary sweet, the cookies and creme filling are perfect together. There are bits of peanuts in the filling, too!

Bulgogi Ppushu Ppushu Snack: Forgot to take a pic of this one, too, because I haven't tried it yet (it's the big yellow bag on the right in the very first pic). This is one of those dry ramen noodle snacks. But this one you smash up, while it's still in the bag, then open it and sprinkle the flavor packet over it. Um...okay.

Anytime Milk Candy: These things kinda sucked. You can see the different layers in the pic. The outside ones are mint and the middle is milk. Very odd and displeasing taste combination.

BONUS: The UY folks included a bonus item this month of Korean chopsticks. You might notice that they are metal and not wood, like every other Asian country. There's a long history behind it. Short story - royals in the Baekje period (18BC-660AD) used metal because it would change colors if anyone poisoned their food. Eventually it became a status symbol then available and used by all. Cool, huh?

Pretty good box I think. Just a few duds for me but that's not unusual. The clue for next month might be Colombia. We'll have to wait and see!

TRIVIA: B. If a male athlete wins an Olympic medal, he doesn't have to complete his required military service (Korean women are not required to serve). This puts added pressure on athletes because, for many of them, if they don't win a medal, it means they must give up their professional athletic careers to complete the 21-month mandatory service.

Ipsy July 2017 Review

Okay, I have to admit the bag really got me this month. So much so that I don't even care* how fucking useless the theme/card is all the time.

For those who don't know, Ipsy is a monthly beauty service. For $10 a month, you get 4-5 sample (sometimes full) sized beauty, skin, and hair products, along with a reusable makeup bag. Check them out here: IPSY

I pay for this service with my own money and all opinions are my honest ones.**

I think the theme had something to do with lazy summer days or some shit. I don't know who Gudetama is (another Internet sensation of which I'm completely unaware) but OMG look at that egg yolk's cute little butt! I literally (in the classic-and-should-be-the-only definition of the word) squealed with delight. It's a keeper for sure. Now, on to the products.

Ahava Mineral Hand Cream: I've received a few products from this brand before. While they've all been just okay, this hand cream is probably the nicest. It smells fantastic - but very floral. If that bothers you, you'll hate this. It's thin so it absorbs quickly but the skin feels silky afterwards, not greasy. Full size is $24. This travel sized tube is valued at $10. (NCF - some mixed info but no corroborating evidence of CF on any of the research sites I check)

IBY Crease Eye Shadow Brush: Inspired By You Beauty (pronounced I.B.Y.). This is supposed to be a domed shadow brush, great for blending out darker shadows on the eye. The cut on mine looks kinda wonky - not an even domed shape. Not sure if that's how it's supposed to be. It is very soft, synthetic, and 100% vegan. Full size valued at $12. (The brush is vegan so you have to think they're a cruelty free company but I can't find any info on their site or on any of the websites that compile CF company info.)

Ciate London Wonderwand Gel-Khol Hybrid Liner in Black: The claim is this has the pigmentation of a gel liner but the blendability of a khol pencil. And I would agree. I tried this on for shits and giggles without eye primer, over eye shadow, to see how it would work. It lasted longer that the eye shadow and didn't fade at all. The outer wing did lighten a little, which isn't surprising on my oily lids, but unless you were all up in my business, you never would have known. The brush is a titch scratchy but nothing terrible. I can't tell if this is full sized or not, but if not it's darn close. Full size is $18 so I'll call this item $15, just to be safe. (CF)

Seraphin Botanicals Lychee + Gold Healthy Glow Rose Gold Blush: (geez there's lot of long named shit this month). GORGINA blush color. Beautiful blend of peach and pink with a soft glow. Almost enough to forgo a highlighter. Almost...It kicks up a ton of powder but it's surprisingly not very pigmented, which I prefer. Easier to work with. This is full sized and goes for $14 (Vegan and CF)

Ofra Cosmetics Eyeshadow in Gold Rush: I've heard sooooo much about this brand and now I finally get to experience it for myself! Though I'm bored to tears with yet another warm universal gold/copper color, it is rather nice. I didn't use a primer to test it out and the color payoff was pretty dang good. And I didn't wet it, which is how it really shines, I guess, since it is a metallic. So I'm excited to play with it some more. Full size, 4g, is $12 so this 2g sample costs $6 (Vegan and CF)

I've come up with a $57 value this month. Holy schnikies. Ipsy hasn't had that good of a value for a while now. And I do actually like everything this month!

*That's a lie. I still care and still get pissy about it.

** I hate that I have to put this disclaimer in the post because people in general assume if you review something positively, it's because you're being paid to do it. Fucking weak.

Medusa's Makeup June 2017 Review

So nice to come home from a weekend con in Pittsburgh to see my MM bubble pack waiting for me! If you don't know, Medusa's Makeup is a monthly subscription service. For $16 each month you will receive 3-5 full sized makeup products from MM (as in, it's their specific brand). They are vegan and cruelty free. Check them out here: MEDUSA'S MAKEUP

(I pay for this service with my own money and all opinions are my honest ones)

Semi Matte/Creamy Lipstick in YOLO: While I despise that name, the shade is pretty. Again, it's a color I probably won't wear. Super hot pink! But it goes on like a dream and feels wonderful. $12

Oh So Natural Lip/Cheek Stain in Raven: It looks like it would be a deep blood red but it's more like a sheer lip balm. It feels great on the lips but on the cheeks, it basically just looks like I put grease on my face. No color at all. So I'll just use it as a lip balm! But that packaging is so dang cute! $8

Totally Baked Eye Shadow in Tubular: GORGEOUS color! I can't even handle it. It seems more pigmented than the last one I got (the pretty gold) and I hope it lasts longer than that one, too. I'm hopeful that because it's a darker color, it will. $9

Shimmer Effect Eye Dust in Jail Bait: Holy schnikies this color is stunning and super pigmented! Just look at it! Now sometimes these kinds of pigments will swatch better than perform but even the Wasabe color didn't swatch this beautifully. I'm super excited about this one. $8

Over all value of $37 is cool by me!

Universal Yums May 2017 Review

Universal Yums is a monthly food subscription service. For $14 (or $25) you get 6+ (or 12+) candy and snack items from a different country. It's a nice way to get just a taste of another culture without having to endure the terrifying world of air travel. Check them out here: UY

May brings us the country of JAPAN (which I believe was the country we had in our very first UY box - and I'm okay with that). Here's some trivia for you (answer at the end of the post): You can get the following out of a vending machine in Japan: A.Underwear; B.Live lobsters; C.Beer; D.Surgical Masks.

Mame Mix: Seems like this is Japan's answer to an American nut mix but in theirs, not only do they have peanuts, but there are peas, broad beans, and seaweed peas (like a crunchy cracker shaped in a ball covered in seaweed bits). All are coated in a little bit of soy sauce. All are freakin' delicious.

Everyburger Cookie: OMG these things are so cute! They look just like little baby hamburgers, down to the sesame seed buns and cheese slices. They taste pretty damn good, too. Just like a sweet vanilla cookie but with a little hunk of solid chocolate in it.

Kasugai Kiwi Gummies: Apparently this is the only repeat item from their first Japan box in 2015. These are absolutely delicious and even have little kiwi seeds inside the gummy.

Ribon Nama Ume Candy: The hard candy is delicious but the middle is filled with salt pickled plums. They're actually not that bad - unlike those salt candies from some god forsaken country last year. I don't PREFER to have a candy end on a salty note but I'm not totally mad at it.

Umaibo Teriyaki Burger & Gyutan Flavor: These are those long tube shaped snacks made from corn and taste like whatever flavor is sprinkled on top. The Teriyaki Burger flavor is okay, kinda salty. But the Gyutan flavor is just ick. Gyutan is beef tongue, by the way.

Sakuma Matcha Milk Candy: These taste basically just like lightly sweetened green tea. Very nice.

Bourbon Petit Caramel Rice Crackers: I don't get the consistency of rice crackers in these treats. They're more like a cross between a butter cookie and melba toast. Super super sweet, I can understand why these are usually paired with green tea in Japan. Nice contrast of flavors.

Rakka Ame Candy: These candies are kind of like peanut brittle but not quite as hard. They crumble and dissolve a little quicker but still have a great salty roasted peanut flavor. Very good!

 

TRIVIA ANSWER: Trick question! All of the above are correct answers. Underwear, live lobsters, beer, and surgical masks are sold in vending machines in Japan, just not all in the same one.

The clue for next month leads us to believe the goodies will be coming to us from Mexico!

Ipsy May 2017 Review

For those who may not know, Ipsy is a monthly beauty subscription. For $10 a month, you receive 4-5 sample (sometimes full sized) makeup, skin, and hair products. Check them out for yourself here: IPSY

(I pay for this service with my own money and all opinions are my honest ones)

The theme for this month is USELESS. And if you can believe it, the card is even smaller than last time and has even LESS information on it. What. The hell.

I have to admit, though, I kinda like the bag. It's a clear thick plastic that will probably be decent at holding liquids while traveling (NOTE: I've used this a couple of times now and yes, it's good so far). And who doesn't like ice cream? COMMIES, THAT'S WHO.

The little bottle of lotion was an extra I got for cashing in some points. My profile said the points would expire in February so I wanted to hurry up and use them before they disappeared. Soon after I redeemed this little baby, the pop up info told me that the remaining points actually don't expire until 2018. Son of a bitch. The lotion is...okay. Scent is a bit overpowering.

Okay. Now for the actual monthly products:

Global Beauty Care Charcoal Wash Off Mask - stung a little but sometimes that happens with a new mask. I love the twisty top that allows me to seal it back up so the rest of the product doesn't dry out! I can't find a lot of info on them so I'm not sure if they're CF. But I think this is full sized and goes for $5.

Pacifica Beauty Island Life Eye Shadow - I've received a few makeup items from this brand before. I really have enjoyed past eye shadows and these are just as gorgeous. Pretty pigmented but VERY soft so be careful when you want to finger (swatch) them. This palette is exclusive to Ipsy so I have no idea how much it's worth. (CF)

Royal & Langnickel Precision Angled Brush - I've heard a lot about this brand floating around the internets so I was excited to get one in my bag. But...I don't know what to do with it. I don't contour; it's too big for eyes; it's too small for blush. So, yeah. Again, can't find this exact brush on their site so I don't know the cost. But it's vegan so that makes it CF.

Manna Kadar Radiance Split Pan Highlighter/Bronzer Duo - While the sample is a little small to work with, the colors are beautiful. The bronzer will be a better eye shadow on me and the highlight is pretty. Again, can't find any damn info on sizes/amounts but I know it's not full  size (which is $21). It is CF though!

Mellow Cosmetics Creamy Matte Lipstick in Posh: I've never heard of this brand before so I'm glad I get to try something new! This lipstick is awesome. Gorgeous color that is more neutral/cool than warm, goes on smooth, and lasts quite a while without being drying. It's my favorite product this month! Mostly because I'm a lipstick whore. Full size and it's $13 (CF).

Well, I don't really have a value for the bag this month because there just isn't any info out there about some of the items. But I'm pretty sure it's over $10. Though I need to use the mask a few more times to be sure about whether or not it'll fry my face, I'm pretty happy with the rest of the items (even if I can't figure out price points).

Medusa's Makeup May 2017 Review

For those who may not know, Medusa's Makeup is an indie brand in beauty that has a monthly subscription service. For $16 you get 3-5 full sized vegan and cruelty free makeup products. Check them out here: MEDUSA'S MAKEUP

(I purchase this service with my own money and all opinions are my honest ones)

Ooooohhh....GLITTER!

Glitter in "Pegasus" ($7): It's kind of hard to tell but this glitter has a purple base with blue, green, and gold sparkles. And it's called Pegasus. PEGASUS! I cannot wait to try this (excuse my dry and flaky hands).

Lip Paint in the color "Shag" ($12): This is my second lip paint. And while I like the formula - not too dry, fells comfy - these kinds of watermelon or salmon shades look shitty on me. But it would make a nice base for another color on top (oooh...dirty).

Lip Paint Remover ($10): This is simply a colorless oil that will remove the liquid lipstick once it's dried on your lips - and it works well. Sometimes those things are a BITCH to get off (ooooh...dirty...what is wrong with me?). It basically feels like any kind of oil so if you've already got some of that, you might not need this. But does yours smell a little like cotton candy/burnt sugar? I didn't think so. It's not a strong scent so don't worry about that.

Totally Baked Eyeshadow in "Bitchin" ($9): I had to show you the back sticker on this. So cute! (I accidentally scraped the sticker so it WAS in tact when they sent it) Gorgeous gold shadow, which is one color I don't have and have always wanted. Thank you, MM! Smooth feel, great shine but not glittery, and doesn't fade throughout the day. I used this as a brow bone highlighter and it was perfect (for my skin). It might work as a regular highlighter too. Hmmm...

Aside from the color of the lip paint, I'm in love with this subscription service this month. And it's a $38 value so that ain't too shabby!

Medusa's Makeup April 2017 Review

All righty. Moving into the second month of this subscription service! For those who don't know, MM is a monthly makeup subscription service. For $15.95, you'll get 3-5 full sized vegan and cruelty free makeup products. Check them out here: MEDUSA'S MAKEUP

I pay for this service with my own money and all opinions are my honest ones.

Even though I said I wouldn't, I had to include two extra packing pictures this month. The first is the padded envelope - which is different from last month. I'm not a polka dot kinda gal but how cute it that? Also they included a full color glossy pamphlet/catalog in the bag. Awesomesauce, party of one!

This month I got some great items!

Eyeliner Seal: This is basically a liquid that can transform any loose powder (I'll have to try it on a pressed one and let you know how that goes) into an eyeliner. It looks just like water but I know from past experience that plain water doesn't help the staying power in DIY eyeliner. The first time I used this (with the eye dust I got this month) was a disaster. Too much liquid. The second time was SO much better. See? I do have a learning curve, flat as it may be most of the time...Got more pigmentation and it lasted ALL DAMN DAY (though if I touched it, the eyeliner would smudge). And I only need a couple drops each use so this is going to last a loooong time.

Eye Dust in Helter Skelter: This loose pigment is a gorgeous blue black color. I think there's glitter in it but I can't be sure. Beautiful color, though maybe not knocking my socks off like last month's Wasabe. But I'm excited to play with it some more, maybe use my glitter glue to see what the color pay off will be.

L to R: Blush swatch; Helter Skelter with eyeliner seal; Helter Skelter dry swatch

L to R: Blush swatch; Helter Skelter with eyeliner seal; Helter Skelter dry swatch

Blush in Georgia Peach: HUGE pan size for this blush. Beautiful peach shade that needs a little bit of a light hand in application as it's pretty pigmented. The compact has a nice big mirror, too!

Eyeliner brush: Though the bristles on the brush aren't tapered or narrow enough for me to get a clean line, it does make short work of filling in a giant wing! Also works great if you're just wanting to get the color across your lash line and don't need to worry about it being super thin. Very soft, though if you use it to mix the powder and eyeliner seal, it soaks it all up and that's a pain in the ass. So live and learn!

A $36 value this month which is awesome because these products are going to last me a long time! Also, as a subscriber, I got a 15% off on-line order code AND another 10% off code in my email. AWESOME!

Ipsy April 2017 Review

Well, March came in like a lion this year, eh, midwesterners? Let's hope April has showers to bring May flowers and not too much more of Mother Nature's menopause specials. I don't know about the rest of you but our fence has almost been pulled out at least twice by all these wind storms!

Anyway, this post is about Ipsy. For those who may not know, Ipsy is a monthly subscription service where, for $10, you receive 4-5 sample (sometimes full) sized makeup, hair, and skin care products. Check them out for yourselves here: IPSY

I purchased this service with my own money and all opinions are my honest ones.

Have no idea what the theme is this month because I didn't bother to look at the card as it has NO useful info on it at all. Lemme go to the website. Hang on..."Sideshow". What the fuck is that supposed to mean? OMG so useless.

The bag itself is hilarious! I love the ticket shape, like what you'd get at a carnival or whatever. But the material is vinyl or something that feels like very tough stiff (*rowr*) rubber. Probably pretty durable, though. Meh. Let's get to the products.

Hikari Cosmetics Cream Pigment Eye Shadow: I believe the color is Honeydew. Looks like a frosty pink with a hint of peach behind it. It's beautiful. The texture is like a Colourpop shadow - feels like a cream but goes on like a powder. Using a brush is pretty much useless, though, unlike CP. Hardly any pigment pay off. But with a finger it's very nice. Could be used as a highlighter, too, because there's no glitter. Can't find an amount on the website for full size but I'm guessing this is a sample (because full size comes in a pot) but a decent sized sample. Let's call it half price and valued at $6.50. (CF)

Colourpop Creme Gel Pencil: You know how much I love CP. So I was excited for this product. The shade is Best O (oh my...) and is a deep burgundy. It looks kind of brown in the swatch below but on the eye it's much more reddish purple. Smooth and creamy, these are great eyeliners. HOWEVER - they are soft so break easily; I also had trouble getting the color to show up on top of the eye shadow. Had to work at it. Full size and is $5.00 (CF)

Touch in Sol No Poreblem! Primer: Interesting primer. It looks like a lotion. Feels like silicone. But once it absorbs, which it does FULLY, your skin just feels smooth and soft. It actually does look like it diminishes the appearance of pores. So cool. I only used it once but with just a translucent powder so I can't speak to it's ability to help makeup last longer. I'll let you know. Full size is $18 so this sample (the tube felt almost empty which is a bit of a rip off) is about $3. (CF)

Tried to do a quick look with the shadow and liner so forgive the messy brow powder and mascara.

Tried to do a quick look with the shadow and liner so forgive the messy brow powder and mascara.

Hanalei Aloe Soothing Gel: I do like aloe gel. Granted, this has aloe powder as it's EIGHTH ingredient but I'll still give it a shot. It does smell fresh and more like cucumbers than aloe but what the hell. Full size at 100g is $30 so this 10g sample is about $3.00 (CF)

Luxie Beauty Dreamcatcher Precision Foundation Brush 660: I am never mad at brushes. And I've received Luxie Beauty ones in the past and they are awesome. I don't use brushes for foundation but I'm sure I'll have no trouble finding another use for this one. Full size and is $23.00 (Vegan and CF)

I'm gonna round the numbers around and say this month was around a $40 value. I've had better. Think I've had worse. But I like everything in this bag AND they're all cruelty free so I'm all right with it!

Lipp Beautifully March 2017 Review

Already in my third month on this? How is that possible?

For those who don't know, I just joined this service in January. For $5.95 a month you get 4 samples of lipsticks (Trend, Going Out, Every Day, Limited Edition) with 4 sponge applicators. The samples are a good size so you'll get a 5-7 uses from each one to really test out the product. Use the code "10OFFGENERAL" to get 10% off your first month. If you join, as a subscriber you will get another code each month to get $5 off a purchase from their store (excluding Limited Edition shades). Check them out here: LIPP BEAUTIFULLY

(I pay for this service with my own money and all opinions are my honest ones)

Only one shade this month gave me the blahs because of shade, pigmentation, and feel. But the other three are beautiful.

TREND: Script is similar to last month's Verde color but with a bit more red tone so it looks like a warm rose-berry shade. Thick and creamy this is a gorgeous color and feels so nice on the lips.

EVERY DAY: Absence is my least favorite. It's too light for my skin (looks like concealer), very thin formula, and it's a bit streaky. Might be nice to mix in with other shades or use like a highlight in the center of the lips.

GOING OUT: Crime is a GORGEOUS bright cherry red color. This would be great for a pin up makeup look. Similar formula to Script.

LIMITED EDITION: Fiji is probably my favorite, even after that red one! Though the formula is a bit thin and streaky (like Absence) the color is stunning. I love it!

Very beautiful options this month and I might just go buy Fiji!

Universal Yums March 2017 Review

Coming at you a little late on this one. Didn't have the time to open it any sooner! March has been a little crazy.

For those who don't know, Universal Yums is a monthly subscription service. For $13 (or $25) you get a box full of candy and snacks from around the world. Check them out here: UY

(I purchase this service with my own money and all opinions are my honest ones)

March brings us goodies from Israel! Here's some trivia for you (answer at the bottom of the post): Which of these is banned in Israel? A. Underweight supermodels; B. Two-piece swimsuits; C. Public displays of affection; D. Tanning beds

I tried to take more close up pics of the snacks this time so I hope that helps! And yes, instead of writing our names at the top of the rating list, I just drew the faces indicating our preferences.

Elite Mekupelet: This has a crumbly texture which I don't prefer with my chocolate. Apparently the method of creating this is a highly guarded secret at Elite. That's all right because it just tastes okay. It's sort of like what the cheap chocolate here tastes like.

 

Bamba: Another one of those corn puff snacks that is made to taste like something else entirely. These smell like Peanut Butter Captain Crunch but taste like straight up peanut butter. Really good! And apparently a group of scientists discovered some new allergy information using these puffs.

 

Chocolate Gelt: These chocolate coins are traditionally given to kids at Hanukkah to use when playing Dreidel. They're a smooth bittersweet chocolate (but not nearly as smooth as the last item on this review) which is not my favorite thing but I can see how they might become addictive. We also got a bonus item - a dreidel! There are even instructions on the pamphlet explaining how the game works (for people like me who didn't already know).

 

Vanilla & Walnut Achva Halva: Another one of those flaky dry layered sweets, the flavor on this is mild. It's more sesame than vanilla, which is obvious, and the walnuts add a nice bitterness to it. Though this isn't very sweet so I'm not sure it needs it. It was okay.

 

Bisslie Remix: I don't mind the wheat base in this. I like the crunchy texture. But the flavors are blech. The "smoky" is a bit overpowering and the "grill" doesn't taste like anything. 

 

Abadi Falafel Mini Bagels: This crunchy little snack ended up being the hubby's favorite. I mostly taste chickpea and cumin but maybe that's what falafel tastes like, which I've never had. They were okay so I'm leaving them all for the hubs.

 

Elite Chocolate Bar with Popping Candies: By far my favorite item in the box this month! The chocolate is smooth and creamy and super rich. The popping candies (aka Pop Rocks) aren't huge so it's not like you've just dumped a packet in your mouth and followed up with chocolate. They're pretty small and dispersed throughout the bar. Though I have to say - CHEW THOROUGHLY. Don't let one of those un-popped popping candies pop IN your throat. Learn from my mistakes, people.

This has probably been my least favorite box so far but I'm not mad about it. I still enjoy every month that comes through. It's too much fun not to!

The clue for next month makes us think it'll be Austria (with Mozart in the clue, how could it NOT be?).

TRIVIA ANSWER: A. Underweight supermodels are banned in Israel in order to fight eating disorders. France, Spain, and Italy have all instituted a similar ban. (Bloggers Note: which makes sense they are countries known for their FOOD!)

Medusa's Makeup March 2017 Review

All righty folks. I was researching a bunch of cruelty free subscription services and came across this one. I've heard of the brand, Medusa's Makeup, from Tori over on YouTube (I think). It's made in the US and all cruelty free and vegan (the vegan part doesn't mean that much to me - just the CF status). They have a monthly subscription service where for $16, you get 3-5 full sized MM's products. Pretty awesome. Check them out here: MEDUSA'S MAKEUP

I purchase this service with my own money and all opinions are my honest ones.

I took a ton of pictures for this first review so you can get an idea of how everything comes each month. I won't be quite so detailed in the future.

Similar to the Ipsy pink bubble pack (this one has a little more purple to it - not that it matters but...shut up), all the items come in this envelope with extra bubble wrap around the products inside. And UNLIKE Ipsy, the card included has all the product info WITH pictures AND pricing! See the size comparison of cards below between MM and Ipsy. Fucking weak-ass Ipsy card...

Anyhoo...

The products I got in my first month are pretty fucking tits. Granted, I don't like half of them but the sizes are great and the products themselves are cool. Let's get into it.

Stick It Eye Primer: This I don't like. It's one of those wax based eye primers that just don't work on my oily lids. When I first used it, and put the eye dust over it, the green pigment really popped! But within an hour or two, it had faded and creased like a mother fucker. This probably works better for people who have normal to dry eyelids. I'll see if I can find another use for it because it feels nice on the skin. Maybe for my nails/cuticles...? 

Lip Paint in Get Lucky: I like the product itself. Goes on rather smooth and it's pretty dang pigmented. But I don't like the color. A little too bright/neon for me and it can look kind of streaky at first. I think that's an issue for most bright or neon colors because of the white base needed to create it so it probably takes a little practice to get it to look really good (though I got it to look good for the swatch). But it didn't feel super dry. It was very comfortable!

Lipstick in Lydia: Now THIS is right up my alley. Love love love the shade, a soft lavender. The lipstick is very creamy, pigmented, and felt so great on the lips. A little similar to Colourpop's Marshmallow but a bit brighter with less grey. The packaging for the lipstick is freakin' awesome.

Eye Dust in Wasabe: My final product is a loose mineral pigment in a gorgeous bright green shade. The swatch below does NOT do it justice but it's a nice alternative if you want to go soft. It works best with a wet base underneath (like the primer but I used a glitter glue the first time I wore it and that shit didn't budge for 12 hours). That's when the color really explodes. Gorgeous! 

That's it for the first month. A $39 dollar value (see, the math is already done for me on the card!) for $16 is fucking sweet. I'm super happy with this service so far. Yes, it's just one month but what a first month! If anyone wants the lip paint or the primer just let me know. It's yours.

Ipsy March 2017 Review

Well, it looks like there's a slight change in the Ipsy set up this month. Instead of a big card filled with useless platitudes and bullshit, it's now a tiny card with useless platitudes and bullshit. I'm wondering if the smaller card and larger bag are related in any way...

For those who may not know, Ipsy is a monthly subscription service. For $10 you receive 4-5 sample (sometimes full) sized products in a reusable makeup bag. Check them out for yourselves here: IPSY

(I pay for this with my own money and all opinions are my honest ones)

Not sure if the "Pretty is as pretty does" is the theme but who fucking cares anyway? The bag is larger than what's been sent in the past. Maybe a couple extra inches...and who doesn't like a couple extra inches, amirite? The bag feels like microfiber, is a pretty peach/pink color, and the design on the front is kinda cool. Have to say I'm digging this bag. It'll be great for travel. The products are:

Air Repair Skincare Complexion Boosting Moisturizer: I do like to try different moisturizers. Never heard of this but it touts being great to help repair damage and sooth dry skin. $21 for full size so this 10ml sample is about $3.50 (CF)

Cake Beauty Desserted Island Surpeme Body Mousse: Sometimes body and hand creams can be hit or miss. This feels very light but moisturizing. I'll let you know how it does but it smells heavenly (coconut and vanilla). Full size is $22 so this sample is $2.75. (CF)

Tarteist Quick Dry Matte Lip Paint: I can't tell if I got Rose or Delish. Both colors on line look the same but NOT what it looks like on me. It's a very warm terra cotta shade on my lips so I don't like it. The formula, however, does exactly what it says. It dries in seconds! It also doesn't feel drying, almost like there's nothing on your lips at all. It's totally transfer proof, until you eat something oily at least. Not sure about just water. But I'll see if anyone else wants this because I won't wear it. Full size is $20 so this 6ml sample is just over $3. (CF)

Doucce Freematic Eyeshadow in Marisa: The swatch doesn't really do this shade justice. It's got a bronze/pink shift to it (sort of like Urban Decay Fireball or Colourpop's Come and Get It). In the pan it looks rosy but not so much on the eyes. You can use this wet or dry depending on the look you want. I can't tell from their site but this looks like a full sized pan and it's worth $10. (CF)

Elizabeth Mott Blending Brush: LOOOOVE when they put in makeup brushes. And this one is so dang soft! I can't wait to use it. Full size and is worth $15. (CF)

All righty. This month's bag is worth just about $34. Not terrible, considering I'm kind of excited about all the products AND the bag is bigger than before. And everything is cruelty free. Whoop!

 

Lipp Beautifully February 2017 Review

All righty. Month two of my new subscription from Lipp Beautifully. In case you missed it, LB is a cruelty free monthly subscription service where, for $5.95, you get 4 samples of lipsticks plus 4 sponge tip applicators. Members also get a special coupon to use each month at the LB store (which I can't share with you - sorry). They did, however, give me a coupon code you can use to get 10% off your first month. Head over to LIP BEAUTIFULLY and enter '10OFFGENERAL' at check out!

(I purchase this service with my own money and all opinions are my honest ones)

Not sure how I feel about this month. I'll post swatch pics on my lips, too, but for now you can get a pure pigment feel of what these lipsticks look like. I did get the same styles as last month (left to right): Trend, Every Day, Going Out, and Limited Edition. So now I know that's what I'll get each month! Again, the lipsticks are creamy, super pigmented, and last on the lips quite a while. The pink or red based ones definitely stain the lips, even after just a minute or two! But these colors this month, on me.....meh.

The Trend color, QUOTA, is straight up orange. I just can't pull that shit off. HYPOCRITE is a pretty blue based Barbie pink but it's way too light and washes out even a pasty-assed white girl like me. PERFECTION is basically a deeper version of Hypocrite but it just looks odd. If I put a little Hypocrite over it, it's not terrible. My favorite was VERDE, a brown-pink nude. I'm not really a brown lipstick kinda gal (way to 90s for me) but with the pink base going on, it actually looks very nice. So I'll definitely wear that one!

I'm glad I got to try these colors. If I had received full tubes of the first three, I would have been pissed because I won't wear them. But that's what makes this sample subscription so awesome. Very little waste! See you all next month for another review.

NEW! Lipp Beautifully January 2017 Review

Yes, yes, yes. I'm becoming a subscription whore. But I'm already a lipstick whore so this service is perfect for me.

Lipp Beautifully is a monthly subscription service. For $5.95 a month you get four lipstick samples, four sponge applicators, and a coupon code for discounts you can use at the LB website (except for the Limited Edition shades, which I discovered when I tried to use my code - so sad...). All their products are made in the USA and are cruelty free (yay - I'm not sad anymore!). Check them out here: LIPP BEAUTIFULLY

I pay for this service with my own money and all opinions are my honest ones.

The four samples come in a simple, small padded envelope with a cute little card describing their LE sample shade month. On the back is a discount code but I'm not sure I can share it (I'll find out). The samples come in little clam shell pods and you might not think there's much there but I'll get 4-6 uses for each. At least. I'm not the type that reapplies worn off product all the time. They smell like a fruity/candy lip balm, too. Not super strong so if you're sensitive to smells, these probably won't bother you. 

The sponge tip applicators ARE SO MUCH FUCKING BETTER THAN THOSE LAME ASS CHEAP LIP BRUSHES. Makes it super easy to apply lipstick. I'm kind of an uncoordinated clod so anything that makes me look like I know what I'm doing and NOT having a stroke in the middle of application is a win in my book. Also each shade actually stains the lips so even when the product wears off (not for hours, btw) there's a stain left behind. Throw some lip balm over it and you're good to go!

They sell regular lipsticks ($20), limited editions ($10), and lip scrub ($12). So if you find something you like one month, you can go purchase a full size.

I don't know if each month will include the exact same styles (Trend, Everyday, cream finish, etc.) but stick with me and we'll find out together. For now, here are swatches of the samples I received for January.

Adolescent was a bit too neon for me. It's gorgeous but just not my thing. Plus one little part of my lower lip, that was pretty dry and scaly, was stained hot pink for 2 DAYS!

Danger was the first I tried and I thought for sure I was going to hate it. I actually dig it! I'm not one for orange lipsticks. Even orange based reds look terrible but I really like this one.

Texture is a beautiful dusty rose (I fucking hate that phrase but that's exactly what this color is). And they're right. It's perfect for every day.

Paris, naturally, is my favorite. A gorgeous classic red. You just can't go wrong with this. It is limited so if you like it too, get to their website and order. It won't be around forever.

For $6, I'm pretty pleased with this service. Maybe that will change as the months go on but for now, I'm happy I signed up! A friend of mine commented on Facebook that this might be a good service for her daughters. And I can't agree more! Anyone who's just getting into makeup would probably enjoy this subscription.

3B January 2017 Review

The first bag from 3B this year looks pretty boss! It's all about the skin care for January. For those who don't know, 3B is a monthly subscription service. For $15 a month (I'm grandfathered in at $12 for another year, I think) you get 4-5 sample and full sized Asian beauty, skin, and hair products. Check them out here: 3B

I pay for this service with my own money and all opinions are my honest ones.

Also keep in mind that Asian beauty products are a little more elusive with info on Cruelty Free status. There's a lot of conflicting info but if I can find any I'll post it.

Holy cow I got 6 products this month and it's all masks. Score!

23.5N Rice Soothing Gel Mask (the little pot on the left): I'm excited about this because it's supposed to sooth irritated skin. And my face freaked out a few weeks ago from what I think was expired tea tree oil. It's been a little (read: fucking hard core) sensitive since. And I can get 6 uses out of this pot. Sweet. Travel size: $6 (Taiwan -CF)

WEI Beauty Golden Root Purifying Mud Mask (the other little pot that says WEI on it): I love me some mud masks! I'm a little scared of this because I think the WEI product I got last month re-irritated my skin after it recovered from the tea tree oil incident. So I really don't want to use this. We'll see... $42 for 8 pods. One pod: $5 (China -CF)

Hada Labo Anti-Aging Face Mask: I've used this brand's face lotions before with mixed results but since I'm addicted to sheet masks, I'm sure I'll use this. Full size: $4 (Japan -CF)

For Beloved Girl Extreme Moisture Sheet Mask: This one's description looks like it's extra good for dry skin and provides a ton of moisture. Anyone who lives in the Midwest in winter knows moisture is a rare thing until April. Full size: $3 (Taiwan -?)

SkinRX Madecera Express Sheet Mask: This mask has become popular because it uses a naturally fermented form of ceramide which helps the skin absorb products. This mask is also soothing so again, I'm excited to try it. Full size: $6 (Korea -CF)

Maskeraide Weather Warrior Sheet Mask: Who wouldn't want to put a warrior on their face? Wait... Brightening and moisturizing properties - I'm in. Full size: $7 (Korea -CF)

A total value of $31 this month. Not bad for all the products being face masks, which in general, are pretty cheap. Whoop!

Universal Yums January 2017 Review

The first box of 2017 arrived about a week ago. Seemed earlier than what we've been usually getting so I'm not mad about it! For those who may not know, Universal Yums is a monthly subscription service. For $14 (or $25) every month you will receive a box of candy and snacks from a different country. Check them out here: UNIVERSAL YUMS

I pay for this service with my own money and all opinions are my honest ones.

January brings us Ukraine. Here's some trivia for you (answer at the bottom of the post):

What political part actually exists in Ukraine? A.The Red Party; B.The Birthday Party; C.The American Party; D.The Internet Party

That big card in the lower left is new this month. It's basically a rating sheet on the left for each food item. There are also a couple of little games on the right side. Yes, I finished the puzzle to get a hint for next month! Anyway, let's get into the food. I've decided that I need to try each item before posting here. That way you can get a better idea of what each treat tastes like!

Who Said Muuu?: A sectioned wafer bar with a sweet creamy milk filling. Waaaaay too overpowering flavor of milk in this. I just ate one little section and put the rest back. 

Macho Forest Mushroom Chips: Mostly yum. Taste like good potato chips with just a hint of mushroom flavor. Unfortunately, there's a weird lingering aftertaste that needs to be washed out with candy or alcohol. I guess that's not such a bad thing after all.

Oreiro Apricot & Cream Bon Bons: OMG these are the best things in the whole box. More wafer outside with a creamy filling (but these are just individual pieces instead of a bar that's got notches in it. Does that make sense? I think I'll need to start taking pics of the actual food...). Anyway, the filling is absolutely delicious. More delicate than orange or citrus, the apricot flavor is wonderful.

Roshen Creme Brulee Chocolate Bar: This isn't just plain chocolate, which would have been delicious all by itself. This candy is filled with a soft gooey caramel. Messy but awesome.

Red Caviar Bread Snacks: Remember the little hard crunchy bits from the Russia box (Korochki, I believe they were called)? This is the same style treat but caviar flavored. Very very very VERY salty and fishy tasting. Ugh.

Crazy Bee Candies: Soft gummy chews with a liquid center (think Gushers but softer). We got the lemon-lime flavor. It was great!

Svitoch Chervonyi Mak Candy: This is supposed to be a chocolate lovers ultimate fix. Um...no. Kind of a dry texture, gritty, and a bitter after taste. Me no like.

Glass of Milk caramels: Very good. Soft texture but not sticky. The delicate milk flavor is so much better than the overpowering milk filling on that first snack.

Fizzy Boom Hard Candies: Think Zots but with better flavor. The candy itself is nice and fruity and the fizz adds a little sour surprise when you get to it. 

Overall I enjoyed this box with just a few exceptions. Based on the monthly clue on the back of the pamphlet, we think the next country will be Italy! Maybe that LEMON hint means we'll get something Limoncello flavored??

TRIVIA ANSWER: D. The Internet Party in Ukraine wants to create an electronic government that exists without bureaucracy (and paperwork).

Ipsy January 2017 Review

As far as this subscription goes, 2017 is not off to bang up start. Yes, first world problems, I know. For those who are new here, Ipsy is a monthly subscription service. For $10 each month, you'll receive 4-5 sample sized (sometimes full) makeup, beauty, and skin care products. Check them out here: IPSY

I pay for this service with my own money and all opinions are my honest ones.

The theme for this month is Metropolis or some ridiculous bullshit. Whatever. The bag is...odd. I'm not sure how I feel about it yet. It's a soft plastic with a grey satin finish. The holed outer sheath over a solid bag is rather interesting. Definitely the most unique one so far. The products themselves are okay.

Crown Brush Beaute Basics C405 Contour Blush Brush: Whew, that's a mouthful. I love Crown Brushes. Super soft, the handle is ergonomically designed, and it's cruelty free. I don't contour but this works great as a blush/bronzer brush for me. Full size this goes for $7.50. If you need brushes but don't want to spend a shit ton of money, I recommend this brand! (CF)

Temptu Base Smooth & Matte Primer: Again with the airbrush products. Granted, you can use their stuff without one but the design of the bottle makes it a little more difficult. I'm not sure how this one works yet so I'm excited to find out. Full size is $35 for 1 ounce so this 1/4 ounce sample is approximately $8.75. (Site claims CF status but they sell to China).

Clarisea Instant Glow Lavendar Powder Exfoliant: I don't know about you guys but I really don't want to put a SALT scrub on my face. I've used sugar ones before, mixed with honey and oil, but that's as rough as I like to get on my face (wow...dirty). So I don't imagine I will be using this at all. Plus the top is cracked and the safety seal came off in the top like it had already separated from the jar. Um...no. Full size at 5 ounces is $14. This 1 ounce sample goes for $2.80. (CF)

TheBalm Bahama Mama Bronzer/Shadow/Contour Powder: I've always wanted to try this product because the beauty community on YouTube goes APE SHIT for it. I do love the brand so I was double excited to get this. Unfortunately as you can see from the swatch, this basically looks like a mustard based poop stain on my skin. Ick. It does blend out nicely so it's not terrible but I don't think I'll be turning to this for bronzing again. I don't contour so maybe I'll try is as an eye shadow. Full size (7 grams) goes for $20 so this .5 gram should be somewhere around $1.50. (CF)

Manna Kadar Cosmetics 3-in-1 Fantasy Eye Shadow: Apparently this can work as an eye shadow, blush, or highlighter (hence the 3-in-1 claim). The swatch doesn't do it justice. It looks like a champagne light tan gold but if you turn a little it definitely had a rose gold vibe to it. It's pretty pigmented and soft. It comes in one shade that's supposed to be good for all skin tones. Full size is $19 but can't find any pan amounts. I did find the travel size on Amazon, which is the same as what I've got, so it's worth $7. (CF)

This whole bag is about $27.50. Not a super value, Ipsy. I really only like the Crown brush and the Manna Kadar shadow. *le sigh* Perhaps February will be better. 

 

 

 

Universal Yums December 2016

Already 2017, huh? Well let's hang on to that bitch 2016 for just a moment longer, shall we? December brought us a little taste of Germany from Universal Yums. In case you don't know, UY is a monthly subscription service. For $13 (or $25) each month you'll get snacks and candy from a different country. It's actually a lot of fun! Check them out here: UNIVERSAL YUMS

I pay for this service with my own money and all opinions are my honest ones.

TRIVIA: In Germany, you're not breaking the law if you: A.Refuse to pay taxes; B.Escape from jail; C.Drink and drive; D.Smoke in a public place (answer at the end of the post)

Lorenz Curly Peanuts: These aren't actual peanuts. It's another one of those puffy corn snacks but they taste like straight up fresh peanuts. I have no idea how these countries can make corn taste so much like other stuff but it amazes me every time. Very tasty!

Leibniz Butterkeks: These are supposed to be shortbread cookies and they look pretty dang delicious. 

Sallos Black Licorice Candy with Herbs: I LOATHE black licorice. But the little card assures me that with the addition of herbs into this little candy, the black licorice flavor is muted and quite pleasant. Personally I don't believe them but I'm willing to give it a shot. Someday. Maybe.

Milka Oreo Chocolate Bar: This treat will be here in the US this month but it's already out in Germany. Not sure how to feel about this so I haven't tried it yet. It's basically Oreo filling with cookie bits inside covered in chocolate. I suppose for those whose favorite part of an Oreo is the filling will enjoy these most.

Dr. Quendt Russich Brot: I was excited for these alphabet cookies but I have to say I'm a bit disappointed. They basically taste like fortune cookies with a little bit of caramel flavored icing on top. Kinda lame actually.

Schluckwerder Marzipan: I've never tried marzipan before so I was most excited for this. Many people say it's the same as basic almond paste but I think marzipan is A LOT sweeter. I personally loved this. The thin chocolate coating didn't really add anything to the awesome almond flavor of this little candy. I need more of this in my life!

Ahoj-Brause Cola Bonbons: Not sure why these are called bon bons as they're just hard candy. But I swear to gods they taste just like cola! There's a fizzy center which is supposed to be like the carbonation but it's not that great. Zots do it better. But the flavor is awesome!

BONUS: Riegelein Chocolate Santa: Great smooth milk chocolate candy. Apparently Riegelein is famous in Europe for its chocolate and I can taste why!

Very nice way to end 2016. According to the clue, we think January's box will be Russia!

TRIVIA: B. Escaping from jail isn't considered a crime in Germany as Germans consider it a basic human instinct to want to be free. (is it me or is that little ironic?)