Little Life Box – June 2014

Look what I got in the mail this week!

Little Life Box June 2014

What Is It?

Also known as Petite Boîte à Vie, the Little Life Box is a monthly healthy lifestyle subscription box that ships from Quebec, Canada. Each box starts at $19.99 and ships anywhere in Canada for $3.75! Each box will feature healthy and natural products for you to try and Little Life Box will feature some brands on their site to purchase full size products. You also have the option of choosing either the Original box or the Vegan box!

As you can tell, the box is quite full again and it’s got a pretty good variety of things inside. I’m much more food-oriented in general, but I do enjoy how Little Life Box includes things for the bathroom and a little “me maintenance”!

I didn’t know this before, but I found out that they actually list the products on their website instead of sending out a card. That’s actually pretty smart considering everyone’s connected to their computer and it definitely saves on some packaging material, too! It’d be awesome if Little Life Box released an app with the monthly product list for more convenience, though.

Let’s take a closer look at what was inside.

Neolia’s Hydra-Prevention Soap (1 bar, 90g) – $2.99 for 130g

Neolia’s not a brand I’ve heard of, but they’re a Quebecois brand that’s dedicated to offering vegan, cruelty-free, gentle and biodegradable hair and body care products. I can get behind that!

I do like to try out different, natural soaps and this one has a pretty nice smell to me, too! It’s made with organic Extra Virgin Italian olive oil and aloe vera, and it’s completely vegan.

I really can’t wait to try this, but it looks like I’ll have to order online if I want to get it again since it’s only available in Quebec retailers! (Or get my brother to cross into Gatineau to grab me a couple more bars.)

Neolia’s Protective Shampoo and Conditioner (10mL each sachet) – $7.99 for 400mL

They’re both part of the Protective line for hair, so I mashed them into one category.

They’re not an organic product, but they’re made with organic apricot oil, if that really means anything in terms of hair products! They also feature blueberries, honey, omega 9s, and vitamins A and C. I know they’re healthy when you eat them, but does it really do anything for hair, I wonder…?

The Protective products are for coloured hair, so these two will go to my mom!

Neolia’s Hydra-Prevention Body Lotion (10mL sachet) – $10.99 for 500mL

Another Neolia product! I’m guessing that they struck a deal with them, but I’m happy to be able to try out a whole assortment of their products!

Like the soap, this body lotion is made with organic Extra Virgin Italian olive oil and aloe vera. I don’t think I’ll try to see if it’ll work on sunburns, though… (I’m not a fan of tanning or burning.)

ALo Naturals’ Organic Lip Balm in Original – $6, Full sized

I couldn’t find the size of the lip balm anywhere, but it’s a pretty normal size. It’s even got a pretty lotus design on the cap!

The ALo line comes in 5 different flavours and the original one contains vitamins A, B, D, E, collagen and protein. It has a pleasant, faint shea butter scent to it that I actually like quite a bit!

I’m going to keep this in my bag since my EOS is almost finished and see how this compares!

Smooth and Sweet Sugar Scrub’s Vanilla Swirl Body Scrub – $16.00 for 8oz

I have no idea how much they sampled out for each person because it’s in a little condiment cup that you’d get in a small restaurant. It looks like a VERY new company from what I can see, but that means it’s so much more exciting to see how it is!

The company, created by Jennifer B Christianson, promises no sulfates, no dyes, no parabens and all natural, gluten free, vegan, organic products. They also claim that it has a UV protection of 6-8.

On top of all that, the scrub supposedly helps with a variety of skin problems and helps to prevent and heal future skin damage. With all of these claims, I’d love to know what they use, but I can’t seem to find anything!

Beanfields’ Bean & Rice Chips in Pico de Gallo – 43g snack size

I’m usually very, very hesitant to try out bean and/or rice chips because I don’t like the grainy textures that come with these types of flour. They just don’t have the same type of bite that corn or potato chips have!

But, Beanfields does a fantastic gluten-free chip that delivers impeccable taste, too! I’ll have to say it: I’m converted!

SierraSil Joint Formula 14 (45 capsules) – $19.95, full sized

Wasn’t that Canadian curling MILF a spokesperson for this brand at some point?

Anyway, another supplement pill? Is this a regular thing because I really don’t care for these things. Plus, my joints don’t ache, they pop!

In all seriousness, this is what’s stated on SierraSil’s website:

SierraSil Joint Formula14™ contains SierraSil®, a pure mineral powder with essential minerals including calcium, iron, silicon, potassium, magnesium, manganese, copper and zinc.

If any of those things are useful to you, then why not try it?

Four O’Clock Caffeine-Free Tea Bags (2 bags)

They sent us two different flavours: Pineapple Coconut and Fruit Sangria! They’re both part of the new Spring/Summer Collection that includes:

  • Pineapple Coconut
  • Fruit Sangria
  • Strawberry Daiquiri
  • Cucumber Mint
  • Orange Sorbet
  • Pink Lemonade

They all sound delicious! I tried out the Fruit Sangria variation and it’s surprisingly light in flavour, but very well rounded.

Spice Sanctuary’s Organic Alleppey Grade Turmeric Powder (50g) – $7.25 full size

I was really surprised to see a whole packet of a single spice in my box! I’m not complaining since I always intend to pick up some turmeric at the bulk spice store, but I never actually remember to do so when I’m there.

It’s good to see that this Ontario company also takes the time to give a little background information about the spice on their website. I never really knew that curcumin’s the spice that makes turmeric so yellow!

Nature’s Bakery’s All Natural Fig Bar in Strawberry – 28.3g bar

Look, another energy bar type of thing on the blog! As if I haven’t had enough of them, right? Haha!

It’s a fig bar with some strawberry puree in it, so it sounds pretty delicious! It’s made out of 100% natural, dairy-free ingredients, but it’s also made with stone ground whole wheat flour, so celiacs beware.

It’s also a bit small for an energy bar, in my opinion. I’m guessing that it’s more for short journeys or a small pit stop in between, but that would really rack up the dollars at that point!

Seriously, Little Life Box has a lot of stuff…

Eat Nakd Raw Fruit & Nut Bar in Cocoa Orange (35g bar) – £13.99 for 18 bars

This brand comes from the UK, but it’s pretty widely available in Canada through the Sobeys and Metro chains as well as a lot of smaller retailers! Check out the list here!

I love how they list all five ingredients (dates, cashews, raisins, cocoa and natural orange and chocolate flavouring) along with the percentages on the back of the label. According to this, the bar’s 40% dates and 40% cashews! That’s pretty cool! (And very useful for reverse engineering for homemade recipes…)

Now, I’m seeing a lot of gluten free items and keeping an eye on the gluten-free trend and how it’s seen as a healthy lifestyle choice. This bar is one of those examples where gluten-free doesn’t necessarily mean completely healthy… One bar has 7g of fat in it, which is 11% of your total daily intake. Yikes.

Neal Brothers Srirachup Kettle Cooked Chips – (28g bag)

I heard that Chef Chuck Hughes was doing a chip with Neal Brothers and OMG SRIRACHA CHIPS!

In case you haven’t noticed, I LOVE THE ROOSTER SAUCE OF THE HEAVENS. Like many foodies and chefs out there, I love using sriracha sauce in every situation where a condiment calls for it.

Hot dogs? Sriracha drizzle. Salad dressing? Ramp that shit up with some sriracha. Fried noodles? Damn right, some sriracha’s going on it!

So it’s only natural for Chef Hughes to gravitate towards that flavour to make into a chip with the Neal Brothers brand, which makes some really incredible kettle chips for a decent price!

It doesn’t taste exactly like the legendary sriracha sauce, but it definitely delivers a tasty kick with its signature garlic-tomato-chili flavour! I’m gonna have to grab a bag next time I’m doing my groceries!

Lakanto No-Calorie Sugar Substitute (4g packet) – $12.99 for 235g

It’s been a pretty big food trend lately where everyone’s looking for a sugar substitute that provides the same amount of sweetness, but without the calories or the glycemic index. Personally, I don’t see the trend dying off anytime soon but I’m somehow still not a fan of sugar substitutes because I don’t have a big sweet tooth like most other Canadians.

Anyway, Lakanto’s sugar substitute is made out of erythritol (a sugar alcohol that’s derived from glucose and sweet but without the calories or glycemic index) and Luo Han Guo, more commonly known as monkfruit.

I was actually doing some research on monkfruit as a sugar substitute for work! The fruit itself is grown only in a certain region of China and its potency is similar to stevia, but it doesn’t have a strange aftertaste like stevia. (Some people can taste it, others can’t. I can taste it pretty strongly.)

It’s interesting to note that the use of monkfruit essence as a sugar substitute has been approved by Health Canada on December 2, 2013. In terms of food manufacturing and regulations, this is a brand new product in the Canadian market!

Verdict: 4/5  It’s another winner! I don’t like how there’s another supplement product in the box, even though it’s full sized, and two energy bars in one box feels a bit repetitive, but I can definitely see myself using all of these products by the time the next one comes! I’ve already eaten both bags of chips…

Did you get a Little Life Box? What did you think of it this month?

xoxo,

B.elle

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Topbox – April 2014

I got my April Topbox on the 15th, right after they went out the previous evening! Talk about quick service! Can’t say the same for me, though… Better late than never, right?

What is it?

Topbox is a Canadian monthly beauty box subscription that features 4 deluxe samples for $12 per month, shipped right to your door via Canada Post. Some months even include full sized products! Keep in mind that they do have a waitlist of about 2-3 months from initial sign-up before you start your subscription!

Here’s what I got in my box.

Topbox April 2014

I love how it’s a nice assortment of colour cosmetics and skin cleansing/treatment products! It’s also a pretty good bonus that I’ve never heard of any of these brands, too!

Topbox April 2014

Pur~lisse Pur~Moist Hydra-Balance Moisturizer (15mL = $16.50 sample) – $55 for 50mL

This is a face moisturizer to put on after cleansing and toning. The card also says that it can be used as a face primer!

It says it’s for normal to dry, sensitive to anti-aging skin? I’m not overly familiar with face products, but what the hell does that mean?! My best guess is that they’re saying it’s for every skin type besides oily and acne-prone. (That sounds about right, right?)

Pur-lisse Pur-Most Hydra Balance Moisturizer

I do like how it’s been sealed off to prevent contamination and leakage during transport! I remember hearing about the So Susan product Topbox had sent out a while ago and how several of them got to people completely broken or smelling strange or both!

This one actually smells really nice with some woody and floral notes, and it goes on pretty smoothly. It seems to moisturize pretty well, but it might be too heavy for the heavier areas for combination types… which now makes sense if it’s for normal-dry skin.

I already have a dedicated face wash system, but this is a pretty good product!

Sweet Pea Soap Co.’s French Green Clay Soap ($3 sample?) – $5.95 each full sized

Ingredients: Coconut oil, olive oil, palm oil, castor oil, distilled water, sodium hydroxide, French green clay, green tea and liquorice root extract, matcha powder and peppermint essential oil.

Before I even opened the tube, I was wondering what that herbal, fresh-y kind of smell was and it was this! It’s made with natural ingredients, including French green kaolin clay, green tea and licorice root extract.

When I found out that there’s licorice root extract, I immediately knew that it was the main culprit of that particular scent! I don’t really like how licorice smells and I would almost describe the smell as medicinal, but I will say that I came home after a full day of experimenting with flavours and fragrances, so I may have been negatively biased with the soap’s smell.

According to Sweet Pea’s website, it’s meant to clean the face. But, I tried it on my hands and it’s pretty good if you have sensitive skin! It doesn’t leave any strange residue or “squeakiness” that harsher soaps can leave behind. Also, it ends up being kind of moisturizing, too!

Topbox April 2014

LA Splash Nail Polish in Curfew – $7.50 Full sized

I do prefer more subdued colours to wear on my nails because my skintone doesn’t get along with a lot of shades, so this is actually pretty good for me! I think I actually own a denim jacket in this teal colour, too.

It goes on pretty nicely and, once doubled up, it’s very even and opaque. Let’s hope that it doesn’t chip too quickly like some others I’ve tried!

The only thing that bugs me is that it seems like a lower-end brand compared to other luxury that Topbox has featured like Elizabeth Arden and GlamGlow. But, I’m not REALLY complaining since it’s a full sized nail polish!

BH Cosmetics Eyeshadow Trio in California Collection (1.5g sample each?) – $18.95 each

I heard that this particular sample’s been making the rounds in all the beauty boxes, but since I only subscribe to Topbox, this is a first for me!

At first glance, I do like the colours! They’re bright and summery and I love using bright colours as accents for my everyday looks when I have time in the morning to play around with eyeshadow.

BH Cosmetics California Collection Palette

The payoff isn’t the best, even with some primer underneath, which is pretty unfortunate. I will probably end up using the brown and gold most often as subtle accents, though.

BH Cosmetics California Collection Palette

Would I buy one of them for $18.95? HELL NO.

Verdict: 3.5/5 – I really like the soap, nail polish and moisturizer, but I’m disappointed in the eyeshadow trio! I know it’s not Topbox’s fault at all, but the quality really isn’t good.

What did you think of the April Topbox? Are you looking forward to May’s? I know I am!

xoxo,

B.elle