Sunday, November 24, 2013

Sephora Black Friday Deals!

(image from Sephora Pinterest page.)

The last couple of years Sephora has had some awesome sets available for $10 on Black Friday. I have been able to purchase some of my favorite products at amazing prices through these sets, including Buxom Lash Mascara, Buxom Full On Lip Sticks and Too Faced Chocolate Soleil bronzer. I have also purchased sets in the past with Bare Minerals, Lorac and Josie Maran. And they have always had so many other options that what I have purchased!

This year appears to be no different! Even after the initial preview left me disappointed a few days ago, the full reveal of Black Friday $10 deals on the Sephora Pinterest board has me all excited to do some online shopping! There are more sets available for $10 than in the last couple of years. Some great brands are featured again and there are sure to be some great values!

After browsing the Pinterest board and deciding what sets I might be interested in, I wanted to take a look at what the actual values of these sets are and check out some reviews on the Sephora website. As I post values, I will be basing that information off of the full size products. In a few of these photos, I was unable to determine the exact size of the products included so I estimate those based off the photo and photos of the full size and known samples of those products. I also wanted to try to figure out what shades are included in some of the sets with color cosmetics and find swatches if possible.

Lets take a look at the sets I am most excited about:


Living Proof: The Full Collection
Includes 1oz Full Shampoo, 1oz Full Conditioner, 0.8oz* Full Thickening Cream and 1oz Prime Style Extender (*As best as I can tell the Full Thickening Cream is 0.8oz but I can't see it very clearly in the photo.)
I am already a big fan of the Living Proof Nourishing Styling Cream, so I am interested in this set to be able to try some other products from the brand. Based off the full size products, the shampoo and conditioner each have a value of $3. The Thickening Cream has a value of $5.62. The Prime Style Extender has a value of $4.
Estimated Total Value: $15.62



BUXOM Curtain Call Set
Includes Deluxe Sample of Sculpted Lash Mascara and Full Size Full On Lip Stick in Amsterdam (a rosy nude)
I have been using BUXOM mascaras for years now but haven't tried this newest Sculpted Lash version. I am already a big fan of the Lip Sticks too, so I will always make room for new colors! (See a swatch of Amsterdam on Flaunt Me!) The Lip Stick retails for $19. I am unsure of the size of the Sculpted Lash sample. I'll assume it is 0.2oz like a regular BUXOM Lash sample. The full size of Sculpted Lash is 0.33oz for $19, so I'm estimating this sample has a value of $11.52.
Estimated Total Value: $30.52



BUXOM Full On Lip Stick in Havana
Includes Full Size Full On Lip Stick in Havana (a deep violet)
I have several shades of the BUXOM Full On Lip Sticks and love them! This shade is not currently available on the Sephora website, so either it has been removed until Black Friday when it will reappear for $10 or perhaps the shade was discontinued and that's why it is available as a Black Friday deal. This is a full size product that retails for $19 at regular price. (See a swatch of Havana on Beauty Junkies Unite!)
Estimated Total Value: $19.00




Too Faced Better Than Sex Amazing Eyes Set
Includes 0.17oz sample of Better Than Sex Mascara in Carbon Black and 0.03oz sample of Perfect Eyes Eye Liner in Perfect Black. (I'm estimating sizes based on Too Faced holiday sets.)
I have not tried either of these products, but I love trying new mascaras and it never hurts to have an extra black eyeliner! The full size mascara is $23 and is 0.27oz, giving this sample a value of $14.48. The eye liner is 0.04 oz at $18 for the full size, giving this sample a value of $13.50.
Estimated Total Value: $27.98





bareMinerals Enchanting Eyes Set
Includes READY 2.0 Eyeshadow duo (appears to be full size) in The Flashback featuring Deja Vu (silver gleam) and Amnesia (charcoal smoke) and 0.05oz Prime Time Eyelid Primer. 
This duo is not currently available on the Sephora website, so again my guess is that it has either been removed until Black Friday or maybe the shade has been discontinued and thats why it is part of a Black Friday deal. It is still listed on the bareMinerals website. This appears to be a full size product, which would retail for $20. (Temptalia has swatches of The Flashback duo!) Based off the full size Prime Time, this sample is valued at $9.
Estimated Total Value: $29.00



Bliss Soapy Suds Bodywash+Bubbling Bath
Includes 16oz Soapy Suds Bodywash+Bubbling Bath (full size) available in four scents: Vanilla+Bergamot, Lemon+Sage, Blood Orange+White Pepper or Grapefruit+Aloe.
I have not tried this product, but when I saw the Vanilla+Bergamot scent I was immediately interested in giving it a shot! (Vanilla and Bergamot are two of my favorite scents!) I love the idea of this being a multi use product, as a shower gel or a bubble bath. And the pump makes it so convenient to use! I might even buy an extra bottle or two of these give as gifts this year. This is the full size product at 16oz, and it retails for $18.
Estimated Total Value: $18.00



Lorac Fan Favorites Duo
Includes single eyeshadow in Bronze (bronze with shimmer) and 3-in-1 Waterproof Eyeliner Pencil in Black. Both products appear to be full size.
These single eyeshadows are available on the Lorac website, but are currently $6 in the clearance section. (Original price was $19.) My guess is that these are being discontinued and that is why they are offered in this special set for Black Friday. According to the Lorac website, the eyeliner pencil is retractable and has an attached sharpener and smudger. It retails for $18.
Estimated Total Value: $24.00




Tarte Little Miracles Best Selling Essentials
Includes 0.23oz Pure Maracuja Oil, either a 0.1oz or 0.16oz Lights, Camera, Lashes! Mascara (I can't tell from the image) and a 0.07oz Smooth Operator Amazonian Clay Finishing Powder.
The Maracuja Oil sample is worth $6.22. I am estimating the size of the Smooth Operator Finishing Powder based off sample sizes I found on Ebay. The value of a 0.07oz sample is $6.34. I am unable to determine the size of this Lights, Camera, Lashes! sample from this photo, and I have received 2 different sample sizes in the past. (Love this mascara by the way!) If it is 0.1oz, it is worth $7.92. If it is the larger sample at 0.16oz, it is worth $12.67.
Estimated Total Value: $20.48 - 25.23



**All product sizes and values listed in this blog post are estimated as best I can based on the photos from the Sephora Black Friday 2013 Pinterest Board and information about the products and known sample sizes that I found on the Sephora website, the websites of the brands mentioned and through Google. I cannot guarantee the accuracy of my estimated values and sizes of the products included in these sets, I could be wrong. These are my best guesses. All photos contained in this blog post are from the Sephora Pinterest page and are property of Sephora.**


There are a few skincare and body care deals I am eyeballing and planning to look into a little more. Also, I like the idea of the Art of Shaving kit as a gift. Here are the other sets I am interested in:




NOTE: I noticed when looking at the LaVanilla Healthy Deodorant on the Sephora website that the same size they offer here for $10 is only $8 right now on the website. The only difference is the scent, the $8 deodorant that is currently available is Vanilla, and the $10 deodorant available on Black Friday is Vanilla Grapefruit. Maybe this is a brand new scent and that explains the price difference? That doesn't make any sense to me, but I thought it was worth noting.

I personally can't wait to order at least a few of the makeup related items from Sephora's Black Friday sale this year! My next step is to look up some current coupon codes and see what kind of bonus samples I might be able to get with my order. Are you planning on purchasing any of these $10 deals from Sephora next week? Which ones look the most exciting to you? 

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Friday, September 6, 2013

My August 2013 Birchbox!

My first thought when I got my August Birchbox was "More wipes? Seriously?" And foot wipes nonetheless... Really? Do people use foot wipes? I didn't even know that was a thing. I digress... (And who knows. Maybe I'll love them.) As I am posting about this pretty late, I have already tried a few of the products, so lets get right to it. Here is what my Birchbox contained:

  • Number 4 Super Comb Prep & Protect - sample size
  • Stila Stay All Day Liquid Lipstick, Beso (red) - 0.03oz deluxe sample
  • Coola Classic SPF 30 Cucumber Moisturizer for Face - 0.23oz sample
  • Jasmine Seven Fresh Feet Wipes, peppermint scent - 2 individually wrapped wipes
  • Tan Towel Self Tan Towelettes Half Body - 1 towelette
The Number 4 is a leave in conditioner spray. I haven't tested it out yet but I did open it to smell it and wasn't 100% sure about the scent. It smelled kinda strong and perfumey, not my favorite. I'll have to try it to know for sure though. I do have a sample of a Number 4 shampoo from a past Birchbox so I plan to test out these two samples together.
I have been using the Coola moisturizer the past several days and I have already thought of purchasing it. I love the fresh cucumber scent and it feels very light. I also like the SPF content. (I always wear SPF on my face!) 
I also really liked the Stila liquid lipstick except for the color. I just don't wear red lipstick! So sad, because the texture and finish of it is awesome. I tried it on while sipping an iced latte and it didn't come off on my straw at all! A friend of mine got the same sample and has worn it multiple times to work, it definitely appears to last all day as it claims! So it seems like an excellent product, if only it had been a pink or a nude! 
On to the wipes. I got two different kinds of wipes in my Birchbox this month, a Tan Towel and Jasmine Seven feet wipes. I haven't tried either yet. I'm sure I'll just throw the feet wipes in my purse or car, I'm sure I can use them for something. As far as the Tan Towel goes, each towelette is good for application for about half your body. I don't know why they would only send one, you can't even try it out fully! I am also not sure how I feel about a self tanner wipe. I have a gel that I love (though haven't been using much lately) and have pretty much perfected my application of that. (Read about my favorite self tanner and how I apply it here!) Maybe having a Tan Towel around would be good for a quick touchup on tan lines or something? 

So overall, not a total miss because I love the Coola moisturizer and I'm pretty sure I'm going to order the full size. I would have loved the Stila if it wasn't red, though I guess I'll hang onto it in case I do want to rock a red lip at some point. (Very rare but it has happened!) I might have to investigate the other color options for the Stila liquid lipstick though, since the formula is great! 

What did you get in your August Birchbox? What have you already tried and loved?

**Thinking of joining Birchbox? Consider using my referral link! (I get points if you sign up through my link.) Thank you! :) 
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Tuesday, August 27, 2013

My August 2013 Ipsy Glam Bag!

Here it is! (Better late than never...) My August 2013 Ipsy Glam Bag. I was so excited to get my Glam Bag this month, I think I got a really good one. Even though a couple of variations of products I got weren't ideal for me, I was able to make a couple trades with a friend who also subscribes and we both got exactly what we wanted!

The theme for this month's bag is Glamor Academy and the bag is purple with a golden crest print on it. I know a lot of people didn't seem to like the pattern on the bag when the sneak peek was released but I actually kinda like it. Here is what I got inside:

  • Michael Todd Pumpkin Mask - 1oz sample
  • Urban Decay Lipstick in 69 (red) - mini size
  • MICA Beauty Shimmer Powder in Bronze - 0.10oz (Full size!)
  • Smashbox Photo Finish Foundation Primer - 0.25oz sample
  • Pixi Beauty Lash Booster Mascara in No. 2 Blackest Black - 0.105oz sample

 I was so excited to get the Urban Decay lipstick! However, I don't really wear red lipstick, ever. (Which is unfortunate because I seem to be getting a lot of reds in my subscription boxes lately, including my August Birchbox!) I also hate pumpkin (the smell, taste... pretty much everything about it. I'm weird, I know.) so I wasn't even interested in trying the pumpkin mask from Michael Todd. I was really hoping for the hot pink lipstick and the charcoal scrub.

This is where my friend comes in. She loved red lipstick and pumpkin. She received the Michael Todd Charcoal Scrub and the Urban Decay Lipstick in Anarchy, a hot pink. She was happy to trade me for my Pumpkin Mask and 69 (red) lipstick! So we both ended up with products we are super happy with.

Overall, this was a really good month! I feel like if Ipsy keeps it up it will definitely become my favorite subscription! Especially since my Birchbox was a little disappointing the last two months. I'll be posting my August Birchbox soon too, I will link it here.

Want to see what I have received in all my Glam Bags so far? Check out PART 1 and PART 2 of my past Ipsy bags. Also, see what all the bags have looked like HERE.


Thinking of joining Ipsy? Consider using my referral link! (If two people join through my link I get a bonus product in my next bag.) Thank you! :) 



Thursday, August 22, 2013

Favorite Zoya Polishes Swatched!

click to enlarge image!
If you have been following me here, or on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram for any length of time, you have more than likely heard me talk about my favorite brand of nail polish: Zoya. Right now they are having an awesome sale, BOGO Free when you use code SCHOOL at checkout. You can get up to 6 polishes free using the code. This deal expires at 11:59pm EST on 8/25/13.

Throwback Thursday: Maybelline Wet Shine Diamonds Lipsticks!

These are the Maybelline Wet Shine and Wet Shine Diamonds lipsticks I collected over the early 2000's. These were my favorites in high school and just after! I must have gone through two tubes besides what is gone of the first one shown, Ice Princess. I had a few of the Wet Shine Diamonds lip glosses too, which I also loved. (I would have shared those as well but they were either lost or used up a long time ago!)

Did you used to use the Wet Shine or Wet Shine Diamonds lipsticks or lip glosses? Which shades were your favorites back in the day?




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Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Sephora VIB Sample Bag!

Sephora recently revamped their Beauty Insiders program, adding a new top tier: VIB Rouge. To celebrate, they offered bonus points on all purchases last week. They also have a bonus sample bag for VIB Beauty Insiders, shown above. This bag of deluxe samples is free with any $35 purchase!  (See how to get it below!)

Here is a peek at what I got in mine.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Essie Luxeffects "Shine of the Times" Swatched!

Today I want to show you one of my favorite "effects" top coats for nail polish. This is Essie Luxe Effects in Shine of the Times. It is a pretty multicolored flaky glitter in a clear base. The glitter flakes shift to almost every color but it is predominantly a warmer, golden sparkle. It originally came out in a Holiday collection in 2011 and as far as I can tell it was limited edition or has been discontinued. However, since I recently found a bottle at Target (I purchased it! I'm so excited to have a backup bottle, I love it that much!) I thought I would share some photos.

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Looking Back: Birchbox 2012

Birchbox logo from www.birchbox.com
I joined Birchbox at the end of April in 2012. I had been watching unboxing videos on YouTube and considering subscribing for awhile but kept not doing it. At the time I had just started watching all the seasons of the Gossip Girl on Netflix and loved it, so when I heard the show was the inspiration for the May box I finally subscribed.
Before I really even start taking a look back at the products I have received and tried, I would say that I love my samples most months. Ocassionally there is a really blah month where I couldn't care less about anything in the box I get. But there is usually at least one (and often more) items I really enjoy sampling and I have actually purchased a few products I have sampled through Birchbox. I have a few more products on my list that I'm planning to purchase as well. I also have to mention, they sometimes include some really random extras and I have loved most of those!

I got an email from Birchbox earlier this week with a link to see my box history. I had looked on their website for a list like this before and couldn't find it. I don't know if this is something they have set up recently or if it was there all along, but I'm so glad to now have access to it! To see yours, log into your Birchbox account and select Box > Women's Box from the top menu. It will have a large photo of your current box (mine shows my August box now even though I haven't received it yet!) and if you scroll down it will show your box history.

Now, lets take a look back at my boxes from 2012.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Maybelline Color Whisper Lip Color: Swatched!

I have three shades of Maybelline Color Whisper lip colors. As shown in the photo above, Oh La Lilac is a lavender color, Petal Rebel is a light but bright pink and Bare to be Bold is a nude shade.  I believe the first one I purchased was Petal Rebel at Target. It was totally an impulse purchase as I walked past the display on my way to the checkstand. I liked it, so I bought the other two during a BOGO 1/2 Off sale on Maybelline at my local Fred Meyer.

One thing I like about the packaging is that the color of the case matches the shade of lip color inside. It's fun and makes it easy to look into a drawer of lipsticks/glosses and grab the right one right away.

Essence Nail Stampy Designs!

You have heard me talking about my Bundle Monster nail stamps from Amazon, and maybe heard of other brands such as Konad or Shany. But what about a drugstore version of nail stamps? How would those work? I decided to find out, so I picked up this Nail Art Stampy Set and two additional Stampy Designs from Essence Cosmetics.

Essence is an inexpensive but quality brand. The company is based in Europe, but you can find it in drugstores here in the US. I got these items at Fred Meyer, and I know near me Ulta also carries the brand. From the Essence website, you can also find their products at Walgreens, HEB and Shoppers Drugmart. The Nail Art Stampy Set was $3.99 and the Stampy Designs were $2.99 each at regular price. There was a BOGO 1/2 Off sale at Fred Meyer, and one of the Stampy Design plates was on clearance for 50% off. So for all three items it was probably about $8 after tax.

Thursday, August 1, 2013

My July 2013 Birchbox!

"Yay! My July Birchbox is here! I can't wait to open it!"

July Ipsy Glam Bag!

Here are the contents of my Ipsy Glam Bag for July 2013! I have to say, I really like the bag this month. It's a fun fluorescent pink bag in a different shape than we normally get. I think it's nice to switch it up a little. This bag also seems quite sturdy which is good.

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Limited Edition Birchbox for CEW Boxes!


Birchbox has teamed up with CEW (Cosmetic Executive Women) to create two limited edition boxes featuring finalists and winners from the 2013 CEW Beauty Awards. One box is called "Prestige Headliners" and is full of high end product samples. The other is called "Mass Appeal" and contains full size and samples of drugstore products. The prestige box is $18 and the drugstore box is $12. (The drugstore box is sadly now sold out, but the prestige box is still available on the Birchbox website!)

Here is a look inside both boxes:

Birchbox Love! Beauty Protector Protect & Detangle

The Beauty Protector Protect & Detangle Leave-In Conditioner is a Birchbox exclusive product. I believe I received this in my May Birchbox. I have been using it often, though not every day, and I am almost finished with this sample size. I have to say, I love this stuff. Mostly, I love the way it makes my hair smell.

Monday, July 29, 2013

My picks from MAC Nudes & Metallics: Swatched!


When I originally saw this collection on Temptalia, it was back in April. This collection wasn't available online until this month. I had kinda forgotten about it, but happened to be on the MAC website and noticed it was now available to anyone. (It was PRO only originally.) I quickly checked out Christine's swatches on Temptalia (See them here: Lipsticks Part 1 and Part 2, Eyeshadows Part 1 and Part 2) and picked out a couple of colors I thought I would like.


Thursday, July 25, 2013

Throwback Thursday: Revlon Edition!


(Cue big echo-y voice:) It's time for another edition of Throwback Thursday!

Today I'm taking a look at a few past favorites from Revlon. I have a ColorStay 12 Hour Eyeshadow quad in Sandstorm, a Super Lustrous Lipstick in Softsilver Rose and an Illuminence Cream Shadow quad in PrisMagics. All of these were purchased and used by me in the late 90's to early/mid 2000's. (I just did the math in my head... holy crap. The 90's keep getting farther away... haha!)


Tuesday, July 23, 2013

NOTD: Stamping and Pixie Dust



Yesterday I mentioned on my Facebook Page that I painted my nails with Color Club Mod in Manhattan, part of the Wanderlust collection from Birchbox.*  Lately I've been really boring myself with my solid color manis, so I decided this morning to add some nail art to this one. I pulled out my Bundle Monster nail stamps, some Sally Hansen Xtreme Wear polishes for stamping/dotting and Zoya Pixie Dust in Godiva. This is what I came up with.  
*Disclosure: Birchbox link is a referral link. If you sign up through my link, I get points for referring you. 
(If you do, thank you!)

Michael Kors Island Very Bali


This perfume came out right before Christmas 2011. I actually received my first bottle as a Christmas gift that year. I have absolutely loved this fragrance since. It is definitely more of a summer fragrance for me, but I do wear it on occasion in winter as well. 

As described on the Michael Kors website, this fragrance is a blend of rose petals, jasmine and hints of earthy pample wood. They call it Radiant, Soft and Sexy. I have to agree that it is a soft yet very summer sexy scent. It isn't that typical musky type sexy scent, it's lighter and more floral. 

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Throwback Thursday: Bonne Bell!


Bonne Bell is one of the first cosmetics brands I remember having. I loved Lip Smackers lip balms as a kid and probably had about 10-15 flavors at one point. (Remember when it was Lip Smackers and not just Smackers?!) I got them for birthdays and Christmas. I had the keychains for them and carried them around on my backpack. I remember having a Dr. Pepper flavored one and it was my favorite for awhile. Later on my favorite flavor was Strawberry Kiwi. (I actually repurchased a Strawberry Kiwi Lip Smackers a couple of years ago... sadly it wasn't as amazing to me now as I remembered.) I used Lip Smackers lip balms all the way through at least my first couple of years of high school. While I don't have any of those old Lip Smackers to share with you for today's Throwback Thursday, I do have a couple other products from Bonne Bell that I used and loved through middle school and high school.


Friday, July 12, 2013

Swatched! Wet n Wild Pop Art Trios for Summer 2013


After checking my local Fred Meyer for these for the last month, I finally found them this week! (They weren't officially supposed to hit stores until July, but I always feel like we get stuff really early in the Pacific Northwest at Fred Meyers, so I started checking really early.) One thing I love about Fred Meyer is that Wet n Wild is almost always on sale and the Limited Edition collections are usually included. I got these at BOGO 50% off. I love not paying full price!

There are 6 Color Icon Trios included in the Summer 2013 Pop Art Collection:

34164 Your 15 Minutes Aren't Up!
34165 A Regular at the Factory
34166 Hard Being the It Girl
34167 Three's A Party
34168 I'm Seeing Triples
34169 To Muse and Carouse

Thursday, July 11, 2013

My First Glossybox! June 2013

This is sort of just a first look at my June 2013 Glossybox, as I have not yet had the opportunity to try anything. I received the box a little late, on July 3rd. I hung onto it for about a week thinking I would try to do an unboxing video, but at this point with July subscription boxes likely on the way I figured I would just share some quick photos. When I actually get around to testing out the products I will let you know what I think.

I do love the packaging of Glossybox. The actual box is really sturdy, and this month's has a cute fashion illustration from Dallas Shaw on the top. The inside of the box is printed with the Glossybox logo. I liked opening it to find everything wrapped in tissue paper and tied with a ribbon. It felt like opening a gift.

Everything inside the Glossybox is either full size or a generous sample size. Mine came with a full size Tarte complexion brightening lipstick in fair-to-light, a full size Spa Ritual nail laquer in Days of Wine and Roses, a 2oz sample bottle of Philip B. African Shea Butter shampoo, a 2oz sample of c.Booth Honey Almond Nourishing Dry Oil Mist and a dark blue satin pouch from Oscar de la Renta filled with sample vials of all six of his Essential Luxuries fragrances. I also received a Model Co. eyeshadow duo as a bonus. (I got this bonus using a coupon code when I subscribed.)

One thing about Glossybox that I like is that it seems like everyone gets the same items. I looked and couldn't find any box variations other than shades of products. (Ex. Not everyone got the same shade of lipstick and nail polish as I did.) There doesn't seem to be any "or" items like Ipsy and there aren't 50+ variations of boxes like Birchbox. I think this is good because there is no "box envy" where you see someone get an awesome selection of products in their box and open your own to find you got products you don't like as much.

As far as my first impression, I am happy with the size of the products I got and I like the packaging of the box itself. I am most excited to try out the Tarte lipstick and Spa Ritual polish. I will definitely try the Philip B. shampoo, probably soon. I'll have to research what to do with that c.Booth Honey Almond oil, but it sounds interesting so I am looking forward to trying it out. I think I can already tell that I probably won't care for at least some of the Oscar de la Renta perfume samples, simply because the box kinda smells like perfume now and there is something in that smell I'm not the biggest fan of. But it could just be that they're all mixing. I'll have to look up the fragrance notes of each and determine which ones I might like to try first from there. And of course, a girl can never have too much eyeshadow right? So I am looking forward to testing out the Model Co. eyeshadow duo.

Originally, I was only going to subscribe for the month of June, as sort of a birthday present to myself. At least thats what I told myself. But after taking a look back at my Ipsy Glam Bags (Part 1 and Part 2) I am thinking of canceling that subscription instead. And I'm still on the fence with Birchbox, so I am planning on taking a look back at my past Birchbox boxes as well to see how much I'm using from those. Perhaps I'll cancel the Ipsy and Birchbox to keep the Glossybox? We shall see... I'm getting all three for July and I think I'll decide from there.

What are your thoughts on subscription boxes? Do you subscribe to any of the three I mentioned? Which is your favorite? Thanks for reading!