Hello Pretty Bird! - A beauty and not-so-glamorous lifestyle blog: July 2014

31 July, 2014

BRB - I'm bringing UIOLI on the road/Link Love

This is just a quick announcement post: I'll be out of town for the next few days. Since I like to actually relax on the rare occasion that I'm able to get away, I probably won't be posting or replying to comments as much as usual. Makes sense.


Also, because I have to play the "fit all the beauty crap into a tiny TSA bag" game anyway, I thought it would be a good idea to bring my Use It Or Lose It samples for this month with me on my trip. So stay tuned for mini reviews of those when I get back. In the meantime, here are a few things to read that I thought were funny or interesting:


Why A Multitudinous Korean Skincare Regimen (Like, 17 Products) Is Worth Your Time And Money on XOJane
Some of you may know the author of this article better as the blogger behind The Beauty Wolf!

Memebox Global 13 Unboxing on Fanserviced-B

The Memebox reviews on Fanserviced-B are usually pretty funny, but this one made me smile extra hard. Maybe it's because of the lumpoule.

Throwback Thursday beauty series on Nenta's Frivolity
Lately she's been posting pictures of older cosmetics and it's pretty interesting. It's amazing how much packaging can change even in just a few years.

ROUNDUP: Cool Stuff on the Internet Vol. 5 on Neon Rattail
A link in a roundup leading to another link roundup?! Madness! But seriously, Michelle seems to have a knack for finding wonderfully weird things.

Some of my Favorite International Treats on Améliorer la Vie
Because who doesn't like reading about exotic snacks? C'mon now.


See y'all in a few! I'll probably still be posting things to Instagram while I'm away, so feel free to stalk me on there if you miss me. :P

30 July, 2014

Weekly Poll: Thanks, Future Self

Happy Wednesday, everybody! How are you? I'm preparing to go on a trip out of town. And by "preparing" I mean putting one thing in my suitcase, getting distracted, and wandering away repeatedly.


This week's question is for all the blogger bloggers and/or beauty enthusiasts out there:

If you could go back in time and give your younger self one piece of beauty advice, what would you say? And at what age would you visit your former self?

I think I'd go back to about age 13 or 14, when I started getting bad acne. I'd tell baby Rebeca to invest in some light moisturizer, because despite having oilier skin then, I was also getting random dry flaky bits all the time due to cleansing the crap out of my face in an attempt to curb the acne. Tricky, eh? If I got to give a bonus tip I'd say lay off the seafoam green eyeliner (yes really), because that shit just looked strange.

How about you? Got any potentially life (or skin) changing advice to share with your past self?

29 July, 2014

Review: A few select picks from Hope Girl Cosmetics

Affiliate Links Press Sample

Hey Memebox fans, have you had any products from Hope Girl Cosmetics pop up in your boxes?

Hope Girl Cosmetics

I was first introduced to this brand through the Memebox 10 Minute Box, and apparently the Hope Girl collection is rather large (with much of it available for purchase through the Memebox shop). Today I thought I'd give my review and impressions on the Hope Girl products I've tried so far—if you have any of these items please feel free to share your thoughts in the comments too!

28 July, 2014

Kickin' it Old School: Keeping in touch with Snail Mail greeting cards

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Disclosure: I am a member of the Collective Bias® Social Fabric® Community. This shop has been compensated as part of a social shopper amplification for Collective Bias and its advertiser. #CollectiveBias


Burning question: Does anybody reading still send snail mail letters or cards on the regular? Not for birthdays or special occasions, but "just because". When I was a kid we did it all the time, mostly out of necessity—I had lots of little buddies from sleepaway camp to keep in touch with, and e-mail wasn't really a thing yet, plus calls to other states came with ridiculous long distance charges. Remember when it cost an extra dime a minute to call one area code over? Yeah, I don't miss those days.

Connections by Hallmark: BuzzWorthy cards at Walmart #TrendyCards #CollectiveBias

27 July, 2014

Blog Tips: Dealing with the "Summer Slump"

Ah, summer. The season of family getaways, outdoor picnics, ice cream, and sticking to your chair. Unfortunately for some of us, it's also the time of year when our blog traffic takes a bit of a dip.

 Blog Tips: Dealing with the "Summer Slump" in traffic (and motivation)

Obviously this doesn't happen to every blogger. Depending on your niche or location, summer might actually be a great time of year for you! Or if you're new, your traffic may be naturally increasing throughout these months in your first year. But based on my experiences running a few different websites over the past 10+ years, I've discovered that it's not uncommon to find yourself in a bit of a summer traffic (and motivation) slump. The good news is that your decline in traffic probably isn't because you're doing anything wrong: People are just busy doing stuff. Vacations and picnics and ice cream and whatnot. Things usually start to pick up again in the fall, but in the meantime, here are a few tips for dealing with the slump.

26 July, 2014

Memebox Special Edition 10: Mask Edition #4 Unboxing & coupon codes

Affiliate Links Press Sample

It's time for another Memebox review! This time I'll be unboxing Memebox Special Edition #10: Mask Edition 4. That's a lot of numbers. Hopefully there are a lot of masks inside the box too.

Memebox Global Special Edition #10: Mask Edition 4

This is the fourth mask-themed box Memebox Global has released (duh). Official description:

Whether you’re a busy career woman, a tired mom of three kids, or a student studying for the finals week, we all have our off days. Wake up in the morning with deeply moisturized skin not having to worry about dryness during the night. Supply your skin with enriched nourishment for more elasticity and suppleness with our new Mask Edition #4.


I like having moisturized skin despite not being a student or mom of three kids, so this box is right up my alley.

25 July, 2014

Quirky hair accessories from Born Pretty Store + coupon code

Press Sample

Happy Friday everybody! Today I have a few fun and quirky hair accessories to share with you. I'm sure many of you are familiar with Born Pretty Store for their nail art supplies, but did you know they have a fairly sizable selection of hair accessories and jewelry as well? Everything from practical bits and bobs (like sponge hair rollers) to the truly quirky and peculiar. BPS offered to send me a few things for review purposes and I may have gone a bit ... er.... "out there" with choices. Or not. You tell me! Here's what I chose:


Vegan Cuts Snack Box July 2014 Review

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I've finally reached the end of my six month Vegan Cuts Snack Box gift subscription—sigh. I laughed, I cried, I ate some chips. Will this month be so good it makes it hard to say goodbye? Keep reading to find out ....


24 July, 2014

The #SwifferEffect event in NYC + Eric Stonestreet's new Swiffer video

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Attention all Swiffer and Eric Stonestreet fans! I attended an event hosted by Swiffer at Gary's Loft here in NYC yesterday that was attended by—you guessed it—actor Eric Stonestreet.

So. Many. Big. Green. Boxes.

The purpose of the event was to introduce the Swiffer "Cleaning Index" (more on that in a moment) and Eric Stonestreet's new video collaboration with the brand. Those of your who are familiar with Eric Stonestreet probably won't be surprised to learn that it's a funny video. You like funny videos, right? Well keep on reading, because I've embedded it below for your viewing convenience!

23 July, 2014

Weekly Poll: In a classroom far, far away

Happy Wednesday, everybody! Hopefully it's been a good week for you so far?


I was talking to a teacher friend of mine recently about students and science fair projects, and it got me thinking about my own sciencey projects as a kid. I was really obsessed with planets and the idea of of space travel, which makes me wonder ...

If you were able to visit any planet other than Earth, which one would you choose and why? Assume that you would have some sort of life support system that allowed you to survive in different environments. For the sake of keeping the discussion interesting, let's say that fictional planets are allowed too.


I know this isn't technically considered a full-fledged planet anymore, but I was always really fascinated by Pluto. Probably because it was so small and far away. One year for a school project I wrapped my legs in blue plastic wrap, took photos, and submitted them to my teacher as "pictures of Pluto's surface". Does the fact that that's a real thing that really happened make it funnier or even weirder? You tell me.

22 July, 2014

Dr. Young Anti Pore Pore Erasing Balm (Primer) Review & GIVEAWAY!

Affiliate Links Press Sample

Silicone face primers seem to be a polarizing force in the beauty world. Some people love them, others hate them, and others still are scared to try them after hearing horror stories of breaking out. While I can't promise that the things I review won't cause you skin issues, I would like to put forward the following product as something that I, at the very least, have had a good experience with: Dr. Young Anti Pore Pore Eraser Balm. Double the pore, double the fun.


This product was featured in the original Memebox Makeup Edition Box. I didn't receive that particular box, but you can read a detailed review at Fanserviced-B if you're curious. I was really intrigued when I read that unboxing, so I was really thrilled when Memebox offered to send me one to review. And guess what? They sent me an extra to give away too! Wheeeeee! But before all the Rafflecopter hoopla, let's take a look at the attributes of this product.

The Swiffer Effect: Keeping home harmony & making a friend happy

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Semi-personal question: Have you ever had an argument with your spouse/partner and/or a family member related to cleaning? I sure as heck have. According to a recent survey conducted by Swiffer, as many as 85% of American couples say that cleaning tensions add to stress in their home—based on my own experiences, that number sounds sadly realistic to me.


I'm lucky in that Stan (my current partner) is actually pretty willing to clean, but there are times when both of us are stressed and tired from the normal rigors of life, and the messes start to pile up. The best way to keep your home from turning into a total pigsty is to do basic cleaning tasks regularly: Things like sweeping, mopping, and dusting. But if we're being completely honest, then I should tell you that I actually kind of hate cleaning, even the simple stuff, so it's hard for me to get started with it to begin with. Anything to make the task easier gets a huge thumbs-up in my book.

The Swiffer Effect #SwifferEffect #BigGreenBox Big Green Box

Swiffer recently sent us a Big Green Box filled with their products. Can I admit that I squealed with joy a little bit? They're basically the easiest things ever to use and don't require any special care. The Pet Rock of cleaning products, if you will. Perfect for less-than-enthusiastic cleaners like me. They also sent along a second box for us to surprise a friend with—you can see his reaction after the jump.

21 July, 2014

Review: Paula's Choice 2% BHA Liquid (AKA Miracle Juice) + get it for under $10

Affiliate Links Bought It

I feel like there are some products that become so engrained in my regular routine that I almost kind of forget about them—hidden in plain sight? That doesn't make them any less awesome though. Anyway, the awesome product I'm talking about today is Paula's Choice Skin Perfecting 2% BHA Liquid, which I've been using regularly for the past three months. About time I wrote a review, huh? I'd say "yes" because (a) it's amazing and (b) there's an awesome (yes, I keep using that word) sale going on right now that'll allow you to pick up this gem for under $10 shipped. Awesome!

Paula's Choice 2% BHA Liquid

Keep on reading for all the awesome details ....

Playing hometown tourist with Juicy Fruit: A trip to Coney Island, NYC

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Disclosure: This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #JuicyFruitFunSide #CollectiveBias


Do you ever find it difficult to get away for a proper vacation? I feel like I'm often short on time or money (or both), which makes traveling hard. The only trip I'll be taking this summer is to visit some friends in Chicago—fun, but my old roommate's fold-out couch isn't exactly what I'd call a tourist destination. Rather than mope about it, I decided to take charge play and tourist in my own town: New York City! No shortage of places to visit here. I loaded up my purse with chewing gum and other essentials, and headed off to my first destination ....

#JuicyFruitFunSide #CollectiveBias Coney Island Juicy Fruit Strawberry Bubble Gum

Coney Island! For those of you who are unfamiliar with it, Coney Island is a beach/boardwalk and amusement park destination in Brooklyn. I haven't been to Coney Island in YEARS, which is ridiculous because it's only a 20 minute subway ride away from where I live. But better late than never, I always say!

19 July, 2014

Memebox Superbox #30 Aloe Vera Unboxing & Coupon Codes

Affiliate Links Press Sample

Happy weekend, everybody! Are you outdoors playing in the sun or hiding inside from the summer heat? I'm usually an "avoid the sun and extreme heat at all costs" sort of person, so I was really pleased to get my hands on Memebox Superbox #30, Aloe Vera Cosmetics. Aloe is known for its soothing and cooling properties, so it seems like a natural choice for summer, right?

Memebox Superbox #30 Aloe Vera Unboxing Review

Official box description:
Experience the wonders of aloe vera’s soothing and rejuvenating properties in its fullest with our new Aloe Vera Box! Greatly praised and long-cherished as a miracle herb in the beauty world, aloe vera is a highly succulent plant enriched with various vitamins, minerals, and other anti-inflammatory properties, which help treat blemishes, defend against signs of aging, deliver intensive hydration, and even provide instant relief from sun burns in the summer. Get ready for the scorching summer with what Aloe Vera Box has to offer!

18 July, 2014

Indie Friday: My Pretty Zombie Blue Period Collection

Bought It

Let me confess a bad habit: Sometimes I buy things and forget I have them for a while. This is especially true with beauty products, because I get dazzled by the new and shiny things that come in my beauty boxes. Anyway, I purchased a bunch of samples from indie company My Pretty Zombie all the way back in December and just remembered I had them a couple of weeks ago—yipes! But I suppose late is better than never, so today I'll be sharing their "Blue Period" eyeshadow collection, which I dare say was worth the (unintentional) wait.

My Pretty Zombie Blue Period Collection Infirmity, Dissolution, Forsaken sample baggies

17 July, 2014

Montagne Jeunesse Renew You Sleep Spa Masks + GIVEAWAY!

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It's no secret that I like Montagne Jeunesse. I mention them from time to time on my blog because they keep making new mask varieties to discover and love—and the product featured in today's post is no exception! Blog readers, let me introduce you to the new Montagne Jeunesse Renew You Sleep Spa Masks. ("Hello, Renew You Sleep Spa Masks!")

Montagne Jeunesse Renew You Sleep Spa Masks Pure Oils box

16 July, 2014

Dr. Young AC Control U-line Clearing Mist Review & GIVEAWAY!

Affiliate Links Press Sample

Hi, my name is Rebecca and I have a mist addiction. I thought until recently that it was just facial mists I was hooked on, but the Dr. Young AC Control U-line Clearing Mist I received in Memebox Free From Oil & Troubles proved that oh-so-wrong. It's a mist for your BODY!

Dr. Young AC Control U-line Clearing Mist Memebox Free From Oil & Troubles

I think Memebox must have caught wind of my addiction, because they sent me an extra to give away, woo-hoo! But first, how about a little review?

Weekly Poll: Hair Today, Gone Tomorrow

Woo-hoo, it's Wednesday! Are you PUMPED?


Yeahhhh mehhhh. Time flies when you're having fun, right? Speaking of really fun ways to spend time, I'm due to dye my hair again soon. Which got me thinking ...

If you had to color your hair tomorrow, which shade would you choose? Assume that you have the help of trained professionals if you don't know how to do it yourself.

I'm thinking of switching things up and going for a very vibrant, not-quite-natural red again, but who knows, I may change my mind at the last minute. I'm fickle and the heat does weird things to my brain sometimes. How about you? Want to go Ronald McDonald with me?

Things That Make Me Smile, The F Word, and Fresh Guard™

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What puts a smile on your face?

I'm a pretty simple person: Things like good films, good books, good food, and cute cats can make me smile pretty much every time. There are some things that make me NOT smile though ... dare I say the F word? F for frown, I mean. Things like burnt food, large crowds of angry people, and feeling dingy or unclean make me frown. Ugly cats are still cute though. Just saying.


I was recently introduced to some new products called Fresh Guard™, by the makers of Efferdent. Do you ever try something for the first time and think "Man, I wish I'd thought of that because it's GENIUS?" That's what I thought about Fresh Guard™ ... well, once I realized what it was actually for.

14 July, 2014

21st century problems, 20th century solutions

Warning: Pointless ramble ahead. AKA the most fun kind of ramble.


Do you ever have days (or even weeks) where nothing seems to go right?

Last week was sort of like that for me. To make a long story short: I had a small series of minor screw-ups culminating in my home internet crapping out for the better part of five days, so it became extremely difficult to access and fix said screw-ups. Can you say "productivity killer"?

My lack of connectivity (and resulting freakout) got me thinking about how reliant I've become on the internet these past few years. Aside from it being absolutely essential for things like work and my blog, it dominates my life in a few other key areas. So I had to revert to some of my pre-internet behavior for a couple of days. Novel or annoying? You tell me.

Memebox Special Box #7 Milk Unboxing & Coupon Codes

Affiliate Links Press Sample

Happy Monday! (Groan.) My internet finally seems to be working with some regularity again, so let the blogging train start chugging! Woo-hoo! Today I'll be looking at Memebox's 7th special edition box, the Milk Box.

Memebox Special Box #7 Milk

Box description: We all know milk is good for teeth and bones, but betcha didn’t know it’s also good for your skin! Queen of Egypt, Cleopatra, is a famous beauty icon who is known to have used milk as a secret ingredient for maintaining smooth, supple and radiant skin. Milk has healing properties that repairs sun damaged skin, prevents premature aging, and also provides abundant nutrients for a youthful look. Now, we’re letting out this ancient beauty secret with our Milk Box to share with you all the skincare benefits that milk has to offer!


Milk and milk derivatives (like lactic acid and milk protein) really have been used as skincare ingredients for centuries, so this is an interesting theme. Of course I'm sure Memebox is sending modern, 21st century products and not just jugs of fermented milk. ;)

13 July, 2014

Beauty Box 5 - July 2014 Review & Unboxing

Affiliate Links Press Sample

Hey, guess what? My July Beauty Box 5 showed up yesterday!

Beauty Box 5 - July 2014 Review & Unboxing

This month's theme is Defining Moments, as in all the accomplishments and milestones that "made you the amazing woman you are today." I suddenly find myself wondering if Beauty Box 5's subscribers are all female (probably?) but celebrating accomplishments is always a nice idea, so I'll take it.

12 July, 2014

Birchbox July 2014 Review & Unboxing

Affiliate Links Bought It

Well look what the cat dragged in! (Note: I don't actually have a cat. But my mailman is probably tired of dragging so many damn packages into the building lobby. I should give him a can of tuna.)

Birchbox July 2014 Review & Unboxing Women's Health Magazine

Uh, anyway, it's Birchbox! This month's box was in collaboration with Women's Health magazine and the theme is "Power Up", and the info card features a picture of beet and carrot juice and an explanation about video game characters. I'm confused—my pops always told me to keep my beet juice AWAY from the video game system. Har har har.

11 July, 2014

Neutrogena's Triple Repair haircare system: For stronger, healthy hair

Sponsored


Do you ever feel like it's impossible to grow your hair out without the ends turning into a dry, brittle mess? I've been trying to let mine grow long over the past year, but it can be frustrating because I always end up trimming off more than I want to due to frequent hair breakage and split ends. Not fair, hair.

Neutrogena's new Triple Repair haircare system shampoo conditioner leave-in treatment

I recently got the opportunity to test out Neutrogena's new Triple Repair haircare system, and I was really excited because (a) "repair" is exactly what my hair needs and (b) Neutrogena is so affordable. I think most of us would probably be excited to find a budget-friendly product that meets our needs, y'know?

09 July, 2014

Review: Perlier Shea Butter White Lily Hand Cream

Affiliate Links Press Sample

Who besides me is a hand cream addict? I feel like a lot of people tend to think of hand cream as a winter item because your skin gets more dried out around that time of year, but personally I can't stand it when my hands feel dry at all so I use it year-round. Sort of like lip balm. I always keep some sort of lotion or hand cream in my purse.

Perlier Shea Butter White Lily Hand Cream

I'll be reviewing Perlier's Shea Butter White Lily Hand Cream today, which was graciously supplied to me by the kind folks at iFabbo. I've enjoyed the other Perlier body products I tried in the past, so will this one live up to my expectations? Read on to find out.

Weekly Poll: I Scream!

Happy Wednesday everybody! Are you feeling sweaty? Because I sure am.


This week's poll question was inspired by heat and humidity and melty mindthoughts. I'm hot. Have I mentioned that yet?

What's your favorite kind of ice cream?

Short and sweet. I'm partial to coconut milk ice creams, but if someone were to bring me a fruity popsicle right now I wouldn't say no. How about you? What sweet treats do you turn to to beat the heat?

08 July, 2014

Review: Radical Skincare Peptide Infused Antioxidant Serum

Affiliate Links Press Sample

Happy "I can't believe it's already July 8th", everybody! I hope all my fellow Americans enjoyed the holiday weekend.

Radical Skincare Peptide Infused Antioxidant Serum

Today I'll be reviewing Radical Skincare's Peptide Infused Antioxidant Serum ($190 for 30ml/1oz), a skincare product that promises a big old heap of anti-aging benefits. Will it live up to the hype? Only one way to find out ....

05 July, 2014

Memebox Global Edition #12 Review & Unboxing + Coupons

Affiliate Links Press Sample

Hey Memebox fans, which do you prefer: The special themed boxes or the more general "Global" boxes? Just curious. As for me ... I can't decide. I like the surprise element of the Global boxes but then some of the themed ones are really good, you know? (Yeah, I'm talking about you, Hair & Body box.)

Memebox Global Edition Box #12 contents unboxing

Anyway, today I'll giving a peek inside Memebox Global Box #12. I'll show you what was inside item-by-item, but can I first say that when I first received this box the first thing I noticed was how heavy it was? That me all the more curious to see what would be inside.

Free The Voice song downloads with CLEAR haircare purchase

Sponsored

Do I have any fans of NBC's The Voice reading?

I don't watch a ton of reality or competition-type television shows, but I sort of got hooked on The Voice thanks to my mother, of all people. I was visiting her a couple of years ago when we got rained in one evening, and The Voice was the only TV show we could both agree on. Watching her watch The Voice is a funny experience in itself because she constantly refers to Blake Shelton as "that nice young man". I'm thinking he's probably her favorite coach then? I was always partial to CeeLo, but I guess he's out of the picture now.

Anyway, there's a fun offer going on at Rite Aid this month for all you fans out there:


03 July, 2014

Memebox Mega-Giveaway 2.0: The Return

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***UPDATE: The giveaway is now closed. The winner has been selected and displayed below.***

In case all of the new coupon codes for July weren't enough for you, Memebox has given me the go-ahead to host another giveaway! More Meme-liciousness for all.


This time there will be three winners, and yes, this giveaway is open internationally! More info after the jump.

02 July, 2014

Weekly Poll: I Stink!

Happy Wednesday! Is it sweltering where you are, northern hemisphere-ers? I feel like I'm going to melt.


These week's question was loosely inspired by my sample hoarding habits:

We all have favorite (or least favorite) perfumes, but what are your favorite scented beauty products that aren't perfume?

Hair products, body lotions, facial moisturizers, whatever. I thought of this question because I finally got around to using the Beauty Protector Protect & Detangle I received in my Birchbox a few months ago, and it smells DELICIOUS. Like a delicious vanilla cake. I will definitely be purchasing it once I rack up a few more points. As for a runner-up .... maybe Haus of Gloi's Honeysuckle Lemon Curd Pumpkin Butter, though that can be purchased in perfume oil form, so maybe it doesn't count.

How about you? What's making you smell divine these days?

01 July, 2014

Current Fave: Milani Ultrafine Liquid Eye Liner

Affiliate Links Bought It

So I guess it's been a while since I did a "Monthly Favorites" post. Sorry, people who like that! I just haven't felt like writing that sort of thing lately. I've still been finding things to love in the meantime though, so today I thought I'd share one of my favorite recent drugstore beauty discoveries: Milani Ultrafine Liquid Eyeliner.

Milani Ultrafine Liquid Eyeliner  Prismatic Purple - Black Vinyl - Sparkling Turquoise

Enabler's Corner: A crapton of new Memebox coupon codes for July 2014

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Hey, it's a new month so Memebox just released a ton of new coupon codes! Obviously I'm not a deals blogger, but I know how popular "The Memes" is around these parts so I thought I'd share.

(By the way, I'm the only one who calls it "The Memes". At least I think I am. If you do it too then please let me know in the comments so we can laugh at each other.)

Update: This page is now defunct! Bookmark my new Memebox Deals and Coupons page, which is updated multiple times per month.

In related news, I just bought the Special Smile Care box. This box doesn't seem to be getting as much buzz as some of the others, but I have a weird obsession with oral hygiene products so I couldn't resist.

Memebox Global coupon codes and promo codes for July 2014

Which Memeboxes are you waiting on at the moment? Will you take advantage of any of the July sales?

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. For more information, check out my full disclosure policy.
 
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