Jun 22, 2019

Birchbox Review: The Ugly Truth - Not Worth My Money


Let’s talk about my Birchbox Beauty Subscription - it’s a no for me dawg.

Point blank. I already unsubscribed but for this post I’m getting as real as possible with you guys. I’ll be spilling my guts about the good, the bad and the in between because y’all need to know. 

So you all already know how hyped up I was about my Birchbox Subscription but if you have no clue what I’m talking about just go read this post first 6 Affordable Gift Ideas You’ll Love for Mother’s Day and then come back. When I say I was hyped I mean I was HYPED UP. I was seeing different people post their monthly boxes and watching a bunch of YouTube reviews along with the official posts from the company itself and to be completely honest I was excited to get my very first box. 

Related Post: 6 Affordable Gift Ideas You’ll Love for Mother’s Day

What is Birchbox?



To put it simply, Birchbox is a subscription box service that provides you with beauty products without the hassle of searching for them yourself. They use a short quiz to get basic information about your hair, skin, personality and your makeup preferences so that they can create a group of personalized beauty products just for you. It’s basically a box of handpicked beauty products that matched your beauty profile for just $15. 

They bill subscribers on the 1st of every month (auto renewal) and the box ships by the 10th of each month. To me it was perfect - they provide me with beauty samples and if I liked them I could order the full-size product on their website - so that’s why I subscribed. 

I was itching to see what all the hype was about and I let them reel me in. Every time I’d attempt to order my box the little voice in my head would stop me by saying “Do you REALLY want to spend $15 on a subscription box?” and I’d end up closing the tab. This happened a couple times until I happened to find a blog post with a coupon code. And this is what got me. Cause I love me some deals. 

Related PostI Think I’m Obsessed With Affordable Subscription Boxes


It was a buy one get one coupon so technically I was getting two boxes for $15 and technically that was $7 per box and that’s pretty cheap for beauty products. So it wasn’t so bad. Right? Well in my head it made perfect sense and I used that logic to convince myself to sign up for the subscription. 

My boxes took a little over a week to arrive and literally 2 days after they did I got billed for the next month. I didn’t even get time to open the boxes much less assess them and decided whether or not I wanted to keep the subscription. 

That was the first “issue” I had with the subscription but I figured it was my fault because I subscribed at the end of April so I let it slide. After building up a week’s worth of anticipation I finally gave in and opened my boxes. I actually prefer the products/samples in April box than the ones in the free box but to be fair when something’s free you have to just take whatever you get. 

April Birchbox - What’s inside my April box? 

Here are the products I received in both boxes: 

Free Birchbox with subscription
May Birchbox 

Exactly one week after I opened these boxes my May box arrived and honestly guys I was disappointed the moment I picked up the box. It was as light as a feather and I’m not joking. I even shook the box to check whether it was empty or not. It wasn’t and it had me wondering if I signed up for the wrong subscription. I waited a while for my disappointment to pass and my boyfriend was the one that ended up opening the box for me. 



It wasn’t until he showed me the last product that I realized that I was the one the chose this specific box. I got the option to choose on the website and I chose this one because it looked cute and it was all about girl power. But lo and behold the pictures are deceiving. These samples look way bigger on the picture than in my hand. And I guess if you receive a full sized product in the box the other samples are going to be microscopic. 

Related PostI Think I’m Obsessed With Affordable Subscription Boxes

May Birchbox - What’s inside my May box? 


So to sum everything up:

The prices of the full-sized products are super high and Birchbox puts the S in Sample - the samples I received are literally the smallest sizes I’ve ever seen. I mean there is just enough for one use and I can’t even judge the results of said samples to see if I want to purchase the full-size. Also when I compared it to the Walmart Beauty box I felt completely ripped off. If I put the samples of all three boxes together they would make ONE Walmart box. Plus the box from Walmart is literally half the price. 

Like I said up top I cancelled my subscription and I think I’ll resubscribe if and only if the samples seem like they’re worth the $15. If you’re interested in trying them out for yourself here’s the link to signup >>> ( https://www.birchbox.com/invite/chevytakesthemic ). If you do sign up, I'd love to hear about your experience (if it's better than mine or worse, if you like it or not, etc) so just leave it in the comments below.


Anyways, let me know what you guys think in the comments. Were my expectations too high? Have you ever tried Birchbox? Should I resubscribe? 



Thanks for reading! Click here to check out my previous post.

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Jun 3, 2019

8 Valuable Natural Hair Products Every Girl Will Love

a list of natural hair products that every girl will love, chevy takes the mic

In the four years since I’ve been natural I’ve noticed that natural hair influencers and YouTubers all have their go-to products or brands that they swear by. And I mean they’re diehard users/fans and they will almost always find a way to incorporate them into their routines. 

I think I’ve officially become a Naturalista because I’ve caught the fever - I’m official on the bandwagon. No matter what hairstyle I’m considering I have to use my routine because it’s something I’ve tried, tested and guess what?... it works wonders for my hair. 


a list of natural hair products that every girl will love, chevy takes the mic

Whether I’m doing a twist-out, braid-out or a protective style, I always ensure that I use these products: 

  1. Pre-poo
  2. Shampoo
  3. Hair Treatment 
  4. Conditioner 
  5. Leave-in Conditioner 
  6. Cream/Pudding/Moisturizer 
  7. Oil
  8. Edge Control or Mousse 

I’m sure other Naturalistas can attest to this but the difference comes in the brands that we use. I personally realized that my hair behaves better when all the products I use are from the same brand or line. But I’m the type of person to only buy hair products once every three months because I use EVERY DROP. I also tend to wait for big sales so I can save some coin here and there. 

The issue with this is that sometimes whenever I’m buying my products some items are out of stock so I have to substitute them with another brand. And other times one brand doesn’t provide all the products I need so I often times end up with a diverse bundle of hair products

Related Posts:

  1. What’s in My Bag? | Natural Hair Tag
  2. Graceful Kinks: 5 Reasons Why I Love My Natural Hair 
  3. Is This My ‘Nappily Ever After’?

I’m going to give you the specifics of what products I’m using and tell you what I like about each of them below so keep reading. 

  • Pre-poo; I try to incorporate some natural elements into my wash day routine and I’ve found that two things that work best for my 4C/D hair are Aloe Vera and raw coconut oil. From the moment I decide that I’m going to wash my hair I source a stalk of raw aloe vera either from my backyard or my neighbors. On my wash day remove the jelly from the inside and gently purée it in my blender. After it’s completely blended (but not frothy/foamy) I strain it into my applicator bottle and save it for when I start my routine. I love using natural aloe because it moisturizes and defines my curls but if I can’t find any I substitute it with organic coconut oil or some raw coconut oil to help with my split ends. 
a list of natural hair products that every girl will love, aloe vera, chevy takes the mic

  • Shampoo; At the moment I’m using my SheaMoisture Jamaican Black Castor Oil Strengthen & Restore Shampoo. I started off with the travel size to see if I like the results and I loved it so much I had to get an upgrade. The apple cider vinegar removed build up from my scalp while the Shea butter and peppermint moisturizes the strands with a tingling effect. 

  • Hair Treatment; I normally just use a packaged deep treatment mask or when I feel fancy I’ll mix egg, coconut oil and mayo together and leave it in my hair for 30 minutes. 


Related Posts:

  1. What’s in My Bag? | Natural Hair Tag
  2. Graceful Kinks: 5 Reasons Why I Love My Natural Hair 
  3. Is This My ‘Nappily Ever After’?


  • Leave-in Conditioner; this is where I switch things up. My go to leave-in is the LottaBody Love Me 5-in-1 Leave in Treatment because the formula is light and easy to apply. 

  • Cream/Pudding/Moisturizer; I then follow up with the LottaBody Moisturize Me Curl Style Milk this is the one product that almost always define my curls. I can literally see the difference whenever I use it. 

a list of natural hair products that every girl will love, lottabody coconut & shea oils, chevy takes the mic
LottaBody Coconut & Shea Oils Line

  • Oil; I normally use a mixture of 5 oils for my hair - Castor, Argan, Tea Tree, Jojoba, and Olive - because I find that they have better results instead of using them one at a time. My hair is always soft, shiny and it grows faster with this combination. 
  • Edge Control or Moussenow this is a hit or miss for me because my edges have a mind of their own. They only stay laid whenever they feel like it but whenever they do I have the LottaBody Control Me Edge Gel to thank. I also interchange this with the LottaBody Wrap Me Foaming Mousse. 


So there you have it! Whenever I want to ensure that my hairstyle turns out right I just follow my routine to the T and then enjoy my results. 

What are some of your go-to / must-have hair products? 
Do you have a brand of choice when you shop? 

If you liked this post go ahead and Pin It 📌


a list of natural hair products that every girl will love, chevy takes the mic

Thanks for reading! If you enjoyed this post be sure to leave a comment below or click the share button. 

Click here to check out my previous post.

May 25, 2019

I Think I’m Obsessed With Affordable Subscription Boxes


I’ve come to the realization that almost every season I get obsessed with something new. Well something new to me that is. 

First it was online shopping - I spent about US$1000 (not all at once) on clothes at Forever21 and Charlotte Russe. I swear to you they were just having sales back-to-back and I felt pressured into buying things. It was like high school all over again (peer pressure). However I think I got a bit carried away - as usual - especially since I was spending my own money. Luckily I didn’t end up wearing majority of the clothes I bought so I got to resell them. 

Related post: What's in My Bag | Natural Hair Tag

Then I moved on to wigs - I just loved the fact that I didn’t have to comb my hair regularly if I had a wig to wear. I literally bought almost every type of wig that existed. I had a long one, straight one, long curly one, short curly one, a black one, a red one, a human hair one etc. You name it and I had it. They were so affordable and it was like I never had enough even though I could literally wear a new one everyday without repeats. Then to make matters worse YouTube kept suggesting wig installation videos for me to watch so I just kept getting reeled in. 

Related post: Graceful Kinks: 5 Reasons Why I Love My Natural Hair


This season it’s something out of the ordinary for me - subscription boxes. For those of you know me this might seem something completely strange because most subscription boxes are beauty related and I don’t even wear makeup. As a matter of fact, the only beauty items I own are: 
  • mascara (that I don’t use)
  • eyebrow pencil (that I don't need) and
  • a Burt's Bees vanilla lip balm that I can't live without.
So to find out that I’m paying to have boxes of beauty products sent to me monthly is definitely a shocker. 

In all honesty I just like the excitement of not knowing what I’ll be getting in the box every month. Pair that with the fact that they’re SUPER cheap and it’s a done deal.

Related post: 6 Affordable Gift Ideas You'll Love for Mother's Day


I Think I'm Obsessed with Affordable Subscription Boxes

You might be wondering how I got sucked into this craze and it’s simple - Instagram. AGAIN (see A White Christmas post for reference). I was literally minding my own business and scrolling through my explore page when I saw a post about a free subscription box, just pay shipping. Immediately my red flags went up because nothing could be that easy/simple so I ignored it and continued with my scrolling. 

About a week later I was thinking about ideas for a blog post and I figured that unboxings could be interesting but I needed something to unbox. So I googled reliable subscription boxes and that’s when I found out that Target had some. I ordered my first subscription box from Target then other companies started popping up as suggestions on my social media. I ended up watching people unbox theirs on YouTube then I ordered some more boxes. 

And now I have a total of four monthly subscriptions plus two others that I’m still contemplating. The ones I’ve subscribed to already are Target, Walmart, Birchbox and Ipsy and they were all under US$10 - except Birchbox which was $15. Each subscription is different in terms of availability and payment so I’m not really worried about the monthly sum that will be taken from my account.

Related post: 6 Affordable Gift Ideas You'll Love for Mother's Day 

If you’re interested in getting your hands on a box for yourself here’s some more information about them: 


Walmart 
Target

Birchbox 

Ipsy

Subscription Type 
Seasonal 

Monthly 

Monthly 

Monthly

Price
$5/ 3 months 
$7/ month +tax 
$15/month,
$10/ month + tax

Items Included 
4-6 samples 
4-6 samples
5 samples
5 samples/products
Billing & Delivery 

Billed every 3 months. Free shipping. 

You choose when to pay for a box. Free shipping 
Billed monthly on the same date. Free shipping 

Billed on the last day of every month. Free shipping 

Links 




My boxes were delivered surprisingly quickly but I am yet to open them and believe me when I say that the suspense is killing me. I don’t want to get my hopes up just in case I get disappointed when I do open them but the longer I take to open then is the greater my anticipation gets. I’m at the point where I pick up the boxes every now and then to check if they’re heavy. Then I judge the weight and guess if there are good sized products inside. It’s a bad habit but I can’t help it. 

I’ll be doing follow up posts when I actually unbox each of them and I’ll be going into details of the products I received and whether or not I’ll be keeping the subscription. So stay tuned! 

Comments Discussion 

Would you purchase a subscription box for yourself? 
Which of these boxes are you most excited to see unboxed? 

If you liked this post go ahead and Pin It 📌


Well that’s the end of this post! If you liked it please leave a comment below - I’d love to hear from you.


Thanks for reading! Click here to check out my previous post.
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May 14, 2019

Jamaican Travel Blog | Adventures in St. Elizabeth

Chevy Takes The Mic Jamaican Travel Blog Series Adventures in St. Elizabeth Jamaica, mini van with Bob Marley painting and weed
“Travel far enough; you meet yourself” - David Mitchell 
It is through traveling that we learn of new cultures, traditions and lifestyles. We meet new people, eat new foods and see what makes us different yet the same. It is also through this process that we gain a greater appreciation of our own culture, our roots and what we have at home. 

I’ve lived in Jamaica for 22 years and I still haven’t seen all that my little island has to offer. Are you in the same boat? And I find it ironic that I’m studying Tourism but I basically haven’t been anywhere. But even though I don’t travel much, I make sure that the few times I do are epic. 
Chevy Takes The Mic Jamaican Travel Blog Series Adventures in St. Elizabeth, girl peeking out from inside a little shack
My latest trip was a two day adventure in St. Elizabeth and I realized 3 things while on this trip: 

  1. I don’t like sitting in one place for too long - I kinda have a bony butt and it was a three hour journey from Kingston to St. Elizabeth. 
  2. Road trips are better with a group of friends because you never know what will happen next. 
  3. Coconut water tastes different when you buy them in different places. Weird right? 
I visited St. Elizabeth on two separate occasions and I can confidently say that both experiences were completely different even though I was traveling with the same group of friends. Anyways, I had so much fun on the trips so I decided to write a post about it just in case you’re interested in visiting. I also wanted to persuade you to visit *wink wink*. 

St. Elizabeth Jamaica 

St Elizabeth is one of Jamaica’s largest parishes, it’s capital is Black River and it is located in the South Coast Resort Area. St. Elizabeth along with the other areas on the south coast are classified as being “Off The Beaten Track” as they consist of rustic communities, plantations, safaris, flatlands and the hills of the cockpit country. It is also an area visited for adventure and the experience of living like a local. As an ideal description, The Jamaica Tourist Board said it best “ We are a land of unique experiences, engaging activities, breathtaking landscapes and a warm welcoming people.” It’s a place that will have you falling in love with it again and again and I am proud to call it my home. So if you’re looking to visit somewhere that isn’t reflective of the typical all-inclusive hotel scene, St. Elizabeth is the place for you. 

Things to Do (St. Elizabeth Jamaica)

St. Elizabeth has a lot to offer in terms of things to do; whether it’s touring a rum estate, climbing up a waterfall, taking a boat ride on a river or just relaxing at the beach. There is something for everyone regardless of your preferences. 

To start off the adventure we took a trip to Nassau Valley where we participated in the Joy Spence Appleton Rum Experience. We got to tour the entire estate while getting a mini lesson on the history of the brand. 

appleton estate entrance sign, Chevy Takes The Mic Jamaican Travel Blog Series Adventures in St. Elizabeth
appleton estate jamaica rum sign, Chevy Takes The Mic Jamaican Travel Blog Series Adventures in St. Elizabeth
The Joy Spence Appleton Rum Experience 

appleton estate jamaica rum sign with peacock in front of it, Chevy Takes The Mic Jamaican Travel Blog Series Adventures in St. Elizabeth

There was also a mini alcohol class that we attended and we got to sample three of the popular rums at the property. 

appleton estate joy spence rum experience alcohol class, Chevy Takes The Mic Jamaican Travel Blog Series Adventures in St. Elizabeth
appleton estate quote by Joy Spence on a wall inside the lobby, Chevy Takes The Mic Jamaican Travel Blog Series Adventures in St. Elizabeth

But the experience wasn’t complete without actually indulging in the “spirits” of the estate. 


three signature drink mixes by appleton estate bartenders, cranberry and rum, stormy valley, ginger beer,  Chevy Takes The Mic Jamaican Travel Blog Series Adventures in St. Elizabeth
And taking a piece of it home with me.
appleton estate 2oz souvenir bottle of signature blend rum, Chevy Takes The Mic Jamaican Travel Blog Series Adventures in St. Elizabeth

Jamaica Black River Safari was up next on our itinerary and this time we were taking a trip up the Black River. 
Jamaica black river safari sign on boat, Chevy Takes The Mic Jamaican Travel Blog Series Adventures in St. Elizabeth
We had a guided boat tour up the river and we got to “interact” with some of the crocodiles that lived in the river. I say “interact” because there was not much that took place between some scared college students and the crocodiles. 
ladies on a boat ride up black river at Jamaica black river safari, Chevy Takes The Mic Jamaican Travel Blog Series Adventures in St. Elizabeth
Any sudden movements triggered a choir of screams and exclamation from everyone on board. 
ladies on a boat ride up black river at Jamaica black river safari, Chevy Takes The Mic Jamaican Travel Blog Series Adventures in St. Elizabeth Jamaica, things to do in Jamaica

It was a peaceful and informative experience nonetheless and definitely something out of the usual. 
panoramic view of the black river safari in St Elizabeth Jamaica, Chevy Takes The Mic Jamaican Travel Blog Series Adventures in St. Elizabeth Jamaica, things to do in Jamaica

Last up on our to-do list was visiting YS Falls. Getting to the location was an adventure in itself because we were a bunch of dry-land tourists from the other side of the island and a local that wasn’t from “that” part of the parish. We eventually got there and after purchasing our tickets we took a tractor ride up to the falls. 
three girls, swimming in the river at ys falls, Chevy Takes The Mic Jamaican Travel Blog Series Adventures in St. Elizabeth Jamaica, things to do in Jamaica

The property is extremely big and is complete with two large pools, a series of waterfalls and a zip lining experience. On both visits we didn’t get to test out the pools because we were more interesting in climbing the falls. The sizes and heights of the waterfalls increased the higher up you got and the zip line started at the highest point on the property. 
three girls sitting on top of a rock in the river at ys falls, Chevy Takes The Mic Jamaican Travel Blog Series Adventures in St. Elizabeth Jamaica, things to do in Jamaica
We definitely did the zip line because we aren’t a bunch of scaredy cats and it’s an experience we’ll talk about every time it comes up. If you do end up visiting, have your phones ready for line #3 - trust me. You can thank me later. 

Places to Eat

Eating is completely up to you - you can choose to either buy food from the attractions you visit or you can buy street food whenever you see a vendor. Some popular spots to buy food are:

Lover’s Leap

Lover’s Leap is literally a restaurant on top of a seaside cliff. The journey there was were interesting and there was breathtaking view when we arrived. 
lover's leap sign, Chevy Takes The Mic Jamaican Travel Blog Series Adventures in St. Elizabeth Jamaica, things to do in Jamaica
The restaurant is a mix between a sports bar and a restaurant complete with a bar and a stage for life performances. 


three girls sitting at the bar at lovers leap, Chevy Takes The Mic Jamaican Travel Blog Series Adventures in St. Elizabeth Jamaica, things to do in Jamaica


There are also gazeboes on the property for picnics and they have a deck for outside seating that overlooks the sea. 
girl overlooking the view on the deck at lovers leap, Chevy Takes The Mic Jamaican Travel Blog Series Adventures in St. Elizabeth Jamaica, things to do in Jamaica
Their menu is extensive with a variety of affordable meals and drinks on offer. Be sure to take a jacket or scarf with you because the temperature is completely different from the flatland areas.


menu at lovers leap, Chevy Takes The Mic Jamaican Travel Blog Series Adventures in St. Elizabeth Jamaica, things to do in Jamaica

Middle Quarters 

This was once a vibrant area for local vendors but times have changed and it is now a popular spot to get Jamaican Pepper Shrimp a.k.a Swimz. 

Holland Bamboo/Bamboo Avenue 

If you’re looking for an ice cold jelly coconut just take a stop is Holland Bamboo when you’re passing through. 


girl drinking from a coconut at holland bamboo, bamboo avenue, Chevy Takes The Mic Jamaican Travel Blog Series Adventures in St. Elizabeth Jamaica, things to do in Jamaica
It’s also an excellent spot to get some Jamaican snacks and that Insta-worthy pic. 


girl standing in the middle of the road at holland bamboo, bamboo avenue, Chevy Takes The Mic Jamaican Travel Blog Series Adventures in St. Elizabeth Jamaica, things to do in Jamaica

Santa Cruz Town 

This is a popular town in St. Elizabeth so there are multiple food franchises located there along with local vendors dispersed along the sidewalks. You can literally find KFC, jerk chicken, stewed beef, jerked pork and fried fish within walking distance of each other. There are also multiple sports bars along the stretch. 

Places to Stay 

We ended up staying at a small beach/sea themed local hotel but it had the feel of a family owned guesthouse - Idlers Rest. 
bicycle at the entrance of Idlers rest hotel, Chevy Takes The Mic Jamaican Travel Blog Series Adventures in St. Elizabeth Jamaica, things to do in Jamaica

It wasn’t your typical hotel but it is located on the beach and embodied the meaning of relaxation. 
room one at idlers rest hotel, Chevy Takes The Mic Jamaican Travel Blog Series Adventures in St. Elizabeth Jamaica, things to do in Jamaica
We woke up early one morning, took a short walk along the beach, had a complimentary Jamaican breakfast on the deck and then relaxed in their hammocks until it was time to checkout. 
girl sitting on a bench in front of rooms twelve and thirteen at idlers rest hotel, Chevy Takes The Mic Jamaican Travel Blog Series Adventures in St. Elizabeth Jamaica, things to do in Jamaica

Their rooms have single, double, triple and quad occupancy so they can literally cater to groups of any size.

This trip was an adventure to remember and we have pictures to guarantee that we do. 
five girls standing in the middle of the road at holland bamboo, bamboo avenue, Chevy Takes The Mic Jamaican Travel Blog Series Adventures in St. Elizabeth Jamaica, things to do in Jamaica

Comments Discussion 

Have you ever visited Jamaica? 
Are you interested in visiting? 
What are some things that you want to do when you visit? 

Well that’s the end of this post! If you liked it please leave a comment below - I’d love to hear from you.

Thanks for reading! Click here to check out my previous post.
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