October 2014 Birchbox Review

Disclaimer, this post contains referral links.2014-06-11 18_FotorIt’s Birchbox time again! This month they were celebrating the fan girl in each of us; sharing their passions and obsessions, and encouraging us to do the same.

Birchbox is only $10 a month and they send you 5-8 (usually sample size) products to try out. If you end up loving the sample, you can purchase the full size version in their shop. They also have a crazy good points system so you can rack up credit for significant discounts. It’s an auto renewing subscription which you pay monthly for, or pay for a full year at once (for a discount). You can also cancel any time.

Here’s the first look at my October 2014 BirchboxBirchbox_October2014_box

Screenshot 2014-10-17 18.26.37Here is a breakdown of the products.

Birchbox_October2014_product1

Macadamia Professional™ Flawless Cleansing Conditioner – (value $15) – A multipurpose, no-suds conditioner which is supposed to cleanse and soften hair, plus cut blow-dry time. I’m not all that excited about this. I am pretty loyal to the conditioner I use and like, plus I don’t blow-dry my hair so that benefit is lost on me. I’ll probably swap this. Having said that, I’m a little disappointed that this was the highest value item in the box.

BORGHESE Fango Brillante – (value $3.58) – This mud mask is infused with a blend of vitamins and minerals to brighten oily and congested skin, purifying pores, clearing up blemishes, and banishing dullness.  I was skeptical at first because this just sounded too good to be true. It was the first product from this box that I actually tried out, and I might be in love with it. First of all, my face felt like it was burning when the mask was on, which was a huge drawback because it was super uncomfortable. It actually made me wonder if I was having an alergic reaction to it because I had never used a face mask that felt like that. But, I kept it on for about seven minutes. You guys, the result was kind of amazing. The next morning I noticed a significant clearing of the breakout I had been experiencing on my chin, and my skin just looked brighter. I was really impressed! The only thing I’m not impressed by is the price tag. A regular sized pot of this stuff sells for $64.

Birchbox_October2014_product2

Benefit The POREfessional – (value $3.90) – An oil-free balm that shrinks the look of pores, smooths skin, and mattifies shine. I don’t have a big problem with pore size, but regardless I think that this probably acts much like a makeup primer. I love primers, so I’m sure I’ll use this.

Skin&Co Roma TRUFFLE THERAPY™ BODY MILK Super Enriching Anti-Aging Truffle Body Milk – (value $1.64 for 2 packs) –  This is an olive oil and shea butter lotion, rich in antioxidants, which hydrates and softens skin.

Lord & Berry Paillettes Eye Pencil – (value $4.50) –  Oh look, it’s another black eyeliner pencil. This is a blendable pencil, studded with bits of silver shimmer. In the last six months, Birchbox has sent me four black eyeliners. Seriously Birchbox? Stop with the black eyeliner already. Please, and thank you.

IMG_20141017_112949

I estimate the value of my October Birchbox at $28.62, and though it isn’t the highest value Birchbox ever, it was still a good deal. I found one product I really like, and another eyeliner to add to the growing pile (though if I get one more black eyeliner I may scream). I do hope next months Birchbox is more exciting though!

Also, as a side note I was pretty disappointed by my sample choice experience this month. I had requested the Mally Beauty High-Shine Liquid lipstick in a pretty melon shade, but I guess they ran out and weren’t able to fulfill my request. It was a total bummer, because I was really excited about that item in particular. They still seem to be experiencing a lot of kinks with their sample choice program, and I sure hope they get them ironed out soon.

August 2014 Ipsy Review

Ipsy_July2014

I’ve been subscribing to Ipsy for 3-4 months now. I gave them a shot for the same reason that I tried Birchbox…I wanted to try new products that I wouldn’t otherwise have tried or even known about.

Ipsy, like Birchbox, is only $10 a month and they send you around 5 (usually sample size) products packaged inside of a unique travel sized makeup bag (the Glam Bag). You can also review the products you sample for Ipsy Points which can be redeemed for bonus items in your Glam Bag. It’s an auto renewing subscription which you pay monthly for. You can also cancel any time.

Here’s what I received in my August 2014 Ipsy Glam Bag. I received five products + the bag. And, I thought this month’s bag was another cute one! I like it’s shape, plus who doesn’t love the orange polka dots?

Ipsy_August2014_AllProducts


Screenshot 2014-08-13 15.29.52

July’s theme was “Beauty/Schooled.” I took that to mean it would be a kind of back to the basics type bag, which in my opinion, it was.

Ipsy_August2014_1

Klorane Dry Shampoo – (value $6.50) – I wish that I had a use for dry shampoo, because I know there are a lot of people out there who swear by it. But my super curly hair definitely wouldn’t do well with this. I’ve received it before in another box, and will be swapping it as well.

Dr. Brandt Pores No More –  (value $11.25) – I’ve received this before in a different subscription box. I’m probably in the minority, but I’m not that big of a fan of this product. It’s a foundation primer, and it’s not that it doesn’t do what it claims, it’s just super expensive. The full size retails for $45 for 1 oz. There are other primers on the market, that do exactly the same thing for far less money. This will probably be swapped.

Ipsy_August2014_2

Mongongo Lip Conditioner –  (value $5.50) – This lip balm is 100% natural and USDA certified organic, and is supposed to leave lips delicious, luscious and hydrated. I have a ridiculous amount of lip balms, and it seems that at times they are taking over my life, lol. Not sure if i’ll be adding it to the collection, or giving it away to a friend.

J. Cat Beauty Flying Solo Eye Shadow – (value $2.99) – This was full size, which I definitely appreciate. But I can’t say I’m all that excited to receive yet another eye shadow. This color doesn’t do much for me, so again, I’ll probably swap this.

Urban Decay Perversion Mascara – (value $5.50) –  I was excited to receive this, as I’ve loved all of the Urban Decay products I’ve tried. It’s a new product for this brand. Even though I have a lot of other mascara samples floating around, I gave this one a try. And, you guys, I LOVE it!  I’ll definitely be buying a full size version when this sample runs out.

Overall, this is another Ipsy Glam Bag that I have mixed feelings about. I calculated the final value for this bag at $31.74 which was a pretty good value considering I only spent $10. However I’ll probably only keep/use one of the products that I received – the mascara. Though that was the highest value item I received so even if that is all I use, it seems that I still got my money’s worth. Also, I thought the Glam Bag itself was super adorable, and loved the shape and design. I keep tweaking my style profile, to improve the items I receive so that they more fit what I would like/use, but I still don’t think I’ve gotten it right.

Are you an Ipsy Glam Bag subscriber? What did you receive this month? What did you love (or not)?

July 2014 Ipsy Review

Ipsy_July2014

I’m relatively new to Ipsy, as I’ve only been subscribing for a few months. I gave them a shot for the same reason that I tried Birchbox…I wanted to try new products that I wouldn’t otherwise have tried or even known about.

Ipsy, like Birchbox, is only $10 a month and they send you around 5 (usually sample size) products packaged inside of a unique travel sized makeup bag (the Glam Bag). You can also review the products you sample for Ipsy Points which can be redeemed for bonus items in your Glam Bag. It’s an auto renewing subscription which you pay monthly for. You can also cancel any time.

Here’s what I received in my July 2014 Ipsy Glam Bag. I received five products + the bag. And, I thought this month’s bag was super cute!Ipsy_July2014_1


july products

July’s theme was “Sensationally Sun Kissed,” so clearly it was going to be a summer themed shipment.

Ipsy_July2014_product1

POP Beauty Sunkissed Bronzer –  I was actually really happy to receive a bronzer. I was hoping to get one in either my Ipsy or my Birchbox. I’ve been wanting to try one out for a while, but as a bronzer virgin, I didn’t want to splurge on full size just to get home and realize that I a) wouldn’t wear it, or b) couldn’t figure out how to apply it. I think I lucked out on the particular shade I got, as it seems to work well for my skin tone. Haven’t tried it yet, but from what I can tell there are a ton of online Youtube videos on how to properly apply. I’m planning to watch a few first.

Mini Tinted Brilliance Balm by Pixi –  It’s a glossy gel balm, that’s supposed to protect and hydrate lips. What’s interesting is that after the balm wears off, lips are left tinted with a flattering, personalized hue because the color & intensity depends on the pH level your lips.

Ipsy_July2014_product2

Soy Renewal Beach Conditioning and Texturizing Spray by Sexy Hair – I totally get why I received this. It’s definitely on trend for summer, and it’s certainly not the first beach texturizing hair spray I’ve seen or received recently. But these types of products serve no purpose for me. I have super curly hair, and this just does not work for me. It will likely be traded.

Hang Ten Dark Tanning Oil SPF 08 –  I was really disappointed to receive this. On the rare occasion that I do lay out in the sun (like on a Mexican vacation or something) you’re far more likely to find me slathering myself in SPF rather than tanning oil. This was a total Ipsy fail for me. It will also be traded.

Ipsy_July2014_product3

bareMinerals 5-in-1 BB Advanced Performance Cream Eyeshadow Broad Spectrum SPF15– At first I wasn’t even sure what this product was, but I quickly figured out it’s just creamy eyeshadow. I was a little confused by how basic and neutral all of the shades seemed to be, but ultimately I like what I received. I’m not sure I’ll be buying a full-sized version, but having never tried cream eyeshadow before I did like it.

Overall, I have mixed feelings about this month’s Ipsy Glam Bag. I thought the Glam Bag itself was super adorable, and loved the hot pink with scalloped edges. I can actually see myself using it (which isn’t always the case with the Ipsy bags I receive). I also was pleased to see the bronzer, and liked the cream eyeshadow. I was really unhappy with the texturizing beach hair spray, and the tanning oil. I figure I’ll give Ipsy another month or two, and perhaps revisit my style profile to see if I can tweak it to exclude more of the types of products I didn’t like receiving.

Are you an Ipsy Glam Bag subscriber? What did you receive this month? What did you love (or not)?