July Ipsy vs. Birchbox Smackdown

Hey hey, it’s subscription box time again! Spoiler alert: No surprise here, but I liked the Ipsy Glam Bag better this month.

So here’s my July Ipsy bag. Oh Ipsy, I love you more all the time. So much more full sized stuff, and there’s always makeup and not just skincare!

It looks like as Ipsy gotten bigger and more popular they’ve been able to add more variety to their monthly selections and everyone isn’t getting identical bags anymore. There isn’t the massive variety that Birchbox provides, but I still enjoy that there’s some element of chance involved.

july 2013 ipsy glam bag haul review

Nailtini Straight Up Nail Laquer in Mai Tai ($13). OMG you guys, last month I told you how much I love Nailtini and here’s another full sized polish from them! This is a creamy red-orange with no shimmer, and I’ve been looking for a nice orange/coral shade this season. Love, love, love. Ipsy does tend to send stuff from the same brands over and over, but if it’s going to be things like this, I certainly won’t complain. There’s also a special offer this month, 30% off at www.tinibeauty.com with code hot4ipsy through 8/15. From now on, I’ll try to share all of the Ipsy discount codes from each bag! They provide one for every product.

nailtini straight up nail laquer mai tai review swatch orange red polish nailtini straight up nail laquer mai tai orange red polish

POP Beauty Pouty Pop Crayon in Coral Crush ($25 for a set of 6). This starts sheer, but builds nicely into an almost neon peach-tinged pink. The twist-up pencil applicator makes it easy to apply, and the product is surprisingly hard (i.e. not likely to melt in your purse while you’re out in the sun). It’s another solid-stain kind of product, like the Lipstick Queen Oxymoron Gloss that I like so much. I love how light it feels in this hot weather, and the color is really cheerful and flattering.  Get 20% off at www.popbeautycosmetics.com with POPLOVESIPSY now through 8/6.

pop beauty pouty pop crayon coral crush reviewSheer.

pop beauty pouty pop crayon coral crush swatch neon peachy pink Intense!

COOLA Mineral Face SPF 20 Unscented Moisturizer ($36). I like COOLA (another organic line), and their products usually absorb into my skin really nicely and feel light and fresh. Same story here, nice moisturizer and you know I can’t get enough of my SPF products (which is why a lot of people I meet think I’m younger than I am- that effort pays off, people!). 30% 0ff with code IPSY at www.coolasuncare.com through 7/31.

You guys know I have a well-documented love for BH Cosmetics. Their stuff is cheap and awesome, what’s not to like? Right now they have some cute California-themed  palettes on their site for $17.95 (they remind me of the vintage versions of the Stila tavel palette series), and this is a sampler with one full-sized shade from each palette. The colors are so pretty! I’m super excited to try them. (PS, if you use the code IPSY at BH’s site through 8/31, you get 10% off).

bh cosmetics california palette sample hollywood san francisco malibu eye shadow

Sexy Hair Weather Proof Humidity Resistant Spray ($18.95). Nice! I don’t do my hair often, but Sexy Hair is usually pretty good and a humidity proof hairspray is definitely the one my frizzy hair needs. I’ll be trying this out the next time the weather gets muggy. This one has an Ulta code – $5 off a $25 Sexy Hair purchase with code 108723 through 8/15.

Finally, I thought I’d share another cool thing about ipsy– they provide discounts for ALL of that month’s products, not just the ones you received. That means if you missed out on something that you really wish you’d gotten, you can still check it out for less than retail. I think that’s really cool! This month, the only product that I didn’t get but would still recommend is the Demeter Fragrance. If you haven’t checked Demeter out, you should. They have a huge array of unusual one-note perfumes (like fresh laundry, or a wet garden). I’ve ordered from these guys before, the scents make great gifts and are fun just for the novelty value. I even have one of their gin and tonic scented soaps in my bathroom right now. Get 20% off at www.demeterfragrance.com with code IPSYDFL20 through 8/31.

Onward! The July Birchbox featured:

july 2013 birchbox haul review

Ojon damage reverse™ Instant Restorative Hair Serum ($25). This promised to fight frizz and condition my hair, and I think it worked! I like hair serums, although it’s important not to over-do it. This oil felt really light in my hands and wasn’t greasy or heavy on my hair. See for yourself- here is a before and after with my first-thing-in-the-morning hair.
ojon before
Oh no.

ojon damage reverse hair serum ojon damage reverse instant hair serum oil review

Birchbox Bobby Pins – ($5 for a set of  6) These are cute! I like them and they grip REALLY tightly. I’ll probably use them to securely pin my messy updos since they seem to hold really well. You can see them above.

(MALIN+GOETZ) bergamot body wash ($18). I took my shower before bed, so I didn’t get a chance to try this product this morning. I did open the bottle and it smelled good in that herbal, slightly medicinal kind of way (like an Aveda shampoo, or a Riccola cough drop). Kind of clove-ish? I don’t really buy body washes because I am thrifty (read: poor), but I think I would buy this if I were not sure a scrub. $18 seems like a fair price for a nice body wash, and it makes your shower feel more luxurious.

Benefit Ultra Radiance Facial Re-hydrating Mist ($26). These mists always seem silly to me, but I’ll admit that it did feel really nice and I like these spritzes whenever BB sends them. It’s a refreshing little luxury, it just seems like a really 1% kind of thing to use. Maybe I’m reading too much into it. I think it worked, though. What do you think, does my skin look dewy and radiant?

benefit ultra radiance facial re hydrating mist review
I feel good about it. Maybe there’s something to this mist thing.

Pür Minerals CC Cream Broad Spectrum SPF 40 ($38). Of all the samples, I was most excited about this product. I used to wear Pür’s pressed foundation and I really loved it. Such a great product. Unfortunately, the CC cream did not work for me. It covered well enough, but it felt kind of thick in my pores, like it wouldn’t quite absorb. After blending it in for what seemed like an eternity, it did even my skintone, but gave my skin a gross textured matte finish that made my skin look really rough. I was like wearing a really thin mud mask. I tried spritzing on more of the Benefit mist to make my skin look softer, but eventually I just had to wash it all off. I would NOT recommend this one.

pur minerals cc cream review texturepur minerals cc cream review light  pur minerals cc cream review light pale sheer coverage Alright from a distance, but…pur cc cream review
EW. Up close, my forehead looks crunchy.

Here’s the thing- Birchbox isn’t bad, it’s just much more utilitarian. They often send me things that I can and do use, just not things I would ever buy for myself because they aren’t “fun.” And the often boring-but-useful samples combined with what amounts to a $5 store credit per box is totally worth the net cost of $4 per box. It’s actually kind of nice since I do use everything, I just wish it were more EXCITING. I’ve adjusted my profile a little to hopefully start getting makeup again so the boxes will be a little more fun for the rest of the year.


3 thoughts on “July Ipsy vs. Birchbox Smackdown

  1. Ahhhahaha, a thin mud mask? That’s definitely NOT a good characteristic!
    You and your proletarian BAR SOAPS. I’m a semi-poor too, but I always use body wash in the shower. But that’s because I don’t clean my tub enough and any bar soar will get disgusting and soggy and filthy in no time. I do kinda lust after those giant Fresh bars, wrapped up all pretty, smelling all wealthy.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s