October Ipsy vs Birchbox review

I’m on time this month! Birchbox has been here for a week, but Ipsy just got here. This month I got:

IPSY

october 2014 ipsy glam bag samples review


 

The BB craze is getting out of control, but I DID really like this product. It smoothed my frizz and made my hair super soft. I really liked this stuff.
20% off at http://www.ecrunewyork.com with code ISPY through 11/30/14.

This was a decent exfoliating cleanser. Not sure if it was anything special.
50% off at epiceinternational.com with code IPSY5014 through 1/1/15.

Jesse’s Girl Mineralized Baked Shadow Powder in Plum Frost ($3.99).

Jesses Girl Mineralized Baked Shadow Powder plum frost eyeshadowJesses Girl Mineralized Baked Shadow Powder plum frost eyeshadow swatch

Man, I was excited because this was really pretty in the package and it was huge. Unfortunately, the color was kind of a generic shimmery, pinkish brown and not very pigmented. Not great.

20% off at jessesgirlcosmetics.com with code IPSYOCT2014 through 11/30/14.


Figs & Rouge Hand Cream in Rose Berry ($6.56).

A lot of Ipsters were not into the idea of handcream, but I was really excited because with each year that passes I get more and more into skincare. I think my skin now in my early 30’s is prettier and better than it was in my mid-20’s. This was a nice moisturizer and the packaging is so cute. I’m keeping it on my desk at work for added cheerfulness. All of the brand’s products look cute, so I may end up buying a few as stocking stuffer gifts while there’s still a discount code.

15% off Figs & Rouge purchase at www.feelunique.com with code IPSY through 11/30/14.


Starlooks Lip Gloss in Guilty Pleasure ($12).

starlooks lip gloss guilty pleasure swatch

I’m not big into lipgloss, but this was a very nice nude pink color. A little thick and sticky, but pretty typical for a gloss. If you like gloss, this isn’t a bad option.

20% off at http://starlooks.com with code IPSY through 11/30/14.


 

BIRCHBOX

birchbox sample review october 2014


ModelCo Party Proof Lipstick in Kitty ($24 for a set of 3).

modelco party proof lipstick kitty(The lighting was bad here, the lipstick looks lighter than this but I could only photoshop it so much. Sorry!)

I have actually received this same lipstick before in a different shade, and I like it now as much as I liked it then. This is a comfortable, long lasting lipstick in a nude-pink color. It was creamy, moisturizing and comfortable although it isn’t exactly matte. I’d say it’s more of a satin finish.  Nude colors are kind of different on every person’s skintone, but this is what it looks like on a pale, neutral-toned face.

modelco party proof lipstick kitty swatch


BeeKind™ Body Lotion ($15).

This was very clean feeling and absorbed immediately, although I don’t know that my skin felt very moisturized after. Kind of a weird experience, really.


dr. brandt® Exclusive Clean Up Nice Kit ($45 for the whole kit).

The included sample was a pore minimizing mask. You’re supposed to use it frequently to see results, so I can’t comment too much on the efficacy. My skin felt smooth and clean after using, but I’m not sure what the effect was on my pores.


Lord & Berry Paillettes Eye Pencil ($18).
Eh, it’s a mini eyeliner, which is not something I’ll end up using again (those stubby handles are annoying to use!), and it’s not really a product I like anyway. This is a glitter eyeliner, which is already something I’mnot always into, and the base is really lacking in pigmentation. Pass.

jesses girl mineralized plum frost eyeshadow lord and berry paillettes eyeliner swatch


Harvey Prince Petaly Noir ($55).
Perfumes are very individual so take this with a grain of salt, but I now know that I don’t really like Harvey Prince after receiving a ton of Harvey Prince perfume testers in past Birchboxes. They always have an added sweetness to them that doesn’t work for a person of my age. It’s fine for a girl in her teens or early 20’s, but I know a lot of Birchboxers are much older than that, so it’s weird to send this to everyone (it would make more sense for Ipsy, who skews a little younger). All I’m saying is don’t send me wrinkle cream in one box and sugar perfume in the next, Birchbox. Make up your mind of what demographic you’re going for and stick to it! Or at least reference my age in my profile.


 

And finally, here’s a full face look using the Jesse’s Girl eyeshadow, Lord and Berry eyeliner, and ModelCo lipstick.

birchbox and ipsy review october 2014

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May 2014 Ipsy and Birchbox Reviews

I know, I’m late. I also don’t have as much to say about this crop. Sorry. :/

So Ipsy is up first:
ipsy may 2014 products

Eva NYC Therapy Session Hair Mask ($12-$40).
This stuff is legit. It made my hair feel so great, but didn’t weigh it down. I’d buy it again.
65% off at http://eva-nyc.com/ with code IPSY through 6/15/14.

Pacifica Mineral Eyeshadow Duo ($14 for 4).
Aw man, I wanted to like this. Unfortunately, there wasn’t much to like. This shadow duo is oddly matched, the shadow is hard and it isn’t very pigmented at all. Pass.
25% off (can be used on other items) at http://www.pacificaperfume.com with code IPSYBEAUTY through 6/30/14.
pacifica eyeshadow duo natural beauty pacifica eyeshadow swatches

derma e Microdermabrasion Scrub ($32.50).
This stuff was harsh! It didn’t make my skin any smoother than any other scrub I’ve used, either. All pain, moderate gain.
30% off at http://dermae.com/ipsy with code IPSY0514 through 7/31/14.

Olive Natural Beauty The Olive Lip Balm ($5.95).
I did like this. It’s very comfortable and moisturizing with an interesting scent.
20% off + a free gift at http://www.olivenaturalbeauty.com/ with code OLIVEIPSY through 7/15/14.

Hang Ten Classic Sport SPF50 ($12.99).
I love my sunscreen, but this was a little greasy.
25% off at https://hangtensunscreen.com with code IPSY2014 through 6/30/14.


 

Next up, Birchbox:
birchbox may 2014 products

COOLA Environmental Repair Plus® Radical Recovery™ After-Sun Lotion ($32).
This was timely. I was at the park too long today and ended up with a mild burn on my arms. This really worked to soothe and moisturize the burn! I really loved this product, it would be really great for summer travel.

PIXI Beauty Shea Butter Lip Balm ($8).
This was nice. Cute packaging, nice and moisturizing and a perfect summer coral color. This is a lot like Fresh’s Sugar balms, but without the spf (and for a lot less money).
PIXI Beauty Shea Butter Lip Balm coral crushPIXI Beauty Shea Butter Lip Balm coral crush swatch

Caudalie Polyphenol C15 Overnight Detox Oil ($52).
Oooo, so luxurious! This sample was tiny, but it did feel really good. It melted into my skin and I woke up with a soft, smooth complexion.

SmartyPants All-in-One Gummy Vitamins for Adults ($40.64).
These were really good, but tart like citrus. That’s a plus for me, but maybe not for everyone. I’m all for gummy vitamins so I might end up picking up a full bottle.

Smashbox Cosmetics Photo Finish Foundation Primer ($36).
This is the old standby and it’s as good as it ever was. I can always use a travel tube.

 

So there you have it! Not a very makeup heavy month, but still some useful stuff, and Birchbox ended up beating ipsy for once.

April Ipsy Glam Bag and Birchbox Reviews

They’re here!

Let’s start with April’s Ipsy bag, “Beauty Rocks”:

ipsy glam bag april 2014 review

Urban Decay 24/7 Velvet Glide-On Eye Pencil ($20).
This is maybe a shade lighter than the other black 24/7 liners. Like the others, it has great staying power, although I don’t think they need to have this many different black liners (one is enough!). This one’s gimmick is that it has a slightly softer looking finish, a lot like the look of cake liner, so it is good for a smokier look. It also doesn’t go one quite as smoothly as the other UD eyeliners. Weirdly, the liner is slightly crumbly, so it has a lot of fallout. You can just brush it away, but it’s still kind of weird to deal with eyeliner fallout.

urban decay black velvet 24-7 eyeliner fallout

Free gift with $35 purchase on urbandecay.com with code UDIPSY through 4/18/14.

Demeter Jasmine Perfume Oil Roll On ($10).
I love Demeter and I love fragrance rollers, so this was great. It’s a pleasant, every day scent.
20% off any purchase at demeterfragrance.com with code 20ipsydfl through 5/31/14.

dr. brandt microdermabrasion ($78 for full size).
I love these, my winter-torn skin really needs all the help it can get and this made my face feel nice and smooth.
20% off dermabrasion kit + free gift at drbrandtskincare.com with code MICRO20 through 9/31/14.

Elizabeth Mott pop! goes the shadow in champagne ($12.99).
This wasn’t bad, but wasn’t as good as previous Elizabeth Mott products. The texture was average, although longevity was good. I can’t comment on the pigmentation because it’s so close to my skintone. Definitely a worthwhile addition to my bag, but not something I’d spring for on its own.

elizabeth mott pop goes the eyeshadow champagne swatch elizabeth mott pop goes the eyeshadow champagne

50% off any purchase at elizabethmott.com with code IPSYPOP through 6/1/14.

Mary Kay At Play Jelly Lip Gloss in Berry Me ($10).
Meh. I’m not into gloss, and this was a slightly thick, sticky gloss. It does look nice, it provides a really smooth look. The feel and color remind me a lot of the Pop Beauty Aqua Lacquer I got a few months ago, but the Mary Kay texture was much stickier. I’d go with the Pop gloss over this one.

mary kay at play jelly lip gloss berry me mary kay at play jelly lip gloss berry me swatch

No discount code provided.

And here’s the final look with all products!

april ipsy review swatches

 

Other Ipsy offers:
www.cailyncosmetics.com 20% off + free gift with IPSYGIFT through 5/31/14.
www.benefitcosmetics.com free High Beam sample with $30 order with APRILGLAM through 5/15/14.
www.coverfx.com 20% off $50+ purchase with IPSY20 through 6/30/14.
www.rainbowhoney.com 25% off with IPSY through 5/31/14.
www.coastalscents.com 25% off with BRUSH25OFF through 5/31/14.
www.starlooks.com 20% off with IPSY20 through 5/31/14.

 

Next up…
Birchbox took a really long time to get here  this month, and this box was slightly boring to me. It wasn’t *bad*, it just wasn’t super exciting, kind of middle-of-the-road.

april 2014 birchbox review

Camille Beckman Body Butter ($15).
This is the second time I’ve gotten something from this brand, and I really like their products. This smelled fresh and absorbed very cleanly.

Color Club Gala’s Gems Collection ($13 for a set of four).
I liked this a lot. It’s supposed to be inspired by the ’70s and ’80s and I definitely got the retro vibe from this collection of pearlized pastel shades. I got a sample of the shade “Breakfast at…” which is supposed to be pearlized Tiffany Blue, but it’s a bit too green to be quite right. It’s still a pretty shade aside from the failed reference. If I didn’t already have more polish than I can deal with, I would buy this set for sure. This shade actually looks a lot like one of my favorite Sinful Colors polishes, Mint Apple, although that has more of a glass shimmer effect.

color club breakfast at nail lacquer color club breakfast at nail polish sinful colors mint apple color club breakfast at turqouise seafoam green nail polish swatches

Keims Cleanshine Energizing Shampoo ($9.50).
This smelled very nice, which is the only thing I really care about in a shampoo. I don’t understand hair beyond looking for things that say “extra moisture” and “reduces frizz”).

Anastasia Beverly Hills Clear Brow Gel ($22).
This was great, although a clear mascara is the same thing and way cheaper (Like this one from e.l.f. for only $1!). Seriously, why would you ever spend more than $5 max on clear mascara/brow tamer?

KIND Healthy Grain Bars ($11.88 for a box of 15).
Since I’ve been eating low carb for a while, this tasted too sweet to me. It wasn’t a total loss, because my son enjoyed it! The ingredient list is nice, although 6 grams of sugar seems like a lot for a “healthy” item.

kind pumkin seed granola bar(He’s so into it.)

March 2014 Ipsy bag and Birchbox reviews

Look at me being quick and posting my subscription reviews as soon as I get the boxes! And this month’s stuff was REALLY GOOD. I’m really happy with both Ipsy and Birchbox this month. Hooray!

This month’s ipsy glam bag was themed “destination beauty,” although that feels optimistic given  this never-ending winter. ANYWAY, here’s what I got. I really like the bag itself, too. The bags have been going up in quality since I signed up in 2012.

ipsy glam bag march 2014 review

bareMinerals Marvelous Moxie™ Lipstick in Get Ready ($18).
This is very opaque and pigmented and felt nice on. It has a slight shine to it and no sparkle. It’s a good quality lipstick that feels pretty standard for this price range, and I think this shade would work on just about anyone.
Deal: F
ree mascara sample + free shipping on barminerals.com through 4/30/14. This one has an individualized code, so I guess ipsy is getting wise to people like me who share the codes. I’m not using mine, so if you’re interested, here’s my code: P6US-QOEH-3L76-9VDB. This is a one-time code, so first come, first served!

bare minerals marvelous moxie lipstick in get ready bare minerals marvelous moxie lipstick get ready swatched

Nicole by OPI Roughles in “On What Grounds?” ($7.99).
Pronounced like “ruffles,” this is a gritty, concrete-textured polish with little contrast color flecks. It’s a really pretty bright, sky blue. The contrast of the edgy texture and the pretty robin’s egg blue color is pretty fun. I like this a lot, although I’d probably like it just as much without the texture. No discount code.

nicole by opi roughles nail polish in on what groundsnicole by opi roughles nail polish on what grounds swatch

Pacifica Body Butter in Indian Coconut Nectar ($15).
This is water based, so it absorbs cleanly. Pacifica’s scents are usually pretty nice, too. I really liked the coconut scent, but I don’t think it’s for everyone. It smells more like coconut milk than the sweeter coconut scent of suntan oil. Basically, it’s worth buying if you like the scent of coconut.
Deal: 20% off at pacificabeauty.com with code ipsygirl through 4/15/14

Be a Bombshell Bora Bora Eyeshadow Quad ($16).
This was my favorite Be a Bombshell product yet. I wasn’t sure about these shadows at first glance. They don’t feel particularly soft or creamy upon pickup, but when applied they’re very pigmented, blend well and have a really nice pearly-metallic finish. These shades are all available individually on the site for $14 each, so it’s worth looking into their quads to get 3 extra colors for only $2 more. My only complaint is that this collection is very summery, which seems out of place when there’s still snow on the ground here in Chicago. That’s not the product’s fault, though, just an observation. I actually really love this color grouping and think the copper “Rock Bottom” shade is a passable dupe for MAC’s ever popular Amber Lights. And that teal blue! OMG.
Deal: 40% off + free fuchsia lip crayon at beabombshellcosmetics.com ipsy40 through 4/15/14.

be a bombshell eyeshadow quad bora bora
Swatched without primer:
be a bombshell eyeshadow quad bora bora swatches

On eyes with primer + Stila Stay All Day Waterproof Liquid Eye Liner ($20) and Stila MAJOR Major Lash Mascara ($22):
be a bombshell eyeshadow quad bora bora swatch

Other March Ipsy offers:

chella.com 25% through 4/15/14 with code eyeliner.
nyxcosmetics.com 25% off nyx lip butter balm through 4/15/14 with code ipsybb.
pixibeauty.com 25% off through 4/15/14 with code flawlesspixi.

Now on to Birchbox.

birchbox march 2014 review

OmniPotent Duosity Hair Treatment ($25).
I haven’t tried this yet, but my frizzy hair always appreciates a new deep conditioner.

Air Repair Rescue Balm All-Purpose Skin Salve and Lip Balm ($12).
This stuff feels really good, it’s very smooth and melt-y, almost like a foundation primer. It has a really bad smell, though. It’s chemically and a little medicinal, like a gross mouthwash. The scent dissipates within 60 seconds and the moisturizer is pretty heavy duty, so this is something I’d use for super dry lip emergencies, but not for every day use.

Benefit Big Easy in shade 2: light ($38).
This was just a little foil sample, but that’s all I really needed to get an idea for the product. This is actually something I’ve been interested in trying and it lived up to my expectations! It’s smooth like a BB, but quickly dries to a soft, powder finish that looks and feels very natural. It has SPF 35 and medium coverage. I would absolutely buy this.

benefit big easy foundation 2 light  benefit big easy foundation shade 2 lightbenefit big easy foundation review

theBalm® cosmetics How ‘Bout Them Apples? ($32)
I was so excited for this sample! I love The Balm and I love cream blush. These are meant to work on both lips and cheeks, and they actually do work for both purposes. Some products like that are too creamy to work on lips, but this has a much slicker, thinner consistency that really does multitask. It’s sheerer than nost cream blushes or convertible products, but very vibrant. I’ll probably buy this in full size, and this little guy is going to live in my purse from now on.

the balm how bout them apples pie blush sample
Left side: built-up color, Right side: sheered out as much as possible.
the balm how bout them apples pie swatch
In action on both lips and cheeks:
the balm how bout them apples review cream blush in pie

Michael Todd True Organics™ Citrus Cream Moisturizer ($29)
I liked the Michael Todd cleanser ipsy sent me a while ago, so I was pleased to see another product from this brand. This feels light and moisturizing, although the citrus smell is a little bit weird to me. It wears off quickly, at least. My skin definitely felt smooth and soft immediately after application.

Ghirardelli Intense Dark Cherry Tango.
I have no shopping link for this, but you really can’t go wrong if you pick up any Ghirardelli chocolate at the store. It’s also worth noting that birchbox sent this as an “extra sample” and actually stayed true to their word- I got 6 things this month. Sometimes they send something “extra” with a note that it doesn’t replace any of my usual samples, and yet I still get the same number of samples. That’s just silly.

And of course, here’s the final look featuring all of the products from this month’s samples!

march 2014 ipsy and birchbox reviews
be a bombshell eyeshadow risky business starlet rock bottomipsy march 2014 review

January 2014 Ipsy Glam Bag and Birchbox reviews

This was an interesting month. Both my Ipsy and Birchbox were pretty good, but I think I may actually like BB better this time around! Both included some hits and misses, but I think I got my money’s worth from each. Here’s what happened:

Ipsy

january 2014 ipsy glam bag

The zipper on my bag this month was totally destroyed! What’s up with that? 😥

Elizabeth Mott Smooth Shadow $14.99 in Pearl

Elizabeth Mott Smooth Shadow in Pearl swatch

This was very pigmented liner (not shadow, I have no idea why they labeled it that way) and will make a great highlight color to brighten eyes. Perfect for inner corners and lower lashlines. It didn’t photograph as dense as it really is, but I was definitely impressed. It lasted forever, too! So far I’ve gotten this liner and a mascara from Elizabeth Mott and have been hugely impressed with both.
Free black eyeliner at www.elizabethmott.com with code ipsysmooth through 3/1/14.

Apothederm® Bright Skin Serum ($67.50)
This went on well at first and absorbed quickly, but it left some residue that felt filmy on my skin. I think it may have helped with brightness, though? Hard to tell after only a few uses.
30% off plus a purse mirror at www.apothederm.com with code ipsy30 through 2/28/14.

MicaBeauty Tinted Lip Balm ($30) in Natural

MicaBeauty Tinted Lip Balm in Natural swatch

Nice color, more pigment than expected but it doesn’t feel creamy at all. It has a very thin, stain-like feel which was a little confusing in a balm product. I think it would also work as a cream blush, although it may not be blendable enough. Normally it comes packaged with a brush, which is nice (although my sample didn’t have that). I’ve gotten basically this exact same product from Cailyn in red, which makes me think their products are made by the same people.
45% off at www.micabeauty.com with code ipsy45 through 2/28/14.

Absolute! Makeup Cleansing Tissue ($2.50-$$7.99)
These are always useful! I don’t know what else to say.
30% off *any purchase* at www.nicka.com (who have their own cosmetics + nail polishes and not just cleansing cloths) with code ipsy through 2/10/14.

Sexy Hair Healthy Sexy Hair Soy Tri-Wheat Leave In Conditioner ($17.95)
I keep forgetting to use this, but I love the idea of spray in conditioner.
$5 off $25 Sexy Hair purchase at ulta.com with code 108723 through 2/15/14.

 

 

Birchbox

january 2014 birchbox

Burt’s Bees® Intense Hydration Day Lotion ($17.99).
This felt great and absorbed quickly and cleanly. Go Burt! The box also included a coupon for $3 off a Burt’s product.

Serge Normant Meta Revive Dry Conditioner ($25).
I haven’t tried this yet, but I love the idea. I’m already a dry shampoo fan since I am a lazy person, so this just takes my last minute morning prep to the next level.

Harvey Prince Journey ($55).
It’s nice, but a little powdery for my tastes. Perfume is so individual, I don’t know why they even bother with fragrance samples.

INIKA Mineral Eyeshadow ($20) in Eternal Marine.

INIKA Mineral Eyeshadow Eternal Marine swatch

This ended up looking a little more gray than I expected, but I’m ok with that. Really pretty color that works equally well as an intense pigment or a sheer wash. Plus, INIKA is known for being vegan and cruelty-free, so I really like that!

Nail Rock Nail Velvet ($7) in Velvet Navy.

rock beauty london nail rock velvet navy

Nail art is kind of old news at this point, so this felt a little gimmicky to me (I would have been way more excited about this a year ago). While it would be too much to wear this on every nail, I ended up kind of liking the effect as an accent nail. Unfortunately, it was pretty hard to get the velvet flocking even, so my accent nail is a bit patchy. I think a wider mouth container on the velvet jar would have made it easier to properly roll my nail in the fuzzy stuff.

December Ipsy vs Birchbox Review

Sorry, I know, I’m the worst. I haven’t posted these and I’m sorry. What’s worse, I’ve been traveling and haven’t even fully tested all of this stuff! But better late than never, so here’s a brief review of the products I got in my boxes almost a month ago!

Ipsy:

december 2013 ipsy glam bag products

POP Beauty Bright Up Your Life Eye Shadow Trio in Smokin Hot ($24 for a 10-pan palette). This is a sampler from a larger palette. I have mixed feelings about the shades I got: the two lighter shades work well (the gunmetal is particularly nice), but the black was cheap, chalky and under-pigmented. Not sure how the rest of the full palette compares.  Ipsy deal code is for 25% off at www.popbeauty.com with code eyeluvpop through 1/15/14.

pop beauty bright up your life palette smokin hot trio swatch pop beauty bright up your life palette smokin hot trio swatches

Be a Bombshell The One Stick in Girl Crush ($16). This was nice, it’s basically like a skinnier version of NARS the multiple. The color is kind of unusual, it’s a pale, frosty pink. It makes a good blush on my light complexion, but I think it would make a really lovely highlight color on someone with medium to dark skin. Ipsy discount is 40% off and free blush at www.beabombshellcosmetics.com with code ipsy40 through 1/15/14.

Be a Bombshell The One Stick in Girl Crush

Ardell Natural Lash in 120 Demi ($3.99). These are pretty standard false lashes. I’ve used this brand before and like them. Ipsy didn’t provide a sale code for Ardell, sorry. 😦

NYX Extra Creamy Round Lipstick Celene ($3.99). You guys already know that I love this stuff! NYX round lipstick forever! This color is a little light for me, though, so it’s going into the giveaway bag (I promise that will be coming up soon, I had to delay my latest prize drawing due to out of town holiday craziness). Discount is 35% off the slim lip pencil at www.nyxcosmetics.com with code ipsyslim through 1/15/14.

Nicka K New York Nail Color in Classic Taupe ($4.99). This was a nice greige color. The first coat was a little streaky, but the second coat was smooth and fully opaque. Holy hell was this one glossy, and it lasted well. I was very impressed, I thought the formula was very similar to my OCC Nail Lacquer but at half the price. Get 30% off  at www.nicka.com with code IPSY through 1/10/14.

nicka k new york nail laquer classic taupe greige polish

Bonus offers for brands that weren’t in my bag:
J.Cat Beauty- 30% off any purchase at www.jcatbeauty.com with code jcatlips through 1/15/14.
Jesse’s Girl- 30% off any purchase at www.jessesgirlcosmetics.com with code ipsydec2013 through 1/15/14.
Starrily- 20% off at www.starrily.com with code ipsy (no listed exp. date).
Demeter Fragrances- 20% off any purchase at  www.demeterfragrance.com with discount code ipsy20dfl through 1/13/14.

Next up, Birchbox:

december 2013 birchbox products

TONI&GUY Casual Sea Salt Texturising Spray ($16.99). I haven’t used this yet, but I’m a big fan of salt spray. I spritz it on damp hair, scrunch and go for a more controlled version of my natural, frizzy waves.

Manna Kadar Cosmetics sheer glo shimmer lotion ($29). This was a nice, light luminizing liquid. It’s like a thicker version of Benefit’s High Beam.

Camille Beckman Glycerine Hand Therapy™ ($14). This was really hydrating and absorbed well!

Supersmile Ultimate Lip Treatment ($24). This product claims to “hydrate, exfoliate, and heal tired skin.” The idea of exfoliating and moisturize in one step seems odd, but it is somehow simultaneously smooth and every so slightly gritty (like impossibly finely milled liquid sand). It made my lips feel great, but it is also $24. I just can’t justify that price for what is essentially a luxurious chapstick.

Ahmad Teas ($7 for 40 bags). Yum! I love tea, and it was nice that they included 3 flavors to try.

I also want to throw in a quick fabkids shoutout. Look at how cute my December outfits were! $39.95 for one 3-piece outfit, $20 for the second and they’re so fun and well-made! I feel like the fabkids clothes have a lot of personality.

striped shirt plaid punk pants fabkids boy clothes
Ska-punk 90’s throwback!!!

yellow buffalo check plaid shirt goldenrod colored jeans fabkids boys outfits
Craft beer snob in training!

Super Belated Ipsy and Birchbox September Reviews

Ok, so I’m a slacker and I never posted my September Ipsy and Birchbox reviews. I feel bad, because these are some of my favorite posts! My October products just arrived, but I still wanted to share a few thoughts on last month first. Here’s a quick overview of what happened (a little less depth than normal).

Ipsy:

september 2013 ispy glam bag review

Freeman Beauty Facial Paper Mask in Rose ($1.99).
This looked and felt extremely weird, but I thought it really worked! I think you’re supposed to peel the plastic off the paper, which I did, but I looked freaky either way. I hid in the bathroom until the time was up because I didn’t want to scare my family.

Freeman Beauty Facial Paper Mask in Rose scary TOLD YOU.Freeman Beauty Facial Paper Mask Rose skin brighteningNot much better.

After I spent 5 minutes looking like Leatherface (sorry, but it’s true), my skin WAS bright and radiant. So this gets a thumbs up from me, even if it’s weird.
Discount: Get 44% off the Feeling Beautiful Sweet 16 Satchel Set + a free gift through 11/30/13 with code ipsy fb.

Elizabeth Mott It’s So Big Voluminizing Mascara ($19.99).
This stuff looked awesome, but it smudged ever so slightly on my under eye area. This is a major problem I have with most mascaras in general, so this was actually not a terrible result. If you are a normal person who doesn’t get severe mascara smudges with most products, you would probably do pretty well here. I liked this better than most mascaras (and I usually dread mascara samples).
Discount: 50% off any purchase at www.elizabethmott.com through 10/30/13 with code ipsybig.

Cailyn Cosmetics Tinted Lip Balm 08 Big Apple ($19).
I have no idea where they came up with the name “tinted lip balm,” because this is a full coverage matte lipstick. I mean, it’s hard to get much different than that, but whatever. This was actually a great product if you like a retro matte lip. Nice coverage, great pigmentation/opacity and a fun color. It felt a bit dry, but it’s matte lipstick, so that is pretty hard to avoid. The best part was the included lip brush for a precise application any time, any where. I’m into it! The promo code has now expired because I suck and was late posting this. Sorry about that.

cailyn tinted lip balm big apple red lipstick swatch

Starlooks Kohl Eye Pencil in Obsidian ($12).
I was pleasantly surprised by a previous Starlooks lip pencil ipsy sent me a few bags ago, but this eye pencil fell flat. It isn’t AWFUL, but it wasn’t even close to the intensity or creaminess of my UD 24/7 pencil (the standard by which I judge all other eye pencils). Sorry Starlooks, I’m going to pass on this.

Nyx Single Eye Shadow in Charcoal ($4.50).
If you’ve read my blog at all, I don’t need to get into my love for Nyx. As a result, I already have this eyeshadow. That means I need someone to give it to, so this unused shadow is part of the giveaway that I posted yesterday!

Birchbox:

Can it be? I think my Sept Birchbox was actually better than my ipsy bag! Changing my profile settings on bb’s site must have paid off.

september 2013 birchbox birch box review

Ruffian Nail Laquer in Hedge Fund ($10)
This did not appeal to me in the bottle, but I just loved it on my fingers. It’s a really interesting mossy green that’s simultaneously bright and subdued. It has pretty golden glass shimmer and I could not stop staring at it. It reminded me a lot of one of my old 90’s nail polishes, Revlon Street Wear in Toad (remember that line? I was obsessed). Ugh, yes.  And this swatch is only ONE COAT with no base or topcoat. That is some good quality polish.

ruffian nail laquer hedge fund dark olive green polish swatch ruffian nail laquer hedge fund dark moss green polish swatch

Yes To™ Blueberries Cleansing Facial Towelettes ($2.99).
Nothing mindblowing here, but I use facial cleaning towelettes every single day, so it’s always nice to get more. Effective with a nice scent.

Coastal Scents® Neutral Mirage Palette ($24 for a full set of 88 colors).
Hell yes. This quad sampler was so pretty and in fall colors that I just love. Coastal Scents is pretty similar to my beloved BH Cosmetics (I’m guessing they have a common supplier since several of their products are identical), so I knew these would be cheap, intense, and awesome. I combined them with my other box/bag products for a bright fall eye look. Pretty good payoff for a quick swipe and no primer. They’re super blendable, too. I will never stop loving these cheapo multi-color palettes.

coastal scents neutral mirage palette gold eyeshadow coastal scents neutral mirage palette gold eyeshadow cailyn big apple red listicl

(You can see how the Starlooks eyeliner kind of sucks.)

VOESH New York Collagen Gloves ($20 for a 3-pack)
I’ll be honest, I didn’t bother to try these out. They’re lotion-filled manicure gloves and it just sounded too messy. Maybe someday when I’m really bored I’ll open the pack.

Yes To™ Grapefruit  Correct & Repair CC Cream SPF 18 ($15.99)
This stuff was SO GOOD. I was really impressed, this is the first decent BB/CC cream I’ve tried in this price range. Now a word of caution- I liked this because I like very light coverage (more of a tinted moisturizer). If you like a little more coverage, then this isn’t for you. For me, it was perfect.

I got samples in two shades, and I tried the too-dark one first because it was night time and I was saving the lighter shade for actually going out in public. Surprisingly, even though it was dark, it blended down well and while it wasn’t a perfect match, it also wasn’t jarringly clashy. Obviously, the lighter shade was a better match when I got around to using it. The texture was great, it blended right into skin and felt very natural. Not quite as much cover as my Dr. Jart, but a nice, natural-looking enhancer like my Too Faced BB (those reviews are here). I will be buying this in a full size whenever all of my other spf face products run out.

yes to grapefruit cc cream medium swatch texture yes to grapefruit cc cream swatch medium yes to grapefruit cc cream review

And that’s it! October BB/Ipsy review coming soon.