April Ipsy and Birchbox reviews

I thought I would do one of these rundowns again after my overly long hiatus. In case you were wondering, I definitely did get some good stuff over the last few months, so that’s not why I was slacking. I just got these this week, so I’m not that late for once. ūüėČ

First of all, can we take a moment to just appreciate how far both of these companies have come in terms of packaging? Soooo cute, especially the Rifle Paper box!
SAM_6596 (2) SAM_6599

You come a long way, ladies.

Ok, review time! Let’s talk about ipsy first. This month had a bohemian theme.
april 2015 ipsy
First is Gállány Cosmetics Lipstick in Petal ($21.50). This lipstick was a pretty color, although I have a few dupes of this shade. It was kind of average. Nothing super special about it, but not a bad product. Not worth $21.50.
gallany lipstick in petalgallany Petal lipstick swatch

Next was Mullein & Sparrow Mini Lip & Cheek Tint ($22).
I was excited about this, but it had almost no color at all on my lips, and my lips are pretty pale. I could detect the tiniest hint of color and that was it. Other than that, it had a nice slick but not sticky feel and was very glossy.

Mullein & Sparrow Mini Lip & Cheek TintMullein & Sparrow Mini Lip and Cheek Tint swatched

theBalm Cosmetics NUDE Dude Eyeshadow Single in Fit ($36 for the full palette).
A sequel to my Nude ‘Tude palette! I really liked the first one, and this edition seems comparable. The shades seem reeeeally similar to the original palette, just warmer.¬†The first palette was¬†good that naturally this¬†extremely similar one is also going to be a¬†good nude palette option. Pretty much everything theBalm makes is a winner. They are one of my favorite sleeper brands that doesn’t get the love they¬†deserve.

the Balm nude dude eyeshadow single
(it’s the bronzey shade in my crease below)
the balm nude dude fit eyeshadow

MicaBeauty Eye Primer ($44.99)
This is a good primer. It’s a large pot, with a very solid feeling formula that would last a long time. It looks good on my skintone and while that means it would be pretty light on darker skin, that can make bold colors stand out really well so it isn’t a bad thing. However, this primer¬†is not worth $45. This was great as a sample, but there’s no way they can be serious with that price.
mica beauty eye primer
L-R, a swatch of the Nude Dude single, then a swatch of the primer, then both.
nude dude fit eyeshadow swatched over primer

JulieG Nail Color in Damsel ($3.99)
Hot pink! This swatch is only one (admittedly thick) coat, and it’s super smooth and opaque! Not a color I would normally wear, but the polish quality is good. It was worth sampling for sure.
Julie  G hot pink nail polish JulieG JulieG Nail Color in damsel swatch


And now onto Birchbox:

april 2015 birchbox review

jane iredale Just Kissed Lip and Cheek Stain in Forever Pink – $25
I like it well enough. It’sone of those “magic” products that goes on clear and adjusts to the right shade for your lips/cheeks. It was very natural looking although it felt slightly waxy on my cheeks. Still looked good, though. You can also see it on my cheeks in the final full face picture at the end of this post.
SAM_6631 (2)

 
Number 4‚ĄĘ Hydrating Shampoo – $34
This stuff is way expensive, but it smells and feels nice. Not in my budget.
Temple Spa Peace Be Still Calming Face & Body Balm – $29
A good, non-greasy moisturizer. Again, a bit pricier than anything I’d buy. I save my splurges for eyeshadow.

Harvey Prince Yogini – $55
I don’t love fragrance samples as I’ve said time and time again with my birchboxes. I also don’t love Harvey Prince¬†fragrances. However, I actually liked this one! I probably wouldn’t buy it, but it was nice.¬†Probably because this one has notes of grapefruit and I’m a big citrus fan.

Supergoop!¬ģ Daily Correct CC Cream ‚ÄčSPF 35+ in light to medium¬†– $32
I’m already a fan of the Supergoop line (you know I am OBSESSED with SPF and that’s kind of their thing) so I was excited to try this. It felt good, covered well and it had a natural finish that made my skin look so smooth. Unfortunately, this was a shade too dark and made me look like I had a spray tan. Fortunately, they make a lighter shade, so I’m interested in buying that once I use up my 5,000 other foundations and BB creams.

SAM_6635 (2) SAM_6639 (2) SAM_6649 (2)

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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‚ĄĘ 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¬ģ 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

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¬ģ Radical Recovery‚ĄĘ 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.

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? ūüė•

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¬ģ¬†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‚Äôs Bees¬ģ 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. ūüė¶

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‚ĄĘ ($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!

November 2013 Ipsy Glam Bag vs Birchbox Review

Review time! Let’s start with Ipsy this month.

november 2013 ipsy glam bag review

I love the gold snakeskin bag with the wristlet strap! It’s obviously not high end, but it would be cute to take out for a night of drinks. This is the first wristlet I’ve gotten from Ipsy and I like how they’ve been experimenting with bag types (I have soooo many at this point).

Em Cosmetics lash gallery lengthening mascara in brown ($20)
I’ve been waiting and waiting for Michelle Phan to break down and finally include an Em product in an ipsy bag. This month she came through… and I got stuck with the only one that I didn’t want, mascara. However, it’s a very nice formula, and I actually really needed a brown mascara since I’ve been doing more natural looks. There are also 6 samples in this month’s bag instead of 5, so who am I to complain?
Em cosmetics: 30% off with code ipsy30 through 11/30/13.

Be a Bombshell Lip Crayon in Hot Damn ($14).
Nice, bright matte red that leans a little pink. I really like these solid stain products, they’re so easy to work with. The color is great and wears well, although it isn’t quite as opaque as a traditional lipstick. I still really like it and think it’s cool how the color almost integrates into your lips instead of just sitting on top of them.

Be a Bombshell Lip Crayon in Hot DamnBe a Bombshell Lip Crayon Hot Damn swatch pinkish red

Be a Bombshell: 40% off any purchase AND a free lip gloss with code ipsy40 through 12/15/13.

Nailtini Straight Up Color Nail Lacquer in Caviar Cocktail ($13).
Yaaaaay, more Nailtini nail polish! I love them so much. This one is a really pretty metallic gunmetal, although it is basically identical to the the nail polish I got from Birchbox this month. See?

color club Cocktail Hour Collection dark and stormy Nailtini Straight Up Color Nail Laquer Caviar Cocktail
Tini Beauty: 50% off a $25 purchase AND a free eyeliner with code ipsy4glam through 12/31/13. This is a super good deal!

Pixi Beauty Bronzer in Subtly Suntouched ($18).
A nice, subtle, matte bronzer. Very blendable, not overpowering, although I’m guessing this shade would only show up on really pale girls like me. This is great for contouring, and even better when paired with the highlighting crayon from this month’s Birchbox!
Pixi Beauty: 25% off with code bronzepixi through 12/15/13.

Starlooks Gem Eye Pencils ($14).
So far I’ve gotten a Starlooks lip pencil that was good, then a Starlooks black eyeliner that wasn’t so great, and today I got this lavender glitter liner and didn’t know what to expect. It ended up being great! Very smooth, very glittery but no fallout. It’s a very light purple color, so it doesn’t completely stand alone, but it’s an excellent accent color.

starlooks gem eye pencil amethyst purple glitter eyeliner

Starlooks: 40% off with code ipsy through 12/15/13.

HSI Professional Argan Oil ($29.99).
I can always use more Argan oil, although I have quite a lot at this point. If you don’t, then this discount code might be a good time to try it out.
HSI Professional: 50% off with code ipsy50ss through 12/20/13.

Additional codes from this month’s bag:
Cailyn Cosmetics: 30% off any purchase with code ipsy30 through 12/15/13.
BH Cosmetics Galaxy Chic Baked Eyeshadow Palette 20% off with code ipsy20 through 12/31/13.

And here’s November’s Birchbox:

november 2013 birchbox review

Color Club¬ģ Cocktail Hour Collection¬†in Dark n’ Stormy ($8).
Yeah, so I love the color and I love Color Club’s formula, but how funny is it that it’s so close to my ipsy polish? Here they are swatched side by side. Nailtini Caviar Cocktail is on my thumb and Color Club Dark n’ Stormy is on my index finger. Dark n’ Stormy leans slightly bluer while Caviar Cocktail is a truer grey.

color club Cocktail Hour Collection dark and stormy swatch Nailtini Straight Up Color Nail Laquer Caviar Cocktail

Chella Highlighter Pencil in Ivory Lace ($18).
More full sized stuff (and a frequent ipsy brand). This is super great, I’ve gotten more into highlighting, so this is nice for when I’m on the run and don’t want to pack a highlighting powder and brush. It’s matte, so it’s sort of like a concealer pencil. As such, I used it to line the outside of my lips to prevent feathering. Multi-tasker! This also comes in different colors to match different skintones, which I love.

It’s a 10¬ģ Miracle Leave-In Product ($11.69).
Miracle? I dunno about miraculous, but it does leave my hair smooth and soft. I do like it, and was happy to get a full size product from Birchbox.

Tiossan Body Cream ($38).
It’s a whipped lotion, although it has a pleasant, light scent. It definitely moisturizes and absorbs well, I just wouldn’t pay 40 bucks. I’m also super cheap.

Chuao Chocolatier Chocolate Bars in Pop Corn Pop ($6).
Ooooo, I’m on a super strict low carb diet (keto forever!) so I was going to give it to someone. Then again, I also feel like I deserve to break the diet from time to time. The last few days have been stressful and I really needed a special treat, so this was a good way to be bad, but not too bad. The chocolate was so tasty and it had pop rocks in it! Totally worth the sugar.

And now we have swatches. L-R we have blended Chella pencil, Unblended Chella, Starlooks Gem Liner, Be a Bomshell Hot Damn Chubby Lip Pencil and the Pixi pronzer, which you basically can’t see (it is subtle, but in person it works).

november 2013 ipsy glam bag birchbox swatches

My arm is actually even paler than my face, so these swatches are slightly skewed. Below you can see all of my November products in action:
ispy november 2013 review Be a Bombshell Lip Crayon Hot Damn

October Birchbox and Ipsy Reviews!

Now that we’re caught up again, here are my more recent Birchbox and Ipsy experiences. Back on schedule, y’all!

First up is Ipsy.

october 2013 ipsy glam bag

Zoya Nail Polish in Neve ($8) zoya neve fall 2013 chashmeres and satin collection royal navy blue nailpolish

When I first saw the Fall 2013 Cashmeres and Satins Collection, this is the color that really jumped out at me. I’m so excited to ¬†have it! It’s a glossy blue with purple shimmer. Very rich looking and great application/coverage (like all Zoyas). Discount: Buy 2 get 1 free plus free remover at Zoya.com with code ipsyz3 through 11/10/13.

Wet n Wild Fergie Collection Photo Op Eyeshadow in Desert Festival ($4.99).

wet n wild fergie photo op eyeshadow desert festival packaging (2) wet n wild fergie photo op eyeshadow desert festival packaging (1)

I was apprehensive about this one because people used to rave about the awesome quality of Wet n’ Wild shadows, but then the reviews took a turn for the worse. The colors are so pretty in the packaging, so it can’t be all bad, right?

No, it wasn’t as bad as I’d feared, although it wasn’t awesome, either. The pigmentation was actually pretty good for the price, although the shimmery brown ended up being more of a black with brown sparkle and the sparkle disappeared immediately upon application. I was really excited once I saw the pigmentation of my initial swatches: wet n wild fergie photo op eyeshadow desert festival swatches

Unfortunately, both of the brown colors ended up with a really uneven finish and were basically impossible to work with. BOTH TIMES I tried to add the brown shadows in, I got a muddy, smudgy mess. That’s right, it was so bad the first time that I washed it off and started over, only to end up with another disaster. Horrible.

wet n wild fergie photo op eyeshadow desert festival swatch on eyes
This is the best I could do. Note the muddled color and uneven coverage. The brown got EVERYWHERE and was impossible to control.

The orange shades and beige highlight were pretty decent, though. Maybe not quite as good as BH Cosmetics or Coastal Scents, but pretty close, and definitely better than most drugstore products. It would certainly do in a pinch. wet n wild fergie photo op eyeshadow desert festival orange swatch

All in all, I wouldn’t really recommend this one unless you don’t mind sticking just to the light colors and leaving the two dark shades alone. Ipsy also didn’t provide a Wet ‘n’ Wild discount this month. I guess these are cheap enough already.

Coastal Scents Medium Eyeshadow brush ($2.50).

This brush looks great and I do love Coastal Scents, but I have several similar brushes already. I think I’ll put this away for a future giveaway. There’s a nice discount, though: 25% off at coastalscents.com with code CS25 through 11/17/13.

Sexy Hair Spray Clay Texturizing Spray Clay ($18.95, $8 for travel size).

Another product I would never buy for myself but that could come in handy for following hair tutorials. I’ll let you know if I end up trying this. I’m pretty excited about it.
Discount: $5 off $25 sexy hair purchase at ulta.com with code 105339 through 11/15/13.

La Fresh¬†Eco-Beauty Oil-Free Face Cleanser Wipes ($9.99). Like last month’s cleansing towelettes, these are pretty standard but I can always use more. It’s useful and still a worthwhile thing to get if not the most exciting item. Discount: 30% off at¬†http://lafreshgroup.com¬†with code ipsylove30 through 11/15/13.

And now BB. This Birchbox was weird. Not bad, just weird? I mean, one of my items was a washcloth.

october 2013 birchbox samples

Liz Earle Cleanse & Polish‚ĄĘ Hot Cloth Cleanser Starter Kit ($24.50). You can also buy the “Pure Muslin Cloth” separately ($6.99 for 2).

This cleanser was nice, and the muslin cloth helped to exfoliate I guess, but the cloths don’t last long and you’re out of your mind if you think I’ll keep shelling out $3.50 a piece for the *special washcloth*. Come on, Momma didn’t raise no fool.

Alison Raffaele Reality Base Foundation ($38.00).

Alison Raffaele Reality Base Foundation skintone 3 sample birchbox
This is so tiny. I mean, I’ve gotten plenty of samples this tiny before, but the packaging just makes it look hilarious. ANYWAY, it also wasn’t good, so I don’t mind the small size. The shade was off (which is BB’s fault and not the makeup’s) but it also simultaneously didn’t cover well AND showed up in my pores, if that makes sense.

Alison Raffaele Reality Base Foundation textureYuckkkk. Looks like flaky skin.

I would never, ever use this. I got weirdly angry about how bad it was considering the price.

POP Beauty Aqua Lacquer in Flowering Fuchsia ($14). pop beauty aqua laquer lip gloss flowering fuchsia packaging paddle applicator

This one had a super weird applicator. It looks like it would have a standard nozzle applicator, but instead it’s a weird plastic paddle, almost like a doe foot applicator was supposed to be there but then the felt slipped off. I’m not really into glosses any more, but I thought I’d give this a shot. pop beauty aqua laquer lip gloss flowering fuchsia swatch

It wasn’t bad. The color is definitely nice and it had surprisingly decent staying power for a gloss. It wasn’t sticky, yet it felt thick, which was kind of strange. I guess I’ll keep it around for days that I feel like jazzing up my lipstick, but honestly I doubt I’ll use it much right now since it’s more of a summer product.

ChapStick¬ģ Hydration Lock ($2.99).

BB is making a foray into the world of cheaper products, which is nice. I like getting samples from both ends of the spectrum, and there were times when BB felt pretty out of touch with younger buyers. The last few boxes have been much more democratic. That said, this Chapstick was very hydrating. It claims to make lips appear plumper and while I couldn’t be sure of that, my lips did feel soft and smooth. BB also included a coupon for $1 off more Chapstick.

Another point that I wanted to make – BB made a big fuss on their sneak peek video and on a note in the box about how the Chapstick was a bonus item and did not replace any of my 5 samples, but I still only received total 5 items (4 if you count the face wash/washcloth as a set), so that’s a lie. I’m fine with what I got, but I don’t feel like they were completely true to their word.