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)


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.)

February 2014 Ipsy review

It’s not my fault that I’m running late on my February reviews, my Birchbox has been lost in the mail, so I held off in hopes of reviewing it as well! This is not the first time one of my Birchboxes has gone missing, too. If nothing else, I can at least share my other subscription services.

February’s¬†Ipsy¬†Glam Bag:

february 2014 ipsy glam bag

Zoya Nail Polish in Odette ($8).
Zoya polish is always a winner. This is a nice purple that’s sort of bright and moody at the same time. It’s a grey-pink-mauve-plum sort of a shade and I really like it. Seems like a slightly warmer dupe for OPI’s “Parlez Vou OPI?”.

Zoya Nail Polish in Odette

Ipsy discount code: Buy 2 polishes, get 1 polish + remover free at zoya.com with code ipsyzp4 through 3/15/14.

POP Beauty Plump Pout in Peony Petal ($16).
Not bad! This is very opaque and shiny, the coverage is nice and it isn’t too sticky. It’s still slightly more tacky than regular lipstick when first applied, but wears down to a softer finish after a little while. I like it.

POP Beauty Plump Pout in Peony Petal POP Beauty Plump Pout lip gloss Peony Petal swatch

Coupon code: 25% off any purchase at popbeauty.com with code poppingpout through 3/15/14.

Tini Beauty Eyetini Cordial Cream Shadow + Base In One in Spiced Rum ($18).
I love ‘Tini nail polishes and have been interested in trying out other products from the brand. This cream shadow was really intense and pigmented, and it LASTS. It took me forever to scrub the swatches off my arm! It’s nice on its own as a highly pigmented metallic shadow, or as a base for a similar powder shadow. Also easy to blend out as long as you only apply a small amount and blend with fingers.

Tini Beauty Eyetini Cordial Cream Shadow + Base In One in Spiced Rum Tini Beauty Eyetini Cordial Cream Shadow + Base In One swatches in Spiced Rum

50% off any purchase AND a free nail polish at tinibeauty.com through 4/10/14 with code ipsylove.

NuMe Intense Renewal Mask ($29.99).
This definitely made my hair feel nice and smooth after I used it.

50% off plus free shipping AND curling wand at numeproducts.com with code nipsyparty50 through 5/11/14.

City Color Be Matte Blush in Fresh Melon ($2.99)
This was very pigmented and felt smooth, but the color was pretty intense on me. Good option if you’re on a budget (lots of pigment and no cheap looking shimmer!), but sometimes a little less pigment in blush can be nice for a more diffused look instead of kind of a harsh edge. I’ll keep using this, but next time I’ll remember to only use the tiniest little bit and with a fluffier brush.

City Color Be Matte Blush in Fresh Melon

20% off entire purchase at citycolorbeauty.com through 3/15/14 with 14ipsy20.

And here’s a full face look with all three of the color cosmetics!

february 2014 ipsy glam bag look and product swatches

Birchbox¬†didn’t show up, but here’s what was apparently in the February box:

COOLA Tinted Matte SPF 30 for Face ($36). These are always great to throw in my bag for a weekend trip.
Ruby Wing Color Changing Nail Polish ($10). This is a little silly, but I am strangely into it and hope it shows up.
Smashbox Cosmetics Full Exposure Mascara ($19.50). Eh.
Smashbox Cosmetics Full Exposure Palette¬†($49).¬†Ummmm, this sample is actually eyeshadow samples on a piece of cardstock. What’s up with these sucky freebie samples? I’m very interested in trying this palette out, but this is not an accurate way to sample.
Beauty Protector Protect & Oil¬†($25.95). It’s an Argan oil spray, which sounds nice.

And since I have no Birchbox pics, here are pictures of my February Barkbox and Citrus Lane Box, which were both good! Better luck next month.

February Barkbox Products:

february 2014 barkbox large breed dogs

February Citrus Lane Box:

february 2014 citrus lane box 3 year old

August Birchbox vs. Ipsy Glam Bag Review

Finally. I’ve been studying for finals/travelling/busbusybusy and have been slacking on the blawg. Sorry! I definitely have a backlog of things to share with you, but let’s start with my August Ipsy Glam Bag and Birchbox reviews.

Ok. So I think switching some things around on my Birchbox profile last month has actually improved my latest box! I lowered my household income and reduced the number of skincare concerns that I have, and now I’m eligible for makeup again. Yay! My BB was much improved this month. The box was curated by¬†Ann Taylor, although I didn’t notice the connection between the store and this month’s products.

august 2013 birchbox ann taylor edition

First up,¬†ModelCo Party Proof Lipstick ($24 for a pack of three). I was actually planning to buy this on my own, so I was super, duper excited to get one in my box. The packaging was so cute, which is an extra plus in my book! My shade was Disco Fever, a punchy orange. As you may have noticed, I will never, ever turn down orange makeup, so this is a good thing. It actually looks just like OCC Electric Grandma minus the sparkle (so maybe like regular Grandma?). Maybe a tad matte-er than I would like, because up close you can see that the coverage gets a little funky and uneven. It’s only visible if you are RIGHT UP ON MY FACE, but still. I most prefer a creamy pseudo-matte for that reason, although the matteness here does help with longevity. As you can see, this lipstick also stands alone without any other makeup, which is faaaaan-tastic. I do love a bright lip when I’m feeling lazy.

modelco matte party proof lipstick disco fever swatch orange coral neon peach lips
modelco party proof matte lipstick disco fever tube package design packaging modelco party proof matte lipstick disco fever orange coral lips swatch

Next, Dr. Jart+ Premium Beauty Balm SPF 45+ ($39). I really like this stuff already, but since I do so much traveling I could always use a mini. For a full review, see my BB cream review here.

Violet Oasis 100% Organic Argan Oil¬†($39.95). This stuff felt really nice! Very smooth, and my skin felt great when I woke up in the morning. You can’t go wrong with Argan Oil.

TanTowel¬ģ Classic Formula Self-Tan Towelettes Half Body ($24 for a pack of ten). I’m sure this is great, although I am getting tired of the endless self-tanning products from BB. Maybe I need to deactivate “spf” as a skin concern as well? I can handle one self-tanner a year, that’s about it. Pale and proud.

Jasmine Seven‚ĄĘ Wipes ($9.95 for 30). Hand and foot cleaning antibacterial wipes? This was a really weird choice for a Birchbox product, but it’s a pretty nice thing to have and I’m keeping it in my purse anyway. It’ll probably come in handy for cleaning my hands after commuting on the train. People can be kind of icky on the El.

ipsy august 2013 glam bag glamour academy products

Ipsy was also good. This bag was “Glamour Academy” themed, and included essentially a full-face look. Thoughtful. After testing everything out, I decided that the products combined made me feel like Cara¬†Delevingne (all about the brows), so here’s my wild-eyed Cara impression, starring everything from my August bag. I do what I want.

august 2013 ipsy glam bag glamour acadamy cara delevingne inspired
But seriously, there are some good things happening when you look at my normal face. See?mica beauty bronze mineral eyeshadow urban decay revolution lipstick anarchy swatch dark hair fair pale skin

Urban Decay Revolution Lipstick in Anarchy¬†($22). Holy ish, I was skeptical, but this stuff lives up to the hype. It’s incredibly pigmented and opaque after one coat, it’s creamy, and it makes my lips look smoother. I will definitely be buying a couple of these in full size. The Ipsy promo code discount was not great (free shipping with lipstick purchase – code: IPSY), so I would recommend buying at Sephora, Ulta or Beauty.com instead because they have automatic free shipping and WAY better specials.

urban decay revolution lipstick swatch shade anarchy hot pink bright neon lipsurban decay revolution lipstick swatch shade anarchy hot pink fuschia

Bonus wear test:¬†I washed my face later on in the night with a charcoal exfoliator (more on that in a minute) and inadvertently tested the longevity. Obviously I wasn’t exfoliating my lips, but I did rub them pretty well with water. While the creaminess went away, I was impressed with how much the stain and a little balminess remained. See?
urban decay revolution lipstick anarchy wear test longevity

Pixi Beauty¬†Lash Booster Mascara in Blackest Black ($17). Meh, this wasn’t bad, but it didn’t blow me away. Sometimes mascara samples don’t do the full size tubes justice, but this mascara wasn’t as intense as I would have liked. If you like Pixi products, definitely check out the special offer. 20% off at pixibeauty.com¬†with code pixi+ipsy through 9/1/13.

MicaBeauty Cosmetics Mineral Eyeshadow in Bronze ($14.95). This was very pretty! A nice golden copper color with a lot of metallic shimmer. It had nice color payoff even without a primer, but still blended well. 25% off at micabeauty.com with code ipsy25 through 8/31/13.

Chella Dazzling Dark Brown Eyebrow Color Pencil ($18). This was quite nice. I usually use a brow powder, but this pencil is more convenient for travel and has a nice, dark color. I especially like how fine the tip is, for a more natural look. Today, however, I went for a more intense brow, just to see how far I could take the color. Not bad! Very Delevingne-esque. Get 20% off with code BROWPENCIL through 9/15/13.

Michael Todd¬†Jojoba Charcoal Gentle Exfoliating Facial Scrub ($18). The nice thing about this cleanser is that it promises to exfoliate without causing microlacerations. These tiny scrapes can actually widen pores, so it’s important to be careful when exfoliating. It’s black, so that’s a little jarring, but the texture is so creamy it feels whipped and it’s really comfortable. It took a long time to wash all of the grit away, but when I did, my skin felt extremely smooth. I’d definitely use it again.¬†Get 30% off with code AUGIPSY through 9/30/13.
Michael Todd Jojoba Charcoal Gentle Exfoliating Facial Scrub texture