August 2014 Birchbox sample choice –
how they stack up based on ingredients

I was impressed last month when Birchbox gave us a choice of colors on the nail polishes we received. They decided to extend that this month and let us again have a choice on one of the sample items in our boxes but this time it’s bigger than just the color. This time they’re going to let us choose between four products.

So I thought I would go ahead and do the EWG skin deep cosmetics database reports for each of these products now in case anyone wanted factor how healthy they are into their decision making.

* * * * SPOILER ALERT * * * *

.

ewg skindeep cosmetics database score 2ModelCo Bronzer (full size retails for $22.00) Keeping in mind that they often send sample sizes, this one would still be the most expensive to try on your own. This IS free of cones, parabens, and fragrance and other nasties and it ranks a healthy 2 with the cosmetics database.

ewg skindeep cosmetics database score 2Laura Geller Beauty Cool Lids Cream Eyeshadow (full size retails for $19) color me impressed. This is another healthy item at 2 out of 2 ranking a 2 with the cosmetic database. This is a shimmery cream eyeshadow in “silver sands.”

 

ewg skindeep cosmetics database score 3ewg skindeep cosmetics database score 5ewg-skindeep-cosmetics-database-score-unknowntheBalm® cosmetics Stainiac (full size retails for $17.00) this is one of those products that many many people fall in love with that I just wasn’t personally enamored with it. I’ve had this as a sample before and I just didn’t use it. It’s a dual purpose stain and I stick with bronzers for my cheeks so that might be part of it. But it’s a top seller so…

The link in the cosmetics database may be missing some of the ingredients or might be using an older ingredient list so I decided to do a custom report. It does contain fragrance and parabens and but it ranks somewhere between a 3 (using the report above) or a 5 based on the custom report I did using the ingredient list off of the nordstrom website. The ingredient list wasn’t available though birchbox’s website nor through theBalm site. I didn’t want to go dig out my sample because it may actually be old and might not have the current ingredients either… so it’s somewhere between a 3 and a 5.

ewg skindeep cosmetics database score 1Noir Long-Wear Eyeliner (full size retails for $15.00) I actually already own this. It’s a good black eyeliner pencil but I’ve found I’m the weird one who can apply a gel liner faster and better than most pencil liners so I prefer those most of the time. So although I don’t need a backup of this, I’ve kept this one around because it’s a good black pencil liner and it’s a super healthy 1 with the cosmetics database.


 

So I own the last two already. And the first two are a tie when it comes to the ingredient ratings… Surprisingly all of the options are good choices when it comes to the ingredients  (theBalm’s stainiac is the only iffy one and it still isn’t horrendous.)
… Decisions decisions….
Which one do you think you’ll choose? :)


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Ipsy glambag July 2014

Ipsy glambag July 2014

ewg skindeep cosmetics database score 2bareMinerals 5-in-1 BB Advanced Performance Cream Eyeshadow Broad Spectrum SPF 15  - holy cow, a BB cream with no dimethicone! YAY! Granted it’s eyeshadow instead of a foundation but I’m still excited. No fragrance or parabens etc. Ranks a healthy 2 with the cosmetics database. (ps: I have checked and the bareminerals foundation style bb cream has cones. As mentioned in the past, this might be a personal allergy but cones cause my skin to break out.) So the only negative here with the eyeshadow BB cream is that I can’t seem to find a shade name on what I received! I THINK I got the “Divine Wine” but since all of the shared are neutral and very similar it’s hard to tell (as I know print runs are not always perfectly accurate as well.) There’s a chance that I received Barely Nude as ipsy says “ipsy subscribers who receive this product will receive shades Divine Wine or Barely Nude.”

ewg skindeep cosmetics database score 0Befine Food Skin Care Daily Moisturizer with SPF 15 - another one I’m excited to try. Super healthy ingredients – so healthy it actually ranks a zero. Yay!

 

ewg skindeep cosmetics database score 5Hang Ten Dark Tanning Oil SPF 08 - no cones and again with the healthy ingredients! (Really hope we continue to see more brands using healthier ingredients!) But it does rank a 5 with with cosmetics database because of the OCTINOXATE and a couple of other ingredients (flavor? why does this need flavor? Or was the flavor for scent?) Octinoxate is NOT one of the top suncreen ingredients to avoid though. % could be worse but could be better when it comes to sunscreens. Check back to my previous article on sunscreens that includes the top ingredients to avoid: http://clothingcult.com/2013/05/19/find-a-healthier-natural-spf-sunscreen/ And EWG has a specific page to help you find healthy sunscreens here: http://www.ewg.org/2014sunscreen/

ewg skindeep cosmetics database score 6Pixi Beauty Mini Tinted Brilliance Balm in Unique Pink - no cones, no fragrance, no parabens. I’ve been really happy with about half of the pixi beauty products I have. Most wear really well but some shades are just really weird when applied which is the only reason I’m half and half on this company. I can’t remember which product looked chalky on me but one did. HOWEVER I have been regularly using the pixi pink lip balm I received in the May Birchbox which actually came as a surprise to me since usually I grab lip glosses over anything that’s a balm or lipstick. “unique pink” is a “pH reactive pink” but it seems to just be clear on me. Not sure if that’s just me or not. The cosmetics database ranks this as a 6. Mostly for the vitamin A and the limonen which are ingredients that don’t worry me as much personally. So although this ranks higher than I normally would go, I’m still willing to give it a try.

wHet Nail Polish in Facetious - this is a 3-free nail polish which is thankfully becoming the industry standard. It actually looks like it’s a dup for the color club Insta-This nail polish. We’ll see how well it wears!

 


Note on this month’s bag. When I opened my package I thought “what in here am I going to have to throw out?” It’s the cute scalloped bag itself that smells a little bit chemically and toxic. :/

Overall I’m really REALLY happy with this month’s ipsy glambag though! :)


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Zoya Rocha, Wendy & Kitridge swatches
Summer 2014 tickled collection

I recently took advantage of one of Zoya’s three free promos ($12 shipping for three polishes) so I picked up several of the new polishes from the Tickled Collection: Rocha, Wendy & Kitridge. One of the things I haven’t seen would be swatches comparing them side by side so I decided to take some quick photos.

Zoya Rocha, Wendy & Kitridge bottles - via ClothingCult.com

Particularly because when they first arrived in the mail I was concerned I made a mistake in buying all three because in the bottle they looked almost too similar. On my nails though they looked different enough that I was still glad I bought all of them.

(Ignore the tiny little mistakes on the polish – I actually did this quickly in the car. Parked of course.)

Zoya Rocha, Wendy & Kitridge swatches natural light - via ClothingCult.com

I’m in love with the fact that these are all very vibrant and a bit neon.

  • Zoya Kitridge is a vibrant light bubble gum shade.
  • Zoya Wendy is a bright coral or salmon shade.
  • Zoya Rocha is what I’m calling neon red which is actually a bit orange … without really looking orange. Rocha is actually a dead on match for a maxi dress I bought last week and it’s a really happy sophisticated color. (I need to share photos of those dresses on this blog! Oops.)

These polishes are a bit hard to photograph so I decided to take a few photos of them at different angles with slightly different lighting so you can get a better sense of the colors. All photos were done in natural lighting, no flash, no photo editing (other than adding text.)

Zoya Rocha, Wendy & Kitridge swatches shot dark background - via ClothingCult.com Zoya Rocha, Wendy & Kitridge swatches shot light background - via ClothingCult.com

Super happy with these polishes. All three of the colors I can see wearing a lot and they’re good summer colors. They look great against a summer tan.

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Birchbox unboxing July 2014

Birchbox unboxing July 2014

ewg skindeep cosmetics database score 1Cynthia Rowley Beauty Eyeliner – cones rule this one out for me personally. Actually what’s odd is that some of the colors of this eyeliner use cones and some don’t so I had a 50/50 chance of being able to use this. They sent me the black which gets a healthy 1 with the cosmetics database. Which means it sucks that I react to cones by breaking out badly.

RUFFIAN Nail Lacquer – Ambrosia – This shade is a metalic orchid / purple shade. I don’t think it’s a good summer color but I do think I will wear it come fall and winter.

RUFFIAN Nail Lacquer swatch Ambrosia
ewg skindeep cosmetics database score 4RUFFIAN Dressing Room Nail Lacquer Remover Towelettes – while not horrible (no nail polish remover will rank a zero and this isn’t bad at a 4 with the cosmetics database) the added fragrance AND no added healthy oils means I will likely stick with the LA FRESH® Eco Beauty Acetone-Free Nail Polish Removers. They are also a 4 but they have aloe, rosemary extract, vitamin E and a few other things that I’ve liked.

ewg skindeep cosmetics database score 4Naobay Body Radiance Lotion - no cones, no parabens, and many of the ingredients are organic. I’m excited to try this one. One caveate … fragrance (parfum) is hidden in there and I don’t know if it’s from essential oils or not. The description says no synthetic dyes but it doesn’t say no synthetic fragrances. If they want to be truly natural, that needs to be clarified. In the meantime, “Fragrance” gets them some point docked both by myself as well as on the cosmetics database report making this a 4. Still not bad but it would be SO much better if fragrance were from essential oils. And it might be which would mean this would rank better than a 4 if that were the case. It’s just not clear from anything on the Birchbox OR the company website whether or not the fragrance is synthetic or from natural ingredients.

ewg skindeep cosmetics database score 2Real Chemistry Luminous 3-Minute Peel - no cones, no fragrances, no parabens… but I don’t expect this to rank well simply because almost no face peels rank well. So keeping that in mind… wow this actually ranked low! It’s a surprising 2 with the cosmetics database! I love peels and exfoliators so I will likely try this.

ewg skindeep cosmetics database score 2100% Pure Gingerade Shower Gel (Honey Cream Wash) - no cones, excellent ingredient list and is a 2 with the cosmetics database. I’m excited to try this one though I hate little packages like this for the shower. I have to remember to cut them open before I get in the shower because they are nearly impossible to open otherwise particularly after you get your hands wet.

There’s also a magazine subscription bonus in here. A year’s subscription to Women’s Health and it doesn’t look like there’s any strings attached! (I’ll have to read the fine print in a bit.)


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Healthy, Natural and BIRCHBOX!
Ingredient conscious picks category added to their website

Birchbox has added an “ingredient conscious picks category” to their website. I’m so happy! Granted it doesn’t take care of my personal issue with cones / dimethicone (we’ll just call it an allergy until I start seeing people step up and say it’s causing acne for them as well.) BUT it is a MEGA step in the right direction! We put makeup and skin CARE products on daily, shouldn’t those be healthy?

Check it out here: http://www.birchbox.com/shop/featured/ingredient-conscious-picks

Healthy, Natural and BIRCHBOX ingredient conscious category

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Ipsy Glambag June 2014

Ipsy Glambag June 2014  • via ClothingCult.com

ewg skindeep cosmetics database score 4Be A Bombshell Lash Out Mascara - parabens, no cones (an ingredient that rules out makeup for me personally), but it’s not waterproof. Mascara as I’ve said before I will accept a little less healthy for the waterproof tradeoff.   This is a 4 with the skin deep cosmetics database (reminder: low numbers are healthier! with 10 being the worst.)

ewg skindeep cosmetics database score 4DERMAdoctor DD Cream Dermatologically Defining BB Cream with Broad Spectrum SPF 30 - cones rule this one out for me. Ingredients aren’t too bad though with the skin deep consmetics database ranking it a 4.

 

ewg skindeep cosmetics database score 5Marc Anthony Dream Waves Beach Spray - no cones, but it has added fragrance.  This ranks a 5 with the cosmetics database … and would rank lower if they hadn’t added the fragrance. I’m debating giving it a try anyway since I’m curious how it compares to the old discontinued John Frieda Beach Blonde Ocean Waves.

 

ewg skindeep cosmetics database score 3Nicka K New York Shimmer Eyeliner - cones rule this one out for me. It’s fairly healthy though since it ranks a 3 with the cosmetics database.

 

ewg skindeep cosmetics database score 4NYX Butter Gloss in Eclair - no cones but it has added fragrance. I’ll probably give it a shot since it’s only a 4 with the cosmetics database. It would be MUCH healthier if they hadn’t added the fragrance though.

 

(And a very cute patterned Rebecca Minkoff cosmetics bag!)



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Birchbox unboxing June 2014

Birchbox unboxing June 2014 • via ClothingCult.com

Benefit They're Real! Mascara wandewg skindeep cosmetics database score 4Benefit Cosmetics - Benefit They’re Real! Mascara: no cones but not waterproof and I’m not a huge fan of the brush type. I can’t ever seem to get the spiky ones to work as well as the brush type wands. It ranks a 4 with the cosmetics database which is ok though.

ewg skindeep cosmetics database score 2Cynthia Rowley Beauty Creamy Lip Stain in Valentine: cones rule this out for me which is too bad because it’s a cute shade AND it’s a healthy 2 with the skin deep cosmetics database. So healthy and cute but I can’t use it personally.

ewg skindeep cosmetics database score 7English Laundry Signature for Her: no no no. Not only is it a synthetic fragrance but it has even more unhealthy ingredients beyond that. On the plus side though this one came in a sealed pouch so it didn’t kill me when I opened the box so that part’s good. It ranks an unhealthy 7.

ewg skindeep cosmetics database score 3Evologie Stay Clear Cleanser: looks good. It’s ok. I’ve used it for about three days now. Not a miracle worker but seems pretty good. Not too harsh which is one of the problems with many of the acne focused cleansers. It has not caused any problems and I do wonder if it would have better results over time because it’s not harsh. If you want a soap style cleanser this seems like a good choice.  It’s going to be tough for anything to beat the Liz Earle hot wash cleanser though. This ranks a decently healthy 3 with the skin deep cosmetics database.

ewg skindeep cosmetics database score 3Number 4™ Super Comb Prep & Protect cones rules this out for me. If they hadn’t added fragrance though it would be pretty healthy too – it ranks a 3 as well.

 

 


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Natalie Zea short to medium hair (bob) from The Following
{ Season 2, Episode 12, Betrayal }

Natalie Zea short to medium hair (bob) from The Following • via ClothingCult.com

Natalie Zea short to medium hair (bob) from The Following • via ClothingCult.comI’m a little obsessed with Natalie Zea’s (character Claire Matthews) short (er) to medium length curly bob in this episode.

It’s like a shorter version of Connie Britton’s hair and I think it would work well with my hair and be an easier length to manage particularly during the summer. Maybe also look good with a slight ombre / highlights on the bottom (nothing too harsh) or just lightening from summer sun and the pool. :)

 

Natalie Zea short to medium hair (bob) from The Following • via ClothingCult.comI may see if I can find someone who can actually cut my hair for a change as I’ve been cutting my own hair for years. Why? Because of too many stylists no matter the price gave me the exact same cut no matter what I ask for and I could cut my own hair better. I spent $20 and I spent $120 and did not get the cut I asked for really any time I went.

But I don’t think I can pull off this cut on my own so it’s probably time I risk letting someone else try again. I would be armed with a whole series of photos and different angles though so maybe I’ll have better luck? :)

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