Mary Kay At Play® Eye Crayon – first ingredient is dimethicone so this product is out for me personally. Reminder, cones cause my skin to break out for some reason. No parabens, no fragrance but it does contain aluminum powder. It ranks a 4 with the EWG skin deep cosmetics database. Not great but not bad.
Coolway Glow Oil Treatment – second ingredient is dimethicone, also out for me. Along with dimethicone it also includes fragrance and ranks a 5 with the EWG skin deep cosmetics database. There are a lot of better oil and hair treatment options out there. Also one of the things about cones (for those that aren’t allergic) they may make your hair look good the first few uses but they can be not so great for your hair over time.
NYX Cosmetics Butter Lipstick – no cones, no parabens, but it does have fragrance/parfum. It also doesn’t have mineral oil or parafin which, although not toxic, are ingredients that don’t feel right on my skin. So I could technically use it but it’s also a VERY purple shade. Going back to the EWG skin deep score on this one and it’s just not healthy. It’s a 7 due to many of the other ingredients used. So nope, not using this one.
LANEIGE BB Cushion – more cones so again this one is out for me. No parabens but it does include fragrance again. When I started to run it through the cosmetics database custom score builder I ended up with it having problems finding the following:
skyn ICELAND Hydro Cool Firming Eye Gels – no cones, no parabens, no fragrances/parfumes added. So far so good here. And an EWG skin deep report shows this as a healthy 2 and a closer look at the ingredients and everything looks pretty good. Healthy and gentle is something you want with the more delicate skin around the eyes. Definitely going to give these a try.
Product details and rating are below my Birchbox vs Ipsy August 2013 unboxing video:
Birchbox August 2013
Curly Hair Solutions™ Curl Keeper – no cones yay! A custom report with the cosmetics database returns a 4 which is ok but it would probably rank lower if they didn’t have synthetic fragrance which as an ingredient on it’s own is an unhealthy 8. As long as it doesn’t make my nose curl though I will be trying this one but I would encourage the company to consider going with natural fragrance sources or no fragrance. 4/5 stars – docked one for fragrance
Whish Hair Inhibiting Deodorant Swipes – anything “hair inhibiting” creeps me out a little. And although this has a lot of natural ingredients, it also has a lot of questionable ingredients. One ingredient didn’t even register with EWG which was Amino-esters. This one is one that although it doesn’t have a lot of the usual suspects when it comes to ingredients I avoid but it’s a 7 based on a custom report and fragrance isn’t the only ingredient that concerns me a little. Plus if it’s supposed to help inhibit hair growth, how are you going to be able to tell if that’s actually happening with one wipe? I think I’m going to pass on this one. 0/5 stars (creepy and toxic! in my opinion…)
Whish Exfoliating Body Wash in Coconut Milk – So this product is a winner in the quality ingredients category with the exception of about 4 ingredients. The overall score for a custom report was a 4 with the cosmetics database but the four ingredients that on their own rank a lot higher are: fragrance (again), geraniol (which is a natural fragrance but possible allergen … I’m not too concerned about this one personally), citral (which is a skin irritant … but it’s natural and I suspect they are using this as a natural preservative), limonene (again natural, again low on the list and I suspect used for preserving.) So overall other than the synthetic fragrance on this one this is a good one. I’m going to give it a try. 4/5 stars – docked one for fragrance
OC8® Professional Mattifying Gel – holy cow I’m actually excited about this one. No cones, no parabens, no fragrances, no other major nasties AND it ranks a 2 with the cosmetics database! AND mattifying products are something I’ve been casually looking for. Birchbox you are redeeming yourself with this one! 5/5 stars
CAILYN Cosmetics Gel Eyeliner – dimethicone is on the ingredient label. Here’s the thing though, on their website the ingredient list does not include dimethicone so I’m wondering if a) they haven’t updated their labels, b) this is an old batch of eyeliners c) well it’s possible they missed it in the ingredient list on their website. I sent them an email and I’m waiting to hear back. MEANWHILE there is a redeeming quality here – the brush lid that it comes with fits my Mica Beauty eyeliner jar! So I’m going to give the brush a try. Honestly these two look so similar that it makes me wonder (if the ingredients don’t actually include dimethicone) if Mica Beauty and Cailyn are using the same supplier. 3/5 stars Response from the company about the ingredients: “We are updating our website recently and the new ingredients hasn’t [sic] been updated yet in the ingredients section. I apology for the confusion. The ingredient label in the gel eyeliner label is the most updated one.”
Ann Taylor discount codes … so I’m going to treat this like the ipsy bag and not count it in the star rating because I do have to still spend money for this to be of benefit but I did just want to quickly mention it. 20% off one product or 30% off two or more products from Ann Taylor. Valid from August 12 – Sept 16 2013. I’m wondering if this can also be used with Ann Taylor Loft but it’s a nice little extra here since I like the brand. UPDATE: Nope, it doesn’t work on the Ann Taylor Loft site.
Ipsy August 2013:
Pixi Beauty Lash Booster Mascara in Blackest Black good looking set of ingredients, no dimethicone, no fragrances AND after checking out there website I found out it’s waterproof which I prefer. Waterproof mascara is one of the few times I will accept a slightly less healthy score since I have yet to find a natural AND waterproof mascara rolled into one. But I don’t have to sacrifice on this one because it’s score is only a 3 with a custom report on the ingredients. I will probably be doing a waterproof mascara review post sometime in the near future. 5/5 stars
Michael Todd Jojoba Charcoal Gentle Exfoliating Facial Scrub excellent list of ingredients. Michael Todd True Organics – I’ll have to do a little research and see how organic this brand is but this particular product has no dimethicone, no parabens, no synthetic fragrances, no other toxic ingredients. It’s a 3 on a custom cosmetics database report. I’m a big fan of facial scrubs so I’m really looking forward to this one. Stress and dimethicone have the biggest effect on worsening my breakouts but exfoliating either with a scrub or something like an exfoliating glove helps to keep breakouts at bay when stress and dimethicone aren’t playing a role. 5/5 stars
City Color Cheek Stain dimethicone and parabens and paraffin and synthetic wax – this one isn’t natural or as healthy for you. It’s only a 4 with the cosmetics database (keeping in mind one ingredient wasn’t found in the database) but because of the demethicone though I’m not going to be trying this one. 0/5 stars
noya Lip Balm excellent list of ingredients. I’ve already tried this one and it’s REALLY moisturizing. I’ve been leaning towards lip glosses more instead of chapstick types more lately though so I’m not sure how much use this will get. I’m going to throw it on the desk and see if I end up reaching for it. It’s a really good quality product though and rates a 1 with a custom report (natural flavor shows up as “flavor” and as such I think this is a real world zero for being healthy.) 5/5 stars
Pacifica Alight Multi-Mineral BB Cream LOVE this brand and with them I feel fairly certain (given their stance on fragrances and the fact that they started out as a natural fragrance company) that when the ingredients say “fragrance” they aren’t likely to mean synthetic. However this product has dimethicone in it so this product is ruled out for me. IF however you are looking for a BB Cream, I hear this one matches skin tones well and has a dewy shimmeryness to it so if that’s your cup of tea, you might want to give this a go. A custom report ends up getting it a 4 BUT it doesn’t distinguish that this company only uses natural sources for fragrance so I re-ran the report without “fragrance” and it gets a 2 which is more realistic for this product. For the box and how this product fits for me I give it 1/5 stars – I gave it a star because if it simply didn’t have dimethicone in it I would try it in a heartbeat.
August Birchbox 2013: 3.2/5 stars
August Ipsy 2013: 3.2/5 stars
We’re on pretty even ground for the two boxes this month and I’m really happy with the selection that I got from both Birchbox AND Ipsy this month. For only $10 per box I got a variety of products that I’m actually interested in trying and I’m introduced to several new brands I’ve never heard of before that I’m going to check out to see what else they carry. 🙂
Unboxing video for both the July Birchbox as well as the July Ipsy:
In my July 2013 Birchbox:
Marcelle BB Cream Golden Glow – perfume free is a pro on this one … but there are two forms of dimethicone in this. Some good ingredients in this and some ingredients I recognize to not be so healthy. I can’t find the ingredient list online to copy and paste and it’s rather lengthy so I’m not going to run it through the cosmetic database for a score (it’s not in there without the custom report.) 0/5 stars
Dr. Jart+ Ceramidin Cream – I don’t know how accurate or current this ingredient list is but it does say there is dimethicone which rules it out for me personally. There are too many ingredients here for me to type it all into the cosmetic database for you to check the score to see if it is otherwise healthy for you. Generally it doesn’t look too bad but for me this is a 0/5 stars (Can more companies or Birchbox start posting full ingredient lists online in a way that’s more accessible? This gets frustrating even outside of Birchbox at times.)
Beauty Protector Protect & Shampoo – fragrance and two types of dimethicone. Custom cosmetics database report on the ingredients brings it up as a 6 which is not exactly healthy either. 0/5 stars
Beauty Protector Protect & Condition – fragrance and dimethicone. Custom cosmetics database report on the ingredients brings it up as a 5 so again not exactly healthy either. 0/5 stars
FRAIS™ Towelettes Individuals – amazing ingredients but I think this has to be one of the most expensive per use products to date. Cosmetics database ranks it a 2 which is excellent and there are a lot of healthy oils and other ingredients in this AND it’s supposed to remove waterproof mascara. However most makeup remover, moisturizing facial towelettes come in packages of 30 for between $6-$10 (so at most about $0.33 each.) This is $8 for a package of 7 towelettes! ($1.42 per use!) Since it’s individual packets I do think this might be good for travel but … I just can’t see using this regularly. Then again Birchbox hooked me on the LA Fresh nail polish removers for $0.50 a pop when regular bottles of nailpolish removers are only a couple of dollars and last an untold number of uses. So we shall see. Since I haven’t docked any others for price I’m going to leave this at 5/5 stars
In my July 2013 Ipsy:
POP Beauty – Pouty Pop Crayon in Coral Crush – No dimeticone but it does use fragrance and petrolatum and mineral oil. A custom cosmetics database report brings it up as a 4. Between that and the fact it doesn’t have dimethicone I’m going to give it a try. It’s not super healthy but it’s … ok. If the manufacturer would skip the fragrance it would bring it’s score down quite a bit and be healthier even though it still would still not count as a natural product. I have tried this on and the shade is a little odd on me … I’m still undecided on it. 3/5 stars
BH Cosmetics California Collection Eyeshadow Sample – mineral oil, talc, parabens. Meh moving on. I know I don’t want to use it. 0/5 stars
COOLA Mineral Face SPF 20 Unscented Moisturizer – I checked out this company’s full line back when I received the COOLA Classic SPF 30 Cucumber Moisturizer for Face back in the May Birchbox and pretty much everything looked awesome. So good in fact that I bought the unscented sport sunblock already but had been hoping to try the unscented face spf at some point. Scents right on your face can get a little old quickly if you aren’t in love with them and I wanted to see if this was something that worked better for say somewhere you might be out all day that isn’t the beach. 5/5 stars
Sexy Hair – Weather Proof Humidity Resistant Spray – at first glance I thought “well it’s only the fragrance I’m annoyed about. Then I ran it through a custom report with EWG’s skin deep cosmetic database and ended up with a 10 … TEN out of ten for highly hazardous ingredients. Bah! Ten is the worst possible score! But no dimethicone in this one… ugh. 0/5 stars
derma e – Microdermabrasion Scrub – 100% vegan, cruelty-free, paraben-free, sulfate-free, mineral oil-free, glycol-free, lanolin-free, gluten free, GMO-free. No dimethicone or synthetic fragrance either (it does have a natural scent to it that smells fairly lemony.) And it ranks a measly 2 with the cosmetic database so this is a winner for being a healthy product and I look forward to trying it. Fingers crossed! 5/5 stars
Birchbox 05/25 stars = 0.2 stars total Ipsy 13/25 stars = 1.92 stars total
If I had to choose between the two boxes, month after month Ipsy has been winning hands down for me personally. It’s just those occasional gems and finding out about new brands along with Birchbox’s points system…. and well basically all the things I wrote about in this post that’s keeping me with Birchbox. It is what it is. 🙂
PS – my fun and funky straw fedora came from Kohl’s. Since Birchbox mentioned Power Plays being “A move that puts an individual in a position of victory and strength and/or maximizes one’s happiness or confidence and allows for extreme freedom”… I would have to say this hat would be my current power play. I hate having to dry my hair in the summer and this hides the fact that I keep washing and running or going to the pool and then not having styling tools with me… or for today it was an instance of not washing so I could make it to an early morning meeting and then my hair looking a little frazzled by the end of the day but I still wanted to get this video done so I plopped on the hat. I also wore it to Forecastle Music Festival so my forehead and ears didn’t get burned (with or without sunscreen my forehead seems to burn if out way too long) but I do think I need to find a hat that has a bit better ventilation because this one has a tendency to heat up when it’s 85+ degrees outside! 🙂