Birchbox February 2014 unboxing

Birchbox February 2014

First lets start with what you can see in these photos – this is the first time I’ve had something leak in one of my Birchboxes. When I posted this on instagram I was told to contact [email protected] which I did and since I told them I hadn’t wanted to try the hair oil and nothing else was ruined they gave me some birchbox points for the trouble.

I didn’t take any additional product photos after opening this month’s box and I threw out the hair oil bottle and the packaging so let’s move on to what was inside. 🙂

COOLA Tinted Matte SPF 30 for Face – cones rule it out for me (allergy / breakouts.) I think I swatched this on my hand with a sample I received in the past though and wasn’t thrilled. I’m never thrilled with tinted moisturizers though. Love the Coola sunscreen though and I can highly recommend that!! This tinted matte moisturizing sunscreen rates a 3 with the cosmetic database. (reminder: lower is better with 0 being best and 10 being worst with regards to being healthy.)

Ruby Wing Color Changing Nail Polish in Kitten Heels – is this 3 free? I need to do a bit more research (tiny print.) Love the brightness of the shade indoors. We’ll see how this wears.

Smashbox Cosmetics Full Exposure Mascara – have to call. Not waterproof so not worth it for me. Not going to do the cosmetics database report on this one either.

Beauty Protector Protect & Oil – cones rule it out for me.  Rates a 6 with the cosmetics database so even without the cones it’s a bit too high.

Smashbox Cosmetics Full Exposure Palette – Most of these don’t have cones but there are one or two shades that have cones in them. Also I’m half and half on this “card” style sample. There’s enough to try but not enough to play with. I can maybe do swatches on my arm ONCE and ONCE on my eyes and that’s it. Yes, retail it would be $49 for the full palette so I get why they couldn’t give us the full palette but this paper card seems a bit of a cop out – like something you might see for free in a magazine. Colors are good but I don’t think I’m impressed enough to buy the full set. The ingredients are long and listed out on the back of the card (and nowhere online) so I’ll have to come back to running a cosmetics database report on these.


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July 2013 Birchbox vs Ipsy

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.)  staremptystaremptystaremptystaremptystarempty 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  staremptystaremptystaremptystaremptystarempty 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. staremptystaremptystaremptystaremptystarempty 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. staremptystaremptystaremptystaremptystarempty 0/5 stars
  • FRAIS™ Towelettes Individualsamazing 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 starstarstarstar 5/5 stars

In my July 2013 Ipsy:My July 2013 Ipsy bag - cute hot pink!

  • 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. starstarstarstaremptystarempty 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. staremptystaremptystaremptystaremptystarempty 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. starstarstarstarstar 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. staremptystaremptystaremptystaremptystarempty 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! starstarstarstarstar 5/5 stars

Birchbox 05/25 stars = 0.2 stars total staremptystaremptystaremptystaremptystarempty
Ipsy 13/25 stars = 1.92 stars total starstarstaremptystaremptystarempty

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. 🙂

Hilary's July Birchbox vs Ipsy review and video

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! 🙂

 

May Birchbox 2013 – unboxing

May Birchbox 2013

What’s in my May Birchbox:

  • Pilot Corporation of America Acroball PureWhite®
  • Sumita Color Contrast Eyeliner
  • Beauty Protector Protect & Detangle
  • Folle de Joie eau de parfum
  • COOLA Classic SPF 30 Cucumber Moisturizer for Face

 

Reviews & more detail for my May Birchbox:

  • Pilot Corporation of America Acroball PureWhite® – It’s a pen … oooo. Um yeah, I’m neither here nor there on this one. I have favorite pens yes, and pens I hate, and pens I use. This falls into the “pens I use” whatever category. It IS a pink ink pen which I didn’t realize at first (and it kinda fun.) But it’s still a pen so I’m knocking off one star. starstarstarstarstarempty
  • Sumita Color Contrast Eyeliner – no ingredients … nada. I’m going to have to write another company for ingredients … sigh. staremptystaremptystaremptystaremptystarempty
  • Beauty Protector Protect & Detangle – “Amodimethicone” ok so it’s not “dimethicone” specifically but it is a cone and it’s not one of the few water soluble cones either. Ranks well with the cosmetics database but likely to break me out. Pass. In case you’re wondering about its overall cosmetics database score, that would be a 6. It might be paraben free and sulfate-free but it’s not exactly on the healthy side of things still. staremptystaremptystaremptystaremptystarempty
  • Folle de Joie eau de parfum – Since I can’t find any info on this on their website that says anything about organic or natural fragrance or anything I have to assume that this is a synthetic perfume. Too bad. staremptystaremptystaremptystaremptystarempty
  • COOLA Classic SPF 30 Cucumber Moisturizer for Face – Excellent ingredient list. THIS one I’m excited to try. The info on CosmeticsDatabase must be old because the product no longer has “fragrance” added. Old report says it’s a 4. My custom report with the current ingredients shows that it’s only a 2 which is not bad at all for a sunscreen. The scent is all natural and light however if you don’t like it, it’s going to be on your face. I did look this up and they have an unscented version. Actually I want to try the unscented sport version for swimming this summer!  starstarstarstarstar

Box score overall: 9 stars out of a possible 25 is starstaremptystaremptystaremptystarempty 1.44 stars. We’re headed back towards thinking “step it up Birchbox, it still costs me $10/month and you’re sending me sample sizes.”

HOWEVER we have one product in the box that’s a real winner. Since it would have cost me $32 to try a full size bottle of the sunscreen, I’m good though. So my May Birchbox is not a complete loss or completely annoying box. 🙂


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