Harvey Prince Hello – Hello seriously? I just said last month that they should stop sending me fragrances and products from this brand. Synthetic fragrance is an 8. Nuf said. Moving on (and Birchbox PLEASE stop sending me Harvey Prince!!!)
TOCCA Crema da Mano Luxe – Hand Cream – I had high hopes for this one but oh well. Anything over a 4 and I usually start questioning whether I want to use it and I definitely don’t want to use it regularly if it has synthetic fragrance as an ingredient (which this does.) It’s a little too unhealthy for a lotion for my tastes as it ranks a 5 with EWG’s skin deep cosmetics database.
. Liz Earle Cleanse & Polish™ Hot Cloth Cleanser Starter Kit – Ok so I chose this sample deliberately even though I’ve received it before. I looked at the things I could choose from this month and nothing was appealing so I figured I would add this and have a travel version. I’ve been re-purchasing and using the full size of this since the first sample I received last October and I LOVE it. Since I’ve never done the EWG ranking for it (it has crazy healthy ingredients) I figured I should go ahead and post that info now too. The few ingredients that cause this to be a 3 with the skin deep cosmetic database do not concern me. There are no parabens, no synthetic fragrances etc etc.
Skin&Co Roma SICILIAN LIGHT™ SERUM Vitamin C Brightening Face Serum – so this has dimethicone in it which rules it out for me (cones break out my skin). This is also a 5 with the cosmetics database with fragrance being one of the bigger bad ingredients.
ChapStick® Dual-Ended Hydration Lock Day & Night – Ok this one is going to be a weird one in that the two ends have completely different ingredients. At a glance the day side looks toxic to me and the night side looks healthy and perfectly fine to use. So let me run each set of ingredients through the cosmetic database separately:
Day side ingredients: is a 6 with the cosmetics database.
Night side ingredients: is a 2 with the cosmetics database.
So chapstick made half their product good and healthy. I’ll give that side a try. I’m not sure how much I’ll use it though because I don’t want to accidentally use the wrong side. Actually I’ve already solved this – I put some masking tape on the end I don’t want to accidentally use so it would be hard for me to make that mistake.
Glamglow Youthmud® Tinglexfoliate Treatment – eeee it’s a 5 with ewg’s cosmetics database. The big negative is the fragrance. I’m not sure yet if I’m going to try this one or not. It’s right there on the edge. A bit higher than I would like on the ratings but for using maybe once or twice I might consider it. I like a good mask…
Urban Decay Perversion Mascara not waterproof or even water resistant. Therefor not my cup of tea. BUT it is a healthy 2 with the ewg skin deep cosmetics database so it does have that going for it. I just have now found some healthy AND waterproof mascara so I’m not even really interested in trying anything that isn’t waterproof.
Jersey Shore Sun Mongongo Lip Conditioner Uber healthy ingredients and ranks a 1 with the cosmetics database. No cones, no synthetic fragrances. Basically a healthy chapstick, no color. Plain, simple, healthy. Should be great for winter or for after the pool where the chlorine dries out my lips some.
Lord & Berry Silk Kajal Kohl Eye Pencil no cones, no fragrances but it does have parabens. This is the most unhealthy product I think I’ve been sent in awhile, ranking an 8. It is also the smallest black eyeliner sample I’ve seen. I went to check the price just to see if there was some reason the sample was so small but their online store is offline. So if you want to take advantage of the ipsy discount promo code right now you can’t.
Manna Kadar Cosmetics Sheer Glo dimethicone rules this one out for me. It also uses parabens. It also ranks an unhealthy 6. This looks pretty similar to the e.l.f. Essential Shimmering Facial Whip but at $30 a bottle instead of $1. I will admit that since I’m not going to try this one there’s a chance that it may actually have more staying power than the elf product since the ingredients aren’t an exact match so it may be worth the money.
Given the other products that people were sent this month, I don’t think there were really better options. The few things that looked like I might be interested were ruled out by cones for me.
So some good chapstick. A little underwhelmed this month. But it does also come with a cute polka dot tube shaped makeup bag. 🙂
Coastal Scents Medium Shadow Brush – this is going to be my goto eyeshadow brush. I love this shape brush and previously had been buying the ELF brushes that are this shape (a brush doesn’t always have to be expensive to be quality.) The quality of the ELF brushes has gone downhill however as my last purchase of these brushes from ELF, the brush bristles were a little mis-shaped. The Coastal Scents brush is a little long but otherwise it’s a real step up from the ELF brush in terms of quality. The bristles are in the perfect shape and size and the handle coating is much better. This seems like it will last a much longer time and I’ll probably be buying a few more in the near future. It is a synthetic brush in case that is a deciding factor for you.
La Fresh® Eco-Beauty® Oil-Free Face Cleanser Wipes – I haven’t used this yet but I’m looking forward to trying it. I think they’ve changed the ingredients some since the last time I checked out this product because the current ingredients are healthier than what I remember. I’m already a big fan of the LA Fresh nail polish remover wipes. Cosmetics Database rates this a 4 … I suspect the real life rating would be lower if EWG would account for natural scents. Checked without the “fragrance” this was a 2.
POP Beauty Aqua Lacquer – nothing to keep me from trying this but it’s not exactly healthy either. It uses mineral oil, propylparaben, and fragrance. The color is a fun color that reminded me of a cherry lollipop but goes on a little more subtly like a thin layer of something that should pop over neutral lip tone. The color is good. It is fairly sticky sticky however so even if I hadn’t looked over the ingredients, I’m not sure I would choose to wear this regularly. Cosmetics Database score is a 4.
Liz Earle Cleanse & Polish™ Hot Cloth Cleanser Starter Kit – INCREDIBLE ingredient list. The only one I wasn’t sure about in terms of personal allergies is hops. I know I have some problems consuming hops but I’ve never had the occasion to try anything topically so I don’t know if I have a skin sensitivity to it. I HAVE used this though for the last 4 days both morning and night and so far no problems. I’m in love with this. My face looks and feels healthier. It doesn’t cause my face to get oily, it doesn’t strip away like a regular soap cleanser might AND I still feel clean after using it. This is a tough thing to accomplish, healthy natural ingredients and not left feeling like you still need to clean.
Really – my face has a nice healthy glow to it now. I can’t tell how much of that is the muslin cloth and how much is this cleanser but this cleanser is definitely good still. Liz Earle has done an excellent job with this product! Cosmetics Database score is a 3.
Liz Earle Pure Muslin Cloths – LOVE this. Already tried this and absolutely love love love it. This is just the right amount of exfoliation for 1-2 times per day use. It’s surprising because holding the cloth I really didn’t think I was going to be that impressed by it. It doesn’t feel like it’s going to scrub much but somehow it does. I don’t know if all muslin would be scrubby or if Lis Earle has just sourced the perfect cloth but I think I’m in. As long as I can find a better way to store / dry these I think I’m going to buy a few more to have on hand / keep as backups!
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. 🙂