Birchbox & Ipsy for October 2013

Birchbox & Ipsy for October 2013

In my Ipsy Glambag for October 2013:

Zoya Nail Polish in Neve – as always, another great Zoya color. Perfect for fall and winter and really great because it’s a classy cobalt blue shade. All Zoya polishes are 3-free.

Sexy Hair Blow Dry Gel – dimethicone, can’t use it personally. Cosmetics database rates it a 6! Remember, lower is better!

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.

Wet n Wild Photo Op Eyeshadow – dimethicone, can’t use it personally. Cosmetics Database rates this a 1! I’m surprised! But I still can’t use it personally. :/

 


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In my Birchbox October 2013:

Bain de Terre macadamia oil NOURISHING CONDITIONER – argh dimethicone, so I can’t personally use.  Cosmetics Database score is a 4.

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.

ChapStick® Hydration Lock – dimethicone, can’t personally use. Cosmetics Database score is a 5. Remember, lower is better.

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!


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June 2013 Birchbox vs Ipsy Glambag

My Birchbox unboxing AND my Ipsy unbagging in the video below along with some swatches and commentary. AKA June 2013 Birchbox vs Ipsy Glambag:

My June 2013 Birchbox:

  • Davines 3-Step System – Davines Love Smoothing Shampoo, Davines Love Smoothing Conditioner, Davines OI/ OIL. dimethicone… staremptystaremptystaremptystaremptystarempty 0/5 stars
  • Mirenesse Glossy Kiss in “Quick Kiss” – the color was growing on me and at first glance I thought that the ingredient list looked ok. Not super healthy but not super toxic. What I missed was that they include fragrance AND dimethicone. The dimethicone is a deal breaker for me personally. And it’s a gorgeous color.Argh. Cosmetics database custom report has it about a 4. Since I had already swatched on my hand, I tried on my lips just because I was curious about the color. I think it might be a little hard to wear but I do think it might have certain occassions that it would be nice to have that extra pop. Then I washed my face intensely and I’m hoping that a limited test isn’t going to cause cystic pimples anywhere near my mouth. I was thinking of the Laqa & Co Lil’ Lip Duo when I was doing the video so I’m frustrated I didn’t get this product. staremptystaremptystaremptystaremptystarempty 0/5 stars for the Mirenesse (would have been a 5 star if it had been without dimethicone and fragrance … or if it had been the other product.)
  • Color Club Wanderlust Collection – I received “Pardon My French” which is a nice lavendar but I was hoping for “Reign in Spain” because I have a thing for corals. My problem with this isn’t that I have to buy the nail polish color I want, it’s that they don’t have full size bottles and you can only buy the set. Since you already have one of the colors, then you’re buying a second of that color no matter what you got in your box. The purple is a good enough color to have as a mini but I don’t need two and I really wish that they offered these as full sized individual bottles instead of the collection. I will probably buy the collection though at $8 and free shipping, so whatever. starstarstarstaremptystarempty 3/5 stars (I’m just not a big purple fan plus my comments about the collection above and no full size products even available. For purple it’s an excellent shade and always love the Color Club polishes.)
  • Oscar de la Renta Something Blue – synthetic fragrance. They now have a new check box for “don’t send me more than 6 fragrances a year” but I really wish I could make that setting “don’t ever send me fragrances” …. maybe with the additional of “I’m allergic to half of them and I don’t want to use the other half and this is such a waste. One even gave me a headache just from opening the box so please stop sending perfume already.” Sigh. Just know, unless it’s natural / organic and it doesn’t give me a headache (which does exist, just rare) I’m not going to give a fragrance a positive review. staremptystaremptystaremptystaremptystarempty 0/5 stars

My June 2013 Ipsy Glambag:

  • Starlooks Lip Pencil in “Bare” – I had high hopes for this one. However the color made me unsure if it was meant to be a lip liner or a light eyeliner (though lip liner makes more sense …) Nothing jumped out as obviously bad ingredients that I could identify. No dimethicone, no frangrance, no parabens. But the custom report, it ended up a 6.  (pdf linked on this one.) staremptystaremptystaremptystaremptystarempty 0/5 stars
  • J.Cat Beauty Eyelash + Eyelash Glue – even the glue on this isn’t bad for you. I may cut these apart into individual lashes instead of trying to use the full strip but I’m happy enough with these. Until you get into some really specific eyelashes, those in the under $8 price point are all fairly decent and your biggest factor is lash style / cut. Latex free glue. And these are human hair … ok so a little higher quality than your average drugstore lashes but also a little creepy in that sense. Cruelty free (not tested on animals.) I don’t wear false lashes maybe more than … once every three years but I will be using these for an upcoming special event probably fairly soon. starstarstarstarstar 5/5 stars
  • Chella Ivory Lace Highlighter Pencil – AWESOME no cones. Turns up a 3 in a custom report. Talc is the worst ingredient and in this case I’ll forgive it since it’s not going to go on my eyelids (where talc tends to crease) and it’s not filler reducing impact of some other pigment. I love this in the inside corner of my eye and this looks perfect and natural. No shimmer so it can be used easily and I wonder if it might make a good concealing pencil as a result as well. starstarstarstarstar 5/5 stars
  • J.Cat Beauty Sparkling Cream Palette – this is categorized under “body glitter” instead of eyeshadow. It’s a chunky glitter so this makes more sense. No, just no for so many reasons. Plus there are the ingredients which aren’t good as well. Kind of on par with petroleum jelly mixed with glitter. It even says “This product should be used on the body and not on the eye area.” I’m not sure what they were thinking. Halloween? Rave? 8 year old girls? I don’t know and this just really doesn’t seem like a great fit for an ipsy bag even ignoring the ingredients for a minute. Yes it’s wild but… Might have made more sense it to be sent out in October just for the Halloween reason.  staremptystaremptystaremptystaremptystarempty 0/5 stars
  • NYX Blush in “Pecan” – awesome bronzer shade but there’s dimethicone and talc so I won’t be using it. I haven’t swatched this but I suspect the color is excellent for a beachy summer look.  staremptystaremptystaremptystaremptystarempty 0/5 stars

I also just realized that people were commenting below the products on ipsy (linked to in the glamroom) if they wanted to trade. OR there’s also http://mygl.am/glammieswapforum (though the other seems more efficient… or makeupalley would also work better than the facebook page.)

And I’m happy with the leopard bag with the neon zipper. I’ve been leaving the chevron bag in my swim bag recently just to throw my jewelry in so it’s not lost at the bottom of the bigger bag. I’ll probably find a use for this one too.

So there you have it … another mildly disappointing month with Birchbox and a good month with Ipsy. I think I wouldn’t even be saying this if I had received the Reign in Spain polish and the other lip gloss Birchbox had promoted on facebook. Actually I’d probably have been happy with just the other shade of nail polish just because the swatches I saw of it looked like a nice bright fun summer color. The creamy shade is one that I already own something similar and the green … meh, not as versatile. Actually the purple I already own something similar to as well just the that Color Club purple is just a hint better actually.

Swatches of some of the products from these boxes: Swatch Mirenesse Glossy Kiss in Quick Kiss Chella Ivory Lace Highlighter Pencil Starlooks Lip Pencil in Bare

 

October 2011 Birchbox

While still fun, I’m less excited about it this month.
Two words: dimethicone and fragrance.

Almost everything I got has dimethicone in it which makes me break out. Now you might be thinking “you don’t put hair product on your face” but trust me, anytime I put it on my hair, my hair touches my face and I again break out. I’m just over trying anything with dimethicone because even expensive products with this ingredient break me out. I keep watching hair tutorials with gorgeous silky hair and inevitably they use some serum with, yup, dimethicone (usually Frizz Ease.) The painful kind of zits, not just the ugly kind. I really wanted to try the Laura Geller bronzing primer too. 🙁 But I’ll pass.

As for fragrance … really do I need to cover this one? Allergies, toxins, overpowering scent. At least the Ahava hand cream was overpowering even in the tube.

The one item I’m looking forward to trying is the “Sunday Riley Modern Skincare Juno Transformative Lipid Serum.” Amazing ingredient list. Tried a little on my hand and it’s clearly good stuff but a little … hippie smelling. And natural products don’t need to smell … hippie. I really have no better word for it. No not patchouli hippie, it’s just not exactly bad but it’s not exactly good smelling either. I don’t want them to add fragrance, no way, but I’ll be spraying my homemade lavender spray on my face to see if that helps.

Serum INGREDIENTS: Acai seed oil, Argan oil, Black Cumin seed oil, Blackberry seed oil, Blueberry seed oil, Broccoli seed oil, Carrot seed oil, Chardonnay Grape seed oil, Cranberry seed oil, Marula oil, Meadowfoam seed oil, Pomegranate seed oil, Red Raspberry seed oil.

At $125 a pop (30 ml) I probably won’t be buying this puppy unless it also fixes me coffee in the morning but the 5ml sample might last awhile. Hey never say never. If I can suddenly get less redness, more even skintone and not need foundation I’d consider it.

It’s still exciting to get something fun to sort through and that serum sample alone is worth the price of the box. I guess I just wish this were a more natural selection of products that I could really dive into more.

 

St. Ives Hair Repair Intensive Conditioner

st_ives_swiss_formula_hair_repair_intensive_conditioning_treatmentI wanted to post a follow up on my e-mail to St. Ives that I mentioned before. They wrote back in response to my inquiry of where to purchase the product. The news wasn’t good however:

“…Unfortunately, due to low consumer demand the St. Ives Hair Repair Intensive Conditioner was discontinued, and is no longer available in our warehouses. We are sorry that we were unable to assist you with your request.”

Obviously some people liked this product- rephrase that, loved this product – myself included. And we’re scouring the web for it. I looked at my web stats today and for 3 days of November I’ve already had one hit from someone looking for this St. Ives product.

If anyone can recommend a good substitute for this product, please do!

 

UPDATE April 2013: It’s 8 years later and I STILL get approximately 100 unique visitors PER MONTH on this post alone. Clearly people are still searching for this product!

Link to EWG with ingredient list: http://www.ewg.org/skindeep/product/62436/St._Ives_Hair_Repair_Intensive_Conditioner_Moisture_Treatment_for_Dry_Or_Damaged_Hair_(2005_formulation)/