Birchbox March 2015

Birchbox March 2015 - reviews and EWG skin deep cosmetics database scores via ClothingCult.com

ewg skindeep cosmetics database score 4Dear Clark Volumizing Tonic – ok I was most excited to try this product just because of the ingredient list and rightly so. It’s amazing and actually does what it says it will do. It gives your hair a little extra boost and it does it without a lot of the unhealthy junk that so many other products use. This is what I keep expecting dry shampoos to do and feel like. More volume, a little texture to help style your hair. I’m in love! And Volumizing sprays aren’t even the type of product I usually get excited about. And honestly I don’t want hair the size of Texas so the volume is very reasonable and fairly controllable for those worried about that. You can got big if you want or just give your hair a little oomph. It is not scent-free but it is scented only by the ingredients it uses. That does mean though that you will smell lightly of patchouli. No one else can smell it and after half a day I don’t even smell it really. So yes, if you sniff the bottle your first thought might be “hippie” but your hair won’t look that way.

Now here’s why I’m going to remind you to take the EWG score with a grain of salt. This product got a 4. But the ingredients are amazingly good and healthy! Clove oil alone gets a 5. I LOVE clove oil! It’s amazing. It’s healthy. I understand that if you put essential oil directly on the skin it could be a bad thing if it’s not diluted but that’s not what we’re doing here. Alchohol 40B … again … we aren’t drinking this in quantity so there’s less concern here. There are three ingredients I can’t identify as natural that are between a 2-3 each that aren’t great but are mostly contamination concerns so I’m not even really worried about those either. No parabens, no synthetic fragrances, no cones, this is a healthy product and not one that I’m going to avoid because it got a score above a 3. So I’m going to say that unless you have an allergy to one of the ingredients, you should just ignore the score on this product and really look at the ingredients here.

I’ve used this product pretty much every day since I’ve received it! Between this and my new hair brush, every day seems to be a good hair day! I’ll stop gushing now… 🙂

ewg skindeep cosmetics database score 5Laura Geller Beauty Baked Blush-n-Brighten – the first three ingredients are Talc, Mica, Mineral Oil, and Dimethicone. 3 of those are ingredients I avoid (hint, mica is the good one.) Two just feel weird on my skin (talc and mineral oil) and one seems to cause my skin to break out for some reason (dimethicone.)  It also has parabens and “Imidazolidinyl Urea” which is a formaldehyde releaser. I haven’t even run it through the EWG skin deep database yet! However I thought it was going to be a lot worse than a 5. 

ewg skindeep cosmetics database score 3Whish Three Whishes Body Butter – I have not been thrilled with any of the Whish products. They all contain fragrance and the scents have been … just not good in my opinion for the most part. If they would ditch or go with a natural fragrance though their products would be a lot better. However it’s most unhealthy ingredient is the fragrance which makes it a 3 with the EWG skin deep cosmetics database.

ewg skindeep cosmetics database score 4Supergoop!® Advanced SPF 37 Anti-Aging Eye Cream – dimethicone rules this one out for me. This is not the worst sunscreen though at a 4 but there are also healthier sunscreens out there. Also I think one of the active ingredients may be one of the sunscreens you want to avoid in the ocean due to how it can damage coral reefs. I’ll have to go back and look at that. I wrote a previous post on this.

ewg skindeep cosmetics database score 2derma e® Evenly Radiant® Brightening Day Crème SPF15 – you may already know that I’m a big fan of Derma e. Honestly it took some samples to get me to fall in love with them because the only thing I’m not a fan of is the packaging. I hate products I have to dip my fingers into! Despite this I have actually had some Derma e products that I’ve used the entire product and repurchased. That said, I’ve already tried this and while it’s good, it’s not my favorite moisturizer from this company. But it is good and it’s WAY better than many moisturizers from other companies. I think the real test will be when it’s summer. This seems like a better moisturizer for the summer months when your skin is less dry. Right now I’m actually using a night cream during the day because the winter has been harsh. When it comes to the ingredients though, the list on this product is great and scores a healthy 2 with the EWG Skin Deep Cosmetics Database. Yay!

 


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Birchbox February 2015 “Rent the Runway” box including EWG Skin Deep scores for each of the products

This month I chose the “Rent the Runway” box because none of the other sample options were appealing and I really wanted to try the derma e glycolic scrub. I was also kinda crossing my fingers that there might be a beauty blender in the box that they hadn’t mentioned … but that wasn’t the case.

Birchbox February 2015 Rent the Runway box via ClothingCult.com - post includes EWG scores for each of the products here

ewg skindeep cosmetics database score 2Sumita Color Contrast Eyeliner in Raina (a navy blue) – no cones, no frangrance, no parabens. It does have paraffin which I have mentioned feels weird on my skin … when it’s in blushes or eyeshadows or foundations but since eyeliner is such a small amount I’m fine with it as of of the ingredients here. So the other ingredient that’s a problem is one that I think may have been mistyped. “Isodecodane” seems to be a typo. The closest I get for that is “Isododecane” which is the ingredient that shows up for Sumita eyeliner on the Glossybox website. So this scores a very healthy 2 with the EWG skin deep Cosmetics Database. I’m looking forward to trying this one!

ewg skindeep cosmetics database score 6derma e® Anti-Wrinkle Vitamin A Glycolic Scrub – so you know how I’ve mentioned that some of the scores should be taken with a grain of salt? This would be one of them. The “fragrance” in this case is from a natural source (oils) and the vitamin A … it’s supposed to be in this product. Your skin will be more sensitive after using this because it IS a scrub. So even though this ranks a 6 with the Cosmetics Database, I’m looking forward to trying it. In my opinion the fact that it was docked points for two ingredients isn’t a problem in this case. Yes, you should be aware you may more easily burn in the sun after using any scrub, exfoliant or peel.

ewg skindeep cosmetics database score 5Fekkai Blowout Hair Refresher Dry Shampoo  – no cones, no parabens but it does have added fragrance. The last dry shampoo I tried almost killed me with the fragrance. The ingredients are fairly simple though so let’s just check the ranking with EWG to see if anything else throws up red flags here. Isobutane which is what makes this an aerosol spray is also fairly toxic at a 7 on it’s own. So between the 8 it gets for fragrance and the aerosol delivery it brings the score down to a 5. Not the worst I’ve seen but also not the best I’ve seen. I may sniff and try this … but I’m not sure. It does make me think that surely someone could make a nice healthy dry shampoo though. One that also doesn’t turn brown hair white (which is another problem I’ve encountered with dry shampoos … throwing some corn starch into blond hair might work but not so much on brown hair.)

ewg skindeep cosmetics database score 4Not Soap, Radio Body Wash  in “the stuff that Cupid dips his arrows in” – so no cones, no parabens BUT it does have fragrance added. And coloring (for a body wash is this really neccessary?) And DMDM Hydantoin (Formaldehyde releaser). So although the  total score is only a 4 I’m not jumping up and down to try this product.  Meh. Could be worse, could be better. Not going to be adding this to my daily staples anytime soon though.

ewg skindeep cosmetics database score 5theBalm® cosmetics Read My Lips™ Lip Gloss in “Bam! – Rose Pink” – no cones, no fragrance, no parabens. But it does have added flavor (usually these are going to be synthetic flavors) and it does have Vitamin A in it. In this case the product is left on the skin so having something that increases skin sensitivity and is worn doesn’t seem like a good idea to me. BUT it also contains a sunscreen (titanium dioxide) so maybe it kinda crosses itself out. This is the kind of thing that the EWG score doesn’t take into consideration. So I’m on the fence on this one. I’m not a fan of added synthetics anything in any product and I suspect that’s the case here with the “flavor/aroma.” So while I debate, feel free to make up your own mind. The EWG score for this is a 5. 

So there’s also a coupon code for $30 off a $75+ rental from Rent the Runway in here too. And you know what? They have accessories and purses which I don’t remember seeing the last time I checked out this company.


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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! 🙂