My Birchbox vs Ipsy August 2013 unboxing

Product details and rating are below my Birchbox vs Ipsy August 2013 unboxing video:

Birchbox August 2013

August-2013-Birchbox2

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. starstarstarstarstarempty 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. staremptystaremptystaremptystaremptystarempty 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.  starstarstarstarstarempty 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!  starstarstarstarstar 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.  starstarstarstaremptystarempty 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:

August 2013 Ipsy

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. starstarstarstarstar 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. starstarstarstarstar 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. staremptystaremptystaremptystaremptystarempty 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.) starstarstarstarstar 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 starstaremptystaremptystaremptystarempty 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: starstarstarstaremptystarempty 3.2/5 stars
August Ipsy 2013: starstarstarstaremptystarempty 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. 🙂


Birchbox – all August products page: http://www.birchbox.com/shop/august-2013-box
Ipsy – other August products:

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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! 🙂

 

Trying right now:
Eclos facial cleanser, facial scrub & facial serum

I ended up with some Eclos products after a recent shopping trip. I went looking for a natural facial scrub the other day but I wanted something with silica (essentially sand) versus the walnut shell powder many of the natural scrubs use. Basically swimming is taking a little bit of a toll on my skin and it tends to do best with some form of exfoliating anyway which I’ve neglected lately.

Eclos facial scrub skin prep and facial serum

The Eclos products I bought:

  • Eclos Anti-Aging Facial Cleanser Skin Prep
  • Eclos Anti-Aging Instant Radiance Facial Scrub
  • Eclos Anti-Aging Cellular Activator Facial Serum

I caught the Facial Serum on clearance (but available online so I’m not trying a product just to end up with another thing I can’t find) and the facial cleanser was packaged as a sample size with the scrub.

As always, I was also looking for something without dimethicone or added fragrance. These three products are free of these but if you’re avoiding cones, read all of the labels. They have several other products such as a moisturizer that use dimethicone but otherwise the ingredients are quite high quality. I haven’t done the custom reports yet but the facial serum is a 2 with EWG and most of their line is between a 2-3 which I find acceptable.

Eclos has a starter pack for about $20 with a little bit of everything but since I wanted a full size scrub and could get the three items I wanted (no dimethicone) for under $20 as well so I opted for several full size products instead. Several people have commented that the starter pack is excellent if you want travel sized products (under 3oz.) I may go back and purchase it for an upcoming trip instead of having to distribute small amounts in small bottles. I think there are also some $5 off coupons floating around on the net somewhere.

I’ve only used these products twice so far (once at night and once in the morning) and I’m quite impressed. If you use the Eclos facial scrub or cleanser you will probably need some sort of moisturizer even if you don’t buy the facial serum.

I’ll do a more thorough review once I’ve had a little more time with these.