Crown Brush Professional Tweezers – nice! these seem pretty solid. We’ll see how they wear over time.
Octavio Molina Hair La Playa Salt Spray – fragrance/parfum. Sigh. So I’ll have to see if I can handle the scent. Can’t tell on this one without opening it which is a good sign. No parabens, no cones, nothing else that leaps out. Oh wait – a second frangrance hiding here. “Hydroxyisohexyl 3-cyclohexene carboxaldehyde” isn’t found by EWG by that name but is actually commonly known as “Lyral” – just noting it because I had to change it out in the ingredients to run the report. And another sigh – FD&C colors that are really unnecessary. So EWG gives this a 5. Not the worst, not the best. I think I may pass since I can make a healthier version of sea salt spray if I want it.
tarte deluxe Amazonian clay waterproof bronzer – dimethicone rules this one out for me personally – bah bronzers are one of my favorite things. None of the ingredients leap out as bad ingredients. No parabens, no fragrances etc. There are a couple that I can’t place though which is part of why I run them through the EWG Skin Deep Cosmetics Database – to learn more. This is a healthy 2 which makes it even more sad that I can’t try it! Ugh. Why must my skin react so badly to cones???
Vasanti Cosmetics Brighen Up! Exfoliating Cleanser – This one has killer perfume. I’ve received other things from this company before in either Ipsy or Birchbox and it gave me a headache then and it’s giving me a headache now. I can smell it without opening it which is the most annoying part about these things. The rest of the ingredient list looks sound though so if they were to drop the scent I might actually use it. This is a 5 and since fragrance is still the worst thing in here, if they were to drop that it would lower the score and I would try it. For now though it’s out of the question. I’m not using products that give me an obvious headache and I limit those that use synthetic fragrances as well just because they seem to over time have an effect on me.
CARGO Cosmetics Mini Lip Gloss in Anguilla – no cones, no fragrance added, no parabens. I have high hopes for this one and it’s not too bad at a 3 with the EWG skin deep cosmetics database. I’m looking forward to trying this one and it’s a really nice basic shade as well that looks like it would work well with a lot of skin tones – very neutral but maybe a little bit light depending on how opaque it ends up being.
Eva NYC Up All Night Volumizing Spray – dimethicone rules this one out for me. It also has fragrance though and diazolidinyl urea (formaldehyde releaser) though and this ranks a 7 with the EWG skin deep cosmetic database so I wouldn’t want to use this anyway.
Hey Honey Take It Off! Exfoliating Honey Peel Off Mask – the only negative ingredient I see on the list here is fragrance. Since all the other ingredients are all natural I decided to go see if I could find anything on the company site that might indicate natural or essential oils used as fragrance instead of synthetic (ingredient labels have certain requirements and lump all “fragrance” under the same label.) While they do have a very thorough rundown of the ingredients, fragrance is not specifically addressed in any of the main sections that would or could normally address this. Thus I’m going to have to assume it is in fact a synthetic fragrance. That said, there are some other ingredients that are “harmful” according to EWG that are included because this is in fact an exfoliating peel. A peel SHOULD take off some layers on purpose but because of some of the ingredients, it gets a higher score even though I would still consider this a fairly healthy product. It ranks a 5 with the skin deep cosmetics database. This is why I always take the EWG scores with a grain of salt. I’m going to give this one a shot … after sniffing it to make sure the scent isn’t going to trigger my sinus allergies of course.
ModelCo BLUSH Cheek Powder in Peach Bellini – no cones, no fragrance, no parabens. But it does have paraffin and talc … neither of which feels right on my skin anymore for some reason. BUT this ranks pretty well with the cosmetics database at a 3. So although I probably won’t be trying this, it is healthy. Also another reason I typically don’t jump for joy over blush is that I have naturally rosy cheeks so I tend to stick with bronzer. Blushes tend to make me look a little …. overdone or clown-like and that’s not even about the quality or shade but my own skin. It IS however a really nice shade so if blush is your thing you might want to give this one a shot.
“Pencil Me In” Cosmetics Natural Eye Liner Pencil in Amethyst (purple) – no cones, no fragrances, no parabens, everything is looking good. But apparently vitamin A brings this one’s score down – it ranks a 4 with the skin deep cosmetics database. This is yet another score I’m going to take a grain of salt. I’m going to try this product especially since I don’t think purple is going to be a shade I wear daily.
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. 🙂