The last few months I’ve been very unimpressed with what I’ve received in my Birchbox. Worse is seeing other people get things that would have been perfect for me that THEY hate. EVEN worse was getting the January box and getting a headache because of the perfume … and I didn’t even open the perfume sample!!! Anyway, I had posted a photo over on instagram and had several recommendations to try ipsy.
Ipsy is comparable to Birchbox in that it’s $10/ month including shipping. I looked over recent boxes and the contents looked better than what Birchbox has been sending me so I signed up. Birchbox finally redeemed itself a little this month though.
Bear with me now … this is going to be a long post.
Coastal Scents Shadow Palette Sample: This was the item I was most excited for and most disappointed in. Apparently Coastal Scents has a separate mineral makeup line but they also have a regular line – one with talc and mineral oil in the ingredients. I gave it a try anyway (it’s on my eyes and neither talc nor mineral oil breaks me out quickly) and was still disappointed. It applied like a cheap drugstore product – a lot of fallout for something that was pressed. In fact I’ve used a few drugstore products that were better quality (try L’oreal Hip if you’re not trying to stick to mineral makeups.) It was just such a disappointment on so many levels. – 1 star
POP Smokey Lash Kapow Mascara: I prefer Waterproof mascara (mascara is the one thing I’ve given up going organic/natural on.) This is not a waterproof mascara however the brush on this is excellent so I’ll probably keep it on hand just in case. – 3 stars
MicaBeauty Gel Eyeliner: Ok so I typically use my waterproof mascara as a liquid eyeliner – a trick I picked up trying to cut back on liquids for the airlines. This is definitely better both in quality of ingredients as well as speed of a good application. If I hadn’t already had a good liner brush I might have been disappointed because you can’t exactly apply this with a finger. Running a custom report on this with the cosmeticdatabase.com brings this up as a 2 AND it’s waterproof! It does have talc in it but that’s not too bad in this type of product’s case. I wish they would use this set of ingredients and make a mascara out of it! (I checked, their mascara ingredient list isn’t even close.) Full size is $30 and I think I would actually buy it – it should last awhile. Think MAC Fluidline but better, and healthier. – 5 stars
Lash Card: I was interested in this one but in application I’m underwhelmed. Also I somehow thought this was a reusable plastic card. Instead it was a disposable cardstock (thick paper.) Makes sense though because this feels like it might be more useful to a makeup artist. I feel like this would be helpful if I were applying mascara to someone else but not that useful for me. Granted I like mascara that has a nice bristly brush so this might help more if you’re using a mascara brush that has those funky spiky rubbery brushes. So it’s not totally useless but I just can’t see the need for them personally. – 2 stars
All products except primer (left eye makeup, right eye just powder foundation):
Pixi Flawless & Poreless Primer: I wasn’t jumping up and down over this one initially but when I read over the ingredients and there was no dimethicone I gave it a try and was fairly impressed. I don’t have a lot of experience with primers simply because so many have “cones” for ingredients. I was pleasantly surprised by this one. I don’t think I would wear it daily because I feel a bit more like I have more makeup on but I do think I’ll be using it for special events or situations where I’m more likely to have my photo taken. I’m giving it 4 stars because for a really matte look you would still need some sort of finishing powder. – 4 stars
Ghirardelli Milk & Caramel squares: who dislikes chocolate? (I’m sure there’s someone but please don’t respond if you’re that person.) They did not go wrong here. Is it the best chocolate ever? No but it’s pretty darn tasty and you could pick some up at the drugstore. – 4 stars
Miss Jessie’s® Original Pillow Soft Curls: Fragrance was on the ingredients list butI was interested in this one because I didn’t see dimethicone. So I ran it through the cosmetics database and it came up a 6… and then I noticed it: “AMODIMETHICONE.” Ugh. Another “cone” so another I won’t be trying. In the process of looking up the ingredients list I felt a bit ripped off because you can get free samples directly from Miss Jessie’s website. Granted it’s not clear if they charge for shipping but I thought I should mention it for anyone interested in trying this product. – No rating – Dimethicone causes breakouts for me.
Vasanti BrightenUp! Enzymatic Face Rejuvenator: I love a good exfoliator. When I looked over the ingredient list the one item that really stood out as something to avoid was “parfume.” I did a quick run through the cosmeticsdatabase.com and with the exact list of ingredients it gets a 5. A little higher than I like to go but it seems like scrubs and peels, even when they are more natural, tend to go a little higher because they contain ingredients that remove the top layer of skin and increasing skin sensitivity. Part of the reason “parfume” concerns me has to do with toxicity but the other part has to do with my allergies and it will sometimes rule out even trying a product. I sniffed the product and didn’t react so I decided to give it a go. On the one hand it IS being washed off afterwards, on the other hand you are abrading the skin increasing your ability to absorb toxins … so I’m definitely going to mark it down a star for the perfume. It’s an excellent exfoliator though and I would have given it a 4.5 if they had lost the added fragrance. – 3.5 stars
Color Club Fiesta Collection in “Wild Cactus”: LOVE this color. It’s a wonderful emerald / kelly green which is something I’ve been looking for. Perfect shade, no sparkle, and a color I’ve been looking for. It’s hard to find a green that isn’t too muddy, too apple-y, too minty, or is just plain a shimmer or glitter nail polish. I like it with navy or hot pink in my outfit (a bit preppy) but it’s not something I expect to be able to wear all the time. Oh, and emerald is 2013’s Pantone color of the year. 🙂 – 5 stars
Lancôme LA BASE PRO primer:
I was excited about this one because of some of the before and after photos I had seen online. Click on the image at the left to watch the HSN example. Until we get to the Ingredients: Cyclopentasiloxane, Dimethicone crosspolymer, F.I.L. (B26685/1) Since the tube didn’t have the info and I had a hard time finding them , here’s the source of the ingredient list: http://beautyreductionista.blogspot.com/2012/11/sample-month-day-17-lancome-la-base-pro.html – No rating – Dimethicone causes breakouts for me so we’ll just leave this one at that.
Final verdict for the February Boxes?
Ipsy products overall average 3 stars VS Birchbox products overall average 2.5 stars
Birchbox gave me enough good stuff this month not to cancel. That little perk of points for product reviews means you can recoup half of your money to buy other products from their website, IF you remember to do the reviews on their site. 1 out of 4 boxes being decent isn’t going to cut it though Birchbox – you need to get your act together a bit more. I thought the initial survey was to understand our tastes and preferences and that seems to have been ignored. When you get 3 boxes (15 products) in a row with nothing you can use or even try, it starts becoming that thing in your mail that you dread. “How are they going to disappoint me this time.” “I’m paying $10 for this?”
AND, in case Birchbox is reading this, I also REALLY want an option to opt out of all perfumes since it’s clear I’m never going to get the organic/natural perfume samples. I’d rather not get a perfume headache like I did with the January box!!!
Ipsy gave me a complete package, baggy and all. Even though I was really dissappointed in the eyeshadow, I don’t expect 100% of the products to work out perfectly for me or always be to my tastes. Looking over their past boxes this one looks like they have had something each month I would be interested in. I’ll definitely be sticking with this one for awhile. VERY happy with my first month with them.
I hated how the lids on the old rimmel eyeshadow cases came off (the newer rimmel cases are hinged though.) I had three rimmel shades I wanted to keep so I was looking around on ebay and saw the Mark “Customize your face” case/pallet. It was a decent price and it LOOKED like the rimmel might fit (I had no measurments whatsoever to go by here.) I went ahead and bought it anyway.
I actually haven’t depotted any eyeshadows before either so that was also a first. There are plenty of good instructions on the web but I’ll repeat the info I used here. For depotting Rimmel Special Eyes you will need: 1) Aluminum foil or a disposable pie pan. 2) An oven or a toaster oven set at 300 degrees. 3) a knife.
I placed the eyeshadow on some foil and put it in my 300 degree toaster oven for exactly 3 minutes (time may vary.) The goal is to loosen the adhesive, not to melt the entire plastic piece. When I pulled it out of the toaster oven, I used the knife to push the tin out of the plastic portion of the case (which was now slightly soft) and I also removed the label from the bottom and applied it to the Rimmel pan (so the information about the color is still there.)
The Mark Mezzo pallet comes with a magnet in the bottom already so the metal pan stays in place (no glueing on magnets like some other products and pallets require.) And it looks like the Mezzo will hold 4 Rimmel pans.
Shown here are: Jet Black 214, Cosmix 081, Mars 034