Ipsy bag April 2013 – product overview & review

April’s Ipsy bag is “Pretty in Pink”

So let’s just start off by saying there are some excellent things in this bag but I don’t buy a lot of pink eyeshadows and I have a natural pink to my cheeks so I opt for bronzer over blush. That said, I’m going to judge based on ingredients moreso than color this go round.

my-ipsy-april-2013

In my bag:

  • MicaBeauty Mineral Eye Shadow – mica and no bad stuff. Excited to try this though pink isn’t something I jump up and down over most of the time. First I’ve heard of this brand though so I’ll be checking out their other products. I actually like the color as well. It’s got some sparkle to it but it’s not overkill either. starstarstarstarstar
  • Sexy Hair Soy Renewal – nope … soy and I don’t get along and if that weren’t bad enough it has dimethicone as an ingredient. Moving on. staremptystaremptystaremptystaremptystarempty
  • Miss Professional Nail Sation Nail Lacquer – this is a 3-free brand. Three free means no: dibutyl phthalate, toluene, or formaldehyde. I got the “Love At First Byte” color and it was the color I wanted of the two they shipped but the shade doesn’t wow me. I thought it was a dup to Zoya’s Lulu at first but it’s just very similar only a little darker. It’s very similar to my skin tone. Two coats shown in the Love at First Byte swatch below. I’ll update later with how long this lasted before chipping. starstarstarstarstar
    swatch Sation Love at First Byte nail polish
  • Be A Bombshell Blush – I checked out the ingredients …. talc and mineral oil…. I didn’t even read any further, it’s also bright bright pink so this is not for me. staremptystaremptystaremptystaremptystarempty

In the glamroom but NOT my bag:

  • Sexy Hair Powder Play – this scored a 1 when doing a custom report with the cosmetics database. No dimethicone and I WAS really excited to try this!! starstarstarstarstar BUT it’s NOT in my bag!! This was the item I wanted the MOST. More about this in a minute.
  • Two Cosmetics Duo Eye Shadow – first ingredient is talc and the last is “synthetic” something … usually means the eyeshadow isn’t going to be that great and will crease as the day wears on. So this product is not for me.  staremptystaremptystaremptystaremptystarempty

Overall I’m good with the bag. It was love it or hate it but I found out about some new to me brands and this bag also showed me that SOME of the Big Sexy Hair products could be good and acceptable ingredients-wise (though some of their products are also not going to touch my head.)

 


Now here’s where I’m REALLY annoyed – Sexy Hair’s Powder Play: It’s that whole “other people got it but I didn’t” thing. The product I wanted to TRY the most, I didn’t get. I tried using the sexy hair store locator on their website but I couldn’t get it to select the state from my iphone!!!!! I wanted it enough that I decided to hit all of the drugstores on the way home from the mail (business mailbox) because I knew I had seen the product lines those places.

WORSE:
I tried Rite Aide, I tried CVS, I tried Walgreens, I tried Target, I tried Meijer. I’m not kidding.

big-sexy-hair-drugstore-roundup

I could not find the Sexy Hair “Powder Play” any of these places. So … back home I check online and the one place I forgot was Ulta. So I’ll try there soon. If I don’t find it there, I’ll buy it on amazon.com (Ipsy’s $5 off of $25 purchase of the product from the ulta site isn’t a “deal” when you have to pay shipping… plus spend more money.)


Almost forgot. A discount code to GenBeauty in LA. The fact that it’s in LA I won’t be attending but the coupon code can be used by multiple people so I thought I would post it:

ipsy genbeauty discount code 2013

And the unboxing video (this time I remembered the tripod! But my angles are a little off):

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Ipsy March 2013 Review

Ipsy March 2013 Review

Ipsy subscription, my second month review for March 2013

Yaba eyeshadow minis – “so vein” and “sand dune” not thrilled with the ingredients of the eyeshows (dimethicone and parabens) and probably won’t use them BUT it is worth a quick mention that the site does have some other interesting things. It looks like a good resource for depotting eyeshadows since they sell pans ( empties ), magnets, pallets etc. http://www.yabycosmetics.com/
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GlamRX – when I opened this I thought I had been shorted a blush or something. I actually had to look up what this was. It’s a magnetic palette that you can put various products in… like the yaba eyeshadows or your own products. If you have a lot of makeup that’s pan based then this would be a nice item to throw in your purse. Better than the version on their site that includes a second level with their own products. For me personally it’s kinda “meh” but I’m keeping it in case I have a need for it in the future. Biggest comment on this is that it should have been labeled so my gut reaction wasn’t super disappointment from thinking I had been shorted products.
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Juice Beauty Hydrating Mist – ingredients are ok but my nose can’t handle anything that smells of roses which this does. So for me personally this is not a good one BUT otherwise it seems like a good product.
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LA Fresh Travel-lite Makeup Remover Wipes – mineral oil and parabens and fragrance so not natural. I LOVE their nail polish remover wipes but I’m going to have to pass on these.
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Nautical Anchor makeup bag – this is fairly cute.
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Bottom line – if the juice beauty product hadn’t been rose scented I’d be pretty happy with this for $10. I had been interested in trying other LA Fresh products but I didn’t realize that not all of their products had the same level of natural ingredients. This feels a bit more like the Birchboxes have been for awhile for me so not as amazing as last month. I’m going to stick with Ipsy for awhile but at some point I’m wondering if I might instead just start buying $20 worth of makeup I pick out instead. There IS just something fun about a surprise bag though. ALSO seriously happy that there’s no perfume in the Ipsy selections.

February 2013 subscription boxes – Birchbox VS Ipsy

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.

birchbox-v-ipsy

Bear with me now … this is going to be a long post.

Ispy:

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.
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 – 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.
starstarstarstaremptystarempty – 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.
starstarstarstarstar – 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.
starstarstaremptystaremptystarempty – 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.
starstarstarstarstarempty – 4 stars

Birchbox:

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.
starstarstarstarstarempty – 4 stars

Miss Jessie’s® Original Pillow Soft Curls: Fragrance was on the ingredients list but I 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.
staremptystaremptystaremptystaremptystarempty – 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.
starstarstarstaremptystarempty – 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. 🙂
starstarstarstarstar – 5 stars

Lancôme LA BASE PRO primer:

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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
staremptystaremptystaremptystaremptystarempty – 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.


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Birchbox January 2013

My Birchbox January 2013

birchbox january 2013

  • number4 clarifying shampoo – yay! Interested in trying this one
  • the balm hot mama – was excited about this until I read dimeticone on the ingredients – it breaks me out
  • fresh lotus youth face cream – dimethicone strikes again
  • lashem – my eyelashes are thick enough so no interest
  • harvey prince skinny chic – when are they going to stop sending me synthetic fragrances – I haven’t even opened it and the smell coming from it is giving me a headache. They need to stop sending me fragrances already. Particularly since they aren’t sending anything that’s natural.

Anyone want to swap? The only one I plan to try is the shampoo. And I also think I’m going to try ipsy.


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{ yes it’s an affiliate link, I get 50 points which equals $5 credit – share the love! }