Birchbox July 2015 and EWG Skin Deep Cosmetics Database Scores


ewg skindeep cosmetics database score 5stila look at me liquid lipstick in bella – I thought this was one with dimethicone in it but in looking at the Birchbox listing, it isn’t (cones rule things out for me – allergy-like issue.) It does have parabens though. This MAY fall into a category of “unhealthy but use once in a blue moon” because the color just pops and is fun. Actually it’s not as bad as I thought it would be. It’s not healthy but it’s a 5. Right in the middle. Mostly because of Propylparaben. I think I may give this one a shot here. Just for those times when I want a super vibrant neon pink lip. 🙂

ewg skindeep cosmetics database score 5Juice Beauty® GREEN APPLE™ Peel Sensitive – I’m half and half on Juice Beauty products. Although most are SUPER healthy, I have found that only about half of them seem effective on me in doing what they claim. Juice Beauty’s oil-free moisturizer was one I used until I came across the Derma that trumped it. With that in mind, the ingredients here look good. It’s going to get docked some points with EWG for Vit A and maybe a few things that would make this a good peel … but it’s a PEEL. Yup right about where I expected it to be – it’s a 5 with Vit A causing a lot of that. Look over the ingredients and decide for yourself. I’m going to give this a try.

Keep in mind that with peels you don’t want to use them and then say go to the pool for a couple of hours. I like to use peels and exfoliators at night so I can apply some heavier moisturizers and give my face some time to heal.

ewg skindeep cosmetics database score 6Macadamia Professional™ Weightless Moisture Leave-In Conditioning Mist – Cones rule this one out for me personally but there are a lot of long ingredients in here that are throwing up warning flags as well. There is fragrance but no parabens. Let’s see what other ingredients get called out and why…. right off the bat “POLYQUATERIUM-37” doesn’t match anything. No obvious alternative name so going from there. Ah yes … an ingredient I’m starting to see more because people have become aware of parabens. Companies are choosing other preservatives that can be just as bad. In this case: METHYLISOTHIAZOLINONE So this ranks a 6 with the EWG Skin Deep Cosmetics database.

ewg skindeep cosmetics database score 6Dr. Jart+ Ceramidin Liquid – so not a “cone” by name but dimethiconol is a silicone polymer which rules this one out for me personally (personal issue with cones.) Two other ingredients were clearly misread by OCR “crosspolyrner” should be “crosspolymer” for example. Yet again with that tricky paraben preservative replacement – Methylisothiazolinone … what a mouthful. This ends up ranking a surprising 6 with the EWG Skin Deep Cosmetics database.

ewg skindeep cosmetics database score 8English Laundry Eau de Parfum No. 7 for Her – synthetic fragrance. Headache and itchy nose without even opening it. Seriously I need them to realize that this HURTS me and makes me think each month I get a fragrance about quitting. And I would readily accept having one less product in my box if it meant not having to be exposed to synthetic fragrance samples that affect my allergies. And if you think “how do you live with people around you who use these products” to which I say “there’s a reason I don’t live in NYC or some of the other major cities.” And yes I have left places when someone’s perfume was overwhelming. Fragrance is an unhealthy 8. PRETTY PRETTY PLEASE BIRCHBOX GIVE ME A WAY TO OPT OUT OF FRAGRANCE SAMPLES! I know I may still get a scented shower gel I can’t handle but I would at least like to stop getting little vials of insta-headaches. PLEASE!!!

Stila in Bella below: 

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May Ipsy 2013 – unboxing … (unbagging?)

My May Ipsy Bag 2013 Overview and ReviewsIn my May Ipsy Bag – (a cute chevron makeup bag!):

  • yaby concealer refills in Buff
  • Zoya Nail Polish in Jacqueline
  • Pacifica Roll On Perfume in Tahitian Gardenia
  • Juice Beauty Reflecting Gloss in Pink
  • Nume Finishing Serum
  • BONUS – Urban Decay Moondust in Zodiac

My May Ipsy Glamroom:

My Ipsy May Glamroom

My May Ipsy bag items in more detail review:

yaby concealer refills in Buff – well the color looks like it’s the correct shade but with cyclomethicone (cones!) and talc I’m not really interested in it. Mostly the cones keeping me away (yeah, I’m sure if you read regularly, my comment about cones causing breakouts for me has become annoying.) It however ranks a low 3 with cosmetics database which was surprising and a pro for it. staremptystaremptystaremptystaremptystarempty 0/5 stars

Zoya Nail Polish in Jacqueline – love zoya. This is “5-free” and the shade is quite surprising. I wasn’t sure I liked it at first but after I put it on it grew on me quickly. It’s not a shade I would have chosen but I really like it. It’s very opaque and it’s almost a very subtle ivory-ish eggshell shade. It’s hard to describe and it’s also hard to get a great idea from pictures. It’s elegant and I think it will be a versatile shade.  starstarstarstar 5/5 stars

Zoya Jacqueline swatch nail polish

Pacifica Roll On Perfume in Tahitian Gardenia – I already own this and I love it. I don’t mind getting a second one! Love love love this company because they are one of the few that makes wonderful natural perfumes that don’t make you smell like a hippie and aren’t over the top expensive. No they aren’t drugstore cheap but they are worth every penny. I keep meaning to do a post on the scents I have bought from them. The roll on bottles are great for travel. The Tahitian Gardenia is a rich soft scent – not light, more deep and calming. Floral notes but not teen girl and surprisingly even though I have a hard time with some florals (even natural) this one seems to get along with my sinuses. It does have a vintage-ness to it. Older, more sophisticated. starstarstarstarstar 5/5 stars

Juice Beauty Reflecting Gloss in Pink – ANOTHER winner. I double checked the ingredients just in case but this is perfect. No dimethicone, all natural organic. Nice subtle color with that touch of pink and shimmer. Not glittery. It’s a little lighter and a little more neutral than some of the other pinks I’ve bought lately. I think this would work well with a variety of skin tones. It’s is maybe a teensy little oily feeling but it feels like it stays and nourishes your lips. I still like the zuzu luxe and burt’s bees just a little better particularly since they have a wider range of colors but I almost feel like this will be my go to lip gloss in winter. starstarstarstarstar 5/5 stars

Juice Beauty Reflecting Gloss in Pink swatch

Nume Finishing Serum – fail (for me at least.) It’s only a 3 with cosmetics database (mostly due to “fragrance” being an 8 on it’s own) but “DIMETHICONOL” is basically another cone in disguise. :/ If you don’t mind cones, I suspect this will tame flyaways and be excellent against humidity, just feels like it would do what is says it will. Also even if I didn’t break out I would still likely avoid regular use because cones aren’t good for hair either over time. (I swear I’m going to do a longer post about ‘cones’ soon and just link to it instead of repeating myself so much.) staremptystaremptystaremptystaremptystarempty 0/5 stars

BONUS Urban Decay Moondust in Zodiac – This was apparently a bonus item for ipsy community members who are content creators (who knew!) You know how I feel about dimethicone however. BUT the shiny shimmery uniqueness has me intrigued. Since it’s eyeshadow and I don’t think I’ve ever broken out close to my eyes (and hopefully this won’t be a shade that migrates) I’m thinking about giving this one a go. It’s such an awesome shade. starstarstarstaremptystarempty 3/5 stars … I really can’t make up my mind on this one.

Urban Decay Moondust in Zodiac eyeshadow

At $20 a pop (and I did receive a full size sample) this is possibly the most expensive eyeshadow I’ve owned in awhile. Since I only got one color and was curious about the other colors (and to see if swatches would help me make a decision on the dimethicone breakout risk issue.) I came across this excellent video that shows the different shades and swatches. It kinda makes me want Space Cowboy. I’m about 90% likely to give this one a shot… we’ll see. If I do use it I’ll post some photos of it on and swatched.


May Ipsy Bag total score:

starstarstarstaremptystarempty 3/5 stars overall. But I REALLY REALLY liked several of the items in my May Ipsy bag. And should I start counting the bag? I don’t really use the bags but this one was really cute. I might have a thing for chevron lately though.

Oh and I almost forgot – the Nume Coupon Code:

I should upload the unbagging video I did soon. There was also a coupon code on a card for

I was thinking that their styling products were going to be super super expensive if they were offering a $110 discount and a free heat protector. I was right. However there was one hair straightener, the mini, that would have been cheap with the discount but it said it was backordered. I decided to give it a try. … It won’t let you backorder it. When I clicked checkout I just kept being brought back to the checkout page with a warning at the top that the item was out of stock. Can’t order something that’s out of stock even if you’re willing to wait for it. Which makes the other products that the coupon code qualifies for STILL over $45. :/



Has anyone tried their styling tools? I haven’t looked for reviews yet. I’d want mega reviews before I forked over the amount of money (even WITH a discount) that they are asking for their styling tools. I think the most expensive styling tool I’ve ever bought was … $60?

Birchbox April 2013 Unboxing & Reviews


In my Birchbox for April 2013:

  • Caudalie Divine Oil – “Fragrance“… otherwise the ingredients are good. I’ll have to try this for a day to see if I react to it. They have an excellent ethics policy on their website so I decided to check further and see if there was any chance that the “fragrance” was from essential oils – nope. Too bad. This is what their website says at the bottom of their FAQ page “What is the origin (natural or synthetic) of your fragrances? We prefer synthetic molecules for our face care products and Fresh Fragrances to prevent the risk of sensitization. Essential oils are indeed known for their photosensitizing and allergic risk.” I really disagree with this statement as it relates to allergies. Personally, I’m more likely to have an allergic sinus reaction to a synthetic fragrance than one from a natural ingredient. Synthetic cause allergic reactions as well and you could have an allergic reaction to the other ingredients + check out what the cosmetics database says about FRAGRANCE.  I’ll probably try this since it doesn’t make my nose itch. I’m still going to dock it a star for synthetics fragrance when there’s just no need. starstarstarstarstarempty 
  • Juice Beauty Stem Cellular Repair CC Cream – Excellent ingredients. I’m REALLY excited to try this one. Hmm except “Warm Glow” is not a match to my color. I’m going to dock it a star for two reasons: 1) I still get to try it but I can’t go around looking like an oompa loompa so I can’t try it for a full day 2) The product only comes in two color options (“neutral glow” and “warm glow”) seems like it would make it less likely work for people. $39 is a bit of a hefty price to pay to check a shade so with only two colors they should have either sent two samples OR included with the single bigger sample one of those peel back shade numbers they tend to use in magazines with all shades. Just sayin’ – it’s not like lipgloss and the goal is to get me interested to buy a full size version right? starstarstarstarstarempty 
  • Hail Merry Macaroons – More excellent ingredients. Gluten Free. Non-GMO. Vegan (this last one I don’t care that much about.) Made with Coconut and Coconut Oil – Nom. starstarstarstarstar 
  • Ojon rare blend™ Deep Conditioner – Seriously? What have you done with my birchbox, ingredients look good on this one as well and I’ll be trying it! Use like conditioner at the end of your shower except leave it in for at least 2 minutes before rinsing it out. I went ahead and tried this and I’m in love with it. Soft lovely hair. starstarstarstarstar
  • Supergoop!® Advanced SPF 37 Anti-Aging Eye Cream – Paraben, Fragrance,and Oxybenzone Free. BUT it has dimethicone listed as an ingredient (linked to ingredient list.) Without a doubt will break me out. :/ Ugh. So SO close but not for me. I am however giving it one star because it is so SO close and usually the ones that have dimethicone in them aren’t! starstaremptystaremptystaremptystarempty
  • Elizabeth Arden – 3 samples in one: staremptystaremptystaremptystaremptystarempty 0/5 stars for these next three.
    • Visible Difference Skin Balancing Exfoliating Cleanser – Fragrance and Parabens. :/ There’s no dimethicone in this one but I’m not sure I’m going to try it out. I checked it on the cosmetics database with a custom report using the ingredients listed on Birchbox’s site and it came up a 5. It’s on the higher side for me but it’s also not the worst product out there (they go up to 10.) FRAGRANCE and PROPYLPARABEN are the ingredients that really affect this one’s score – it would probably be around a 3 and acceptable with healthier versions of these. I’m giving it one star because despite the score I’m tempted to try this one. I love exfoliators and it’s not horrendous (but I won’t try it if the smell makes my nose itch.) starstaremptystaremptystaremptystarempty 
    • Visible Difference Optimizing Skin Serum – again with Fragrance and Parabens. Dimethicone means I won’t be trying this one. And when I ran it through the cosmetics database, the custom report generator based on the ingredients this one came up a 10. 10 is the worst score you can get. staremptystaremptystaremptystaremptystarempty
    • Visible Difference Skin Balancing Lotion – more fragrance and parabens but again the dimethicone is the killer for me. I ran it through the cosmetics database and it came up an 8 so it’s pretty bad for your health as well. staremptystaremptystaremptystaremptystarempty

AND OH MY GOODNESS — NO CRAPPY PERFUME SAMPLES!!!! THANK YOU!!!! Now the brands could work a bit on the synthetic fragrance IN products side of things but that’s notsomething Birchbox can control.

If you tally my numbers above we have a little over 3 stars for this box. starstarstarstaremptystarempty 🙂

Birchbox April 2013 is a good one for me.

I think the product I’m most excited about is the Ojon rare blend™ Deep Conditioner because my hair looks like this without using a curling iron or straightener.


What I used in my hair for this photo and video below:

  • Desert Essence Organics Fragrance Free Shampoo
  • Ojon Rare Blend Deep Conditioner – healthier, softer, nicer looking
  • Alba Botanica soft hold style cream – adds a bit of volume and a little control
  • Shea Moisture Organic Hold & Shine Hair Moisture Mist Coconut & Hibiscus – not really for hold, but acts more as a detangler for my hair because the Alba style cream seems to make it more tangle prone

Birchbox April 2013 Unboxing video below:

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Update May 16th: The Ojon has dimeticone in it -ARGH!!! I was trying to figure out what I had used  recently that was breaking out my chin and I’ve used this a couple times the last few weeks. I thought maybe it was stress but then I reviewed the ingredients and there it was. ARGH!

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.

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.

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.

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.

Nautical Anchor makeup bag – this is fairly cute.

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.