Birchbox unboxing May 2014

Birchbox unboxing May 2014 • via ClothingCult.com

Caldrea Body Lotion – in Aloe Water Apricot

ewg skindeep cosmetics database score 4Fragrance added (likely synthetic), no cones, could be healthier but not bad. This scores a 4 with the cosmetics database (0 is healthiest, 10 is worst.) The synthetic fragrance knocks that down a lot but it does have some other ingredients that are excellent for skin moisturizing so I’ll probably give this a try.

Caldrea Body Wash – in Aloe Water Apricot

ewg skindeep cosmetics database score 5Fragrance added (likely synthetic), no cones, could be healthier but could also be worse. This scores a 5 with the cosmetics database. I’m not big on body washes anymore so I’m not sure yet if I’ll try this.

Marcelle New·Age 8 in 1 Power Serum

ewg skindeep cosmetics database score 4Cones rule this one out for me personally. It has one ingredient to be a little concerned about which brings it’s ranking up to a 4 with the cosmetics database (0 is the healthiest, 10 is the worst.) Not bad, could be better but if it’s not something you are allergic to, I would give it a shot.

PIXI Beauty Shea Butter Lip Balm – in Pixi Pink

ewg skindeep cosmetics database score 3Pretty good here. None of the usual nasties. No fragrances etc. This ranks a healthy 3 with the cosmetics database. Now lip balms are nice but I do lean towards glosses so I’m really not sure how much I will use this in particular.

This is going to sound a little odd but between the name, the color, and the tube itself, this reminds me of some sort of tinkerbell lipstick I had as a kid. The color is a fairly vibrant pink but it’s also still a lip balm so it’s sheer.

One thing to note – the twist tube on this seems to like to let the product fall back down into the tube. This is something Pixi Beauty needs to maybe work on. This is not a dollar store product (like I would wear anything from the dollar store to begin with – scary!) and it makes it a bit harder to put on.

Votivo Candle Travel Tin

Ok here’s where I’m going to get a little weird. Soy candles are supposed to be healthier than paraffin candles right? Well every time I’ve tried to go with healthier candles, I’ve ended up with a MASSIVE headache. Soy candles. Paraffin candles with natural scents. I’m not sure what goes on here that really messes with me. Basically the only candles that don’t give me a headache are synthetic (I know, bad) and paraffin. Best is a basic vanilla. I will give this one a shot even though it looks like it’s soy with synthetic fragrance so not entirely healthy. But I really have not figured out my deal with candles. Tim is the same way though … with some opposite allergies (he can’t handle lavendar for example) so it makes candle choosing VERY difficult and I opt for the “not healthy” candles because “not healthy” is better than a massive headache.

Out of the box the smell is decent. Lit might be another story completely. We’ll see.

Votivo Candle Travel Tin

Supergoop!® Everyday SPF 30 with Cellular Response Technology

ewg skindeep cosmetics database score 5Another neither here nor there. See my comments on the sunscreen ipsy sent this month. This is also a 5 with the cosmetics database. With a little planning you can do better. Take a look at my previous post on natural / healthier sunscreens.

 

So the May 2014 Birchbox overall: some things I’m really excited to try and some things that aren’t my cup of tea. Still worth the $10/month to try some new products!


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Ipsy Glambag April 2014

Ipsy Glambag April 2014

Cailyn Tinted Lip Balm

ewg skindeep cosmetics database score 2Cones rule this one out for me personally. Otherwise though it ranks a 2 with the cosmetics database so it’s not unhealthy for you.

Urban Decay 24/7 Velvet Glide-On Eye Pencil Travel Size

ewg skindeep cosmetics database score 1dimethicone is the first ingredient. Again this is natural but cones have without a doubt caused major acne breakouts for me. Again another one that ranks well with the cosmetics database that I just can’t use. This one ranks a 1.

Demeter Jasmine Perfume Oil Roll On

ewg skindeep cosmetics database score 3From the Demeter website: “…some Demeter Classic fragrances are all natural, we do use some synthetic ingredients in most Classic fragrances. Generally speaking, the ingredients in our fragrances are at least 95% derived from natural and sustainable sources, and we use no artificial color or Phthalates or parabens.” Since synthetic fragrances rank poorly when it comes to your health, 5% is still not natural enough for me for a fragrance. They do have a small natural fragrance line that they say “Demeter Naturals fragrances are completely natural.” But I also know that they are allowed to put things into products in very small quantity without adding it to the label so I think I would rather go with some essential oils than trust a brand that primarily makes a synthetic fragrance line. The Jasmine Perfume Roll on is NOT part of the naturals line. It does only rank a 3 though which is below my usual threshold for trying something … torn on this. The only purpose is scent and it’s synthetic…

dr. brandt® microdermabrasion

ewg skindeep cosmetics database score 6no cones, no parabens, no phthalates, etc etc. It does have synthetic fragrance added though. The current skin deep cosmetics database report ranks it a 6 HOWEVER the ingredients on that report are wrong and don’t match the current product ingredients. So I did a custom report and it ranks a … 6 still. Oh well. This is higher than I want to go on a product that scrubs skin off my face. Particularly with the synthetic fragrance added.

Elizabeth Mott pop! goes the shadow in champagne

ewg skindeep cosmetics database score 1Cones again rule this one out for me but it ranks well and is only a 1 with the skin deep cosmetics database.

 

So this month was a bit of a bust in my opinion on the Ipsy bag for me. Nothing I can use but there are some good products in here nonetheless.

Ipsy Glambag April 2014

 

I looked at the other products that people were sent and there wasn’t anything I was too excited about.

Ipsy Glambag April 2014 did not receive

I would have loved another Coastal Scents eyeshadow brush simply because I love the one I have. I haven’t bought another because of the shipping is more than the brush. The Classic Shadow Medium Natural brush is only $2.49… heck I’m just going to go ahead and buy a couple more since my other eyeshadow brushes have seen better days and it’s currently 25% off. Oh and my other problem is that I look at their other brushes and want to try them and before I know it I have 20 other brushes in my cart when I just thought I was going to go buy one… 🙂

 


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Ipsy Glambag unboxing January 2014

Ipsy Glambag January 2014

Elizabeth Mott Smooth Shadow Pencil – no cones and it’s an excellent healthy ingredient list. The cosmetics database brings this back as a 1 so the only additional question is whether or not it will last the day or crease a lot.

Elizabeth Mott Smooth Shadow Pencil in Penny

(MALIN+GOETZ) Mojito Lip Balm –  the initial search on the cosmetics database had me wowed with a zero (best score ever!) but turned out that their listing for this product only had two ingredients whereas the product is now much more complex OR simply entered wrong for that listing. I created a custom report based on the longer list of ingredients and came back with a rating of a 5. Bah humbug. Other than the synthetic fragrance though it doesn’t have ingredients that have me running for the hills. If this doesn’t bother my nose I MAY try this one anyway.

Proactiv+ Mark Fading Pads – Well it’s not the usual ingredient I call out but if you see “urea” you probably have a less than healthy product. I had high hopes for this after I checked for Benzoyl Peroxide (I’m allergic to the key ingredient in the main Proactive product.) I like the idea of something with glycolic acid that would promote skin cell turnover for healthier looking skin and fading acne scarring faster however the IMIDAZOLIDINYL UREA (FORMALDEHYDE RELEASER) is not something I want on my skin. The cosmetics database report brings this product as a whole back as a 5 rating.

Sexy Hair Healthy Sexy Hair Soy Tri-Wheat Leave In Conditioner – cones so I can’t use this one personally. It’s also a 6 with the cosmetics database. This brand is fairly hit and miss. Some products that are excellent and healthy and others that might do great things for your hair but aren’t so healthy.

skiin Soothing and Smoothing Eye Cream – cones so I can’t use this one personally. It’s a 5 with the cosmetics database and it brought to my attention one other thing. I like essential oils but since Tim is allergic to certain natural oils I don’t like the vague “blend of essential oils” on the ingredient list.

 

Not in my bag but wish I had received (and I may try):

 


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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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