@Birchbox unboxing and reviews November 2013 #moregood

Birchbox unboxing and reviews November 2013 - ClothingCult.com

Mox Botanicals Bath Milk in Vanilla and Coconut – “All Mox Botanicals products contain no parabens, sulfates, chemical preservatives, synthetic fragrances or dyes.” YES!!! So excited. I’ll list out the ingredients for the Bath Milk for those who have strange allergies, since I couldn’t find that info online but the company’s philosophy rocks! Ok … not on the product packaging either so I’ll have to email the company… More than likely these would rate a 1 … but that’s just guessing! ūüôā

Ahmad Teas Assorted Teas – ok it’s tea, I’m good, not wowed but I suspect the quality will be good on these (though coffee would win though if you pit in a fight to the death against each other.) English Tea No. 1, Raspberry Indulgence, and Jasmine Romance. Probably not going to review these here late. ūüôā

Chella Highlighter Pencil in Ivory Lace¬†– I LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE this. I got this in one of my ipsy bags¬†back in June and I’m actually running low on this and needed to reorder. It’s a great multitasker. It’s a concealer, it’s a light highlighter, it blends well AND it’s super healthy!!! When I saw this was a possible product in this month’s box I got super excited … not only at the possibility of getting one in my box but I was hoping that at the very least I could snap a few more up with the free shipping that typically accompanies products included in a specific month. It has lasted about 4 months which is not bad for a multitasking product I use a LOT. I’ll be ordering more of these!! See my Chella Highlighter Pencil Ivory Lace swatch and review¬†here as well as the¬†¬†EWG cosmetics database review (it’s a 2!)

Miss Jessie’s¬ģ Original Leave-In Condish – the only major negative with this is the fragrance… pretty good on the ingredient list otherwise. It still ends up a 4 with the cosmetic database … synthetic frangrance really takes it’s toll folks! (And I’m not just going on what I’m told, reducing the number of synthetic fragrances in my life has been one of MANY factors in reducing my allergies.) I may give this a try still as long as it doesn’t make my nose immediately rebel (there are some that are more intolerable than others… heck I don’t even do well personally with some natural florals.)

Nope nope – Miss Jessie, the scent killed this one for me. Tim gaged and coughed when I walked into the room and said I smelled like an old lady and I thought it smelled like VERY strong laundry. I started to feel like I wanted to get away from the scent after about 15 minutes but I couldn’t because it was ON my head so there was no getting away. I ended up drying my hair just to see if heat would help remove some of the scent and it didn’t. It felt like if I had let it air dry I would have had amazing curls though. But the overpowering scent led to me washing my hair three times and still smelled like it but at least it was more tolerable. If they got rid of the scent I would try it again.

Allergies and synthetic fragrance toxicity aside, if I wanted to wear a perfume of my choosing, this product would obliterate that as well. Why do companies feel the need to so much scent in everything? I know that scent is tied to emotion and can make some products more desirable but there’s really a limit how far you should take that.

And please please please … if you’re going to tout natural, paraben free etc. maybe think about the scent being natural as well please! SO close on this product!

Color Club¬ģ Harlem Lights Collection¬†in Baldwin Blues¬†– I don’t think I’ve met any Color Club nail polish that I didn’t like. This collection has a few standout colors. The Baldwin Blues is one that was my top pick and Sugar Rays is an interesting subtle holographic shade that looks like it will change based on the angle you look at it (I might go back and buy this one.) The Baldwin Blues looks a little bit more blue online but in person it’s a little more teal. Like a perfect deep deep creamy teal perfect for fall and winter. I’m already in love with this one! Swatch video coming soon.

So my top pics from the November 2013 Birchbox¬†are …

the Chella Highlighter Pencil in Ivory Lace and the Color Club nail polish in Baldwin Blues. I think I may like the bath milk as well but I’m not big on taking a lot of baths.

 



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Did you get one of the Color Club nail polishes?
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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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 Р1 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.
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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 Р5 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.
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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.
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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.
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Miss Jessie’s¬ģ 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 Р3.5 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. ūüôā
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Lanc√īme LA BASE PRO primer:

Screen Shot 2013-02-17 at 6.13.00 PM

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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