Birchbox & Ipsy for October 2013

Birchbox & Ipsy for October 2013

In my Ipsy Glambag for October 2013:

Zoya Nail Polish in Neve – as always, another great Zoya color. Perfect for fall and winter and really great because it’s a classy cobalt blue shade. All Zoya polishes are 3-free.

Sexy Hair Blow Dry Gel – dimethicone, can’t use it personally. Cosmetics database rates it a 6! Remember, lower is better!

Coastal Scents Medium Shadow Brush – this is going to be my goto eyeshadow brush. I love this shape brush and previously had been buying the ELF brushes that are this shape (a brush doesn’t always have to be expensive to be quality.) The quality of the ELF brushes has gone downhill however as my last purchase of these brushes from ELF, the brush bristles were a little mis-shaped. The Coastal Scents brush is a little long but otherwise it’s a real step up from the ELF brush in terms of quality. The bristles are in the perfect shape and size and the handle coating is much better. This seems like it will last a much longer time and I’ll probably be buying a few more in the near future. It is a synthetic brush in case that is a deciding factor for you.

La Fresh® Eco-Beauty® Oil-Free Face Cleanser Wipes – I haven’t used this yet but I’m looking forward to trying it. I think they’ve changed the ingredients some since the last time I checked out this product because the current ingredients are healthier than what I remember. I’m already a big fan of the LA Fresh nail polish remover wipes. Cosmetics Database rates this a 4 … I suspect the real life rating would be lower if EWG would account for natural scents. Checked without the “fragrance” this was a 2.

Wet n Wild Photo Op Eyeshadow – dimethicone, can’t use it personally. Cosmetics Database rates this a 1! I’m surprised! But I still can’t use it personally. :/

 


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In my Birchbox October 2013:

Bain de Terre macadamia oil NOURISHING CONDITIONER – argh dimethicone, so I can’t personally use.  Cosmetics Database score is a 4.

POP Beauty Aqua Lacquer – nothing to keep me from trying this but it’s not exactly healthy either. It uses mineral oil, propylparaben, and fragrance. The color is a fun color that reminded me of a cherry lollipop but goes on a little more subtly like a thin layer of something that should pop over neutral lip tone. The color is good. It is fairly sticky sticky however so even if I hadn’t looked over the ingredients, I’m not sure I would choose to wear this regularly. Cosmetics Database score is a 4.

ChapStick® Hydration Lock – dimethicone, can’t personally use. Cosmetics Database score is a 5. Remember, lower is better.

Liz Earle Cleanse & Polish™ Hot Cloth Cleanser Starter Kit – INCREDIBLE ingredient list. The only one I wasn’t sure about in terms of personal allergies is hops. I know I have some problems consuming hops but I’ve never had the occasion to try anything topically so I don’t know if I have a skin sensitivity to it. I HAVE used this though for the last 4 days both morning and night and so far no problems. I’m in love with this. My face looks and feels healthier. It doesn’t cause my face to get oily, it doesn’t strip away like a regular soap cleanser might AND I still feel clean after using it. This is a tough thing to accomplish, healthy natural ingredients and not left feeling like you still need to clean.

Really – my face has a nice healthy glow to it now. I can’t tell how much of that is the muslin cloth and how much is this cleanser but this cleanser is definitely good still. Liz Earle has done an excellent job with this product! Cosmetics Database score is a 3. 

Liz Earle Pure Muslin Cloths – LOVE this. Already tried this and absolutely love love love it. This is just the right amount of exfoliation for 1-2 times per day use. It’s surprising because holding the cloth I really didn’t think I was going to be that impressed by it. It doesn’t feel like it’s going to scrub much but somehow it does. I don’t know if all muslin would be scrubby or if Lis Earle has just sourced the perfect cloth but I think I’m in. As long as I can find a better way to store / dry these I think I’m going to buy a few more to have on hand / keep as backups!


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July 2013 Birchbox vs Ipsy

Unboxing video for both the July Birchbox as well as the July Ipsy:

In my July 2013 Birchbox:

  • Marcelle BB Cream Golden Glow – perfume free is a pro on this one … but there are two forms of dimethicone in this. Some good ingredients in this and some ingredients I recognize to not be so healthy. I can’t find the ingredient list online to copy and paste and it’s rather lengthy so I’m not going to run it through the cosmetic database for a score (it’s not in there without the custom report.)  staremptystaremptystaremptystaremptystarempty 0/5 stars
  • Dr. Jart+ Ceramidin Cream – I don’t know how accurate or current this ingredient list is but it does say there is dimethicone which rules it out for me personally. There are too many ingredients here for me to type it all into the cosmetic database for you to check the score to see if it is otherwise healthy for you. Generally it doesn’t look too bad but for me this is a  staremptystaremptystaremptystaremptystarempty 0/5 stars  (Can more companies or Birchbox start posting full ingredient lists online in a way that’s more accessible? This gets frustrating even outside of Birchbox at times.)
  • Beauty Protector Protect & Shampoo – fragrance and two types of dimethicone. Custom cosmetics database report on the ingredients brings it up as a 6 which is not exactly healthy either. staremptystaremptystaremptystaremptystarempty 0/5 stars
  • Beauty Protector Protect & Condition –  fragrance and  dimethicone. Custom cosmetics database report on the ingredients brings it up as a 5 so again not exactly healthy either. staremptystaremptystaremptystaremptystarempty 0/5 stars
  • FRAIS™ Towelettes Individualsamazing ingredients but I think this has to be one of the most expensive per use products to date. Cosmetics database ranks it a 2 which is excellent and there are a lot of healthy oils and other ingredients in this AND it’s supposed to remove waterproof mascara. However most makeup remover, moisturizing facial towelettes come in packages of 30 for between $6-$10 (so at most about $0.33 each.) This is $8 for a package of 7 towelettes! ($1.42 per use!) Since it’s individual packets I do think this might be good for travel but … I just can’t see using this regularly. Then again Birchbox hooked me on the LA Fresh nail polish removers for $0.50 a pop when regular bottles of nailpolish removers are only a couple of dollars and last an untold number of uses. So we shall see. Since I haven’t docked any others for price I’m going to leave this at starstarstarstar 5/5 stars

In my July 2013 Ipsy:My July 2013 Ipsy bag - cute hot pink!

  • POP Beauty – Pouty Pop Crayon in Coral Crush – No dimeticone but it does use fragrance and petrolatum and mineral oil. A custom cosmetics database report brings it up as a 4. Between that and the fact it doesn’t have dimethicone I’m going to give it a try. It’s not super healthy but it’s … ok. If the manufacturer would skip the fragrance it would bring it’s score down quite a bit and be healthier even though it still would still not count as a natural product. I have tried this on and the shade is a little odd on me … I’m still undecided on it. starstarstarstaremptystarempty 3/5 stars
  • BH Cosmetics California Collection Eyeshadow Sample – mineral oil, talc, parabens. Meh moving on. I know I don’t want to use it. staremptystaremptystaremptystaremptystarempty 0/5 stars
  • COOLA Mineral Face SPF 20 Unscented Moisturizer –  I checked out this company’s full line back when I received the COOLA Classic SPF 30 Cucumber Moisturizer for Face back in the May Birchbox and pretty much everything looked awesome. So good in fact that I bought the unscented sport sunblock already but had been hoping to try the unscented face spf at some point. Scents right on your face can get a little old quickly if you aren’t in love with them and I wanted to see if this was something that worked better for say somewhere you might be out all day that isn’t the beach. starstarstarstarstar 5/5 stars
  • Sexy Hair – Weather Proof Humidity Resistant Spray – at first glance I thought “well it’s only the fragrance I’m annoyed about. Then I ran it through a custom report with EWG’s skin deep cosmetic database and ended up with a 10 … TEN out of ten for highly hazardous ingredients. Bah! Ten is the worst possible score! But no dimethicone in this one… ugh. staremptystaremptystaremptystaremptystarempty 0/5 stars
  • derma e – Microdermabrasion Scrub – 100% vegan, cruelty-free, paraben-free, sulfate-free, mineral oil-free, glycol-free, lanolin-free, gluten free, GMO-free. No dimethicone or synthetic fragrance either (it does have a natural scent to it that smells fairly lemony.) And it ranks a measly 2 with the cosmetic database so this is a winner for being a healthy product and I look forward to trying it. Fingers crossed! starstarstarstarstar 5/5 stars

Birchbox 05/25 stars = 0.2 stars total staremptystaremptystaremptystaremptystarempty
Ipsy 13/25 stars = 1.92 stars total starstarstaremptystaremptystarempty

If I had to choose between the two boxes, month after month Ipsy has been winning hands down for me personally. It’s just those occasional gems and finding out about new brands along with Birchbox’s points system…. and well basically all the things I wrote about in this post that’s keeping me with Birchbox. It is what it is. 🙂

Hilary's July Birchbox vs Ipsy review and video

PS – my fun and funky straw fedora came from Kohl’s. Since Birchbox mentioned Power Plays being “A move that puts an individual in a position of victory and strength and/or maximizes one’s happiness or confidence and allows for extreme freedom”… I would have to say this hat would be my current power play. I hate having to dry my hair in the summer and this hides the fact that I keep washing and running or going to the pool and then not having styling tools with me… or for today it was an instance of not washing so I could make it to an early morning meeting and then my hair looking a little frazzled by the end of the day but I still wanted to get this video done so I plopped on the hat. I also wore it to Forecastle Music Festival so my forehead and ears didn’t get burned (with or without sunscreen my forehead seems to burn if out way too long) but I do think I need to find a hat that has a bit better ventilation because this one has a tendency to heat up when it’s 85+ degrees outside! 🙂

 

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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