Bespoke post review – Crisp + OOTD

This month’s Bespoke Post Box of Awesome is “Crisp.”
Technically this box is usually Tim’s box but I’ve taken a few of the items from his box this month and wanted to share and review.

Bespoke Post Review Crisp

First, a little bit of background on Bespoke Post’s “Box of Awesome”

Bespoke Post operates a lot like JewelMint does in the sense that you have the option to skip a month but it’s mixed with a set box of curated style and discounted products like Birchbox or Ipsy.

Each box has a strong theme to tie the items together whether that’s coffee (link to Tim’s review)  from the Bespoke Post “Roast” box or getting a closer shave with the Shave set. Each Bespoke Post box is $45 and includes products that are often worth way more than that. Like JewelMint, you DO have to remember to skip a box but you will get an email reminder as well as information about that month’s box.

There are definitely some Bespoke Post boxes that are more unisex than others (if Tim hadn’t bought the Bespoke Post Roast I would have … oh wait … I think I started him on this subscription so I may very well have paid for that box!) But the intended audience IS men. You can take a look through past “boxes of awesome” here.

On to the review of Bespoke Post “Crisp” box
and my Outfit of the Day (OOTD)

My favorite from the box is a scarf “exclusively made for Bespoke Post by vintage-inspired clothing label Gilded Age, this scarf captures the perfect mix of rugged and refined so you can go from yard work to a night out and anywhere in between.” It retails for $119 and it is a 17″ Wide Scarf. Solid charcoal chambray on one side and Striped charcoal/white on the other side with 3″ long tassels. “Yard work” seems a little far fetched but maybe that’s because I grab the cheapest scarf I own so it can get all sweaty if we’re talking yard work…

To me this scarf looks very much like something that would sell at Madewell or Fossil but even better quality and my first thought when I saw it was that it looked like it came from Anthropologie. The scarf’s style is a bit laid back but still a classic style given that it’s chambray. The material is excellent and you can see the quality in the details like the sewn edge and how they’ve added the tassels. I expect that this scarf will last a very long time.

Gilded Age Chambray Scarf from Bespoke Post Crisp Box Review

Pictured above: Gilded Age Chambray Scarf, Lands End cashmere cotton blend sweater (this sweater was also Tim’s – accidentally run through the dryer so it shrank, sleeves rolled up so it didn’t look too baggy on me), Kohl’s Sonoma life + style red velvet ankle pants, Ugg leather and shearling Antora metallic pewter ballet flats, faux diamond bezel earrings from Curacao, and barely in the picture, the new hair donut bun.

Don’t worry guys, my photo doesn’t doom this scarf into the girly category. I should probably take a photo of Tim wearing the scarf too. It does look fairly unisex and how you tie it can be an important factor in how it looks on. (Photo of the scarf on a dude over at Dappered in case I don’t get around to photographing it on Tim.)

My next favorite item in the Bespoke Post box was the Microfiber Sheet from Declan. (Show in the first picture at the top.) It had a printed chambray pattern on it and it’s EXCELLENT for wiping down electronics. Even better than my last microfiber cloth (which Tim accepted as a consolation after I grabbed this one from his box.) Declan has a lot of great patterns on their website. Again, good quality product… I keep thinking that if they made them square they would nicely double as pocket squares for Tim.

And the last thing I took from Tim’s box was the Men in Cities Card Holder Wallet.  I’m very basic when it comes to my wallet. Less is more. Small is better. I want to be able to throw it in my purse and find it but also be able to throw it in a pants pocket quickly. And with women’s pockets being even smaller than mens, a tiny wallet is a must. I haven’t migrated my stuff over to this gray leather wallet yet because it’s just a hair smaller than my current wallet but more importantly, I’m not sure what I’m going to do with the couple of keys that hang off the current wallet…. so Tim might get this wallet back for that reason alone. I’m not sure yet. I’m not even sure I can buy yet another of the wallets I have been using for the last 5-ish years. I asked for one for Christmas one year and got two of the same thing … I kept the second and upgraded to it after much abuse of the first one. And I’ve not seen a lot like it so even without the keys, this Men in Cities card holder wallet may be my best bet. (I’ll try and post a photo soon of the two side by side.)

The one item Tim is for sure getting from this box is the Charcoal Striped Socks from Mack Weldon. There’s no way they would fit my feet! 🙂 And he needed some more nice dress socks anyway. These are nice and they appear to be a good quality. We’ll see how they hold up and if they can beat out the golden toe socks he owns.

The box also came with Carmex Lip Balm + Lotion which neither of us will use (he’s allergic to one ingredient, I react to another.)

Anyway – another great box from Bespoke Post Box of Awesome!

Like what you see? Sign yourself (or your man) up for a Bespoke Post Box!
http://bespokepost.com/r/1c10f6
(full disclosure this is an affiliate link though it’s Tim’s account)
coupon code “WINGMAN? should save you 25% off your first box!


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.
starstaremptystaremptystaremptystarempty
 – 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:

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.


 Still not signed up for Birchbox? :D

Birchbox affiliate link
http://birchbox.com?raf=3l3e7
{ yes it’s an affiliate link, I get 50 points which equals $5 credit – share the love! }