Product Reviews – Birchbox, 2 boxes

Hi Beauties,

It’s a dreary slightly snowy day, so it feels like a good day to spit out a blog post. However, to brighten up my day, and hopefully yours, I snatched a Birchbox deal at the end of October where I got two boxes for the price of one. Now with this kind of deal (I have managed to get this one other time a year and a half ago) you never know what the second box is going to be! I was so pleasantly surprised when I opened up the big box from Birchbox and discovered the bonus box was their Rifle Paper Co. box! I am not going to be renewing my subscription to Birchbox at the present time, but I am glad I got it this past month. The samples were a really nice mix of eh not so sure about this to wow I really like this.

Okay, so to start of with, let’s talk about the November box. The theme of November was The Finishing Touch – all about those extra, just-because details that make all the difference. When I glanced at the list of samples I was getting, I was excited to see an Amika product was included. At first I thought it was my favorite dry shampoo, but upon further inspection, it is their dry conditioner. I didn’t even know such a product existed, but I was willing to give it a shot. The second product was the Hairdresser’s Invisible Oil from Bumble and Bumble. I have gotten this product in the past and found it to be too heavy for my hair. So this was one of the eh not so sure products.

Next down the line was a teaser from Coastal Scents’ new Blush & Bronzer palette. This sample included a blush and what looks like either a dark highlighter or a very light bronzer. I haven’t tried this one out yet since I am currently loving on my Pixi by Petra contour palette right now. A Dr. Jart+ product was included called Ceramidin Cream and while I haven’t tried it yet either, I am planning on giving it a shot once my current night cream product runs out.

Now, on to my favorite product from this box. I have heard of Milk Makeup off and on over the past two years, but had yet to try one of their products. I was really excited to see this Ubame Mascara included and couldn’t wait to try it. I just picked up a replacement for my favorite Better Than Sex Too Faced mascara, but have recently had to get rid of all my other mascaras because they had either dried up or run out. I was curious to see how the triple-ball applicator would compare to the hourglass applicator on the Better Than Sex mascara. Honestly, I really like the Milk mascara. It goes on super smooth, doesn’t flake, and I rather like the rich dark color.

When I opened the Rifle Paper Co. box, I was so excited to see a lip crayon and another Amika product! This product was their touchable hairspray and it seems to be holding up to the Amika standard I’ve come to know.

I have heard of Derma e products before but had never tried them, and for the other three products, those were new brands as well. I tried the derma e 2-in-1 charcoal mask the first night and really liked it. It dried fairly quickly, but it didn’t make my skin feel uncomfortably tight and it washed off easily which was a bit of a surprise.

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^ there’s the charcoal mask partially dried.

img_3532I received two RMS Beauty ultimate makeup remover wipes and have yet to use them. I’m going to save them for when I’m in the hospital after my son is born! I’m excited to see that the wipes contain coconut oil as that’s something I’ve used many times to remove eye makeup in particular. The Beauty Crop PBJ Smoothie Stick in Guava Nice Day is a beautiful mauve lipstick color and what I like most about it is that it lasts for a long time on your lips, is easy to apply, and the color seriously is really nice! It also doesn’t feel dehydrating to my lips and almost feels like a lip balm instead of lip color.

The TOCCA Crema da Mano (hand cream) didn’t even register with me that it was a hand cream until this morning! My hands get painfully dry during the winter and I have already been having trouble finding lotion to keep my hands from getting irritated. This hand cream has a delicate scent and while it felt a little oily as I was putting it on my hands, it has dried with a  soft finish. I like it and I may just end up picking up a full sized container of it!

So there you have it; my reviews of Birchbox products for the month of November. I can’t believe December starts in just a few short days and I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving!

Some new favorite products

Hi Babes!

I recorded this over the weekend then completely forgot to post it! I also decided this week to cancel my Ipsy and Birchbox subscriptions so I could try out Boxycharm for a few months. So as soon as I get my first box, I will do a review!

Enjoy and I hope your week is going smoothly so far!

Holiday Makeup Look

Hi babes! I hope you all are having a great Friday. Well today I’m doing a holiday makeup tutorial for you all. It is a day look in the beginning and at the end I show you how to transition it to a night look. This video is a bit longer than the ones I’ve done in the past, but trust me, it’s worth it!

Here is a list of all the products I used:

Naked 3 Palette

L’Oreal True Match Foundation N1

Kiss Eyebrow Kit

Wet n’ Wild Black Gel Eyeliner

Stilla Huge Mascara

Caetel Eyelashes

Duo Eyelash Glue

NARS Red Lip Pencil

Have a great weekend! Bye x x

Favorite Christmas Present Ideas

As both Riley and I are still recovering from colds, and I have company coming into town this week, our posting schedule has been a bit off. But don’t worry! We’ll pick up again once we’re both back on our feet.

Today, as we’re nearing November, I have been thinking a lot about Christmas gifts for a lot of my girl friends and sisters/in laws. I like to think ahead so here are a few of the ideas I’ve been coming up with. I’m not giving anything away to any of you who read this and will be getting a gift from me!

Ulta has had a lot of sales recently, and I can only imagine the amount of products on sale will pick up even more as Black Friday rolls around. But one of the things that would make an awesome stocking stuffer are their Fizz & Bubble bath balls. I plan on getting a few of these myself to use because taking a peppermint bath or cucumber melon bath sounds absolutely heavenly! Or what about L’Occitane Almond Delicious Hand Cream?

Also, as I’ve been reviewing Ipsy and Birchbox, I’ve realized it would be fun to give friends a one month’s subscription to either of those. Personally, my preference is with Birchbox now. Or what about a sample box of Smashbox products?

One of my favorite things to do right now is taking part in the current trend of “adult coloring book.” Yes, I know, super silly, but oh my gosh, take a look at this coloring book! It is definitely on my wishlist for this year. Of course, we can’t forget the colored pencils to go with the coloring book.

So what are some of the stocking stuffers or gift ideas you have for Christmas?

Product Reviews: Ipsy vs. Birchbox

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wearing the eyeliner and mascara I got in my Birchboxes

Hey babes,

how’s your Sunday going? I apologize for no posts from me or from both of us this week! I came down with a cold and only now am feeling like I have a voice back. This next week will be back to a normal posting schedule!

I heard last week that Birchbox was having a deal where you signed up for the October box and got a few box with it. All for the price of $10. Which I didn’t know Birchbox was the same price as Ipsy! Since I’ve been disappointed with the past two bags I’ve gotten from Ipsy, I decided to give Birchbox a chance. Both of my boxes came yesterday and I must say I’m pretty much sold on switching to Birchbox. But, let me explain the differences between the two companies and what I like or don’t like.

Ipsy

I first heard about Ipsy from my cousin who started posting about her Glam Bags about a year ago I think. I didn’t think much of it until Riley and I started thinking about this blog. So in July I got my first Ipsy Glam Bag. I fell in love with it. The bag was an adorable summer print and it was a soft almost linen like fabric.

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That Octavia sea salt spray is hands down one of the BEST sea salt sprays I have tried yet. I still need to get some more since I ran out (then tried to find other sprays to replace it – nothing compared!). I still use those tweezers (my favorite ones now) and the Bliss highlighter/eyeshadow. This was definitely a huge success of a bag. The only thing I didn’t like in this Glam Bag was the moisturizer. I never used it and when I tried it, it felt weird on my skin.

I figured since the first bag was so good, Ipsy must be pretty awesome. I got my second bag in August; I hated the bag itself but I absolutely loved all 5 of the products!

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I am still squeezing the bottle of the Marc Anthony Argan Oil hair treatment to get every last drop. This was another success! Then I got September’s bag.

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I only liked two of the products in this bag. And my bag came with slices in it. Like someone had cut open a box with all of the bags and caught the tops one with a box cutter. This is when I started looking around for other options. My bag for September also took an entire week longer than usual to get to me.

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This is my October Glam Bag. I got it this week and haven’t really played around with the products yet. Being sick and getting new things kind of doesn’t mesh very well. The bag is okay, I’m not terribly fond of the matte lip color from The Balm Cosmetics. I like Mica Beauty Cosmetics, but haven’t tried out the bronze eyeshadow cream yet. And I have absolutely no clue what the Go Away Gloomy Day stuff is. I need to get on Ipsy’s site and see if I can find information about it.

Okay, so here’s a break down of how Ipsy works.

PROS

  • 5 products and a makeup bag for a flat fee of $10 each month
  • customizable bags – beauty profile can be changed whenever and you can pick what kinds of products you want or don’t want
  • earn points for reviewing your bag
  • points can be used to get individual products up for grabs that month
  • referring someone earns you 250-500 points (500 only when Ipsy is having a promotion)

CONS

  • the customizable part isn’t always reliable – neither Riley or I have had much success with changing the products we wanted or didn’t want
  • earning points only goes so far – it’s hard to rack up enough points to actually get a product
  • referral system only benefits the referrer – the person using the referral link doesn’t get anything
  • bags aren’t always the best material nor will last
  • samples will really only be as big as the bags allow
  • Ipsy doesn’t have an online store but provides discount codes to use at different product’s home pages – although half the time the codes do not work

 

Birchbox

I have heard whispers of Birchbox over the past few years, but again hadn’t paid attention. I knew it was bit like Ipsy but when I saw they were doing a deal with 2 boxes for the price of one, I decided to jump on it.

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This is October’s Birchbox. While yes, it doesn’t come with a makeup bag, I was impressed when I opened the box. The packaging is quite classy and I didn’t feel any loss for not having a bag. Not feeling a loss probably had to do with the samples being almost full sized. Here’s the bonus box I got as well.

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I have been wanting to try Harvey Prince Hello perfume and was so thrilled when I opened the box and saw I had gotten a sample!! It smells as good as I’ve heard it does. Again, I didn’t feel like I needed the bonus of a makeup bag. Both the eyeliner from the bonus box and the mascara from the October box are quickly becoming favorites.

PROS

  • 5 samples for a flat fee of $10 a month
  • almost full sized samples, greater variety
  • refer someone and both you and friend get $5 – friend gets $5 off first box and you get 50 points=$5 to spend in the store
  • Birchbox isn’t just for women – they have a man’s box too
  • Birchbox also isn’t just for makeup and beauty products – they offer snacks, fashion tips, and home items as extras for their boxes
  • review your box and get 10 points for each product. 10 points = $1
  • Get 100 points = $10 to use in the store (that’s referring two people or reviewing two boxes worth of points)
  • Birchbox has a store where they have monthly/weekly deals and a whole butt load of products that ship free each week
  • Often gives out 20% codes off order of $25+

CONS

  • no makeup bag
  • they messed up and sent me two of the same boxes which actually what I was supposed to be getting. I got a total of three boxes; two October boxes and my bonus box. I still liked the box a lot but I don’t know what this means for future boxes.

I really don’t have any more cons for Birchbox. I will probably find more later, but so far my consensus is Birchbox outweighs Ipsy. Even if only because of Birchbox’s referral system. It bothers me when I refer someone to Ipsy they don’t get anything, only I do. With Birchbox I’d love to refer everyone just so they get that first box half off. So I am about 99% sure I am switching to Birchbox instead of Ipsy. At the very least, I’ll switch to Birchbox for a few months then see how it still compares with Ipsy after that point.

Let me know if anyone has had the opposite experience or why they like Ipsy better than Birchbox! Also, I am currently trying out another company called Le Tote. It is a company a lot like Stitch Fix but has a different way of doing their boxes. I will let you all know once I finish my month of Le Tote about how the two companies compare with each other!

Enjoy the last day of your weekend!