March Birchbox and Ipsy Bag Reviews

I’ve been meaning to post this for a while as I usually post the reviews for the previous month around the time I get the April boxes.

Birchbox

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If I were to put Birchbox and Ipsy up against each other (which I usually do), Birchbox would have won hands down for the month of March, not that the products for the month were anything special, Ipsy just dropped the ball. So here’s what I got in my March Birchbox and what I thought of the products:

  1. Incoco® Design Nail Polish Appliques – I had never tried any nail strip type product before so I was excited to try these. I wasn’t crazy about the design, but Incoco appears to have some better designs on their website. Now putting these on wasn’t exactly easy and they didn’t turn out fantastic, but they held up way longer than had I just painted my nails. (I’m talking 2 weeks vs. a few days.) I did apply a top coat to my nails even though it said you didn’t have to so I have no idea if that helped.
  2. Serge Normant Meta Revive Dry Shampoo – My hair is fine and gets oily quite quickly so this was fantastic on those nights I wanted to go out late but didn’t want to shower again. I don’t think I’d be able to use it rather than washing my hair for the day. It gave my hair just enough “oomph” for the night though.
  3. Whish Shave Crave Shaving Cream – Maybe it was the sample size for this product and not knowing how much to use, but I just didn’t see anything special about this shave cream. It had the consistency of a Clearasil cream cleanser, that didn’t lather well or do much of anything but rinse right off. I’m not one to use shave cream often in general. My Schick Hydro Silk razor and some body wash is normally enough, but $20 for the full size of this product just seems outrageous to me.
  4. Madewell for Birchbox Nail Emery Board – The other side of this emery board is a floral print that just isn’t really my taste. I guess it’s quite appropriate for Spring, but wasn’t for me. It also wasn’t anything special. Just a basic nail file.
  5. Caldrea Body Lotion – I have to be honest with this one. I haven’t had dry skin so I haven’t tried these at the time of writing this. I will try and post an update if I do try them.

Ipsy

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Ipsy just didn’t live up to my expectations with this box. The bags themselves lately seem to be getting cheaper and cheaper, but usually the products aren’t that bad. March was pretty disappointing though.

  1. La Fresh Travel Lite Makeup Remover 8ct Pouch – These are the perfect size to travel with. I was excited when my aunt (also an Ipsy subscriber) sent them to my house with all her other  not so favorite Ipsy products. They will definitely live in my travel bag, but nothing really special about them.
  2. Juice Beauty Hydrating Mist – I’m not sure whether the sprayer for this sample was bad or what. I was excited to try this product, but the sprayer was just not meant for the product. I sprayed it on my face as I would with my Skindinavia finishing spray but I ended up getting soaked which just frustrated me. I have no idea if it would have worked better on my hair because after the shower it gave me, I put it away.
  3. GlamRX GlamRX Mini Freestyle Palette – I suppose if I redid my makeup on the go, this would be a good idea, but it was fairly useless to me.
  4. yaby Eyeshadow Refill – I got the two more neutral shades in the picture. They weren’t anything special that I really wanted to try, so these honestly didn’t get used. I put them in the GlamRX palette and they are now sitting in a drawer.

My overall impressions should be obvious. Birchbox had it all over Ipsy for March. As a sneak peak towards next month’s review, I think Birchbox again may be a winner.

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February Birchbox and Ipsy Bag Reviews

I wouldn’t consider myself a make up expert by any means. I’m definitely a newbie when it comes to these things, but I do like to try new products, which is why I subscribed to Birchbox and, later, Ipsy. If it weren’t for Birchbox and Ipsy, I’d have missed out on products I truly love and use every day so I try to share my findings on these products with the people in my life which now includes all  of you. {Disclaimer: My nose doesn’t work very well so if fragrance reviews were what you are hoping to find, I likely won’t be reviewing them.}

Birchbox

February Birchbox

February Birchbox

I honestly have to admit, I haven’ been thrilled with Birchbox lately. Their boxes have been sort of blah lately. I don’t hate the products, but they certainly don’t have the “Oh YAY!” factor lately like they used to. So let’s get started {I’m going left to right top, top to bottom.}:

  • Bi-Facil Eye Make Up RemoverCuriously Birchbox is not selling this on their site. I wasn’t super impressed with this product. Definitely not worth the $28 dollars Lancome is selling the 4.2 oz size for. It will definitely make a great addition to my travel bag though, and I will likely save the bottle because it really is just the perfect size.
  • Skin & Co Roma Sicilian Body Gel – This is yet another product unavailable for purchase on Birchbox’s site. In fact, I wasn’t even able to find it on the manufacturers site, which is probably not a bad thing. I didn’t dislike this product, it just didn’t do anything for me. This will again go into my ever growing selection of travel toiletries.
  • Color Club Nail Polish in Wild Cactus – I’m not sure what the “wild cactus” thing is about. It’s certainly not very cactus-colored, maybe a more Christmas colored polish. I’m typically not a fan of Color Club polishes because they don’t dry well on my nails, but this one faired okay. It’s a very deep emerald green. I used it on all of my fingers, with my Nailtini Millionare polish on the ring fingers as an accent nail. It was very St. Patty’s Day themed.
  • The Ghirardelli chocolate square was admittedly the first thing to disappear from the box. It was a cute touch to get some chocolate in a Valentine’s Day box, but I was a bit let down. I like trying new and exciting products I might not otherwise know about, not things I can buy at any nearby store or find in my cabinet already.
  • Last but not least, a headband by Twistband –  I’m not typically a headband person, but this style of headband changed all of that. I found myself wearing this all the time just to keep the little hairs out of my face. I’ve used Twistband hair ties before. One came in my very first Birchbox, but it quickly frayed. I received another one recently as well, but I seem to have misplaced it. Needless to say I’m big fan of these elasticized ribbon hair products, but I’ve found the ones from Mane Message stay in my hair better.

Ipsy

February Ipsy Bag

February Ipsy Bag

I have to hand it to Ipsy. Unlike Birchbox, Ipsy’s been sending out fantastic bags chocked full of goodies lately. {Again, I’m going to try to go from left to right, top to bottom.}

  • First up is the Flawless & Poreless primer from Pixi –  I mentioned this in my February Favorites post. If you read that post, I was coming to the end of a tube of my go to Too Faced Primed & Poreless primer and was debating on which of these two to purchase. I like this primer. I think it’s really similar to the Too Faced primer, but in the end it came down to convenience for me. Both are about the same price. The Pixi primer is even available at Target, but I was already placing an order online at Sephora. Should I need a primer in a pinch though, I like knowing this is available.
  • Coastal Scents Eyeshadows – This is my second set of coastal scents shadows from Ipsy. This set was a little more out there in terms of color, but they are my university’s colors, so I guess it’s a good game day shadow set. They come off as more orange on here, but they are really yellows, golds, and blacks.
  • Lash Cards – Truthfully, I didn’t try this product. Maybe it’s just me but I find the concept silly and slightly odd. I’ll save these for a boring day when I plan on experimenting with things or possibly a special occasion, but truthfully, I’m usually pretty careful with my eye makeup.
  • Gel Eyeliner by MicaBeauty – I also included this in my February Favorites post. I had never tried a gel liner before, but I was pleasantly surprised by this. It was quite easy to apply and gave a ton of drama to my eyes. I see this sample going a long way.
  • Smokey Lash Kapow Mascara by Pop – I wasn’t exactly sure what the mysterious black flowery tube was when I pulled it out of the bag, but I assumed correctly that it must have been mascara. I’m a big fan of Sephora’s Full Action Mascara, but I honestly switch mascaras every day. I probably have about 8 in my makeup drawer right now, and this one was one of my favorites. It did a good job at separating my lashes but didn’t give me quite the “Kapow” I was hoping for, but it was nice on the days I didn’t want want to look like I was wearing a lot of eye makeup. It’s more expensive than my Sephora fave so wouldn’t repurchase it. It wasn’t a bad mascara, but for the price, I don’t think it’s any better than others.

Overall, I liked both of these bags, but Ipsy won hands down. I’ve just received my March Birchbox and Ipsy bag, and from first glance, I think Birchbox may have redeemed themselves. I’m excited to try some new products, check back next month for the March review.

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February 2013 Favorites

Hello everyone! This post is going to be all about the products I loved this month. It’s a fairly random list of things including everything from makeup to apps to pet products.

{Disclaimer: I purchased all of these products on my own and was not paid or asked to review any of these items.}

Make Up, Hair & Nails

  • Gel Eyeliner by MicaBeauty – This was my first time trying a gel-based eyeliner. I was always too afraid that I’d screw it up, but it turned out easier to apply than I had anticipated. This stuff was awesome for my nights out when I wanted to give my eyes a little more {well a LOT MORE} oomph.

  • Pixi Flawless & Poreless Primer – I typically use Too Faced’s Primed & Poreless primer, but this was another Ipsy product I enjoyed using. I think it’ll be a toss up between what primer I order now. The Pixi primer is available at Target for $29 or through Ipsy with a 20%  , but I typically shop at Sephora so I’ll likely reorder the Too Faced primer.

Mac/iPhone/iPad Apps

It seems like more and more lately I’m replacing the stock apps on my phone with other third-party apps.

Sunrise Calendar App

{Image from Tech Crunch}

  • Sunrise – This app is a wonderful calendar app that really took me by surprise. It as a great look to it. It also has Facebook integration which is wonderful for wishing your Facebook friends a Happy Birthday which some of you may remember is one of my goals for this year.

  • Mailbox – This app claimed it would revolutionize the way you used your Gmail accounts and boy did it. I feel like I waited an eternity for this app, and almost deleted it because I was tired of waiting in line. I don’t necessarily agree that the idea of downloading the app to “reserve your place in line” to get to use the app was the best roll out method, but I’m glad I waited. I have a few coworkers that like to send out emails at 9pm, so being able to mark those emails to return to my inbox later when I’m at work is great. It did take a bit of time to reconfigure my Mail app on my Mac so that everything worked together nicely, but I decided to take the time to do it and clean up my folders in the process.

  • Jasmine – I watch a lot of YouTube videos if you hadn’t caught on to that from my “My Week” posts by now. Watching them on my iPad or iPhone is one way that I catch up on them. I tried a lot of Youtube apps and this one is by far the prettiest. It does have some glitches at times, but this is still the best in my opinion.

  • Pocket – I had this app on my computer for a while, but never actually used it. I subscribe to a lot of RSS feeds that I read on my iPhone, iPad, and Mac using my favorite RSS reader, Reeder. I typically run through the feeds and star what I want to read so that I can come back to them. Pocket seemed redundant until I started using it. Now I typically send things I want to read straight to Pocket. When I’m reading, if I find a link to something else interesting, I save that link to Pocket and continue reading. This works wonderfully for Webfinds. I open up the Philofaxy post, and save all the finds to Pocket and I can read them later.

Pet Products

  • PetGuard Leaf and Flower Organically Grown Catnip – I got this from Petflow’s Spoiled Rotten box. I’ve since unsubscribed from it because I don’t think the products were  worth the money, but my cats did enjoy everything in the box. One of their favorites was a tin of organic catnip. Only my two younger cats are usually affected by catnip, but this time even Abu joined in on the fun. Within minutes, they were acting crazy, and at one point they were following me around excited like I had canned cat food for an oil filter I was carrying to the garage.

Stationary & Such

  • Schedule Stamps from Etsy – I picked up two sets of stamps from the Etsy store, bysiuc. The first set was weather related. The second set contained various events like date night, movie, etc. It doesn’t look like the event type stamps are still available, but there is one left of the weather related ones, here. {Check back Monday for how I’m using them in my Filofax.}

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