I Need Your Help! Ipsy vs. Birchbox: May

Hi Beauties!

For this post I need your help!  I have decided that I want to explore more environmentally and animal friendly beauty products, and therefore I am going to sign up for a vegan beauty box.  I looked at a few, and the one I think I have decided on is Petit Vour.  BUT, I can’t really afford to have three beauty boxes every month!  Much as I would love that, it seems a bit excessive when trying to stay on a budget. SO, based on this month (and previous months), I need your help deciding which box (or boxes) to drop when a subscription to Petit Vour becomes available!  I just took quick photos of everything in each box for you to compare, but if you want to see and hear more about each item be sure to check out my video here!

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First off: Birchbox comes in its standard brown box, and Ipsy comes in a cute re-usable bag every month.

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Here are the goods!

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Birchbox – May, 2013

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Coola – Classic Sunscreen

First up is a sunscreen from Coola.  This is their classic sunscreen moisturizer with SPF 30, a cucumber scent and organic anti-aging ingredients.  The card says that it is a mineral sunblock, but the active ingredients are avobenzone (2%) and octinoxate (2.1%), which means that it is actually a chemical sunscreen.  Avobenzone is inherently unstable, and it breaks down into unknown chemicals when it absorbs UV light, this is what protects the skin.  I have a physical sunscreen from Coola that uses titanium dioxide and zinc oxide, which I love, so I do really like this brand!  They are environmentally friendly and cruelty free, so big thumbs up there!  This sample is 7mL; full size is 50mL and retails for $32.

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Beauty Protector – Protect & Detangle

Next up is a detangling leave in conditioner from Beauty Protector.  I have never heard of this brand before.  It comes in a rubbery bottle, and is a perfect size for travel, it would even be fine for a carry-on!  On the back of the bottle it says that it is a: Instant detangler, thermal protector, UV protector, that it seals cuticle, smoothes hair, locks in colour, adds shine, conditions, and is weightless, non-greasy and ideal for every day use on all hair types.  That’s a lot of claims!  I do need to use a spray in conditioner most days after the shower, as my hair gets super tangled.  I don’t often use heat, but a UV protector is nice!  I don’t have coloured hair, but I might this summer…  If it does all that it promises this will be quite the little product!  I can’t find a size on this anywhere to know how big the sample is, but full size is 8oz (maybe 4x the size of this?) and retails for $21.95.

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Joie – Folle de Joie eau de parfum

And here we have yet another perfume sample from Birchbox.  Enough already!  They all smell the same to me, floral and not my taste.  This one was one of the better ones that I  have received I do have to say though.  “For its debut scent, the chic fashion brand created this carefree mix of mandarin, rose and sandalwood”.  I probably like it better because it has some fruit but is also grounded with the sandalwood.  The small sizes are handy to carry in your purse, but I often find that without a cap these just spray whenever they want to and get all over everything…  This sample is 0.06fl oz, full size is 3.4 fl oz and retails for $98.  I’d have to REALLY love this to spend that much…

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Sumita – Colour Contrast Eyeliner

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Sumita – Colour Contrast Eyeliner

Next is an eyeliner from a brand called Sumita, another that I have never heard of…  “Inspired by traditional Indian formulas, this velvety liner glides on easily and lasts for hours”.  The colour is a really beautiful midnight blue, and the pencil did glide on really smoothly.  I often have worries about the staying power of such soft pencils on my eyelids as they get oily.  I find the UD 24/7 pencil liners go on great, but fade after a few hours.  I rubbed at this swatch after letting it dry for a few minutes, and I did see a bit of colour transfer, but I would never be rubbing my eyelids that hard!  The full size of this is a set of 4 minis (the same size) and I am assuming they                                    come in 4 different colours.  That set retails for $21.

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Pilot – Acroball Pen

Last and very least, we have a pen.  Really?  A pen?  Thanks Birchbox, but I don’t pay $10 for office supply samples.  It writes in pink ink, and came with a $1 off coupon for any 3, 4, or 5 pack.

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Ipsy Glam Bag – May, 2013

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Pacifica – Island Vanilla Perfume Roll-On

This smells so amazing!!  Like sugar cookies or vanilla icing.  Very sweet and delicious.  Not usually my type of fragrance, but I am loving this one =) “Inspired by the unique magic of Tahitian vanilla, this sensual blend sets sweet and sultry vanilla absolute, with honey-jasmine notes and a touch of fruitiness, against a deep and beautiful base of tea.”  This is 0.33 fl oz (10mL), which is full size!  And it retails for $12.  The Ipsy discount for this month is 20% off any purchase from Pacifica.  A portion of all of the sales from the Island Vanilla fragrance line goes to the Ocean Futures Society, a non-profit marine conservation organization, and it is 100% vegan.  How amazing is that!?

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Pacifica – Coconut Crushed Pearl luminizing body butter

Next is another product from Pacifica, the luminizing body butter.  This smells so delicious.  I am not usually a fan of fake coconut smell, but this one is actually really good.  It gives just a slight glow to the skin, so it would be really nice on your legs or just on your décolletage for a night out.  It is cruelty free and contains coconut oil, pearls and sea minerals.  “Shimmer and glow from the inside out with luminescent crushed pearls and ultra-nourishing tropical phytonutrients”.  This is a 2oz tube, which is their mini size, and retails for $7.  The full size is 8oz and retails for $24.  Again, the Ipsy discount is 20% off.

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Juice Beauty – Reflecting Gloss in “Fig”

This product is an exclusive pre-launch through Ipsy!  It is an organic lip gloss that smells delicious.  Fruity and sweet!  It has great pigmentation, as you can tell from the swatch, and has a doe-foot applicator.  It is made with acai and goji berries for antioxidants, as well as minerals and agave nectar (that’s what the smell is!).  I haven’t used this on my lips yet, but I’m sure I will love it!  I have loved everything else I’ve gotten from Juice Beauty so far =)  This is a full size sample, and it retails for $15.

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Juice Beauty – Reflecting Gloss in “Fig”

The discount is also 20% for Juice Beauty.

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Yaby – Concealer in “Buff”

The yaby concealer is actually not too bad of a match for my skin tone, kind of crazy for a beauty box sample!  I haven’t tried it on my face yet, but it seems to be quite thick and high coverage, so for me it would be a blemish and redness concealer, not for under my eyes.  I will have to let you know!  It is a full size refill, which has a value of $5.06.  The discount code for this is actually for camerareadycosmetics.com, and it is 20% off.

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Zoya – Nail Polish in “Neely”

The final product is a full size Zoya nail polish!  It is a really pretty colour called “Neely”.  To me this is more of a true minty green than Essie’s “Mint Candy Apple”.  I actually used it in the manicure that I put on yesterday, so keep an eye out for an Instagram photo!  The first coat goes on streaky, but the second really packs on the colour.  I love my Zoya polishes, so I am really excited to get a new one!  It looks like this could have come in any 1 of 6 pastel colours.  I’m happy with mine =).  The discount code for this is buy two get one free, plus a free 1oz Remove+ (their polish remover) and $5 shipping, pretty good deal!  Zoya polishes retail for $8 on their website.

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Zoya – Nail Polish in “Neely”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Be sure to let me know in the comments below which bag is your favourite and which one you think I should drop!  I can’t wait to show you the goodies I will be getting in my new boxes =)

xoxo

Videos: April Beauty Boxes

Hey Beauties,

I have been just so busy that I didn’t get a chance to photograph and write about everything that I got in my boxes last month =(.  I did film and upload some videos though.  So if you are interested in seeing what I got in my Birchbox and Glam Bag, be sure to check out the videos below!  I am also looking into signing up for a vegan beauty box.  The one I am looking at is Petit Vour.  Have you ever gotten a vegan beauty box?  What are your recommendations or suggestions?

Thanks!

xoxo

Open With Me: March Birchbox!

Hey Beauties!

I’m not going to technically consider myself late on this one because my April Birchbox hasn’t arrived yet! ^_^

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The theme is “March Madness”.  Getting a little sporty are we Birchbox??

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First up is Oscar Blandi Hair Lift Mousse.  “Inflate limp locks with this innovative volume reviving mousse.  Made with high-tech ingredients (ooohhh!) it amplifies each strand for voluminous hair that looks and feels full of life.”  Full size is $23

This is a nice travel size (1oz), and I can’t wait to see if it works!  I wasn’t overly thrilled with the volumizing hairspray from them that I got in a previous box, so fingers crossed!

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Next is Wish Shave Crave Shaving Cream.  “The organic shea butter in this foam-free shaving cream makes for an insanely close shave and leaves skin incredibly soft.”  Full size is $20.  This is a 0.75fl oz sample.  I think it will last me about 5 shaves maybe?  It will be perfect to take on vacation to the beach, because I really don’t have any travel sized shaving cream right now!  It is a blueberry scent according to the tube.  To me it smells like grape Flinstones vitamins.  Did anyone else take those as a kid?  The really cool shapes, but awful flavours in the chewable vitamins.  It reminds me of that…DSC07751

This is a really cool sample!  It is a “MAKE” eyeshadow.  I’ve never heard of this brand before, have any of you used it?  “This new brand’s pretty pigments have serious staying power, and we love that one third of all sales are donated to charity.”  Full size is $18.  This sample is 0.85g, it’s in a tiny little compact but the eyeshadow itself is a decent size!  I would say that it is about the size of an Urban Decay shadow that you would get in one of their palettes?  I love that a portion of the sales goes to charities, and 1/3 is a large chunk!  The colour is “Santa Fe” which is a really beautiful peachy-gold with a slight shimmer.  This will be great if I manage to not lose it!

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Next up is another MAKE product.  This is their Face Primer Broad Spectrum SPF 30.  “Pump up your makeup’s endurance and protect skin with this two-in-one base and SPF.”  Full size is $30.  This is a 0.18oz (5.1g) sample.  As you can see it comes out a milky-white colour, but this totally disappears once you blend it in.  One of the active sunscreen ingredients is zinc oxide, so that would be where the colour comes from.  That’s great because it means it is a physical sunscreen, which is much more effective and better for you!  It also doesn’t contain oxybenzone (which may be carcinogenic when exposed to UV radiation) or avobenzone (which is not as bad as oxybenzone, but still not great).  I haven’t tried this on my face yet, but I will be saving it to take travelling with me!

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Finally we have the little “Beauty Extra” that is included in every box.  This month it is a Madewell for Birchbox Emery Board.  It has a cute floral pattern, and is your typical rough emery board, same texture on both sides.  This would be useful for taking off length, but I would always use a finer one afterwards to polish off the edges.  It is a $5 value.DSC07756

 

I hope you enjoyed this post!  As you can tell I tend to save a lot of the samples that I get in my boxes for when I travel because they are always the perfect size!  Sorry that means that I can’t always review them for you =S

What did you guys get in your boxes?  Let me know down below, and be sure to check out Birchbox here if you don’t already subscribe!

xoxo

Open With Me: Jan, Feb Birchbox

Hey Beauties,

I know I’m behind the times with this, and I won’t make it a detailed post.  I’ll just quickly show you what I got in my January and February Bichboxes.  Scroll to the end for the video!

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Standard packaging

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Goodies!

January’s box theme was “Best Year Ever”

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100% Pure Body Lotion

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100% Pure Body Lotion

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Aerie Fragrance “Shimmer”

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Aerie Fragrance “Shimmer”

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Ojon Rare Blend Oil Total Hair Therapy

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Ojon Rare Blend Oil Total Hair Therapy

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Embryolisse Lait Cream Concentrate

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

First up is a pair of body lotions from 100% Pure, in Green Apple and Cabernet Grape.  100% vegan, which is nice!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Next up is a fragrance from Aerie called “Shimmer”.  It is a light floral and powdery scent.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Then we have Ojon Rare Blend Oil Total Hair Therapy.  Not the type of product that I typically need with my fine hair, but we’ll see!  The colours are beautiful =)

 

 

 

 

Lastly, the product that I am the most excited about!  Embryolisse Lait Cream Concentrate.  I don’t know if any of you watch Pixiwoo on YouTube (If you don’t, why not?!), but they talk about this all the time!  I have wanted to try it for ages, but never knew where to buy it in person, and didn’t really want to spend the money online without knowing what I was getting.  So I was thrilled to get a sample in my Birchbox!  This little sample has lasted me more than 2 weeks with daily use, morning and night.  Very impressive!  It feels so nice when it goes on, and really leaves my skin feeling moisturized and smooth.

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“Red Carpet Ready!”

February’s Theme was “Red Carpet Ready”.  I feel like this must have been a standard theme across all beauty boxes this month, right in the thick of awards season!

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Vasanti “Brighten Up!” Enzymatic Face Rejuvenator

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Vasanti “Brighten Up!” Enzymatic Face Rejuvenator

The first product is an enzymatic face mask.  I have never used a product like this, but I am really excited to try!  Hopefully it will be ok with my sensitive skin.

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Lancome Hypnose Drama Mascara

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Lancome Hypnose Drama Mascara

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Lancome mascara!  These have a practically cult following, and I have never used one before.  I am really excited to try this one out =)

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Jouer Matte Moisture Tint

 

 

 

 

 

 

I will have to wait until I get a bit of sunshine before I can use this product, the colour is “Hazel”, and it is too dark for me.

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Twistband Headband

 

Twistband had hair elastics in Birchbox previously.  I didn’t understand what all the hype was about…  It didn’t leave any creases in my hair, sure, but that’s because it didn’t secure my hair tightly enough to hold it up!  It would just slide out.  I’m sure this headband will do the same.  I need ones with grippies, or else they are no good…

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*Drooooollll*

 

Finally, a delicious square that needs no introduction!  Yum =)

 

 

 

I hope you enjoyed my quick recap.  I will have one up soon for the Ipsy Glam Bags as well.

Do you guys like these posts?  Or would you rather I just stick with the videos?

xoxo

Open With Me: October Birchbox!

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What a beautiful sight =)

Hey Beauties!

Here is a look into my October Birchbox.  If you don’t know what Birchbox is, it’s a $10/month subscription service where you get a variety of beauty samples delivered to your door every month!  Check it out for yourself here =)

Right now, they are having free shipping on any $25 order from their shop, and recommend ordering by 12pm (noon) December 19th to ensure delivery by Christmas.  Are you short on ideas and need something to give your girlfriend, cousin, sister or anyone in your life (they also have a guys version)?  You can gift a subscription to someone for 3, 6, or 12 months!  This is a great gift for anyone interested in beauty and trying out new products.  Every month is a great value too!

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October’s theme was “Transformations”

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The Goodies!

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Lucy B Perfume Oils in Pink Frangipani and Wild Jasmine

I really like the way they have packaged these samples.  Unlike most small perfume vials that you have to upend over your wrist and risk spilling, these came with a little applicator attached to the lid.  So you take the lid off and just dot some of the oil onto your wrist, perfect!  Pink Frangipani smells like a floral, but in a very understated way.  There is almost some sweetness to the scent, but it is still rich, I actually quite like it!  Wild Jasmine I find to be a little bit lighter and a bit fruitier.  No idea if I’m anywhere close to right!  Let’s find out: Pink Frangipani – notes of pineapple, heliotrope & coconut milk. I think the coconut is the richness that I smelled!  Wild Jasmine – notes of waterlilly, white ginger & magnolia.  So based on that I don’t know why I found this to be a sweeter scent…  Unfortunately the little vials don’t have a label, so I have already mixed them up!  lol.  They are fairly similar in scent, described as “Boost your mood with these uplifting indigenous Australian flower essences.  Try separately or blend together for a wildly tropical bouquet”.  I can definitely see these working well together.  Both are infused with natural Australian flower essences “to enhance your mood”.  I haven’t worn these yet, so I can’t vouch for that!  I’m not sure the size of the samples, but the full size duo of roll-ons (10mL each) retails for $48.

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Kusmi Tea: Euphoria (Roasted mate, chocolate and orange) and Detox (mate, green tea and lemon grass)

This month’s “Lifestyle Extra” is a pair of teas from Kusmi Tea Paris.  Euphoria (mate, chocolate and orange) – holy yum!! and Detox (mate, lemon grass and green tea).  I haven’t used these yet, but they sound great!  I am totally a delayed gratification girl, and tend to save things like this, even though it’s silly!  They are from the new “Wellness Essentials” line and retail for $23.95 for a box of 24 tea bags (a mixture of 6 varieties).

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The Balm: Mary-Lou Manizer

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The Balm: Mary-Lou Manizer

Mary-Lou Manizer from The Balm is a three-in-one highlighter, shadow and all-over shimmer.  It is a beautiful warm champagne/gold colour with a velvety soft texture and a gorgeous sheen.  This would be perfect just lightly dusted on the cheekbones and cupid’s bow.  I have swatched it, but I have yet to actually wear it.  I think this will look better on me in the summer when I have some colour.  The packaging is sturdy cardboard and adorable, as is to be expected from The Balm!  The sample contains 1g of product, which is a pretty decent amount!  Full size is $24 for 8.5g.

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Lulu Organics Lavender + Clary Sage Hair Powder

This product is an organic dry shampoo (containing NO talc) “for hair on days of unwash”.  “Laced with organic lavender and sage, this sweet-smelling dry shampoo revives flat or second-day hair”.  This is the perfect size little pouch to take travelling!  I might just take this with me to my in-laws for Christmas and give it a try =).  This sample is 5g, full size is 4oz (helpful, I know) and retails for $30.

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Miracle Skin Transformer SPF 20 Face

This product claims to be an all-in-one  primer, serum, and “face tint” to replace your foundation to give skin a “flawless finish”  I have yet to use this, but I’m not sure how I feel about it.  I find that most products that claim to do everything tend to come up short in at least one area.  I will have to try it and let you know how I find it.  It is also in shade “medium”, which I’m sure will be too dark for me this time of year.  It does come in 7 shades, which is great!  It has some pretty hefty claims as well.  “In one applucation 100% of users instantly saw a brighter, healthier and younger looking complexion, less noticeable pores, diminished look of fine lines and wrinkles, minimized appearance of discolourations, dullness, blotchiness and dryness.”  If it actually does half of this, it really will be a miracle!  Each sample pouch is 0.02 fl oz (0.6mL), full size is 1.7 fl oz and retails for $48.

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Twistband Hair Tie

Finally, there was this strange little elastic at the bottom of my box.  This is a “Twistband” hair tie.  “Give your ponytail a makeover with these colourful, snag-free elastics.  Plus they look as good on our wrists as they do in our ponytails”.  Well I don’t know about you, but I don’t think this looks too great on my wrist…  It would be fine if it was just an elastic, but the knot and the tails looks funny.  I haven’t quite figured what the hype is all about for these.  I  have used it a couple of times, and find that it really doesn’t hold my hair up at all, it just slides out!  Frustrating…  The one benefit that I have discovered is that they don’t leave any creases in your hair when you take it out (maybe because it doesn’t hold tight enough?)  A set of 6-12 retails for $10-18.

What did you get in your Birchbox this month?

Let me know if you’ve used any of these products and would recommend purchasing the full-size =)

Go check out Birchbox and the shop to get full sizes of these products!

xoxo