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 Glam Bag!

Hey Beauties!

I’m going rapid-fire with these because I need to get caught-up (as usual) before I can post my April boxes!  My April Glam Bag has arrived a few days ago, and it sitting there in it’s pretty pink packaging taunting me!  I’m not letting myself open it until these posts are finished!

First off, how adorable is the theme this month!  It is called “The Great Escape” and has a sailor-themed bag!  So cute.DSC07778

Anyways, here are the goodies!

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First we have La Fresh makeup remover wipes.  I love having these in handy travel sized pouches.  I use them all the time and they are so much more portable than makeup remover!  This package contains 8 wipes, so it is perfect for a weeks’ vacation.  They are a moisturizing formula with vitamin e, and they smell a bit like baby powder (which I really hope doesn’t stick around).  The package claims that “Travel-saavy women around the glove rave about La Fresh Travel Lite Makeup Remover Wipes.  That’s because they instantly dissolve even heavy-duty makeup with a silky, lite-touch formula.  Perfectly portable, La Fresh makes beauty a breeze when you’re on-the-go.”  Well, if they can really get off all of my makeup without me having to scrub (I’m looking at you waterproof mascara!) then I will be sold.

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Next up is a product that I tried (see video for awkwardness…) and I can’t tell if it really did anything beneficial for my skin, but it smelled and felt amazing!  It is the Juice Beauty Hydrating Mist that “tones and refreshes”.  “Tone with this refreshing blend of rosehip, ylang ylang, resveratrol, grapeseed oil and antioxidant-rich organic juices for a fresh, radiant complexion”.  Sounds pretty amazing!  It is certified organic (contains a minimum of 95% organic ingredients) and I do recognize a lot of the ingredients from my work in the natural health care industry.  Who knows if it will do anything amazing for my skin, but I know it will be a great pick-me-up on those hot summer days =).  It is 30mL, which is a hefty sample!  Full size is 200mL and retails for $20 on their website.

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Next we have a handy little magnetic travel palette from GlamRX.  It looks red in the photo, but it is really a nice bright pink!  I realize that I didn’t take any photos for a size comparison, but it is a little bit bigger than the palm of my (quite small) hands.  I would say that it is the perfect size to fit in one of the phone pockets in your purse.  It has a magnetic closure (I would put an elastic band around it if you are going to throw it in your purse, it’s not the strongest) and also a magnetic pan inside.DSC07782

Inside you can see the last two products that were in the bag: yaby eyeshadows!  I have never tried yaby before.  I ALMOST bought some of their eyeshadows a couple of years ago, but that was back when I balked at the shipping costs when shopping online…  The two colours that I got are “Sand Dune” (L) and “So Vein” (R).  They are both matte finish, which is nice and seem to be decently pigmented.  Sand Dune is a little bit dark for me to use as a match for my skin tone, but it might work nicely to blend out darker crease colours.  So Vein (I love that name!) is less pigmented, which I really like, because I don’t usually wear those insane crazy colours on my eyes.  This will be easy to blend out for a subtle pop of colour!  It is a beautiful green-leaning teal colour.DSC07783

As you can see they fit nicely in this palette, but I would try to fill it up a bit more, because I do find that they slide around and they might crack.

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I hope you enjoyed this post!  Be sure to follow for more like this =)

What did you guys get in your bag that is different?  Did you get different eyeshadows?  A different coloured palette?

xoxo

Open With Me: Jan/Feb Glam Bag

 

Hey Beauties!

 

I’m finally getting this catch up post done.  And then I will just have to get my March boxes up before my April ones come and I will be caught up!  haha.

 

Anyways, here is the Ipsy Glam Bag from January and February 2013:

The January bag was a nice navy colour.  There was a long story associated with this bag, including 2 failed deliveries to my old address after we had moved…  For the whole story watch the video at the end!  Long story short is this might be a totally different bag because they had run out of some original products.

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Big Sexy Hair Spray & Play

First up is a hairspray from Big Sexy Hair.  It is called “Spray & Play”, so I am hoping it has a decent hold but it still soft to the touch!  My hair doesn’t hold curl well at all, but the last thing I want is a helmet head…

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Pacifica Tuscan Blood Orange Body Butter

This is a vegan and natural body lotion product.  It smells delicious!  I have so many lotions that I need to empty right now that I won’t be using this right away, but it will be perfect for summer vacations! =)

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Jose Maran 100% Argan Oil

I have never used any argan oil products before, let alone 100% pure oil, so it will be interesting to see what uses I find for this!  This is supposed to be kind of a miracle product…  Have any of you ever used it before?  What are your favourite uses?

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Nailtini polish in “Bloody Mary”

Yay!!  Another Nailtini polish ^_^   I love the one that I got before Christmas, so I can’t wait to try this one out.  Especially in this colour!  It is a really fiery red with a hint of an orange undertone to it.  I just want to stare at it all day…  Love!

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SOHO Smudge Brush

This was the little bonus item that they gave me for messing up my bag a couple of times, I didn’t get it until after my February one!  It’s a brush from a company called “SOHO”.  I haven’t used any of their products before, so I am interested to try this out.  They call it a smudge brush, but to me it looks like a smaller crease brush.  I imagine my smudge brushes as very small and dense and flatter.   Is that just me?  The bristles are nylon, so no animal products =), and it is extremely soft!

 

 

February’s bag had the popular “Red Carpet Ready” theme that seems to encompass all things beauty at that time of year because of all of the awards shows!  Do you watch any of them?   I’m a sucker for the Grammys because it’s basically just a big concert, and I LOVE looking at all of the gorgeous dresses that I wish I could wear at the Oscars.

DSC07665 The bag is a nice black “patent leather”, with a classic red interior.  Love it!

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Pixi “Flawless and Poreless” primer

This primer has a bit of colour as you’ll see in the photo below, but it really blends out translucent.  I haven’t tried this on my face yet, but I think that might just serve to help even out your skin tone before you even put on foundation.  I will love it if it helps hide my redness!

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Pixi “Flawless & Poreless” Primer

The next item is a set of lash cards from lashcard.com.  These are basically mascara or shadow shields that are designed to help you put on your mascara without getting it all over your eyelids.  I don’t really have a huge problem with that, so I’m not sure what I’ll use these for.  My problem is that I ALWAYS have to sneeze right after I put on my mascara.  And we all know it’s impossible to sneeze with your eyes open, so what happens?  I sneeze and my wet mascara goes all over my cheeks where my lashes hit my face =(.  It sucks!  Maybe I should put these under my eyes for when I sneeze…

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Pop Beauty “Smoky Lash Kapow!!!” Mascara in Smoky Black

This is another mascara sample, because I definitely don’t have enough of these! </sarcasm>.  Don’t get me wrong, I love trying new mascaras, but I can only use so many at once!  I have a nice little collection of these babies now.  I do love the name though, you can’t help but be excited when you read it!

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MICA Beauty black gel eyeliner

This is an eyeliner from MICA Beauty.  I don’t think there is much else to say about this…  There was no name or colour listed on the packaging, and it looks like your standard black gel eyeliner.  I have one on the go from Urban Decay, so I hope this will last long enough without drying out!  It does seem to be a full size sample though =)

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Coastal Scents Eyeshadows in “In The Spotlight”

And the last product is another Coastal Scents eyeshadow quad.  This set is called “In The Spotlight”, and I’m not really that excited about it.  Sadly the light kept changing and my camera couldn’t capture the colours too accurately.  The are all yellowy, which does not do too well with my skin with yellow undertones in it.  I can guarantee I will never use that yellow in the top right!  The gold and the dark olive have some potential though.

I hope you enjoyed this little recap, and be sure to watch the video for a more thorough look!

xoxo

 

NOTD: Black and Bling

Hey Beauties!

Here is what is on my nails today:

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This is Orly “Liquid Vinyl” (2 coats), which is just a plain black polish, topped with Orly “Atomic Splash” (2 coats).  I have it topped with Orly’s Won’t Chip top coat, last time I paired Orly with Orly like this it lasted well over a week with only minor tip wear!  We shall see if this is a recurring phenomenon…

Atomic Splash

Atomic Splash is from Orly’s Flash Glam FX line.  It is a clear base with small circular and large hexagonal glitter particles.  The glitter itself is a beautiful pewter grey colour.  I wish it was opaque enough to wear on its own!  I think the effect would be really cool, but I also think it would take about 50 coats…  As far as a glitter goes it is quite easy to work with.  I find it similar to OPI’s “Pirouette my Whistle” top coat, in that the glitter goes on really easily, but it is a bit tricky to get it evenly distributed.

I am pleased with the result though, it catches the light nicely!  I think I Instagrammed a photo of this right after I bought it, over a copper colour and I said I wasn’t thrilled with it.  Obviously that was just a poor choice in colour pairing!

Do you like glittery nails?

xoxo