It’s been so difficult for me to abstain for so long from putting away the products I’ve received from these monthly beauty subscription services! I had it in my mind though to hold off for a bit so I could do a bit of comparison between the two for people who are undecided. So without further ado, 4 months worth of beauty goodies (along with some item-specific insights) from Ipsy and Birchbox.
Ipsy’s April bag…
Beauty Rocks record-themed cosmetic pouch
Such A Tease False Lashes in So Seductive – I do have an issue generally applying false lashes, which is why I have a stockpile of them, so these will likely get tossed on top of the stack. Perhaps a giveaway is in order…
Cailyn Tinted Lip Balm in Apple Pink – At first glance, this packaging, with the brush built in to the top of the lid, made more sense for the eyeliner by the same brand. For a tinted lip balm, where precision is not required, a lip brush seems high maintenance and unnecessary. It also makes this product less portable. However, once applied, this product is more like the feel of a liquid lipstick, as it is quite pigmented and not very moisturizing, so the lip brush actually makes sense. The color (despite it’s name) is certainly leaning more towards soft coral than pink, which makes it ideal for spring and summer. I’m sure I’ll get some use out of this but I prefer a more moisturizing lip product.
City Color Mousse Eye Shadow in White Gold – I cheated and used this the first day I got it! It’s a light whipped and pigmented mousse, very easy to blend and a great cream shade with lots of gold shimmer and undertones.
St. Tropez Gradual Tan Multi-Action Face
Urban Decay 24/7 Velvet Eye Pencil in Black Velvet – I was sooooo excited to get this “sample”! It’s nearly full-sized (.03 oz vs. .04 oz) and glides on and blends like a dream. I’ve yet to try a full-on smoky eye but considering how much I used my UD pencil in Zero, a smoldering matte version will definitely make it’s way into my beauty rotation.
April Birchbox – (comes housed in a simple brown logo box)
BijaBody Daily Body Serum – I will never understand companies that send out samples this miniscule. The directions state to “massage on to arms, legs, and anywhere else that needs a moisture boost.” Now, I am not the size of a Barbie doll, so the contents of this pump bottle will likely be able to cover my forearm and that’s about it. I also have a feeling that a body serum made with honey will leave me feeling more sticky than “luminous” but I’ll still give it a try.
Number 4 High Performance Hair Care Clarifying Shampoo and Reconstructing Masque – Only one of these is listed on the info card so I think the mask was an extra! I’ve yet to use these but I’m intrigued by the shampoo that claims to purify and cleanse hair without stripping moisture or dye. As a newly converted red-head, I’m cautious of mainstream shampoos that have the occasion to dull it’s vibrancy.
Color Club Art Duo Pen in White – Nifty idea, but the striper brush is imprecise and looks cheap when applied. I’ve yet to try the pen tool (a metal pin on the top), but it could be useful for nail art accents.
Anastasia Beverly Hills Clear Brow Gel – so stoked to try this! I’ve been hearing raves from beauty bloggers and fashion types for years, but have never made the dive. It’s $22 for essentially a clear mascara, but this is supposed to be a really GOOD clear mascara. I already use her powder and pencil brow-coloring products, so I’m looking forward to adding this in to my nighttime makeup repertoire.
Freebies this month were a Kind Maple Pumpkin Bar, which I will be taking with me to work for a quick breakfast or snack, and a card from Birchbox’s Rainy Day card set. I do like the concept, but a lot of the ideas are so simple. Like stay in bed and enjoy your soft sheets. I can do that with no guidance from anyone else, thank you
April’s winner – Ipsy
March Ipsy Bag – This print reminds me of candied sushi. And Claymation. I’m not sure yet if I like it, but it sure is colorful.
Pacifica Indian Coconut Nectar Body Butter – OMG, this stuff smells amazing. It is rich, but not overtly so and reminds me of sunscreen crossed with a coconut cocktail. The scent stays with you for hours and acts as a non-overbearing replacement for perfume. I would definitely consider buying the full-sized verison.
Nicole by Opi Roughles – thumbs down for this product. Granted, I didn’t have high expectations for a polish that promises a “speckled, textured finish.” The color was decent enough, but that gritty, lumpy look and the dark blue specs peeking through were just not appealing.
Bare Escentuals Marvelous Moxie Lipstick mini in Get Ready – I love this lipstick! It’s satiny and moisturizing and just the right amount of creamy. I’m looking forward to exploring the full display on my next trip to Sephora.
Be a Bombshell Eyeshadow Quad in Bora Bora – These shadows are lovely for summer and are smooth and nicely pigmented. Not something I’d normally gravitate towards but I like the color combo.
Bain de Terre Color Preserving Shampoo & Conditioner – These arrived a little leaky but still usable. I like that they provided a large enough sample so that you could try the product several times. No verdict on results yet, but these would be great for traveling.
Ruby Wing Color Changing Nail Polish in Ride ’em’ Cowgirl – Unfortunately, I applied this at night then took it off the following morning so I was unable to experience the color-changing ability, but the gold glitter was very pretty and not cheap-looking.
Joan Vass L’eau de Amethyste – One spritz of this delightful fragrance and I found myself sniffing my wrist on an hourly basis for the rest of the day. It’s different than anything else that I own and I’m considering springing for the bottle.
March Winner – Tie as there were pluses and minuses in both shipments.
February’s Ipsy Bag – Blue Bathroom Scene. Meh.
ProActiv+ Mark Fading Pads
Healthy Sexy Hair Soy Tri-Wheat Leave-In Conditioner – I’m especially glad to have this for upcoming summer trips and for after hours spent in the pool.
Mally Evercolor Starlight Waterproof Eyeliner – Love this! It’s an extremely long-wearing (like after multiple hand washes) metallic silver shade that is fantastic for pool parties (ya know, in case ya get pushed in!), or to add a bit of spark to a nighttime eye look.
Uberliss RituOil – Another hair product I wish I could reformulate and wear as perfume. This smells divine, like tropical gardens and a lush rainforest and other exotic things. I haven’t even put the stuff in my hair yet, but I would pretty much use it as body oil if the hair uses didn’t work out.
Elizabeth Mott Smooth Shadow Creamy Eye Pencil in Penny – This is another product I used the first day I got it. The fact that it is standard pencil-sized makes for applying this more like drawing on your lids because there is not much surface area but I do really love the slightly metallic coppery shade and how it brings out the blue in my eyes and the coppery tones in my hair. It’s very long-wearing as well.
Skiin Smoothing and Soothing Eye Cream – another great travel-sized item. I love eye creams that are resealable.
Dr. Lipp Nipple Balm – I tried this last night and it’s just kind of meh as a lip balm. I’ll try it as a cuticle salve but so far, I’m not impressed
Burt’s Bees Day Lotion with Clary Sage
Juicy Couture Fragrance Vial – I’ve already owned and returned this fragrance because it never wore right on me.. It started lovely and vanilla-y and then turned musky and stale after a few minutes. I’ll be re-gifting this.
Nail Rock Nail Caviar – I adore the subdued metallic gold polish but the little beads NEVER stay on my fingers! And I don’t pick at them, I swear 😉
Serge Normant Dry Conditioner – I can’t wait to try this stuff out! I notice that when I’m usually using dry shampoo that my hair looks a bit dry and crunchy so I think this will be oft-used.
February Winner – Ipsy
January Ipsy Bag – Bright Pink
Zoya Nail Polish in Odette – One of my favorite nail polish brands, yay! This is a great creamy bright mauve, if that makes any sense. I probably would have bought this one with my next Zoya order, so it’s rad that I didn’t have to.
Pop Beauty Plump Pout gloss – a perfectly pigmented long-wearing lip gloss. I love the intensity for that pop of color.
Jesse’s Girl 9 Pan Eyeshadow Compact in Behind Blue Eyes – decent pigment, but I’m not sure that all of these shades are different enough from each other to warrant 9 shades in this palette. I picture using the left half of the compact more than the right.
Although there were only 3 products in this month’s bag, they were all nicely-sized from great brands.
Supergoop! City Sunscreen Serum
Inika Organic Green Lagoon Eyeliner – I’m still not sure about the texture of this liner.. The color is a gorgeous metallic jade but it’s not as smooth as I’d like.
Jergens BB Body Perfecting Cream (with coupon)
Curly Hair Solutions Curl Keeper
Juliette Has a Gun Not a Perfume (perfume)
January Winner – Ipsy
Looking back at my winners by month, it seems that I prefer Ipsy!
I will definitely still continue to subscribe to both because I love trying new products each month and have truly gotten some great things from Birchbox. Butttt.. If you have to choose one, Ipsy would be my top pick.
I hope this helped!