Tag Archives: Beauty

Birchbox: December 2013

Birchbox | December 2013So, I hate to say it, but this is likely my last review of Birchbox. Need to move on to another genre of boxes for a while. I’m going to stick with my Ipsy glam bag, because a girl has to have a monthly makeup fix, but I think it’s time we try something new! What do you think?

I was really excited when I saw the beautiful gold box in the mail. It was perfect for the holiday season! In addition to a handy little cell phone screen cleaner, I found the following inside my December Birchbox:

  • Number 4 | Non-Aerosol Hairspray
  • Chuao Chocolatier | Chocolate Bars
  • Camille Beckman | Glycerine Hand Therapy™
  • Wild Honey Apothecary | Buttermilk Sandalwood Honey Mud
  • Jouer | Moisturizing Lip Gloss

Number 4 | Non-Aerosol HairsprayNumber 4 | Non-Aerosol Hairspray
Sample Value: $4.50 (30 ml)
Full Size Cost: $30.00 (200 ml)
Buy at Birchbox

The first thing I noticed about this hairspray is the smell. It’s got that strong, classic hair spray smell that brings be back to the 80s or our community theater’s dressing room before a show. It’s not my favorite, but for real holding strength, I’m willing to compromise. I was kind of surprised it had such a strong odor, because it is a non-aerosol mist that’s supposed to be good for the environment. It’s full of natural botanicals that nourish strands, and I think you can see that right away. When sprayed on, hair looks super shiny afterward. Just don’t spray too much or else you’ll be left in greasy town.

Chuao Chocolatier | Chocolate BarsChuao Chocolatier | Chocolate Bars
Sample Value: $0.84 (0.39 oz)
Full Size Cost: $6.00 (2.8 oz)
Buy at Birchbox

I’m not one to pass up chocolate, and with it being the holidays, seemed appropriate in this month’s box! The packaging said the chocolate was intended to taste like popcorn, and it sure did! To a point that I found it kind of odd, like something out of Willy Wonka’s factory. They have a bunch of flavors to choose from on Birchbox’s website, so maybe if popcorn isn’t your cup of tea, there’s something else you might enjoy more!

Camille Beckman | Glycerine Hand Therapy™Camille Beckman | Glycerine Hand Therapy™
Sample Value: $0.58 (0.25 oz)
Full Size Cost: $14.00 (6 oz)
Buy at Birchbox

This cream is super rich and with it being so cold outside was more than welcome! It feels super luxurious on and I can see why its Camille Bechman’s best-selling product! The sample size is great for tossing in your bag, or leaving at your desk for when you need some midday nourishment.

Wild Honey Apothecary | Buttermilk Sandalwood Honey MudWild Honey Apothecary | Buttermilk Sandalwood Honey Mud
Sample Value: $3.50 (0.35 oz)
Full Size Cost: $20.00 (2 oz)
Buy at Birchbox

I’m always up for a good mud mask! And this one keeps it simple with organic, locally sourced honey, aloe vera and grapeseed and argan oils.  The mask exfoliates, nourishes and brightens the skin.

Jouer | Moisturizing Lip GlossJouer | Moisturizing Lip Gloss
Sample Value: $9.41 (0.08 oz)
Full Size Cost: $20.00 (0.17 oz)
Buy at Birchbox

This is probably my favorite product in this month’s box. I may cash in on my Birchbox points and buy the full size, I am THAT in love. And, that’s saying a lot from a girl with a purse full of lip glosses. It just has a beautiful shimmery finish, and it turns dry lips into something beautiful in one swoop!

The Verdict
Cost: $10.00/month
Value: $18.83

Birchbox knows their stuff when it comes to putting together samples that are worth the $10.00/month subscription fee. I always appreciate their beautiful packaging and high-end selection, I just wish the sample sizes were bigger. What can I say, I wan MORE!

What did you guys think of December’s products? Would love to hear your thoughts!

Disclosure: This product was not received in exchange for a review. All views in this review are the opinion of the author. Just Louise Please will not accept payment in exchange for a review, but will accept a box at no cost to provide honest opinions on the box. This post may contain referral links. Complete Disclosure Policy.

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Makeup Sunday: 2 for 1 Subscription Box Reviews (Part 1)

So, the holidays got me all thrown off! So, I’m super late on my November 2013 Birchbox and Ipsy reviews. So, I thought I’d make a day of it with two posts about two of everyone’s favorite cosmetic subscription boxes.

Birchbox | December 2013Since I got Birchbox first, I think it’s only fair we start with them. Want to know how Birchbox works? Check out my page here. November was all about “MORE GOOD.” With Thanksgiving being the major holiday, Birchbox wanted to help you live a life of abundance with more thanks, more giving, more thoughtfulness, and ofcourse, more samples.

So, what did we find in November’s box?

  • Ghirardelli® | Chocolate Bar
  • Dr. Jart+ | Water Fuse Beauty Balm SPF 25+
  • Beauty Protector | Protect & Shampoo
  • Beauty Protector | Protect & Condition
  • Color Club® | Cocktail Hour Collection (Dark and Stormy)
  • Juicy Couture | Viva La Juicy Noir – 3.4 oz.

Ghirardelli® | Chocolate BarGhirardelli® | Chocolate Bar
Full Size Value: $3.00 (estimate)
Buy in store at Walgreens

Now, what girl can resist some chocolate! And when you combine toffee crunch with chocolate, you’ve got one very happy girl here! This is one of Birchbox’s “Finds.” That’s their word for the little extra non-cosmetic related items  they throw into their boxes every month. You can find this treat at any Walgreens or grocery store. Ghiradelli always uses the best cocoa beans and has their own way of doing things so evert bite is full of velvety smoothness and intense taste. With the holidays around the corner, I always thing Ghiradelli makes a nice addition to any holiday present. Go ahead and throw one into your next gift bag!

Dr. Jart+ | Water Fuse Beauty Balm SPF 25+

Dr. Jart+ | Water Fuse Beauty Balm SPF 25+
Sample Value: $3.2
Full Size Cost: $32.00 (1.7 fl oz)
Buy at Birchbox

This tinted moisturizer is great if you’re on the go and don’t want to put a ton of makeup on. Not only does it give you just enough color to get you through running errands, but it’s also a sunscreen and treatment serum. There’s a combination of glacier water, deep ocean water,  hyaluronic acid and aloe vera to deeply hydrate skin.  There’s also some extra ingredients in there to stop your complexion from becoming overly greasy.

Now, I’m usually not one for tinted moisturizers. Mainly because, if I’m going to put makeup on, I’m going all out. But, this guy seemed to do the trick in a pinch, even though it’s not a product I’d normally purchase.

Beauty Protector | Protect & Shampoo and Conditioner

Beauty Protector | Protect & Shampoo
Sample Value: $2.75
Full Size Cost: $21.95 (8 oz)
Buy at Birchbox

Beauty Protector | Protect & Condition
Sample Value: $2.75
Full Size Cost: $21.95 (8 oz)
Buy at Birchbox

Now, one of my all-time favorite samples from Birchbox was the Beauty Protector | Protect & Detangle, so when I saw this shampoo and conditioner combo from the same brand, I was super excited! But, let me tell you… this product was kind of a let down for me. I just wasn’t impressed! Not only did I find that the amount of product in these sample bottles to be underwhelming, I didn’t think the shampoo and conditioner was anything special either.

Color Club® | Cocktail Hour Collection (Dark and Stormy)

Color Club® | Cocktail Hour Collection (Dark and Stormy)
Full Size Value: $8.00 (.5 oz)
Buy at Birchbox

I’m always up for a good nail polish, but unfortunately, the ones I find from Birchbox’s Color Club® are always a major letdown. The quality just isn’t that great, and I’d much rather have a sample of something else than one of these guys. I did get a compliment on the color though by the mechanics who do my oil change. While being blatantly hit on… they commented on my “diamond” nails and “million dollar smile.” So, I guess the color is eye-catching! Ha! The color does look  gold in this picture, but it’s actually a shiny silver.

Juicy Couture | Viva La Juicy Noir - 3.4 oz.

Juicy Couture | Viva La Juicy Noir – 3.4 oz.
Sample Value: $1.32 (0.05 oz)
Full Size Cost: $90.00 (3.4 oz)
Buy at Birchbox

This perfume has a great glamorous scent, and I used it up pretty quickly. If you know me, you know I’m not really good at picking up all those different scents, but Birchbox’s website has this to add about that one.

Ripe berries pair with a touch of honeysuckle and undertones of sultry sandalwood.

For me, the only down side was the sample bottle! Usually I love this kind of perfume sample bottle, because it actually lets you spray it on. But, mine didn’t really work. I had a terrible time getting the perfume out, so that was kind of frustrating.

The Verdict
Cost: $10.00/month
Full Size Cost: $21.02

As always, Birchbox provided a great value for their $10.00/month subscription fee, but overall I was kind of let down by the box. The chocolate made a great first impression, but the products didn’t really stack up. I’m actually starting to think about canceling my Birchbox subscription and trying something new. It might be time to cash in on those Birchbox points… What do you guys think? Should I stick it out or move on? Leave your thoughts below and wait for part 2 of my Makeup Sunday!

Disclosure: This product was not received in exchange for a review. All views in this review are the opinion of the author. Just Louise Please will not accept payment in exchange for a review, but will accept a box at no cost to provide honest opinions on the box. This post may contain referral links. Complete Disclosure Policy.

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Birchbox: October 2013 Review

Birchbox | October 2013I was immediately impressed with the weight of this month’s Birchbox. I picked it up and immediately thought, “Hello!” I couldn’t wait to dive inside to see what I’d find.

Birchbox is a monthly cosmetic and hair care subscription box that sends you a variety of sample size products for $10.00/month. All of the products are also available for purchase from Birchbox’s website. This is one of my staple boxes that I’m absolutely addicted to and love getting every month.

So, what did I find in this month’s box?

  • DDF® | Wrinkle Resist Plus Pore Minimizer Moisturizing Serum
  • Atelier Cologne | Orange Sanguine Cologne Absolue – 200ml
  • theBalm® cosmetics | Stainiac
  • SARAHPOTEMPA | The HALF-UP™
  • ChapStick® | Hydration Lock

DDF® | Wrinkle Resist Plus Pore Minimizer Moisturizing SerumDDF® | Wrinkle Resist Plus Pore Minimizer Moisturizing Serum
Sample Value: $25.00 (0.5 fl oz)
Full Size Cost: $85.00 (1.7 fl oz)
Buy at Birchbox

Now, I may only be 27, but I am all about ANYTHING that is anti-aging. My theory has always been, it’s never to early to start! So, I was excited to try out this Wrinkle Resist Serum. Now, whether or not it works, is kind of hard for me to determine. But, it goes on smoothly, is gentle on my skin and is something I could totally see myself using every day.

Birchbox tells me this thing uses dual-phase technology, what that is… I have no clue. But, apparently, it’s supposed to work like a top-notch primer, while hydrating skin, shrinking pores and masking flaws. These are all good things in my book. The product certainly seems to be worth the $85.00 price tag, but unfortunately, I just don’t have that kind of skin care budget! Either way, I’m likely to use this thing to the max and enjoy it while I got it!

Atelier Cologne | Orange Sanguine Cologne Absolue - 200mlAtelier Cologne | Orange Sanguine Cologne Absolue
Sample Value: $1.16 (1.5 ml)
Full Size Cost: $155 (200 ml)
Buy at Birchbox

This is probably one of my more loved perfume samples lately. It’s the one I reach for first, and I’m really enjoying its sweet citrus scent! It’s fresh, highly concentrated (so it sticks around for hours) and offers a burst of sweet blood orange, combined with jasmine and rich sandalwood.  Really, I only smell the orange, but that’s good enough for me!

theBalm® cosmetics | StainiactheBalm® cosmetics | Stainiac
Sample Value: $2.26 (0.04 fl oz)
Full Size Cost: $17.00 (0.3 fl oz)
Buy at Birchbox

I’m not a huge fan of lip stains, but I thought I’d give this one a go. It builds as you put it on, so if you just want a light rosy color, one swipe does the trick. As you put more and more layers on, the color becomes a rich red. I didn’t try this as a cheek stain, mainly because I’m a little intimidated by the thought of putting a stain on my cheek. However, my Grandma’s #1 beauty tip involves using lipstick as a blush, so there has to be some merit to it.

SARAHPOTEMPA | The HALF-UP™SARAHPOTEMPA | The HALF-UP™
Full Size Value: $9.00
Buy at Birchbox

I was super excited when I saw this full size product in this month’s box. I’m always looking for a quick and easy way to throw my hair in a bun, without the hassle of bobby pins. But, I have to say, I was pretty disappointed with this product. I couldn’t get it to sit or stick right. I’ve basically resorted from using this as it was intended, and instead use it as a glorified hair tie when washing my face. It’s a sad, sad day for The Half Up™ in my world.

ChapStick® | Hydration LockChapStick® | Hydration Lock
Full Size Value: $2.99
Buy at Birchbox

Everyone needs ChapStick! And, this is certianly a winner, especially in the fall and winter months! This thing packs a ton of hydration and lasts up to eight hours. My hubby was pretty jealous of this product, which doesn’t happen too often with my Birchboxes, so I got some sweet satisfaction out of that! Birchbox tells me Hydration Lock also features antioxidant CoQ10 and healing vitamin E, two mainstays of healthy skin and soft, silky pouts.

Right now this thing is sold out on Birchbox. But, I’d imagine you can also find it at your favorite drug store or in the check-out aisle.

The Verdict
Cost: $10.00/month
Value: $40.01

This month’s Birchbox had one of the best values to date thanks to the DDF® | Wrinkle Resist Plus Pore Minimizer Moisturizing Serum, and I am perfectly fine with that! Other than the SARAHPOTEMPA | The HALF-UP™, this month’s box was a total winner! Opening it up, there were a ton of products to enjoy and I was super pleased with the variety! 

What did you get in your Birchbox this month? What was your stand-out product? Would love to hear your comments below!

Disclosure: This product was not received in exchange for a review. All views in this review are the opinion of the author. Just Louise Please will not accept payment in exchange for a review, but will accept a box at no cost to provide honest opinions on the box. This post may contain referral links. Complete Disclosure Policy.

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Julep: October 2013 Bombshell Review

Julep | October 2013It’s time to get a little spooky with Julep! As you can imagine, all of this month’s boxes were centered around the season, and while I’m normally a Boho Glam girl, this month I switched things up a bit and went with the Bombshell package. I also cashed in on my Julep Jules (points you get for referring friends/purchasing product) and got my October box for free!

Using your personal style profile, Julep hand-picks trendsetting new nail colors, cult faves and cutting-edge beauty products and mails them to your doorstep every month. Introductory boxes are mailed immediately (no waiting on this one), with following boxes mailed out at the end of each month. Before you receive your box, you’ll receive an email with details on what to expect. If you don’t like what’s in your box, you can change your style profile, send your box as a gift or skip the month completely.

This month I received:

  • Julep Nail Polish | Valerie
  • Julep Nail Polish | Cleopatra
  • Julep | Kajal Eye Glider & Sharpener

Julep Nail Polish | ValerieJulep Nail Polish | Valerie
Full Size Value: $14.00
Buy at Julep.com

This is a teal iridescent microglitter nail polish, and appears much brighter in person compared to the photo. Of the two polishes, this was probably my second favorite color. But, here’s the bummer. I for the life of me cannot find this thing! I opened it, took pictures of it, and now I can’t find it! I really want to wear it, but my house has somehow swallowed it. Major bummer, I know!

Julep Nail Polish | CleopatraJulep Nail Polish | Cleopatra
Full Size Value: $14.00
Buy at Julep.com

Now, I am all about this black latex crème color. I’ve been wearing it pretty much non-stop since I opened the box. The best way I can describe its finished texture is that it’s similar to a garbage bag. And, for the Halloween season, it looks super cool. It also goes on really smooth, and dries faster than most Julep nail polishes. Both qualities I enjoy immensely.

Julep | Kajal Eye Glider & SharpenerJulep | Kajal Eye Glider & Sharpener
Full Size Value: $22.00
Buy at Julep.com

I haven’t tried many of Julep’s other cosmetic products, so I was anxious to try out this bold eyeliner. Again, perfect for the Halloween season, the black end of this pencil goes on super smooth for a great smoky eye. It’s definitely great for both outlining and for waterlines. While the brown is more subtle, it’s still totally worth it. I always get nervous with eyeliner pencils, because sometimes they can be kind of rough. But, I find this pencil to be as gentle as their retractable counterparts.

The Verdict
Cost: $19.99/month
Value: $40.00

As always, Julep sent me some high-quality products at a fraction of the price. I’d never be able to go into Ulta and buy a $22.00 eyeliner. But, with Julep, I get to enjoy some of the best formulas with some exciting nail polish colors.

Julep is one of those subscriptions I don’t get every month and opt out often. But, when the right combination of products comes along, I am always happy I opted in.

What did you think of the October box? Which one did you get and what was your favorite product? Would love to hear what you have to say below!

Disclosure: This product was not received in exchange for a review. All views in this review are the opinion of the author. Just Louise Please will not accept payment in exchange for a review, but will accept a box at no cost to provide honest opinions on the box. This post may contain referral links. Complete Disclosure Policy.

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September 2013: Birchbox Review

photo-2Happy anniversary Birchbox! The September 2013 box marks this beauty product subscription service’s third year of providing awesome beauty samples, and this month’s products are appropriately themed around Heritage.

For $10 a month, beauty and lifestyle samples will come to your doorstep hand-selected by the Birchbox team. Each box also contains a great information card with details on the products inside, including how much they cost to purchase.

My September 2013 Birchbox included:

  • Ruffian | Nail Lacquer (Delirium)
  • Serge Normant | Meta Luxe Hair Spray
  • Grand Central Beauty S.M.A.R.T. | Skin Perfecting™ Polisher
  • BCBGMAXAZRIA | Bon Genre
  • Eyeko | Black Magic Mascara

photo-4Ruffian | Nail Lacquer (Delirium)
Full Size Sample Value: $10.00 (0.17 fl oz)
Buy at Birchbox

This nail polish was a little bright for my taste, but I’ll keep it around for a summer toe color. I immediately put it on my fingers, and when I went into a meeting the next morning at work, I couldn’t stop looking at my nails. The color was pretty distracting! But, the quality seems decent enough.

It started peeling/flaking a couple of days later, which is kind of surprising since Birchbox says it’s formulated to hold up without doing that… But, it also says you’re supposed to use a base coat and topcoat, neither of which I did.

photo-5Serge Normant | Meta Luxe Hair Spray
Sample Size Value: $0.66 (2.0 oz)
Full Size Cost: $25.00
(75.0 oz)
Buy at Birchbox

I was really not pleased with this hairspray. For one thing, when I opened up the sample, the cap was broken. I had to kind of jimmy-rig it in order to get it to work. Secondly, it smelled like nail polisher remover. Seriously, the smell of this hair spray is offensive.

Birchbox says this hair spray is supposed to work great in humidity, but I definitely didn’t experience that. I didn’t think it left my hair smooth or shiny. Instead, I actually had to use a frizz control serum to get the look I needed. It does keep hair in place, but the smell alone makes it not worth it. 

photo (9)Grand Central Beauty S.M.A.R.T. | Skin Perfecting™ Polisher
Sample Size Value: $7.49 (.2 fl oz)
Full Size Cost: $38.00 (30 ml)
Buy at Birchbox

I’ll be honest, I haven’t used this one yet. Mainly because I’m unclear on how I’m supposed to use it. It says it’s rinse-optional, which freaks me out a bit. Do I rinse it off or do I leave it on? What are the benefits of doing it one way or the other?

Anyway, once I figure out how I want to use this thing, it’s supposed to exfoliate, peel, tone and hydrate skin. These all sound like good things. I just need to take the plunge and try it out.

photo (8)BCBGMAXAZRIA | Bon Genre Perfume
Sample Size Value: $0.69 (0.03 oz)
Full Size Cost: $75.00 (3.4 oz)
Buy at Birchbox

I’m always for a good perfume, and this one came in one of my favorite perfume sample bottles. I much prefer the ones you can spray, versus the ones you have to dab on.

The scent is nice and helped me battle the remnants of that bad-smelling hair spray. It’s super feminine without being overly complicated. There’s hints of lychee, red berries, tiger lily and jasmine noir. I personally can’t identify any of those scents, but it doesn’t matter to me… I like it!

photo (7)Eyeko | Black Magic Mascara
Sample Size Value: $10.76 (0.13 oz)
Full Size Cost: $24.00(0.29 oz)
Buy at Birchbox

I’ve gotten a lot of mascara samples lately! Not that I mind, I definitely like trying them all out. My favorite part of this mascara was the curved brush. It made it easy to apply and get a nice full look. Birchbox says it’s “sickle-shaped,” which I got to say, I’ve never heard of a mascara wand being described quite that way before. The formula is waterproof and definitely stands up for 12 hours.

The Verdict
Cost: $15.00
Total Value: $29.60

My favorite item this month was definitely the BCBGMAXAZRIA | Bon Genre Perfume. Sometimes I wonder if I’m getting tired of receiving perfume samples in my Birchbox, but then one like this comes along and it all seems worth it! And, I’m never short of perfume, which is nice! My least favorite item has to be Serge Normant | Meta Luxe Hair SprayI mean, the smell is seriously out of control! Kind of funny my favorite and least favorite items both have to deal with smell… ah well!

Have you tried Birchbox yet? What was your favorite item. Comment below!

Disclosure: This product was not received in exchange for a review. All views in this post are the opinion of the author. Just Louise Please will not accept payment in exchange for a review, but will accept a box at no cost to provide honest opinions on the box. This post may contain referral links. Complete Disclosure Policy.

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August 2013: Ipsy Review

Ipsy Glam Bag | August 2013Ipsy’s Glam Bag‘s theme this month is Glamour Academy! Which, I gotta say.. is eerily similar to Birchbox’s Finishing School. I always wonder how they come up with these themes and if there’s major competition between these two makeup subscription boxes. I wonder if they get tips about each other’s themes and if they try to outdo one another…

Any way… Glamour Academy! This month’s theme is supposed to be all about giving you the beauty essentials you need for a school bag or next big party! And, looking over this month’s samples, there are a lot of great items for your purse and a couple you can use every day!

In this month’s Ipsy Glam Bag I found:

  • Urban Decay | Revolution Lipstick (69)
  • Pixi | Lash Booster Mascara in Blackest Black
  • Smashbox | Photo Finish Foundation Primer
  • MicaBeauty | Eye Shadow in Bronze
  • Michael Todd | Pumpkin Nutrient-Rich Facial Mask

Urban Decay | Revolution Lipstick (69)Urban Decay | Revolution Lipstick (69)
Sample Value: $7.86
Full Size Cost: $22.00
Buy at Urban Decay (Free Shipping Coupon Code IPSY)

To start things off we got a sassy little lipstick from Urban Decay. First of all, I love Urban Decay, so right off the bat, I’m happy with the quality. The color is a rich, deep red. Hello! The color is called 69! What else would you expect? And, while this isn’t something I’d wear every day… it’s definitely something I’ll use when I’m on stage at the local community theater or even for a night out. It’s super sexy and fun and something I’m glad to have in my collection!

Pixi | Lash Booster Mascara in Blackest BlackPixi | Lash Booster Mascara in Blackest Black
Sample Value: $2.00 (Approx)
Full Size Cost: $17.00
Buy at Pixi Beauty (20% Off Coupon Code PIXI+IPSY)

When I saw there was a mascara sample in this month’s Glam Bag I was STOKED! My mascara is running low and I couldn’t wait to try a new one. The product is called LASH BOOSTER Mascara in BLACKEST BLACK, and I got to say… I don’t think this product lives up to its name. I just feel like it’s pretty weak. I don’t think it did anything to boost my lashes and I had to put a ton of coats on in order to notice it at all. So, kind of a disappointment!

Smashbox| Photo Finish Foundation PrimerSmashbox | Photo Finish Foundation Primer
Sample Value: $9.00
Full Size Cost: $36.00
Buy at Smash Box (Free Mascara with purchase of Primer, Coupon Code IPSY)

Now this is a product I’ve been reading about and eyeing for a while! This is a high-quality primer and I’m so glad I got a sample of it! I really love the soft finish it leaves on my skin and it really helps my makeup stick around throughout the day. This coupon code is also really tempting… you know I need a new mascara and getting one free with the purchase of this primer is really tempting!

MicaBeauty | Eye Shadow in BronzeMicaBeauty | Eye Shadow in Bronze
Full Size Sample Value: $14.95
Buy at MicaBeauty (25% Off Coupon Code IPSY25)

Now this product confuses me. The capsule says it’s a bronzer but Ipsy says it’s an eye shadow. Who knows! I’m not really one for bronzers (pale people unite!), so using this as an eye shadow seems like a better fit for me. It works fine. But, it doesn’t really last all day. The color is really pretty and right up my alley. I haven’t tried it with an eyelid primer, but I feel like that would help this guy stick around a bit longer.

Michael Todd | Pumpkin Nutrient-Rich Facial MaskMichael Todd | Pumpkin Nutrient-Rich Facial Mask
Sample Value: $10.00
Full Size Cost: $34.00
Buy at Michael Todd True Organics (30% Off Any Purchase Coupon Code AUGIPSY)

When I pulled this out of the Glam Bag I immediately went, “YES!” I love facial masks and I was immediately intrigued by the Pumpkin! I literally went straight to the bathroom to try it out! And, the best way I can describe it is that it’s literally like putting pumpkin pie on your face. What surprised me was it heats up and kind of tingles! Didn’t expect that from my pumpkin pie! Definitely something I enjoyed and will use again!

The Verdict
Cost: $10.00
Total Value: $43.81

As always, Ipsy knocked it out of the park in terms of value and I got a ton of high-quality products that I was excited to try. It’s probably pretty obvious my least favorite item was the Pixi | Lash Booster Mascara in Blackest Black. It was a major let down. I kind of have a hard time picking a favorite, but I got to go with the Smashbox | Photo Finish Foundation Primer, because it’s something I’ve used every day since getting it in the mail. 

What did you think of this month’s theme? Did you get anything cool that I didn’t? Would love to hear about your Glam Bags! Ready to try it out for yourself? Sign up now!

Disclosure: This product was not received in exchange for a review. All views in this post are the opinion of the author. Just Louise Please will not accept payment in exchange for a review, but will accept a box at no cost to provide honest opinions on the box. This post may contain referral links. Complete Disclosure Policy.

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August 2013: Birchbox Review

August 2013 BirchboxWe’re taking a trip to Finishing School folks, so grab your tube socks and sharpen your pencils. The theme for this month’s Birchbox is all about giving you the finishing touches you need for your beauty routine.

This month’s Birchbox included:

  • Coastal Scents® | Eye Shadow
  • Harvey Prince | Eau Flirt
  • Juice Beauty | Oil-free Moisturizer
  • Number 4™ | Super Comb Prep & Protect
  • TanTowl® | Classic Formula Self-Tan Towelettes

Coastal Scents® | Eye ShadowCoastal Scents® | Eye Shadow
Sample Size Value: $1.54
Full Size Cost: $34-39.00
Buy at Birchbox

Not sure I’d call this a finishing touch item, but anything that claims to give you the perfect smoky eye is okay in my book! These colors are definitely up my alley and they offer some really beautiful pigments. I’ve used the colors independently and in combination and find them to be very versatile! I wasn’t uber impressed with how long they last, but I thought the sample size was really nice!

Harvey Prince | Eau FlirtHarvey Prince | Eau Flirt
Sample Size Value: $0.98
Full Size Cost: $55-98.00
Buy at Birchbox

Now, I really liked this scent! And, as far as the theme goes, perfume is a perfect “finishing touch.” It’s really floral and very girly. Usually I’m more of a subtle perfume kind of girl, but I’ve really enjoyed trying this out and have been wearing it almost every day.

Juice Beauty | Oil-free MoisturizerJuice Beauty | Oil-free Moisturizer
Sample Size Value: $7.00
Full Size Cost: $28.00
Buy at Birchbox

Now, I don’t know if it’s this moisturizer or what, but since using this… I have started to break out a bit, even though it is oil free and claims to not clog pores. I don’t really have sensitive skin, so I am pretty surprised with my skin’s reaction. I’d say the primary downside for me is the scent. I don’t know how to describe it, but it’s kind of earthy… but, not really in a pleasant way. It almost smells like oatmeal, maybe?

Number 4™ | Super Comb Prep & ProtectNumber 4™ | Super Comb Prep & Protect
Sample Size Value: $4.80
Full Size Cost: $32.00
Buy at Birchbox

When I opened up this month’s Birchbox and saw this hair protectant, I was super stoked! I loved the Beauty Protector | Protect & Detangle I got in my May 2013 box, so I was excited to try out a similar product. And, while I don’t think it’s as fabulous as the Beauty Protector, I definitely noticed some improvements! My hair was certainly softer and it definitely took care of some tangles. It also smells pretty good!

TanTowl® | Classic Formula Self-Tan TowelettesTanTowl® | Classic Formula Self-Tan Towelettes
Sample Size Value: $2.40
Full Size Cost: $24.00
Buy at Birchbox

As a committed member of the pale-person club, you’d think I’d be pretty excited about a self-tan towelette. But here’s the thing about being pale, and I mean… really pale… tan towelettes become kind of intimidating. There’s only one of these in the sample and I’m not sure where I could sufficiently use this, and it not end up looking like an uneven tan streak somewhere. So, yeah… I didn’t use this.

The Verdict
Cost: $15.00
Total Value: $16.72

Overall, I was pretty happy with this month’s Birchbox. The Number 4™ | Super Comb Prep & Protect, Harvey Prince | Eau Flirt and Coastal Scents® | Eye Shadow were definitely my favorites.  I’ve used all three products almost every day since getting them in the mail. It’s probably pretty obvious that I was less excited about the TanTowl® | Classic Formula Self-Tan Towelettes and Juice Beauty | Oil-free MoisturizerNot sure how much longer I’ll continue using the moisturizer… and maybe someone out there will want my Tan Towelettes? Any takers?

What’d you think of this month’s Birchbox? Did you get something different you think I’d like? A penny for your thoughts. Not really, I don’t have that many pennies. 😛

Disclosure: This product was not received in exchange for a review. All views in this post are the opinion of the author. Just Louise Please will not accept payment in exchange for a review, but will accept a box at no cost to provide honest opinions on the box. This post may contain referral links. Complete Disclosure Policy.

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Ipsy: July 2013 Review

Ipsy July 2013 IntroductionI’ve been literally waiting months to get my very first ipsy box! I’ve been anxiously awaiting for this pink package, and it’s finally here! And, let me start off by saying, I wasn’t disappointed!

For $10.00/month, the team at ipsy will select products they love for you to try. Everything comes in a cute little makeup bag, fondly referred to as the “Glam Bag.” Each is filled with a mix of 4-5 deluxe samples and full-sized beauty products. The site pairs the included products with videos and tutorials on their website.

This month’s theme was “Beach Beauty,” and I gotta say… I really feel like ipsy hit the nail on the head with this one. I feel like this little glam bag gave me everything I need to look smokin hot at the beach! Now if only they could tear me away from the ice cream… alas, that’s another issue.

So, let’s get to it! I received the following in my premier Ipsy box:

  • Pouty Pop Crayon | Fuchsia Flirt
  • BH Cosmetics | California Collection Eyeshadow Sample
  • COOLA | Mineral Face SPF 20 Unscented Moisturizer
  • Sexy Hair | Weather Proof Humidity Resistant Spray
  • Demeter | Salt Air Perfume Oil Roll On

Pouty Pop Crayon | Fuchisa FlirtPouty Pop Crayon | Fuchsia Flirt
Sample Value: $4.17
Full Size Cost: $25.00
Buy at POP Beauty (Save 20% with coupon code POPLUVSIPSY)

Well hello there! This lip crayon is certainly this month’s flirt! I got a pretty pink color that, while I find pushes my bright lip limits, still made its way into my purse. The texture is super smooth and I gotta say, the color definitely has some staying power!

Pouty Pop Crayons nourish, treat and add a plump pop to lips. It comes in six shades and from what I can tell it’s currently available in packs of six.

BH Cosmetics | California Collection Eyeshadow SampleBH Cosmetics | California Collection Eyeshadow Sample
Approximate Sample Value: $0.75
Full Size Cost: $7.00
Buy at bhCosmetics (Save 10% with coupon code IPSY)

I wasn’t so sure about these colors initially. This collection includes samples from each location, San Francisco, Hollywood and Malibu. I took it easy and started with San Francisco and Malibu and enjoyed both. Then I dove into the rich purple from the Hollywood palette. Gotta say, I was a little intimidated. But, the color goes on very gently and allows you to build your intensity. So, I was able to enjoy a hint of purple without getting into the “whoa you’re wearing purple eyeshadow” territory.

COOLA | Mineral Face SPF 20 Unscented MoisturizerCOOLA | Mineral Face SPF 20 Unscented Moisturizer
Sample Value: $4.87 (.23 oz)
Full Size Cost: $36.00 (1.7 oz)

Buy at COOLA (Save 30% with coupon code IPSY)

I was super excited to see COOLA in this month’s box. I’ve received some of their other samples before and loved them! This sample size is great for traveling and since it’s unscented, I might keep this guy in my purse for UVA/UVB emergencies. You know, those unexpected moments in the sun when I can’t catch a break under some shade. Yep, this will definitely come in handy!

Big Sexy Hair | Weather Proof Humidity Resistant SprayBig Sexy Hair | Weather Proof Humidity Resistant Spray
Sample Value: $7.80 (1.4 0z)
Full Size Cost: $18.95 (3.4 oz)
Buy at Ulta (Save $5.00 on order of $25.00 or more with coupon code 108723)

Now, I love me some Big Sexy! And, I was super stoked to see this humidity resistant spray, because it has been HOT here in Southwest Michigan. I’m not entirely sure I’ve been using this product correctly, but I’m loving it anyway. I’ve kind of been using it in place of my hairspray, and I’m starting to think that’s not the way to go. Big Sexy Hair says this should be the last thing you put on before heading out the door. So, I think I might need to rethink my morning routine.

Demeter | Salt Air Perfume Oil Roll OnDemeter | Salt Air Perfume Oil Roll On
Sample Value: $3.48
Full Size Cost: $6.00 (1/2 oz)

Buy at Demeter Fragrance (Save 20% with coupon code IPSYDFL20)

Now, this is my kind of perfume! Not only did I feel this was a generous sample size, I really liked the subtle smell. It’s just so gentle… like… a perfect sea breeze on a tropical island. Ha! Either way, there’s definitely something tranquil about it! And, it’s pretty affordable. So, this might be something I’d consider purchasing in the future. It’s also got me intrigued about their other scents… and I can get 20% off? Okay, I’ve been looped in.

The Verdict
Cost: $10.00/month
Value: $21.07

Overall, I am super pleased with the value and quality of the items inside this month’s ipsy box! I mean, my value was over twice what I paid! And, I really felt like each of the items was a full size product or at least a deluxe sample size, except maybe the sunscreen. That one WAS a little small.

My favorite item has to be the Demeter | Salt Air Perfume Oil Roll On. This is something I’m seriously considering purchasing with the coupon code. I really like that about ipsy. Not only are they letting you try these products, but they are also giving you a deal if you buy the full size! 

I really can’t say there was an item I really didn’t like. I guess it would be the COOLA | Mineral Face SPF 20 Unscented Moisturizer, but that’s only because of the size. It’s certainly not because of the quality of the product or because it’s something I won’t use. Because, that’s not true! So, yeah… definitely hard to find a weak link in this month’s box!

What do you think of ipsy? Are you loving it as much as I am? Want to try it for yourself for $10.00/month? Go ahead and sign up! Like I said, I had to wait a couple of months to get off the waiting list, but I’ve found it’s definitely worth it!

Disclosure: This product was not received in exchange for a review. All views in this post are the opinion of the author. Just Louise Please will not accept payment in exchange for a review, but will accept a box at no cost to provide honest opinions on the box. This post may contain referral links. Complete Disclosure Policy.

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Birchbox: July 2013 Reivew

Birchbox July 2013This month’s theme was “Power Play,” with the idea being that Birchbox wants to help you take control of every situation and make the most of every minute.

Looking at this month’s samples, I’m struggling to see the connection, but you gotta at least give Birchbox an A for effort on that one. I mean it can’t be easy figuring out these themes every month and connecting them to beauty products.

Birchbox is a monthly cosmetic subscription service that brings beauty samples to your doorstep for $10.00/month. Want to read about past boxes? Feel free to check out my previous posts in the review section.

So, what did we find inside this beautiful July box?

  • Juliette Has a Gun | Juliette Has a GunNot a Perfume 
  • Birchbox | Bobby Pins
  • theBalm® cosmetics | InStain® Long-Wearing Powder Staining Blush
  • Vivant® Skin Care | Green Tea Antioxidant Cleanser
  • ModelCo | Party Proof Lipstick

Not a PerfumeJuliette Has a Gun | Juliette Has a Gun Not a Perfume 
Approximate Sample Value: $2.40
Full Size Cost: $120.00 (100 ml)
Buy at Birchbox

Let’s start things off with the perfume, because you know how I’m a sucker for perfume samples!

Not a Perfume features an elegant and unmistakable scent that Birchbox says is totally addictive. I’m not so sure about the addictive part, because I can’t figure out if I like this scent or not. In some ways it’s almost too strong for me. And, I have a terrible time putting it on. For whatever reason, these little perfume bottles are just so hard for me to navigate!

Birchbox Bobby PinsBirchbox | Bobby Pins
Sample Value: $1.66
Full Size Cost: $5.00 (set of 6)
Buy at Birchbox

Of all the items, I feel like these little bobby pins probably connect to the whole “keep things under control” theme the most. They’re definitely cute, and I love the design, but I don’t typically wear bobby pins like these. I tried pairing them with a navy blue dress I was wearing and chickened out. I don’t know if it’s just not my style or what. I used them as regular old bobby pins and I found them difficult to use. What is with me this month? I guess I’m struggling in using the samples!

InstaintheBalm® cosmetics | InStain® Long-Wearing Powder Staining Blush
Sample Value: $4.44 (0.018 oz)
Full Size Cost: $22.00 (0.09 oz)
Buy at Birchbox

Now this little guy impressed me! Birchbox says the pigment lasts from sunup to sundown, and while I didn’t notice any long-lasting qualities, I couldn’t believe the vibrance of the color! This sample is small, so I didn’t expect it to make a big impact. But, my brush just soaks up the color and it goes on bright. So, I was very impressed with this little sample!

Vibrant Skin CareVivant® Skin Care | Green Tea Antioxidant Cleanser
Sample Value: $0.56
Full Size Cost: $29.50 (8 oz)
Buy at Birchbox

This is perhaps my favorite sample in this month’s box. Probably because I’m a sucker for a good old fashion face wash. Birchbox says it can also be used as a body cleanser, and while I haven’t used it for that yet, I imagine it’s pretty awesome on that front as well. It is packed with antioxidant-rich green tea and grape seed extract and leaves my skin feeling super clean! It also really does smell like green tea!

Model Co LipstickModelCo | Party Proof Lipstick Trio 
Sample Value: $8.00
Full Size Cost: $24.00

Buy at Birchbox

Now, I know some folks who weren’t happy with this palest of pale lipstick hues, but I really didn’t mind “Get Naked.” I find the trick is not putting it on too thick. When I just use one coat, it adds just a little bit of shimmer. If I put on anything more than that, it looks like I’m wearing a pretty sad lipstick. Birchbox says this lipstick doesn’t come off when you take a drink or give a smooch, and let me just say… that’s a bit of an over statement. It definitely came off on my coffee cup this morning when I put it to the test.

The Verdict
Total Cost: $10.00/month
Total Value: $17.06

Birchbox always does a really great job of giving you an exceptional value. For $10.00/month, it always seems worth it to me to keep this subscription. Especially when you’re a makeup feen like myself.

As far as the products this month, there wasn’t anything I really fell in love with. I don’t know if it’s because I’m getting jaded in my box ways or what. But, there just wasn’t anything that really set the box over the top for me. My favorite item is probably the Vivant® Skin Care | Green Tea Antioxidant Cleanser. If I had gotten a different color of the ModelCo | Party Proof Lipstick Trio, it definitely could have taken the lead.

My least favorite item was probably the Birchbox | Bobby Pins, mainly because they aren’t the kind I normally use. If I was thinking, I should have not opened these and instead gifted them to someone. Woops!

What did you guys think of Birchbox this week? What  all did you get? Would love to hear your thoughts! Want to try it for yourself, check them out here!

Disclosure: This product was not received in exchange for a review. All views in this review are the opinion of the author. Just Louise Please will not accept payment in exchange for a review, but will accept a box at no cost to provide honest opinions on the box. This post may contain referral links. Complete Disclosure Policy.

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Birchbox: June 2013 Review

Birchbox: June 201306.18.13 – Here we have it folks, my second Birchbox! Complete with the brand new logo! This time around I avoided any and all other reviews in anticipation of being surprised by what I’d find inside! And, let me just say… I was stoked! In so many ways, it’s like Birchbox read my mind and brought me exactly what I was hoping for!

For those who don’t know… Birchbox is a cosmetic subscription service that delivers makeup samples to your doorstep for $10.00 a month. Birchbox rewards subscribers with points for referring friends and for writing reviews on their site. These points can be used toward the purchase of your favorite products.

This month’s theme is “Wanderlust” and the whole idea that when you’re ready to shake things up, you can’t be stopped! That’s been especially true for me lately. I don’t know what it is, but I’ve had crazy motivation to get things done! So, it seems this month’s theme is fitting the bill!

This month’s Birchbox came with:

  • 29 Cosmetics | 29 Preserves Skin Care Collection
  • Birchbox + Color Club | Wanderlust Collection
  • Twistband | Birchbox Nautical Hair Tie Collection
  • Klorane | Gentle Dry Shampoo with Oak Milk
  • Youngblood Mineral Cosmetics | Hi-Definition Hydrating Mineral Perfecting Powder
  • Birchbox | Postcards
29 Cosmetics

29 Cosmetics | 29 Preserves Skin Care Collection

29 Cosmetics | 29 Preserves Skin Care Collection
Full Size Cost: $68.00-175.00
Sample Value: $4.00 (estimate)
Buy at Birchbox

29 Cosmetics offers an antioxidant-rich and eco-chic quartet to protect and firm skin. This month’s sample includes a Cream Cleanser, Serum Extract, Eye Emulsion and Night Moisture.

I don’t really have a wrinkle problem. I guess you could say I’m still young, though the gray hairs making an appearance on my head are quietly disagreeing. But, I still listed it on my beauty profile for Birchbox because I’ve always been of the mindset that it’s never too early to use anti-aging stuff! It can’t hurt right? I immediately used the Cream Cleanser and the Night Moisture, because I was getting ready for bed. I noticed in the morning that my skin felt super soft, and the Eye Emulsion was really great. But, the sample sizes are only big enough for one application, and it’s hard to tell with this anti-aging stuff what effect it has after one use.

29 Cosmetics seems like it’s got some cool things going on though. They’re based in Napa, California and make their products with all natural and organic, sustainable ingredients. Their products even come in eco-friendly, recyclable packaging, which I think is pretty cool!

Color Club & Twist

Birchbox + Color Club | Wanderlust Collection
Twistband | Birchbox Nautical Hair Tie Collection

Birchbox + Color Club | Wanderlust Collection
Full Size Cost: $8.00
Sample Value: $2.00
Buy at Birchbox

My nail polish was chipping, so I was totally ready to take off what I had on and try something summery! And boy, this stuff is bright! When I first saw the bottle it looked like a mint color to me. Which… I was thrilled about, because I’m loving the mint trend. But, I don’t know if it was the lighting or what, but the next morning I realized the polish is actually like a BRIGHT neon green. Which, if I had read the information card, I would have known. But alas, I wasn’t patient enough for that. It’s not really my style, but it’s something I could see myself putting on my toes later this summer.

The Wanderlust Collection comes in four different colors inspired by Birchbox’s favorite cities. I got “London Calling.” I’m not totally sure of the color connection, but I can roll with it.

Twistband | Birchbox Nautical Hair Tie Collection
Full Size Cost: $14.00
Sample Value: $2.33
Buy at Birchbox

The Twistband was this month’s lifestyle extra from Birchbox. I’ve seen these before in a whole bunch of different boxes. They even have their own monthly subscription service (here you go). As far as hair ties go, they’re pretty cool. They go on really smoothly and definitely helped me out when I washed may face with the 29 Cosmetics Cream Cleanser. But, here’s my thing about hair ties. I never buy them. I don’t know how I end up with them. But, I have like one or two around the house and they get me through. I’m just not a pony tail girl, so I don’t use them often.

Klorane

Klorane | Gentle Dry Shampoo with Oak Milk

Klorane | Gentle Dry Shampoo with Oak Milk
Full Size Cost: $18.00
Sample Value: $5.96
Buy at Birchbox

Now this is the type of product I hoped to get from Birchbox. I’ve always wanted to try a dry shampoo, but never took the plunge. This morning was the perfect opportunity for me to try it out. I’ve been using the leave-in conditioner from my last Birchbox (review here) and my hair has been looking greasy on day two, so I thought this dry shampoo would help me out.

Klorane is a favorite of celebs and is known for reviving second-day strands. And, I think it did the trick? I didn’t notice anything too outstanding. I think it helped out some, but I felt like I had to use a lot of it to get the effect I wanted.

Youngblood Mineral Cosmetics | Hi-Definition Hydrating Mineral Perfecting Powder

Youngblood Mineral Cosmetics | Hi-Definition Hydrating Mineral Perfecting Powder

Youngblood Mineral Cosmetics | Hi-Definition Hydrating Mineral Perfecting Powder
Full Size Cost: $40.00
Sample Value: $1.94
Buy at Birchbox

When I saw this product, I thought YES! Want to know why? It’s because my powder fell on the floor and shattered this week. Leaving me living a life sans powder. And that’s not a life I enjoy.

Now… Houston, we have powder! And, HD powder at that! I’ve used HD powder before, primarily for weddings and other special occasions, and I love the finish they leave. The sample size is pretty small though, and I was confused about how I could get a brush into the small container. But, after I got past that, I was impressed with how it kept shine under control for hours. As far as quality goes, this might be my favorite item in this month’s box.

Postcards

Birchbox | Postcards

Birchbox | Postcards
Full Size Value: $2.50 (estimate)
Not available online 

These cute post cards were a little extra item in this month’s box. They coincide with Birchbox’s Wanderlust Collection and feature some really cute illustrations. I have a picture frame that I’ve been meaning to put something inside, and I feel like this could be really cute in my bathroom… hmmm… Look at you Birchbox! Inspiring me to be crafty!

The Verdict
Cost: $10.00/month
Value: $18.73

As before, I am impressed with Birchbox’s value and ability to predict what sort of items I want to try. While I was happy to experiment with these brands, I didn’t really get anything that I felt like I couldn’t live with out. Don’t be fooled, I’m not disappointed. That’s the fun in trying different products. Can’t fall in love with everything every time!

My favorite item this month has to be the sample from Youngblood Mineral Cosmetics. Just because I’m a sucker for some shine-control HD powder. I just wish there was more in the sample size!

Does this all sound good to you? Are you ready to try Birchbox out? Do a girl a favor and use this link. Who else got Birchboxes this month? Are you feeling wanderlust?

Disclosure: This product was not received in exchange for a review. All views in this review
are the opinion of the author. Just Louise Please will not accept payment in exchange for a
review, but will accept a box at no cost to provide honest opinions on the box. This post
may contain referral links. Complete Disclosure Policy.

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