Tag Archives: Cosmetic

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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Ipsy | November 2013Alright, here we go folks. If you didn’t check out today’s Makeup Sunday Part 1 post on Birchbox, you won’t want to miss it! Now we’re going to dive into Ipsy. New to this subscription box? You can find out everything you need to know on my Ipsy page.

To start off, the Ipsy’s glam bag was super cute in November. It’s a gold little clutch, that I had a friend actually use as a purse when we went out for her birthday. These little Glam Bags are great and often go unnoticed when reviewing all the different products inside. I even forget to mention them myself!

Let me start off my saying used most of November’s products  every day since getting them, and I couldn’t be happier!

  • em michelle | phan pillow plush cushiony lip balm (bubble gum)
  • Be a Bombshell | Lip Crayon (Shameless)
  • Nailtini | Straight Up Color Nail Lacquer (Caviar Cocktail)
  • Pixi Beauty | Bronzer
  • Starlooks | Gem Eye Pencil (Amethyst)
  • Cailyn  | Built-In Sponge Tip Mineral Eye Shadow (Champagne)

em michelle | phan pillow plush cushiony lip balm (bubble gum)

em michelle | phan pillow plush cushiony lip balm (bubble gum)
Full Size Sample Value: $15
Buy at em cosmetics

This lip gloss is super cute and the bubble gum color is light enough that you can wear it with almost everything. It’s not over powering, so you don’t feel like you’re wearing something that’s super noticeable. And, that’s right up my alley! The lip-smoothing balm is also great for cold wintry days and leaves your lips looking super juicy! Love love love!

Be a Bombshell | Lip Crayon (Shameless)

Be a Bombshell | Lip Crayon (Shameless)
Full Size Sample Value: $14
Buy at Be A Bombshell Cosmetics (Save 40% with coupon code IPSY40)

Now, while I haven’t been wearing this one every day, the color is appropriate for my complexion. It’s a subtle burgundy that I’d normally purchase for myself. It’s not over bearing, so I feel comfortable wearing it and its smooth texture is great for travel and touch-ups on the go. This color  builds as you apply it, so if you want something darker, you can put on a couple of coats for a more dramatic look!

Nailtini | Straight Up Color Nail Lacquer (Caviar Cocktail)

Nailtini | Straight Up Color Nail Lacquer (Caviar Cocktail)
Full Size Sample Value: $13.00 
Buy at tini beauty lounge (Receive 50% off and a FREE eyeliner with $25 purchase with coupon code IPSY4GLAM)

I thought it was kind of funny that both Birchbox and Ipsy offered up silver/metallic nail polishes this month. The Nailtini polish in the Ipsy Glam Bag was of a slightly better quality than the one in the Birchbox, and I only preferred this color too. It’s darker and less shiny than the one in Birchbox, which suited me.

Pixi Beauty | Bronzer

Pixi Beauty | Bronzer
Full Size Sample Value: $13.00 (estimate)
Buy similar product at Pixie Beauty (Receive 25% off with coupon code BRONZEPIXI)

I recently went to one of those Mary Kay makeup parties, and I got a lesson regarding bronzer. Basically, it’s the idea that when applying, you want to make the shape of a three on both sides of your face to highlight the forehead, cheeks and jaw line. After that lesson and finding this bronzer in my Glam Bag, I’m pretty much hooked on bronzer. I’ve added this guy to my daily makeup routine and am happy that the color I received is subtle enough that I can wear it everyday without someone thinking I look like Snooki.

Starlooks | Gem Eye Pencil (Amethyst)Starlooks | Gem Eye Pencil (Amethyst)
Full Size Sample Value: $14.00
Buy at Star Looks (Save 40% off any purchase with coupon code IPSY)

This was probably my least favorite item in November’s Glam Bag. I guess I’m pretty traditional when it comes to eyeliner, because I rarely venture outside my normal black and brown. But, for those with adventurous hearts, this metallic finish seems pretty fun! The pencil is highly pigmented and leaves a very holiday-appropriate micro-glitter finish.

Cailyn  | Built-In Sponge Tip Mineral Eye Shadow (Champagne)

Cailyn | Built-In Sponge Tip Mineral Eye Shadow (Champagne)
Full Size Sample Value: $15.00
Buy at Cailyn Cosmetics (Save 30% off any purchase with coupon code IPSY30)

Now, this mineral eye shadow is right up my ally! I’ve been wearing it every day, because it’s so versatile and goes with pretty much everything! I don’t think it lasts long enough though. It pretty much disappears by the end of the day, but that hasn’t really stopped me from using it. The other down side is the built-in sponge tip. It’s just really hard to use and I would have preferred a container I could use a brush with. I find myself pouring some of the eye shadow out and then using a brush, but I know I’m wasting a ton when I do that!

The Verdict
Cost: $10.00/month
Value: $84.00

Ipsy really out did itself in terms of value this month. Seriously, $84.00 worth of product for only ten bucks? Not only that, I was super happy with the products I received this month. Nearly everything inside the Glam Bag could be used every day, and the Glam Bag itself is cute enough to use as a clutch! Double bonus! What did you think of November’s glam bag? Share your thoughts 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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Ipsy: October 2013 Review

Ipsy | October 2013Every month, the team at ipsy puts together some stellar full size and deluxe sample size products for its subscribers. For only $10.00/month, you can try out some exciting hair and beauty products that you may not have encountered before. I’m a girl who loves makeup, so this is one of my favorites out there.

This month’s ipsy glambag had some great variety, and like its sister beauty product box, Birchbox, it also packed some heavy weight this month. Inside I found:

  • Zoya | Nail Polish (Neve)
  • H2O Plus | Face Oasis™ Hydrating Treatment
  • Nourish Organic | Deeply Nourishing Coconut & Argan Body Lotion
  • Ofra | Sultry Lipgloss and Plumper
  • Sexy Hair | Spray Clay Texturizing Spray Clay 

Zoya | Nail Polish (Neve)Zoya | Nail Polish (Neve)
Full Size Value: $8.00
Buy at Zoya (Buy 2 nail polishes, get 1 free and free Zoya Remove+ with coupon code IPSYZ3)

This is a nice little nail polish! The color is actually much brighter than the photo, but it’s still very pretty! I haven’t tried this brand before, but I liked it fine. It went on very smooth and pretty, but I found it chipped kind of quickly. I really need to invest in a top coat polish to see if that helps out my manicures.

Neve is a part of Zoya’s Fall 2013 Cashmere’s & Satins Collection and are designed to complement the season. They’re also free of toluene, camphor, formaldehyde, formaldehyde resin and dibutyl phthalate (DBP).

H2O Plus | Face Oasis™ Hydrating TreatmentH2O Plus | Face Oasis™ Hydrating Treatment
Sample Value: $7.20 (10 ml)
Full Size Cost: $36.00 (1.7 oz / 50mL)
Buy at H2O Plus (25% off any purchase with coupon code IPSY13)

I love this hydrating treatment! It feels so smooth and luxurious when you put it on and it has this cooling quality that really makes you feel like you’re putting some real moisture back into your skin. What I really like about this product is that when it says it’s oil free, it’s really oil free. Sometimes these deep moisturizers feel really heavy and greasy, even when they’re supposed to be oil free. But, this gel is so light and airy. It even features marine botanicals to fill surface lines and Vitamins A and E to keep skin looking great all day.

Nourish Organic | Deeply Nourishing Coconut & Argan Body LotionNourish Organic | Deeply Nourishing Coconut & Argan Body Lotion
Sample Value: $1.25 (1 oz)
Full Size Cost: $9.99 (8 oz)
Buy at Target (20% off any Nourish Organic product with coupon code Nourish20)

Now, I knew I had seen this product somewhere before! So, I was not surprised when I realized it was sold exclusively at Target. This organic body lotion sample is great for your purse, especially as it starts to get cold outside and hands start to feel dry. I’ve been using it primarily on my elbows, which I’m enjoying immensely. This product is highly concentrated to replenish, hydrate and soften skin.

Ofra | Sultry Lipgloss and PlumperOfra | Sultry Lipgloss and Plumper
Full Size Value: $12.95 (10 ml)
Buy at Ofra Cosmetics (30% off any purchase with coupon code ipsy30 )

I really like the color of this lip gloss. It’s pretty subtle, but adds just enough color for everyday use. I wouldn’t say its primary benefit is lip plumping though. I noticed a slight improvement and some tingling, but I’ve tried some serious lip plumpers, and I think if that’s what you’re really after, this product isn’t for you. But, if you need a pretty, subtle lip gloss, this guy definitely does the trick!

Sexy Hair | Spray Clay Texturizing Spray ClaySexy Hair | Spray Clay Texturizing Spray Clay
Sample Value: $6.03 (1.4 oz)
Full Size Cost: $18.95 (4.4 oz)
Buy at Ulta ($5.00 off $25.00 purchase with coupon code 105339)

I really was confused by this product initially. I just didn’t know how to use it! I did some googling and decided to go forward as if it was a texturizing/volumizing spray. And, it seriously got the job done. It made my hair so thick! I think if you were trying to do an up do, this guy would be really handy. I used it for some Halloween styles, and it was great!

The Verdict
Cost: $10.00/month
Value: $35.43

ipsy always does a stellar job in the value department, and I love that I get some serious deluxe and full size sample sizes for only $10.00. My favorite item this month has to be the H2O Plus | Face Oasis™ Hydrating Treatment. Can’t really say there was a product I didn’t like this time around. I’m using everything regularly, and I’m glad I got to try these guys out!

What did you get in your ipsy Glam Bag? See anything different? Would love to hear what you guys received!

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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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