5

December 2015 Birchbox Review

this month’s theme is “All Wrapped Up”

As I was hurrying to post my late Birchbox reviews, I received December’s in the mail.

I am not a huge fan of Birchbox, which I’ve mentioned before. Their samples are very small- and they tend to repeat their brands.

The Coastal Scents eye shadow sample was incredibly small- thank goodness it has great pigmentation!

If you only have $10 per month to spend on a subscription service, I recommend Ipsy over Birchbox any day.

That being said, I’ll keep my subscription a bit longer. I cancelled Birchbox Man this month, because it was a waste of $20 a month.

it seems to me that Birchbox spends all their money on packaging and shafts you on content

 


teeny samples

this eyeshadow was smaller than I expected

 

pigmentation was surprisingly good


0

Birchbox November 2015 Review


I am super late reviewing my subscription boxes… this was November’s Birchbox.

These reviews are going to be super brief. I am not really enjoying my Birchbox subscriptions and have already cancelled Birchbox Man.

I think Ipsy is a much better subscription service- you get more ‘bang for your buck’.

Inside, I received a hairspray, some hair masque, a face cream, a stinky body wash, and eye brow mascara.

The hairspray had a huge scratch down the front- but I liked it.

The superskin moisturizer was just okay.

The brow mascara was the best item in the box.

  

Nice gash in the hairspray, Birchbox.

Photo of my brows using some of the brow mascara.

0

September 2015 Birchbox “You’re Beautiful” Review

IMG_5853

first glimpse of box

I have to admit, I wasn’t too jazzed about this month’s Birchbox. I’d been waiting with baited breath for the Anastasia Brow Pencil… but once I received it, was ‘meh’. My trusty Rimmel brow pencil is better than this one for me. They do about the same thing, except the Rimmel pencil seems to be less ‘smudgy’.

IMG_5857 copy

Innards

IMG_5856

list of innards

The Tocca body scrub was nice… albeit smallish. The concealer crayon is ok for cleaning up brow meses, but not much else if you need a decent undereye concealer. The hair leave in stuff was ‘ok’. The perfume was DISGUSTING.

I am seriously considering canceling my subscription soon. So far, Ipsy is a far better deal.

0

Ipsy September 2015 Glambag Review!

FullSizeRender-7

Sept 2015 Glambag Goodies

I admit it, I love Ipsy.

I love it much more than Birchbox.

This month was no exception.

FullSizeRender-11

this month’s pouch was much cuter than the ugly houndstooth one last month

Every month they send wonderful full size or generously sized samples of beauty products. This month’s bag was fantastic and the pouch was cute, too.

This month’s glambag contained:

Elizabeth Mott Queen of the Fill tinted brow gel (full sized)FullSizeRender-8
City Chic lipstick (full sized)

FullSizeRender-10

not a bad lipstick- nice and sheer

FullSizeRender-9
First Aid Beauty Ultra Repair Cream
Ipsy ❤ NYX Eyeshadow Trio
Octavio Argan Oil

All of the products were great. The NYX shadows work best with a primer underneath. The eye gel was like Benefit’s, but NICER AND BIGGER. The lipstick was a winner as well.

One thing I DID NOT LIKE: I redeemed points I earned last month and was supposed to receive an eyeliner with this shipment. After tracking down the customer service email and writing to them, I still haven’t heard back. That was a disappointment.

7

Dumpster Diaries: The Beauty Organization and Makeup Storage Edition

11870835_10153246239934024_3346753357059096417_n

so I had an unusable counter and sink in the upstairs kitchen that became the master bedroom’s walk in closet… we aren’t doing a full renovation until next year.

This blog post is going to be mostly photos and captions, because it’s 1 am and I am nearly passing out from exhaustion!

11863502_10153246971469024_1826563883773910339_n

I’ve thrown out SO MUCH MAKEUP from my downstairs bathroom… this is just some of what’s left

makeshift sink vanity

makeshift sink vanity

No, you can't see the faucet... shhhh... don' tell me!

No, you can’t see the faucet… shhhh… don’ tell me!

11891180_10153246337124024_7606865124717916597_n

what it looked like BEFORE I hauled more makeup upstairs from the downstairs bathroom

The stuff in this ‘vanity’ isn’t even 1/10th of what I own. Tomorrow I will be hauling the rest upstairs. I really need a better organization system- but until then, this will do.

11902229_10153246337299024_7943341212230922152_n

my ipsy and birchboxes, coz they’re so cute

11899955_10153246337239024_4087777397391311549_n

1960s-70s groovy glasses repurposed as makeup brush holders

Since this was originally a kitchen, I housed all my vintage linens and favorite antique china and glassware here. It’s a shame not to use them, so I am hauled some of them out as brush and makeup storage.

yyyyyyy

I’m glad I bought 4 of these lipstick organizers- I needed them

I cannot say enough about these cheap little clear acrylic lipstick holders from eBay! They’re AMAZING and practical.

yyyyy

Lipliners in one glass, eye liners in another- plus a vintage anchor-hocking glass for beauty blenders

yy

after I hauled more stuff upstairs- I need to clean a couple of these brushes

ttt

I have no idea how I will end up organizing all the perfume/perfume samples and eye shadows

I have mac, nars, pout, nyx, and hard candy thingies in that little green tray.

tt

a few of my favorite palettes

I love the idea of everything being out in the open where I can see them and not shoved into a drawer, forgotten.

I also received something in the mail from Birchbox, but will review later- Goodnight All!

10

My 1st Ipsy Bag Arrived- August 2015 Prep School Glam Bag Review!

this shiny little fuchsia package was on my doorstep this morning when I woke up!

Ok, at first glance I was THRILLED to receive my first Ipsy bag- I mean, who wouldn’t want 5 awesome swatches with 2 full sized pens/pencils and a lip gloss? The bag itself was plastic and on the cheap side, but it was ok if you like houndstooth patterns, I guess.

contents of my August Ipsy bag- a lip liner, eye pen, lip gloss, turmeric face mask, and argan oil

Here’s what was in the bag:

Ofra Cosmetics lipliner in Wine– $13 value
Starlooks Luxe Longwear Eyeliner Pen- $19 value
Marc Anthony Nourishing Argan Oil of Morocco Oil Treatment sample- no idea the value
Juara Skincare Antioxidant Radiance Facial Mask sample- no idea value
Tarte Deluxe LipSurgence Skintuitive lip gloss in energy– no idea value

If I were to guesstimate, I’d say I received about $30 worth of stuff for my $10 investment- not too shabby…

eye pen swatch- it’s black and it washes off with water. I need to try this for real to see if it any good.

The jury is still out on the eye pen. It washed off my hand rather easily. I am hoping it has more staying power on the eyes.

No, I didn't slit my wrist, this is a swatch of the lipliner

No, I didn’t slit my wrist, this is a swatch of the lipliner

The lipliner was my favorite- a bit on the brown side, which is ok with me because I survived the 1990s.

I was worried that it would be a shocking yellow like the spice- it wasn't. Probably the best thing in this entire bag.

I was worried that it would be a shocking yellow like the spice- it wasn’t. Probably the best thing in this entire bag.

I really liked the turmeric facial treatment. I tried it out and it made my skin glow after leaving it on for about 20 minutes. I wish the sample size would have been a bit bigger.

The jury is also still out about the Tarte lip gloss. It didn’t really show up as any color on my lips (or baby’s lips, because she asked for some, too).

The Argan oil was just ok. It was a bit too light for my coarse hair, but it worked wonders on Maisie’s frizzy bedhead. I will be using this on her- she has baby fine hair and it made her hair glossy without looking greasy. It also smells very nice- the scent is super light.

I have to say, I probably enjoyed these samples (and full sized products) far more than my Birchbox. It had more usable stuff in it and included full sized products, which I enjoyed. The actual BAG itself was meh. Cheap plastic bags just don’t do it for me.

I would rate this a 6/10

2

SEPHORA FINALLY LAUNCHES A SUBSCRIPTION BOX SERVICE!!!!! It’s called “Play! by Sephora.”

MTMyMTQyMjcyMDI3MzA2NjI3

http://fashionista.com/2015/08/sephora-subscription-box

While buying an Armani foundation at Sephora will set you back $62, and a Tom Ford fragrance another $140, the beauty retailer is now offering up its goods for a tantalizingly low price — $10 a month. Yep, Sephora is getting into the subscription box business.

The service, called “Play! by Sephora” — which, with its name and red, black and white branding, is somewhat reminiscent of Comme des Garçons Play — launches in limited distribution this September before rolling out nationwide in 2016. The deal is this: five “deluxe-size” prestige products a month curated around a theme like essentials or dewy skin, delivered to customers’ doors, often with bonus sample-size items and Spotify playlists. Which, sure.

At $10 for five products a month, Sephora has positioned itself right up against Birchbox, which offers the same. (Glossybox, another competitor, is priced at $21 a month.) But while Birchbox has risen to preeminence in the beauty subscription space in a mere five years, picking up $71.9 million in funding as it dove into brick-and-mortar and launched a men’s version, Sephora has the immediate advantage of, well, being Sephora. With 1,900 locations globally and a robust rewards program for its loyal customers, the retailer shouldn’t have too much trouble getting traction on this program.

This isn’t to say Sephora’s going to put Birchbox or any of the other startups in this space out of business, necessarily. At $10 a month for each subscription, beauty junkies very well might go for more than one.

7

Confessions of a Makeup Hoarder: It’s Time To Organize My Stash… And It’s The Most PAINFUL Thing For Me To Do.

pic is not actually *my* makeup, but you get the idea...

pic is not actually *my* makeup, but you get the idea…

I am a makeup hoarder. I admit it.

Am I the only one out there who has this same problem?

I think it started with my mother, who is an obsessive compulsive Filipino EVERYTHING hoarder. She used to get those Cosmetique monthly makeup subscriptions in the mail way back in the late 1970s-80s. Her bathroom was (and still IS) chock full of every makeup and perfume known to man. She even has lipsticks so old that the innards are a waxy, dry mess- but they are in gold metal cases and probably circa 1940s or 1950s, so she’ll never part with them.

my mom actually owns lipsticks like these!

my mom actually owns antique lipsticks like these!

My makeup stash, which consists of 2 or 3 professional trunk cases, one HUGE plastic 4′ tall cabinet with many drawers, and carelessly tossed beauty bags filled to the brim with things I’ve long forgotten about. I have Nars, MAC, Lorac, Chanel just tossed in with the L’Oreal, NYX, and Maybelline. Some of these cases haven’t even been OPENED in years. The last time I viewed the contents of one particular makeup trunk, I’d used it to do makeup for some stage production I acted in about 3 yrs ago.

It’s THAT bad.

Did I mention that I am not very organized? I always STRIVE to be, but somehow fall short…

small disorganized stash I found in my upstairs bathroom

small disorganized stash I found in my upstairs bathroom

I *know* that I need to throw away about 70-90 percent of the makeup I own. I actually WANT to do this- but it PAINS me, almost physically. Ok, I admit it. It *does* hurt physically.

I’m a mess.

My frugal bits remember how much some of this stuff cost and I cringe- CRINGE- when I think of tossing it in the rubbish pile. It makes absolutely NO sense, but that’s the truth of it.

I did the unthinkable this month and ordered subscriptions to Ipsy, Birchbox, and Birchbox Man in one fell swoop. I figured that I spend AT LEAST 40 bucks a month in miscellaneous beauty products, so it’s a good deal.  However, the thought of having more makeup and product haphazardly strewn around my house frightens me. I’ve already run out of room in my ‘makeup storage area’.

Even as I try to type this, my beauty product hoarding continues.  For example, I bought a kabuki set of 32 cosmetic brushes tonight on eBay. My reasoning was that I couldn’t find half of my (dozens) of current brushes and I distrust my brush cleaning skills. I also bought two 24 compartment acrylic lipstick organizers- they were a great deal. I like deals. I love lipstick… do you see the way my impetuous mind works here? Did I NEED any of these things?!

I found these in my upstairs bathroom.  They are the exact same color.  WHY did I need TWO of these?!

I found these in my upstairs bathroom. They are the exact same color. WHY did I need TWO of these?!

No. Nope. Sure didn’t.

So, instead of ACTUALLY CLEANING OUT my stash, I went on google to find other beauty hoarders.

I am delaying the inevitable, I know this.

Lo and Behold! I found the blog of a beauty hoarding person EXACTLY LIKE ME- I could have written that post- except I AM FAR, FAR WORSE!!

http://stylecaster.com/beauty-high/confessions-of-a-makeup-hoarder/#slide-2

I am going to start small- my upstairs bathroom has my ’emergency makeup’ in it. That is where the first of my purging endeavors will begin.

Wish me luck!