Thursday, February 25, 2016

Birchbox VS Ipsy: February 2016

Let me tell you two things that I love: getting mail and trying new products. So, it's kind of a give-in that I am all about subscription boxes; especially Birchbox and Ipsy. I often get picked on by the girls at work for getting both, but at only ten dollars each per month, how could I not? I love comparing the two each month, and seeing the value of both brands. Oftentimes, you're sent full-size products or an extra item. I've found them especially helpful over the last few months that my skin has gone from oily and acne-prone to dry and dull. Since you create a custom profile including your skincare and beauty needs/concerns, it's a great way to discover the perfect products for your routine. Both brands have a rewards system in place which helps earn points towards full-sized products by writing reviews or referring friends, so you can really save on your favorites. Here's what I scored in my February box and bag!
Let's start with Ipsy! I was very pleased with this month's "Pretty in Pink" themed bag. I received two hydrating skincare products, the Promise Organic argan oil moisturizer and the Smashbox Cosmetics primer oil; both of which are amazing.  The Promise Organic moisturizer is light weight and perfect for everyday use. It's 100% natural and dermatologist tested for sensitive skin. I found out that it's available through CVS, too, making it an amazing budget option.The primer oil is supposed to create a smooth base for makeup, but I find that it works best mixed into a moisturizer (especially at night) for added hydration. It has ingredients like jojoba oil and chamomile to sooth and balance your complexion.
Another winner for me this month was the Oliva Palermo for Ciate London nail polish in "My Off Duty Nude". This polish is the most beautiful pinky-nude tone, that goes with absolutely everything. The formula applies evenly and goes opaque after two coats. I don't get to paint my nails often since I work as a barista, but I know this will be the one I reach to most often. Unfortunately, the last two products that I received this month were duds for me. The Paula Dorf  Baby Eyes Enhancer pencil is a nude-colored liner meant to brighten your waterline. I love pencils like this, but this one applied uneven and the color was too peachy. I would highly recommend similar products from NYX or Rimmel over this one. Finally, we have this gloss by Jessica Leibeskind. I HATED this gloss. I don't generally feel such strong animosity towards makeup, but this was just awful. I was so sticky, and so full of glitter. I imagine you could get similar results by applying roll-on glitter glue. I find it totally offensive that the full size version retails for $22. But, three out of five isn't bad. Rock on, Ipsy.
Now on to Birchbox, who went full on Valentine's-inspired for their February box. There was a little bit of everything in this box, from hair care to nails, which I really enjoyed. First up is the Whish Three Whishes body butter in lavender. I've received other lovely samples by Whish through Birchbox, so I had high hopes for this one, and was not disappointed in the end. I find lavender to be so calming, and this formula was quick-absorbing and very hydrating. I tossed mine in my purse, and it's been my go-to hand cream ever since. Next is the Neuma Beauty Reneu Scalp Therapy scrub. I had never heard of an exfoliate for your hair, so I was intrigued and eager to try this out. It has a really refreshing, minty scent that's cooling/slightly tingly, and the gritty texture did feel nice on my scalp. I could really tell that it broke down product build-up, and left my hair clean. This would be really effective for people with dandruff or oily hair.The Clarifying Clay Mask by Malin and Goetz was another win for me. This mask doubles as an exfoliate, and leaves your skin feeling completely refreshed. I've been using it once or twice a week for a pick-me up for my dry, Winter skin. 
I was equally pleased with Birchbox's nail polish selection this month. "That's my Jam" by Color Club is the perfect burgundy, red tone which is a color that I tend to gravitate towards in the colder months. The formula went on smooth and was long-lasting; just what you want in a polish! Last, but most certainly not least is this Metallic Lip Tar by Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics. I have heard such amazing reviews on this product, all of which are well-deserved. I received mine in the shade Black Metal Dahlia, which is a deep berry, red; much like the aforementioned nail polish. You need only the tiniest amount to achieve an opaque coverage, and the finish is beautiful. Even more note-worthy is the fact that it is vegan and cruelty-free!
 So, there you have it: my February Ipsy Bag and Birchbox. Did you receive any products that were different? I'd love to hear which one you prefer, or just your thoughts on subscription boxes in general.  Personally, it's a total pick-me-up to see mine in the mail each month; just something fun to get yourself and test out. I'm already loving the previews for next months' goodies from both brands. I'll be sure to report back on those, as well. 
Until next time,

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