Tuesday, November 27, 2012

November Ipsy Glam Bag vs. Birchbox

It's that time again boys and girls... time for a head-to-head comparison of November's Ipsy Glam Bag and Birchbox!!

I love a good compare-and-contrast session, and since there were both high points and low points to this month's box and bag, this should be fun.  Let's get on it...

L to R:
Chuao Potato Chip CocoPod
Atelier Cologne - Rose Anonyme  Cologne Absolue
Lulu Organics Lavendar and Clary Sage Hair Powder
Sarah McNamara Miracle Skin Transformer Vanish Instant Skin Imperfection Corrector
ModelCo Fibre Lashxtend Lengthening Mascara
I've got so many things to say about this box, which basically means that it was mediocre.  
I'll start with the Chuao CocoPod.  This thing is basically a single chocolate covered potato chip.  Now I totally dig a sweet/salty combination, but just one measly chip?  C'mon.  Girlfriend's gotta eat.  I liked this, but they come in boxes of 7 individually wrapped chips for $7.95.  That's far too expensive for what it is, in my opinion, but it was nice to give this a try.
The Atelier cologne is nice if you're into florals, specifically rose scents.  There are also hints of ginger and bergamot, but you mostly get rose.  In fact, if you buy this, you better really love rose 'cause this baby is STRONG!  I happen to love floral fragrances, so part of me didn't mind this cologne... but I know my husband hates strong scents, so I'm sure he would be annoyed if I wore this regularly.  This retails for $75 - $195, which is appropriately priced for a complex, hefty fragrance.
On to the Lulu Organics Hair Powder.  I have always been wary of dry shampoos because I tried an Oscar Blandi dry shampoo years ago and it did nothing for my hair except make my oily roots look chalky. Blah.  The Lulu Organics Hair Powder was different.  The product didn't make my hair look chalky at all, though it didn't do a lot to sop up the excess oil.  This hair powder actually does have a really great thing going for it with the lavender and clary sage fragrance--it made my hair smell AMAZING!!  I've always been a fan of lavender because I find it calming, and sometimes this uptight gal needs a little help in that department.  I think I'd just use this to make my hair smell nice, so I may buy this in the full size.  It retails for $30, which is no joke for a hair product that you only use on days that you don't wash your hair (which, for me, is infrequently since my hair turns into an oil slick after just one day). 
The Sarah McNamara Miracle Skin Transformer Vanish Instant Skin Imperfection Corrector (such a mouthful!) was an interesting product.  This is a silky balm (apparently infused with a serum) that you can use as a primer before applying make-up. This product goes on easily and evenly, and leaves my skin feeling soft.  It didn't, however, cover or hide some of my imperfections (i.e. old acne scars, redness, deeper wrinkles).  It did gently smooth away some of the finer lines, which was a plus.  This product reminded me a lot of Benefit's Dr. Feelgood, which is a balm that can be used under or over make-up and is meant to diminish the appearance of fine lines.  I don't know that this product transformed my skin, but it had a good effect on some of my little problem areas.
Finally, I tried the Model Co mascara, and I actually liked it.  It was great at lengthening and defining my lashes, and there was zero clumping.  Plus, plus, plus.  After I used it, I stared at my eyes and I realized that it was missing some key components: color and volume!  This is a black mascara, but it didn't make my lashes look any darker or more dramatic.  I would use this again for adding length and definition, but I might layer on a coat of another mascara (like my standard, Benefit They're Real) to get the color and volume.
L to R:
Nailtini Nail Laquer, Millionaire
Chella Eyebrow Defining Gel
Starlet Intense Eyeliner
The Balm Meet Matt(e) Eyeshadow, Matt Batali
Bare Minerals Marvelous Moxie Lip Gloss, Dare Devil

This month's Glam Bag had some real winners!  At first I was a little bit disappointed with this bag.  It just didn't look very impressive, and I thought, another nail polish?  Another black eyeliner?  A black eyeshadow?  Reeeeally?  And then I actually tried the products and wanted to kick myself for being so dismissive.
The Nailtini nailpolish is gold with green flecks, hence the name "Millionaire".  It's much prettier in person than in the picture, and I think it will be a fun polish for New Year Eve. 
The Chella eyebrow gel was fine I suppose.  I don't have wild eyebrows or even a little cowlick that makes the hair stand up toward the middle.  My brows are fine and tame, so I won't really use this much.
Starlet's Intense Eyeliner pencil went on smoothly, but I didn't get a very "intense" effect from the liner.  It was just a standard black eyeliner pencil, but it will get used.
The Balm's Meet Matt(e) matte black eyeshadow looked a little bit intimidating. I'm not really a fan of super dark eyeshadows, but this one really surprised me!  It goes on a little more sheer than the dark pan of make-up suggests, and it created a really pretty smoky eye.  I never thought of The Balm for eyeshadows, but I might check out more of their colors after seeing how Matt Batali performed.
The Bare Minerals Marvelous Moxie Lip Gloss was my favorite product in the bag.  Dare Devil is a darker shade of lip gloss than I currently own, but the color is beautiful!  Where has this lip gloss been all of my life??  It smells like black cherry or root beer (I can't decide which) but it doesn't have a flavor.  This is actually a good thing because I didn't lick it off in the first minute of wearing it.  Winning!
THE WINNER:  Ipsy Glam Bag!!
The Glam Bag just had my favorite products this month, but Birchbox was pretty good, too.  I hope next month has as many winners at this month!
Did you like your Glam Bag or Birchbox this month?  What was your favorite product?

1 comment:

ChatterBlossom said...

Sorry it was kinda mediocre. But that nail polish is super cute and would be fun for holidays!

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I'm a wife, daughter and amazing twin sister. I'm a mom to my adorable dog, Bella. Loves: Shopping, cooking, baking, good grammar and Dave Matthews Band. I'm also a Bath and Body Works addict, a Michigan State Spartans fanatic, and an iPhone aficionado. I see beauty in simple things and little things make me ever-so-happy. Welcome to my world!

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