Thursday, February 28, 2013

February Birchbox vs. Ipsy

As we all know, this was Oscars month, so both Ipsy and Birchbox delivered products with the theme "Red Carpet Ready".  Great minds think alike, right?  Well, it's great to see that both companies had different ideas of what it takes to get ready for a big event, so the product variety between the box and bag was great.  To be honest, it would take a lot more than these products to get me red carpet ready, but I digress.

Here are this month's goodies, going head to head to see which service gives me better Red Carpet Ready products...


L to R:
Color Club Nail Polish - Wild Cactus
Skin&Co Roma Cleansing Body Gel with Olive and Sicilian Orange Extracts
Dr. Lipp Original Nipple Balm for Lips
Twistband Thick Headband
Ghirardelli Milk Chocolate Square - Caramel
This was a pretty decent box this month, albeit not the most thrilling.  A friend of mine also got the same box and she was a little less impressed by it than I was.  The nail polish is alright, and might make a cute color for my toes later this spring.  But let's be honest here--no one is going to wear turquoise nail polish on the red carpet.  I like the product, but it was a miss according to the theme.
The Skin&Co body wash smells really nice, but it's sort of unremarkable.  I'll continue to give it big points for fragrance.  Being clean always makes you ready for a big event, so this one is following along with the theme well.
The Dr. Lipp Nipple Balm for Lips is thick and smooth, and did give my lips a healthy sheen while keeping them soft.  I think it's a little bit weird to know that this started out as a product to ease the dry, cracked nipples of nursing mothers, but hey, it works.  I can't argue with results!  Soft lips are always a red carpet must, because you never know who you'll be giving cheek kisses and air kisses to.
I got another Twistband headband this month, but this one is the thick version of the previous headband.  It does hold my thick hair a little more securely than the last, and I appreciate them giving me a black one.  This product is great for holding back my hair when I wash my face or for keeping shorter hairs out of my eyes while I work out.
Finally, the treat was a Ghirardelli square.  I'm not usually one to turn down a little chocolate, so it made a nice little snack that afternoon.  However, I don't think many girls who are headed down the red carpet are eating candy.  That's okay, I'll take theirs!
Overall impression:  I've had better Birchboxes, but this one wasn't disappointing.  My favorite product is the Dr. Lipp balm, which may be a future full-size product purchase.
L to R:
Pleather Cosmetic Bag
Mica Beauty Gel Eyeliner - Black
POP Beauty Smoky Lash Kapow!!! Mascara - No. 1 Smoky Black
Pixi Flawless & Poreless Primer
Coastal Scents Eyeshadow Quad
Lash Cards
I will start with the black pleather bag since I've been reading so much negative buzz on it.  Yes, it looks and feels cheaper than previous bags have, but it's on par with the bags I used to get when I first joined last summer.  This one probably won't get used much, but I've seen worse bags than this.
The Mica Beauty gel eyeliner is the highest dollar value item in the bag, ringing in at $35 for this size pot (which seems a little bit steep to me).  Until now, I've shyed away from using gel eyeliner because I always make a big mess with liquid eyeliner, and the two seem pretty similar to me.  Now that I've tried it, I feel like gel eyeliner is a little bit easier to control and I'm not so sloppy with it.  I used the Get Bent eyeliner brush from Benefit, which also helped with the application.  A great cat eye always looks splendidly at big, fancy events.
The POP Beauty mascara was a pretty decent product, until it started giving me raccoon eyes.  The cardinal sin of mascara.  It's too bad, really, because this mascara did a nice job of lengthening and preventing clumping. 
The Pixi primer was alright, it was definitely not the best primer I've ever tried.  It made my skin feel oily after awhile of wear, and it didn't play well with my mineral foundation (think flaking and caking).  I wouldn't buy the full-size of this, and I may not finish the sample.  I think you should avoid this when heading to a big event.
The Coastal Scents shadows are decent shadows, but they're not colors I would use very often.  Sometimes you meet a color palette that's just not your thing, and this one's not my thing.
The Lash Cards are a bit of a throwaway.  These are little shields that you put over your eyelids to prevent you from smearing mascara on your eyelids during lash and mascara application.  I don't really have a problem with this, so I doubt I'll use them very often.
Overall impressions:  I there were some high points and some low points in this bag, with the high points being the eyeliner and mascara and the low points being the primer, lash cards and eyeshadows.
So who's this winner of this month's battle royal??  BIRCHBOX.
I just liked the box's variety and felt that the quality of the products was fairly good.  I think they'd have even been more successful with a deep red nail polish or a pretty shade of pink to keep with the Red Carpet theme.  Ipsy's box just had too many lackluster products for my liking this month. 
What did you think of your subscription boxes this month??

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Tampa, Florida, United States
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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