Beauty Box Battle: February 2018 + January 2018 Update

It’s February 28th, March is staring me in the face, so it’s time to get in my February review/January update for the things I’ve been putting on my face. And hair. And body. Whatever, let’s do this.

February matchup

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Before I begin these reviews, can we take a minute to appreciate both Birchbox and Ipsy’s commitment to the minimalist black/white/Millennial pink aesthetic? The boxes and the products inside are leaning pretty heavily on that color scheme. Just something I noticed. Anyway, onto the main event.

Birchbox

Packaging: πŸ’„πŸ’„πŸ’„πŸ’„

Like I pointed out above, Birchbox embraced a very Millennial aesthetic. The x’s and o’s make it more of a Valentine’s Day thing, but not in an obnoxious way. As a perpetually dissatisfied older Millennial, I approve.

Number 4β„’ Super Comb Prep & Protect

Rating: πŸ’„πŸ’„πŸ’„

My hair is still relatively short and currently undyed, so it’s pretty well behaved and doesn’t tangle much. I’ll try to use it this month but I know I won’t really get much use out of it until later in the year when I start coloring my hair again.

Sunday Riley Good Genes All-in-One Lactic Acid Treatment

Rating: πŸ’„πŸ’„

Ugh, another teeny tiny Sunday Riley sample. I don’t care how expensive this brand is; a sample size this small is not enough to tell me if I want to drop over one hundred dollars on an exfoliating treatment.

CLEAN Reserve Amber Saffron Eau de Parfum

Rating: πŸ’„πŸ’„πŸ’„

Apparently, this has notes of mandarin oil, rose, lily, and raspberry alongside musk, saffron, and amber. Sounds complicated. But I’m complicated so I might like it. Perfume is so personal that it’s hard to say.

ARROW BOOST Color Enhancing Lip Balm in Berry Busy

Rating: πŸ’„πŸ’„πŸ’„

This lip balm looks intimidatingly purple in the tube but turns pink once you put it on. I’m a fan of the Lipstick Queen color changing lipsticks because they remind me of my 90s childhood, so we’ll see how this one goes.

The Beauty Crop Wing Woman Liquid Eyeliner

Rating: πŸ’„

Ugh, liquid liner. My eternal nemesis. My hands shake too much for this shit, but I’ll give it a go this month anyway.

Swatches!

Ipsy

Packaging: πŸ’„πŸ’„πŸ’„

Pink and lace for Valentine’s Day? Groundbreaking.

OFRA Cosmetics Liquid Lipstick in Ipsy Unzipped

Rating: πŸ’„πŸ’„πŸ’„

Another liquid lipstick? And a pink one? We’ll see how this goes.

TrèStique Mini Eye Pencil in Swiss Chocolate

Rating: πŸ’„πŸ’„πŸ’„

Yay for not-black pencil liner! I have a feeling that it’s going to find a home in my travel bag, which is just as well since I have a bit of traveling to do in the next few months.

Biobelle Perfecting Primer Facial Mask

Rating: πŸ’„πŸ’„πŸ’„

I love sheet masks. Normally those get an automatic perfect score from me. But a primer mask seems too extra, even for me. I like to get ready quickly. I like to use sheet masks to relax. There’s a conflict here.

Marsk Loose Eyeshadow in Foiled Again

Rating: πŸ’„

Oh look, another loose shadow that I will probably never touch again after I swatch it. The gunmetal color is kinda cool, though.

Luxie Blending and Shading Eye Brush 249

Rating: πŸ’„πŸ’„πŸ’„πŸ’„πŸ’„+

I love love love Luxie brushes! The brushes I use most are one in my crease and one on my eyelid. This baby does both. I already know it’s going to be a favorite.

Swatches!

February’s winner so far?

Ipsy! Neither box was particularly exciting, but the Luxie brush pushed Ipsy over the top.

January Updates!

Birchbox

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COOLA Mineral Face SPF 30 Unscented Matte Tint

Original rating: πŸ’„πŸ’„πŸ’„ // Updated rating: TBD

Never used it at a tournament as I originally planned. Saving this for summer when I’ll be managing Argonauts but still want to look polished.

Real Chemistry Luminous 3-Minute Peel

Original rating: πŸ’„πŸ’„πŸ’„ // Updated rating: πŸ’„πŸ’„

Didn’t harm my skin, didn’t particularly help it? Still glad I tried it out, though.

R+Co BADLANDS Dry Shampoo Paste

Original rating: πŸ’„πŸ’„πŸ’„πŸ’„ // Updated rating: πŸ’„πŸ’„πŸ’„

Is this a cool product? Yes. Is it easier to use than regular dry shampoo? Nope. At first, I used too much and my hair was stiff. Then I used too little and it didn’t do anything. It took some tweaking to figure out the right amount to use. However, I do travel quite a bit, and this will be great to bring with me since aerosols in a carry on are a no-no.

Smashbox Cosmetics Always On Matte Liquid Lipstick in Driver’s Seat

Original rating: πŸ’„πŸ’„πŸ’„ // Updated rating:  πŸ’„πŸ’„πŸ’„πŸ’„

I liked this far more than I expected. It stayed on well enough, didn’t feel dry or flake off, and it was far less pink on me than it was in the tube. Not sure if I’ll buy the full size once I run out, but you never know.

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Took this a few hours after application, after eating a muffin and drinking some cold brew. Solid staying power.

The Beauty Crop Espresso Yourself Eyeshadow Palette

Original rating: πŸ’„πŸ’„πŸ’„ // Updated rating: πŸ’„πŸ’„πŸ’„

You know what would have made this trio great? If one of the shimmers was a matte transition shade instead. Then it wouldn’t need a second palette to support it. Ah well.

Ipsy

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Real Chemistry Fresh-Start Foaming Cleanser

Rating: πŸ’„πŸ’„πŸ’„ // Updated rating: πŸ’„

Fresh? More like harsh. Not a fan

Furless Loose Pigment in Sneaky

Original rating:πŸ’„// Updated rating: πŸ’„

Never used it. Anyone wanna take it off my hands?

Bellapierre Waterproof Gel Eyeliner in Metallic Green

Original rating:πŸ’„ // Updated rating: πŸ’„

When I think of a gel eyeliner, I think of a smooth consistency. This was crumbly AF. I could have used the color if it was easier to apply, but crumbly green is not a look I’m going for.

The Balm Cosmetics Mary-Lou Manizer

Original rating: πŸ’„πŸ’„πŸ’„πŸ’„ // Updated rating: πŸ’„πŸ’„πŸ’„πŸ’„

It’s rare that things live up to the hype, but this highlighter certainly did. I used this with a light hand because I’m not into that highlight to blind the gods look.

SLMissGlam L36 Tapered Highlight Brush

Original rating:πŸ’„πŸ’„πŸ’„ // Updated rating: πŸ’„πŸ’„πŸ’„

Looks like I have a new highlighting brush to keep using with my new highlighter.

Ipsy points bonus: Laneige Lip Sleeping Mask

Rating:πŸ’„πŸ’„// Updated rating: πŸ’„πŸ’„πŸ’„πŸ’„πŸ’„+

Holy shit, speaking of living up to the hype! This stuff is magical. I’m not even halfway through this sample but I know I’m buying the full size when I finish. It lives on my nightstand so I remember to apply it when I get into bed. I wake up every morning with soft lips. Perfect.

Target

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No. 7 Restore and Renew Serum

Original rating: πŸ’„πŸ’„πŸ’„πŸ’„ // Updated rating: πŸ’„πŸ’„πŸ’„

It’s an okay serum. Not enough to make me go out and buy the full size, but nice.

No. 7 Airbrush Away Primer

Original rating: πŸ’„πŸ’„πŸ’„ // Updated rating:  πŸ’„πŸ’„πŸ’„πŸ’„πŸ’„

Okay, this actually did what primers are supposed to do! My skin felt smoother after application. I don’t wear much face makeup, but when I put this on my eyes, it helped my concealer glide on. The full size is only 20 bucks so I’m definitely picking it up.

Soap & Glory Righteous Butter Body Butter

Rating: πŸ’„πŸ’„ // Updated rating: πŸ’„πŸ’„

When I remembered to use it, it was nice.

Soap & Glory Pillow Plump Lip Gloss in Mother Pucker

Rating: πŸ’„πŸ’„ // Updated rating:  πŸ’„πŸ’„

Used this once or twice, forgot about it. Yes, even though it was on top of my drawers so I would see it every morning.

Botanics Shine Away Ionic Clay Mask

Rating: πŸ’„πŸ’„πŸ’„πŸ’„ // Updated rating: πŸ’„

Eh, this was super messy and watery. You’re supposed to shake it before use but it was still really runny. It left me too dried out after use. My skin isn’t super oily, so maybe this just isn’t the product for me.

Sleek MakeUP Eyeshadow Palette in When the Sun Goes Down

Original rating:πŸ’„πŸ’„πŸ’„πŸ’„ // Updated ranking: πŸ’„πŸ’„πŸ’„

Another case of too many shimmers, but not enough mattes to make this a one and done palette. The mattes were also… not great. That being said, I loved the shimmers in here. I’ll tuck it into my travel bag but I don’t think I’ll be buying any full-sized Sleek palettes anytime soon.

January’s champion is…

I really thought it was going to be Target, but enough of the products in that box stumbled to make this month a dead heat between the three. My favorites overall were the Laneige lip mask, Smashbox liquid lipstick, and the No. 7 primer.

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