Beauty Box Battle: March 2018 + February 2018 Update

I feel like I just did one of these? Oh yeah, it’s because February’s a hella short month and I procrastinated on it. Anyway, we’re back on track and reviewing the stuff I’m gonna put on my face. Let’s go.

March Matchup:



Packaging:Β πŸ’„πŸ’„πŸ’„πŸ’„

It’s not myΒ birthday month (yet!) but the lavender botanical thing is very me. This is definitely a box I’ll hoard for decorative storage.

Oh, and a note on this particular box: each month, Birchbox lets you either get a box of five surprise samples (where you can pick one of the five from a list of three options), or a curated box. While normally I like to (mostly) leave things to chance, I went for the curated box this time around.

Embryolisse Lait-Crème Concentré

Rating:Β πŸ’„πŸ’„πŸ’„πŸ’„πŸ’„

Okay, I cheated a little here. I’ve gotten this moisturizer before from Ipsy and loved it, so I picked up the curated box so this sample could find a home in my travel bag. I’m headed to Texas next month and I know myΒ skin will appreciate the hydration.

Bumble and bumble Thickening Spray Pre-Styler

Rating:Β πŸ’„πŸ’„

I don’t style my hair. I air dry it 99.9% of the time. The 0.1% is when I break out the hairdryer because I don’t want to walk around with wet hair. That being said, my hair is pretty thin and I’ve been wanting to learn how to use hot tools to add waves to my usually limp hair. Maybe having this sample will finally push me into attempting it?

Kiehl’s Midnight Recovery Eye

Rating:Β πŸ’„πŸ’„πŸ’„πŸ’„

This sample was the other reason I chose the curated box. I useΒ Kiehl’s Midnight Recovery Serum every night and really like how my skin feels in the morning. I haven’t found an eye cream I’m willing to stick to, so if this is anything like the serum, then this could be it.

ModelCo Luxècreme Long Wear Lipstick in Sienna

Rating:Β πŸ’„πŸ’„πŸ’„πŸ’„

This came in a very muted/mauvey/nudish shade that’s very of the moment. I feel like nudes are everywhere…. in the lipstick aisle! It’s a safe color, but I don’t mind that. This might very well become an everyday staple for me.

Smashbox Cosmetics Insta-Matte Lipstick Transformer

Rating:Β πŸ’„

This came in a curated box with a lipstick, so you’d think they’d play nice together, right? Maybe not. Maybe the ModelCo lipstick was matte enough on its own, maybe I overapplied, but all I know is that this stuff made the lipstick it was paired up with pill up something fierce. I’ll have to test drive it with one of my creamier formulas this month.




ModelCo Sienna on top, ModelCo Sienna + Smashbox InstaMatte on the bottom



Packaging:Β πŸ’„πŸ’„πŸ’„πŸ’„πŸ’„

Okay, this was clever as hell. This month’s Ipsy bag came with two mini markers in addition to makeup so that you could color in and customize your own bag. While I appreciate the sentiment, I’m gonna bust out my box of Crayola markers and color this in properly. I’ll update you guys on it next month!

Meg Cosmetics Good Night PM Masks

Rating:Β πŸ’„πŸ’„πŸ’„πŸ’„πŸ’„

Goodbye gimmicks, hello again to a face mask that I can wrap my head around. Or rather, wrap around my face. I love that Ipsy always sends two masks when you do get them.

Tarte Cosmetics Sex Kitten Eyeliner

Rating:Β πŸ’„πŸ’„

Another month, another goddamn black liner. At least it’s not liquid? It’s teeny tiny, which makes me hate it slightly less than a full-size. Why? Well, if it doesn’t suck when I use it in my waterline this month, it’s getting relegated to my travel bag.

Contour Cosmetics Lip Kit Pencil in Stud

Rating:Β πŸ’„πŸ’„πŸ’„

Lol. At this point, I’m amused that I’ve gotten so many matte lip products this month. My lips chapped to the point of breaking and so I have a bunch of cuts on my lips that are slowly healing. That means nothing but lip balm for the time being. That being said, I feel like this could work with the ModelCo lipstick? We’ll see.

Hikari Cream Pigment Eyeshadow in Shine

Rating:Β πŸ’„πŸ’„

This is straight up gold. According to Ipsy’s website, the other option I could have gotten was a chartreuse color. I’m having serious sour grapes knowing I could have gotten it instead. I have so many gold/bronze/copper metallic shadows that green would have been a nice change.

City Color Cosmetics Glow Duo

Rating:Β πŸ’„πŸ’„πŸ’„

I gave this three out of five to split the difference between the creamy side being my ideal subtle highlight and the powder shade being a massive pan of eyeshadow. On no planet is that bronze color a highlight for me. On the rare occasion that I do wear bronzer, it’s always matte.

But it would be a nice eyeshadow…



From top to bottom: City Color highlighter duo (powder, then cream), Hikari eyeshadow, Contour lip pencil, Tarte eyeliner

March’s winner so far?

Birchbox is edging out Ipsy so far. As much as I enjoy being surprised with new things, knowing that I’ll like what’s coming is a nice change every once in a while.

February Updates!



Number 4β„’ Super Comb Prep & Protect

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

As I predicted, I didn’t gravitate towards this because my hair in it’s natural state doesn’t tangle. But I’ll be dyeing it soon, so it’ll come in handy once I start I abusing my ends with bleach and dye for the next few months.

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

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

Goddamnit, I really liked this stuff. And that’s saying something, considering that it smelled a little bit like expired milk. (But hey, it’sΒ lactic acid, right?) Every morning after I used this, my skin feltΒ smoooooooth.

However, I am in no position to be spendingΒ one hundred dollars on skincare, so if anyone knows of any budget-friendly alternatives, hit me up!

CLEAN Reserve Amber Saffron Eau de Parfum

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

Remember last month when I said this sounded like a complicated fragrance? It didn’t smell like one, and I mean that as a compliment. It smelled, well… clean. Fresh and warm? This just earned a spot in my everyday routine.

ARROW BOOST Color Enhancing Lip Balm in Berry Busy

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

This wasΒ aggressively pink on me. Like, 90sΒ Barbie pink. Not the best look with my olive complexion. It did feel nice on my hella chapped lips, though. I just wouldn’t recommend leaving the house with it on.

The Beauty Crop Wing Woman Liquid Eyeliner

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

I don’t hate this. I didn’t make a massive mess applying it. I probably wouldn’t reach for this much if I wasn’t forcing myself to use it… but I don’t hate it. I guess it can stay.




OFRA Cosmetics Liquid Lipstick in Ipsy Unzipped

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

After years of trying and failing, I can’t believe I’ve found a second liquid lipstick that I like. (The first was last month’s Smashbox sample.) Maybe it just took a while to find the right formula. Maybe liquid lipsticks in shades close to my natural lip color are more forgiving. In any case, this pink was a keeper.

TrèStique Mini Eye Pencil in Swiss Chocolate

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

This playedΒ nice by itself and on top of eyeshadow. But since I have a brown eyeliner that I already like, this one’s going into my travel bag.


Biobelle Perfecting Primer Facial Mask

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

As I suspected, I didn’t end up using these this month. A face mask is too time consuming for my morning routine. I’m saving these for when I do makeup for a special occassion or something.

Marsk Loose Eyeshadow in Foiled Again

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

Okay, so I did try to use this. But when I opened it again after swatching it last month, I was scared off.


That isΒ way too muchΒ product. It’s a spill waiting to happen, especially considering how clumsy I am. I don’t need a glittery gunmetal sink, thanks.

Luxie Blending and Shading Eye Brush 249

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

I knew that this would be my favorite item of the month, and I was right. I have a few double-ended eye brushes that I really like, but this just might be my new go-to.

February’s champion is…

As much as I loved that Luxie brush, I think Birchbox won out over Ipsy in February. The Good Genes was a pleasant (but still expensive) surprise, and I’m really enjoying that CLEAN perfume.

3 Comments on “Beauty Box Battle: March 2018 + February 2018 Update”

  1. Pingback: Oooh, Shiny! Another Glossier Review

  2. Pingback: Beauty Box Battle: August 2018 + July 2018 Update | Barcelos Knows

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