Beauty Box Battle: May 2018 + April 2018 Update

One of my boxes bored me so badly that it led me to cut off my subscription right before it renewed. Can you guess which one got the ax and what I’m replacing it with? Only one way to find out!

May Matchup:

Birchbox

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Packaging: 💄

Okay, I get that they were going for a sunshine summer vibe, but this just looked like a bunch of egg yolks to me. Easily the ugliest box I’ve gotten from Birchbox. This set the tone for what was inside.

Beauty Protector Protect & Oil

Rating: 💄

Because what my thin, limp hair needs is an oil, right? I do have hair oil that I’ll put on my ends when my hair is extra dry and crunchy from sun and color damage, but I prefer something light. This feels heavy and thick. The smell is nice (Beauty Protector’s detangling spray also smells amazing!) but not enough to redeem my revulsion.

Vita Liberata Fabulous Self-Tanning Gradual Lotion

Rating: 💄

Nope nope nope. I have never had luck with self-tanner; I can never apply them evenly, they always end up streaky, and I always make a mess. I get enough of a tan by going outside—though I always wear SPF—to ever bother with faking it. I’ll hand this off to someone who will use it.

Kensie Eau de Parfum

Rating: 💄

I am not a fan of peaches and I immediately picked up on those peach and mandarin notes. I also find jasmine overpowering, so of course, that’s in here, too. But worst of all? This perfume sample doesn’t have a spray nozzle or a roller ball. It’s a stick applicator, AKA one stumble away from your clumsy narrator knocking it over and filling the room with the smell of peaches. Hard pass.

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And yes, I did almost knock this over when taking this photo.

Georgette Klinger Coconut Cleansing Milk

Rating: 💄💄💄

On the one hand, I already have a cleansing milk I really like. On the other hand, I could end up liking this thing. However, in a box full of disappointments, I just can’t get too excited about this.

Love of Color One & Done Shadow Stick in Heavy Petal

Rating: 💄💄💄💄

The name and color feel like something right out the new Vlada Petal Metal collection from Smashbox. I’m leaning more towards cream shadows lately because they’re easy to get on and go out the door in the morning. Consider this the one shining light in this dismal box.

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I’ve been on a cream shadow kick, so this was a welcome change in a box otherwise full of duds and yawns.

Ipsy

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Packaging: 💄💄💄💄💄

Summer is for traveling and I already have three trips planned. Yes, they are all for quidditch. No, I will not be leaving the country. Yes, I still need to renew my passport. Shush. None of those things matter. This bag is adorable—the end.

Venefect Skin Care Micro-Exfoliant

Rating: 💄

Physical exfoliants are the rare exception to my excitement when I get skincare in my beauty boxes. I much prefer chemical exfoliants because they remove dead skin without scratching up my face. But I can it this to use on my heels or something, because they’re kinda rough and gnarly right now.

First Aid Beauty Ultra Repair Hydrating Serum

Rating: 💄💄💄💄💄

Oh look, another serum just in time to replace the one I got last month! I’ve heard great things about First Aid Beauty, so I’m excited to try this!

Tarte Smooth Operator Amazonian Clay Finishing Powder

Rating: 💄💄💄

I’m still ambivalent about how effective powders are for my not really oily face, but Tarte is a brand I like and this will probably be good for setting my concealer.

SLMissGlam Sparkle Everyday Glam Beauty Sponge

Rating: 💄💄💄💄

Speaking of setting my concealer with powder, this thing will do the trick far better than my full sized Beauty Blender!

TONY MOLY Painting Therapy Mask

Rating: 💄💄💄💄

Yay more skincare! I use a charcoal mask about once a week, so this is a welcome addition to my collection.

May’s winner

If you couldn’t tell, I hated my Birchbox. Within half an hour of opening it, I was on the website looking at how many boxes were left in my subscription. Only one more? Perfect time to cancel my annual subscription.

So yes, Ipsy won again, but unlike last month, it won by being a good assortment of things and not by just being better than a bad Birchbox. It didn’t even have any color cosmetics and I still really enjoyed it.

April updates!

Birchbox

Oribe Grandiose Hair Plumping Mousse

Rating: 💄💄 // Updated rating: 💄💄

I used this once just to try this out instead of adding another TBD to my list. It was okay but not something I see myself adding to my routine. Mousse is just fussier than I want to be most mornings.

Wilma Schumann Skin Care Hydrating Collagen Eye Pads

Rating: 💄💄💄 // Updated rating: 💄💄💄

These tingled a little bit, but not quite enough to burn. The thing with eye patches like these is that you need to use them regularly to get results. And even then, I’m skeptical that they do anything. I like getting them in subscription boxes because they’re a nice pampering thing, but on the rare occasion when I actually buy them, I’ll stick to my super cheap e.l.f. eye masks. You can’t beat three bucks for a set of eight!

Dr. Lipp Miracle Balm

Rating: 💄 // Updated rating: 💄

Update: I did not, in fact, get more than three uses out of this thing. But three uses was more than enough to confirm that my Balm Dot Com is way better than this. This balm was almost too thick to spread evenly over my lips.

Smashbox Cosmetics Always On Gel Eye Liner

Rating:💄 // Updated rating:  TBD

I have so many black pencil liners that I never got around to using this. Expect a post comparing/ranking/roasting my ridiculous collection sometime soon.

OUAI Volume Spray

Rating: 💄 // Updated rating: 💄💄💄

Okay, I didn’t hate this. It did lift my hair without making it feel stiff or sticky, and it was much easier to use than the mousse. But I’m still salty I got two volumizing hair products in one box, though. BE BETTER, BIRCHBOX.

Ipsy

Wander Beauty Baggage Claim Gold Eye Masks

Original rating: 💄💄💄💄💄 // Updated rating: 💄💄💄💄💄

This gets extra fancy points for being gold. Like I said above, I use eye pads/masks to feel fancy and treat myself. These delivered on that desire.

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And then I followed this with a full face sheet mask because I am that kind of girl.

No. 7 Early Defence Glow Activating Serum

Rating: 💄💄💄💄💄 // Updated rating: 💄💄💄💄

I didn’t bump this down because it was bad. I quite enjoyed it. I just didn’t feel like it lived up to the name. I didn’t feel or look more glowy than I would have using another milky serum like this one.

Vasanti Concealer Buffer Brush

Rating: 💄💄💄  // Updated rating: 💄💄💄

I put this head to head with my e.l.f concealer brush and this new contender didn’t quite cut it. I use this kind of brush to get a color corrector buffed into the hollows of my eye, which are especially dark. The Vasanti brush was softer, but e.l.f brush was stiffer and did a better job of buffing in color corrector. The Vasanti bristles were less tightly packed, so the brush flopped more than the e.l.f. version. Still, it’s a solid backup and I always love growing my brush collection.

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e.l.f. concealer brush on the left, Vasanto concealer brush on the right, my awesome shark shower curtain in the background

OFRA Blush in Chameleon

Rating: 💄💄 // Updated rating: TBD

As expected, this got ignored because I’m on a cream blush kick as inspired by my purchase of the Glossier Cloud Paints.

AURORA 24H Lip Stain in Salmon

Rating: 💄 // Updated rating:💄

Add this to the “saw this coming” files: this was patchy and sunk into the lines of lips. I immediately ditched it. It looked so bad on me that I didn’t even bother taking a photo.

April’s champion is…

Birchbox was bad, Ipsy was mildly better, and nothing in the last month happened to make me change my mind in the last month.

Trying something new…

One of the things I liked best about Birchbox is that their online store makes it much easier to buy full sizes of your sampled products than the Ipsy equivalent. But you know what monthly ~$10 subscription box has an even better way to buy full sizes?

That’s right; bring on Sephora Play!

2 Comments

  1. I used to have birchbox, but i feel they just repeat the same products over and over again and just got bored and fed up of recieveing the same stuff over and over again. I now have subscribe to 2 different boxes and hoping that they will be better. Had my first boxes already and very impressed with them, so fingers corssed for next month. I have a review up on my blog if you wanted to check it out xx

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