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