Beauty Box Battle: June 2018 + May 2018 Update
With my Birchbox subscription running out and my first Sephora Play! box coming in, June features a tripleheader. Will Birchbox redeem itself? Is Play! worth waiting a week longer than it takes Birchbox and Ipsy to arrive? Let’s find out.
Bye bye, Birchbox
Cute! It’s very beachy and fitting for June. It’s on my desk at the moment and I want to find an excuse to keep it there.
Beauty Protector Protect & Detangle
This was one of the sample choices for this month, and since it’s a Birchbox exclusive, I jumped on it before my subscription ran out. It’s not a groundbreaking leave-in conditioner/detangler, but it is my favorite. This stuff smells amazing and I’m happy to stock up on it while I still can.
Davines SU Hair & Body Wash
The only thing worse than a sample bottle of shampoo that comes with a foil packet of conditioner is a sample bottle of shampoo that doesn’t come with conditioner at all. Okay, so this is supposed to double as body wash, but I’m not buying it. My hair and body have different needs. It does smell nice and citrusy, though.
Derma E Vitamin C Concentrated Serum
Yessssssss, give me allllllll the serums, please. Vitamin C and hyaluronic acid are two solid ingredients and I cannot wait to put this on my face. This is a healthy sized sample, too.
Marcelle Xtension Plus Curl Mascara
This poor sample had the misfortune of showing up after I discovered my new favorite mascara, Glossier Lash Slick. (Should I do another Glossier update soon? Probably, because I am a sucker for their shtick and I’ve picked up even more things from them in the last few months.) However, I’m gonna give this one a chance. My lashes are pretty thick and have a decent enough natural curl, but I do love a lengthening formula. Still, the last Marcelle mascara I got in a Birchbox was a total bust, so I’m a little skeptical.
Dr. Jart+ Ceramidin Cream
A one out of five ranking on new skincare, from me? No, my blog hasn’t been hijacked by a doppelganger. I’ve heard great things about this moisturizer, but it’s the size of the sample that offends me.
A FOIL PACKET!? REALLY, BIRCHBOX? I’ll be lucky to get one use out of this.
As it turns out, this was supposed to be a bonus item, which would not have offended me. However, item number 5 never showed up.
Etat Libre d’Orange Remarkable People Eau de Parfum
Can you even rate something that never arrived? This is the first time I’ve ever had this happen with a subscription box, so I guess I’m lucky that it took this long to happen.
Okay, I actually can rate this… because I got it in an Ipsy bag, ages ago. It’s fresh and citrusy, which makes sense to put in a summer box.
This month’s bag came in three colors: red, blue, and yellow. I was hoping for the red or blue one, so I was happy to open my bright pink Ipsy envelope to find the blue one inside. The design is simple, but I like it. I’m far more likely to use it than something a bit more out there.
Luxie Small Shader Eye Brush
Ipsy can keep sending me Luxie brushes, no matter what their size. I actually like that this is small. I’ve been looking for something to help me apply my Glossier Lidstar in Herb, which is too dark for me to depend on the doe foot applicator and my fingers. I need something more precise and I feel like this is it.
Biobelle #UnicornGlow Perfect Radiance Tencel Facial Mask
That title is a mouthful but I will happily take Biobelle sheet masks (especially when they come in pairs!) every damn month if the Ipsy gods so decide. And they smell like chocolate. These have #treatyoself written all over them.
Kokie Cosmetics Be Bright Illuminating Concealer in Medium Beige
Will it beat my Stretch Concealer? My Bare Minerals stick? Or will it be what I use for the hormonal breakouts I’ve been getting on my chin? (Helloooooo Crimson Beast!) I’m worried that it’s a little dark, but we’ll see how this goes.
Pixi by Petra Glow Tonic
A travel size of my favorite toner in the whole world? Yes, please. Fails at being something new to try but it’s a winner because I love it that much. It does the job without being too strong, and you can grab it at Target.
MAKE UP FOR EVER Step 1 Skin Equalizer Hydrating Primer
It’s summer, so I’m down for hydration. I’m still ambivalent about how much primers actually do, though. But another layer of hydration can’t hurt.
I’m getting a lot of Miami Vice vibes from this bag, and as a product of the 80s, I mean that as a compliment. I’ve found my zip up Ipsy bags to come in handy for storage and travel, but I’m not sure about this drawstring style bags from Sephora. We’ll see.
Clinique Take The Day Off Makeup Remover For Lids, Lashes & Lips
This is another case of a high rating not because I’m trying something new, but because I’m getting something familiar and beloved. I’ve enjoyed Clinique products since I used to go to their counter at Macy*s Eastridge to get my prom makeup done back in the early 2000s. I just ran out of my current biphase makeup remover, NEUTROGENA SOMETHING SOMETHING, so this will come in handy. I don’t usually need anything stronger than my Pixi Double Cleanse to get my usual eye makeup off, but it is nice to have something stronger in my arsenal.
Too Faced Melted Matte Liquified Long Wear Matte Lipstick in Queen B
I much prefer wearing bullet lipsticks, lip balms, and even glosses over liquid lipsticks because creamy formulas are easier for me to use, but I’ve enjoyed liquid lipsticks in the past when they come in neutral, my lips but better shades like this one. The name is pretty cute, too. Queen B…arcelos?
AmorePacific Treatment Enzyme Peel
This peel is actually a powder. While I much prefer chemical exfoliants like the Pixi Petra Glow Tonic that came in my Ipsy this month over physical scrubs, this is supposed to be mixed with water before you use it. Will it become a paste? A gritty lather? I’m not sure, but I am very curious.
IGK First Class Charcoal Detox Dry Shampoo
Since I only wash my hair about 2-3 times a week, dry shampoo is a staple. Several samples have come and gone, but I keep going back to my Batiste Rose Gold purely for the smell. However, it leaves a white cast if I hold the can too close to my hair, and my hair is white enough as it is. I have a feeling that my dark hair won’t have this problem with a charcoal based dry shampoo.
MAKE UP FOR EVER Ultra HD Invisible Cover Foundation in Y335 Dark Sand
Another base product on the yellow side. I don’t think it’s my shade, but truth be told, I’ve never been color matched or anything. Since I don’t wear foundation, I’ve never needed to. Getting a foundation in a subscription box is such a crapshoot.
Yves Saint Laurent Mon Paris Eau de Parfum
A perfume sample that actually arrives? A perfume sample that’s a bonus and not part of the main five? Congratulations, Sephora, you just kicked Birchbox to the curb for good. I don’t even care that this perfume isn’t to my taste (it’s a bit too fruity for me) because perfume should always be a bonus and not the main event.
Ipsy came with a bunch of my favorites: Luxie brushes, Biobelle sheet masks, and Pixi skincare. It’s the subscription I’ve had the longest and it’s clear that the customization is working, so it is gonna take a lot to dethrone it. Birchbox was on its way out, needed a Hail Mary, but dropped the ball. That left room for Sephora, the rookie of the bunch, to knock Birchbox into third.
Beauty Protector Protect & Oil
Original rating: 💄 // Updated rating: 💄💄💄
I ran out of the leave-in conditioner I usually use when I’m going to blow-dry my hair, so I used this instead. The heat made it smell even better, but not enough to make me buy a full size of this when I run out. I decanted it into a bottle with a dropper for ease of use.
Vita Liberata Fabulous Self-Tanning Gradual Lotion
Rating: 💄 // Updated rating: Ditched it
I think one of my cousins likes this. She can have it.
Kensie Eau de Parfum
Rating: 💄 // Updated rating: Ditched it
This got chucked into a care package for a friend.
Georgette Klinger Coconut Cleansing Milk
Rating: 💄💄💄 // Updated rating: 💄
I used this one night instead of my usual makeup remover and it stung like a motherfucker when it got in my eyes. When I think of cleansing milk, I think of something gentle. Bye, Georgette.
Love of Color One & Done Shadow Stick in Heavy Petal
Rating: 💄💄💄💄 // Updated rating: 💄💄💄💄💄
This is a good cream shadow, but you know what it’s great at? Using it in your lower waterline to brighten your eyes more subtly than something white. You don’t see pink there but you do get tricked into thinking I’m far more bright-eyed and bushy-tailed than I actually am. It now lives with the rest of my everyday makeup, purely to fulfill that purpose.
Venefect Skin Care Micro-Exfoliant
Original rating: 💄 // Updated rating: 💄
I used it once on my face, just to see what it was like. It wasn’t especially scratchy (looking at you, St. Ives Apricot Scrub), but nothing I want to use regularly.
First Aid Beauty Ultra Repair Hydrating Serum
Rating: 💄💄💄💄💄 // Updated rating: 💄💄💄
This had of a gel texture than the runniness that I expect in a serum, which might be why I found this to feel surprisingly drying on my skin. This wasn’t bad but I also wasn’t mad once I had used it up so I switch to a new day serum this month.
Tarte Smooth Operator Amazonian Clay Finishing Powder
Rating: 💄💄💄 // Updated rating: 💄💄💄💄
I think I might like this better than my Wowder? (I know, stop the presses, Liz prefers something over a Glossier product.) Dusted on my forehead, it does a better job of knocking back shine over the course of the day than Wowder. I’ve been using my Stretch Concealer to cover up the red parts of my face (around my nostrils and on my chin) and this stuff keeps it in place. However, it can look like I have powder on if I go too hard, an issue I never had with the Wowder. I switch off between the two of them, now.
SLMissGlam Sparkle Everyday Glam Beauty Sponge
Rating: 💄💄💄💄 // Updated rating: 💄💄💄💄💄
The flat side was good at setting my undereye area, but I still prefer my flat Glossier powder brush for that job. What this sponge really came in handy for was using it with my beloved Cloud Paints. Using it to apply the deeper shades helped blend them out better than with my fingers.
TONYMOLY Painting Therapy Mask
Rating: 💄💄💄💄 // Updated rating: 💄💄💄💄
Is this radically different than any other charcoal mask I’ve ever used? No. But am I still happy to have received it? Yes.
May’s champion is…
Two of my Birchbox samples got immediately handed off. It was never going to overtake Ipsy, even if that hair oil turned out to be surprisingly good. The products in my Ipsy bag were (almost) as good or better than expected, so it keeps the May crown.