Beauty Box Battle: August 2018 + July 2018 Update

Yeah yeah, I know it’s already September. Between writer’s block and travel, I didn’t find the time to knock this out until now. Which isn’t a knock on this month’s contenders β€”Β  but these were both pretty mixed bags.

August Matchup:



Packaging:Β πŸ’„πŸ’„

Orange and yellow? Summery, but not my thing. I passed this bag onto my friend Ali, the manager of the Indianapolis Intensity, because yellow and orange is very much her thing. #DoubleIIsOnThePrize

But what matters is what’s inside!

Kaleido Cosmetics Skin Blush in Prom Queen

Rating:Β πŸ’„πŸ’„πŸ’„

Ipsy is really good about tracking your preferences, and as someone who became a Blush Person in the past year or so, I’m happy to try more. But this is so light and shimmery that it feels like more of a highlighter? We’ll see how it goes.

Mint Pear Rosehip Night Serum

Rating:Β πŸ’„πŸ’„

If my recent beauty subscriptions are any indication, rose derived skincare is the trendy new ingredient. I’m almost done with the rose oil I got last month, so this will likely replace it. However, it arrived with the seal cracked, so everything in my bag had a thin layer of oil that I had to wipe off. Boo.

Hikari Cosmetics Cream Pigment in Fierce

Rating:Β πŸ’„πŸ’„πŸ’„πŸ’„

Hikari Cosmetics is one of those brands I only seem to find in my Ipsy bag. I already received this product in March 2018, only it was in Shine, a very bright gold that was a bit Too Much for every day. I did wear it for Argonauts season, though. Fierce, on the other hand, is a shimmery burgundy that seems easier to wear and perfect for fall.

Huda Beauty Liquid Matte Lipstick in Trophy Wife

Rating:Β πŸ’„πŸ’„

I’ve come to acknowledge that I am just not a liquid lipstick person. Give me a balm, gloss, or a bullet lipstick any day; I’ll trade longevity for ease of use without blinking. However, I do like the shade and the fact that this is full size.

Lab for You Sheet Masks in Kale and Blackberry

Rating:Β πŸ’„πŸ’„πŸ’„πŸ’„πŸ’„

Sheet masks forever. Any month I get some (and Ipsy always seems to send more than one, bless them.) These two address two of the rare issues I have with my skin: redness and dullness.



From top: Trophy Wife, Fierce, Prom Queen

Sephora Play!


Packaging:Β πŸ’„πŸ’„πŸ’„πŸ’„

Adorable. Love the back-to-school/beauty school theming.

NARS Pro-Prime Smudge Proof Eyeshadow Base

Rating:Β πŸ’„πŸ’„πŸ’„

I’ve ignored my powder shadows in favor of liquid and cream formulas over the past month or so, but as the weather starts to cool down, I’ll probably be breaking out the palettes again. I’ve never felt the need to use more than concealer as an eyeshadow base β€” when I even use it at all β€” but I like a few things I have from NARS so I’ll give this a shot.

Benefit Hoola Bronzer

Rating:Β πŸ’„πŸ’„

I already own this in the full-size. On the one hand, it’s the only bronzer I use. On the other hand, I hardly ever use bronzer. While this is a good fit for this month’s back-to-school, back-to-basics sort of theme, it’s not for me. I’ll be passing it along.

Make Up For Ever Artist Lipstick in C221

Rating:Β πŸ’„πŸ’„πŸ’„

On the one hand, this muted rose shade is very wearable. On the other hand, I got a Tarte lipstick in a similar shade last month. It’s adorably mini and a probably perfect purse lipstick (more on that in a bit), but it’s not very exciting to get something like this for a second month in a row.

Dr. Dennis Gross C+ Collagen Deep Cream

Rating:Β πŸ’„πŸ’„πŸ’„πŸ’„πŸ’„

Moisturizer, on the other hand, is something I will happily take every month without getting bored. I haven’t had to buy a full size in months because my subscriptions always keep me stocked up. Collagen is another ingredient I’m finding in a lot of skincare lately, but my 30-something skin will happily take it.

Morrocanoil Dry Texturizing Spray

Rating:Β πŸ’„

Call this a product mismatch. My hair is sleek and straight and I like it that way. I’ll use a dry shampoo to extend the time between washes, but that’s about as complicated as I get with styling products.

Bonus: Drybar Southern Belle Volume Boosting Shampoo and Conditioner

Rating:Β πŸ’„πŸ’„πŸ’„πŸ’„

Sephora’s bonuses tend to land into two categories: perfumes and haircare packets. Since they’re a bonus and not an item on their own, I’m okay with this. On short trips, like a weekend away, I’ve come to prefer carrying a packet of shampoo and conditioner over a mini bottle of both. More space savings, yay! This is coming with me to Utah later this month.



From top: Hoola, C221

August’s winner so far…

This is really tight, so I’m just going to count up my (relatively arbitrary)Β πŸ’„Β rating in an attempt to be fair. That means that Play! wins by a score of 22 to 18. However, both contenders had a decent mix of things that ranged from exciting to just okay, so it’s anyone’s game.

July Update:


Smashbox Studio Skin 42 Hour Concealer in Light/Medium

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

Okay, this was far better than expected. Not under my eyes, but to cover up some blemishes and redness on my face. The swatch was orange but it blended out to a color that matched my summer tan relatively well.

PureHeals Charcoal Peel-Off Mask

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

Is there anything quite as satisfying as peeling off a masking and seeing all your face gunk come off on it? No, there is not.

City Color Cosmetics City Chic Eyeshadow in Skinny Latte

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

Too shiny to be a face highlighter for me, and too boring for me to remember to use. Oh well. The formula was nice when I did remember to use it as a browbone highlight.

RealHer Moisturizing Lipstick in Girl Power

img_9096Updated rating:Β πŸ’„πŸ’„πŸ’„πŸ’„πŸ’„Β // Updated rating:Β πŸ’„πŸ’„πŸ’„πŸ’„πŸ’„

This my platonic ideal of Purse Lipstick. “What’s a Purse Lipstick, Liz?” Well, gentle reader, let me tell you.

A purse lipstick needs to be small, sturdy, and go with everything so that it can live in your purse and match whatever you may be wearing that day in case you need to slap on some lipstick.

Samples are likely contenders to become Purse Lipstick, but no sample I’ve received has been as versatile as this one.

Bonus: SLMissGlamΒ N15 Eyeshadow Brush

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

This has been really good for applying shimmery shadows on my lid when I want them to be a bit more subtle instead of in your face. The usual suspects are Colourpop’s Glass Bull and Tea Garden, two of my favorite duochromes.

Sephora Play!

Tarte Amazonian Clay Blush in Paaarty

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

If you read my Travel Makeup Bag post, then you’ll know that this had become my travel blush. If that’s not a Barcelos Beauty seal of approval, I don’t know what is.

Tarte Rainforest of the Sea Color Splash Lipstick in Salt Lyfe

cea1c58b-ff81-40ee-9750-e71b4e49fc3bOriginal rating:Β πŸ’„πŸ’„πŸ’„πŸ’„πŸ’„Β //Β  Updated rating: ?????

I went on a journey with this lipstick, guys. The formula is solid: creamy, nourishing, surprisingly long wearing. I could not decide for the life of me if I liked it or if it washed me out.

Bathroom lighting? Looked like a cute, nudish pink. But in the elevator, outside, and in the office (the truest test since I spend the most time there) I couldn’t decided if I liked it or if it pulled too gray and made my lips look vaguely corpse-like.

What do you guys think?

Biossance Squalane + Probiotic Gel Moisturizer

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

It was a nice morning moisturizer, but nothing special. It didn’t break my heart to replace it with my usual moisturizer once this one was done.

Korres Wild Rose Vitamin C Active Brightening Oil

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

Another case of “Why was I so excited for this again?” It wasn’t bad; just nothing I feel driven to get a full size of once it’s done.

Algenist Genius Liquid Collagen

img_9051Original rating:Β πŸ’„πŸ’„πŸ’„πŸ’„πŸ’„Β //Β  Updated rating:Β πŸ’„

Settle down kids, it’s time for another episode of Liz Bitches About Packaging.

The teeny tiny dropper in this sample did not work. Most of the collagen droplets didn’t get picked up and just stayed in the jar.

Can’t test something if I can’t get a product out properly, now can I?

Bonus: Briogeo Rosarco Blow Dry Perfection Heat Protectant Crème

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

Last month’s assessment still stands: I have yet to try a Briogeo hair product that I don’t like. On the other hand, I have yet to try a Briogeo hair product that I like well enough to purchase myself. But this protected my ends (extra important now that they’re dyed) on the few times I decided to blow dry my hair instead of letting it air dry.

July’s champion is…

Am I picking Ipsy purely because I’m mad about all the collagen I couldn’t get on my face? No, but it was a factor. Sephora also stumbled in the head-to-head lipstick comparison. RealHer killed it and I still don’t know how I feel about the Tarte that Sephora sent me.

My September Ipsy is already in the mail, so it’s looking like it’s going to be a double Beauty Box Battle month.

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