Wednesday, January 6, 2016

December Ipsy Vs. Boxycharm

     Hello everybody and welcome to 2016!  To celebrate this new year we are... headed back to last year?  Ok. So, maybe this post is a bit late. The holiday season was very busy for us and I just didn't get around to taking the photos for this until after the new year.

     But it's all good as the extended time has given me some chances to try out more of the products and establish a better review of them!  Also as a quick update from my November Ipsy (can be read here) - I am in LOVE with the Josie Maran 100% Argan Oil Light.  I actually went and bought a full size of it from Sephora.  It has saved my face this winter and has not broken me out at all!

     Anyway you know the routine.  Boxycharm is $21 a month and usually offers 5 full sized for deluxe samples of higher end products. Ipsy is $10 a month and usually offers 5 sample or trial sized products from both drugstore and high end brands.  If you are interested in getting yourself a subscription to any one of these programs you can check out my referral codes on my favorites page (here).  I do not get paid for referrals but I do earn some points which I can then use to redeem additional products.


December 2015 Ipsy bag and products it contained
     I completely lost the card for this month's Ipsy bag. :(  So I don't know what the theme is.  However the products came in this bright red patent vinyl bag.  Not one of my favorites.  It's just kind of boring, and reminds me Halloween boots for some reason.  But in a bad way.... 

Jersey Shore Spa Anti Aging Lip & Hand Polish - Vanilla Bean:

Jersey Shore Spa Anti Aging Lip & Hand Polish in Vanilla Bean
     An all natural sugar scrub for both your hands and lips, this reminded me a lot of some home made recipes.  It smells absolutely divine! Seriously, after use you smell like cookies or some kind of cake batter.  The taste isn't too bad either, so don't worry about using this product on your lips. It's loaded with shea Butter, Cocoa Butter, Jojoba Oil and Coconut oil, so it does a fair share of moisturizing in addition to the exfoliation that the sugar provides. 

    Per the directions, I warmed this a little by running under some warm water before using. I think you could probably skip that step if you wanted to, the product would be a bit thicker but nothing unmanageable.  Overall I really like it, so I looked up how much it would cost to buy the product.  $25.00.  Ok, I liked it, but not that much.  Honestly, with all the DIY sugar scrub recipes that one can find online... one can easily make something very similar (if not this exact product) for a fraction of the cost.  

Marc Anthony Deep Nourishing Conditioning Treatment:

Marc Anthony Deep Nourishing Conditioning Treatment
     Another conditioning treatment for hair.  I haven't tried this one yet as I am not even close to finished with the other 5 hair treatments that I have received from Ipsy.  It smells nice.  It has a very strong coconut scent which I like, but if you are turned off by coconut you probably won't like it.  Eventually I will get around to using all these treatments and if I find one that just completely blows me away I will make a comment about it similar to what I did above with the Josie Maran Argan Oil.

Pacifica Power of Love Natural Lipstick - Nudie Red:

Pacifica Power of Love Natural Lipstick 
      I don't know how else to put this.  There was absolutely nothing I liked about this lipstick.  Just nothing.  For starters, the color looks abysmal on me (most warm browns do).  I know its a very popular color trend right now, but it just looks horrible with my skin tone.

Pacifica Power of Love Natural Lipstick in Nudie Red swatch
     That's not the only reason I disliked this lipstick.  The smell really turned me off.  Being a natural brand, I know Pacifica probably tries to avoid adding fragrance or extra ingredients into their costmetics, but this lipstick smelled horrible.  It just had a very strong plastic cosmetic scent, and I felt like I could almost taste it while I was wearing it.

     Which brings me to the final point. This is also a very uncomfortable lipstick to wear.  It was dry going on, and despite it settling and accentuating every single line and crack on my lips, it never felt like it melded into my lips.  It always just felt like a waxy coating on top.  I eventually just wiped it off through part of my day and put on a lip gloss.

Elizabeth Mott Thank Me Later Eye Shadow Primer:

Elizabeth Mott Thank Me Later Eye Shadow Primer
     I have not fully tested this product either. I did swatch it on the back of my had.  Its a thicker primer that has a strong silicone like feel to it.  There is a very light scent but it is not unpleasant.  It dries clear, so there is no color correction properties to it which is something I really like.    There's nothing about it that strikes me as a mind blowing primer, but there's nothing that screams "horrible product" to me either.

Peony Shadow Trio:

Peony Shadow Trio, very small package total weight is .3g/0.11 oz
     I'll admit it. I am really critical of eye shadow.  I know it, and as such there may be times where I come down kind of hard on some products that other people may like.   But it's for good reason.  I know for a fact there CAN be good quality eye shadows that are available at drugstore pricing.   

     So when I look up this brand and see that they are charging $17.95 for THIS EXACT trio of shadows. I get a little irate.  This product was horrible.  Nevermind getting it to show up on my eyes using a brush or sponge,  I couldn't even get the light color to swatch using my finger!  The other two shades had a terrible color pay off as well.  The best looking one was the shiny bronze color, and even that was pretty sheer, and it didn't build well.

Peony Shadow Trio swatches, multiple passes were used to get this color. 
     In short this is a formula I would be angry to deal with even in a cheap product.  To see a trio this small reaching high end pricing and still delivering this kind of crap... it bothers me.  "But Valerie," you may say "This is a 'natural', cruelty-free, cosmetic! Surely it contains better ingredients that make it deserving of a higher price point." 

     Wrong.  The very 1st ingredient in this shadow is talc. Ok now, I'm not going to go on a tirade about talc. It's a very common filler and is present in almost every single eye shadow formula.  However, pricier more designer brands tend to limit the amount of talc used in their formulas.  It's considered a relatively cheap additive and is used heavily by less costly brands.  Again, it's the first ingredient listed, likely the most used.  Draw your own conclusions. 


December 2015 Boxycharm and the products it contained 
     This month's boxycharm theme was "Pop Fizz Clink!" The card reads "Get Ready to revel in the charm of an era of decadence and glamor! This Month, we celebrate a revolution in style by taking beauty back to a time when Jazz, boas, glitter and pearls hit it big. So raise your champagne glasses, charmers, and get ready for a roaring celebration!"

Tatcha Petal Fresh Original Aburatorigami - full size - $12.00

Tatcha Petal Fresh Original Aburatorigami Beauty Papers
     $12.00 blotting papers. Wow.  They have gold leaf flecks in them.  I don't know what that is supposed to do, if anything.  I like Boxycharm if only that it lets me get some crazy products that I would never buy myself.  I feel like this is one of them.  Aside from the fact that I rarely need to blot my face, when I do, I don't use expensive paper. 

Jelly Pong Pong All Over Glow - full size - $15.95

Jelly Pong Pong All Over Glow Gel Luminizer
     Well they did say they were taking beauty back to a time of glitter.  This luminizer gel definitely does that!  It's not straight up glitter, but this is very shimmery. It does blend nicely (I just used my finger), but it leaves a fair amount of shimmer all over whatever you are blending with. It also has a very sweet scent that is fairly strong.  It's reminiscent of coconuts, although more the sun tan lotion coconut, not the candy. 

Jelly Pong Pong All Over Glow Swatch, highlight can be seen best by my index knuckle
    Ultimately I just don't know quite what to do with this.  The wear time doesn't seem all that great, I put some on the back of my hand and the majority of the sparkle wore off within an hour.  That being said the product is so intensely shimmery, one could easily run the risk of looking like a disco ball if they were to re-apply throughout the day.  

NCLA So Rich Cuticle Oil - full size - $18.00

NCLA So Rich Cuticle Oil 
     I love this product.  I was excited to try it out when I saw that I received it, as I have read some decent reviews. It has helped my cuticles so much during this past few weeks.  I usually am pretty bad about applying cuticle oil throughout the day after I wash my hands.  I only put it on at nighttime and even that has helped a lot. My cuticles have stopped peeling despite we are entering the harshest part of winter. 
     The oil does contain a lavender type fragrance.  It can be pretty strong so if you don't like lavender I would probably avoid this cuticle oil.  If that doesn't bother you, I recommend this.  It has a nice glass dropper verses the brush, which is just a personal preference for me. 

Nelson J Argan Oil 7 Moisture Healing Mask - full size - $23.00

Nelson J Argan Oil 7 Moisture Healing Mask 
     Another hair treatment!  Yay!  Ok this one I am curious about as it says it will protect against chlorine damage.  I love to swim and I hate that chlorine in swimming pools absolutely destroys my hair color. This has instructions to apply to wet hair (and leave in) before swimming.  It also has directions to use as a pre-wash treatment and as a mask you set under a dryer after shampooing.  All of these are very different from the traditional leave-in or rinse out treatments I have received, so I will be sure to try this one.

Side note:  it does have an extremely strong coconut scent to it.  When I first opened my box I actually thought maybe the bottle had ruptured the scent was so strong.  Not only is it not ruptured but it has a foil seal on the end.  So yeah, they aren't playing with the scent. 

Ofra Long Lasting Liquid Lipstick - Americano - full size - $19.90

Ofra Long Lasting Liquid Lipstick in Americano
     I was SO excited when I saw on the card that this box contained an Ofra liquid lipstick.  If you stalk YouTube like I do, you know there is a lot of buzz regarding this formula.  Imagine my dismay when I dug out this beautiful tube of.. dark orangish redish brown. Sigh. FML.

Swatch of Ofra Long Lasting Liquid Lipstick in Americano
    Ok I brought myself to do it, I wore it for a bit.  It's still not my color. Not even a little bit.  BUT I do love the formula. So much so that I went and bought myself two better suited shades from the website. The formula is really, mousse-y for lack of a better word.  Most liquid lipsticks are rather thin in consistency.  This is not.  Its thick, but it does go on smoothly and the wear is fairly comfortable for a lipstick that dries down.  

    I am not a fan of the smell, it's a fake sweet scent.  Oddly enough one of my new colors had it and the other one did not.  Americano had it which leads me to believe that most of the shades do have the scent.  It dissipates fairly quickly, so it's not a total deal breaker.  

BellaPierre Waterproof Gel Lip Liner - Cinnamon - full size - $17.99

BellaPierre Waterproof Gel Lip Liner in No. 03 Cinnamon
     A lip liner to match the lipstick.  Again its a warm brown, but not quite as orange/red as the lipstick.  I can pull this off if I use it under a different shade of lipstick to create a custom color. 

Swatch of BellaPierre Waterproof Gel Lip Liner in No. 03 Cinnamon
     The formula is really nice, it goes on smoothly, it doesn't pull at my lips while lining them. I don't know about the waterproof claims, I tend to avoid wearing cosmetics to the pool or beach, but the wear time was nice for a typical day. 

Thank you so much for stopping by!  I love to see what other people got in their Ipsy bags and Boxycharm boxes - if you have a blog or you tube video of what you received, place your link in the comments below and I will check it out!  See you next week! 


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