Wednesday, January 27, 2016

January 2016 Ipsy vs. Boxycharm

     Well hello fellow beauties!  If you are like me then you too have probably had enough of your own chaos this month (what is with January? it's a magnet for chaos).  So lets lighten things up and talk about what we got in this month's Ipsy bags and Boxycharm boxes.

     Again to quickly give the rundown on how these work.  Ipsy is a $10 a month subscription service.  Each month you are sent a small cosmetic bag filled with various beauty products based on a questionnaire you fill out.  Usually products are sample sizes and are from both drugstore and high end brands.

     Boxycharm is a more expensive subscription service at $21 a month.  It almost exclusively contains high end products and the majority of the time they are full sized. I pay for both of these subscriptions myself and the reviews of the products included are my own.  You know the drill.


January 2016 Ipsy Bag 'All Eyes on You'
     'All Eyes on You' is the theme for this month's Ipsy bag.  It comes in a very brightly colored bag that is kind of Andy Warhol-ish.  The description says "Keep your eyes on the Prize!  From must-have products to prettify your peepers - like the Balm's cult-fave eyeliner - to on-the-go beauty essentials. January is all about a seriously standout look."

Coastal Scents Pearl Shadow Angle Brush:

Large Pearl Shadow Angle Brush by Coastal Scents
     I have tried a few of the Coastal Scents eye shadow palettes, and have mixed feelings regarding them.  So when I saw that I got a brush in this Ipsy bag I was skeptical regarding it's quality.  But I am happy to report that this brush is of a very nice quality.  The ferrule and handle are both very sturdy and tight.  The bristles are very soft and I haven't experienced any shedding.  The shape of this brush is a little awkward as it is very large, best used to apply a shadow across my entire lid which I don't often do.  But that's more just personal preference, not anything particularly bad in how this brush was constructed. 

   Also as a bonus there is a 25% off code that can be used.  I think it's for any purchase at the code is Pearl25Off, and of course I like to share those codes with any readers in case they would like to try the products out for themselves.   The code does expire on March 7 of 2016 so it is good for another month or so. 

Skyn Iceland Glacial Cleansing Cloths

Skyn Iceland Glacial Cleansing Cloths
     Admittedly I have abandoned the use of cleansing cloths as they tend to dry my skin out, so these did not appeal to me the way they might to someone else.  I have used these to clean my hands/arms when swatching products. So my impression is based of that type of use. 

    These wipes are different in that there is a lot more product loaded on these cloths than the traditional makeup removing cloths.  Reading the instructions one is supposed to rub two ends together to create a foamy lather, then use the cloth on the skin.  It definitely lathers up and takes off makeup well.  However you are not supposed to rinse the lather off, just leave it on to dry.  I didn't mind doing that with my hands, but I don't think I would like doing that with my face. 

     Also the fragrance with this is very strong.  It's not unappealing. Just very strong.  So while it says it's been formulated for people with sensitive skin, the strong fragrance makes me wonder how it would actually affect my skin.   For now I'm sticking with using them on swatches. 

City Color Eyeshadow Trio - Falling Leaves

City Color Eyeshadow Trio in Falling Leaves
     This is a nice trio of eye shadows from City Color.  The formula was very nice, not quite creamy but smooth with very little powder being kicked up with I dipped my brush into the pan. The colors did apply a little sheer, but they can be built up quite nicely and a base or primer helps tremendously.
Close up of Falling Leaves  Eyeshadow Trio by City Color 
     I'm actually quite happy to get this in my Ipsy bag.  It is some shades I would never have picked out for myself.  While it may not be my most favorite shades on myself, I like that receiving this has forced me to try something a little out of my comfort zone. 

City Color Eyeshadow Trio in Falling Leaves Swatch

the Balm Mr. Write (Now) - Jac

the Balm Mr. Write (Now) in Jac
     Another color that I would probably have not picked out for myself.  This is a deep gold almost bronze eye liner.   The formula of this is fantastic.  It applies easily without tugging, and once it is set it does not budge.  I have yet to try it in my waterline, but I am impressed with what I have seen so far.  I may look into other colors that are more my style. 

the Balm Mr. Write (Now) in Jac swatch

Lasting Smiles Organic Lip Balm - Peppermint Creme 

Lasting Smiles Organic Lip Balm in Peppermint Creme
     I have nothing bad to say about this lip balm.  It made my lips feel soft and hydrated. When first applied it is a bit shiny but nothing too bad.  The hydrating feeling lasts for quite a while, I didn't feel like I needed to constantly re-apply, even through eating and drinking. The flavor is light and fades fairly quickly but is pleasant while it's around. 

   In addition to being a nice balm, it is organic and the proceeds help fund surgeries that fix cleft lips and palates in children around the world. 


January 2016 Boxycharm 'Eyes on 2016'

     January's Boxycharm was also focused on eyes with it's theme being 'Eyes on 2016'.  

Royal & Langnickel Revolution Brush Set - Full Size - $23.97

Royal & Langnickel Revolution Brush Set 
     The first product is an eye brush set from Royal & Langnickel.  Included in the set is the BX-90 which a pointed crease brush. The BX-80 which is a typical flat shade brush for packing shadow on the lid.  And finally the BX-95 which is a pointed detail brush for smudging and contouring.

    So these are supposed to be revolutionary in their design.  They have a special "textured fiber" bristle (all brushes are of synthetic materials) that is supposed to act more like a natural hair bristle but without the fragility of natural hair.

     As far as performance goes, I don't know if I see a huge difference in how they lay down product. I need to try these out with my ColourPop shadows as usually I prefer to use a synthetic bristle for those to avoid the brush absorbing too much product.  I can say that I am not super fond of the BX-90 the crease brush.  The bristles are long like my other crease brushes, but this brush is very stiff.  It feels like an odd hybrid between a traditional crease brush and a smudging brush.  It's just different, and I'm finding it difficult to get a blown out, well blended crease with this brush.  If you have any suggestions or ideas on how this brush should be used PLEASE tell me so in the comments!  I'd love to know if I am using this wrong.

Note that each brush is also available individually for $7.99

Blinc Mascara Amplified - Full Size - $26.00

Blinc Mascara Amplified in black
     I wont lie, this product kind of scares me.  It is what they call a 'tubing' mascara, where the product actually forms a tube around the individual lash to provide length and volume.  According to the manufacturer this type of mascara is run proof, smudge proof, wont clump or flake, it is rub proof, waterproof and you can run a marathon in it.  Umm... yeah.  You are also NOT to use makeup remover to remove this mascara.  Simply LOTS of warm water and gentle pressure from your fingers or wash cloth.

      The directions are equally as interesting, you are not to use any moisturizers on your face before using this product as the oils in the moisturizer may interfere with how this product works.  Again it stresses lots of water and pressure should be used to remove the tubes.  You will "feel" the mascara coming lose and there is a note that says you will see the tubes in your sink or hands and they will look like your lashes, but they are just the tubes.

      OK I am intrigued and scared.. but mostly intrigued.. OK maybe mostly scared?  I try to stay far away from any mascara that uses fibers to lengthen.  Mostly because I do have super sensitive eyes and the thought of little fibers accidentally getting into my eyes sounds about as nice as getting a foot rub from a porcupine.   But this doesn't appear to be fibers, they compare it to making a cast around the lash.

     We will see....I'll update you if I do end up trying this out.

Starlooks Pro Luxe Longwear Eyeliner - Full Size - $19.00

Starlooks Pro Luxe Longwear Eyeliner Pen in Black
     Yay a product that I know how to use!  LOL Really though this is just your typical felt tip eye liner pen.  The black color is very dark and intense.  It does have a bit of a shine to it dried down, so if you like a more matte look for your liner this probably won't be the formula for you.

Swatch of Starlooks Pro Luxe Longwear Eyeliner Pen
     Aside from the bit of shine that I am not crazy about. The formula is very nice.  It doesn't settle into my fine lines and it dries down fairly quickly and it stays put. It doesn't appear to be waterproof, but it's not claiming to be either.  It removed very easily with makeup remover.  I was able to create both fine lines and thicker lines with the pen.  It's not anything revolutionary, but it is a good basic liner. 

Coastal Scents Revealed Smoky Palette - Full Sized - $39.95

Coastal Scents Revealed Smoky Palette Packaging 
     OK first off I feel the need to mention that while Coastal Scents does list the original price of this palette as $39.95, never have I ever seen it actually sold for that price. The list price on the website says $29.95 and even then I have never seen it sold for more than $19.95.  I don't know where $39.95 is coming from, but that's not the cost of this palette. 

View of all 20 shadow pans in Coastal Scents Revealed Smokey Palette
     For those unfamiliar with Coastal Scents, it is a discount cosmetic company.  They are well known for having the giant 88 pan palettes that they sell for like $15.00.  The eye shadows in those remind me a lot of the cheap off brand makeup kits that you can buy around the holidays.  You know the ones that have like 80 eye shadows, 15 blushes and 10 lipsticks all in a glitter train case. 

Top row swatch of Coastal Scents Revealed Smoky Palette
     Anyway the most recent products Coastal Scents has put out are their own takes on the Urban Decay Naked palettes.  I have received those in previous Boxycharm boxes and they are.. meh.. they are OK for cheap palettes. Owning the original Naked palettes, there is really no appeal for me in the Coastal Scents versions BUT I will say if money is an issue for you, the Coastal Scents Revealed palettes are a decent enough alternative to Urban Decay.  You can make them work. 

Bottom row swatch of Coastal Scents Revealed Smoky Palette
     So this Revealed Smoky palette is obviously a play on the Urban Decay Smoky palette. And I will say that of all the Revealed palettes, I like this one the most.  It also has some very close color dupes to the Urban Decay Smoky palette.  Does it behave the same as the Urban Decay? No. They take a little more work to blend out and to build up.  Some of the shadows are a bit chalky.  But again we are talking about a $20 palette compared to a $50 palette.

     The top row of shadows probably has the most misses for me. The first two mattes are pretty chalky and the bright gold color was really sheer.  The bottom row of this palette I was very surprised by.  Many of the colors are very nice, I really like the first 4 shades.  Again they aren't as easy to work with as the Urban Decay.  But for a $20 palette, these really are not that bad. 

     That is everything I received this month.  Thank you so much for stopping by!  If you have any experience with these products (especially the brushes and the mascara) , I'd love to hear about it!   Also if you would like to share what you got in your own Ipsy or Boxycharm boxes - feel free to share in the comment section.  I will see you next week! 


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