September Birchbox v. Ipsy

For September, the Birchbox theme was Heritage. Birchbox works with select brands and takes care to listen to a brand's history and what the brand stands for.

amika Blow Up Spray
Sample value: An 8-oz. bottle retails for $24.00. My sample was 2 oz., so this is valued at $6.00.
This hairspray is supposed to add lift and shine for a perfect blowout.  This smelled nice, but I thought it made my hair rather sticky. Even though I had just washed my hair, after spraying my hair down with this and blow-drying (it apparently has heat-protection properties as well), I wanted to wash my hair all over again.

Caudalie Make-up Remover Cleansing Water
This make-up remover had a pleasant scent - vaguely floral. I used it in the evening, and it worked well to get rid of any leftover mascara remnants after washing my face. 

Coastal Scents Eye Shadow
The full-size set contains 88 shades of eye shadow for $39; the sample size contained four.  This would be roughly $1.77. However, the full-size also contains 3 eyeshadow brushes, so this is actually worth less than $1.77.  
My sample set was called the Queen of Hearts, and it contained these shades: Sundried, Victorian Ruby, Fine Wine, and Vintage Burgundy. These are great colors for fall. They are richly pigmented and they applied easily. For the most part, I don't think they were great with my skin tone, but I used them as an accent with a darker eyeshadow for an extra pop of color. 

Ruffian Nail Lacquer - Hedge Fund
This bottle of nail polish was the highlight of this month's Birchbox. It was featured on the product card as this is Ruffian's first nail polish collection. All subscribers received a polish from this collection this month.  Hedge Fund is a green shade, and I was a little bummed to get that color because green is close to the bottom on my list of favorite nail polish shades.  However, I thought it was a fitting shade for fall, and it was more of a muted green so I rather liked it.  It has a gold undertone and a somewhat matte finish. 

Egyptian Magic All-Purpose Skin Cream
I squeezed some of this multi-purpose salve into my hands, and it reminded me of petroleum jelly. It has an unpleasant fragrance, almost like a cooking oil, and it left a slightly oily film after I rubbed it into my skin. Strongly disklike.
Total Value >$22.91
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As much as I've been loving ipsy, they've had shipping issues two out of the three months that I've been subscribed. Last month, I ended up contacting customer service because I kept checking on the tracking information and it showed that my bag had been sitting in Forest Park, GA for several days. They promptly responded and explained that DHL had had an internal error and had rerouted a small batch of shipments through their main hub.  She offered to replace my Glam Bag if it did not arrive within the next week. It arrived just a couple of days shy of that deadline.

This month, I checked in at their website because I hadn't received my tracking code by the time I usually receive it. It looked like several subscribers were experiencing the same situation, and many ended up receiving their bag before they received their emailed tracking code.  I finally received my tracking code on September 13th, and I think I had my bag in hand by the next day. By this time, I'd pretty much already tried everything from Birchbox. Hopefully my bag will arrive snag-free in October!

Anyways, September's theme was "Classic Beauty".

Elizabeth Mott It's So Big Volumizing Mascara
I liked this mascara - it did seem to add volume to my lashes. I don't think it's water-proof though, so when I washed my face in the evening, the mascara tended to flake off.  

NYX Single Eyeshadow
I received the gray Cryptonite eyeshadow. I liked it.  I used it along with the Birchbox Coastal Scents Eye Shadow since I tend to like darker eyeshadow colors. 
Starlooks Obsidian Kohl Eye Pencil
Good eye pencil! Applied smoothly and I liked the color. 

Freeman Beauty Facial Paper Masks
I received three masks: Blue Agave Hydrating Facial Paper Mask, Rose Brightening Facial Paper Mask, and Star Fruit Purifying Facial Paper Mask. So far, I've only tried the Star Fruit mask and it did not leave me very excited to try the others.  But that could be because I kind of did it wrong. I used it in the AM before I was going to take a shower.  But the last step on the instructions is to press the excess serum into your skin after removing the mask and not rinse it off. It didn't fit my face exactly - I ended up ripping through the eye and nose holes to get it as flat as possible. It did smell really good though!

J. Cat Beauty Fantabulous Lipstick
Oh, man - this would be the worst product of the bunch for me. I didn't like the color at all - I think it looks awful with my skin tone.  My husband liked it on me, but I really can't fathom why.

Total Value $33.24
Please use this referral link if you're interested in subscribing. A monthly subscription is $10.

So, after thinking it over, I am pretty sure I'm going to take a break from Birchbox. Maybe give another subscription box a try. :) While ipsy and Birchbox cost the same each month, I've really been enjoying the ipsy selection better. And it's a better value based on the products I've actually been receiving. 


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