Friday, May 24, 2013

Beauty Subscription SmackDown: May 2013

I'm falling deeply in love with beauty subscription boxes. I pretty much pretend the packages are presents, rather than things I've paid for a few weeks ago (how's that for some alliteration?!). For those of you who may not know, both Ipsy and Birchbox are and are a monthly subscription service that for $10/month you get an unknown mix of (primarily beauty) samples.
Ipsy May 2013 ($50 value)
Zoya Nail Polish in "Julie": This is a frosty, metallic, lilac color and came in a full-sized version. I'm generally not the biggest fan of getting nail polishes in my boxes, but this was definitely a great value! I found it took 2 coats to get it opaque and it lasted 2 days without chipping (granted, I literally wash my hands 20+ times a day at work).
Alternates: One of the 5 other colors from the same Zoya Spring Collection (The "Blu" shade is so pretty).
Nume Finishing Serum: This is a really thick hair serum that smells amazing and does a good job of making your hair feel shiny. I don't know that I'll purchase, but I'm happy I got to try it out. That said, I love Macadamia products and would have loved to have gotten that too.
Yaby Concealer Refill in "Buff": This is a really good concealer and a great color-match (what are the odds!?). I put it in the GlamRx magnetic palette that came in the March Ipsy bag and keep it in my purse and it's perfect for touchups. It's a little slicker than the MUFE concealers (which are the closest thing I can compare this to), but this has great coverage. I only applied this to spots, so I can't say if it makes for a good under-eye concealer or not. 
Alernates: 3 additional color choices (one of appears VERY orange online)
Pacifica Roll On Perfume in "Tahitian Gardenia": I know perfume samples in beauty boxes really get some people fired up. But if you're going to get a perfume-- go big or go home! This was a full-sized rollerball and if you like gardenias, you'd love this. 
Alternate: "Island Vanilla" scent
Juice Beauty Reflecting Gloss in "Fig": I was a little leery of trying another Juice Beauty product after my last expereince with their hydrating mist but this was pretty nice. Thankfully, I got the color "Fig" which is a frosty plum color and it also came in full-size. It smells and feels really similar to the Burt's Bees glosses that I had ages ago-- citrusy and a little sticky (when compared to something like the Clarins Instant Light Natural Lip Perfector line).
Alternates: 2 other colors from the same line
*Bonus: If you're an active Ipsy member (I'm not) they were sending out one of the new Urban Decay Moondust Shadows. FYI, Urban Decay has their old Stardust Shadows (which from what I can tell,  are the same, just in different packaging) on sale for $6 on their website as opposed to $20 for the new Moondust shadows. The one pictured above is in "Diamond Dog" which is one of a few shades that were made in both the Moondust line and Stardust line.
Birchbox May 2013 ($15 value)
Marvis Toothpaste in "Classic Strong Mint": Marvis has a great line of "gourmet" toothpaste flavors like "Ginger Mint". I know, you're likely asking yourself how you've lived so long without "Jasmine Mint"toothpaste. Well, look no further. In all seriousness, this toothpaste is pretty good. Is it $11 good? Probably not for the mint, but I'd be up for trying another from the brand. If you're like me and only use whitening toothpastes, this one claims to be as well.
Sumita Color Contrast Eyeliner in black: Birchbox has a lot of photos of this but in different, fun colors. However, they don't actually sell many of them (what a tease!). Either way, I love the formula of this liner. It's super creamy, super blend-able, and applies easily to the water line. It's not advertised as waterproof but it has a good lasting-power. Sumita also has a Color Intense line and an Eyeshadow Pencil line that I will definitely be checking out because of how much I love the formula.
COOLA Classic SPF 30 Cucumber Moisturizer for Face: Another one of my favorites from the box. It smells exactly like cucumbers and is one of the lightest-feeling facial sunscreens I've tried. Completely non-greasy, absorbs quickly, and from what I can tell, doesn't have the dreaded "white caste" attributed with most sunscreens.
Runa Guayusa Tea: Probably my least favorite from this months box just because I'm not interested in food samples or non-alcoholic drinks. According to Birchbox's website, "each brew has more caffeine than your typical tea blends and double the antioxidants of green tea". As far as taste goes, it's very herbal and earthy. It's better than grocery store teas, but not as good as products I've had from Teavana.
amika Obliphica Nourishing Mask: A little thinner than my Macadamia Treatment Mask (which is amazing) but still works pretty well. It smells really similar to the John Frieda Full Repair line. The sample had enough product in it for two uses. Also, unlike the Macadamia Treatment Mask, this one says you can use it as your daily conditioner as well. 
This really was the first month that I preferred Ipsy over Birchbox. I was starting to think about cancelling Ipsy... so well played Ipsy, well played... This month's Ipsy box had 3 full-sized samples which is pretty amazing considering it only cost $10.
I wish Birchbox would ask you if you wanted to get food samples. I got one in last months box as well and I went over my questionaire to see if I said "feed me" any where on the survey... but nope. That aside, the Sumita eyeliner was definitely the stand-out sample from the box. I would totally be up for trying other colors from the same line.

I just signed up for Glossybox, which won't be here for another week but I'll definitely be putting up a post as soon as it arrives.

Which box would you have rather gotten this month?

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