IPSY vs. Birchbox: August Edition

Getting my IPSY and Birchbox subscriptions are always super exciting because I never know what I’m going to get. I never check the websites to see what I’m getting and I usually don’t even know when they ship out, so it’s always a nice surprise when I get them in the mail.

Since school is about to start, it’s no surprise that at least one of the subscriptions would be geared to that theme. Since IPSY’s theme was Beauty Schooled I’ll start with them.


Before I even opened the bright pink packaging, I noticed that it was extremely light and was a little concerned. But that is besides the point; let’s see what I got!

1. Urban Decay Perversion Mascara – This is Urban Decay’s new mascara that is supposed to extremely black and creamy. It’s supposed to volumize your lashes without getting clumpy. Trying this mascara on for the first time, I noticed that it has a very wet formula, so I was skeptical as to whether it would keep a curl. Long story short, it does not keep my curl. In fact, after a couple minutes, my eyelashes looked like I didn’t even curl them in the first place. The brush is pretty large and I noticed that when you put the wand back in the tube, a lot of product gets stuck to the sides and you end up wasting a lot of product. After two coats of this mascara, my lashes did appear more voluminous and clump-free. All-in-all, I would probably have to pair this mascara with a waterproof one, just so that my lashes stay curled. If you have stick straight lashes, I would say skip this product, but if you have naturally curled lashes and want volume and very black eyelashes, I would say try it and see if you like it. (Sample Size: $5.50, Full Size: $22)


2. Dr. Brandt Pores No More Pore Refiner – I haven’t been wearing primer as often as I used to because I feel that sometimes it gives me a too “done up” look. I do wear them for special occasions or when I need my makeup to last all day. This primer came out a little liquidy and oily, but it sunk into my skin very quickly and it did smooth out my complexion. It reminds of Benefit’s Porefessional in consistency and the fact that it’s a skin-tone shade. It also has a very herbal smell-like Tiger Balm. For a primer, the price is pretty steep, so I will probably not buy the full size version. (Sample Size: $11.25, Full Size: $45)

3. Forever Blush in Fresh and Elegant by Coastal Scents – I think blush is my weakness, so I was so excited to receive this sample. Coastal Scents usually has pretty good pigmentation and it’s very affordable. These blushes were super soft and pigmented and I was so surprised that they are on sale on the Coastal Scents website. Fresh is a matte peach-brown color and I think it would be perfect for everyday. It’s very subtle and natural. Elegant is a bright pink with slight shimmer. It’s listed as a satin finish, but it definitely has some glitter in it. I love Fresh and I’m a little on the fence about Elegant. The blushes are great quality and come in 18 shades, so I really want to try more. (Sample Size: $1.95, Full Size: $7.95, on sale for $3.98)


Left to Right: Fresh and Elegant

4. Silk Kajal Kohl Eye Pencil By Lord and Berry – This eyeliner is very creamy and soft. I would use this eyeliner when I want a more smoked out liner because it applies very creamy and is very easy to smudge out. It’s also not waterproof, so it will rub off throughout the day and smudge. I would pass on this eyeliner just because there are better liners out there and some of them are a lot cheaper than this one. (Sample Size: $6.25, Full Size: $15)


5. Absolute Lip Balm in Grape – This was my least favorite product for two reasons. One, I hate grape scented things. This lip balm smelled so artificial and I didn’t like it. Two, this balm has straight up glitter chunks in it. I’m not 4 years old and wear glitter on my lips.  I’m going to PASS on this. (Full Size: $3)

Total Value: $27.98

This month’s IPSY bag was ALL about makeup, and I love trying new makeup products, but I wasn’t all that impressed with the products I received.

Let’s see how Birchbox did this month. Their theme this month is Lighten Up. It’s supposed to be about not wearing minimal makeup and not putting a lot products in your hair.


1. Harvey Prince Ageless Perfume – Birchbox describes this perfume as having a grapefruit-sandalwood blend. Reading the description, it does have a lot of fruity and floral notes, so it’s just a lot of scent for one perfume. I personally do not smell grapefruit, but it does have a cologne-y scent. I don’t really like this perfume and I definitely could do without perfume samples in my Birchbox. (Sample Size: $1.10, Full Size: $55)

2. Key West Aloe Moisturizing Lotion in Mango – First off, this lotion DOES NOT smell like mangos, but it is very moisturizing and absorbs very quickly into the skin. I like this lotion, but I would have liked it more if it actually smelled like mangos. (Sample Size: $2, Full Size: $12)

3. Marcelle BB Cream Golden Glow – This BB cream can either be used alone or as a make-up base. It’s supposed to be a skin enhancer, so it should give you a more glowy complexion. I think this would be great to mix with your foundation or tinted moisturizer because it does have some shimmer (no glitter) and it does give a nice glow to your face. (Sample Size: $4.73, Full Size: $27)

4. ModelCo Shimmer Bronzer – This is a golden bronze shade and it has a reddish undertone, which I think looks more natural for certain skintones. I don’t like shimmery bronzers and I certainly wouldn’t use this to contour. This would be nice to just warm up the skin and it would work as an eyeshadow. (Sample Size: $7.54, Full Size: $22)


Left to Right: ModelCo Shimmer Bronzer and Marcelle BB Cream

5. SeeRx Moisturizing Anti-Wrinkle Face Cream – This product is supposed to reverse signs of aging and I’m 22, so I don’t know if I am going to see results. I do like to use anti-aging products to prevent signs of aging, but again, I’m 22. This product smells really good; it has a light citrus-y scent. It comes out a little chunky and thick, but it sinks into the skin and is very moisturizing. (Sample Size: $1.13, Full Size: $34)

Total Value: $16.50

I like that Birchbox has a variety of products – it always keeps it interesting.  I do have a problem that they keep sending me perfume samples and their sample sizes are kind of really small.

It’s really hard to pick a winner for this month just because I was not very impressed with either IPSY or Birchbox, but I think in terms of products I’ll actually use, I’m going to give it to:

Screen shot 2014-05-25 at 2.13.27 PM


What did you guys think of this month’s IPSY vs. Birchbox? Let me know!

Stay Chic!

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