Monday, November 26, 2012

November Ipsy Bag, Birchbox, & Beauty Army Box Full Review

Ipsy Bag (Formerly MyGlam)
When I think of November I think of the holiday season, and upcoming holiday parties, and apparently so does Ipsy because this months theme was Party Perfect and was full of a color scheme perfect for the colder months. Overall this month provided us with great products from wonderful brands, that nearly anyone would love to add to there makeup collection.
This months bag is basic, well made bag in the shade of chocolate brown.

My favorite product of this month is the Meet Matte Eyeshadow from The Balm in the shade of Matt Batali which is a shade of brown that has a slight hint of plum undertones. (This shade is the perfect color for a smokey eyed look.) This product was a sample shade from The Balm's Matte Eyeshadow Palette that includes nine wonderful matte eye shadows for $34.50.

When I think of lip gloss shades to rock this winter the bareMinerals Marvelous Moxie lip gloss in the shade of Daredevil is one that is perfect. Daredevil is a sparkling blackberry shade that matches wonderfully with the fall/winter trends. Marvelous Moxie lip gloss has vivid color, it is long-lasting and it provides moisture to the lips. These glosses come in twelve different shades that I would love to own for $18 each.

One part of my face I never really focus on is my eyebrows, sure I tweeze and keep them well kept, but I rarely use makeup to emphasize them. One of the products I received this month was the Chella   Eyebrow Defining Gel which is a brand I have never heard of before this. Chella specializes in skin care products, and products for your eyes and brows. The defining gel helps tame the eyebrows, it keeps all hairs exactly where you want them and really finishes up any makeup look you would like to create.

In the past couple of months I have expanded my nail polish collection thanks to my monthly subscription services, some of the polishes have become my absolute favorites and others I just have added to my collection without knowing what I will end up doing with them. This month I received a polish from Tini Beauty's Nailtini Speakeasy Lacquer collection in the shade of millionaire. Millionaire is a shade of rose gold micro glitter, with teal and gold tinsel, that costs $13 a bottle.
I do not mind glitter in certain ways, but the look of the tinsel makes me think of Christmas trees and children, not of a mature woman's nails. Now, Tini Beauty does have some shades of polish I would love to add to my collection, but in my opinion $13 is too much for just one bottle.
In the past years I have never really been a fan of the shade of brown, but in the past couple months I have expanded my wardrobe to include an adorable chocolate brown sweater dress, and have been rocking a brown smokey eye at least once a week. So, when I received this espresso colored eyeliner from Starlet Cosmetics, I was actually excited because all of the rest of my eyeliners are in shades of black. This eyeliner has become key to create my brown smokey eye look that works perfectly for these colder months.

This month's Birchbox will be the last one I receive, since I have been a subscriber to Birchbox the packages I received have really been hit or miss. Most months include five or six samples, but rarely are they good quality, decent sized samples. Once again this month was a letdown, not as bad as the October Birchbox, but not good enough to keep me as a subscriber.
Out of this month's five samples my favorite product was the fragrance from
Jouer Cosmetics that was a blend of jasmine, gardenia, and honeysuckle with a roller ball applicator. I am not a fan of perfumes with a roller ball applicator, I would like for people around me to know that I smell good, not just myself. The scent itself of this perfume is a light feminine floral scent, that makes me think of early spring.

In the past couple month's mascara has been a go to product for my monthly subscription services, so when I seen that I received the Fibre LashXtend from ModelCo in this month's Birchbox my only thought was that it better measure up.... and it did not. The best thing about this mascara is that it was a full sized sample and included a mirror right on the packaging, but it doesn't seem to do much for my eyelashes and there is no way I would pay $24 for such a lousy mascara.

Since I have been a subscriber to Birchbox I have received two different products from Stila Cosmetics and I haven't been overly thrilled with either product. Now I have heard some amazing reviews of products from Stila, but I myself have never tried anything from them that would make me rave. This month's product was the All Over Shimmer Luminizer in the shade of bronze shimmer, which is too orangey for my pale skin tone so I can't give a very thorough review.  (I wish Birchbox would take subscribers skin colors into consideration.)

Like I have said in the past I always appreciate receiving hair products, but this month's hair product I tested three separate days and still didn't see it work. The product is called Curl Keeper from  Curly Hair Solutions and is suppose to provide a voluminous bounce to your curls without making it crunchy, and also keep your frizz in control. To use this product you apply it to your wet hair from root to tip, then let your hair air dry. I tested this three times because I thought maybe my hair was just being difficult on that certain day or something, but every time my curls were less defined than normal and flatter, but it did keep my hair frizz free.
Like all other months Birchbox included a "lifestyle extra", majority of the time this happens to be some sort of food sample, this month's was a small chocolate bar from Chuao Chocolatier. These chocolate bars mostly come in unusual flavors that would make most people second guess even tasting them. The flavor that was included in my Birchbox was the honeycomb flavored chocolate bar that consisted of honey caramelized into bits and cover in dark chocolate, and tasted amazing. Now the other flavors this company creates I am not so sure about, but definitely know that the honeycomb flavor makes me curious to try the others.
This month's Beauty Army selection was full of items I had never tried before, unlike last month, and I was very happy to see that everything was back to normal and that I had some good options to choose from.
My favorite product from this month's Beauty Army Box is Every Beauty Pedicure Pad . The pedicure pad is meant to remove dry skin without harming the skin, and it works wonderfully. The pad is great for elbows, knees and feet, and is gentle enough to use on dry skin, but also can be used when the skin is wet. When initially testing this product I just used it on my elbows really quick and could immediately feel the results.
One of my favorite products to always have with me is lip balm, I tend to have dry lips a lot and require a lip balm that not only protects my lips but moisturizes them. This month I chose the You Da Balm Coconut Lip Balm, which has the added bonus of being 100% natural. I regret choosing the coconut flavor because the scent and taste was definitely too strong for my liking, but I don't mind the balm itself. I do prefer a lip balm with some SPF protections, and this one lacks that, but I do like using this balm when I am wandering around the house. They offer this balm also in Grapefruit and Tea Tree.
Before this month I have been offered numerous times the chance to choose a mystery sample, which I have always rejected in the past, but when choosing my November samples I decided to take a chance and pick one. My mystery sample was from M.A.D Skincare and was meant to control oil production, calm irritation, and moisturize the skin. Like I always say, when samples are this small it can be difficult to tell if they truly work or not and I didn't notice any difference in my skin within the couple of times I could use it.
When I think of Fall and Winter I think of nature, natural items, and earth tones and that translates into my makeup artistry. In the colder months I tend to lean to more neutral colors and earth tones than I would in the warmer months. This month I received Whip Hand Cosmetics  Loose Pigment Eyeshadow in a shade called Locked & Loaded which is an iridescent brown shade that works great for smokey eyes. The pigment blends out wonderfully, but the container it comes in is difficult to work with, it comes in a tiny jar.

This 7 in 1 shampoo from Nelson J has the ability to replace your shampoo, conditioner, detangler, shine spray, smoothing serums, color protector, and pre-styling lotions. This is the first non-foaming shampoo that not only cleanses hair, but doesn't use harsh chemicals. I was very hesitant at first with this shampoo because I have never heard of it before this, but was surprised when my hair was shiny, soft and easier to comb after the shower. The scent itself of the shampoo is definitely something that takes a bit to get use to, they use a natural mint scent and well it's pretty strong the first time around, but well worth it.
Overall this month my subscriptions offered a lot of products I wouldn't typically buy and brands I would typically try. Like I said earlier in the post I will be discontinuing my subscription to Birchbox because they do not offer enough good sized decent quality products. I will continue my other subscriptions because I do absolutely love Beauty Army and Ipsy. So, stay tuned for the month of December, I am definitely curious myself to see what they come up with.