Sunday, June 01, 2014

May 2014 Beauty Boxes - Ipsy and TopBox

Just a disclaimer, this is a long one. =P

I touched on the idea of beauty subscription boxes before. Ipsy and TopBox are two companies in the makeup world that I am currently subscribed to. They offer a beauty box (or bag) once a month, for a fee. The packages usually include up to 4 to 6 surprise makeup products. Depending on the review system of the company, the items include a balance of samples, deluxe samples, and full-sized products.

Now, why would anyone want a beauty box each month? Well, for one, these kinds of subscription-based companies are a great way to saving money for anyone who is on a tight budget. They offer a great way to trying new products too, and you know, trying new things can be a good thing! And to top it off, there are subscription boxes in many different industries. 

Just to list a few different kinds of boxes...

Citrus Lane is an American baby care package, that includes books, baby toys, products, and other delights tailored to your child's needs based on their age. Only available in the States though.

Curiosity Box is a Canadian subscription box aimed to entertain kids, ages 3-7. They include crafts and activities to the young and inquisitive!

Fancy Box seems to have a lot of pop-cultured and celebrity themed items that you can use for great gift ideas. Might consider a Father's Day Fancy Box for dads anywhere. ;)

Snackbox delivers healthy snack choices for you try out. Who doesn't love healthy, delicious snacks?

Loot Crate is your friendly neighborhood "Monthly Geek and Gamer Subscription Box." This box includes all your video game and geeky paraphernalia or memorabilia. They ship to Canada, the US, the UK & Australia.

I have been eying Loot Crate for awhile, but the price exchange for Canadian ($29.95 CAD) vs American ($13.37 USD) seems a bit too high for us Canadians. =(

Anyway! Moving on to the main course, I wanted to showcase the beauty boxes I received for May 2014. Again, I am subscribed to Ipsy and TopBox, because of how affordable they are each month. At $10 and $12 respectively, they are the ideal beauty sub-box for me at the moment. I am trying to save a little bit of money when it comes to makeup, and these two boxes give more than enough each month.

I was subscribed to Wantable's beauty box for a couple of months, but due to the price ($40 per month), the failed review system, and the amount of paraben ingredients in most of the products I received, I unsubscribed.
This is Ipsy's May 2014 Glam Bag. Because it's a small canvas makeup bag this month, it is probably my favourite bag I've received from Ipsy. A lot of their bags have been made from plastic with a synthetic smell with them, so I definitely like the make of this bag a lot better.

Tadaaa! To be honest, I didn't exactly enjoy the loot this bag offered, only because I don't think Ipsy truly utilizes their review system like I wanted this time around. The standard products that every bag have received are the eva-nyc hair mask, the Hang Ten sunscreen, and the Pacifica eye shadow duo. The other two items are "based" on your review system you take on the site in your "Glam Room." In the standard advertisement, Ipsy shows a Too Faced bronzer, and a Revlon chubby lip pencil. I think I would have enjoyed the bronzer and the chubby pencil a lot more than the polish and moisturizer for sure.

I have been able to use all these products in my daily routine.
I have used the eva-nyc Therapy Session Hair Mask in the shower a couple of times now. It has a lot of good ingredients in it, and claims to not test on animals. I think this is just an over glorified hair conditioner. It even says you can substitute regular conditioner for this on the tube. It has a strong scent to it that isn't unpleasant, but still has that perfume-y quality to it. I have found my hair is maybe a tad softer after using this, but I can't really say for sure. I have very long hair, so it's kind of a product where I shrug a bunch about it, because it's meant to condition the hair. There are tons of hair conditioning products out there that can do the exact same. Still, nice to try out I suppose, but may not purchase.
Sunscreen; Yaaaay! I find this is the perfect summer product. It's Hang Ten's SPF 50 Classic Sport natural sunscreen. I'm not exactly sure if it's readily available at local drugstores here, but I may purchase a full sized one online. I love the long list of natural ingredients in this sunscreen. You get 30 ml (1 fl oz... I think). It looks and feels like your standard liquid sunscreen at first, but when applied it doesn't leave a white cast on your skin, like a lot of chemical sunscreens tend to do. And that also means, it's an ideal sunscreen under your makeup. When blended, it leaves your skin a little dewy, and feels a lot more comfortable. It's natural scent is very fruity. There is no added perfume which is great. The fruitiness fades away after application and smells lightly like your standard sunscreen. I highly recommend this product. =D

You can check the full-sized product here, which has a list of all the information you need, and retails for $12.99 for the 177 ml (6 fl oz.) size. Though, I think this site ships only in the US. This site ships to Canada. =)
This is a sample of pur-lisse's pur~moist hydra~balance moisturizer for normal-dry skin. It says it's meant for sensitive skin with the added benefit of "anti-aging." This sample gets you 15 ml (0.5 oz) of product. I've heard a lot of really great reviews for this product, but I'm not very convinced it's all that. It does have a synthetic fragrance to it, and a light consistency to the formula, but I think I'm convinced that there are better, more affordable moisturizers out there. Overall, it does it's job. =P
Pacifica is a company I've known about for awhile. The reason I like them so much is because all of their products are natural-based. I have a Blood Orange lip tint/balm by them, that smells really great. This shadow duo is called natural beauty.
While I think these eye shadows are great in pigment, they are very dry and patchy. They take a lot of patience to work with, but I do like the shimmer effect with them.

Pacifica is available at organic stores. I do remember seeing a full line of their products at the Planet Organic just off Whyte Ave here in Edmonton. All Pacifica products are gluten-free, 100% vegan, and cruelty-free. =)
The last product in my glam bag is this nailtini lacquer, and true to it's name, it is a shimmery Champagne colour.
I think it's a nice summer shimmer. It looks best with two complete coats, and dries faster than your average polish. Very pretty, but I'm kind of getting tired of all the neutral shades Ipsy continues to send me.

This is my first Topbox package after a long wait on their list. It was at least a few months before I was actually accepted on to their regular luxe box subscription.
My sister has been subscribed to them for awhile longer so I know they usually ship in a cylindrical cardboard tube. The email sent prior to receiving said they would be including a reusable bag this time around. TopBox claims to always send 4 products, but the LAQA&CO. Lil' Lip Duo, and the Estée Lauder double end duo technically made this package include 7 products. For $12 a box, I'd say that's worth it. Wooo! =D
Sorry about the lighting in this image. It was photographed in a lamp light.

This is a nice small sample of Clinique's superprimer Face Primer. It's lightweight and oil-free. This sample has 7 ml (0.24 fl oz.) of primer. I think it'll last a good two or three full uses. I do appreciate Clinique's hypoallergenic and fragrant-free products. It makes them more skin friendly. Clinique products are usually available at Sephora stores, and drugstores. Shoppers Drug Mart usually has a full line too.
The perfume sample is Elizabeth Arden's UNTOLD. It is a very floral scent that "celebrates the sophistication and intrigue of the multi-faceted modern woman." The card included says that... "Available at Shoppers Drug Mart, Hudson's Bay, Sears & London Drugs." =D

I'm not much for fragrances, but the lil bottle is cute.
The duo from Estée Lauder is a mascara and lip gloss in one apparatus. The mascara is Sumptuous: Bold Volume Lifting Mascara in 01 Black, and the Pure Color Gloss is in 09 Rock Candy. This is the kind of product that is great for on-the-go and travel. I think I'll take it with me on my next trip to Toronto in the next few weeks.

Here's a swatch of Rock Candy. It's a nice neutral pink colour, that works well and seems wearable for a lot of different occasions.
The nail polish is from a company called Kinetics. It's a bright pink hue called Crazy Daisy. For 15 ml (0.5 fl oz.), you get a POW! of colour.
I found application best with two coats. Only one is kind of streaky, but still highly pigmented. There is a very subtle shimmer so it's not very noticeable.
These are the two chubby lip gloss pencils that come inside the LAQA&CO. box. The shades are called WOLFMAN and FAIRYBLOOD. I think this duo were included as a bonus item. I'm not sure if it is because this is my first TopBox, so it seems likely. It's a nice bonus, I'd say.
I think WOLFMAN is too light of a shade for my skin tone, but FAIRYBLOOD is a very wearable pinky mauve colour. They aren't as moisturizing as compared to some chubby lip pencils, but they aren't completely drying either and they feel comfortable when applied on the lips. There is a slight minty smell, but no lingering tingling feeling.

That's the last of my subscription fancy for this month. I think I'm a lot more happy with my TopBox selection more. =P

Here's a peak of what my sister received this month in her TopBox. Her Elizabeth Arden item was the Skin Balancing lotion, SPF 15. The mascara is from Lancôme in So Black! The Lancôme jar is empty with a card that says to visit your nearest Hudson's Bay to get a free 10-day sample of Lancôme foundation. And the last item is from benefit's new line of tinted lip balms -- posie balm. The additional card is a coupon for more Optimum points at Shoppers Drug Mart, when you purchase a benefit product. Not a bad haul either, but the empty jar thing is kind of a waste.
My sister gifted me the Kinetic polish, since she doesn't use nail polishes too often.

It's called Top of the Wave, also by Kinetics. It has a streaky formula, but looks best with two coats. It is opaque with no shimmer, and I think it's a nice beach-y blue.

I think that's it for the beauty boxes for this month. I hope you enjoyed a glance at two different subscription boxes. Again, apologies for the loooooong, excessive post. I think next time, I may do individual reviews when concerning each box.

Thanks for reading!

-Misty =)