February 2016 Birchbox & Ipsy Review

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Boxes have been opened. Numbers have been calculated. Some stuff has been tried. Here’s what I thought of this month’s Birchbox and Ipsy subscriptions.



As I’ve mentioned, I didn’t go with the curated box this month, mostly because I didn’t want perfume. And of course… BAM! Birchbox gave me perfume anyway. (It’s also one of the reasons I didn’t get this month’s Target Beauty Box. I’m not a big perfume gal.)

12 Benefits™
Instant Healthy Hair Treatment
Value $5.50
Mine unfortunately opened and leaked all in my box during shipping. I contacted Birchbox about it, and they should be sending me another. The only thing I can tell you as of right now is that it smells nice, which I guess is better than nothing. Link

Revitalizing Cleansing Oil
Value $4.41

This was the sample I chose. I’m obsessed with cleansing oil, so I was really excited to try it out. Unfortunately, it wasn’t what I was expecting. The packaging alone was disappointing, as it was mostly air, and the formula just didn’t work. It left an oil slick on my face that couldn’t be removed unless I used another cleanser. Having to use another cleanser to remove your cleanser is the definition of cleanser fail. Link

Harvey Prince
Ageless – Pink Grapefruit
Value $1.71
Birchbox was determined to give me perfume this month. It’s not gag-inducing or overwhelming, but it’s not my favorite, and it certainly doesn’t smell like grapefruit. That said, I’m wondering if they’re trying to tell me I’m old. I just turned 37 last month, and the packaging for the sample all but offers to cover up my old lady smell. Considering who they’re trying to sell this stuff to, I don’t consider it to be a brilliant marketing move. Link

POP Beauty
Matte Velvet Lipstix in Cozy Crimson
Value $16, $8 if you get the trio
While Birchbox sells this as part of a trio for $24 (knocking down the value to $8), this turned out to be a full-size lipstick. And since I have one of the colors in the trio, I probably wouldn’t purchase the trio, so I’m going off the price of the singles on Pop Beauty’s website. The packaging is adorable, and the color is a dark pinky red that goes on matte. I tried this out while working on Valentine’s Day, and it lasted through a full shift (and a plate of very messy nachos) without needing a touchup. The only reason I’m not as excited about this is because I already own quite a few red lipsticks, two of which are matte. Link

Daily Correct CC Cream ​SPF 35+
Value $2.04
Birchbox sent me this in Fair/Light. Good call. I was worried that they’d send me a sample that didn’t match my skin color, but this looks pretty spot on. I’ll only get 2-3 uses out of this sample, but I do love BB/CC cream. I just wish the sample size was bigger. The color was a good match for me, but it wasn’t as moisturizing as I’d hoped. For the price tag, I’d much rather go with my current favorite BB from Tarte. Link

This month’s Birchbox is valued at $21.66 or $29.66 depending on how you price the lipstick. That’s at least double what I paid for it, though I’m still a bit disappointed with Birchbox for the third month in a row, and I ended up cancelling my subscription to them for now. The samples aren’t as tailored to me as they have been in the past. I’m getting a lot of items that I don’t need or already own, and the value, while still more than I paid, has dropped significantly. Add to that, I’ve had some issues where items arrived damaged, opened, or not at all. While I understand this happens occasionally with any service that is shipped, this seems to happen far more often with Birchbox as of late. They’ve fixed it every time, but I wasn’t exactly signing up for having to email customer service regarding each shipment.

I’m just not as excited about Birchbox as I used to be, so it’s time to give someone else a try– perhaps Allure.

Birchbox is $10/month. If you’d like to give it a try, click here.



This bag is just too damn cute! While I obviously wasn’t thrilled about Birchbox, Ipsy has continued to wow me. I’ll definitely be keeping them around.

Naked Cosmetics®
Mica Pigment
Value $10
This was something different for me. I don’t typically use loose pigments, and the only other one I own is a Color Tattoo. Mine was a beautiful gold color, and it pays for my subscription right out of the box! Link

Smashbox Cosmetics
Photo Finish Primer Oil
Value $5.46
I’ve used face oils, and I’ve used primers, but I’ve never used a primer oil. My skin can get pretty oily, and I hate that other Smashbox primer that a lot of sub boxes insist on sending me, so I was skeptical. To my surprise, I absolutely LOVED it. I don’t know if I’d replace my current favorite with this, and I have a backup stash of primers to last me for a while anyway, but a little goes a long way with this, so even though the bottle is tiny it’ll last me for a while. Link

Lipstick Pencil
Value $9?
I’ll have to guess on the value of this. The site doesn’t list a weight for the full size, though the one I got is .04 oz. Link

Jersey Shore Cosmetics®
Vanilla Bean Anti-aging Lip & Hand Polish
Value $25
I didn’t realize this was a full size until I visited the site, but it is in fact a full size 1 oz. tube! This left my hands feeling super soft, though I prefer my e.l.f. exfoliator for my lips I never thought to use a sugar scrub (which I can probably just make on my own if I feel like saving money) on my hands, but I sure as hell will be now. I never realized how much I needed this! Oh, and it smells like a cupcake! Link

Luxie Beauty
Small Tapered Blending Eye Brush 231
Value $12
Tapered bristles typically mean that this is going to be great for using in the crease. The bristles are nice and soft (but still packed nice and firm) and do in fact fit well into the crease. I haven’t yet noticed any shedding, and it holds, applies, and blends product well. Link

The total value of my Ipsy bag this month, not including the bag, is over $61, which is amazing for a $10 subscription. Like before, I wasn’t super excited at the reveal, but once I tried everything I found that I loved it. Ipsy has really been impressing me with their value lately. I guess with Sephora and Macy’s entering the beauty sub box market, Ipsy is stepping up their game, and I have to say I’m okay with that.

Ipsy is also just $10/month. Both boxes are a great way to try out new products or just have products on hand that you’d probably need anyway. If you’d like to sign up for Ipsy, click here.

What did you get this month?