Scarf Week (and Beauty Boxes)

I didn’t set out to do it….but on Wednesday while I was getting dressed for work, I realized I’d worn a scarf every day. I love scarves, and I have a ton of them – including several that I never wear. One of the things I’ve been working on is stepping outside the box on my outfit selections, so I figured why not make a week of it?

And I liked calling it Scarf Week because let’s face it – that’s fun.

scarf week

And yeah, Wednesday was a bit of a rough morning, so no judging how exhausted I look in that photo.

This would be a pretty lame post if that’s all I had to say. Luckily for you, both Birchbox and Ipsy came during Scarf Week!!! (Plus, I never posted November’s boxes, so get ready for a long post!)

Tuesday was Birchbox day. Everyone was VERY excited to see the shiny gold box….

Sorry it's blurry!

Sorry it’s blurry!

I love the December packaging. So festive! I save all my boxes, though I still have no idea why….anyone have any fun ideas for how to reuse them?

photo 2 (4)

photo 3 (4)

I have to say, I was kind of disappointed in this box. It’s not wowing me. Here’s why:

Oribe Shampoo and Conditioner for Moisture and Control – First of all, I don’t know anyone who gets excited about seeing foil packets in their box. I’ll give Birchbox credit for sending me two foil packets…though now that I think about it, that may have been a mistake (see why below). Anyway, this stuff is pretty expensive ($37 and $39 respectively), so in that regard I’m glad I got to try it. What REALLY bugs me though, is that both the packaging and the Birchbox website say these are great for thick, unruly hair. The foil packet even says that with the shampoo you get a “bit of devolumization.” WHAT?! I have baby fine hair, Birchbox!! Which is clearly checked in my profile! Sigh. But, I did try it. And yes, I did notice that my hair was nice and flat. It did nothing to control frizz (in fact, I think it made it worse), but it certainly killed what little volume I had. I should have taken a picture, but it was so horrible I couldn’t stand it. If you have super thick hair, maybe this will work well for you.

LAQA and Co. Fat Lip Pencil in Ring of Fire – So here’s why I think the double foil packs were a mistake – I got 2 lip crayons. In the same color. I thought I was supposed to get 2 crayons in different colors, because I misread the little card…so I emailed Birchbox asking for the second color (which was Bossy Boots). The crayons are sold as a set, but the boxes only had one. Well, except for mine, which had two. So I’m guessing someone got a little sample happy, which is fine with me. Anyway….one of the fun things about getting these boxes is that I never wear this kind of stuff. The color is a shocking orangey-red, and I’m lucky if I remember lip gloss. Shrug. That said, this stuff is amazing. Love the formula – it’s moisturizing and long lasting. And very pigmented. I put it on, then I kissed both Jimmie and Zoe to see what would happen. It transfers quite well, and still kept color on me. It’s so amazing, in fact, that it didn’t wipe off Zoe’s head….we had to wash her head. Oops. (She liked it!)

Not sure why they keep coming out grainy... thanks iPhone

Not sure why they keep coming out grainy… thanks iPhone

Sarahpotempa The Half-Up – I had mixed feelings about this. I’d heard about them, but it looks weird (mine is flesh/nude colored), and I’ve been skeptical that my fine hair would do anything with it. Call me a believer! Would I have bought this on my own? Probably not….but now that I’ve got it, I’m definitely going to use it. It was a little hard to get the picture, but hopefully you get the idea. photo 4 (2)Benta Berry G-1 Exfoliating Cleanser – I haven’t tried this yet, so sadly I have no opinion. I’m always up for a good exfoliator though. I will say that the sample size is a bit small.

Fatty Sundays Gourmet Chocolate Covered Pretzels – Haven’t tried this one either, but I got the toasted coconut. Yuck. Not super crazy about this as an extra….I’d have much preferred the Ghiradelli. Beggers can’t be choosers, I guess!

So all in all, not super crazy about any of it. Oh and I guess I should mention the little screen cleaner they threw in…that was a nice touch, but I doubt I’ll use that much. A so-so box.

Ipsy came on Thursday. As always, I loved the bright pink mailer, and this makeup bag was actually kind of cute also. By now I have plenty of these things though, so it’ll be finding a new home.

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Pop Beauty Bright Up Your Life Eyeshadow Trio in Naturally Bare – This was a pleasant surprise. At first I was not excited because…let’s be honest….how many brown eyeshadows does anyone really need? But I just used it, and actually, I’m impressed. This will be great for traveling, because the colors actually are quite nice, and I’ll be able to play it up or keep it neutral. In fact it’ll probably just go in my suitcase and stay there. Winner.

NYX Extra Creamy Round Lipstick in Celene – Ok. Gold Lipstick? REALLY? That’s seriously all I need to say about this.

Andrea Strip Lashes – I’ve never used fake lashes before, so this is fun! Another thing I’d never buy myself, but I can’t wait to try. These will be perfect for our Tacky Christmas Sweater party.

Nicka K New York Nail Polish in Classic Taupe – I’m pretty disappointed in this too. The color is ok, but the formula is super streaky. It does dry quickly, so I’ll give it that.

Be a Bombshell The One Stick in Girl Crush – I’ve been looking for an all-in-one stick for a while, so I was stoked to see this. Unfortunately it’s just a little too light for me. I’ll hang onto it, but it’ll probably go in my travel bag as well.

So that was December. Here’s November, because I forgot to post those…..

November Birchbox

November Birchbox

It’s a 10 Miracle Leave-In Product – A coworker who has beautiful hair told me a few months ago that she uses this, and I’d just been avoiding buying it. At $20 for the full-size, that’s a little more than I wanted to spend without trying it first. Needless to say, I was happy to see this in my box! I really really really wanted to like it…but sadly, my hair is just too fine for it. My coworker has thick hair, and it makes her hair look absolutely beautiful though, so I can’t knock the product…just doesn’t work for me.

Chuao Chocolatier Chocolate Bar – Haven’t tried this yet either, but I got the Popcorn Pop. Sounds intriguing.

Tiossan Body Cream in Flamboyant – I always like getting body creams, but this one…wow. This one was horrible. There’s really no other way to put it. It smelled terrible – it was supposed to be citrus, but it smelled antiseptic. And it absolutely did not moisturize my skin at all. Not a fan.

Color Club Cocktail Hour Nail Polish in Dark N Stormy – Love nail polish. This was pretty, but I got an almost identical color in my Ipsy bag, and the bottle was bigger. I gave this one to my mom and kept the Ipsy.

Chella Highlighter Pencil – Ok, I was super excited to get this too, since I’d heard rave reviews about it. I’ll say, I still prefer my Loreal Magic Lumi Pen, but this does the trick. I’m just about out of my Lumi, so this came at a good time. Not a bad highlighter, I just like the liquid formula better. The pencil is a little hard to blend, though it is easier to control.

November Ipsy

November Ipsy

Be a Bombshell Lip Crayon in Hot Damn – Another lip pencil, in another color I’d never normally buy. Very bright, but very fun. Not sure I’ll ever use it, but it’s fun to play with.

Em Michelle Phan Pillow Plush Lip Balm in Lollipop – This stuff smells amazing…kinda like cotton candy lollipops. It’s a bit sticky, and the color is kind of strange (almost chalky looking), but the taste makes up for it.

Pixi Bronzer in Subtly Sunkissed – I was so thrilled to get this…I’ve wanted to try Pixi for a while, plus I needed a lighter bronzer. I’ve used this every day since I got it…it’s great for contouring.

Nailtini Striaght Up Color Nail Laquer in Caviar Cocktail – Love this polish. Love the color, love the formula…just a great polish. I didn’t take a picture when I had it on all my nails, but I did take this one….here I used Cover Girl polish in one of the denim shades (don’t remember which one) and layered a Julep glitter polish over the Nailtini. LOVE.

photo 4 (3)

Starlooks Gem Eye Pencil in Amethyst – I wasn’t so sure about this to be honest, but it’s super fun. Very sparkly, without being over the top. And like the Starlooks pencil I got a couple bags back, this goes on pretty easily and stays in place. I’m going to have to check out Starlooks next time I need eyeliner!

BH Cosmetics Galaxy Chic Baked Eyeshadow in Eclipse – This is a very pretty shadow. It’s also very highly pigmented, so a little goes a long way. I learned that the hard way the first time I used it. Oops.

 

Final Thoughts

I love getting subscription boxes, and I’ve enjoyed both Birchbox and Ipsy. But, I really don’t need both…or want to spend the money on both, really. So I’ve decided to let one go. I’ve been disappointed in Birchbox lately (two months in a row sending me stuff for thick hair?), but I like their point/reward system. I also like the fact that the products are generally higher-end, and for the most part, things I would never buy myself.

As for Ipsy, I’ve gotten a few fun things, and I do like that the products tend to be full size. However, most of them are things I’d buy when I’m out and about….if not the specific brand, then certainly the colors. The products are just not as much of a treat for me. I’m not crazy about the fact that you can’t get anything with your points until you hit 1000. And while the makeup bags are cute, I really don’t need them. So, I’m going to cancel my Ipsy.

I’ll give Birchbox a few more months, see if it improves…if not, I may stop that one too. There are several other subscription boxes I’d love to try – it can easily get out of control though, and that’s not something I want to deal with! I may try Splendies next… $8 for 3 pairs of cute underwear? Sure, why not?

Until next time…..

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