Friday, May 23, 2014

UnBoxing Match! May 2014 Ipsy vs. Birchbox vs. Beauty Box 5

I'm the worst kind of shopper, I was having a bad day and totally purchased an year subscription of Beauty Box 5 on a whim. Still I'm excited to throw a third service into the ring and I've been itching to try a new one anyways. I got it on a deal so each box came out to be around $6 a month so why not! As previews go I can say I wasn't that excited for any of the three. Beauty Box 5 was giving an eyeliner (I have plenty of those), Ipsy had a lot of hair care and more drugstore makeup, and just nothing about Birchbox really caught my eye. So let's see how they all ended up doing! 

For those of you who are unfamiliar with these services, Ipsy and Birchbox are two custom beauty subscription boxes that come monthly. Both of these cost $10 a month and each arrive with 4-6 different goodies ranging from sad little foil packets to full size products! Beauty Box 5 costs a little more at $12 and delivers the same amount of goodies. I would say that typically Birchbox consistently delivers high-end skincare and hair care products with a sprinkling of makeup while Ipsy goes more for the mid-range items and is normally a lot of makeup items and Beauty Box 5 is mostly drugstore.

Initial Reaction: I'm a huge fan of this bag because it's cloth and such a pleasant earthy design. It's very skin care heavy this month which I like.
1. $18 Pur~lisse pur~moist hydra balance moisturizer is a sample sized product. Recently I've been using a lot of different moisturizers just because I want to finish some samples and my skin is rebelling. That being said I'm not excited to get yet another moisturizer because I have my skin care down to an exact chemistry and besides trying new washes and scrubs I tend to not change anything else but it triggers break-outs really easily. But this moisturizer is crazy expensive so I'll still give it a try.
2. $16.25 derma e Microdermabrasion Scrub is a sample size. I've been seeing this brand everywhere and I'm pretty sure I used to use a scar gel for my acne marks back in the day from this brand so I am very excited. I love scrubs, a little too obsessed with them actually..
3. $15 Hey Honey Take It Off! Exfoliating Honey Peel Off Mask is a sample size. Yess more exfoliating stuff AND it's a peel off mask which I find really fun. I've amassed quite a facial mask collection and I'm excited to throw another one into the mix!
4. $4 Pacifica Mineral Eyeshadow Duo is a sample size in Celestial & Opal. So I haven't had much luck with Pacifica body products so I'm hoping the eyeshadow will work out better. I kind of hate duos like this because the colors will muddy each other up, but otherwise these are some nice neutral shades and is handy for everyday use while travelling. I don't hate it but I'm kind of just meh about it.
5. $2 Hang Ten Classic Sport SPF50 is a sample size. I'm just going to say it, I don't use sunscreen. I'm not going to try to argue or defend my reason, I don't use it and that's that. Therefore this is useless to me. Good thing I know several people who use it religiously so at least I can pass this on knowing it's in good hands.
Approximate Value: $55.25

Initial Reaction: Foil packet, foil packet, foil packet...vitamins? What is going on...Right away I see six products because for once they didn't count shampoo and conditioner as two separate products.
1. $4 Number 4 Volumizing Shampoo is a sample size. I hate getting shampoo and conditioner in my boxes so that's how I feel about this.
2. $1 Number 4 Volumizing Conditioner is a sample size. Check out the ridiculous size difference, it's about a sixth the size of the shampoo. Basically I can get like 2-3 uses out of the shampoo and just one use of the conditioner, this makes no sense to me. I guess this is a bonus..not something I'm crazy excited about though.
3. $4.75 Marcelle BB Cream Golden Glow is a sample size. I'm wary of universal shade face products also because this says it's a dewy finish, not something I need with my oily skin. I'll still try it, I find that bb creams make good primers.
4. $12 Cynthia Rowley Beauty Eyeliner is a sample size in silver. Oh goody another eyeliner. I don't think I need to buy eyeliners for a very long time. I like the polka dots and I guess it will be interesting trying this on my waterline.
5. $2.50 Gilchrist & Soames Spa Therapy Body Lotion is a sample size. So I got the matching body wash to this last month and hated it and this smells like the same cheap hotel generic scent. This better be the end of stuff from this brand because I really can't stand it.
6. $0.33 SmartyPants All-in-One Gummy Vitamins for Adults is a sample size. Personally I think vitamins are a hoax, eat a balanced diet and you shouldn't have to take vitamins which actually don't absorb all that well into your body. I mean I'll eat them because these look like candy for me, but this isn't something I want in a subscription box nor is it something I would buy for myself.
Approximate Value: $24.58

Beauty Box 5
Initial Reaction: I'm kind of expecting a bag or a cute little box here! It's different to receive a subscription that the box it's shipped in is what holds the products. Also the box was really beat up too, if there had been something more delicate (like eyeshadow) I expect that would have shown up broken.
1. $20 Cattiva Precisione Eye Liner is a full sized product. This was a spoiler item and I was just whatever about it. I'm happy that it's in black which is my preferred liner color and it had some decent review. I did like that this one product already exceeded the cost of the box.
2. $3 Harvey Prince Hello is a sample sized product. I never like getting perfume in these boxes and I'm not a huge fan of plumeria (I like the sweeter scents) so this definitely is on the bottom of the list of perfumes I would buy for myself. Scent aside this is a large perfume sample so this would have been nice in something I liked. No clue what the cost is really so I just took a guess.
3. $0.90 Ban Total Refresh Cooling Body Cloths is three packets from a full sized box of ten. I guess this will be handy in my emergency kit or to leave in my car for those "you never know" moments, but again, not something I would pick up myself usually.
4. $2 H2O+ Spa Hand and Nail Cream is a sample size. I'm a little offended by this smell, like very strong sunblock. Otherwise this comes at a good time where literally all of my hand creams have failed me, so I'm excited to see if this will cure my cracked and peeling cuticles.
5. $0.70 Aveeno Daily Moisturizing Lotion is a sample size. I'm annoyed at this. I have about three bottles of this lotion already and it's something that I could have picked up from anywhere myself. I mean it's a good lotion and I guess it's nice to have a travel friendly bottle but still..
Approximate Value: $26.60

The first thing I want to say is no one wins this month. Overall I pretty much hated all of the boxes (and bags) so I guess I will pick the least offending subscription this month and say that Ipsy won because 2/5 things I was actually excited about while the other two boxes had just one thing. Really disappointing May, I saw this coming though since the sneak peeks didn't have anything I was crazy over. Hopefully June is better.

What did you get this month in your subscription services?

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