Ipsy vs Birchbox

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Which subscription is better?

This was the question I wanted answered to about a year ago when I heard about these crazy beauty subscriptions. Which one is better? Which one gives you more bang for your buck? Well, I am now a subscriber of both Birchbox and Ipsy and have been for nearly a year. Which is better you ask, well I’ll let you decide. This is a review of this month’s (July’s) goodies. I’ll give you a detailed listing of what came in both subscriptions this month and how much each product retails for.


For those of you that have no clue what I am talking about, Birchbox and Ipsy are monthly beauty subscriptions. When you sign up for the subscription, you take a brief survey about your beauty needs and routines. Based on your survey results, they will put together a monthly bag (or box) of goodies and send them to your door each month. Normally you receive 5 products and occasionally some of them are full size products. I really enjoy having these subscriptions because I always discover new products that I love. I’ve customized my Ipsy bag to mainly contain makeup products, with an occasional surprise here and there. I’ve customized my Birchbox to cater to my hair and skin care needs with an occasional makeup product. I feel like both Birchbox and Ipsy do a great job at sending me what I want. Here is what they sent this month:

Birchbox:

Sea Salt Spray by Daviness

FullSizeRenderI haven’t tried it yet because I just got my box today but I’ll definitely let you know how I like it. It smells terrific, though! It’s funny because I have been on the hunt for a new sea salt spray. I’ve been using Beach Beauty sea salt by Sedu for the past 2 years and I love it but I would like to find something new. Hopefully this will be it! This bottle retails for $28.

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Makeup on a Budget

MAKEUP ONMakeup is a big weakness of mine. When I walk down the cosmetic aisles of a store, I begin filling my basket like it’s nobody’s business. I just can’t help myself sometimes. My poor husband has spent countless hours following me around Ulta while I test just about every sample in the store. I’m assuming that we all share this weakness, otherwise you probably wouldn’t be reading this post. Makeup is fun! It makes us happy! So why not treat yourself a little every once in a while.

I also don’t discriminate when it comes to makeup. I like high-end brands and I like cheap brands. I like shopping at Sephora and the makeup counters at Dillard’s but I also love make up from Walmart, Walgreens and even the Dollar Store. (Yes, the Dollar Store!) Which leads me to the topic of this post: Drugstore Makeup! Let’s face it…. Not all of us have extra cash to spend on expensive up-scale makeup. And we don’t have to! Drugstore makeup has come a long way and the makeup selection that they have now is even better! Am I the only one that is blown away by the Walgreen’s makeup selection? While it’s nice to treat ourselves every once in a while to a high-end product, it’s not always necessary when there are so many cheaper options out there that are just as great of quality. I’ve pulled out some of my favorite drugstore makeup from my collection to share with you. There are so many great and cheap products out there, but these babies definitely take the cake.  Continue reading

The Ultimate Cheat Sheet for Makeup

21 Beauty Hacks

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Let’s just take a moment to be thankful for the power and magic of makeup. Ha! As shallow as that may sound I sure am happy that I can whip out my concealer anytime I have a blemish I want to hide or dark circles under my eyes! I think I can speak for most of us when I say that sometimes makeup can be a little difficult to master. Well, I’m no expert but I have been obsessed with makeup since I was a little girl and I’ve picked up some great tricks and beauty hacks over the years. I thought I’d share them with you in hopes that some of these tips will make your makeup application a little easier.

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First Impression: Loving Tan

Laying out by the pool to catch some extra rays is not as popular as it once was. We are becoming more aware of the fact that too much time in the sun will leave you with sun spots, early wrinkles, and can even lead to skin cancer. Tanning seems to be “going out of style.” This is coming from a girl who has spent way too much time in the sun. I’ve got to be honest, striving for that deep brown tan has been quite an obsession of mine for years. I was the girl who would spend 5-6 hours laying out by the pool covered in coconut oil from head to toe. I was the girl who would bake her skin in the tanning bed during the winter months. I’ve always known it was bad for me and tried to make attempts at finding a nice self-tanner or tented moisturizer. Those never worked for me. They would leave me orange, blotchy, or even worse… streaky! Even the ones that partially worked just didn’t look like a real tan and usually didn’t last long on my skin. Finally, after trying what seemed like every self-tanner under the sun, I have discovered a self-tanner that has blown me away! The other products that I’ve tried don’t hold a candle to this product. So, if you’re in the market for something that will give you that just got back from Hawaii glow, look no further.

Tan

The product is called Loving Tan. It’s a mousse type consistency and applies very evenly to the skin. I have the one that you leave on for six hours and then shower off. I believe they have a 2 hour express one now as well. There are three different shades to choose from: medium, dark, and ultra-dark. I have the dark one. Mine came with two mittens as well- one for exfoliating before using the product and one for application.

I heard about this product about a year ago from my favorite youtuber, Jaclyn Hill. (Shout out to Jaclyn!!) I watched a video she posted on how to apply it and her results. Her skin looked flawless so I made a mental note to remember the Loving Tan line when the winter months rolled around. (Summer was quickly approaching and of course I thought I had to have another summer laying poolside.) Months later, I figured I would give it a try because most of the products that Jaclyn raves about, I end up falling in love with as well. So I placed my order and a few days later, I received my little package of goodies. Continue reading

5 Products that will take your skin to the next level!

HELLO THERE

If you’re an avid lover of skin care or you are looking to revamp your nightly routine to take your skin to the next level, then you are in the right place! I’ll admit it. I am a little obsessed with both skin care and beauty products. I’ve recently (I’d say the last 6 months or so) discovered the perfect combination of skin care products for my routine. And I have noticed a HUGE difference in my skin!

I have oily to combination skin and unfortunately it’s pretty damaged from years and years of tanning. (If you want to know how I keep my tan WITHOUT damaging my skin, click here.) The last few years I’ve struggled with bouts of adult acne, lots of texture on my cheeks, and a very dull skin tone. Now that I have found products and have been faithful to my skin care routine EVERY NIGHT, my skin has come back to life!

Below you will find my ‘ride or die’ products that are staples in my skin care routine. I could actually tell you about ALL of the products I love to use but to start off, I’ll share the top 5.

Quick disclaimer: This post is not sponsored whatsoever. I simply love these products and brands and I just want to help anyone that is struggling with their skin.

Moving on! Let the fun begin!

#1. Purity Made Simple | One-Step Facial Cleanser by, Philosophy

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I don’t know what kind of formulation they have in this bad boy but there’s definitely some kind of magic in there. This is the first step in my routine: washing my face. However, this not only washes my face and clears my pours, but it also take my makeup off in one swoop. ALL of my makeup. That might not sound like a big deal but if you know me then you know I tend to be a little heavy handed when it comes to makeup. In other words, I wear A LOT of makeup- especially eye makeup. This stuff literally washes it all away with only one use. When I shower at night, I just lather it up on my face, gently rub around my eyes, rinse it off and BOOM it’s gone!

(Just to measure the effectiveness- I used to use makeup remover wipes and it would take 1 full wipe to remove all of my mascara and eye shadow and then another wipe to remove my foundation.)

Plus, the big bottle is a pretty reasonable price. Especially if you count the fact that it will probably last 6 months or so.

#2. Josie Maran- 100% Pure Argan Oil Light

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I was very hesitant to try this product because my skin tends to get really oily. The thought of putting oil on my face and into my pours made me cringe! But, after hearing some of my favorite beauty influencers rave about it (shout out to Jaclyn Hill!), I learned that oil combats oil and this could actually help with my oily skin problem. So I decided to give it a try.

YEEESSSS!!! It’s wonderful! This has seriously evened out the texture on my skin. I actually didn’t even realize that I had so much texture on my cheeks before but now my skin is so much smoother! One of my favorite things about this beauty oil is that it lasts a long time so you really get your money’s worth! I am using the same bottle that I started using five months ago and I still have over half of it left. I use one drop- literally one drop- each night. I drop it in the palm of my hands (clean hands of course!) and massage it into my skin, mainly on my cheeks and forehead.

#3. Mario Badescu- drying lotion

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What I would have given to have this product during my adolescent years! This is magic in a bottle. Ya’ll, if you struggle with acne, stop what you’re doing, hop over to the Mario Badescu website, and buy yourself a bottle. This will change your skin like nothing else. You can thank me later. 🙂

If you have a blemish or feel one coming in, this little guy will take that blemish away over-night! It’s a pink paste that you apply at night before bed. It’s not something that you would want to use during the daytime, if you plan on leaving your house anyway. You simply stick a Q-tip down in the bottle and submerge it in the pink paste at the bottom. Then dab that paste wherever you have a problem spot. It takes a few seconds to dry and you will immediately feel it begin working its magic. The next morning just wash it off and voila- your blemish is no more!

#4. Clinique- All About Eyes

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Holy moly! This one might just be my number one pick of the bunch. I have been using this eye cream for years. I apply it underneath and around my eyes each night and it leaves my skin feeling like silk! I can always tell if I’ve forgotten to use this the morning after by how puffy my eyes are. This little magic potion is super moisturizing and makes me look like I get eight hours of beauty rest each night.

#5. The POREfessional by, Benefit

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This one is probably more on the beauty side of things rather than skin care, but I just had to mention it. This is a balm that minimizes the appearance of pores. It definitely does the job AND it leaves my skin feeling super silky! I apply this product before my primer each day. It is lightweight and doesn’t have any color or tint to it. On days that I don’t wear any makeup I just apply a thin coat of this all over my face to even out my skin tone. It is probably one of my most prized possessions in my collection and has been for a couple of years.

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There are many more products that I use and adore but the five listed above are the ones that I will restock my medicine cabinet with time and time again because I use them so much.

 

Side note: I’m a subscriber for both Birchbox and Ipsy and receive tons of beauty/skin products from them monthly. These companies send products to you in the mail. There are usually 5-6 products from each company each month. Most are sample size but they usually add in at least one full size. Most of my skin care discoveries are credited to both of these companies.

Comment below on the skin care products that you love! And let me know if you would like to know more about Birchbox and Ipsy. Until next time, Beauty Bloggers!