Friday, August 30, 2013

Battle Of The Boxes... Ipsy vs Birchbox August 2013 Product Reviews, Swatches, and Photos!

It seems like over the course of the last year subscription boxes have become insanely popular. A year ago there were a few bouncing around like Birchbox and Julep Maven box but it seems like everyone is pumping them out these days. Not just when it comes to beauty either. I will admit I am a subscription box loving fool and have found them to be a great gift giving tool. I found a box called Jackedpack for my body building fitness enthusiast brother. I found Naturebox for my whole foodie friends and have even recently found a couple subscription boxes for pets. I think if you get the right one it can be a great way to test out new products before you invest. I also like the fact that it gives me that giddy "christmas once a month" feeling as I wait for it to arrive! I am currently only subscribed to two beauty boxes which are Ipsy (created by the lovely guru Michelle Phan) and Birchbox.

Birchbox has been in my life for almost 2 years now. I received a subscription for the last two Christmas's from my boyfriends mother! Birchbox and I have gone through some rough patches. Some months I find myself asking if they even read my profile when I signed up. I am a makeup junky through and through so when I get boxes full of hair gel and sunscreen I am left feeling disappointed. However, sometimes Birchbox and I kiss and make up with makeup. I love when I actually get things I will use like eyeliner and perfume and lipstick!

Ipsy is somewhat of a new relationship to me. After hearing about the company all over Youtube for quite some time I finally decided to sign up only to be put on the waiting list for a few months. When I finally got off and my first bag came to my door it was love and first opening. Not only did it coming in an adorable neon animal print bag which is right up my alley but it was chock full of beauty products. No annoying little packets you will never use or weird face creams that aren't even written in english but actual stuff I would use on my face!!!

So this month I finally decided to blog about them. In the past couple months the thought has crossed my mind to blog about the boxes each month but I felt like there were so many other places to find exactly the same information I would be giving. It was not until this past month when I realized via. Facebook and Instagram that people actually wanted to hear my opinion on the services and what I got. So without further adue let's see which box came out on top this month!

Ipsy August 2013.....

First let's start off with the packaging. The packaging is too die for. You can tell that Ipsy really pays attention to detail because they even ship it in hot pink bubble wrap! Each month you get a new makeup bag. I have gotten a few now and they are all really cute and durable. Last month's was a clear plastic to go along with the beach theme. This months as you can see above is a purple zippered bag with a gold applique on it that says Ipsy University. For some reason this bag just makes me think of Harry Potter but it is still cute none the less. It is a vinyl type material (you know the kind you played dj on as a kid. Just me? Moving on....)

The first thing that I got in my little bag of awesomeness was the Michael Todd Pumpkin Facial Mask. Now normally I am not a huge fan of getting skin care products. I have a skin regimen that I already like and that works well for me but this product did get a like from me. For one there has been a lot of to do lately about Michael Todd products. I have heard many Youtube gurus talk about how they love this line of skin care. Also PUMPKIN!! Now whether or not it works is not important. The important part is it actually smells like pumpkin which I love. Especially coming into the fall season. I have yet to try this out but I am excited about it.
The next product I got was a full size nail lacquer from a brand called Nailtini. I have never heard or this brand nor have I tried it but the color looks really nice. My color is called Mai Tai and is an orange/red. The bottle actually has a lot of product in it. I would say this is bigger than any other nail polish bottle I own. I also think the name and little martini glass decal is really sassy! I will let you guys know what I think of this when I use it. 
I also received a sample size of the Pixi Lash Booster Mascara. This is a true sample size. I tried this a couple times this week and I was unimpressed with it. It did tint my lashes but I did not notice any added volume or length. It was just eh for me. I like a good volume boosting mascara and this was just not it. 

This next sample had me all sorts of giddy! When I saw the sneak peek on the Ipsy website and realized this was coming I immediately started mail box stalking! It is a sample of the new Urban Decay Revolution Lipstick. First off the packaging was so cute. I wish I had taken a picture of what the little envelope looked like that it came in. Well, it was more like a card but it has the little lipstick attached and has swatched of all of the other colors in the line. This packaging of this sample is awesome. It looks just like the full size but smaller. I love the gunmetal metallic like colors. The color I got was 69 which is a cool toned berry red color. Perfect for fall months. I will probably put this over a darker berry lip pencil. I have yet to try this. I am waiting until fall really comes into full swing so I can pair it with a nice green eye or something. All of the new shades are on the Urban Decay website click here. These are gorgeous and yes I want them all but I don't see myself buying them. There are so many brands at the drugstore that do a phenomenal job at making great lipsticks which are at a much more affordable price. I am sorry but $22 for a lipstick makes me cringe!

The last thing I got was a full size sample of the Mica Beauty Cosmetics Shimmer Powder in Bronze. Now the package did not say that it was an eyeshadow but the Ipsy site has it listed as one. The swatch picture does not do this product justice. It is gorgeous. A nice warm bronze color. It is a loose pigment so if that is not your cup of tea than you wouldn't enjoy it. Overall I really liked this one and will probably use it a lot. It is a good color for fall. 

So that is everything that I got in my August Ipsy bag. Overall, I would say that this bag was awesome. Everything was a good size and worth more than $10. I know I will get a lot of use out of most of the products besides the mascara. Once I use the products some more I will review then in separate blogs. If you are not an Ipsy subscriber but you would like to be click this link    A monthly subscription is 10 bucks and it is well worth it. Use that referral link and we both win :) 
 These are the products I got in my July bag. That one was pretty good too. I got a nice little plastic bag. I use this one in my gym bag because it is pretty water resistant. I got a Hair Tamer Spray from Big Sexy Hair, a little sample palette from BH Cosmetics which has three colors from their California Palettes that came out (doing a review on those soon), A Pop Beauty Lip Crayon which I love, a roll on perfume, and a Coola Tinted Moisturizer. 
Now onto the Birchbox. Birchbox is also $10 a month and is a subscription based sample beauty service much like Ipsy. 

The first product I received was a Leave In "Product" by It's a 10! It is kind of strange to me at how bland the name is. Is it a conditioner, a tamer, or just a product? It says it repairs dry damaged hair and can be used as a thermal protectant. The size is pretty decent. I would say you could get four or give uses out of this bottle. I don't typically use any tools on my hair like straighteners, blow dryers, or curling wands so I don't know that this is something I will need in my life but I will give it a go next time I do use one of those handy dandy styling tools. However, at $20 a bottle for the full size I don't see myself purchasing it. 
Ha I know what your thinking "WIPES FOR YOUR WHAT?!" I thought the same thing when I first saw this little packet. You get two wipes in this box. On the back of the packet is a little snippet where the creature describes adventures in the city that left her feet feeling funky and gross. She said she used to use baby wipes on her feet after a day tromping around in sandles or flip flops and came up with the idea to make a refeshing wipe for your feet. I saw the reactions on Birchbox's website about these wipes and most people found the idea to be strange and unsettling but I think it is awesome. I spend a lot of time on my feet for work and in the summer time by the time I get home the bottom of my feet make me look like a lost boy. I can't tell you how many times my boyfriend has made the remark "you are not getting in bed with those dirty toes." Now I think that baby wipes do a fine job and are much more cost affective but these wipes smelt lovely. Like peppermint tea and gave my feet a nice refreshed feeling. I would love to have some of these to throw into my workout bag! You can get all sorts of packages and with the cost being able the same as your facial wipes I would say this is a great little purchase. check them out or buy some for yourself!
This one is going to a lovely friend because I want nothing to do with it. I am not nor will I ever be a fake tanner. Trust me I love a nice summer glow just as much as the next girl but with my pale skin and freckles fake tans just make me look like I tried to hard. I have tried the lotions, sprays, foams, and so on and so forth and I am just a big fan of any of them. It could be the fact that I barely have enough patience to wait for my Keurig in the morning or the fact that I don't like looking like I ate handfuls of Cheetos for days! I know that packaging isn't everything either but ladies do you want to use a tanning product that coming in an ORANGE package? Right away I just feel like that is the oompa loompaish color I am going to come out as. Not only that but you only get a half body application with this towel. So what am I supposed to do with the other half of my milky white body Birchbox? 
After that rant I am glad to get something I really will enjoy. Over the course of my subscription box adventures I have gotten quite a bit of Dr.Jart++ products. I think I am not up to four different BB Creams. I love them. I was actaully browsing around the Sephora site last night to purchase some full size bottles. Though they are pricey around $35 bucks they are the best BB Creams I have used yet. I am working on a review of all the ones I have so I won't dive too deep into my thoughts on them. 

The last thing I got was a full size Party Proof Matte Lipstick by Model Co in Kitty. Now the container says Matte but this is not very matte at all. It was more of a semi matte at most. Though the color is nice and natural it does have a shine too it. I have worn it a couple times now and I do like it. The smell is like cupcakes which is nice. It is not overwhelming yet it doesn't smell waxy or like chemicals. It wore comfortably on the lips. It was a little greasy at first but that goes away. The length of wear isn't too long but I only had to touch it up after eating or drinking. You can get a pack of 3 for $24 which isn't too pricey. Overall, I think this is a nice little lipstick though I wouldn't say it is party proof. A couple swigs off a beer or a couple smooches and you can say bye bye to the color from this little guy. 

Meh Birchbox was okay this month. I got a couple things I really like that being the lipstick and the feet wipes but the other products are just okay or ones that I don't think I will use much. In comparison to the amount of products I got in my Ipsy that I will actually use I think this box let me down. Now it did pay for itself with the lipstick alone but barely. I wish Birchbox was most fit to my likes and interests like Ipsy. C'mon I am a makeup lover through and through and when I took my quiz for my profile I made that very obvious. I feel like I should get more products in that range. 

And the winner is...............Ipsy!! By a long shot!! 

I highly encourage you to use the link for the Ipsy box I posted. You will not be disappointed I promise you. Thank you lovely ladies for checking out the post. Feel free to follow me on Instagram for fun makeup looks, haul photos, and post updates. Anastaciamua is my username.

Friday, August 23, 2013

What I Am Digging Lately!!

I know this is a beauty blog and trust me there are a million things I could write about but every now and then I like to get a bit more personal on here. Not mushy or sappy or delving into my love life but a little bit of other things that I enjoy. I love makeup and it consumes most of the hours of my day but I am also a huge music junky, a passionate cook, and avid reader. Every now and then I think I will do a post like this one where I just tell you some things I have been loving other than makeup!!

What I Am Listening Too:

Passenger- Let Her Go ....This song has been on repeat in my car for days now. From the moment I heard it I was in love. His voice is just so beautiful and unique. I can't get enough of it!

Birdy- All You Never Say ...This is one talented little lady. I love her voice and her heartfelt lyrics. You can really feel her emotion when she sings.

Lykke Li- Dance, Dance, Dance... A fun little upbeat song!

What I am Pinning:                                                                              

Skinny Cookies & Cream Popsicles
Skinny Cookies & Cream Popsicles — That's right, only 100 calories each! Beat the heat with these bikini friendly popsicles. By the way, there's vitamins and minerals in these too!
Pumpkin Crumb Cake
Pumpkin Crumb Cake for breakfast or Sunday bronch, make plenty sweetened whipped cream!
Cannellini and Cabbage Soup
Cannellini and Cabbage Soup

What I Am Reading:

So many yummy, easy, and healthy recipes in here. Even my boyfriend likes the food in this book.

A fun balance of romance, imagination, and mystery. It will make you saw awww and tap into your inner dreamer. Loved it!

Fall Releases I Am Excited About!!

It makes me sad that I even have to type the word fall. Here in New York mother nature was rather cruel this summer and really shortened out summer. The leaves on the trees in my yard started turning weeks ago. Now I do love fall don't get me wrong. I love sitting in sweaters with a cup of hot apple cider and stuffing my face with anything with the word pumpkin in it but I will miss the summer time! One thing that I really love about fall is the new makeup collections coming out. I love smokey green eyes, burgundy lips, and deep rich nail polishes!! A ton of makeup companies are already releasing sneak peeks of their fall collections or are already releasing them and I am all sorts of excited!!

1) The new Wet N Wild Tough Girl Collection:

Image Credit: Nouveau Cheap

Wet N Wild is releasing yet another limited edition collection! Wet N Wild has been putting out limited edition products with record timing this last year! Too see the Pop Art Craze trio's that are still floating around click here! I also picked up some LE 8 pan palettes during the spring that I love. Anyway, let the hunting begin because there have already been sightings of this collection at Kmart and Walgreens. Though the trio's are the same it seems that the stores displays are very different. Kmart has the display above with the mascara. Walgreens just has an end cap with the trio's by themselves but Walgreens has two additional trio's that aren't on the display at Kmart...thank you for making that difficult. Either way I am excited. I see a purple palette (woohoo!!) and a nice neutral brown one too. There is also a nail polish display that goes along with this.

2) BH Cosmetics Take Me To Brazil Palette

Okay though the colors in this palette don't necessarily scream Fall to me I still want it badly. BH Cosmetics leaked some pictures via their Instagram over this past week revealing a very vibrant and colorful palette that was just released. Do you see those colors? I mean c'mon how fun does this palette look? I want it in my little hands right now! It is on sale for $10 right now which I think is pretty awesome.

3) Sephora and Pantone Universe Elemental Energy Eye Palette
Sephora + Pantone Elemental Energy Eye Shadow Palette for Fall 2013
Now I know this is out of my usual price range but I am just drawn to this thing. I keep going back to the website and gawking at it. I love the attention to detail and how they incorporated the feels of nature into the eyeshadow themselves. I also love the colors. There are so many possibilities with this palette. You also get a nice mix of matte and shimmer. I bought the Pantone and Sephora palette last year and I love it. This baby is $38 which is more than I would usually spend on an eyeshadow palette but I just want it soooo bad.

5) Maybelline Baby Lips Medicated Lip Balm

Maybelline Baby Lips Dr. Rescue Medicated Lip Balm

Yay just in time for my lips to chap off this little guy gets released. I found these at Walmart already. I love the regular baby lips so I was excited to see that they offered a medicated version. I also like that they are still tinted. So you get treatment and a little pop of color.

5) The new Jordana 12 Hour Eyeliner
Jordana Fall 2013

I need that purple and that blue liner in my life. That is all I am saying. I am also excited to try those lip crayons. I hope they are like the Kissable Balm Stains...

6) Maybelline LE Fall On The Runway lipsticks

I have stepped out of my comfortable lipstick box this summer and experimented with a lot of new bright, fun colors. To my surprise I didn't look half bad and got quite a few compliments. I think I am ready to try a few purple shades this fall and I think Maybelline could hear my thoughts about it because their new collection has some amazing purples in it!! Come to me my little loves....The bottom one looks a lot like the vivid lipstick I already own so I may pass that up but Violet Intrigue looks amazing!!

Well ladies that is a few of the things I am already adding to my mental wish list. ....What are some of yours?

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Good Quality Eyeshadow For A Dollar...Say What?!! E.l.f Studio Brightening Eye Color Review and Swatches!!

Who doesn't love a little extra money in their pocket? The answer: No One!! I am a bargain shopper by heart. I have been since I could remember. I would sit at the kitchen table and cut coupons out for my mom and would try and convince them as to why they didn't need to always buy name brand. This little bargain bug has followed me even into the beauty world. I have always loved to try and find alternatives for high end makeup that won't break your bank. Hence the name of this blog!! When I find affordable products that really work I get all warm and fuzzy inside. This post may be my most affordable makeup product yet! AMAZING EYESHADOW FOR ......drum roll please.....ONE DOLLAR!!

E.l.f Cosmetics and I have a love hate relationship. There are a lot of their products that have become staples in my life like their eyebrow kit and contouring blush and bronzer duo. There are quite a bit that have missed the mark for me too like their Studio Precision Eyeliner, Waterproof Eyeliner Crayon, and some of their brushes but they do have some hidden gems that I love love love. With a price point of around $3 the brand is certainly one of the cheapest. I am going to be raving about their Essential Eye Brightening Eyeshadow Quads today and ya'll they are only one dollar.

This first quad is called Butternut. Each quad has 4 shades that are a good size. If you have a larger eyeshadow brush you may have some trouble getting into the product but it isn't too bad. As you can see all of the shades in this quad are shimmery. They are not glittery or chunky but they do apply with a nice sheen to them. What really got me with these eyeshadows (all of them not just Butternut) is how pigmented they are. When I purchased them I didn't have very high hopes because let's face it for a dollar you usually get what you pay for. I was pleasantly surprised. They perform like much more expensive brands. They are a bit powdery but they are also very soft. They apply smooth and even and have amazing color pay off!


This quad is called Punk Funk and it is sooo much fun! If you are a color lover like me then this quad will become your favorite. The colors are so bright and pigmented. They really pack a punch! I usually don't see very good bright colors from drugstore brands but this one is awesome. The white is a satin shade so it has some sheen. The blue and purple are mostly matte but they have a few sparkles however, when applied on the eye they look matte. The pink is a glitter shadow. All four are really nice. Look at that purple!!!

This quad is def worth way more than you are going to pay for it. It is called Day 2 Night. It is a dream and the colors are so pretty! If you love a good neutral look than this one is for you. The cream color is a satin, the two inner browns are mostly matte with a bit of a sheen, and the bronze color is a true shimmer shadow. All four are highly pigmented and apply smoothly. That bronze is a dream for us blue eyed beauties.

This one is called Silver Lining. Like all the colors in this collection it is greatly pigmented and the colors apply wonderfully. A great pick for green eyes! All the shades are a satin finish so they have some sheen without being glittery or metallic.

This quad is called Blue Moon. I love this palette and use it quite a bit. I love that all of the quads give you perfect colors to create a complete look. Blue shades can be hard to pull off but with the soft brown it makes it easier to pull a look together. The brown is mostly matte. I like using it as a transition color with a lot of other shades. The shades blend really well also.

This quad is one of my favorites out of all of them! Sparkly glittery things have a way of attracting me. As soon as I saw this one I got all gitty and girly. Looks at how sparkly those shades are. While most of the palettes have shades that have shimmer these are actual glitter shadows. The white in completely matte which is actually really nice in a palette like this. It gives something to balance out the glitter. I like a matte highlight with a shimmer/glitter eyeshadow and this works perfect and can you look at the black!!! is so pigmented. It has a matte base with a few glitters but it is not nearly as shimmery as the other greys.

 The next quad is called Ivy. Another good option for a neutral look but with a little bit of color to it. The dark green is matte but the rest are shimmer shades. The olive green has an awesome gold duochrome to it.

This last one is another neutral option called Brownstone. Yet again it has great pigmentation, great quality, smooth, and even application! The third color swatch is a matte brow and the others are satin/shimmer shades.

You can buy these on the E.l.f website but you can also find them at Walmart, Kmart, and Target. One thing I have found when I started looking at the website and other places for this blog was that not all the quads can be found at any once place. Some of the quads I mentioned are not on the website but are still at my Kmart. Some on the website I haven't seen anywhere but the website so you might have to do some hunting for some of these quads. I have bought a couple others so if you want to see them let me know!

Overall: I love these. I think for a dollar these are absolutely amazing. They perform wonderfully. They are pretty compact too which makes them easy to throw in a travel bag or carry with you anywhere. They are very soft and blend like a dream!!

As always thank you for reading pretty ladies! Check out my instagram: littlemadeupmomo or follow me on Pinterest!!!