Ipsy Vs. Birchbox: July 2014

Ladies and gentlemen, behold: a July subscription box review on the last day of July–the epitome of procrastination! (Thank you, thank you. I owe it all to my lack of motivation!) Ahhhh, this is so late I literally almost didn’t write a review because letsbehonest, you’ve probably already seen most of these items reviewed already. BUT in the slim jimmest of chances that you have not seen these July Ipsy or Birchbox items, do I have a review for you!

For those of you that don’t know about Birchbox or Ipsy, they are both beauty subscriptions for $10 a month. Birchbox tends to feature smaller sample sizes that are often more higher end brands and incorporates more of a variety than just beauty. (Lifestyle, skin care, etc)  Ipsy features more full size-luxury size samples of often times more drugstore-lower end brands. Ipsy tends to favor strictly beauty options, but has recently surprised me with some great skincare samples! (I will include my referral links down below!)

And now, TO THE BOXES!

Ipsy: Sensationally Sunkissed

ipsy

 The Products (Sample Values)

bareMinerals 5-in-1 BB Advanced Performance Cream Eyeshadow in Divine Wine 1 ml – $4

Befine Food Skin Care Daily Moisturizer 1.5 fl oz- $10

Hang Ten Dark Tanning Oil 1 fl oz- $1.50

Pixi Beauty Mini Tinted Brilliance Balm in Unique Pink 1.8 g – $5

wHet Nail Polish in Facetious 10 ml (FULL)- $15

Total = $35.50

6I’m gonna be honest, this is the first month of Ipsy where I have received a bag that I wasn’t over the moon for. That said, I did get some pretty good products in some decent sizes none the less. Pictured above are my favorite and least favorite items from this month.

Hang Ten dark tanning oil wins least favorite for this month for the sheer fact that I am not aiming to be the color of an oompa loompa. Tanning oil is not my thing. (My dad however pretty much glistens with it when on the beach…which makes this product even less appealing in my mind’s eye…) In fact, I try to SPF myself whenever possible. This was a total miss for me.

Pixi’s Tinted Brilliance Balm in Unique Pink wins my favorite due to my budding love for the brand and the product delivering on what it promises–hydrating, lovely lips! The color is quite sheer though with the exception of the faintest of pinks and a tad bit of glistening added to my lips. Though I like that in a balm. (And the tingly feel it gives me! Ooo la la!)

I will say this though, Ipsy, please step up your product game. I feel like I’ve seen these brands over and over again in the past 5 bags. Please reach out to the new! I crave variety!

7

 That rant said, I did receive at least 2 brands I haven’t had the pleasure of trying before. Be fine and wHet were newcomers to me, though only one of them was a true win. That one being….Be Fine! I loved that it was a daily face moisturizer with spf! I am in such desperate need of it in the summer after beach trips and this one is soooooo light in both formula (kind of milky and very hydrating, but takes a bit to dry) and smell (I feel like it’s more rice/spf smelling than rosemary and pomegranate…but I mean whatever you say Be fine…)

wHet, while it was a decent formula, was not a color I would use very often. Maybe once in a blue (ha, get it?) moon since I’m not much of a dark polish kind of gal.

hand2Last but not least in the bag was surprise, surprise: another repeat brand! (coughcough) Though I can’t be too sarcastically unhappy about it since I am a fan of bareMinerals. Their products are usually the bees knees, but this one left me a little skeptical. I know shadow sticks/creams/and-now-bbcreams are part of a rising trend, but they seem like such an effort to blend. I’m a traditional gal and haven’t really ventured outside of the pressed powder realm, so this was a bit out of my comfort zone… Though, it turned out to be in a good way. A couple of strokes of my finger after applying this Divine Wine bbcream shadow and it turned into what looks like a nice bruise on my hand! Yeah…not the best color in retrospect for me…but it did blend AND it stayed for a long while and took a while to scrub off–so this would be great in the summer heat and even on the beach!


Birchbox: Power Up

birchbox

 The Products (Sample Values)

Harvey Prince Imperial Gardenia – $1

Cynthia Rowley Beauty Eyeliner .8g – $8

Marcelle New Age 8 in 1 Power Serum .24 oz – $5

Naobay Body Radiance Lotion 1 fl oz – $3

Beauty Protector Protect & Treat Hair Mask – $6.50

Total = $23.50

2

So, after complaining about it endlessly, I decided to go against my rant/better judgement and resubscribe to Birchbox! What got me: the promise of being able to pick one sample for my box. Ironic outcome: I didn’t resubscribe in time to pick a sample for this box… ah well, next month! (Which conveniently starts tomorrow!)

That said, I LOVED Birchbox this month! They really stepped up their game, but I did get a few repeat brands (just like Ipsy). Luckily, they were two of my favorite brands I found through birchbox. Harvey Prince (of which I have bought Hello of in the past) and Marcelle (of which I bought the golden glow bb cream from birchbox….I wonder if they noticed…). The Harvey Prince Imperial Gardenia made me fall in love with its romantic floral scent (mmmm gardenias)–it’s what I imagine I would wear as Ryan Gosling rows me to the house he built me… (Shhh Eva Mendez, let me have this notebook-esq moment!)

And Marcelle’s 8 in 1 power serum? Smooth as buttah. It literally makes my face as soft as can be and the formula is so light. Also, I’ve had no problems with it concerning break outs. Such a great serum, in my opinion, I’m gonna be FOREVER YOUNGGGGG.

handWhile I didn’t get any full sized items in this box, I was fortunate enough to get two deluxe samples which I feel like is a first in my birchbox history (Of which will be 7 months all together). One lux sample was the Cinthia Rowley eyeliner which went on super smooth and will be perfect for lining my lower lash line (it will totally end up replacing my Urban Decay deluxe pencil I received from Ipsy a couple of bags ago).

3

And now my favorite and least favorite!

My favorite goes to… BEAUTY PROTECTOR! Another repeat (I have received the heat protector from this brand in the past), but one I love because their products smell delicious. I’m serious. They’re like frosting scented–I feel like their parent company is Magnolia’s Bakery or something. And the mask color is pink–PINK!! C’mon, that’s so friggin girly cute, I can’t help but love it. And Birchbox graciously provided me with two thimbles full so I can actually make a decision on whether or not I like it from multi-use. (Two thumbs up for two containers, BB!)

Sadly, Naobay was my least favorite of this box–which surprised me since it had the makings of something I thought I would love. Natural & Organic? Check. Cool packaging? Check. Luxury size? Check. What killed it: the smell. No lie, this lotion straight up smelt like Pine Sole to me. Me = not a fan. I want my lotions smelling yummy, not zestfully clean. (Okay, that’s a different brand…but you know what I mean.) Though I don’t blame BB, I thought it would be cool too–it just didn’t meet the smell test. Oh well.

4

Last little perk BB threw in (other than a couple of coups) was a little “power up” booklet full of nice “feel good” suggestions. (I am air quote happy apparently…) It was a cute touch and really pulled in the packaging for BB this month.


Who Won?

Overall, I feel like I have to give it to Birchbox this month. I know–I’m surprised too! But in all honesty, BB provided me with more items I was super into trying (which is what this is all about, right?) and I will end up using more of. PLUS I thought the box was super cute this month. I was a huge fan of the white and pink special box and cute booklet touch. So in the end, I feel like Birchbox is my winner.

What about you guys? Who do you think should win? Or, if you’re a subscriber, what did you think of your box this month??

If you would like to subscribe, here are my referral links:

Ipsy: http://www.ipsy.com/r/1lri

Birchbox: www.birchbox.com/invite/follypops

I’m curious to know what products everyone was loving, so please share! I love getting suggestions on what to try!!

Until next I post, xo

~L

Advertisements

My Current 5 Favorite Lippies!

So July 29th is National Lipstick Day and what better way to celebrate than with a post of my favorite 5 lippies at the moment? (I chose to mention glosses and stains/balms too since I’m not always wearing lipsticks in the summer months.) Here are the contenders!

Bare Minerals: Marvelous Moxie in Get Ready

bareminerals

This is such a fun & flirty pink color. Perfect for a pop of lip for when you go out with your girlfriends! I even love wearing this with barely any makeup (just mascara and a little of SPF foundation) since it really makes a simple look fun. Plus it’s a pretty moisturizing mixture, so I’m totally into wearing it while I’m out in the summer sun!

BMlips

($18 from bareMinerals)

Eyes Lips Face (ELF) Mineral Lipstick in Runway Pink

elf

If I have a day where I want to channel Audrey Hepburn and be a classic beauty, this color is my absolute go to! It’s actually pretty close to my actual lip color, but it just gives me a slightly pinker, smooth tone. This is my go to “date night” color since it’s not over stated and simply beautiful!

ELFlips

($5 from E.L.F.)

Pixi Shea Butter Lip Balm in Pixi Pink

pixi

I know, I know–it’s not a lipstick per se, BUT the color of this lip balm is so bright, it is a good competitor to a lipstick. I’m serious, this color is almost neon on my lips and I love it!! Especially since it’s so hydrating, I’m damn near obsessed. I will put this on without any makeup just because I love the feel of my lips with it. Also, the staying power of this color is so long lasting!! It really is a worthy lip product!PIXIlips

($8 from Pixi by Petra)

Victoria’s Secret Pure Reflection Lipstick in Champagne

vsSo I went back into the makeup vault and pulled this color out. I was pretty hesitant about this color in the summer when I have a tan since it’s slightly lighter than my actual lips. However, I was pleasantly surprised to see that the color made my makeup look really fresh and light! Unfortunately, as you can tell by the packaging, this is an old color, so I don’t know what’s similar from VS right now…VSlips

(Generally, I think these lipsticks are $14. Let me know in the comments if you can find a current VS lipstick that is similar!)

Maybelline Elixir in Petal Plush

elixir Last, but not least, is one of my favorite lip products this summer–The Elixir line by Maybelline! I LOVE this formula, it’s so silky smooth on my lips and makes them look plump and perfect! I’ve probably been rocking this more than anything this summer!! Petal Push is my favorite, but I’ve been hunting out the other colors and loving every one!! MABlips( $5.99 online at Target, but generally $8.99 in drugstores. I think they’re on sale at your local Walgreens for $5.39 right now with your membership card!!)


So there you have it! Those are my favorite summer lippies! What are you loving right now? Let me know! (I love to try new options!!) Enjoy your lippies and have a happy National Lipstick Day! Stay fabulous all!

~xo, L

Folly Ventures: Broadway Bites Popup Market

One of the best parts (and worst vice) about working/living in the great city of New York is being able to try numerous delicious dishes from all parts of the world.

Even better yet, NYC makes everything easier by grouping all these fabulously scrumptious food samplings in one place–like the seasonal markets. I’ve been to a couple markets here and there, but the one I am loving right now is Broadway Bites (by Urbanspace) partly because of its awesome collection of food and partly because I can haunt it on my lunch hour! (It’s an easy walk to Herald Square for me!) The market features: 20+ vendors that each show off a couple of each restaurant’s most notable cuisine pieces, cute stands, twinkle lights, a section for “adult beverages”, and a couple of areas to enjoy chowing down with friends!

An added benefit? Most stands accept credit cards, so there’s no need to hit the bank beforehand (unless one stand you really want to try truly doesn’t accept anything but cash–there has only been one of those that I have come across thus far.)

main

crowd  jicamastand

jicamatacos

Pictured above: Jicama Tacos with shredded pork, cabbage, mango, cilantro and a seasoned sauce in a jicama shell. Light, fresh, flavorful, crunchy and absolutely delicious! (Can be found at Jicama: California Street Food)

springrolls

Pictured Above: Spring roll combo (one quinoa with tofu, cabbage, carrots, lettuce and the other quinoa with corn, carrots, lettuce in a curry sauce) with a cabbage/apple/noodle salad. (Can be found at Two Tablespoons) I love this place soooo much that I went back twice! The spring roll combos are fabulous and the noodle salads are soooo freaking yummy! I was sad to learn that the booth is by a catering company and not an actual restaurant…I hope they start one! The drink is a mango fresco. (I sadly can’t remember where I got it…)

 

padthai

Pictured Above: Chicken Pad Thai–delicious noodles and sauce. Peanut crumble was nice and crunchy and the added lime made the flavors pop even more! I would have liked more veggies, but overall a great amount of food for the price! Unfortunately this place only took cash! 😦 (Can be found at Bangkok Bar)

 

icecream

Pictured above: Strawberry ice cream between two sugar cookies–I LOVED this ice cream sandwich. I’m a huge strawberry fan and was excited to see the usual ice cream sandwich spiced up a bit. This one kind of reminded me of strawberry shortcake. I also tried an all chocolate one and a cinnamon one that was to die for!–On separate occasions, I promise!! (Can be found at the cart for Melt)



My Thoughts

Everything I have tried at this market I have loved. It’s really a great bunch of vendors and I haven’t been unsatisfied with a single meal. I think my absolute favorites have been more of the lighter options–but that is mostly because the weather has been so hot and those are the types of dishes I crave in the heat! Though overall, I have enjoyed everything I have gotten and tried of my friends’!

IF you decided to make a trip to NYC in the near future and are curious to try Broadway Bites I have a bit of sad new. This market is only going on until August 1st (open 11am-9pm daily), BUT I was happy to learn that Urbanspace will be putting it on again in the fall (October 1st-November 14th). (I will be sure to try it again then and report back!)

So now that I’ve shared my gluttonous lunch hour feasts, what have been some of your favorite lunch spots this summer? Any favorite dishes you love in this heat? Let me know!

As alway, happy exploring my lovelies!

~xo, L

Review: Michael Todd Anti-Aging Skincare Kit

 I MAY or may not have a slight addiction to online shopping (so easy, yet so dangerous.) and one of my guilty pleasures are the deal sites–Groupon, Gilt, Rue La La, LivingSocial, HauteLook….oh yes. I have many online kryptonites. Don’t worry though, I usually merely only take pleasure in browsing, but ever so often something jumps out at me that I HAVE to have.

Most recently, it was an anti aging skincare kit by Michael Todd. (which I got for the skincare aspect, not so much the anti aging part since I’m only in my 20s.) Now, to be fair, I have been eyeing Michael Todd products since I’ve seen samples in ipsy– I really like the organic product idea and I have heard pretty good things. So when I saw the kit on LivingSocial for $23 (original price $46) — I snagged it. The following are my (re)views on the kit!

(Note: You can find the exact kit on the Michael Todd website here! (It’s since dropped to $33 on the online store!


The Packaging

2

The actual kit packaging, to me, was nothing special. Seemed like a typical box that you might get at a Macy’s perfume counter.  I especially wasn’t crazy for so much lime green! But the individual products were very cute. I liked the clean style with the lavender and purple colors mixed with a hint of the lime green logo elements. (Note that I said “hint” and not “overly obnoxious amount” coughcough nudgenudge, Micahel Todd.)

The products it contained were:

  • Cleanse: SKIN DEFENDER aha crème facial cleanser – 50 ml / 1.7 fl oz
  • Tone: CRANBERRY ANTIOX hydrating anti-aging toner – 50 ml / 1.7 fl oz
  • Scrub: TROPICAL FRUIT enzyme exfoliant scrub – 40 ml / 1.3 fl oz
  • Hydrate: LIPOSOME ANTIOXIDANT MOISTURIZER with dmae and hyaluronic acid – 40 ml / 1.3 fl oz
  • Treat: PEARL AND SILK facial mask – 40 ml / 1.3 fl oz

 

The Products

3

First up, the Skin Defender Cleanser. I found this cleaner to do the job pretty well, but it wasn’t as tough as some–so I wouldn’t say it would take off my makeup if I wanted it to. The consistency was milky and rubbed on pretty clear. Overall it felt nice and fresh.

Next up, the Cranberry Antioxident Hydrating Anti Aging Toner. I actually really liked this toner! It smelt fresh and didn’t feel like it had as much alcohol content as other toners–so it didn’t dry out my skin or irritate it in any way. I would so buy this again.

My FAVORITE product in this bundle was the Tropical Fruit Enzyme Exfoliant Scrub –Oh my god you guys, this smelt like a creamsicle on my face!! I was in scented bliss while my face was in exfoliant bliss!! Plus it left my face nice and smooth! This might be my new favorite summer exfoliant!

But with the good, comes the bad…and by that I mean the Liposome Antioxidant Moisturizer with dmae and hyaluronic acid. Okay, maybe that is being harsh. The product itself did its job pretty well, it was very moisturizing and not too greasy which is great–but I was not a fan of the smell. Why? Roses. I don’t know what it is about roses, but sometimes when its melded into products a certain way, it just smells like a dying flower bed. The smell killed it for me, but the outcome was nice. SUCH CONFLICT!

Lastly, the strangest thing in this kit was the Pearl and Silk Facial Mask. I say strange in a good way–I’ve never seen a mask like it. It literally felt silky and rubbed on clear-ish with perl shimmer hues in it. It was like I was covering my face in shimmery moonlight–I’m so not used to my masks looking like that! (Let’s just say my clay masks are a drastic difference!)


The Verdict

So there you have it! All those products in decent travel sizes for $23! Money well spent and possibly more bang for my buck! Though I still think its worth the now $33 online price, it really does make my face feel great without feeling too harsh/damaging. Plus, it’s also organic and a complete routine! It’s worth trying if you want to change up your nightly routine a bit! (I usually take turns with this and my typical products. I like changing it up!)

What do you use for you skincare routine? Have you tried any  Michael Todd products that you love? Let me know! I’m always interested in a great buy! 😉

~xo

FollyLife: Fourth of July Fun

 So this holiday weekend was a very chaotic one and I meant to document more, but I was having too much fun to remember. (Sorry!) I did manage a couple of decent snaps into the weekend which I will share below!

One thing I was really excited about was this very cute DIY 4th of july mani pictured here:

nails

Isn’t it cute?! Ipsy posted a do it yourself on their blog. If you’re interested in recreating it:  Tutorial here!

I ended up using colors I had that fit the bill for nail polish (pictured below):

RED – 49 Deep Red by Isadora

Blue – 02 Blu by Sally Hansen

White – Blanc by Essie

and the OPI top coat

colors

I didn’t have the manicure tape, so I did a little makeshift version to be cost effective by cutting regular tape into skinny strips.  I was really proud of the outcome and got tons of compliments!

I ended up taking my lovely mani sunning on a lake (Bantam Lake) in Connecticut. I fully enjoyed the fresh air and sun!

lake nails-on-boat Later on I of course was very traditional and went to a BBQ and gorged on numerous delicious foods– all of which dissappeared before I could snap a pic of anything except some festive adult treats that I partook in! They were really yummy!

shotsIf you’re interested in recreating these, I think this link is similar to what they were, click here! (Though I think the middle white part was made with pina colada vodka!)

And of course, what would 4th of July be without fireworks? I got some rather blurry pictures of some below!

fireworks

So that was my weekend: Mani, sun, boating on a lake, eating, adult beverages, and fireworks!

Did you celebrate 4th of July? If so, where did you go & what did you do? I always love to know!

P.S. I’m bringing follypops to bloglovin! So if you’re a bloglovin user, feel free to follow Follypops there!

xo~

Urban Decay Perversion Mascara (Review)

 So recently I was fortunate enough to snag a deluxe sample/preview of Urban Decay’s newest mascara “Perversion”  during their social media prerelease. (Basically, I got their newsletter/email instructions on how to sign up for a sample and jumped on that faster than a kid in rainboots headed for a puddle.) And let me just say: I’m so happy I did. Here are my thoughts on my new pervy eyes:


The Packaging 

ud2

Girrlllllll, look at that body! Make you think of anything? My thoughts: the sexy evil twin to Benefit’s “They’re Real!”. Sleek, metallic and a hint of the signature UD purple style.  The product container’s shape is a little less interesting than Benefit’s, but I won’t cry too hard over that since it’s what’s inside that counts. 😉


The Formula & Application 

ud4

Speaking of the inside, get a look at them bristles! #catcall

I found the bushy applicator to be very helpful when it came to getting a generous amount of mascara to cover my lashes. The consistency was a tad wet, but went on smooth, stuck on nicely and didn’t clump. Just really made by lashes: Bolder, blacker, and dare I say…badder?  The smell wasn’t overly potent either, which was a plus since I’ve whiffed some stanky ones lately. (This is not a pasttime of mine, I promise. But there’s no way you can get 100% pure fruit mascara on your eyes without tearing up from rotten fruit odors.)


The Results

(before on the left, after on the right)

ud3

 

Dayum! Amirite? I was so pleased to see the results! I have such light  eyelashes that seem to disappear without the application of eyeliner. It’s nice to see a mascara that makes my eyes pop without the added backdrop! I mean, look at that difference. Left: bald eyes Right: lashes comparable to the flowy locks of Sofia Vergara.

In short, I will be repurchasing this mascara when it releases on July 13th. What about you? Are you excited for Urban Decay’s newest mascara release? Did you get to sample it? Share your thoughts with me!

Until next time!

xo~