Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Subscription Box Smackdown (September 2014)

Happy hump day, everyone!! Today I have a post for you that's been on my mind for a while now - a
beauty subscription box smackdown! Since subscription boxes have really become a "thing" I've subscribed to quite a few. A few months ago I decided I had way too many tiny, samples of things I'll never use* (hello random skincare!) that I unsubscribed to all but two - Ipsy and Glossybox. Ipsy has been pretty consistently good, especially for only $10 a month. They feature a lot of drugstore brands, but they often have high end brands too. For $10 a month you can't beat it. Glossybox, on the other hand is $21 a month and features high end products. When Glossybox first started in the US (I believe they've had it in Europe for a while) the boxes were consistently good - heck, amazing even! I couldn't believe all of the great stuff I was getting for only $21. Then a few months into my subscription the full sized, high end products started getting smaller. No biggie, I still felt like it was worth the $21. But the last few months the boxes have been underwhelming to say the least. Random skincare I'll never use, perfume samples I could get for free and Nordstrom, and odd lipstick and nail polish colors from brands I'd never heard of.

A few weeks ago on my Facebook page, I asked what people's favorite beauty subscription boxes were. I'd decided to quit Glossbox and go for something new. The name that popped up a few times was Boxycharm, which had also been recommended to me by my friend, and hairdresser, Lindsay, so I subscribed. (I also decided to give Glossybox one more month to redeem itself....) Here's the content of my September boxes:

This month's box was just ok, but again for only $10 I'm pretty happy with it. My favorite thing (BY FAR!) is the dual ended eye brush by Crown Brush! Crown Brush is actually kind of a hidden gem - every type of makeup brush you could think of, incredibly high quality (ie: THIS is the exact same brush as the Stila #24 brush. EXACT same!!!! Same hair, same quality. All that's missing is the label.) Seriously, next time you need makeup brushes check them out! Anyhoo, I also really like the hand cream from the brand Mitchell and Peach. The eyeliner by Pacifica looks like a pretty, metallic grey. The lipgloss is by a brand I've never heard of (Cailyn?!) and super dark/not my style. I will also not use the Nourish Organics facial cleanser. I've finally found a skincare system that works for me, and I'm sticking to it! 3 out of 5 products were winners, and two I won't use. Not bad for $10. (Also Ipsy always sends their stuff in cute, little pouches! I rarely use them, but Leila always enjoys stealing them! This month's was gunmetal grey, with silver pyramid studs.) // Ipsy - Subscribe HERE

So, even though I was going to cancel Glossybox, I decided to give it one more month to redeem itself, and boy am I glad I did!! This month's box came with a deluxe-sized sample of "They're Real" mascara by Benefit. I love this mascara, and will pop the little one into my travel makeup bag! It included a full-sized Essie nail polish, in the new shade "Madison Ave-hue" (it's a gorgeous, bright pink), firming night cream by Vichy, which I will not use (again, happy with current skincare), a Bulgari hair conditioner, which smells great, but is super random. They couldn't have sprung for a shampoo too? Weird. But the product that alone made this box worthwhile - a full sized OCC Lip Tar in the new Fall color, "Authentic". This color isn't one that I'd normally pick up for myself, because a metallic finish on my lips isn't my favorite, but I'm stoked that I have it! It's this really rich, metallic bronze copper that is just gorgeous on! The thing with the OCC Lip Tars is you only need the tiniest, tiniest bit. This stuff goes a long way, and lasts forever. I really like this color on it's own, but even though it's not dark it makes a statement. I like it when the rest of the face makeup is minimal - nude blush, lots and lots of mascara, and maybe a bit of deep brown or plum eyeliner. This box was pretty great - only one product I'll do nothing with. // Glossybox - Subscribe HERE

This is a brand new addition to my subscription box love! This one is $21 a month, like Glossybox, but features a mix of high end and drugstore products. What's cool about this one, though is everything is full-sized! Here's what I got:

First off, I have to say I liked what I saw right off the bat!! This box came with a 16-color eye shadow palette from the brand Coastal Scents, which is in the drugstore category, but actually has some great products. These eye shadows are really pretty, but work best when used with an eye shadow primer underneath (my favorites are by Too Faced and Urban Decay). It also came with a Tarina Tarantino mascara, which is really nice! I've been using it for about a week now, and it's comparable to the mascaras by Tarte and Benefit that I love. I also received a perfume called "Hello" which has a really nice scent, but fades quickly. Then a plummy grey nail polish by NCLA which is beautiful, and a full-sized lip gloss by Tarte in the shade "Tipsy"

This shade is SO pretty on it's own (a sheer, but buildable peachy/coral) and it looks incredible layered over the lip tar I got from Glossybox! That's the combo I'm wearing as I type, and it's pretty, pretty, pretty!! I've mentioned Tarte several times on my blog, and there are very few things I've tried from them that I haven't loved. This gloss is a happy addition to my Tarte collection, and such a fun thing to find in my box! // Boxycharm - Subscribe HERE

SO, of those three boxes, which was my favorite? ............the Boxycharm box! Every single product was a winner! I think I'll keep subscribing to all three ;)

*Now what about all the random products I don't love? I have a huge sliding storage bin under my bed filled with all of the things I haven't used/don't think I'll love. I pull things out to use as additions to gifts every once in a while, but whenever the box gets full I bring all of the products to a local women's shelter. Those random unwanted items seem to accumulate quickly, and I'm always happy to make a special delivery to he women's shelter!

Do you subscribe to any boxes?? Please let me know in the comments!

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