July 2016 Beauty Subscriptions: First Impression

July has come and gone, and in an effort to do my beauty subscription first impressions in a more timely manner I bring you July’s boxes.

(August will be the first month I’ll actually be on time. Hooray!)

Overall, July was spectacular. Every beauty subscription delivered at least a few products that were good. And…to further my obsession, I’ve added a new box subscription!

Let’s start with Birchbox.

When mystery boxes work out well.

I wasn’t tempted enough by the pre-curated box that Birchbox was offering for July, so I took a risk and just chose one of my samples keeping the other four a complete mystery. Whenever I do this, I run the risk of getting a completely dud box. But when they deliver, oh, it’s magic.

Birchbox simply killed it. While heavy on the skincare side, I’m so happy with the samples they selected. First, I already know I love Coola’s sunscreen so I love having a backup travel size in between purchases.

Second, a Shiseido sample that isn’t hella dinky (plus a bonus dinky sample, lol). High priced skincare can give the teeniest samples, but this one has a ton of product. I’ve been using it throughout the month of July and still haven’t gone through half of my sample.

Third, we have a sea salt spray from Davines, which I wasn’t excited about. I’ve been anti-sea salt spray from past experience (gives great editorial looking hair…makes your hair feel like brittle crap). However, I can tell you know that I was very surprised by Davines’ offering.

Fourth, a moisturizer from Dr. Jart that’s an incredibly interesting concept. It’s suppose to feel like water droplets on your face. You’ll have to wait and see if I experienced this.

The sample I chose was the Marcelle mascara. The theme for the box was mascara (rolls eyes, my least favorite type of makeup sample). Still, I’ve yet to try a bad product from Marcelle. Their Hydra C Facial Exfoliating Gel (which has been discontinued and replaced with a new formula…hopefully I like it) and Gentle Eye Makeup Remover for Sensitive Eyes are holy grail staples in my daily skincare routine. I also love their BB cream Golden Glow, so I’m always down to try more from them.

Again, stellar Birchbox.

Ipsy also delivers a great contender.

In the battle of the $10 subscriptions, I gotta say that Ipsy and Birchbox have basically tied. That almost never happens. Each month, one is clearly superior to the other. But I had a hard time choosing in July.

I just want to note that I love the bag design for this month. The reflexive material with the arial view of the beach umbrellas is adorable.

Ipsy included two masks from Shray. Uh, two sheet masks?! Yes! Now, I’ve already tried the Ms. Amazing mask, which came in a previous Boxycharm. It’s really nice, so I don’t mind having another one in my stash. I also got another mask that’s for acne breakouts. Great for those pre-period small breakouts.

The hand cream from Delectable…oh my god. I can’t speak to its moisturizing abilities, but the smell is HEAVENLY. It smells like a lemon cupcake. I get hungry just smelling the bottle.

I’m also happy I get a chance to sample Too Faced’s very well talked about Hangover Rx Primer. Now, I do have combination skin so I’m a little afraid that it’ll leave m t-zone too dewy. But I do want to see what all the fuss is about.

Samples from theBalm are always adorably packaged. I was stoked because I’d heard such great things about the Meet Matt(e) Trimony palette and have been dying to try some shadows.

And, of course, you need a good brush to try your eyeshadow sample. I’m always down for getting brushes and received a crease blending brush from Vasanti. I can never get enough crease brushes, as they’re my most used eye brushes.

Excellent, Ipsy. Simply excellent.

Good idea, but not a lot of follow through on the concept.

I was pumped when OFRA announce July’s mermaid theme. I freaking love mermaids and that word sparks so many possibilities when it comes to makeup. Which is what we got in the box left me wanting.

The good:

That Noyah Lipgloss. I love that it’s an all-natural lipgloss, first. Second, that dark pink color definitely says mermaid to me. Lipgloss has made a brief comeback (a welcomed break from the super matte lip), and I’m happy to add this to my collection.

Also, the Mally Eyeliner is a bright blue that also gives some serious mermaid vibes. I’ll probably use this more as an eyeshadow or inner corner highlight.

The meh:

The OFRA palette could have been such a great mermaid concept. I do love that it’s an actual magnetic palette. And I do like OFRA’s shimmer shadows, but we know from previous posts that I’m not that into their matte shades. I’m hoping their mattes have improved somewhat from those that I received in an Ipsy purchase. But on top of that, these shades do not say mermaid. They’re very basic. I would much have preferred some neutral shades with an exciting shimmery color or two to make a truly mermaid look.

The side-eye emoji:

Yet another hair oil. I have so many in my arsenal, I don’t think I’ll have to purchase another oil for at least two years. It’s a giant bottle, which is great, but I’m very much over getting hair oils.

Overall, great concept but so-so execution of the idea.

Hello, new friend!

And we come to the newest addition to my beauty subscriptions: the Sephora Play! Box. I got off the waitlist for the May box and tested out that one and the June one before deciding whether to continue the subscription. I didn’t want to start something new just to end it shortly after. But luckily, I was really impressed by Sephora’s contribution to the beauty subscription world!

July in particular was fabulous. Each box varied a bit depending on your beauty profile and whether you have combination/oily or normal/dry skin. Since, I’m combination I got those products. Everything in here, on first impression was something I definitely wanted to try.

I’m a beauty blender fanatic, so I always want to try something new from their product line. I also definitely need to blot my t-zone throughout the day (high, combination skin). It’s always great to see if something will beat my $1 e.l.f. blotting sheets.

A mattifying Smashbox primer? I can always use one whenever I’m wearing more full coverage makeup.

NEST also makes some of my favorite fragrances and the description of Citrine definitely seems like something I would enjoy.

Since Marcelle is, apparently, discontinuing my favorite nighttime exfoliating cleanser, I’ll be on the search for a new one. This sample cleanser from First Aide Beauty wouldn’t be a bad place to start.

Of course, The Kardashians are my guilty pleasure and I was so excited when their hair stylist, Jen Atkins, came out with her hair line, OUAI. I’ve already tried some products from the brand (including this wave spray) and definitely have some thoughts.

And lastly, I’m always happy with a Too Faced product. And one from their chocolate fragranced line is even better. The Chocolate Soleil is beloved by many in the beauty community and I can’t wait to try it.

July was definitely a great month to be a beauty subscriber.


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