Oh my goodness. Please excuse my long absence! It’s been an insane few weeks, with classwork, vacation, and a bachelorette party getting in the way of my blogging.
While I was away, I got all of my beauty subscriptions for September. Y’all, September was a really great month. I think September may have even beaten March (the best month of 2016) or is a very close second.
Let’s see what I got.
September is normally a great month for Birchbox because it’s their anniversary and, therefore, customer appreciation month. This year, however, wasn’t the best.
First, we’re coming off of Birchbox announcing they’re getting rid of their beloved reviews for reward points system. That’s still left a sour taste in a lot of people’s mouths, and honestly I’m not completely over it. #NeverGonnaBeOverIt. On top of that, the Customer Appreciation Day sale was nowhere near as good as years past.
I wasn’t a big fan of this month’s pre curated box. Instead, I opted for a sample choice and four other surprise samples.
- Milk Makeup Highlighter in Lit. This is the sample I chose, and I’m glad I did! I had a meh impression of Milk when it first launched at Birchbox, as they sent the tiniest lipstick sample known to man. This sample, though, is a great size that will last you a long time.
- LOC Ultra Glossy Lip Pencil in Cherry Bomb. I love getting samples for Birchbox’s LOC brand, but I’m not so sure about this one. 1) It’s a very bright red. 2) It has an ultra glossy finish. I like wearing reds, but do not like them in glossy finishes. I much prefer a matte to counteract the brightness of the color.
- Bioderma Sensibio H20. I already love Bioderma and was stoked to get a sample. I was thinking it would be a travel size bottle. However, I got a super dinky, plastic container much like the ones from single use eye drops. Which broke in transit. Not cool, Birchbox.
- Avene Thermal Water. Ok, y’all. This is just thermal water in a spray bottle. I’m probably not going to bother reviewing this because there’s not much to review. In my experience, this is a great thing to drop in your purse if you’re going to be in the heat for a long time or working out. It does refresh the face. But it’s just water. There aren’t too many benefits to be had here. (For the best water benefits, DRINK IT.)
- R+Co ANALOG Cleansing Foam Conditioner. Mmm, I’m not really in the market for a new conditioner, but I do like what I’ve tried from R+Co in the past. Plus, I’ve never tried a foaming conditioner. So none the less, it’ll be interesting.
Overall, an ok box from Birchbox. There are some great sample sizes, but I’m still bitter over the dinky, broken BioDerma sample.
In September, Ipsy always does a theme around Fashion Week. The bag has models in poses that spell out Ipsy. Not my favorite bag design, but still a cute concept. But seriously, we’re all here for what’s inside the bag.
Ipsy was definitely better than Birchbox, on first impression. My bag this month was more makeup heavy, with two skincare items. I do like it when my bags have more makeup. Here’s what I got:
- Dirty Little Secrets Cosmetic Eyeshadow in Tease. I have a feeling this brand is going to pop up in more makeup subscriptions, as it was also in August’s Boxycharm. There, I got their liquid lipstick, which I will be reviewing. Spoiler alert: I wasn’t very impressed. However, I’m always down for a peachy toned eyeshadow, so I’m excited to see if their eye makeup formula is better than their liquid lipstick.
- Too Faced Lip Injection Extreme. Not gonna lie, I’m a little terrified of this. I remember ten years ago trying a lip plumping product and ending up with a stinging mouth and a red ring around my lips. Not cute. I’ve heard this formula isn’t as bad as others, but it’s still a lip plumper that works by causing skin irritation. I’ll give it a go and report back.
- Nuxe Moisturizing Mask Crème Fraîche de Beauté. Nuxe is one of those high end skincare brands I want to love, but haven’t been able to because of the heavy fragrance they put in all of their products. I’m a wee bit more forgiving of fragrance in wash-off masks, but already I’m a little skeptical.
- Seraphine Botanicals Guava Butter Lip & Cheek Cream. Back in my “no makeup” phase, a creamy lip and cheek stain would have been right up my ally. These days, I definitely prefer keeping my lip and cheek products separate and opt for powder blushes over cream or liquid. Still, I love trying these out to see what I can recommend to those looking for very light, natural looking makeup.
- BeFine Food Skin Care Exfoliating Cleanser. Since I saw that Marcelle has discontinued their old formula of their Hydra-C Exfoliating cleanser, I have been on the hunt for a replacement. I’ve found out that they’ve come out with a new formula, which I’ve ordered, but I don’t know if I’ll like it. So these cleanser samples have really been coming in handy to see if I can find a suitable alternative in case the new formula doesn’t work out. I like natural based cleansers, so I’m excited to give this a go.
All in all, a good Ipsy. I’m excited about that peachy shadow and the cleanser, and the other products are also solid (even the scary lip plumper).
I’m not really sure why Boxycharm continues with these random themes that don’t really seem to apply to the products inside. This month’s theme was “Glamping” (glamorous camping). Not really sure what these makeup products have to do with bougie camping, but alright.
Regardless of the random theme, I was very excited about the majority of this box. It’s been the best I’ve seen in a while.
- Hikari Cosmetics Eye Liner. We’ve reached that point in the year where I’m sick of receiving eyeliner. I have this organizational thing where I can’t stand having multiple mascaras and eyeliners of the same color and formula open at the same time. I’ve tried a lipgloss from Hikari in the past (too sticky, IMO), so it’ll be interesting to revisit this brand. I think this is a good combo with the eyeshadow palette in the box, especially for subscribers who are just starting to build their makeup collection. It’s just going to be a while before I get around to trying this black eyeliner.
- Studio Makeup On-The-Go Palette. This is the star of this month’s box. The YouTube beauty gurus have been hyping this eye palette up so much, it’s piqued my curiosity. At first glance, I can see that this looks like a possible dupe to the Kylie Cosmetics eyeshadow palette. More obtainable and in a subscription box? That’s pretty exciting. The colors are great neutrals that are right up my alley, so I’m very happy to get this in a box.
- PÜR Cosmetics Lip Lure. I love PÜR and am always more than happy when we get one of their products in subscription boxes. I’m also a lip product junkie, so a lip color from this brand speaks to me. I got the color Belle, which is a pinky nude. When I got my box, I was very tan from a late summer beach trip and the shade was too light for me. But now my tan isn’t as intense and I think I’ll be able to make the color work as my skin lightens.
- butterLONDON Trend Nail Lacquer in Yummy Mummy. Polishes from this brand are very pricey, but also some of my favorite. This color is absolutely PERFECT and so on trend for the fall. When I get nail products, this is what I like seeing in my subscriptions: season appropriate shades that are on trend, not throwaway colors you can find in the discount session. I’m in love!
- Project Beauty Hairgurt – Smoothing Yogurt Hair Masque. This is the one product that kind of felt like a throw away. It’s a hair conditioning mask you could probably find in your drug store. I love a good hair mask, but I’m also loving what I’m currently using, so I’ve kind of reached my limit with hair masks in subscription boxes. This will probably get one use for reviews, but then will be passed on to someone else.
Aside from the hair mask and eyeliner, this was a phenomenal box. Not quite as amazing as that March box, but still pretty up there. Boxycharm was definitely the winning beauty subscription in September.
Last, we have Sephora Play! The best part about this subscription is that you can easily find all of these mainstream brands in September. Sephora’s theme (which actually goes with the products — take note, Boxycharm) is all about the basics in beauty. There are some truly fantastic samples:
- SEPHORA Collection Rouge Shine Lipstick. I like getting samples from Sephora’s brand, because I feel like I don’t hear or know enough about it. Their eyeliners are some of my favorite, and we did get a decent sample size of it last month. But keeping it real, this is a super dinky lip color sample. The packaging itself makes it look like it might be a good size, but when you twist up the lipstick it’s so tiny! The color is somewhat pretty, but it might be too light for my complexion. I do wish Sephora would take our skin tones more into account when picking samples.
- Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Gel. I’m already a huge fan of this clear brow gel (my holy grail), but I’m so glad I’ll be able to review it for you guys! The sample is incredibly generous and will last you at least two months before you’ll need to pick up the full size. This is a great makeup basic everyone should have in their collection.
- Kat Von D Tattoo Liner in Trooper. After bitching about too much eyeliner earlier, I’m a little more excited to try this one. Kat Von D’s Tattoo Liner is a lot of people’s holy grail. My black pen eyeliner just so happens to be running low, so I don’t mind replacing it with this sample to see if it’s worth the hype.
- Ole Henrik Sheer Transformation. This is an oil-free moisturizer (great for combo/oily skin) that is suppose to include AHA exfoliants to brighten the skin tone. I’m running low on my day time moisturizer, so I’ll be glad to include this in my daytime routine and give it a try.
- Living Proof Perfect Hair Day Overnight Cap. I’ve tried this in the past and have enjoyed it. I don’t really see this overnight conditioning treatment as an “essential” (you can also just use a hair oil), but I can vouch that this is a solid product for people to try. The sample size is also very generous.
- Atelier Cologne Sud Magnolia. The fragrance sample this month is absolutely divine! The notes are magnolia, bitter orange, and cedar would. It’s citrusy without being overpowering and I’m thoroughly enjoying the bottle. The only thing keeping me from purchasing this is just how pricey Atelier is! But this might be on my Christmas wishlist.
Phenomenal job, Sephora. This is a great way to introduce makeup newbies to basics they should have in their collection and more seasoned user to different brands and products.
While not the most impressive month, I really enjoyed most of what I got in September. I’m hoping October will be even better. The mailing notifications have started to come in, so I’ll be back soon with another monthly first impressions post soon.