June 2014 beauty box reviews | Birchbox and Ipsy Glam Bag

After the disappointments from my May beauty subscriptions, it’s a wonder I didn’t opt out for June. My March and April beauty subscritptions were two pretty good introductions into the world of monthly samples, but last month wasn’t anything to be excited about. I mostly received sunscreen with a few bits for hair and some bb creams/tinted moisturisers. As sunscreen’s #1 fan, I was actually excited for that, but the hair products and bb creams just weren’t anything I wanted, so I wound up giving most of them away to my mother or cousins. I was really unimpressed with Ipsy and Birchbox.
Anyway, this month Ipsy stepped up their game and I remembered why I loved them so much. Birchbox unfortunately failed to impress once again and I actually wound up cancelling my subscription. Below are the items I received with a few reviews on what I’ve been using so far.

Birchbox left to right: Folle de joie fragrance and No. 4 Hydrating Condition and Shampoo

Folle de Joie Fragrance
This fragrance was such a letdown. It has a really synthetic scent akin to that of a bad can of air freshener. Definitely not a fan of this.

Number 4 Leau de Mare Hydrating Condition and Shampoo
I was so annoyed to receive this pair as I am currently using four different shampoos and conditioners, two full-size and two sample-sized products. I honestly have no need for these but I figured you can never have too many hydrating shampoos. I’ve used each three times and can’t say I’ve noticed a difference in my hair. I really dislike the shampoo because it doesn’t get sudsy, and bubbles always just make me feel better because I feel my hair is getting a deeper clean. I wind up using a large amount of this and as a result am nearly done with the bottle. The conditioner isn’t anything impressive and is actually quite inconvenient to keep in my shower as it comes in a packet rather than a bottle. Overall, I haven’t seen anything truly remarkable about these products so I would skip them.

Birchbox left to right: Vasanti Brighten Up Face, Gilchrist & S Body Lotion and Coola Tinted Matte SPF 30 face mineral sunscreen

Vasanti Cosmetics BrightenUp! Enzymatic Face Rejuvenator
I was excited to receive an exfoliator becuase I don’t have one at the moment and my skin has a few dry patches left behind from some previous blemishes. This exfoliant is quite gentle on the skin and has done an average job of removing the dry skin. It hasn’t brightened my skin or shown any remarkable effects, but it gets the job done for now.

Gilchrist & Soames London Collection Body Lotion
I love the bottle for my handbag, but the product itself is lacking. I thought this would be good to apply before bed and while at work, but I was disappointed. I like that it’s fragrance-free and that it dries quickly, but my hands don’t feel moisturized, rather like they need more hydration. I can get a better body lotion at the dollar store if I’m being completely honest.

COOLA Tinted Matte SPF 30 face mineral sunscreen
I used this for the first time the other day when I had to run some errands and hit the gym. I wanted a really light product that would even out my skintone a bit and add some life to the dullness I’ve been experiencing. Also, I needed a good SPF. I really hate the texture of this product as it is kind of moussey. I tried applying it with a brush and then switched to my fingers. I probably only have enough for three good applications of the product as I used nearly half my first time. It was able to even out my skin a bit and it was matte, but the mousse texture looked and felt weird and I really just hated it. Not sure if I will even finish this.

Ipsy Glam Bag left to right: OFRA Universal Eyebrow Pencil, NYX Butter Gloss in Créme Brulee, Realtree for Her, Marc Anthony Dream Waves Beach Spray, Be A Bombshell Lash Out mascara.
Ipsy Glam Bag left to right: Marc Anthony Dream Waves Beach Spray and Realtree for Her.

Marc Anthony Dream Waves Beach Spray
This is a product that does what it says: reminds you of the beach, gives you waves and adds texture instantly. Initially, I was kind of turned off by it because of the heavy scent but after a while, I grew to love it as it smells like a piña colada. I’ve used this nearly every day either at the roots to add texture without the dry shampoo residue or throughout my hair to give it some waves. I like this product a lot and might think about repurchasing.

Realtree for Her
Omg remember those body sprays you would buy as a tween? The ones that smelled like cotton candy? Yeah, this is a glorified version of that, more expensive of course. It’s smells sickly sweet. Definitely something you can skip.

Ipsy Glam Bag top to bottom: Be A Bombshell Lash Out mascara, NYX Butter Gloss in Créme Brulee and OFRA Universal Eyebrow Pencil.

Be A Bombshell Lash Out Mascara
Sorry there’s nothing to report here as I haven’t tested this out yet. I’m currenlty using three different mascaras so opening a fourth would be bad on my part. If there is anything noteworthy about it, I might update this section or write a separate review –> check back!

NYX Butter Gloss in Créme Brulee
Okay, I get what everyone means when they say these are great lip glosses. I’m definitely not a lip gloss gal as I prefer lipstick and tinted balms, but the texture of this makes it very likeable. It applies thick and is pretty pigmented but after a few moments, it settles and you get this great colour payoff and a medium feel on the lips. I also like that it isn’t heavily scented. I really want to try more of these, especially for the price. My only problem is that this shade is a bit too nude for my liking. I think I can work with it layered over a pink or peach lipstick.

OFRA Universal Eyebrow Pencil
I was sooo excited to receive this in my Glam Bag because I’ve been thinking about filling in my brows but I didn’t really want to spend money on a pencil without knowing whether or not I would like the look. The first couple of times I tried this, my eyebrows looked so bushy! I was surprised becuase the shade is so much lighter than my eyebrow colour, so I was doubtful it would even show up to begin with! I’m not sure if I applied the pencil wrong or I’m just not used to sporting bold brows. Regardless, I shyed away from filling them in for about a week before picking up the pencil again. My brows are pretty dark and filled out to begin with, but they do have a few sparce areas, especially towards the front. I think I’ll keep trying this with different makeup looks and on days when I’m not doing anything particularly exciting to see if I really do need practice or to get used to having bold and beautiful brows.

SWATCHED! NYX Butter Gloss in and OFRA Universal Eyebrow Pencil.

I signed up for these subscriptions to received makeup with the occasional eye cream or hair oil. Even after adjusting my profile with Birchbox so that nothing from the skincare or hair sections was filled out, they still sent me everything but makeup. The main reasons I signed up for Birchbox were the massive amounts of positive reviews, the general popularity of the brand and the big names it carries, specifically Benefit and The Balm. That aside, with each box I have received samples that give hardly any product, which I think defeats the purpose. How am I supposed to know if I love a night cream if I can barely get four nights’ use out of it? Birchbox didn’t stand well against Ipsy which has perfectly blended giving me products from brands I know and love and adding other brands and products that I probably would have looked over otherwise. Ipsy also provides coupons for each brand you receive products from and you get a cute and very handy makeup bag for the same price as Birchbox! For now, I plan on keeping my Ipsy Glam Bag subscription and will try out Glossybox around September or October.

Do you have any beauty subscriptions? If so, which ones and how do you feel about them? Anybody subscribed to Glossybox? I would love to hear about it! Check out Cristina’s Ipsy bag over on YouTube (video below)! Be sure to give it a thumbs up and subscribe! Leave links to your channels and blogs and we will deffo check them out!


– S.