Unboxing; This Box is a Birch

      Hey, there guys! I finally got my Birchbox a little bit late! This one was for the month of September, and this was another case where I thought I had signed up too late to get the goods. It’s okay! Any goodies are good goodies, right? Especially where makeup is concerned! 

     If you’re not familiar, Birchbox is another monthly beauty box service, like Ipsy. Unlike Ipsy, Birchbox doesn’t provide a cute or fashionable makeup bag for your purse, they give you a colorful box instead. I did test everything, so let’s have a look!

     At first, I was completely underwhelmed by this delivery. It was a real rollercoaster. I was excited to get the package but once I opened it, I was hit with an “oh, is that it?”.  What we have here is, from right to left, leave in conditioner, Arrow color enhancing balm, Collagen eye pads, Mac 3D mascara and dry shampoo.

     If you’re saying “Is that it?”, believe me, I totally shared that sentiment until I starting playing with it. The first thing I broke into was the M.A.Cscara. It took two applications to get some decent length from it, but true to the advertising my lashes weren’t clumpy. It provided some nice lift and in no way weighed my lashes down. I give this product a 4/5 because it could have been a little more pigmented.

     That color enhancing balm from Arrow, is really an understated thing that had me a little disappointed. I did put it on and got some subtle shine and it did bring out the pink in my lips a little more. It kind of makes them pop. I will say that it doesn’t really smell like much, which was a disappointment. Because, I really like scented balms, but I can live without scent. I think this may be a staple in my purse soon, just because you can never have too many balms. I’d rate this a 4/5 too, I’m detracting a point for scent because that irks me just a little.

     I think I’ll combine the Shampoo and leave in conditioner here. The dry shampoo smells really good, I sprayed it on my roots from the recommended 8 inches and brushed it through. My hair’s on day 2, so I’m due for a wash. This did bring some life back to my hair, so I may be using it in travel emergencies when we find ourselves on the road. On another plus, both of these are the perfect travel size to keep stashed in my purse! Score! This conditioner honestly smells so good, the closest I can get is Vanilla which is great. I can’t wait to break this out during a vacation. I’d rate these at a 5/5.

     The last thing in this box was the Collagen Mask from Wilma Schumann. I’ve never used any Collagen items before now, so I wasn’t sure what to do. I slapped these under my eyes at the end of the day and I felt them working almost immediately. At first, I thought it was burning, but what was happening was an intense cooling and hydrating effect. I kept them there for the recommended 20 minutes (I think). When I took it off, I honestly didn’t notice any real difference. I’m wondering if maybe it takes multiple applications to see results? I’d rate this a 4.5/5, I’m not sure if it even did what it was supposed to but I felt dang fancy using these.

    I think out of this box, I’d be most likely to stock up on the leave in conditioner, just because of the way it smells. While I liked the mascara, I don’t like it enough to spend 24 dollars on it. My Rimmel London ScandalEyes treats me just as well at a fraction of the price.

  If I had to give this box a rating in its entirety, I’d give it a 4.5/5 for looking pretty underwhelming but overall performing remarkably. I really enjoyed everything in this box and I can’t wait for the next one to come in!

     

  

Unboxing; Ipsy With Me

Unboxing; Ipsy With Me

Who doesn’t love monthly presents? Pretty dang affordable gifts to yourself that you get on a monthly basis? I know that I’m definitely among that number. Guys, I love month subscription boxes. I like when their makeup, geek culture, treats… Currently, I really want one that’s clothing, but I don’t know if I can trust myself to return the items I don’t want. The moment I’m able though, I totally intend to get Stitch Fix. Right now though, I’m only subscribed to makeup boxes. Birchbox, Ipsy, Lip Monthly and Sephora Play. Well…. Lip Monthly I’m just doing a trial run this month. But for sure I’m all on board with the other three. 

     I wasn’t going to sub to the makeup boxes again because I had stopped doing any makeup at all. Now I’m starting to get back into it in a big way, I figured ‘why not?’ But I wasn’t sold on it until I saw September’s Ipsy bag. Just… it’s so unbelievably cute. I caved and subscribed but Ipsy had told me it was too late to get the bag I wanted.

     Lucky me when I got the email letting me know it had shipped! This bag is pretty awesome, guys. Not the best, really, but I did get a really nice blending brush. The first thing I noticed when opening my bag was this amazing quote. I love it and immediately stuck it on Instagram.

Moving on the meat of the bag…

Two sheet face masks! I’m so excited! I really love masks and I’m just starting to amass a huge collection of them in my miscellaneous makeup drawer. I usually prefer mud masks because the sheets are a little hard to match to my face and keep them there. Preference aside, I’m pretty hype to use these!

       

When I saw this on the Ipsy app, I wasn’t too excited. Pinks are generally a bad color on me. Seeing it in person is a little different, it looks soft enough to be passable. That apparently doesn’t concern me too much, because I just bought the Norvina palette which has a few shimmery pinks that I quite like. I’ll do a tester of it and hope for the best!

This. I don’t think I like this. The Thank Me Later primer is definitely not an item I intend to purchase. I feel like it goes on with an oily texture and then dries to a powder. My fingers felt incredibly greasy after using this. I may give it another chance and see how it goes, but as of right this moment, I don’t think that I like this. If it works for you, great!

Ipsy has spoken, and they want me to use TreStique- I’m not offended. I actually really like these. They sent me one ages ago and I still use it. They have such a great, smooth formula and the pigmentation is lovely. The color doesn’t last super long, but that’s okay because it’s so small that I don’t mind carrying it with me to do touch ups if needed. 

Check out that brush! Isn’t it adorable? I haven’t tried it quite yet, beyond blending shadows on my wrists. It’s super soft and flexible. It does its job well so far. The fact that it’s DC-related with the Harley Quinn diamonds doesn’t matter much to me beyond aesthetics.

I’d probably rate this bag a…

3/5

Really, I can’t give it higher based on the fact that they missed their marks with the colors for the most part. I prefer nudes, browns and a few bold colors here and there. I generally reach for red lipsticks rather than pink. So while this lippy is cute, it’s not really all the way up my alley. It’s not a bad bag, I just didn’t jive with their color choices.They weren’t far off their mark.

I hope they get closer next month!

Beauty Debut! Makeup Sale Loot! (Haul!)

Beauty Debut! Makeup Sale Loot! (Haul!)

Hey guys! Welcome back to Java and Jeans, as you may have seen, I have plans to include Beauty here. Since I mentioned it, I’ve been wildly trying to figure out exactly how to go about that. I was told by a co-worker that there was a huge makeup wholesale sale coming to Columbus, hosted by this group! 

     The moment I got wind of it, I knew it was going to be my first adventure into adding beauty to the blog. I reached out to everyone I knew and dragged a good friend of mine out to enjoy it with me! 

    When we walked in, I knew the loot potential was through the roof. Guys. I have a little bit of an issue with self-control when in the face of cosmetics, which you can see by that preview image over there.

 I absolutely had to know how this wholesale makeup stacks up against my recently acquired brand names. We meandered around the giant conference room, taking in the huge selection of colors, palettes, kits and everything else you can imagine. Some of which, I had no idea how to use. One thing I ended up getting, I had no idea how to use at all., and it now lives in my bathroom taunting me for my ignorance.

 

Tease Me

     This first Palette had some fairly risque names, which makes sense based off the name of the palette. The Tease Me palette from Beauty Creations has some wonderful pigmentations and the shimmer shades are gorgeous and reflective. I can definitely see this as something that you would have to smoke out and mix with a matte to make it more relaxed. This slideshow has the palette in all its glory, along with the swatches I did. As you can see, they have lovely pigment. As for longevity, I can’t speak for that. Though I will definitely be testing these colors in more situations!

Rating; 4/5

    I really liked the pink packaging and I loved the aesthetic. While swatching, I did try to blend it on my arm and it blended nicely, so I’m excited to try this with a look. I don’t think I can give it a solid 5/5 due to my inexperience, in the future when I’m more knowledgeable I will amend it some way. But, for the current moment, I like this palette and would recommend it. The color selection is versatile for night or day!

 

Sugar Sweets

    This second Palette is the Sugar Sweets palette from Beauty Creations, also. All of my palettes are from this brand, because none of the other ones really spoke to me. I loved the name, and look at this container. It is the absolute cutest thing I’ve seen (makeup-wise) and I had to have it. I’m really feeling like this may be a knockoff of  Too Faced, though I’m not sure which palette. I don’t know enough to say for certain though. 

     I am pleased to announce that this palette performed very well! First, I threw on my primer, that small pot seen in that preview, and the subtle smokey eye I threw together lasted the entire day. This was also after spritzing it with my new setting spray. All in all, I’m pleased with the pigmentation of these colors.

Rating 4/5

I don’t know if I can justify giving this product a 5/5 rating so 4/5 is about the best I can do. I think it could improve in the blending department and maybe pigmentation could be a little better. In the end, I don’t know too much about makeup at this juncture, maybe I’ll re-rate it in the future and amend it one way or another.

 

BarelyNude2

This last palette appears to be trying to knockoff Urban Decay’s Naked line of palettes. I hate to say that it does not perform as admirably as the Sweets or Tease Me, as far as pigmentation. Even the paler colors from earlier showed up against my skin, and as you can see from the swatches in the slideshow below, these did not. 

    The darker shades do show up, which makes sense, but I’m super disappointed with those light nudes which are my go-to colors most of the time. To its credit, the palette does seem to be made of sturdy material and the brush looks to be useful. So it’s not a complete wash.

2.5/5

    Most of these points come from the construction of the palette itself. This thing feels nice and has a lovely weight to it. The mirror on the inside seems to be fair quality and the brush that’s included is very similar to the one included in the Naked palettes. The color being weak really docks the points a fair bit. 

My Lucky Day

The other items I grabbed on impulse from the wholesale makeup blowout, were

  1. a Twist-up Concealer- Strange barrel, but nothing too weird. I don’t think it works too well for an under-eye concealer, based off of my experience today. But it was decent for the whole whopping 4 dollars it cost. Also pictured, is a concealer tube with a built in brush (untested) and the primer I mentioned earlier. Honestly, the primer smells like the lip gloss that is included with children’s makeup kits, but seems to deliver well.
  2. The white bottle up above is the setting spray, I’ve never used it before so I wasn’t sure what to expect. I gave it a chance after my friend tested it and gave it her seal of approval. I tested it today and my makeup didn’t move all day. This was 8 dollars well spent, as far as I’m concerned!
  3. These last couple items are that blending sponge and 5 lip treatments. I purchased the lip treatments to cross into 60 dollars so that I could spin their prize wheel.

     Now that we’re onto the prize wheel- after I was told that my purchase was 5 dollars short from spinning the wheel, I hurriedly searched for something to total that extra 5. It took me only a second of internal debate on whether or not it was necessary to spend 60 dollars. In the end, I decided why would I come here if I’m not going to experience it? 

     I threw those 5 lip treatment tubes on the counter and handed over the payment, with that I made my way to the wheel and uncertainly flicked it. I didn’t do well, it moved three spaces and came to a stop on Eye Shadow. Not the best, I thought, but I’ll take it. It’s a win, so it works. The cashier called out to me to go ahead and spin it- this bolstered my confidence so I gave it a decent spin. This time….

     It stopped on Jack-Pot. But only just. If I’d have spun it just a little harder, it would have rocketed past the Jack-Pot and most likely right back to the eye shadow.

    What happened next was surreal- the gentleman at the table behind me shouted Jackpot, the woman behind by the register doubled down on his cry. A voice floated over the crowd in an echo of the people behind me. I was confused, and startled. Are they giving me my money back? After what felt like a few minutes, but was actually probably less than a minute, a man approached with this expensive looking gold box. 

     I did find the product on their manufacturers web page just now, and I just had a heart attack. Click here to see the store page of Jewels Cosmetics, this item specifically. That cost- are you telling me that I spent 60 bucks to win a $600 dollar item? I guess it really was my lucky day.

   After that reveal, I’m honestly not sure what to say. I’m surprised! Why is that so expensive? What does it do? As Grav3yardgirl asks, does this thing really work? My big question is, what situation is important enough to use this? At what point can I justify slathering a product that is half a grand on my face? Is there even a time where that’s appropriate? Literally, the only thing I can think of that would do the price point justice is the night before my wedding.

     

 

 

Consensus!

   I had a blast at this Sale. And really, where there’s great prices and lots of makeup, how could I possibly be sad? In the end, it was a surprising and worthwhile experience. The event was a little more cramped than I expected, with the tables set up in a maze-like formation that funneled us to the checkout line, before we were ready. The workers there were lovely and  I would definitely recommend checking them out if they’re in your area. Follow their facebook page linked in the first paragraph to keep on top of their stops!