Friday, May 13, 2011

May Birchbox

I received my Mother's Day inspired May Birchbox last night and tore right into it as soon as I got home!  I was pleasantly surprised to find within my box a full-sized Stila eyeshadow.  These retail for $18 each which alone makes my $10 Birchbox subscription well worth the price this month!

Here's a full list of what came in my box, as well as my initial thoughts on the products:

  • Stila eyeshadow refill pan in Starlight - This is a shimmery champagne shade that is velvety smooth and great for all over the lid or as a highlight.  If you love Stila Kitten eyeshadow, you will like this for a less sparkly alternative.  I know I will be getting a lot of use out of this lovely shade.
  • Bvlgari Mon Jasmine Noir perfume sample in spray tube - A jasmine based scent that smells divine!  I think I may have hit on a new favorite fragrance...if only I could afford $80 perfume!
  • Archipelago Pomegranate Soap - Fancy little bar of soap that smells delish!  I don't use bar soap, but can use it to keep my dresser drawers smelling fresh.
  • Ahava Dead Sea Water Mineral Hand Cream - I absolutely love the way the cream felt on my hands; I mean they were seriously silky smooth.  But, the scent is just awful; it smells like dead flowers and baby powder.  I really wish this had a different scent.
  • Birchbox treat: Tiny Prints card - Cute note card that can be customized on the Tiny Prints website
I was really pleased with my box this month!  Thanks, Birchbox!!!

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Fox In a Box

Hard Candy Fox In a Box in Smooth Talker (left) and Truth Or Dare (right)

Hard Candy Fox In a Box in Smooth Talker (left) and Truth Or Dare (right)
Being a huge fan of Benefit Cosmetics boxes of powder, I just had to try these Hard Candy Fox In a Box blushes.  Foremost, the packaging is so cute and very much like Benefit's packaging.  I actually like that the Hard Candy boxes have a magnetic closure; the Benefit boxes have lids that must be removed.  As far as the actual product goes, I don't think that the colors or pigmentation are stellar with either of the blushes I sampled, but they are decent.  The blush and bronzer combo would be a good purchase for someone who is just starting to build a makeup collection or for those looking for a two-in-one product.  I'll stick with my Benefit boxes of powder for their overall better quality, but Fox In a Box is a cheap alternative.

At face value, Benefit Sugarbomb and Hard Candy Smooth Talker look pretty much the same, but they are definitely different.  You can see in my swatches below that Sugarbomb is more of a shimmery pink, while Smooth Talker is less shimmery and more of a peach shade.  Smooth Talker is also less densely packed and more powdery than Sugarbomb.  I think that Smooth Talker is an okay product, but I would not repurchase it.  I was hoping that at $8 the Hard Candy Fox In a Box would be a dupe for my beloved Benefit Sugarbomb which retails for $28.  But, no such luck!

Left to right: Hard Candy Truth Or Dare, Benefit Sugarbomb, Hard Candy Smooth Talker

Have you tried a Fox In a Box?  What are your thoughts on these blushes?

Physicians Formula Shimmer Strips

Physicians Formula Shimmer Strips in Smokey Hazel Eyes

This is going to be another rave review for Physicians Formula eye shadows!  I recently picked up the Physicians Formula Shimmer Strips in Smokey Hazel Eyes in a great sale at CVS.  Once again, I am so impressed by the quality and pigmentation of these eye shadows.  The colors are true to what you see in the package once applied.  They are buttery soft and blend wonderfully.  The value is great, as well; for around $12 you get 9 shadows!  You can create endless looks with this one little palette.  I just can't say enough great things about these eye shadows.  If you don't have any of the Shimmer Strips yet, run out and get 'em!

Dupe Alert!!!

Left: Taupe shade from Shimmer Strips, Right: MAC Satin Taupe
As you can see from the swatches, the taupe shade (in the middle) from the Shimmer Strips is a very close dupe for the cult classic MAC Satin Taupe.  While Satin Taupe is slightly less frosty, the shades are very comparable in texture, pigmentation and blending.  I'm really impressed with how well the Physicians Formula eye shadows stand up to high end eye shadows like MAC shadows.