Beauty

Boxycharm April 2018

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Subscription boxes are a guilty pleasure of mine. I don’t actually subscribe to many because if there are products I cannot or would not use I don’t want to waste them. I would likely spend a lot of time attempting to find them new homes. I do, however, find pleasure in watching unboxing videos and reading about what is sent out in various boxes each month. My excitement grows when I realize a new month is starting and I know a new round of boxes are going to be distributed. The curiosity started for me when I stumbled upon a YouTube Ipsy unboxing.
For anyone who doesn’t already know, Ipsy is a $14.95 CAD/month beauty bag filled with 5 -usually sample size- products. The bags are usually quite cute and seasonally appropriate. The samples are often products that one would recognize from social media and influencers. It is nice to be able to try something new and popular without having to purchase the full size. I tend to forget about sample-size products though. With that said I am always interested to see what Ipsy (and many other subscription companies) send every month.

It is a wonderful surprise to open up a package when you don’t really know what is inside. Anticipation builds from the moment you know the package will arrive until you have torn it open and tried all of the products or found them a comfortable new home inside your actual home. Subscription boxes are a good business in times like these. There are always new products coming out and by paying a small sum, you can have a feel-good package arrive at your door. With that package you can try many samples (or full-size items) that you may have already considered purchasing. Amongst the products you might find a holy grail product you never would have discovered otherwise.
Boxycharm is a subscription box, but is fundamentally different than a bag like Ipsy in my opinion. I have subscribed to Boxycharm intermittently over the last two years. Rather than sample products they are known for sending mostly full-sized products. Boxycharm exposes consumers to brands they might not have tried by helping them use a product for quite a while and giving them more time to fall in love with it. It is not mainly trying to sell products to consumers after only a couple of uses. Most months the box comes with a full palette.  To be honest I have yet to actually finish a palette completely. There would be little need to repurchase some of the products that you receive in this subscription box for quite some time.
It is a wonderfully inexpensive way to try new brands. In the past I received a Pur Cosmetics lipstick and loved it so much I ran out to purchase another colour within a week of receiving it. Boxycharm is a great way to gain exposure to new brands for a fraction of the cost. Even though you receive full-sized products, the price seems reasonable with one box costing around the same amount as just one of the products would cost on its own.  In total with the USD to CAD exchange rate, shipping and taxes the April box cost me $34.39CAD. In the US it would cost about $21 plus any taxes. Shipping is included for US addresses.

In the second half of March a couple of spoilers for the April box were released. Before it arrived I already knew they had sent one of a few different Colourpop eyeshadow pallets and either a Tarte highlighter or a MAC lipstick. A couple of days into April another spoiler was released: A Dr Brant mask.

The pores no more Vacuum Cleaner mask is good for combination to oily skin according to the package. We received a 1oz size, which retails for $53CAD on the Sephora website.
Though my skin is more dry to combination there are visible pores around my nose and I think this mask might be useful. When you put it on, there is a slight cooling sensation and the blue beads in the formula that leave you with a light blue smurf-like tint as you wear it. As it dries the mask causes your skin to feel tight (to the point where I had to be extra careful to not spill my morning coffee while sipping at it with the mask on). After rinsing my face, it definitely looked and felt smoother, though my pores are still visible. This is a product that likely works over time so it is difficult to tell how well it works upon first application. With that said, I will happily continue to use it until at least the bottle is finished. We shall see about a repurchase later.
The Semi-Precious Colourpop eyeshadow palette is comprised of eight metallic shadows and retails for $26USD ($33.23CAD), but as of this writing is on sale for $18USD ($23.01CAD). The packaging is also eye-catching and will encourage you to display it somewhere rather than let it hide away in a drawer.
Top Row left to right: Celestial, Beam Me Up, Easy Go, Up & Atom
Bottom Row left to right: West Star, Bashful, Upon A Star, The Game. It would be difficult to create a full look with this palette because they are all shimmery, but in combination with a neutral matte palette, each shadow would be a beautiful compliment to any look.
These shadows are beautiful. The Game didn’t have a very successful arm swatch, but it did look stunning when it was actually applied to the lid. I love the look of Beam Me Up and cannot wait to wear it, but am not sure how well it would work combined in a look with the rest of the shadows.
The Colourpop site suggests using these metallic shadows with a wet brush. I can definitely understand how this would help with the pigment payoff and fallout. For the crease in the image above, I used the Issues pressed powder eyeshadow from Colourpop’s Blow Me Away Palette from last spring. Then I used Easy Go, Upon A Star and The Game on the lid and inner corner. I didn’t use a primer or setting spray and the shadows lasted pretty well for about ten hours on the eyes. There also wasn’t glitter fall-out all over my face by the end of the day. Bonus!
The Adesse liquid lipstick in Haute Cocoa (I think!!! I cannot find it written anywhere on the packaging for some reason) is a beautiful brown-neutral in the packaging. It retails for $20USD or $30.68CAD. This is a brand I had not heard of before receiving the box.
The applicator is a very flexible paddle, which I found was difficult to get out of the tube with a good amount of product on it, but it was very easy to actually apply to the lips.
The hand swatch also appears to be a fairly dark brown colour. It does not dry down and is very pigmented out of the packaging.

 

The Adesse High Definition Liquid lipstick looks very shiny. It gives you a youthful appearance, though is definitely not transfer-proof if that is what you are looking for. I love the colour and shine of it. The formula is a bit sticky, but understandably so with its claims of being long lasting.
Once actually on the lips, it seems to pull more neutral pink than the brown it appears to be in the packaging. It is very long lasting while still moisturizing the lips, but it is also sticky. It was a feeling I got accustomed to after a few minutes of wear, but I was still aware of it as the day went on.
The Tarteist Pro Glow liquid highlighter in Exposed was a product I was excited to receive, but so far have not been able to convince to work for me. It retails for $36CAD at Sephora for the same size as we received in Boxycharm.

 

The highlighter is beautiful in this swatch, but you can see small pieces of glitter. I think mixed in with foundation or a tinted moisturizer or CC cream, it would give you a beautiful golden glow.
When I tried to use it alone as a face highlight, nothing aside from the pieces of glitter showed up very well. I had a difficult time blending it because it dries very quickly. I think it would make a beautiful inner-corner and brow-bone highlight, or would be a good way to get extra glow under a powder highlight though I have yet to try it in those ways. I don’t imagine that I will repurchase this one after it is gone, but maybe by that time I will have learned to use it properly. What suggestions to you have to get this product to work for me? I would love it if you have some advice to share.  

 

The fifth and final product I received this month is one that I fell instantly in love with. It is The BrowGal InstaTint in Brown 02. It retails for $22USD ($28.12CAD).

 

This brow gel has microfibers to give your brows volume. The spoolie you use to apply is perfect (some I have tried are way too big). This one was extremely simple to use and I loved the results. Last year I received a brow powder from The BrowGal in a Boxycharm box, but haven’t gotten much use out of it. This gel actually makes me want to start using it all over again.

While I wouldn’t have chosen this colour on my own for someone with red hair, it seems to work perfectly to give the brows more life. After using the gel I did brush my brows with a clean spoolie to blend it in a bit and make sure they weren’t too dark. My brows didn’t feel crunchy after and they managed to stay in place for about ten hours until I took them off. I am a big fan of trying products for a bargain and one thing I love about receiving Boxycharm in Canada is the fact that we receive so many products that aren’t local and aren’t as easily accessible here. Please don’t get me wrong. I truly appreciate local products, but it is nice to try wonderful brands from other places as well. After all a good product is a good product and there might not be similar ones created locally. It makes finding that local treasure feel even more rewarding as well.

Do you know of any good boxes I might not have tried? I would love to hear about them if you have some time. Until next time, happy first day of truly warmer weather here in Ontario. I hope whatever you are spending the weekend doing you are enjoying it!

 

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