Beauty Army & Ipsy for July – which is best?

Beauty Army July 2014

Beauty Army July 2014

This month I decided to add Beauty Army back into my rotation of subscription boxes. Beauty Army charges $12.00 per month for 6 beauty samples. The catch here is that they are samples and not usually even deluxe samples. I’ve been pretty fickle with that subscription and have quit twice. There are pros about this service though –

1) You fill out a survey and they supposedly narrow down your choices to fit your survey

2) You get to pick what’s in your box. But you don’t have a huge selection to pick from. You can pick 1-6 samples out of a range of 9 so that’s not much of a pick.

3) If you don’t like your sample selections, redo your survey and you’ll get different choices.

4) You can skip as many months as you want but you better watch for the email that tells you it’s selection time or you’ll get a box they pick.

The reason I went back to Beauty Army for July is that they sent an email promising some full size products. And they came through with that as you’ll see.

my July Beauty Army collection

my July Beauty Army collection

2 full size products were included and I’m very excited about both of these. Roux Anti-Aging Hair Serum Leave In Treatment is wonderful since I have shampoo and conditioners that I love from Roux. Lisa has reviewed this so I know it’s a winner.

Roux Hair Serum Leave in Treatment

Roux Hair Serum Leave in Treatment

The second full size item is Revlon’s newest mascara, Bold Lacquer. If you get a lot of subscriptions you might find this in another box since there’s a full PR program going on with it. This is a length and volume mascara. I am going to try it very soon since I’m ready for a new mascara in my life but reviews are mixed. That’s okay, I’d rather try it via a subscription box.

Revlon Bold Lacquer

Revlon Bold Lacquer

The other products in the box are samples. One that I chose is a semi-deluxe sample of Vincent Longo Lip & Cheek Gel Stain in Liquid Kiss. Lisa recently reviewed this in another shade so it’s a nice coincidence. It has a very sweet fragrance though so it will be included in our Maybelline palette giveaway. The other almost deluxe sample is Phyto 5 Pigmentation Cream which I will try. Sample packets are a Cetaphil Cleansing Cloth which is great for my purse or gym bag and No7 Lift & Luminate Day & Night Serum. There’s probably enough in there for about 5 tries since you’d need so little.

No7 Lift & Luminate, Cetaphil wipe and Phyto 5

No7 Lift & Luminate, Cetaphil wipe and Phyto 5

Vincent Longo Lip & Cheek Gel Stain

Vincent Longo Lip & Cheek Gel Stain

Now onto Ipsy for July 2014 which is only $10 for a month. You can’t skip a month but they usually have products that I really enjoy for myself or others. July is a hot pink month with a leather-like cosmetic bag that will be easy to find in my big dark purse. This month’s theme is Sensationally Sunkissed.

Ipsy for July 2014

Ipsy for July 2014

There are usually a lot of reviews for Ipsy since it seems to be the most popular of all the subscriptions out there. There’s usually some similarity between what we seem to get. Some of these are really fun for me.

Models Own

Models Own

There’s no name on my Model’s Own polish but it’s a pretty semi-sheer red with pretty holographic glitter in it (I’ve read that it’s called Red Sea). I was so excited that I put it over a fresh manicure – oops. ipsy july models own nail

bareMinerals 5 in 1 Cream Eyeshadow is brand new from bareMinerals. I just learned about it this week so it’s nice to have a sample of it to try out myself. There are 10 shades, this one is Divine Wine (other bags will have Barely Nude). It’s a great way to test this.

bareMinerals 5 in 1 Cream Eyeshadow

bareMinerals 5 in 1 Cream Eyeshadow

Elizabeth Mott Tints & Sass in Cherry is the full size cheek & lip tint that’s similar to both Benetint and the one in the Beauty Army kit. This retails for $23.

Elizabeth Mott Tint & Sass

Elizabeth Mott Tints & Sass

Two more deluxe samples: pur-lisse SPF30 sunscreen and Marrakesh Endz. I know I like pur-lisse and it’s a great size for my purse. I won’t be without my SPF! Marrakesh Endz is new to me and it says it’s a split end mender and preventer which sounds interesting.

pur-lisse SPF30 and Marrakesh Endz

pur-lisse SPF30 and Marrakesh Endz

The value of IPSY is always way above their $10 subscription price. From what I can gather I’ve got about $50 worth of product here (Model’s Own approx $9, bareMinerals approx $5.50, Elizabeth Mott $23, pur-lisse approx $16 and Marakesh Endz approx $6). That’s not a bad investment. Plus you earn points at IPSY with reviews and referrals (my referral link).

I’m not unhappy with either of my subscriptions this month. I’ve got some new things to play with, more to add to our giveaways as extras and a few super treasures. Which do you think is best? Would you consider Beauty Army? — Marcia

*nothing to disclose except referral link for points

My Beauty Army goodies for July

Beauty Army July

Beauty Army July

One of the reasons I like the Beauty Army subscription boxes so much is that you have some control over the box. You fill out a profile and can specify from what categories you’d like things. You can also change that profile any time you want. They notify you when it’s your day to select. I don’t think everyone has the same day, I know mine starts on the 20th of the month. They’ll show you about 9 items and you can pick up to 6 of them. If you don’t care for these items you can do one of two things – opt out for the month or play around with your profile and see what else pops up for your selection.

Beauty Army boxes are $10 including shipping and they arrive in a great pink cigar box. I’ve opted out of the box for the last several months but when the July selection came through there was enough in the box to justify my $10 and I went for it. See past months here.

Beauty Army July

Beauty Army July

In my pink box there are 2 full size items, 2 packets and 2 minis. I said yes to the box because of the two full size items.

1) Addiction NV gel eyeliner in Big Daddy which is a chocolate shade. I love gel eyeliners and I go through brown ones quickly. Now the quirk in this is that I just looked it up to find the price and they are gone – out of business – goodbye to Addiction NV. I’ve reviewed 3 shades here but I neglected to put in the price which I believe was around $14. I expect that we’ll see Addiction NV products showing up in some subscriptions. Discontinued or not, I’m happy to have another brown liner because I toss them if they dry out. I’m still using my green one (Scene) and it’s over a year and a half old and going strong. This looks like it’s pulling away a little so I’ll use it quickly.

Addiction NV gel liner

Addiction NV gel liner

Addiction NV Big Daddy gel liner

Addiction NV Big Daddy gel liner

2) Remington AnyWear Hair ties for hair – these are available at Walmart and cost $2.50 each. I like these for pulling my hair off my neck and go through them quickly. I always meant to pick up the Remington ones but never saw them when I was wandering around Wally World. The colors are pretty summer shades of lilac, peach and cherry. They aren’t as tight as some brands and seem a little bigger. This kind of hair tie eventually loses its mojo so having a few extra around is always a pleasure.

Remington AnyWear hair ties

Remington AnyWear hair ties

3) Bikini Soft Smooth Shave Oil – this is a deluxe sample size and seems really nice. I’ve never used an oil for shaving but oils are becoming bigger in my world so this will be a treat to try. Great size for travel too. Here’s the website (https://www.bikinisoft.com/) which talks to you. LOL.

Bikini Soft Smooth Shave Oil

Bikini Soft Smooth Shave Oil

4) Mini Kittour travel bottle – speaking of travel – this is an empty bottle that will fit 30ml/1 fl oz of product. This sells for $6 for a set of 2. I can always use things like this.

Mini Kittour bottle, Lift Lab moisturizer, Pida Exfoliating Gel

Mini Kittour bottle, Lift Lab moisturizer, Pida Exfoliating Gel

The rest of my choices were packets and I chose two. I chose Lift Lab Daily Cream since I’m using Lift Lab’s eye cream now with success. I also chose Pida Exfoliating Gel for no specific reason other than that it seemed the most interesting of my choices. Beauty Army makes it sound pretty great so it was hopefully a good one.

So there you have my latest Beauty Army box. If you are interested in this subscription I’d love it if you used my Referral Link so I could eventually get a free box. I promise to share. What do you think of this month’s choices? Have you considered Beauty Army? — Marcia

Beauty Army for January and February 2013

Beauty subscription boxes are a little too addicting for me. They just show up in my mail and I love getting mail. I’m too lazy to unsubscribe plus to be honest I love the little thrills. I’m reporting both my January and February 2013 Beauty Army boxes even though I know that you can’t necessarily get the same items. But Beauty Army is different than boxes like Birchbox, Ipsy and Glossybox. With Beauty Army you fill out a profile and say what kinds of items that you like. When it’s your day to “pick” your samples I’ve found that if you don’t like what’s being offered to you then you can redo your profile to see what other options there might be.

The main reason I’m currently subscribed to Beauty Army is that Whip Hand Cosmetiques has a Camouflage Collection that is sold exclusively through them. I like the mini bottle (and I do mean mini) that they offered and for $12 a month to get this and other choices is fun. I think that Whip Hand only created 4 of these colors but I’m hoping they’ll work with Beauty Army again.

But now to the main attractions. Beauty Army sometimes recycles their goodies so it’s possible that you’ll see some of my items in your choices at some point.

Beauty Army for January 2013

Beauty Army for January 2013

Typically the Beauty Army box is a pink cigar box. I love these for storage. I have at least half a dozen of them now. January 2013 was their one year birthday so they included an extra “surprise” in the box. When you get your selections you can pick UP TO 6 items. Well who would pick less? Even if you don’t want something, a friend will!! My choices were

beauty army jan 13 lash card frontLash Card which is a mascara shield. I don’t have super long lashes and I have a feeling these might be best for someone whose lashes sweep their browbone. beauty army jan 13 bbwBath and Body Works Shower Gel in Twilight Woods is a product I picked mainly because it’s a nice size and I know someone will enjoy it, even if it’s not me. beauty army jan 13 hairsprayNot Your Mother’s: She’s a Tease Volumizing Hairspray. There weren’t a lot of items I was excited about but I thought this would be great to own or to give to my mother even though the name says not to! beauty army jan 13 yes to blueberriesYes to Blueberries Eye Firming Treatment – a great brand and a great way to try it out. I can usually get about 4 days use out of a packet. This is obviously just a sample packet but I was happy to see this as a choice.beauty army jan 13 mark bundlebeauty army jan 13 mark products

Mark Cosmetics Scandalash Mascara, Glow Baby Glow lipgloss and their connector. The mascara was their birthday gift to subscribers. While I’m sure I’d enjoy these I plan to use them instead in a Beauty Info Zone beauty box giveaway. beauty army jan 13 whiphand camobeauty army jan 13 whiphand fingerbeauty army jan 13 whiphand armAt last, Whip Hand Cosmetiques Camo Collection pigment in Special Forces. I’m a big fan of Whip Hand and this pretty soft peach is a great shade to have.

Beauty Army 2013 February box

Beauty Army 2013 February box

February’s box is a white box for a change and I picked some items that I’m happy to have in this month’s box.beauty army feb 13 bbwBath and Body Works shower gel in Paris Amour this time. I’m not personally a fan of these (see above) but it will get loved. beauty army feb 13 boo boo coversbeauty army feb 13 boo boo cover directBoo Boo Covers – I had no clue at all what these were going to be when I put this in my selections. It turns out to be interesting. It’s a strip with 3 “skintone” shades of bandages that you cut to size. They camouflage your boo-boo whether it’s a scrape, a pimple or a tattoo. A box of these costs $20 on the Boo-Boo Cover Up website. beauty army feb 13 packetsSample packets from Fiafiani and Yes To Carrots. I’m currently testing Fiafini eye cream and really enjoying it so I was happy to see a sample of their Delicate Cleansing Emulsion in here. I’m interested in learning more about the brand and at least this is a start. Yes to Carrots Super Rich Body Butter is a nice travel packet from a respected brand. beauty army feb 13 blush labelbeauty army feb 13 blushSkinn Cosmetics Color Touch Eye, Cheek and Lip Glow – do you know what a surprise it was to find a full size cosmetic as a choice? This is a cream product that you can use on your eyes, lips or cheek. The name of the shade is Teen Tone. It sells for $17 on the Beauty Army site. beauty army feb 13 whip handbeauty army feb 13 whip hand swatchWhip Hand Cosmetiques – this time the shade is Medal of Honor, a golden copper. Beauty Army sells the whole collection of full size pigments on their site.

Here are a few other reviews for Beauty Army, I see I neglected to do the November box but I did get another Whip Hand Cosmetics mini in Green Beret, You Da Balm in Coconut and a different shade of the Skinn Cosmetics Twin Set gloss. I don’t remember the others but those made me smile big time!

All in all I’ve more than gotten my $12 worth for each box. I’ve got gifts, prizes for a giveaway and several items I’m excited about trying myself. The list of brands working with Beauty Army just keeps growing and growing so there’s a very good chance that I’ll be back to show you more monthly boxes. — Marcia

I welcomed back Beauty Army subscription box in October

Beauty Army

I had subscribed to Beauty Army for three months but it just didn’t thrill me so I decided to drop this subscription box and concentrate on others. Beauty Army costs $12 a month and one of the biggest differences between BA and others is that you get to choose which samples you want. They give you a choice of approximately 9 samples and you can pick up to 6. Even though I cancelled after the third box I found out that Whip Hand Cosmetics was going to be featured in the October box and that the pigments were going to be unique to the box.

When I resubscribed I got my samples to choose from and couldn’t find Whip Hand. I started playing around with my profile and realized that by narrowing down the choices in what I was interested in I could get cosmetics! So I did that and now I’m back with Beauty Army.

My Beauty Army October contents

Here’s October’s rundown

Whip Hand Cosmetics pigment sample from their exclusive Camo Collection. This shade is called Locked + Loaded and it’s TAUPE! I’m not a big pigment user so this size is actually perfect although I can (and probably will) purchase it in the full size for $14 from Beauty Army.

Whip Hand Locked + Loaded

sample size of the Whip Hand

Locked + Loaded swatch

Locked + Loaded

– sample size of Lipsi Cosmetics Aphrodite Powder. This fine finishing powder is designed to absorb the excess oil, allowing your skin to glow. Aphrodite Power sets makeup and absorbs shine while keeping your cosmetics fresh and natural all day long. This powder suits all skin types and tones.

Lipsi Aphrodite Powder

SKINN Cosmetics (Dimitri James) full size Twin Set. This gloss and lipstick duo is in the shade Coral Poppy and it’s a beautiful combination. To purchase one would cost $18.50 so that alone pays for the box.

SKINN lip set

SKINN lipgloss side in Coral Poppy

SKINN lipstick side

You Da Balm in Grapefruit – this is a very nice moisturizing balm. These retail for $3. I love the tube of this full size balm. (I forgot to take a picture so this is the set of 3 that Beauty Army sells.)

You Da Balm in Grapefruit

Skyn ICELAND Hydra Cool Firming Eye Gels. This is a single set of eye gels that I’m looking forward to testing out. A package of 8 pairs is $30.

Skyn Iceland Firming Eye Gels and Egyptian Magic

– a sample packet of Egyptian Magic. I’ve used Egyptian Magic before so having a sample for travel is terrific, it’s a jack of all trades.

I’m very happy with this month’s box and I’m glad I found my way back to Beauty Army. Just remember the trick seems to be to limit the choices of what you’d like to see in your box. While I came for Whip Hand Cosmetics, I left with a lot more. — Marcia

March subscription boxes – the good, the bad and the smelly

Subscription boxes are taking over the world. Run, hide, shred your credit cards. They might just grab onto you like they have for me.

March’s bags are a mixed bag (yes I meant to say that). One extremely disappointing, one improvement and one that I’m happy with.

Let’s start with happy! Beauty Army is the happy one. To be honest I don’t remember what was in my last box but it wasn’t anything that excited me. I really don’t need skincare but my March box has some products I’m happy to try:

March Beauty Army contents

Indie Lee Squalene Oil sample

–          Joico K Pak Revitaluxe – this is a treatment to revitalize hair. I’ve used Joico previously and liked it so I’m happy to have a new product to try.

–          Babor Argan Cream – a moisturizer to use day or night containing argan oil

–          CellCeuticals CerActive – another moisturizer for extra dry areas so I can use this to spot treat

–          M.A.D. Illuminating Daily Moisturizer

–          Indie Lee Squalene Oil – another box had a great Indie Lee product so this is a brand I’m happy to explore some more

–          Cover FX Eye Prep – this is why I’m happy with the box. Cover FX is a wonderful brand and I’m addicted to eye creams. This sounds perfect for daytime since it’s an eye primer,

When Beauty Army started they did say they’d have cosmetics and I wasn’t given any choices of cosmetics so I’m really hoping that will come in a future box. Beauty Army is housed in a reusable cigar box that I find handy to have. Subscriptions are $12 a month which includes shipping.

Birchbox is the box that is vastly improved. I was so disappointed in my February Birchbox that I wrote and complained. It didn’t get me anywhere but at least I put in my 2 cents worth. The March box has a few items I’ll actually use so that’s a relief.

March Birchbox contents

–          Traditions by Nick Chavez Yucca Root Shampooing Cream – not my style because of the fragrance but it will find a good home

–          Annick Goutal Eau d’Hadrien perfume sample – also not my style but Queen for a Day always gets my samples so this will go to a good home

–          Koh Gen Do Cleansing Spa Water – I’ve tried this before and liked it (I need to review it!); the box has two sample packets that will be good for travel

–          Eve Lom TLC Radiance Cream – a brand I’ve wanted to try

–          Color Club mini polish in He Loves Me – a very pretty spring pink

–          Tea forte’ – this is the “treat” of the box. There are 3 packages of green tea for “Beauty Within”

Color Club polish in Birchbox

Eve Lom and Koh Gen Do from March Birchbox

While I wish I wouldn’t end up with skincare sample after skincare sample, at least this is a box that has some items I like. The Color Club is the highlight of the box for me but I’m also happy about the Koh Gen Do and Eve Lom. I’d be happy if they put in a full size product again but my box didn’t have that. Birchbox is $10 a month with shipping included.

Now for the sadness – MyGlam. What a total disappointment this bag is. It’s got basically nothing of value in it. I had high hopes for MyGlam and their Glam Bag. The names behind it are wonderful. Michelle Phan is known throughout the blogging and beauty world so when she put her name on this you expect great things. In my February bag at least I liked the makeup bag because it had cute hearts on it. But this month’s actual makeup bag stinks. YES IT STINKS. It smells so awful that it’s hard to believe that no one noticed it when putting these together. It’s not just my bag that stinks. Everyone on Facebook that has mentioned the bag has said the exact same thing.

MyGlam makeup bag and brush holder

And what’s inside isn’t much better.  I don’t like paying for little sample packets that Sephora and Beauty.com give away. That’s ridiculous. Inside the bag was a sheer organza bag with 2 little packets – Murad Eye Lift Perfector and pur-lisse pur-protect moisturizer. In addition there’s a dual packet of Keracolor Color Enhancing Leave In Treatment for hair. My bag also had a deluxe sample of Murad Absolute Bronzing Boost. There is also a pink plastic brush holder that says MyGlam on it (this smells too) with a very disappointing crease brush inside. At first I thought I’d include the crease brush in a Beauty Info Zone contest but it’s not good enough for that.

MyGlam March contents

crease brush from MyGlam

The only positive is a card with a code for $25 off a $50 order at Dermstore. At least there’s something I’ll use in the box. I’ll put the Murad and pur-lisse packets in a travel bag and I’ll test the Murad Bronzing Boost but I don’t think that I got my money’s worth with this box. The cosmetic bag is already in the garbage since the smell of gasoline was so strong. MyGlam is $10 a month. I’ll give it one more month just because I believe in 3 strikes but they are at 2 already.

Now you know how I spent $32 in March (and that’s not counting the $20 for Julep Maven which I enjoy a lot). I wonder if Birchbox can keep from disappointing me, if Beauty Army will come up with color cosmetics as promised and if MyGlam can send something decent. If not $32 will buy me a great new lipstick from a high end brand. – Marcia

Subscription boxes – Birchbox, Julep Maven, Beauty Army

I’ve been getting a few of the variety of subscription beauty boxes for months now. My first was Birchbox. Until I started writing this review I didn’t realize that I’d been subscribing to it for over a year! I’ve gotten some great boxes and some very disappointing ones but I still enjoy the surprise of receiving a box like this for only $10 a month which includes shipping. Here’s a review of my first box. The boxes started off great and I received several great full size items like a Stila Puppy eyeshadow and a Laura Geller blush. There have been lots of deluxe samples like Zoya mini polishes, Nars multiple in South Beach and lots of skincare items. Sometimes there’s a food treat (a yummy Kind bar for example), sometimes something goofy like paper coasters that advertised a company. I did get to the point of wanting to stop but then the January box came and renewed my interest in the box. I received a full size Stila Smudge Stick in Moray (a green I needed!), deluxe samples of C O Bigelow Shampoo and Conditioner (Lavender & Peppermint), a mini Borghese Cura Forte Moisture Intensifer (a serum), and the cutest mini moisturizer in a wooden pot by TAY (Cucumber Day Moisturizer with Mango Butter). In addition there was a tiny packet of By Terry Baume de Rose. This box has renewed my interest in Birchbox.

image from birchbox.com

January Birchbox

contents of January Birchbox

I’ve been receiving Julep Maven’s  monthly box since August. It’s $19.99 a month (including shipping) and it’s been a pleasure for someone who loves polishes as much as I do. I’ve got a very nice selection of Julep polishes now plus lots of treatments from them including their Essential Cuticle Oil, topcoat and basecoat, Facial for Hands, SPF Handcream. The list goes on.   You take a style test that helps select your first box but you always have the option to change what’s in your box. I haven’t taken advantage of that yet but I probably will. The quality of Julep is terrific even if all the colors haven’t been ones I’d have picked on my own. My January box contained Pomegranate Body Scrub (I already have the Pomegrante Body Cream from a previous box), Julep Nail Therapy, plus 2 polishes in Maria (shimmering platinum rose) and Anne (ultra saturated tropical violet crème). I’m an “American Beauty”.  I love Julep polishes and I love getting this box!

Julep January American Beauty

Julep January contents

Julep January American Beauty information

The newest box in my arsenal is Beauty Army  which just launched in January. There was a mad rush to get in on this box so I never took their test. I don’t know if that would have mattered though. I was given a choice of 9 samples and able to pick up to 6 of them. Well of course I picked 6! The box itself is great and will be perfect to keep items in. The picture doesn’t do it justice since the words on it are black on black. It’s like a mini cigar box (do people still know what a cigar box is??). The items came wrapped in pink tissue. Unfortunately they are only samples although I did receive one full size item. I ended up with minis of Control Corrective Botanical Soothing Cream, Cell Ceuticals Neocell exfoliator, Strivectin –EV Get Even Brightening Serum deluxe sample, Chella Anti-Fatigue Eye Mask Kit single, Boo Boo Cover Up in Medium which is a teeny sample in a jar and a full size brown sparkly eyeshadow by My Face Cosmetics BlingTone called sp”ice”y. I’m most excited about the Chella Anti-Fatigue Eye Mask kit since Lisa reviewed it and loved it getting me jealous. The box was $12 which includes shipping. I’m reserving judgement on this since it’s too soon to know what they’ll come up with in the future.

image from beautyarmy.com

new Beauty Army box

information for Beauty Army

contents of first Beauty Army box

These boxes are the wave of the future. We’re going to see more and more as time passes. Knowing me I’ll try others since I can’t help but love getting something in the mail- even if I’m paying for it! If you know of others that you’ve had success with please leave a comment. I’m always interested in the latest and greatest. — Marcia