beauty ho

Beauty Sample Showdown

My May Birchbox has arrived!  And so has my May Ipsy Glam Bag!  What the what?  What’s an Ipsy Glam Bag you ask?  Well, I recently found out about a service very similar to Birchbox called Ipsy.  They also send out monthly fun mail full of beauty samples. So I thought I’d get both and compare and decide which one I’d like to stick with.

First let’s look at my Birchbox.  photo 2This month’s box included:

  • amika Obliphica Nourishing Mask for hair.
  • COOLA Classic Face SPF 30 Cucumber Moisturizer for Face
  • Isaac Mizrahi FABULOUS Isaac Mizrahi Eau de Parfum
  • Marvis Classic Mint Toothpaste
  • Sumita Color Contrast Eyeliner (in black)
  • Purple Pilot Acroball Gel Ink Pen

A great box for sure!   Now let’s look at this month’s Ipsy Glam Bag.

photo 3


This month’s bag included:

  • Chevron striped cosmetic bag (each month you get a little cosmetic bag)
  • Zoya Nail Polish in Neely -a pale mint  (full size)
  • yaby Concealer Refill in buff
  • Nume Finishing Serum (for hair)
  • Pacifica Bronzing Body Butter in Coconut Crushed Pearl/ Sun kissed
  • Juice Beauty Reflecting Gloss in Pink (full size)

By the way, I do know how to use my shift key but some of these beauty brands are non capitalized.

So…the details.  Each subscription is $10 a month.  Birchboxes come in a little brown cardboard box with hot pink tissue.  They get a point because I can recycle the box when I’m finished with it.  But Ipsy sends you a little cosmetic bag each month.  I’m pretty full up on bags, this is true, but I can always find a use for a little bag.  Mostly I give them away as little gift bags.  In the 7 months or so that I’ve been receiving Birchboxes I’ve only gotten one or two full size products.  My Ipsy bag had 2 full sized products right off the bat!  Now, who knows, they may be trying to butter me up with my first bag.  One other cool thing about Ipsy is that once the Glam Bags have been sent out you can go online to and check out what everyone got in their bags, plus all past bags.  Another cool thing is that you take a beauty quiz on Ipsy and they choose colors for you based on your skin tone, coloring etc.

The verdict…Sorry Birchbox, we’ve had a great run, and I may come back to you at some point.  But for right now Ipsy has won me over!


Not in the club

Mothers' Day Cake crop

Mother’s Day is just around the corner.  I have a mom who I love and adore.  I have a sister who is a mom.  I am very lucky to be able to celebrate them on their day.  I have friends who are moms.  I understand it is a tough job.  I am happy they have a day to celebrate their role as a mother.

But for me?  It’s hard.  Every year it’s hard.  This is not one of those things that time has helped to heal for me.  And every year I struggle with expressing how hard it is because I don’t want to seem bitter.  Because I’m not bitter.  I’m just sad.

No matter where we go on Sunday moms will be handed flowers or asked to stand or they’ll be applauded.  And rightfully so.  And there I’ll be.  Seated.  And without a flower or applause.   When that happens I feel like a barren, broken, empty shell.  A failure as a woman.  364 days of the year I cope with it pretty well.  I keep a great attitude about it (I think).  I don’t allow many pity parties for myself.  I don’t moan “Woe is me” very often.  But this is just the one day I can’t escape it.  Christmas, Easter, Halloween, etc. I’m fine.  I think to myself “maybe next year”.

After 10 plus, yes TEN plus, years of trying to become a mom I’m still not a mom.  I’m just a woman.  I’m the girl whose parts didn’t work and whose adoptions fell through.  What makes it worse is that CSP works retail so he’s at work every year and I’m left to face it alone.   And please understand that my mom and my sister and my friends do all they can to make me feel appreciated on that day.  But it’s still going to be hard to face the world on Sunday.

I’ve still got hope in me.  I’m not finished fighting the good fight yet.  Our social worker was here today with no news.  Just a routine quarterly visit.  Just a reminder that it could still be another year before we’re matched.  Another Mother’s Day on the horizon.   I’ll make it through.  Maybe next year.