All posts by JoRaye Lytle

Ipsy vs. Birchbox – April 2014 Review and Followup

I’m reposting my mini review from Facebook over here about my first month of Ipsy vs. Birchbox.  I’ll also update you on what I’ve used so far! April 16th, 2014 So here’s my first month of #ipsy versus #birchbox. I’ve been receiving Birchboxes for over a year, but lately they have left something to be desired. I’m tired of getting tea bags. This was my first month of Ipsy.

Birchbox: Art Duo Pen (nail polish pen, I’m not huge into nail design, could pass on this) Cynthia Rowley Silver Eyeliner (I love eyeliner, but I’m a bit hesitant on silver), Madison Reed Shampoo & Condition (I always need travel size shampoo/cond) and a KIND Snacks Healthy Grains bar. Ipsy: Such a Tease false eyelashes (nice, I love lashes), St. Tropez Gradual Tan Multi Action Face (Another good one, as I am always looking for a good self tanner, and a reason to drop my ATB membership), Cailyn Tinted Lip Balm (interesting packaging, but not very easy to apply) City Color White Gold mousse eyeshadow (I gave up on silver eyeshadows awhile back, but I’ll give it a shot) and Urban Decay 24/7 Velvet Glide-on Eye Pencil in Black Velvet (if the velvet version works as well as the original 24/7 eye pencil, this will be awesome.) And a cute little bag to stash it all in! Verdict: Ipsy – 1, Birchbox – 0 We will see what May holds! So in the past month since I got the April boxes, I was traveling for 2 straight weeks for work, so I really didn’t get to do much with my goodies. From the Birchbox:

  • I tried out the Color Club pen, but since I’m not a nail polish girl, I wasn’t all too impressed.  Also, the fine tip of mine was bent and I’m not sure if it was supposed to be like that or not, so I could only use the brush end.  This will go in my give away pile.
  • Cynthia Rowley Silver Eyeliner – I’m still searching for the correct way, or an awesome outfit/event where I’ll be like “OMG, I need silver eyeliner.”  It’s such a novelty that I can’t give it away just yet.
  • Madison Reed Color-Enhancing Shampoo and Conditioner – I used the shampoo during the first week of my travels and I really loved the smell and the way it made my hair feel.  But, it seems like my hair feels great anytime I’m anywhere but my house since we have some pretty hard water.  I have shampoos and conditioners I love more than this, but I’d buy this, if I had to.
  • Lifestyle Extra: KIND Snacks Maple Pumpkin Seeds with Sea Salt – this was pretty tasty, and I’d probably pick these up if I saw them while I was out grocery shopping.  Here’s a heads up though for anyone with peanut allergies – they are actually recalling some batches of this bar because the pumpkin seed supplier didn’t ensure/test after an allergen clean before roasting the pumpkin seeds contained in this bar.  I don’t have a peanut allergy and I finished this bar weeks ago, so I can’t offer any insight to whether or not the Birchbox supply were affected.  Better safe than sorry if you have a peanut allergy!

Now I crowned the Ipsy bag the winner for April, but I honestly haven’t used anything in this bag besides the Urban Decay eyeliner and the Cailyn lip gloss, and I used each of them once.  Honestly, I snatched the bag up and used it for my “emergency makeup” that I carry-on when I travel, so at least the bag has served me well so far!  I hope to provide some more detailed reviews of April’s Ipsy products soon. I’ll be posting my May 2014 Ipsy vs. Birchbox review very soon. -JoRaye

Going back into the closet!

Some of you may know, I have been bitten by the house bug pretty hard.  While I kind of laugh that ToJo + 2 dogs aren’t able to coexist in a 2000 sq ft house without stuff overflowing, our house is not designed well for 2000 sq ft. While we have some storage, we don’t have good storage.  We also have too much crap, which could be an entire blog in itself.  So one of my major focuses in looking at floorplans (we’re hoping to build) is closet space.  Big, huge, ginormous, park-a-Smart-car-in-it closet.  I don’t feel I have that many clothes, but since I have to take a running start at my closet when I need to shove something an already tight space just to have enough leverage – there’s too many clothes in my closet.  Until I can build my new ToJo Palace, something in my closet has to give.
JoRaye’s revolution #1 – Switch a roo closet-doo!
No, I’m not taking closet space from Todd, but I repinned something from my college buddy Tiffany a few days ago that took my brain and did a total 180.  Instead of doing these insane closet cleanouts that leave me stressed, tired, and feeling like I may be throwing something away that will be totally awesome in a few seasons, it’s really allowing me to see what pieces of my wardrobe I’m actually wearing.
#1 – Reverse Your Hangers – Put your clothes in your closet with the hangers reversed once a year.  As you pull clothes out, reverse the hanger.  Every year give away any clothes that you never took out (hangers face original direction.)
I plan to do a review of my closet every 6 months.  Since I’m a mini-packrat, I tend to hold onto clothes, thinking I’ll wear them if/when I lose weight or if I have some weird emotional attachment to that piece.  Truth is, most people want to go buy NEW clothes when they’ve lost weight.
Since I always have to be over the top when I do a project, I took it a step further.  I completely emptied the closet rack where I kept my work clothes.  I moved all those clothes to a rolling clothes rack in my office.  As I wear the clothes, they can come back to the real closet.  Anything left in June 2012, needs to be tossed or have serious consideration on why I’m not tossing it.  Anything left in December 2012 (provided the Mayan calendar isn’t correct) will be tossed/donated.

I really hope this helps in my fight against my closet, which I have named Gertrude.  Gertrude the Closet. Gertrude, time to clean you up!
Update: This project also seriously helps out with 101 Things in 1001 Days #23!
23. Purge wardrobe of anything I haven’t worn in the past two years