Thursday, August 22, 2013

Birchbox: August

August Birchbox. It came much sooner than I had expected...time flies when you don't have to shovel snow I guess. I'm not looking forward to Winter this year. I think it's going to be a cold one. Things have been busy on the home front so I haven't been able to get to this as much as I would like, but I'm trying to catch up. I have lots and lots of things to blog about today, including Birchbox for August, and my first package from Julep, plus all of those other random little musings of mine.

So, this month's Birchbox theme was Finishing School. Yes, that place where, once upon a time, young ladies learned manners and social graces and were prepared for entry into fashionable society. I cheated again and watched the sneak peek with Hayley and Katia. I just love them!

This month's contents:
OC8 Professional Mattifying Gel (1.6 oz, $41) I'm wearing this right now as I like to try products before telling you all about them. What I received in my Birchbox was two little packets of this. I specifically washed my face this morning just so that I could give them a fair trial on a fresh face. I applied my moisturizer, waited a few minutes and then applied this Mattifying Gel. I could see a difference almost immediately. It did as the Birchbox website says, dried quickly and my skin doesn't feel sticky AT ALL. Sometimes I find with certain products (usually acne gels, so I was admittedly a little nervous) that if I rub my finger on my face I get some grimy pilling, or it makes my makeup look funny. I don't have that with this at all. My face was matte almost immediately. I applied my makeup and things still looked great. It is now 4 hours after application. According to the website, "This fast-drying gel creates a soft, invisible layer that absorbs oil and nixes redness for eight full hours, thanks to microscopic Acrysorb® particles." My face looks pretty greasy right now. I'm not sure why...possibly because I used it with foundation and I don't think mine is oil-free. I'm totally willing to give it a second chance, but quite frankly it is more oily than if I had following my usual routine and I'm not feeling too hopeful. I'm going to give it another try tomorrow with my powder foundation and see if that makes a difference. Overall, seems like it could have potential and I'm having a user-failure kind of issue. The only thing that left me unhappy was the PACKETS. I hate when samples come in packets that I can't reseal. 

KMS California FREESHAPE Hot Flex Spray (200mL, $19). I'm using this right now also. I sprayed it on yesterday after hopping out of the shower (fresh hair). The one thing I noticed it that it didn't seem to do much for me when I was trying to style with the hair dryer, but when I busted out the straightener this product really seemed to shine. I didn't do anything too technical, but it was straight and didn't respond to humidity and my hair felt really soft. Today, I'm working with 2nd day hair and I didn't even bother to reapply this product as I wanted to see how it holds up for those of us who don't wash every day. I curled my hair, sprayed with my usual hair spray, and hit the road. The humidity is very high today, and my curls are still nice. I can tell that they've relaxed a bit, but nothing compared to the fails of some products I've tried. I have that loving feeling. The best part is that the texture is really nice; today I can feel the hairspray that I have in, but other than that my hair looks great AND feels great instead of one or the other. And I think it is really interesting that one of the noted ingredients, rhodiola rosea root extract, is also used for treating depression and fatigue homeopathically.

Whish Exfoliating Body Wash (6 oz, $22) I'm a bad girl. I haven't tried this yet. I'll update when I do.   UPDATE:  I came right home and tried this tonight with my Ecotools loofah.  It smells delicious, like oats and coconut.  The body wash itself was a clear, opalescent gel with a very nice medium consistency (not thick, or runny).  I didn't get much of a lather but that might be due to the loofah/scrubby that I was using.  It rinsed really well too.  My skin feels really incredible and there isn't a strong scent left behind like some scented products.  The best part is that I feel really clean and not dry but not stripped of normal body oils or weighted down with heavy moisturizers.  I'm wondering how the people I know with eczema would do with this.  I'm definitely going to be buying this one.  

Whish Deoderant Wipes with Hair Inhibitor (30 wipes, $22) I'm really bad, I haven't tried this one yet either but for a couple of different reasons. I'm really thrilled about the hair inhibitor part, and I should really and truly probably be using more hair inhibitors. But I received one wipe. ONE. I'm not sure how I feel about deodorant wipes, I'm willing to give it a try tonight after work or maybe I'll wait until my next hot yoga class and give it a try before I go (I like to give this a hard test). But I have to say, with something like a hair inhibitor, ONE wipe isn't really a great sample size. I'll know how it works as far as a wipe when I get around to trying it, but because I won't know how it is as an inhibitor (which, for me, is the big selling point here) then I'm not really interested in the product and therefor not really interested in using the sample. I like to try everything once and I will use it, but I'm more prone to using samples that thrill me. 

Stila Stay All Day Liquid Lipstick (.1 oz/$22)  I received the above color, Tesoro.  Super bright.  It really wasn't my color but I gave it a try anyway.  Stila is not playing with this stuff, let me tell you.  It goes on really smooth and like a lip gloss, but then seems to "dry" and give you rock solid color.  And I mean ROCK solid.  It felt nice, and even after "setting" it still felt ok, but looked matte...I prefer a wet look.  But the staying power was incredible.  Just to give you a little insight to what I put this lipstick through: applied at 10 p.m.; ate juicy steak fajitas at 10:30-10:45, noticed lipstick was rubbing off on tortilla a little bit; ate ice cream for dessert sometime between fajitas and midnight; completely forgot I was wearing lipstick and went to bed (yes, I don't wash my face at night and I was so tired I didn't bother to brush my teeth.  Ick.  I know.  But I was THAT tired).  I woke up the next morning (7:15 a.m.), lipstick completely forgotten, and experienced a moment of alarm when I caught my super red lips out of the corner of my eye only to remember I was wearing this lipstick.  It was still vibrant and in-place with the exception of the "traffic areas" aka the very inside of my lips.  And the best part?  NO lipstick on the bed sheets!  If this was available in a color I could wear, I would have bought some.  Definitely worth it if you can use the colors available. 

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