Thursday, October 16, 2014

Product Junkie Reviews: Birchbox October 2014


It's been a long time since I did a Birchbox Review, which is unfortunate because I've been getting some seriously wonderful products that I've been absolutely in love with lately!  Shame on me!

If you read other Birchbox Reviews, some people have noted that there are times when you get a "good" box versus one that isn't so good.  I've come to realize that I'm not a fan of anything that comes in a packet because I feel like I don't get a large enough size to really get a feel for a product.  So this month was definitely a WIN in my book!

(And as much as I personally LOVE Birchbox, I understand that some people might not be so thrilled with the idea of a monthly subscription so I am now adding my favorite products to my Amazon "Products I Love" Widget on the right of the screen.  Check it out to see what I'm eating, using, and loving at my house!)

But let's get to the products I got in this month's Birchbox!

Dr. Brandt® Pores No More® Vacuum Cleaner  (1 oz/$45)  I won't lie... I don't have many blackheads and part of that is because I have an Extractor/Blackhead Blemish Remover Tool  and I LOVE it (in spite of the fact that it is missing right now).  If I were being honest I would tell you that I am a recovering Pimple Popper and sometimes I relapse.  But I can see this product as being a great help in getting over that.  The directions state: Two to three times a week, apply a thin layer of gel to affected areas after cleansing. Let dry 5–10 minutes—or until it turns a chalky hue. Rinse with warm water and pat dry.  

It dried fast and really did turn chalky on my face, but it wasn't flaky or messy like masks tend to get so that was surprising and totally wonderful.  When I rinsed it off in the shower, it came off easily without scrubbing.  There was no dryness or irritation and my skin felt good.  I didn't notice any immediate results, but overall was pretty pleased.  I'll continue to use this.


Mally Beauty High-Shine Liquid Lipstick Pens (.12 oz/$20)  This is hands down one of my favorite products from October 2014.  I got the Lipety Split color (pictured).  I really wasn't sure what to expect from this product because it had the color of a lipstick and the consistency of a really good gloss.  The color was pretty strong and seemed to have some staying power, but my favorite part was how good it felt on my lips for hours.  I hate products that seem to dry out fast and this really didn't.  I didn't really notice much of a flavor, but it smelled like cotton candy which I found pleasant.  I highly recommend this.



Essentiel Elements Wake Up Rosemary Shower Gel (8 oz./$19)  The scent of this body wash was like a punch in the face, I can see why they call it "Wake Up" because it will wake you up for sure!  It cleans pretty effectively,  I HATE products that smell good, but when you get out of the shower you're still smelly.  I don't know how well it actually woke me up in the morning, but... whatever is in this sure woke up my more sensitive areas when I absentmindedly washed them.  So... watch out for that. 

Harvey Prince Petaly Noir  (8.8mL/$26 or 50mL/$55)  Oh Harvey Prince, what a complicated relationship we have.  I previously purchased the Harvey Prince "Hello" spray because I love it so much only to come to learn that it has no staying power.  NONE.  Forget a quick spritz in the morning and going all day.  Even "scent layering" with the lotion does not improve the staying power.  How did Petaly Noir compare?  I won't lie, I didn't have high hopes for it.  The scent is musky and woody (due to the sandalwood, amber and patchouli) while still being feminine which surprised me.  I found it to be reminiscent of Baby Phat's Seductive Goddess but softer, more feminine and floral due to the notes of jasmine, tropical orchid, and lily of the valley.  As far as staying power, it seemed to hold on.  It made it through a few hours more than "Hello", overall... I'm very happy with the scents themselves and while this one lasted longer than "Hello", I don't think I'm going to buy it.


ModelCo Power Lash Long Wear Black Mascara (10mL/$20)  The application was smooth, though the formula seemed a little thin.  Two layers and I felt like it was getting clumpy.  It felt very wet for awhile and I checked my lids a few times to make sure I hadn't gotten it everywhere.  But my lashes looked huge and that was a big plus.  While I like it, I don't care for it as much as some of the other samples I've tried recently.  

POINTS SPLURGE!

I've been hoarding my points away like a squirrel with a nut, waiting for a great deal that I just couldn't refuse to get some of my favorite products... and I think I made out like a bandit.

Juice Beauty Green Apple Peel Full Strength ($45)  I'd received the Juice Beauty Green Apple Peel for Sensitive Skin in my Birchbox quite some time ago.  When I decided to purchase it for myself I went straight for full strength and I am even happier.  Works like a dream, leaves my skin looking great right away.  I was worried that I might react to something stronger, but I didn't.  I walked away with more even tone and my skin looked and felt amazing (even the time I accidentally left it on twice as long as I was supposed to).  I love this and I'm sharing with everyone.  I'm going to end up having to buy more before I know it.

Smashbox Cosmetics Try It Kit  ($19.00 includes: 0.25 oz. Photo Finish Foundation Primer; 0.02 oz. Photo Finish Lid Primer; 0.03 oz. Limitless Eye Liner in Onyx; 0.14 oz. Full Exposure Mascara in Jet Black; 0.14 oz. Lip Enhancing Gloss in Illume)  I've never tried Smashbox.  It isn't a brand that I know of as being readily available in my area, but of course I know the name.  I wasn't sure how it was going to compare to what I'm already using, many of the items in the set I already have a product that is similar I am happy with but this set BLEW ME AWAY.  Love the primers, especially the eyeshadow primer because it is amazing and keeps my eyeshadow on and looking great so much longer.  The eyeliner is pure black and literally glides on.  The lip gloss is beautiful and seemed to enhance my lips without too much minty/menthol punch like what you normally get with enhancers. The mascara has got to be my favorite part because it is thicker in application, great big wand, dries fast and my lashes look thick and huge and amazing without tarantula eyes or clumps.  And the size of everything in the Smashbox Try It Kit is so good that I've already gotten multiple uses out of all of them and still have more than half of each product left.  I was super thrilled with this kit!



Mystery Sample Pack (free with $35 purchase)  Even though I was
buying stuff with Points, I STILL get a free Mystery Sample Pack because I made a purchase.  Have I told you lately how much I love Birchbox?   I love how every time I get a Mystery Sample Pack... they always send me something super awesome that I end up loving and what I got this time was no exception!

 For example, they once sent me FOREIGN INTELLIGENCE FLIRT Lip Gloss by Secret Agent Beauty ($18) and I forgot to mention it!  Birchbox doesn't seem to carry it anymore, but this stuff is AMAZING and I love it.  It plumps my lips and gives me great color with a light mint feel.  It has a great consistency and isn't goopy or sticky and the color is just right.  I'm in love and it doesn't hurt that the logo is so great.  Highly recommend trying it out if you're looking for a great plumping colored gloss.


This month I received the Palette Sampler from the Coastal Scents Revealed 2 Palette in Sunset ($19.95).  While I only got 4 of the colors in my sampler, I'm SO glad I finally got to try Coastal Scents colors because I've always wanted to.  AWESOME.  I've seen Coastal Scents palettes used in countless tutorials and it seems to be a highly favored product but I've always been hesitant to buy it.  I usually don't care for palettes because I find that I end up using a couple of colors and the rest just go to waste (even the most original of us can't use every color) and end up as clutter in an already cluttered makeup cabinet.  But I might just end up buying this one for sure.  The colors are wonderfully pigmented, a little goes a long way but you can still apply lightly and blend well (I find high pigments don't always handle a light hand so well).  It is soft, smooth, and holds incredibly well throughout my day but washes off nice at night.  The colors I received are awesome and I really want to see how I look in the rest of the palette.


My second sample: Ofra Universal Eyebrow Pencil ($13).  I have a confession to make... I've never purchased an eyebrow pencil for myself.  In fact, often than not I just ignore the fact that I have eyebrows (yes, it's true).  So I was excited to try this when I got it.  I was amazed that the color was just right but when I looked it up on Birchbox I see that it is created to look good on everyone!  Birchbox says: No more wondering which pencil, powder, or mousse best matches your brows: Pick up this pencil from Ofra, and you’ve got the right shade. Its universally flattering tone works to define and fill brows of any color, and the water-resistant formula stays put all day.  They aren't joking... it really is universally flattering, it really does stay put all day and my brows look fantastic.  I was really worried about being that lady with the smudged eyebrow pencil and it hasn't happened yet.  My brows look so great now that when I posted a picture of myself on my way to see Bonehead, a fellow blogger commented on the photos and told me she was jealous of my eyebrows and when I asked why she told me they are perfect.  No one has ever told me I have perfect eyebrows.  Like ever.  It must be a sign.


Overall, October was a pretty kickass month for Birchbox.  I wont lie, I still REALLY want a BeautyBlender  What did you get in your box this month?


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