Showing posts with label Birchbox. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Birchbox. Show all posts

Friday, November 28, 2014

Product Junkie Review: Birchbox November 2014


October was an interesting month for subscriptions.  I received my first Ipsy box this month and between Ipsy and Birchbox I managed to get a blend of products I both loved and wasn't so crazy about.  Overall, I would have to say that I was pretty pleased because the products I got that were really great pretty much made the ones I wasn't so pleased with look not too bad.


Not Soap, Radio Body Wash ($16.00/13.61 fl. oz./402.5 ml) “Awash in a Field of Four-Leaf Clover” is a fragrance with actual four-leaf clover extract from Ireland and green tea to tone and calm the skin.  From the first sniff, I knew it was going to be one of my favorite products and so far it really has been!  I look forward to showering!  The scent is pleasant and enjoyable while in the shower, but doesn't linger long so to interfere with lotions or perfumes you might apply later.  Not only did it smell good, but got me clean and left my skin feeling good.  Plus...it is free of parabens, sulfates, and phthalates and are never tested on animals.  This was definitely one of my favorite products in this box!


Royal Apothic Cuppa Cuppa Firming Tea Treatment Mask ($58.00/6 tubes .33 oz each) This was my chosen sample selection this month and I was lucky enough to get it.  I was thrilled!!!

This smells AWESOME.  The texture was nice and it applied smoothly.  I was not thrilled about the way it felt on my face... not exactly a burning, but kind of a cooling mentholyptus feeling that I don't care for in any product.  When I washed my face, it rinsed off easily and without harsh scrubbing or needing to use a scrub or cleanser to get all of the product off (which often happens to me).  When I rinsed the first thing I noticed was how fresh faced I felt.  I put on a heavy night moisturizer, and I actually texted a friend to tell her that I felt like my face had just given birth to a new face.  It was an incredible feeling!  I did experience a little redness, but it went away.  There was no dryness and at one point I moved my nose to the side to look at some dryness I had been experiencing on the side and some blackheads that were on top of my nose actually cleared themselves out!  Totally interesting and new experience.  I will definitely be investing in some of this in the future.







Laura Mercier Longwear Crème Eye Pencil ($24.00)  Man, I have been getting a lot of eyeliner lately.  And quite a few purple ones too now that I think about it.  I really didn't notice much of a difference about this one.  The color is nice, pretty true to what is represented.  I didn't notice anything unusual or extraordinary about how long it lasted.  I don't think I'd purchase it for myself because it is a $24.00 eyeliner, but I'm glad I got to try it.  What I can say is that this item actually didn't make it into my box and was supposed to.  Which meant that I got to contact Customer Service for my first missing item ever.  And they were an absolute dream! 







Vosges Petits Chocolats ($20.00/4.8 oz) I would do anything for chocolate, but I don't know about these Vosges Petits Chocolats. 70% cacao dark chocolate shell filled with rich sugar caramel, which comes in four distinct flavors: black salt caramel, pink Himalayan crystal salt caramel, smoke & stout caramel, and blood orange caramel.  I happened to get the Pink Himalayan Crystal Salt Caramel.  I like pink Himalayan sea salt.  It was delicious and completely wonderful.  I love salted caramel that actually tastes like it is salted.  But, $20.00 for 12 caramels is a bit much even for me.





 
Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturizer Broad Spectrum SPF 20 Sunscreen  ($43.00/1.7oz)  I received a small, magazine sample size of this as a "bonus" with my Laura Mercier eyeliner this month. I didn't even bother because I don't think I'd really get an idea of what I think about it in order to really comment on it. 







Klorane Floral Water Make-up Remover with Soothing Cornflower ($23.00/13.5 fl oz)  This was super gentle and removed my eye-makeup pretty well.  I've been taking a more "relaxed" approach to my eye makeup as of late, but this definitely combated my mascara pretty well and removed effectively for something so gentle.  I probably won't be purchasing it any time soon, but definitely recommend it for anyone looking for a product like this.





Atelier Cologne Absolute Santal Carmin ($195.00/100mL)  I am really unhappy about this cologne.  I received my sample in a small bag with a postcard.  At first sniff, I wasn't sure what to think.  But then I actually put it on and fell in love.  This scent makes me happy and it lasts for hours and hours.  I got more than 10 hours wear with this and could still smell it when I went home after an 11 hour day.  That is incredible and it smells amazing.  So what am I so unhappy about?  The fact that this is something I really can not afford.  I'm going to be saving Birchbox points forever for this one!




Overall, Birchbox was an excellent investment this month.  For people who wonder if Birchbox is worth it, I'd like to point out that in my box I received an entire .33oz tube of the Cuppa Cuppa Mask and when you purchase it you get six; that one sample alone was worth nearly $10 and so worth it!  While I hope not to see anymore eyeliners or tiny, magazine size samples, this month's winning products were totally worth it!

Looking to sign up?  CLICK HERE

And if you gift someone with Birchbox, you get a free box for every subscription you gift someone!!

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?


Monday, July 15, 2013

Birchbox: July

Yay!  My July Birchbox arrived Saturday.  I waited a few days to give my new products a try and here we are!  The theme for this month's Birchbox is Power play and featured products and lessons from the ladies of USA's hit serious SUITS.  I won't lie...I cheated a little and watched the sneak peek this month.  I probably shouldn't watch the sneak peeks because I'll just be sad if I see something I really want to try and then it doesn't show up in the box, luckily the one thing I was really excited about showed up in my box!!

July Birchbox


This month's contents:
  

Birchbox Bobby Pins - Set of Six ($5).  If you look above, I received the silver colored ones. 
They're super cute.  I haven't been able to give them much of an endurance test (I'm hard on my things, this is important stuff for people to know).  What I like it that they feel very firm, not flimsy or easy to bend.  I also gave them I quick scratch and both the white background and the pattern is on there pretty good, which was important to me because I have a tendency to scratch things like this that are cheaper quality.






theBalm® cosmetics InStain® Long-Wearing Powder Staining Blush ($22).  This was the product I was hoping I would get.  Really.  I crossed my fingers and everything.  I received "Swiss Dot" (above).  I really like it.  It went on really smooth (I used fingers this morning because my brush somehow magically got misplaced) and blended well.  7 hours later and I still have a beautifully blushed face.  I think I may be in love.  I might actually buy this product. 


Benefit it's potent! Eye cream ($32) My first Benefit product, isn't that sad?  I used this the other day after a particularly long evening.  I looked pretty ragged and this brightened me up and took care of my puffy wrinkled eyes.  The scent wasn't thrilling, but it was mild and I guess I should be glad it wasn't some perfume-y or fruity scented thing. 



DDF® Acne Control Treatment ($44).  I've only tried this once so far.  No results from the zit as of yet, but I'm willing to bet this will be really great on some of the breakouts I've had lately.  1.5% Salicylic Acid, which is what is usually in these kinds of medications.  What I really liked was when I read the Inactive ingredients.  I've never noticed things like Witch Hazel extract, aloe leaf juice, calendula extract, and ginger root extract in the products I've used in the past.  I'm definitely going to be using this for my next breakout.  




Number 4 Super Comb Prep & Protect ($32).  I already use a product similar to this.  I really didn't notice much detangling power, which could be due to my new shorter haircut.  The smell is mild.  Overall my hair looks nice and I don't have any complaints. 


Overall, I'm really happy with this month's selections.  I wont lie though, my greedy butt looks at all of the products that went out this month and I get a little jealous but I'll just have to wait until next month!

Thursday, June 27, 2013

My FIRST Birchbox!!!

I first heard about Birchbox on Facebook, one of my friends had signed up for it and was really looking forward to trying it out.  Here's my link:


For $10 a month, they’ll send you a box of beauty samples from both new brands and brands that are more well-known. You start by requesting an invite, and in about 4 weeks they send you a link (invitation) to claim your subscription.  Much like a magazine subscription, they'll send you a box once a month and you can do it on a month-to-month basis or buy it for a year.  I chose month-to-month so that I could try this out, see what the samples are like (size, quality, ect) without signing up for a $120 year commitment. 

Looking over the website, I swear it was screaming my name as I am a total product junkie; the idea of new, fun beauty products showing up in my mail box makes me giddy.  But have you ever heard the phrase "caviar taste on a bologna budget"?  Totally me.  Don't get me wrong...I'm not using the lowest of the low, but I'm also not willing to shell out more for a product than I have to if I don't KNOW that it works.  Which is why this is perfect for me! The Birchbox website says they are giving you "the best beauty, grooming, and lifestyle products on the market"...I can try new things, play with trends and learn what brands are awesome before spending the cash on a brand name that may or may not work as good or better than what I'm already using.  I think it is really great that I can try new things without investing in the price tag of the full-size versions.

I received an email when my Birchbox shipped and I tracked it to my house.  I dumped everything out on my bed yesterday so I could take pictures (Tyler wanted to be part of the photo shoot yesterday, please excuse his paws all over my new products and the cat butt in the corner).  



The packaging is nice.  I really like these little boxes.  I kind of hope they come in the same boxes every  month because I could really use these for a few things.  That’s silly, I know.  But I’m all about re-purposing.





The inside.....Oooooo, pretty pink paper!




This month's box contents, not including the card with the contents and directions, and a stack of cute postcards
  

My box this month contained: 

Color Club Professional Nail Lacquer.  I got the second color from the left.  It's called "Mod in Manhattan".  Two coats and I was completely opaque.  It's a little different for me as far as color, but looks awesome.  (Collection, $8)



Birchbox Nautical Hair Tie.  Believe it or not, these are nautical themed hair bands.  They're really soft and according to the website you can wrap them on your wrist without cutting off circulation.  They're cute, but not really my thing.  Not to mention....hair ties at my house get ruined daily.  They're cute, but not for my house.  (Collection $14)



 LAQA & Co.’s Lil Lip Duo.  I received the brighter pink one (on top).   Holy BRIGHT!  When I saw it, I was immediately like.... "Uhh, no".  But I watched some YouTube videos on how to rock a bright lip, then got up this morning and put on my big girl panties (and hot pink lips), and went to work.  I won't lie....I thought I looked like a kid who got into Mommy's makeup,  and it wasn't received well by Security.  So I took it off right away.  So I couldn't make the color work for me.  I was definitely not rocking it and I've grown new appreciation for women who can.  But what I loved about it was the concentrated color, just how incredibly bright it was and stayed for the 30 minutes I had it on, and the texture.  It was soft, smooth, really light (which was a surprise because of the heavy color), and had a very subtle mint flavor to it.  


I'm not even going to show you a picture of me wearing it, but here's what it looks like on the back of my hand (if you look close, you can see my Color Club polish too).


Suki Exfoliate Foaming Cleanser (4 oz. $32.95).  This felt like your standard sugar scrub, and smelled delicious (Lemongrass and Chamomile), but foamed up really nice like a normal cleanser.  I liked the scent and texture, and it felt good when I was using it.  But I didn't love the way my skin felt afterward.  It was similar to what your skin feels like after you get this bright idea to make your own sugar scrub with olive oil.  But...my skin looks nice so maybe it is just what I need. 


Klorane Gentle Dry Shampoo with Oat Milk (3.2 oz, $18).  I haven't tried this one out yet, but I'm very excited. 


*All the product pics above are from the Birchbox website*

Overall, I'm THRILLED with this month's Birchbox and all of the wonderful products inside.  I think I'm definitely going to have to avoid looking looking at the website, because I was incredibly jealous when I saw the awesome selection of stuff that went into this month's boxes.  I know some people might think $10 is a bit to pay for samples, but these are good products and the sizes are large enough that I'll definitely get more than one use out of them....and this is a much better investment than some of the things I spend $10 on in a month.  I definitely recommend trying it. Here's that link again  http://birch.ly/1ai57ST