22 November 2015

October Birchbox Review

Last month was another great box from Birchbox! Each product is something I would have picked to try myself, which is not always the case when it comes to subscription boxes. Even though a couple of the items didn't work out for me, I was very pleased with the selection.

The first item I tried was the R & Co Death Valley Dry Shampoo. Is it just me or is dry shampoo an overwhelmingly popular item in the beauty community? Don't get me wrong, any day that my hair looks great without the need to wash it, is a good day. I find this dry shampoo works very well on my blond hair and the smell is great. This dry shampoo adds a light amount of buildable texture making second (and third) hair days easier to style. Bonus for our dark-haired friends, no white residue! 

When I was given the option to customize this box during sample choice (a window of opportunity when subscribers are able to choose one of their box items while supplies last), I chose the Stila huge extreme mascara

The wand of this mascara has an hourglass shape with short bristles. Even after one application, there is a noticeable difference in the volume of my lashes. I would give it a medium(5) clump factor on a scale of  no clumps (0) to one wide eye lash (10). The turn off for me was the complete lack of curl. Even with the assistance of an eye lash curler, the lashes looked volumized, yet short and straight. After a couple hours I also noticed slight redness and irritation in both eyes. For my lashes and preference, I will probably not purchase this mascara in the future. 

Seeing a face mask in my Birchbox is like winning a prize. I LOVE trying new face masks here and there on a night when I am also painting my nails and drinking wine. There are a few I put off to the side for use when the specific need is applicable (travel, exfoliating, etc.). With only one to sample, I tried the BioRepublic Skincare Pomegranite Crush fiber mask one morning after work, shower, and facial cleanse. This mask is a little different because it is saturated with product. At one point I thought it was dripping down my face. The mask fits large, but can be manipulated to overlap with even coverage. On application, the mask feels wonderfully cool and warms slightly during wear. After removal, my skin did feel well moisturized with added elasticity. I would try this mask again!

As a frequent hand washer, I was eager to try the Jane Iredale HandDrink Hand Cream. The description claims to "hydrate, renew, and even skin tone" while providing SPF 15. Though I do really like the idea of an SPF hand cream, this did not live up to my expectations. The formula was thin and dried quickly. This made repeat and heavier applications necessary. The biggest drawback for me, the smell. I enjoy light flower and sweet fruit fragrances, but the smell is nauseatingly strong. 

The last product was already a favorite of mine. I had previously received a sample of the Vasanti BrightenUp Enzymatic face rejuvenator and loved it. The novelty with this exfoliator is the micro crystals. Many scrubs and exfoliants use larger crystals or beads that can be diluted in cleanser with a loss in effectiveness. 

Not unlike the grittiness of fine grained sandpaper, no surface is untouched with physical exfoliation. I also love that these micro crystals can reach the harder to reach areas such as creases in the chin and sides of the nose. it also has a pleasant clean smell and warming tingle as it works. I prefer to use this two to three times a week and follow with a very hydrating moisturizer or mask. Will definitely be purchasing this in the full-size. 

Overall, I have really enjoyed trying the products I received in my October Birchbox. There are a lot of new value sets and limited edition boxes for the holidays coming up. Stick around, I will be reviewing some of them! Interested in trying Birchbox for yourself or sending the perfect gift? Follow this link

09 November 2015

Everyday Glamour Birchbox

Of all the Limited Edition Birchboxes I have purchased over the last couple of years, this Everyday Glamour box is my new favorite. Even the box is stunning purple and gold, filled with the perfect products for transitioning to fall.

Each box includes the same products though some vary in color. Since I am reviewing these products after I have taken them all out of the box, I will discuss them in the order in which I opened them. 

The first of them being, the gorgeous polish Paparazzi from Ciate. The color is a rich dark maroon that glides smoothly on to each nail. The brush is wide and thin making it easy to reach the edge of each nail. The sad but unfortunate truth, it chips easily. I have been trying different top coats (Essie three-way glaze and Essie gel top coat) in hopes to salvage this beautiful fall polish with no luck yet. 

Having already been a fan of Jouer products, I was eager to try their powder eyeshadow. The compact that contains the shadow was created to fit together with other shadows, bronzers, or blushes for a custom pallate option. The color I received in my box is a rich dark brown, Espresso, ideal for a smokey-eye or crease color. The shadow has slight shimmer to it between a matte and a metallic. 

I am constantly accumulating and trying new mascaras and was excited to try TexasLash by Cargo. At first I thought it was "Just another mascara", until I tried it. The first coat gave my lashes length and the second, volume. I like that the brush is thick and evenly coats the lashes. I don't usually use black mascara for day to day wear, but will for date night, special occasions, and days needed a little extra "glamour."

The next two products will come in handy during the cooler and drier months. Starting with skin, Michael Todd Concentrated C antioxidant Moisurizing Serum created to protect the skin from harmful UV rays using Vitamin C. A little goes a long way with this serum claiming only 2-3 drops needed to face and neck. As a vegan and organic product, the smell is mild and sweet, like oatmeal. The serum dries quickly which is helpful on the go. I have several dry patches on my face to concentrate on with this serum and have really liked the results. The areas are improving and my skin is starting to have more elasticity. 

I have tried many facial oils without much luck. Most of them too heavy or oily for my skin. Having previous luck with other products from Caudalie, I was ready to try the Divine Oil in this box. I am already a fan of using oil on my hair once styled before hair spray. The scent is rosey and clean, similar to bath beads. The travel size of 15ml is more than enough to last as only a few drops are needed at a time. 

NER:D skin repair master mask- I can never get enough face masks. At the time of this posting, I haven't tried this one yet. I am a face-mask hoarder if you will. This particular mask claims to repair and rejuvenate skin cells. I may use this mask or gift it to a friend during the holiday season. 

Smith & Cult Shining Lip Lacquer in Life in Photographs in the shade Life in Photographs is a beautifully neutral light pink. The gloss is smooth and not sticky or tacky. The fragrance is very sweet, like sugar cookies. Swatched as a clear gloss with a hint of pink to be worn alone or over a lipstick for added shine.

Stephanie Johnson pouch in Tinseltown Gunmetal- this soft, glittery pouch is the perfect accessory to any holiday gathering. Large enough for the essentials but small enough to carry to events. This is one of my favorite pieces in this box. The color is a pinkish lavender with a silvery sheen. 

If you are on the fence about this box, I highly recommend it. I have found a use for every product and have even considered ordering a second box.

The opinions and reviews of this box are entirely my own with no company affiliation.

04 November 2015

September Birchbox Review

Is it just me or are the monthly Birchboxes getting better and better? I honestly dont know where all these curated, limited edition boxes, sample choices, and Birchbox plus items are coming from, but it is exactly where all my money is going..

Lately, I have been selecting one of my samples during sample choice time and waiting patiently for my box as it arrives the third or sometimes forth week in the month. This month Birchbox had a little Faux Pas when they sent me a repeated sample. I was rewarded with 50 Birchbox points as their apology, which of course I used almost immediately (I can hardly ever save them). 

Even with the repeat, September was a great batch of products. My first and favorite product is my new POP Beauty eye shadow trio. In the past I prefer to stick with neutral eye shadow colors in the warm brown/ gold catagory. One application and I was in love. The colors range from a deep purple to a silver, that look amazing together. 

Paired with my IT Cosmetics brow powder, my eyebrows are filled and set with Benefits Gimme Brow in medium/dark (which was WAY too dark for my skin tone and hair color). I prefer to keep my eyebrows neat with moderate volume. I would hardly say they are anywhere close to "#fleek". But with the addition of a small amount of this gel, I can acheive my desired shape and volume in a way that also lasts through my day. I will definitely be purchasing the full sized version, however it will be in light/medium.

Seriously can anyone get enough of the smell of amika products? The Shield- style extending spay is no exception. This spray is very light-weight and dries quickly. As the weather has been changing, I haven't tested it's ability on humidity yet, but I will keep using it for heat protection when blow drying or curling.

Pores no more! was my repeat sample this month. As a product I have enjoyed in the past, it was nice to have another sample. My pores look smaller, skin feels tighter and deeply cleansed after using this cleanser. This product does have a tendency to dry out my skin, so added moisture after drying is a must for me. Overall, I really enjoy this cleanser from Dr. Brandt.

As a subscriber, I opted to receive six or fewer fragrance samples during the year because I am very picky about my perfumes. I only wear one of the two perfumes I own on special occasions, so I am hardly ever in the market for more. Eau So Divine by Harvey Prince found its way into my Birchbox I was pleasantly surprised by it's scent. It is a sweet, but not too sweet scent with a hint of floral and woods. I would very seriously consider this if I was to make a third participant in my fragrance party of two.

Overall I really enjoyed September's Birchbox. Receiving these boxes half-way or at the end of the month makes reviews during the month difficult, therefore I apologize for the delay. I do have most of October's review almost complete so stay tuned in the next day or two for that as well!

Want to try Birchbox? Heres a link to your customized box of delux samples for only $10/month.