Wednesday, December 18, 2013

My First (Three) Birchbox Reviews!

I should've done this 3 months ago, but I'm starting now.

When I moved out to LA, I started a monthly box subscription through Birchbox. It's been 3 months now and I love it. There are a lot of people who complain about crappy boxes on Facebook, but I won't do that because that's the reason I signed up - to get random samples. Even if they're tiny or I don't use that product, I'm still not going to complain because it's only $10 a month and I've already found some things that I LOVE! (Also because I know that I can cancel anytime and not receive random products that I may or may not use anymore.)

I do take pictures of my box after I open it, but I don't take pictures of individual products. I will start doing that if I continue this blog though. I am not on my own computer right now so I will post those pictures later. Right now, my plan is to use pictures from the website to tell you about what I got and give short reviews.

Birchbox, for those that don't know, is a monthly box subscription. For $10 a month they send you 4-5 samples of beauty and lifestyle items. Subscribers earn 10 points for each review they write and 100 points gives you $10 off in the shop. 

October Box

Ruffian Nail Lacquer: (Full size = $10) The color was really cute, a greenish-gold that I don't own already. The polish itself? Nothing special. Maybe it dries a little quicker than others and that's why it got lumpy in spots when I was putting it on. It also chips off just as quickly as others.

Bain de Terre Macadamia Oil Nourishing Shampoo and Conditioner: (Full size = $12-13.50) This smelled really nice but I have really healthy hair so I don't need anything nourishing. It didn't always make my hair feel as clean as my $4 shampoo.

Pop Beauty Aqua Lacquer: (Full size = $14) I love this. I didn't like it as much right away, though I did love the color, but the more I've used it, the more I like it. It looks really bright in the tube, but it matches my lips so well! It adds just enough color and shine to be a casual color. It's supposed to be plumping too, and I guess I feel it a little bit? But it's now my go-to lip gloss. I don't know that I'd pay $14 for it though.

ChapStick Hydration Lock: This was a bonus that everyone got in their boxes. It claims 8-hour hydration, which is a lie. It works about as well as other chapsticks, but this feels a little thicker - in a good way. It's vanilla "flavored" and there's just a hint of it. Nice freebie anyway!

November Box

WEI Golden Root Purifying Mud Mask: (Full size = $42) I've never really used mud masks before so this was a fun sample for me. I painted a thin layer over my face like they told me to, and it still felt dry (unlike what the description said). But after washing it off, my face felt really smooth. I only used half of my tiny sample too, so I get to try it again! Not something I would buy though.

BeeKind Body Lotion: (Full size = $15) I really considered buying this full-size. I just realized I have so many lotions already. It has honey in it and supports bee populations, or something, and smells like lemons. Some reviewers said it smelled like lemon Pledge, which I guess I can see but I really liked it. The sample was a great size for in a purse.

Folle de Joie eau de parfum: (Full size = $98) I did not like this scent. My boyfriend did so I gave it a couple more tries. I sprayed it on a tank top, then wore a tshirt and sweatshirt over and still felt like I was choking on the scent. I actually wrote in my review on the website that it reminds me of little old ladies at Church when I was little. I'm taking this tiny sample home to see if anyone in my family likes it.

WEI Pomegranate Buffing Beads: (Full size = $20) This was a little packet of beads and another gritty (but gentle) substance that you add to any cleanser to create an exfoliating wash. I didn't try these right away because I already use a daily face wash with exfoliating beads. I finally added it to a foaming wash my boyfriend has and it worked really well. If I was someone who only needed it a couple times a week and didn't want to have 2 different cleansers, I would get this, but I'm not. Nice idea anyway.

Chella Highlighter Pencil: (Full size = $18) Now that I know how to use this, I love it! I have really bad dark circles and I've been trying to find something that will cover them. This doesn't completely erase them, but does help a bit. I use a roller-ball concealer first, then a BB cream, then this highlighter in a V shape under my eye and my face looks so much more open. I may have to buy another one when I'm done with this sample, but it was big enough to last a while, so we'll see.

Mighty Leaf Tea - Tea Pouches: (Full size = $9.95) I got a green tea, a black tea, and an herbal tea sample. The green tea smelled amazing, but tasted like any other green tea. I added honey and lemon since I like my tea sweeter. The black tea was vanilla flavored and I added a bit of honey to it. I liked it the more I drank it. I still have yet to try the herbal tea, but I have high hope since my favorite tea is herbal.

December Box

Number 4 Non-Aerosol Hairspray: (Full size = $30) This says it does not make your hair crunchy, which is does a little bit but not bad. It smells pretty good too. I wouldn't pay $30 for it - I'll stick to my $4 bottle. I like aerosol better anyway. But this will make a good travel hairspray for when I go home for Christmas.

Camille Beckman Body Butter: (Full size = $15) I'm in love with this! I've already ordered the full size! I know I said I have other lotions but this is a body butter, so it's thicker. I LOVE the scent (I got Midnight Monarch) and it doesn't feel greasy at all, but is nice and thick. I've been using my sample on my hands and cuticles at night. I can't wait for my full size to come so I can use it more! (It will be great for my 10 days back home in below zero temps)

Benta Berry G-1 Exfoliating Facial Cleanser: (Full size = $16) Um, no. This did not work for me. The sample was the tiniest I've ever received. The website says to use a dime-sized amount on a damp face. I tried this while in the shower over the weekend and a dime size didn't even cover half my face because it doesn't lather at all. I had to use almost the whole tube to try it out and when I washed it off, my face still felt unclean. I explained it to my mom like how when you're wearing makeup and you get your face wet before you wash it... that's how it still felt afterward. I had to use my regular face wash after just to feel clean. It's only redeeming quality was the scent. It had a nice light apricot scent.

Manna Kadar Cosmetics Sheer Glo Shimmer Lotion: (Full size = $29) I guess you can mix this with your moisturizer or foundation for a healthy glow. I have oily skin so I don't really need to be glowing. I also already have a slight shimmer in my "morning glow" moisturizer. But I used this on my cheekbones a couple times and in certain lights you can see it. I dunno... not for me I guess, but I still appreciate the sample. Some people said it works better on your chest and shoulders. I'll give that a try when the weather is nicer.

Chuao Chocolatier Chocolate Bars: (Full size = $6) I love this product too. I actually got to try a small bite of the popcorn flavor at a thing called Unique LA and was so excited to get the Honeycomb flavor in my box. I'm not a big fan of dark chocolate but this was only 60% dark and had little bits of dried honey that crunched when you bit it. I had to order the 8-pack Chocopod sampler for $9.95 so I can try all the flavors. Apparently our grocery stores sell it but I can't find them anywhere. I've looked in the chocolate aisle and the baking aisle (though I don't know why they'd be there) and at the registers, but this is a specialty item so I'm not sure where it'd be hiding.