Birchbox – October 2016

Birchbox October 2016

Birchbox is a $10 (USD)/month subscription service (shipping included).  Each month, subscribers receive at least five beauty, grooming, and/or lifestyle samples.  Birchbox is also available in France, Spain, and the UK.

If you want to sign up using my referral link, you can click here.  If you want to sign up sans referral, this link’s for you.

I haven’t had a chance to try this month’s items, so general descriptions from Birchbox are below!

Birchbox October 2016

MAKE Silk Cream Lipstick in Magnolia (full size 0.12oz/$25; sample value estimate $3) – This lipstick delivers long-lasting, smudge-proof color, with a hydrating, antioxidant-rich formula that does double duty as a lip treatment.  This particular shade, Magnolia, is a medium violet with pink undertones.

Tata Harper Resurfacing Mask (full size 1oz/$58; sample value 0.25oz/$14.50) – “The peachy pink cream has a jelly-like texture that feels comfortable and soothing whether you use it as an all-over treatment or on specific areas. Then after application, the 100% natural and non-toxic formula targets excess oil, evens skin tone, and sheds dead cells to give your complexion that coveted lit-from-within glow.”

Hustle Butter Luxe (full size 1oz/$25; sample value estimate $2) – “Originally developed to heal tattoos, this multipurpose cream primes, moisturizes, and heals any skin. What’s more, the rich formula works equally well as facial moisturizer, makeup remover, hand cream, and even as a sunburn healer.”

Birchbox October 2016

Madison Reed Nourishing Color-Enhancing Shampoo & Conditioner (full size 8oz/$26 each; sample value 1oz/$3.25 each) – The shampoo “seals color to strands and protects it from shade-altering UV rays.” It also “undoes damage from coloring, styling, and other treatments, so our new hue can truly shine.”  The conditioner “keeps your shade fresh so you can go longer between trips to the salon, and its host of natural nourishers gives color-treated hair the extra attention it needs.”

 

Total Box Value: ~$26

Ipsy – October 2016

Ipsy October 2016

If you’re not familiar with it, Ipsy is a $10 (USD)/month subscription service (shipping included for the US; with an additional shipping fee for Canada).  Each month, subscribers receive 4-5 deluxe sample or full-size beauty and skincare products.  You also get a (sometimes) cute makeup bag containing all of the samples.

If you find yourself interested and want to sign up using my referral link, you can click here.  If you want to sign up sans referral, this link’s for you.

It’s been a pretty hectic month, so I haven’t tried most of these items.  Quoted descriptions are from Ipsy’s site.

Ipsy October 2016

Sally’s Box Aqua Moist (sample value ~$4, based on others’ reviews) – “Powerful flower water from Provence roses, chamomile and lavender goes deep beneath the surface of your skin for the ultimate moisture bomb.”

Trust Fund Beauty Gimme Good Face Primer (full size 20ml/$25; sample value 10ml/$12.50) – This primer is intended to smooth over imperfections and reduce the appearance of pores, and has a light eucalyptus scent.  It is currently available for pre-order on Trust Fund Beauty’s website.

Ipsy October 2016

Kat Von D Tattoo Liner in Trooper (full size 0.7ml/$20; sample value 0.2ml/$5.71) – This brush-tip liquid liner is decent. I like the really thin tip; very precise and applies smoothly. The liner itself stays in place for quite a while, though I didn’t get the 24-hour, waterproof wear that KVD claims.

Lottie London Perfectly Precise Eyeshadow Brush ($15) – “Part shadow brush. Part smudger. Dense fibers let you apply powder and cream shadows.”

Trestique Mini Matte Lip Crayon in Belize Bordeaux (mini trios $32 / sample value ~$10) – “It’s buttery soft, rich, yet light as air and uber comfortable with a futuristic vibrant finish. Infused with Vitamin E, and Monoi Tahiti Butter for moisturization and antioxidant properties.”  It’s not my color, so I’ll pass it along.  Sorta wish all subscription boxes were *done* with Trestique.

 

Total Bag Value: ~$47

Sephora Play – October 2016

Sephora Play October 2016

Play! by Sephora is a $10/month subscription box program. Every month subscribers receive a bag of deluxe samples as well as a Play Pass to redeem in store for free expert advice and 50 extra Beauty Insider points (with any purchase). The six samples are curated from the prestige brands Sephora carries online/in-store.  Typically, there are five deluxe samples and a fragrance sample.

Descriptions below are from the box insert; I haven’t had a chance to try most of these products.  Been a busy month!

Sephora Play October 2016

Too Cool for School Egg Mellow Cream (full size 1.76oz/$36; sample value 0.21oz/$4.30) – This is a 5-in-1 cream made with egg extracts and collagen fiber and works as a serum, priming moisturizer, eye cream, neck cream, and sleeping mask.

Skin Inc. Pure Revival Peel (full size 2oz/$55; sample value 0.17oz/$4.68) – This advanced non-abrasive peel gently sloughs away dead skin to reveal a bright, renewed complexion.

Sephora Play October 2016

Tom Ford Orchid Soleil Parfum (full size price varies; sample value $1) – This is a summery take on Tom Ford’s Black Orchid, with hints of spice and exotic florals.  Notes include: turberose petals, cypress, pink peppercorn, black orchid, lily, clove, vanilla, chestnut, vetiver, and patchouli.  Not a huuuge fan of this one, but I do find it easier to handle than Black Orchid.

Verb Leave-In Mist (full size 8oz/$14; sample value 1oz/$1.75) – Formulated to moisturize, detangle, and smooth, this conditioning mist also helps to protect hair from heat styling.

Sephora Play October 2016

Nudestix Intense Matte Lip + Cheek Pencil in Belle (mini trio $24; single mini value $8) – Color-rich and non-drying, this multi-use pencil works as a lipstick, lip liner, and cheek blush.  Wears up to six hours.  REALLY love this one, but have only used it as a full lip color so far.

Smashbox Always On Matte Liquid Lipstick in Driver’s Seat (full size 0.13oz/$24; sample value estimate 0.04oz/$7.38) – Matte liquid lipstick keeps going for eight hours with a water-resistant, non-feathering formula.

 

 

Total Value: ~$27

Birchbox – September 2016

Birchbox - September 2016

Birchbox is a $10 (USD)/month subscription service (shipping included).  Each month, subscribers receive at least five beauty, grooming, and/or lifestyle samples.  Birchbox is also available in France, Spain, and the UK.

If you want to sign up using my referral link, you can click here.  If you want to sign up sans referral, this link’s for you.

Birchbox - September 2016

Elizabeth Mott It’s So Big Volumizing Mascara (full size 0.33oz/$15; sample size 0.14oz/$6.36) – I swear I’ve received this from Ipsy in the past, but I can’t go back far enough on Ipsy’s site to check.  Regardless, this mascara is average.  I’ll pass it along to someone who doesn’t have a ridiculous amount of mascara waiting in the wings.

Milk Makeup Highlighter in Lit (full size 1oz/$24; sample size 0.1oz/$2.40) – Oh, look… another highlighter. The worst part is that it wasn’t even my sample choice.  I was meant to receive the Milk Ubame Mascara, which is currently (and slowly) on its way to me.  That said, it’s not terrible.  It is a little thicker than I expected, so I’ll probably wait to use it until winter (the idea of using it now, even in early fall weather, is not appealing). It blends easily and the shimmer is subtle. Also, it smells like Play-Doh.  I’m not saying that’s a negative or positive… that’s just how it smells.

Birchbox - September 2016

Bioderma Sebium H2O Micellar Solution (full size 250ml/$11.90; sample size 10ml/$0.48) – This sample is practically useless.  Well, I suppose it has a single use… as in, I can only use it once.  It’s basically a foil packet; not what I would consider a deluxe sample. *shrug* This micellar solution is removing makeup and cleansing combination or oily skin.  From the one time I tried it, it seemed okay.

Derma E Microdermabrasion Scrub (full size 2oz/$32.50; sample size 0.50oz/$8.13) – Yet another product I’ve received in a past Ipsy bag (May 2014), but I’m pleased to receive it again.  The Dead Sea salts are just abrasive enough to slough off dead skin without irritation.  It also has a pleasant citrus scent.

R+Co Analog Cleansing Foam Conditioner (full size 6oz/$29; sample size 1.5oz/$7.25) – Though this product is supposed to be good for all hair types, I feel it’s probably more suited for dry and/or coarse hair.  I used it on my ends and found that it left my hair smooth and soft.

 

Box Value: ~$25

Sephora Play – September 2016

Play September 2016

Play! by Sephora is a $10/month subscription box program. Every month subscribers receive a bag of deluxe samples as well as a Play Pass to redeem in store for free expert advice and 50 extra Beauty Insider points (with any purchase). The six samples are curated from the prestige brands Sephora carries online/in-store.  Typically, there are five deluxe samples and a fragrance sample.

Play September 2016

Living Proof Perfect Hair Day Night Cap Overnight Perfector (full size 4oz/$28; sample value 1oz/$7) –  I have yet to try a Living Proof product that I didn’t like, but this one will probably be passed along to someone who will get use out of it.  Either that or I’ll save it to use after coloring my hair, as the Sephora Play booklet suggests!

Atelier Cologne Sud Magnolia (full size 3.3 oz/$125; sample value $1) – This fresh floral fragrance has top notes of bitter orange, pomelo, and blackcurrant with middle notes of magnolia, rose, and saffron, and a base of cedar, sandalwood, and musk.  I already own a travel size, so I wasn’t disappointed to see this in the bag… though I do like trying new fragrances, so something different wouldn’t have been so bad.

Ole Henriksen Sheer Transformation (full size 50ml/$38; sample value 7ml/$5.32) – I am currently working my way through a moisturizer, so I haven’t tried this yet except to apply to the back of my hand.  It seems to be really light and it absorbs quickly.  Also, it’s oil-free, which is always a bonus.

Play September 2016

Sephora Rouge Shine Lipstick in Love Spell (full size 0.13oz/$12.50; sample value 0.035oz/$3.37) – This isn’t my color so it will go into the ‘pass pile’, but I have tried other shades from the Rouge Shine line and they’re just okay.  They’re meant to be sheer and shiny, which they are… but I find them to be waxy and the wear time is low.  Also, this particular one smells like a Mr. Sketch marker.  I don’t recall the scent of the ones I previously tried.

Kat Von D Tattoo Liner in Trooper (full size 0.7ml/$20; sample value 0.2ml/$5.71) – This brush-tip liquid liner is decent.  I like the really thin tip; very precise and applies smoothly.  The liner itself stays in place for quite a while, though I didn’t get the 24-hour, waterproof wear that KVD claims.

Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Gel (full size 8.5ml/$22; sample value 2.5ml/$6.47) – Love it.  Use it daily.  It’s lightweight and keeps my brows in place throughout the day.  It does leave them stiff, but I feel that’s inevitable or expected.

 

Bag Value: ~$29

Ipsy – September 2016

Ipsy - September 2016

If you’re not familiar with it, Ipsy is a $10 (USD)/month subscription service (shipping included for the US; with an additional shipping fee for Canada).  Each month, subscribers receive 4-5 deluxe sample or full-size beauty and skincare products.  You also get a (sometimes) cute makeup bag containing all of the samples.

If you find yourself interested and want to sign up using my referral link, you can click here.  If you want to sign up sans referral, this link’s for you.

Ipsy - September 2016

Dirty Little Secret Eyeshadow in Teaser (full palette 6g/$38; single pan 1.5g/$9.50) –  This light terra cotta shade is a nice neutral for fall, and is pretty average as far as shadows are concerned.  Applied well and blended out fine, but didn’t have much staying power.  Primer definitely recommended.

Trestique Mini Highlight Stick in Maldives (full size 0.21oz/$34; sample size 0.04oz/$6.48) – If there are two makeup items I wish I’d quit receiving in subscription boxes they would be highlighters and bronzers.  That’s not to say anything negative about this particular highlighter; it’s actually decent.  Applies smoothly, blends out well, isn’t overly shimmery.

Eyeko Eye Do Liquid Eyeliner in Carbon Black (full size 2g/$20; sample size 1.2g/$12) – I want to like this liner, and if I can find a way to keep it from smearing/smudging my opinion of it will become more positive.  Perhaps it’s just my eyes, since I’ve read so many glowing reviews, but the combo of my oily lids (even with primer) and this liner… it’s no good.  I also wish the felt tip were a bit more precise.

Ipsy - September 2016

Épicé Restorative Toner (full size 5oz/$27; sample size 1oz/$5.40) – This toner is something between a watery liquid and a gel.  I wouldn’t recommend it for sensitive skin, given the AHA and alcohol within.

Christie Brinkley Complete Clarity Daily Facial Exfoliating Polish (full size 3oz/$29; sample size 0.33oz/$3.19) – I received this sample in a past Birchbox (November 2015) and I don’t remember being terribly impressed.  It’s a fairly gentle exfoliating scrub, but it made my skin feel oily.  No thanks.

 

Bag Value: ~$36

Birchbox – August 2016

Birchbox - August 2016

Birchbox is a $10 (USD)/month subscription service (shipping included).  Each month, subscribers receive at least five beauty, grooming, and/or lifestyle samples.  Birchbox is also available in France, Spain, and the UK.

If you want to sign up using my referral link, you can click here.  If you want to sign up sans referral, this link’s for you.

This month is a bit late since I had to wait for a replacement to arrive… details below!

Birchbox - August 2016

R+Co Badlands Dry Shampoo Paste (full size 2.2oz/$28, sample size 0.25oz/~$3) – This was my sample choice for the month, which I chose out of pure curiosity.  As a lover of dry shampoo, being able to try it in a different formula was appealing.  When I first ran my finger over the product, it felt waxy and I was worried.  But after rubbing the paste between my fingers, I discovered that it broke down to a powder. I imagine most people would use this on second-day hair, but I am a daily washer, so that’s out.  I used it on my damp hair before blow drying and found that it did give a little more texture and volume… a look very similar to second-day hair!

Oribe Apres Beach Wave and Shine Spray (full size 8.5oz/$39, sample size 1oz/$4.50) – I have yet to be disappointed by any Oribe product.  They perform well and the SCENT IS SO AMAZING.  (An aside: I really need to grab the Côte d’Azur Eau de Parfum.)  As you’d expect from the name, this spray gives your hair texture and shine.  Though, if I’m honest… I’m using this sample primarily for the scent.  For real.

Birchbox - August 2016

Marcelle Hydra-C 24H Energizing Hydrating Gel (full size 50ml/$26, sample size 7ml/$3.60) – I haven’t tried this one out, but it sounds interesting.  It has green tea and cucumber extracts as well as vitamins C and E.  The claim is that the gel will “fight against dryness and the effects of external stressors” and “deeply hydrate for 24 hours”. It’s supposed to be ultra-light and non-sticky, which sounds promising.

Avene Micellar Lotion Cleanser (full size 6.7oz/$20, sample size 0.8oz/$2.40) – I wasn’t super impressed with this one.  It performed similarly to the drugstore micellar water / makeup removers I’ve tried previously.  It works, but I don’t know that it’s worth the added expense.  Also, it kinda smells like baby wipes to me.

Manna Kadar 3-in-1 Blush Highlighter Eyeshadow in Fantasy (full size $19, not sure if this is full size, but it seems pretty close… so $15?) – This is the reason why this post is so late.  As you can see, it arrived broken.  However, since Birchbox’s customer service is excellent, they quickly responded to my request for a replacement.  If only the mail service moved as quickly… after traveling through the first stops, the package sat in Atlanta for nearly a week before being passed to the next location.

At any rate, the wait was worth it.  I’ll likely never use it as a blush or highlighter, but as an eyeshadow it’s beautiful.  The shade is a shimmery champagne pink and the shadow itself is soft and velvety.

Birchbox - August 2016

 

Total Box Value: ~$28