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

Ipsy – August 2016

Ipsy - August 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 - August 2016

This Works in transit camera close-up (full size 40ml/$39, sample size 20ml/$19.50) – This is, as the packaging states, a mask, moisturizer, and primer in one.  Haven’t used it as a traditional mask, but I can say I liked it as a primer and moisturizer.  When I first applied it, I was worried it would be too heavy for my oily skin, but it absorbed well and I had no issues letting it serve double-duty as my primer.

Beauty For Real I-Line 24-7 Eyeliner in Black Magic (full size, $14) –  Pretty decent liner.  It’s soft, it applied smoothly, it’s waterproof, and it stayed on my waterline for hours.

Tarte Tarteist mascara (full size 7ml/$23, sample size 3ml/~$10) –  This mascara works well if you’re willing to put in a little more effort to avoid clumps.  I like the length I get from just one coat, and it gives a little more volume to my lashes.  I did see a little smudging/transfer toward the end of the day.

Ipsy - August 2016

Ciate Paint Pot in Dangerous Affair (full size, $15) –  I’m pretty ‘meh’ about red polishes, but I can see using this one in late fall and during the holidays.  It’s opaque in two coats and, though it did leave a little red tint behind after clean up, it’s easy to apply.  Swatch below!

It Haircare 12-in-One Amazing Leave In Treatment (full size 5.1oz/$8.99, sample size 3.4oz/$5.99) – I tend not to use leave in treatments in my hair; it’s just so fine and thin that most leave-ins weigh it down.  I did, however, use it on my daughter’s hair with great results.

Ciate - Dangerous Affair

 

Bag Value: ~$64

Ipsy – July 2016

Ipsy - July 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 - July 2016

Make Up For Ever Excessive Lash Mascara (full size 0.15oz, $25; sample size 0.08oz, $13) – Okay, so I know I was just saying in my July Birchbox review that I had a backlog of mascara samples to work though, but when I received this one I had to test it.  Verdict?  I kinda love it.  The wand is quite thin, which allows you to get closer to your lash line, closer to your inner corner, and you can easily coat your lower lashes without worrying about a bulky brush getting in the way.  I also felt that it was long-lasting without flaking or transferring to my lid (too often a problem).

Mellow Baked Eye Shadow in Coco (full size 0.10oz, $8) and J Cat Perfect Duo Brow Pencil in Dark Brown (full size 0.25g, $3.99)  – I’m going to go ahead and put these two together since I won’t be using either.  Nothing against the products, I just have so many brown shadows and I don’t really use brow pencils.

Ipsy - July 2016

Trust Fund Beauty Nail Polish in No Filter (full size, $15) – LOVE LOVE LOVE this polish.  It definitely needs two coats for complete coverage, but the color? Yes, please.  A lovely neutral greyish purple.

Eva NYC Get Glossed Hair Serum (full size 50ml, $14.99; sample size 10ml, $3) – I like getting these small samples of hair oils, because they seem to last forever.  I use them only occasionally and only on the tips of my hair… a little goes a long way.  This particular oil doesn’t do anything spectacular, but the sweet vanilla scent makes it worth using.

 

Bag Value: ~$43

Birchbox – July 2016

Birchbox - July 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.

Keep reading to see what I received this month!

Birchbox - July 2016

Beautiful Nutrition Fadeless Citrus Antioxidant Shampoo and Conditioner (full size $12 each; sample size ~$3.50 each) – This shampoo and conditioner duo are meant for color-treated hair and contain citrus antioxidants to help “maintain hair’s vibrancy” and repair damage.  I’m a big fan of citrus scents when it comes to shampoo/conditioner, so I was definitely pleased with the scent (I already own the Beautiful Nutrition Lemon Rinse, so I was familiar the bright, crisp scent).  The duo performs well; I’ve used better and I’ve used worse.  I feel as though I’d need to use it longer to test their claims.

Birchbox - July 2016

Molinard Muguet Eau de Parfum (full size $65, sample size $1) – This scent was an unexpected surprise! When I saw the packaging, I assumed I would get lily-of-the-valley (as the name suggests), but perhaps a heavier version.  Maybe it was the darker colors of the card?  In any case, this is a straight-forward green floral.  The lily-of-the-valley is right at the top, with some jasmine, lilac, and sandalwood to round it out.  If that sounds good to you, give it a shot!

Marcelle Xtension Plus Curl Mascara (full size $14, sample size ~$7) – I haven’t tried this one, even though it was my sample choice for the month.  This is probably an example of “subscription box problems”, but I have so many mascara samples that this one will have to wait.

Balance Me Radiance Face Mask (full size 75ml, $34; sample size 15ml, $6.80) – Another one I haven’t used.  Again with the “subscription box problems”… so many face masks, only once face.

 

Box Value: ~$22

Ipsy – June 2016

Ipsy - June 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 - June 2016

Seraphine Botanicals Happy Hibiscus Blush (full size, $18) – This blush is a slightly shimmery neutral that I can see myself using as a blush and an eye shadow.  It also seems fairly long-wearing, which is a plus.

Urban Decay Eyeshadow in Fireball (full size 0.05oz/$19, sample size 0.03oz/$11.40) – If the great peach to pink shift on this shadow wasn’t enough, it’s also highly pigmented, applies smoothly, blends well, and is long-lasting (with a primer).  Can’t ask for much more!

Ipsy - June 2016

Formula X Nail Polish in Wingwoman (full size 0.4oz/$10.50, sample size 0.13oz/$3.40) – I actually didn’t test this one out since I have other shades like it and reds/pinks aren’t shades I typically go for on my nails.  I can say that the other Formula X polishes I’ve tried applied easily and were fairly long-lasting.

Royal & Langnickel Crease/Smudge Brush (full size ~$5.99) – This 100% vegan double-sided brush is… average.  Not as soft as some of my other brushes, but not scratchy.

Clarisea Sea Salt Solutions Deep Pore Detox Activated Charcoal Exfoliating Mask (full size 5oz/$18, sample size 1oz/$3.60) –  Whoa.  That name is a mouthful.  Despite the name, this product can be used both as a mask and as a cleanser.  To use it as a mask you mix with a few drops of water to form a paste, apply to your face, wait until dry, and rinse.  To use it as a cleanser you simply mix it with your regular cleanser, massage into your skin, and rinse.  I don’t use it as a whole-face treatment; instead, I focus on my nose and chin area as they seem to need the most ‘deep pore’ attention.  It’s a good product, but I’d suggest moisturizing after use.

 

Total Value: ~$42

Birchbox – June 2016

Birchbox - June 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.

Keep reading to see what I received this month!

Birchbox - June 2016

Jane Iredale Smooth Affair Facial Primer & Brightener (full size 1.7oz/$48, sample size 0.24oz/~$7) – I have used this a couple of times and found it to be a fairly average primer. One of the things it is meant to do is minimize the look of pores, which I could use, but I didn’t see any improvement.  Also, it didn’t extend the wear of my makeup any more than most drugstore primers, which is a shame given the price.

Evologie Intensive Blemish Serum (full size 15ml/$35, sample size 10ml/$23) – Wow, I didn’t expect this sample to be so close to the full size!  Unfortunately (or fortunately, depending on how you look at it), I haven’t had the opportunity to try it.  I wanted to put it to the test on an actual blemish, but none have made an appearance.  The serum is also supposed to handle discoloration and surface scars… quite the multi-tasker. A quick Google shows that it reviews well, so there’s that.

Benefit Cosmetics Gimme Brow Volumizing Fiber Gel in 3 Medium (full size 0.1oz/$24, sample size 0.03oz/~$7) – For Birchbox’s sample choice this month, I was able to choose which shade of Gimme Brow I wanted.  Of course, I wanted/needed/picked the new Medium shade.  It’s the same formula as before, albeit in new packaging, so I get the that great application and performance in a more flattering color.

Birchbox - June 2016

Davines SU Hair & Body Wash (full size 250ml/$22.50, sample size 75ml/~$7) – This is an after-sun wash for hair and body, meant to “prevent sun damage” to hair and “prolong the life of your tan”.  Does it do those things?  I have no idea.  Perhaps I’ll have a more informed opinion after my vacation, but for now…  eh.  It does smell nice; a delicate, clean, fruity floral scent with camellia, mimosa, and apple.

By Rosie Jane Leila Lou (full size $39-49, sample size $1) – I know there are people out there who hate receiving perfume samples, but I am not one of them.  I just ordered two fragrance sample sets from Sephora – that’s how into perfume samples I am.  Something else I’m into?  Leila Lou.  It’s just… lovely.  Fresh. Clean. Springtime in a vial.

Top Notes: Nectarine + Fresh Cut Grass

Middle Notes: Pear Blossom + Jasmine

Base Notes: Vanilla + Cotton Musk

The card has little descriptors on it – “lazy mornings in bed”, “the perfect white t-shirt and great jeans” – pretty accurate.  Now that I think about it, I could see this ‘pairing’ well with the hair & body wash from this Birchbox.  That’s a thing that will definitely happen soon!

Box Value: ~$45

Ipsy – May 2016

Ipsy May 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.

I’m late on this, but figured it was still worth posting.  Here’s what I received:

Ipsy May 2016

Hikari Shimmer Bronzer in Radiate (full size, $17) – I know I’m not likely to use this, so I haven’t even swatched it.  The bronzer looks lovely, but I’d rather pass it along to someone than have it sitting around, not seeing any use.  The packaging does feel pretty cheap though, which is a bummer.

Pacifica Natural Mineral Coconut Eye Shadow Trio (nearly full size, 0.07 vs 0.10oz, ~$10) – This trio has three shades: Skinny Dip, Crush, and Lovely.  They don’t look particularly shimmery in the image above, but they all have some degree of shimmer… the lightest shade has the least amount (barely any) and the darkest shade has the most.  They’re all decently pigmented and apply well.

Ipsy May 2016

Hanalei Lip Treatment (full size $25/15g, sample size $8.33/5g) – Hanalei says this lip treatment “uses pure kukui oil, which is known to moisturize and rejuvenate dry lips. Agave and grape seed oil provide high levels of anti-oxidants that help sooth and protect lips from harmful radicals. Shea butter delivers intense moisture and silkiness to lips without leaving any residue.”  My verdict?  I agree that it soothes and protects lips.  I like to use this before bed to moisturize, and I’ve been pleased with the results.  The feel/consistency is similar to any other lanolin-based lip product.

Smashbox X-Rated Mascara (full size $22, sample size ~$10) – Yet another product I have yet to try.  I just don’t want to open it before I’m done with the ones I’m currently working my way through.  I am excited to try it; this mascara is designed to be buildable so you can go from an everyday look to something super thick and dramatic.

Eva NYC Hungry Hair Oil Treatment (full size $20/100ml; sample size $2/10ml) – I love a good hair oil, even on my thin, fine hair.  As long as I stick to the ends of my hair and take care with the amount I apply,  I’m often happy with the results.  Eva NYC’s treatment is no exception.  It contains Argan oil and Keravis protein to increases strength and flexibility.  It also acts as a heat shield and is free of sulfates, parabens, and artificial colors.  Aaaaand it smells great!

 

Bag Value: ~$47