Tuesday, June 16, 2015

November 2014 Birchbox

More old Birchbox reviews! This box was a mixed bag, some really great things and a few I took a while to give up on, but no big misses either. Well, maybe one.

Bain de Terre Argan Oil & Passion Flower Color Therapy Styling Oil: I think I've since changed my profile to take off that I color treat my hair, because I do dye my hair once a year or so, but I also don't really have good luck with something like 90% of the hair products designed to make your color last longer. My color might last longer but my hair looks awful.

That said, this styling oil actually worked quite well for what it is, but my hair just doesn't need extra oil on it. It did make it smoother, but I don't need it to look more slicked at the same time, that's not my style. And I don't use any heat styling tools or curl or iron or do anything like that. So really it's not a product I ever was going to use much. But since I did kind of like it, I'm sure if you were looking for something like this it'd be a good choice.

Ellovi Lip Butter: Man, I tried so hard to like this, I really did. I got the tinted lip butter, and the color was great, I really liked it. But there were two major problems - first for some reason there were a ton of bubbles or crystals or something that made it rough and flaky to apply which is NOT what you want in a lip product. Second, there was a smell (which also probably made it seem like a bad taste) that I never got used to. I tried valiantly for a few days before I gave up. Definitely not on my to buy list.

Juice Beauty Green Apple Peel Sensitive: This was my sample choice, because I was super excited to try it. I have super sensitive skin and problems with some mystery ingredient that's in a lot of face products. So I had high hopes for an all-natural sensitive skin peel that maybe it would finally help me solve my exfoliation conundrum. Alas, it was not to be. Whatever ingredient it is that sets off my skin, it's in here. Or it's just still too harsh for me. I turned lobster red and my face stung, so I gave up and gave away the rest because I couldn't risk it. Also, I wasn't a fan of the texture or smell.

Not Soap, Radio Body Wash: The titles of these products are half of what makes it so great, I got "When life gives you one too many lemons (and you've misplaced your happy place)." I loved it, it was a fabulous scent, not too strong, and I really liked the body wash too. it also can be used in the bathtub, and it doesn't make a ton of foamy bubbles, but instead just gives you a good scent and some bubbling but not too much. It was exactly right, I'm buying more as soon as I use up the bath tablets I have.

TOCCA Crema da Mano-Hand Cream: I really love this hand cream, I actually am kind of hoarding it and won't use it until I've used up my lesser samples so I can enjoy it just that much longer. The scent is lovely and lasts a good bit of time, and the lotion itself is very moisturizing and lovely. I'm a big fan.

Justin's Chocolate Almond Butter Squeeze Packs: I have been wanting to try almond butter, so I was pretty happy to see this sample. Though it was kind of hilarious that it arrived in November so mine was frozen solid, I couldn't eat it until it thawed out. I eventually spread it on some toast, and I really liked it. If it wasn't so expensive I would have started buying it regularly, though probably I would get it through REI so I'd get my dividend from it.

So overall, I think it was a good box. I loved the body wash, lotion, and almond butter. The other products weren't a great success but that's a really personal thing for most of them, the peel and the hair oil weren't bad products. The lip butter, I don't know, maybe I got a bad one.

Don't forget if you think Birchbox sounds awesome (and it is) then please consider using my referral link!

Saturday, June 13, 2015

October 2014 Birchbox

Still playing catch-up with my Birchbox reviews! Now we're up to October of last year. Maybe one day I'll be posting current reviews again. This month they included a card to talk about some of your favorite things, and my card wanted to know a book. I picked Crown Duel by Sherwood Smith because I actually had recently stayed up too late re-reading it. It's one of my favorites.

This box was a little light on the samples, but I've had so many months with tons of samples that I was okay with that.

Balance Me Wonder Eye Cream: Maybe one day when I'm old and wrinkled I will regret not using excessive amounts of creams and potions and lotions but right now, the only thing I get out of using regular eye creams is more milia around my eyes, so I skip it and just use some puffiness reducing products when my eyes are feeling swollen and unhappy (or when I know they will like going to bed late). So this cream was a good eye cream, I just don't use eye cream because milia are a much bigger problem for me than wrinkles.

Dr. Lipp Original Nipple Balm for Lips: Okay, so this is basically where I'm going to diverge from the popular opinion. This is a highly reviewed, well loved item for Birchbox customers apparently. But I hated it. I didn't try to use it on my lips because it was this thick, goopy, sticky mess. There was no way that was going to look even remotely natural on my lips and I didn't want to accidentally smear it on my sheets or pillowcases by wearing it at night either. So I just used it on my ultra-dry skin. And I do have some pretty bad dry patches, regular lotion doesn't even make a dent half the time. This stuff was awful, maybe it sealed in some moisture or something but it didn't do any better than a tub of vaseline would have managed to do, and as I mentioned it was a gross sticky mess. It was so gross, and it was impossible to use because I didn't want to get it all over everything so I couldn't use it and get on with my life either, I had to walk around not touching stuff if I used it on my cuticles, or hold my arms away from everything if I put it on my elbows. Ugh.

Essentiel Elements Wake Up Rosemary Shower Gel: This was my sample choice for this month, because I loved the Essentiel Elements Wake Up Rosemary Lotion so much previously. I think it's a fabulous scent, and I really love the style of both the sample bottles and the full size ones. I did really like this lotion, it's on my list of ones to buy when I run out of what I have (though that list is now getting pretty long!)

Harvey Prince Petaly Noir: Perfume can be pretty polarizing, and a lot of reviews said this scent was "old" or too "flowery." I didn't think it was either, I really love how it smells on me. But it is a strong scent that just feels very "evening" to me, not like something to wear to work but something to wear out on a date or to a party. So that's what I use it for now, I do really love it, and this just cemented my love for Harvey Prince products.

Lord & Berry Paillettes Eye Pencil: You can't really see this one in the picture, it's kind of hiding behind the balm and the lotion. A lot of people complained kind of a ridiculous amount about the size of this sample, because it is a pretty small pencil. But I was THRILLED because I already have two full size eyeliner pencils I've gotten in other boxes, plus I had bought a set of colored eye liner not long before this so I didn't need another huge pencil I would never use up. Especially because this particular liner is black with silver glitter, which I'm going to use once in a great while when I'm doing really fun makeup and not trying to look professional. So anyway, it's the perfect size for me, and I do really like the pencil itself. It's very fun, and if I did this kind of look often I would totally be up for the full size.

So this is where we finally talked about the sample I've gotten that I liked the least out of all of them, (the Dr. Lipp balm) and a few new favorites too. Overall, it was a pretty good box.

Thursday, June 11, 2015

September 2014 Birchbox and Birchbox Plus

Back to talking about my old Birchboxes! This time we're going back to September 2014 and my first time trying out Birchbox Plus!

Ruffian Essential Blush Collection & Remover Towelettes: I've gone on several times about my love for Ruffian's nail polishes, and when I saw this gorgeous collection, I had to have it. I'd been wanting some more feminine but neutral-ish tones. These colors are gorgeous in person, and they're a fantastic base to do more fancy nail art, or put a bit of glitter on top and have a more simple look (for me that's simple). They go so well together, and my favorite is definitely No More Tears. I used it for my Valentine's Day manicure this year. These will also definitely be good colors for the Ruffian Manicure Look!

Now to my actual Birchbox items!

Liz Earle Cleanse & Polish Hot Cloth Cleanser and Cloth: This was my pick for the sample choice this month, and I actually got it because I already own a full size (thanks to a birthday present from my sister, yay!) and loved it so much I wanted a travel size to take with me on trips. It's a really lovely cleanser, and it works so much better than most I've tried. And while I think the muslin clothes are a bit expensive on their own, as a package deal they're quite nice to use and worth it.

Dear Clark Resurrecting Wash and Dear Clark Resurrecting Rinse: These were kind of a rare product that I absolutely did not like. The smell was awful, I don't know which aspect of it that I didn't like, but the scent was just gross to me. I didn't like it going on, and then throughout the day after I used it, I would turn my head and catch a whiff of it again and be grossed out all over again. Not a fan at all. That said, I gave mine to my best friend who said she liked the smell, so who knows.

Caudalie Vinoperfect Radiance Serum: Honestly, I'm so very over serums. I don't see a difference in my face when I use them (except maybe the oily spots get oilier) and they're usually ridiculously expensive. Which this one is, it's far too overpriced for what it is. Sure, it was a good serum, but like I said, I've never noticed a big difference between when I use a serum and when I don't, so why spend $79 on one ounce of a product like that?

Smashbox Be Legendary Long Wear Lip Lacquer: I do really like Smashbox products, and this lip lacquer is nice, but it goes on a little thick and bright for my current style of makeup. But it is fun to try a brighter color once in a while, so I've kept it and use it once in a great while. It is a lot thicker than what I would consider a "stain," but I still liked it okay.

So that's it for this Birchbox. I'm a fan of the plus upgrade option, though I haven't used it again since this one, just because the one other time I thought about it the item I wanted was sold out. They are usually good deals, but on pricier items that are above my range anyway, or things that I wouldn't use/aren't my style. But I'm always excited to check them out, and if they have some cool nail polish again I'll definitely go for it.