Friday, February 20, 2015

December 2013 Birchbox

I'm still going back and reviewing my old Birchboxes so that people can decide on products they might want to buy that are still available. Next up, December of 2013! I have to admit this one was only so-so on reflection, but I still liked getting it. I'm actually one of the least picky Birchbox customers I think, because I don't sit and nitpick sample size or get upset about very much. It's a surprise box of goodies once a month and that's all that matters to me.

Nelson j Beverly Hills Argan Oil 7 Non-Foaming Shampoo: So there's no polite way to put this, but I hated this stuff. I get the idea behind non-foaming shampoo, but I don't know if it's the thickness of my hair or my water here at home but I couldn't actually get it to really go through my hair to feel like it was shampooing anything but the very top surface of my head, which honestly isn't enough. It wasn't slippery enough or something. The other weird thing that's not mentioned anywhere in the description and took me by surprise is that this actually had little beads mixed into it. I don't know what they were, they seemed like the same plastic microbeads that I dislike in other products (and that are currently being banned by different places because they're so bad for the environment) but I have no idea. What I do know is that more than once after thinking I had completely rinsed my hair I got out of the shower to find those stupid plastic beads still in my hair. They were super difficult to rinse out, partially because the shampoo wasn't really penetrating the thickness of my hair. I didn't even finish the sample.

ARCONA Magic White Ice: This was a really nice moisturizer, I did quite like it. It blended in easily without feeling too thick or sticky. It's probably one of my favorites that I've tried, but I just can't get over the price of it. The full size is just over one ounce and it's $40 and that's just too pricey, especially considering that there are plenty of facial products that are also really good but half or even a quarter of the price. This was just out of my league I think. But like I said, worked well, I liked it a lot.

Salt of the Earth Whipped Body Creme: I got this in the white ginger scent, and it smelled nice and I really liked it. It was a good texture and a very nice lotion. The packaging for the full size is really pretty too. The only reason I haven't considered buying a full size is because I already had so much lotion and I'm only JUST getting to the point where I might buy a full priced full size thing of body creme. This is on the short list of what I'm considering buying though.

Salt of the Earth Aroma Bath Salt: I also got these bath salts in the white ginger scent and I really, really liked them. The smell is fantastic, and I think maybe I'm aging out of the idea of bubble baths, because lately I'm enjoying a nice soak using salts or bath bombs much better. I liked these so much I bought the full size not long after, and hoarded them for bad days and when I wanted something really fabulous. The container is so pretty I've even kept that once I used it up and put it in my office to use in there because it's just so nice and has such a sleek, modern design. I'll probably buy more soon, I just have a few other bath products I need to use up first.

Chuao Chocolatier Chocolate Bars: I got the popcorn pop flavor for this one, which was unfortunate. Basically, Chuao chocolate is fantastic, and there's a lot of really fun flavors. I even would have liked the popcorn flavor except it has something in it that's basically Pop Rocks, and I hate Pop Rocks. That popping and cracking makes me think of getting dental work, I have no idea why they were so popular when I was growing up. But I guess if you like Pop Rocks then this flavor would be awesome? I have gotten the honeycomb flavor on another occasion and I really loved that, so like I said, it's a great brand, just not this flavor for me.

Color Club Cocktail Hour Collection nail polish: I got the shade "Top Shelf" in my box, and my sister got "Dark and Stormy" and she happened to visit after we got our boxes so I did my manicure combining the two shortly after, which you can see in the picture below. I was also trying to use up some liquid eyeliner, which I heard could work for nail art designs and honestly it was such junky liquid liner that I can't tell you if that's a good idea or not. To be perfectly honest, I wasn't really impressed with Color Club's polishes in general. You can probably see in the picture that the application wasn't really smooth and didn't look great. Obviously I'm no pro when it comes to polish but I haven't had the same issues with getting good, even coverage when I use OPI polishes or other brands, so I think it was the Color Club formula. Maybe it was because they were metallics? Those are always a bit hard to get right, they're frequently very streaky. But whatever the reason, I generally wasn't impressed and probably won't be purchasing any of this brand any time soon. I ended up giving away this bottle of polish in the end.

So, like I said, the results were only so-so if you look at each product in the box, but still it gave me a chance to try several brands I wouldn't have picked up otherwise, and even though I ended up not liking the nail polish it meant I got an informed opinion on the brand without having to buy the polish specifically. As a bonus, on the left of the top picture you can see that this box came with a cute little Birchbox branded screen cleaner for your phone, and I loved that thing until it stopped sticking to my phone and fell off never to be seen again. And not to go on and on about the points system too much, but I had six products in this box, and got 10 points for each review, so that meant I got $6 worth of points back. Just the piece of chocolate is practically worth $4 on it's own, so it's absolutely worth it even when there's a dud or two in the box.

As usual, if you think Birchbox sounds like your kind of thing (and I do highly recommend it) then please use my referral link!