In an attempt to learn more about beautifying myself, I signed up for Birchbox – a monthly subscription service that sends a pretty little box of samples to your door each month. The best part is that all of the samples are of premium products (i.e., ones that my student budget could never afford otherwise). Well, my first box came this weekend.
Pretty little package, just waiting to be opened. 🙂 Don’t mind the shadows from my blinds…it was really sunny out again.
Enjoy my first Birchbox? I think I will!
All of the goodies, neatly packaged and waiting to be tried.
After trying out the products, I can safely say that I love this service and will definitely keep up my Birchbox subscription for a while! Here’s a lowdown of this month’s goodies:
Item 1: Ahava Essential Day Moisturizer, Normal to Dry
Birchbox Description: “Keep your skin protected from environmental irritants with this mineral-enriched formula, which is packed with vitamin E and aloe vera.”
I recently started using Mary Kay’s TimeWise skin care system in an attempt to even out my skin for the big day. Like I mentioned previously, I wasn’t super good about taking care of my skin prior to this endeavor, so I guess I’m a little clueless when it comes to anything other than wash-and-go. With the Mary Kay products, my consultant suggested that I use the “combination to oily” set (as opposed to “normal to dry”), because I tend to be oily in the summer and dry in the winter, and I purchased the products for spring. One of the first things that I notice was that although I liked the product, it did leave my face a little too dry for my liking. It’s gotten a little better now that my skin has adjusted to actually being washed and moisturized twice a day, every day. Compared to the Mary Kay, this moisturizer doesn’t leave my face dry at all, but that’s probably because it’s Ahava’s “normal to dry” formula. Like Mary Kay’s TimeWise, it’s light and absorbs quickly and doesn’t leave my face feeling greasy. All in all, after using Ahava for a few days it feels pretty similar to the Mary Kay, but is almost double the cost, so I’ll probably stick with the cheaper option of the two (and just make sure to get the “normal to dry” formula from Mary Kay next winter).
Item 2: Jouer Luminizing Moisture Tint
Birchbox Description: “The votes are in, and this award-winning tinted moisturizer tops the list. It’s our daily shortcut to dewy, glowing skin.”
This is easily my favorite product in the box this month, and is one that I would actually consider buying a full size bottle of. Even if that full size bottle is $38…which it is. Again, on a student budget, that’s basically a fortune, but this tinted moisturizer is worth it. Basically, the instructions say to apply over a primer and…that’s it. As someone who rarely puts on any makeup, this is right up my alley, because it provides the benefits of foundation without being heavy or cakey. I love how light it is, but that the tint noticeably evens out the imperfections in my complexion. It’s also SPF 20, which is awesome because I always forget to put sunscreen on my face. I seriously think this will be my summer go-to “makeup”.
Item 3: Orofluido Beauty Elixir
Birchbox Description: “We don’t know what we love more – this hair treatment’s trio of nourishing essential oils (argan, linseed and cyperus) – or its intoxicating vanilla amber scent.”
I have a love-hate relationship with my hair. It’s thick, and a strange mixture of wavy in some places, curly in some places, and straight in others. It’s currently the longest it’s been since high school, as I’m growing it out for the updo of my dreams for the wedding. Currently, it’s driving me crazy. Between the hard water down in Madison and the hot/humid weather we’ve been having lately, my hair is always both dry and frizzy. It’s not cute at all. So naturally, I welcome any product that professes to help tame frizzy, curly hair and make it sleek and shiny. I’ve tried tons of products, and for me this one was just another so-so product that kind of works, but doesn’t do everything that I’d like it to. The directions say that it works for either damp or dry hair, so I’ve tried this sample both ways. In my experience, it works better for taming the frizzies when your hair is already dry, as opposed to helping it dry nice if it’s damp.
Item 4: Color Club Nail Lacquer in Peace Out Purple
Birchbox Description: “Brighten blah nails with this on-trend, ’60s-inspired polish.”
I only have one word to describe this color – “wow”. If you can’t tell from the picture above (which makes it look a little pinkish, it’s really more purple in real life), it’s super bright. I guess bright nails are in this year? Anyway, this nail polish is way brighter than anything I would ever buy for myself, but since it was free it was fun to try it out! Usually I avoid bright polishes because I’m only so-so at painting my own nails. I do what I can, especially because it helps them keep from breaking (and it helps me avoid my super bad habit of biting them), but I’m sort of a sloppy painter and usually more subdued colors make it harder to notice all of the mistakes that I make with them. While I’m still not convinced that I would buy this color off of the shelves, I’m thinking that I’ll find a way to work it into a regular rotation this summer as long as I have this bottle floating around. Here’s my first (and failed) attempt at the typical Pinterest nail polish picture:
And for those of you who, unlike me, aren’t afraid to try bright nail polish, the actual shade of this color in person is somewhere between what it looks like in these two pictures (one taken without flash, one taken with flash):
I think this would be a super fun shade for a reverse french manicure – where the nails are white and the tips are a different color. Unfortunately, I’m neither talented enough nor are my nails long enough to try that out at this time. I’d love to see it on someone else, though!
Item 5: Annick Goutal Eau d’Hadrien
Birchbox Description: “Inspired by Tuscan citrus groves, this bright scent features a winning combo of lemon, grapefruit, and green mandarin notes.”
Since I’m currently on the hunt for a new perfume to wear for the wedding, I was anxious to see what this one smelled like when I got it. I usually wear Clinique Happy Heart, so I kind of expected to love this perfume before I even tried it, because it’s also citrus-y. Overall, I do really like the lemon and grapefruit scent. Shaun even liked it too, especially once he realized that it was so lemony. However, I’d be interested to see how long it lasts while wearing it for an entire day – one of my biggest complaints about perfume in general is that it just doesn’t seem to last very long. In general I like this scent a lot, but probably wouldn’t splurge on the $80 retail price tag.
Item 6: Tea Forte skin-smart Teas
Birchbox Description: “A mega-antioxidant tea that tastes amazing and helps our skin look more radiant? Yes, please!”
These teas were included in my Birchbox as a “Lifestyle Extra,” whatever that means. I personally love that Birchbox includes items that aren’t necessarily your “traditional” beauty items, and I do love tea! So I was definitely on board to give these a try, especially since they claim to be good for your skin. The little packet came with three different flavors of tea: cherry marzipan (“green tea for corrective repair”), honey yuzu (“green tea for natural renewal”) and cucumber mint (“green tea for youth recovery”). I decided to try the cherry marzipan first, and was super excited by the smell even before I started steeping the tea. The flavor was subtle, but nice – I’m used to drinking just straight black or green tea without much flavoring other than a little lemon, so I really liked the cherry and almond taste of this one. I haven’t tried the other two flavors yet, but I’ll report back when I do!
As a final note, if you’re interested in learning more about Birchbox or subscribing for yourself, click here! They have a rewards program and every referral earns you points, so if you sign up it will help me get more goodies later on.
Does anyone else here subscribe to Birchbox? What did you get this month, and what did you think of the products?