Is it really possible that it’s January already? I’ve been working my way through FOUR Birchbox shipments – September, October, November, December – and it hardly feels like any time has passed at all! The end of last year was gone before I knew it.
As usual, the contents of all those Birchboxes is hit or miss. I’ve found a couple of products I’d buy, several things I’ll be passing along to friends, and a couple of things I wish, wish, wish I could ask to never receive again.
For a moment last week it looked like Joel was going to subscribe to the men’s box, which had me hopeful that we’d be able to do joint reviews! Alas, it was just a passing fancy for him, so for now you just get me.
Let’s start all the way back in September, shall we?
First of all, how stinking cute is the print on that box? I swear, half the time my greatest joy of Birchbox is cutting through the shipping box to get to the adorable box within. I have a stockpile of Birchbox boxes in my bathroom cabinet just waiting for me to use them to box gifts. There are so many, I think I am officially hoarding.
In September 2014 I received:
- Number 4 Hair Super Comb Prep & Protect. Birchbox has sent me things from No. 4 before and I have been pretty underwhelmed. This product is no exception. I replaced my normal leave-in spray (Deva Curl) with this one for about five washes, and my hair was both flat and a bit more frizzy. My hair stylist convinced me to try the No. 4 clarifying shampoo, and I hated it on the first wash! It made my hair feel like straw. If I could, I would ask Birchbox to stop sending me their things.
- Mereadesso All-In-One Moisturizer. I tried this for a couple of days and it made me feel kind of greasy. Of course, that was in September, and now that it’s the Dry Minnesota Winter I’m using a much heavier product. Timing is everything with samples, because I passed it along to a friend long before I probably could have used it.
- Ofra Universal Eyebrow Pencil. About a hundred years ago, my friend Kelly told me I should pay more attention to my brows and lashes to make them pop behind my glasses. Every time I put on mascara in the morning I think of Kelly. The brow thing never caught on, though. I tried this pencil once and it looked exactly like I had penciled my brows in. Ugh. I’m sure it’s an art, but not one I excel in.
- Pixi Shea Butter Lip Balm in Ripe Raspberry. I have so many chapsticks and lip balms and stains these days, but I really like this one. The color is great, really subtle, and it feels good on. I probably wouldn’t buy it, but only because I usually impulse-buy lip products and it wouldn’t occur to me to get the same thing twice. I am for sure not one of those girls with a signature lip color!
- RUFFIAN Nail Lacquer in RUFFIAN Naked. I used this polish once in between gel manicures, and it was a perfect nude. Thanks to Birchbox, I have about five perfect nude polishes! I get my nails done at the salon so much that I never need to buy my own polish again.
I remember nothing almost nothing at all from October. I went to Denver for 24 hours on a business trip, but otherwise it’s all a blur. I definitely need to do a better job this year of paying attention.
In October 2014 I received:
- Balance Me Wonder Eye Cream. I love this eye cream. It’s light and soft and makes my eyes bright. When I’ve taken a shower in the middle of the day and need to re-apply moisturizers, this is the one I reach for. What it doesn’t do that my StriVectin does is keep my eyes moisturized throughout the day, so I’ll keep using that one for daily use. I’m tempted to try the Balance Me in the summer, though, and see what happens.
- Dr. Jart+ BB Black Label Detox. Ugh. More Dr. Jart, which I’ve never liked. This one has a slight tint that is all wrong for me, so it was a loser right out the gate.
- dr. brandt pores no more vacuum cleaner. Hmm. There’s a lot of doctors in beauty products! I used this entire tube exactly as directed and didn’t really see much of a change in my skin. Maybe I don’t have enough blackheads to notice? #humblebrag
- Harvey Prince Petaly Noir. I really enjoyed the Harvey Prince Hello, but this orchid-based scent is way too strong and tickles my nose. I only wear a fragrance about once a month, and I have plenty of the Hello left for special occasions.
- Mally High Shine Liquid Lipstick in Petal to the Metal. If I ever needed to star in a remake of Romy and Michele’s High School Reunion, this would be the lipstick I would wear. It is so, so shiny, and the color on me is practically neon pink. It was also way goopier than I can handle. I gave it to my best friend, and it was a lovely nude-y color, so at least it has a good home.
November! When I resized this photo for the blog I was surprised to see the maple bacon Chuao bar, which I had completely forgotten about. Obviously, I ate it immediately, and I’m sure it was fine. Have I mentioned yet that I’m over things with bacon in them?
In November 2014 I received:
- Mirenesse iCurl Secret Weapon 24hr Mascara. I would totally buy more of this mascara. The wand is perfect for my lashes! I get great coverage and it never clumps. I have a tube of Eyeko mascara, which I also bought because of Birchbox, and while I loved the sample, the wand that came with the full-size tube is slightly different and IMHO not as good. I’m not quite ready to throw it out, but I’m going after this Mirenesse when I do.
- Jouer Matte Moisture Tint. I never get much of a tan, but in the fall I am particularly pale, and the Jouer showed up a bit orange. And since this one also has sunscreen in it, it felt heavy on my skin. (I’m assuming that’s the sunscreen, but I’m no expert.) I only used it once and then passed it on.
- Dr. Jart + Ceramidin Starter Kit. This is what the Sephora website says about this product: “This lightweight cream with the power of microcapsule ceramides hydrates the skin barrier from within, preventing chronic water loss. Dry, rough skin instantly becomes plumped with all-day, time-release moisture. It enhances the skin’s natural strength and function for smoother, softer skin.” I’ve read it a few times, and I’m still not sure – is it a moisturizer? Do I wear it UNDER moisturizer or INSTEAD of moisturizer? Of all the Dr. Jart+ products this one felt the best on my skin, but I just have no idea what to do with it. I’m keeping it in the cabinet for now in case my skin gets extra dry, because whatever it is should work for that, right?
- amika Perk Up Dry Shampoo. I used this a couple of times on no-wash days and it didn’t do much for me. My hair is just too frizzy for anything that doesn’t add moisture. Usually I just add a bit of leave-in conditioner.
- Not Soap, Radio Awash in a field of four leaf clovers Body Wash. I’m going to be honest. I don’t really get the name “Not Soap, Radio.” I’m sure I could probably read some About page that would tell me how it came to be, but the marketer in me cringed every time I used it. That said, the fragrance was nice. I used it in my bath and it was a pleasant addition. I wouldn’t buy it, but I used the whole sample.
In December 2014 I received:
- Laura Geller Beauty Spackle Supercharged Fortified Under Make-Up Primer. Geez. There are a lot of words in there! But they had me at “spackle”. I don’t wear anything besides mascara very often, but I did use this the night of my holiday party and it created a nice, smooth surface.
- Beauty Protector Protect & Oil. I’ve used this a couple of times on no-wash days, and it’s pretty good! I read a couple of reviews complaining about the format of the sample – it’s in that little bottle, no applicator, so it’s hard to get the right amount – but it’s not a huge deal once you’ve used it a time or two. It looks like the full-size version has a better applicator. This is the sort of thing I might consider buying if my current leave-in stops working.
- Lord & Berry Paillettes Glitter Eye Pencil in Black. Even if I wore eyeliner, this wouldn’t be it. Just for fun I gave it a whirl and the pencil was super hard. I had to rub and rub to get it on my lid, even after priming it on my hand for a second, and the glitter sort of flaked around. Give me liquid eyeliner or give me death.
- SeaRX Microdermabrasion Face and Body Scrub. I used the entire sample tube, and I have to say, this is the mildest microdermabrasion product I have ever used. I could barely feel any grit at all. Not sure that’s a good thing? I didn’t see any difference in my skin on days I used it and days I didn’t.
- TOCCA Crema da Mano in Cleopatra. This is a really great hand cream, and the fragrance is lovely! When I first put it on I worried it would be too greasy, but it absorbed nicely and made my hands so soft. If I didn’t already have half-full tubes of a different hand cream at work and in my nightstand, I’d buy it for sure.
Phew! That’s a lot of Birchbox, folks. I already got the January box but have only given it a cursory glance. Hopefully I’ll have a chance to photograph it and start using the products this week. I may even get a review out in January! (Oh, who am I kidding. It’ll be March.)
- REVIEW: June, July and August Birchbox
- REVIEW: May Birchbox
- REVIEW: April Birchbox
- REVIEW: March Birchbox