Saturday, October 19, 2013

Birchbox October 2013 Review


I am really excited to share this review with you all, because I have been an on again off again subscriber of Birchbox since 2011. I got boxes for half the year in 2011, and noticed that they're samples were going downhill. I was receiving a lot of foil packets, I wasn't using any of the products, and I was just overall unhappy with the program.

Flash forward to 2012, and I was offered a free box to review. Of course I can't pass up free (extreme couponer for life!) so I decided to give Birchbox yet another go. I only vaguely remember what I got in that box, but I know it included a foil packet, a really ugly blue eye liner, and a few cardboard note cards. I cancelled immediately and haven't looked back. Until this month!

I received an e-mail from Birchbox asking if I would like to come back with incentive. I decided to look at some of the October Birchbox's that people were getting via youtube and other blogs. I was pretty impressed by what I saw, so I decided to give it yet ANOTHER go. I know, I know. But I am really hoping that third time's a charm!

Before I show what I received in my Birchbox this month, I wanted to give a quick explanation of what it is. (If you know all about it, feel free to skip on over this paragraph to the good stuff!) Birchbox is a monthly beauty subscription company that sends out a box of beauty samples to your door each month, for $10. They were not the inventors of subscription services, but they were definitely one of the first to start the trend of beauty subscriptions over the past couple of years. The one thing that makes Birchbox stand out from the rest of the pack is their review/points program. I have found it to be by far, the best one that is offered. Each box you receive costs $10 a month. You will receive 5 products in your box. If you go on the Birchbox website and review the products you receive, you will get 10 points for each review. (50 points per box) Once you receive 100 points, you can cash them and make a purchase for anything you want at Birchbox.com! 100 points=$10, so when you look at it that way, each month, you can earn $5 in credit at birchbox.com. That's kind of an awesome deal if you ask me!


Now, onto my October Birchbox!


Seeing as how my oh-so-blurry cellphone pictures don't do it justice, here's the official photo from the Birchbox website too!


Before I get into individual reviews of each product, I will say that I am more than impressed with this box. For the first time in my entire history with Birchbox, I did not receive a little perfume vial or foil packet. I received genuine deluxe samples! Yay! I've tried each of these products while I like some more than others, I am just thrilled that Birchbox has won me over, finally!

1. POP Beauty Aqua Lacquer in "Flowering Fuschia"
I have tried a few products from POP Beauty before, and while I haven't been wowed by anything in their line, everything seems pretty nice and affordable. This lipgloss is called an "Aqua Lacquer" and it lives up to it's name. It creates a very liquid-like appearance on the lips with a lot of shine and just a tint of color. It looks like a neon pink, but applies to the lips like a sheer gloss. It is supposed to be naturally plumping, which I am assuming comes from peppermint oil, as the gloss smells minty. It doesn't really have a strong tingle like other plumping glosses do, so that's always a plus. Upon first glance, the packaging appears to be a squeeze tube gloss, which I'm not fond of. However, when you unscrew the cap, you will find a little spatula applicator that is actually pretty unique.


The spatula takes the place of the usual doe-foot fuzzy applicator that most lip gloss wands have. It's made out of a flexible plastic and applies the product just fine. The consistency of the gloss is on the thick side, and is slightly tacky, but not uncomfortably sticky. It seems to last quite awhile on the lips (about 4 hours for me) which is rare for a lip gloss. My only complaint would be that the stopper in the tube doesn't take off enough product from the spatula and if you're not careful you can make a mess.

2. Evologie Stay Clear Cream
Birchbox describes this product as a moisturizer, but I would have to say right off the bat that it's not at ALL moisturizing. This is a cream that protects skin and claims to balance oil levels on your skin. It also claims to help with acne and redness etc. I have used it for a few days on my hormonal skin as I have pretty bad acne on my chin from time to time. This seemed to shrink up my acne pretty nicely over the course of 2 days, however I would never use this as a moisturizer unless you have naturally oily skin. For combination or dry skin, I would suggest using this as a night cream applied on the areas of your face that need it. It doesn't moisturize at all, but really, it dried out my acne and even made my skin a bit dryer. I think it works well enough but for $62 for a full size, I'll have to pass. 

3. Ruffian Nail Lacquer in "Hedge Fund"
I like nail polish well enough, but I'm not one to get all excited over a polish. Chances are, my nails are covered in a chipped polish and are all different length because I feel like nail care can be so time consuming! But lately I've been making more of an attempt at keeping my nails nice and cared for. When I saw this beautiful polish in my Birchbox this month, I was actually excited! It gave me a little taste of what those polish lovers feel when they see one in their subscription boxes. First of all, the bottle is absolutely lovely. It's very unique and it's something I would like to display on my vanity rather than stowing it away in a drawer with the rest of my polishes. The shade is a metallic olive green with a gold undertone. I find it to be pretty unique as I don't have anything similar in my polish collection currently. It applies beautifully, and I think it's a great shade for fall!


4. Benefit Cosmetics Fake Up in "Light"
I'm a huge fan of Benefit products, however there are a few here and there that I think get more press and attention than they deserve simply because of the brand that made them. Even so, I've heard great thhings about the "Fake Up" concealer. This concealer is in stick form and comes in a pretty silver twist up tube. It claims to be a hydrating, crease-control concealer that is lightweight and is long lasting. Before I could even try this product out, I immediately had a figurative bad taste in my mouth. When I opened the product and went to twist it up, I realize this is how much product came in the tube:


Uhm...what? I mean...I wasn't expecting a full size product or anything, but they give you this tube that is the size of a small lipstick, and you get this. I even though that the product might have broken off into the cover, that's how small this little sample is. And then I was even more angry because they wasted SO MUCH PACKAGING for that tiny little sliver of product. Not only did this come in a cute little tube, but they packaged the tube in a cardboard box. Is all of that needed for such a small sample?

Now that I got that rant over, I will say the product itself feels super silky and smooth and feels nice and hydrating. However, I don't think it really covers any better or worse than some other under-eye concealers I have used. What I mean to say is...it's OK. It's right in the middle of the road for me in terms of how well it wears on me. I do think that more mature skin would wear this much better, as it is very creamy and crease-proof, which would work very well on fine lines around the eye area.

5. ChapStick Hydration Lock
Let me confess something right here and now: I'm not really a lip balm kind of person. It's the one thing I actually use up on a regular basis, but I'm not obsessed. I don't own a million lip balms. I think I own 3. I keep one by my bed and I use it frequently while I'm on the computer and I apply it before bed. It's my favorite lip balm from LypSyl, and I would definitely tell you to run out and get it RIGHT NOW because it's the best lip balm I've ever used. But we're not here to talk about LypSyl. This ChapStick is a new product in their famous line of basic ass lip balms. Yea, I said it. This shit is basic as hell. However, this particular one seems interesting enough. It's called "Hydration Lock" and claims that it gives 8 hours of moisture and a fuller, smoother appearance to lips. It also claims to have a vanilla creme scent.
Here's the breakdown: It smells like vanilla wax, not so great. It definitely feels more moisturizing than your basic ChapStick, and feels a bit less thick and waxy and a bit more slick than their other balms. This definitely doesn't last on my lips for 8 hours, however I have yet to determine if it keeps my lips moisturized for 8 hours. As far as I know, this is just a fancier packaged ChapStick. Nothing to mind-blowing, but it does the job!


FINAL VERDICT:
While not every product in this Birchbox was a home run for me, I definitely think that all of them will eventually be used. I am thrilled that all the products were full or deluxe sample sizes, and I feel like each item is something that I would be interested in using/trying. I am very happy with this Birchbox and I have very high hopes for the months to come!
If you're interested in joining Birchbox, Please consider using my Referral Link HERE.

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