Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Birchbox April 2014 Review


I got my Birchboxes almost a week ago now, but I've been so busy that I almost completely forgot to blog about them! Seriously, I need to a hire a personal assistant to keep me organized!

 Let's skip all my usual ramblings this month and get right to the boxes! I get 2 Birchboxes every month because I have absolutely no self control. It's a curse. I decided to compile them both into one review rather than separating them just to make it a bit easier to read. The 2nd Birchbox tends to have some overlap with my main box, so it's review will be less detailed.

This month's theme was "Rainy Days." This of course, works perfectly in the month of April, which is known for being rainy! Interestingly enough, here in Rhode Island, we've only had one or two rain-tastic days so far this month. I'm hoping that's a trend and the wet stuff stays out of my skies! I'm demanding only sun for the rest of the month!

As much as I hate the rain, I am totally digging those cute raindrop cookies that Birchbox has so adorably displayed on the info card this month!

Every April box included one card from the "52 Bright Ideas For a Rainy Day" set. This is a little deck of cards that was created by Birchbox staff, and sells for $10 in the Birchbox shop. It included 52 fun ideas to keep you busy and entertained during a rainy day. While I think this is a super cute idea and fun addition to the boxes, I can't imagine spending actual money on these. I'm willing to bet there are rainy day activity lists all over the internet!

Let's get on to the good stuff!

1. Paula's Choice: 8% AHA Gel Exfoliant
 Not only do I love Paula's Choice, but I really love her exfoliants. I have acne due to a hormonal disorder, and while I would love to use an actual scrub-like exfoliant, those are not always good for acne-prone skin. Paula's Choice has liquid and gel exfoliants that help remove dead skin, fade dark spots, and boost collagen production. These exfoliants don't need to be washed off. I cleanse my skin as normal, use my exfoliant, and then tone, moisturize etc. This is a generous sample size and I'm super excited to start using it!

 2. Supergoop! Daily Correct SPF 35 CC Cream "Light/Medium"
 I apologize in advance because I had a swatch of this stuff, but somehow the picture disappeared into the abyss of my unorganized computer...or I accidentally deleted it. And while I could just pull out the sample and do another swatch, I of course gave both tubes (I got it in both boxes) away before writing this review. Whoops!
Either way, this stuff is a "CC Cream" that protects against UVA, UVB and all that other bad sunny stuff. It's supposed to work as a primer as well as a foundation. Personally, I didn't find this to be "light to medium" at all. I have basic light skin. I usually use Ivory toned shades of foundation. This stuff was so orange on me. I can't imagine anyone with light skin looking good with this on. It claims to be "self adjusting," and after applying it that seems to just mean "light coverage so your actual skin tone peeks through." Not impressed with this guy. Not thrilled when Birchbox sends me things I can't use. Ah well!

 3. Anastasia Beverly Hills: Clear Brow Gel
 I am a natural blonde. A natural light blonde, at that. I dye my hair dark brown/black and because of that, I have to draw in my white-blonde, non-existent eyebrows. I never thought that I needed a specific "brow" powder until I tried the Anastasia Beverly Hills brow powder duo. Honestly, I wish my compact wasn't so dirty and used, otherwise I'd make a huge blog post praising it. (I will once I pick up a new one!) It's truly the best makeup purchase I have made in the last year, and I don't know how I lived without it.
But really...I don't need a brow gel. I have blonde, sparse brows. I brush them with a spoolie and they all go exactly in the direction I need them to. Even so, I gave this stuff a whirl for review purposes. AGAIN Anastasia Beverly Hills surprises me! Even though my brows are light, this stuff really molded them in the exact shape I like without making them crunchy and weird like other brow gels I've tried.. I think that Anastasia is a brow wizard goddess from another universe. I want to own all of her products. Right. Now!

4. Color Club: Gala Gems Collection in "Breakfast At..."
 So Birchbox has this weird love affair with Color Club. I'm not a huge fan of their polishes, I've gotta say. I'm kind of a one-brand woman when it comes to polishes (Butter London!) and my other polishes are one-off's from a bunch of different brands. No matter how much Birchbox wants me to care about Color Club...I'm just not into it!
Having said that, this polish isn't terrible. I find the formula to be incredibly thick and it can get difficult to work with. I also think pastels in general get streaky. This isn't too bad with 2 coats, but you can still see streaks up close, and I'm just not digging that. The minty green shade is super pretty for spring, but I don't see myself buying any other color from this collection.

5. Kind Healthy Grains Maple Pumpkin Seeds with Sea Salt
I love Kind Bars. I have them stashed in every pocket, purse and corner of my life. I have yet to get my hands on these "healthy grains" bars, so I was happy to see one in my Birchbox this month. The Maple flavor is sweet, but not overbearing. The bar is chewy and delish. The only slight issue I had was the sea salt. I was totally digging the flavor of this and then right before you finish chewing, there's this random kick of salt. It just doesn't work for me. I will still eat these bars and I may even get them again, but I just wish they didn't have the unneeded salt!

 Overall, I am happy with my main box this month. The only total bust was the Supergoop. Everything else I was happy to receive and test out. Even my tepid feelings on the Color Club have warmed a bit since using it on my toes to match my new mint-colored sandals! 

 BOX #2
This month was the first month that I had 3 out of 5 repeat products in my second box. Even more unfortunately, I received the Klorane dry shampoo in my main box a few months ago. So the only new product in this box was the Cynthia Rowley eyeliner. And well...it's a black pencil liner. I probably have more black liners than any other kind of makeup in my collection. So while this wasn't an exciting box for me, I was happy to have another Kind bar and another bottle of the Paula's Choice. I don't use dry shampoo so that's going to my roommate, and the liner and supergoop are going in the give away pile.

Even with the doubles, I think that the April boxes this month look pretty good! I've had some pretty skimpy Birchboxes in the past, and I think both of my April boxes have a nice variety of products, and they are all generous sized samples! What did you get in your Birchbox this month? 

If you don't get Birchbox and you're interested in doing so, It's only $10 a month! You also get points to spend in their store when you review your samples. If you're interested in subscribing, please consider using my referral link here: 
https://www.birchbox.com/invite/harlotbeauty

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All thoughts and opinions in this blog post are genuine and belong to Harlot Beauty. No monetary compensation was received, although goods and/or services may have been provided and accepted for purpose of review. Post may contain affiliate or referral links.

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