Sunday, April 27, 2014

Birchbox Limited Edition: In Full Bloom

Every now and then, Birchbox releases a themed limited edition box. They're usually a fantastic value, and filled with full size and deluxe sample sized products that correspond to that particular theme. 
I have seen quite a few boxes that had me hovering the mouse over the "add to cart" button, but I've been waiting to use my Birchbox points on a box that was really up my alley.
As soon as I saw the newly released "In Full Bloom" limited edition box, I couldn't check out fast enough! Luckily, I shipped it on the 23rd and it was at my door on the 25th. Probably the fastest shipping I've ever experienced!
In Full Bloom is a box that is filled with products that will definitely get you excited for spring! Just swatching and testing everything in this box has made me want to pull out the spring sandals and sunnies, change out my winter handbag for a floral print tote, and finally say goodbye to my oxblood lipsticks that I've been holding onto since fall! I feel like spring has officially arrived for me, and this box is definitely getting me in the spirit.
This box costs $58 in the Birchbox shop, however I used a coupon code and Birchbox points and got it for free. (Yay Birchbox Points!)

1. TENOVERTEN: Nail Polish in "Spring"
(Full Size: $18 / Deluxe Sample: $12.60)
  From the just-launched Spring Collection, this five-free nail polish offers gorgeous, chip-free color without harsh chemicals.
OK, let me start off by saying that I'm not a nail blog for a reason. I don't take very good care of my nails because I have a condition that makes them very thin and brittle. My cuticles are super dry and I'm horrible at keeping my hand still when polishing. Even so, I wanted to give you an idea of what this polish looks like on, and with the exception of a few flubs and dry cuticles, I'd say I did pretty dang good!

As for the polish, it appears a bit deeper and more bright on my nails than it does in the bottle. Looking at it, I thought it would be a bright, pastel leaning pink. I did two coats on my nails and got a really fun, bright pink shade that is unique enough that I don't own anything similar. The formula is amazing. Polish chips on my nails after mere hours of applying it. For a 5-free formula, this stuff is strong. I've had 2 coats (no top coat) on now for well over 24 hours and still no fading or chipping. I've never heard of this brand prior to getting this box, but I have to say I'm super impressed! Perfect shade for Spring, too!

 2. Liz Earle: Cleanse & Polish Hot Cloth Cleanser
(Full Size: $24.50 / Deluxe Sample: $9.50)

This two-step ritual uses cleanser with chamomile to purify and soothe, and a muslin cloth to gently polish and soften skin.
This cleanser has been featured in the regular Birchboxes before, except it was housed in a beautiful little blue box. I couldn't help but be disappointed to find it packaged in cellophane this time. Even so, I really love this cleanser. It's kind of strange, though! You apply this cleanser to a dry face and sort of massage it into your skin. I didn't want to see my makeup come off all over the muslin cloth, so I use a cleansing wipe to remove makeup first, although that is not required. Once you massage the cleanser onto your dry skin, you then wet the muslin cloth with warm/hot water and use it to buff the cleanser off of your skin. This system cleanses and exfoliates well, smells amazing and a little goes a very long way. I've always been impressed with the Liz Earle products I've tried, and even though I'm deep into an asian skincare regimen, I want to squeeze this cleanser into my routine more often!

3. Votivo: Aromatic Travel Tin in "Rush of Rose"
(Full Size: $12)
Whether you're traveling far and wide, or staying close to home, this perfumed candle will put a spring in your step.
It's no secret I'm addicted to candles. I especially love travel-sized candles because they can go with you anywhere! I have seen/heard of the Votivo brand, but this is my first time owning one of their candles. Unfortunately, Rose is my least favorite scent in general. I find it to be a bit overpowering, but there's something about this rose scent in particular that isn't so bad! The rose scent is very authentic, but it also has a "green" scent underneath which cuts through that intense floral and brings it down a notch. The scent is really romantic and would smell lovely burning on a vanity or in a bedroom. If a floral-scented candle doesn't say spring, I don't know what does!

4. The Soap and Paper Factory: Shea Butter Hand Cream in "Bella"
(Full Size: $18) 
This all-natural shea butter salve is made by hand and has a velvety feel and addictive floral scent.
This shea butter hand cream is not only super creamy and moisturizing, but it's in the prettiest packaging! I checked out the other scents on Birchbox's website and each one is packaged differently. I think these creams would be amazing gifts for aunts, sister, bridesmaids etc, just on the packaging alone! 
I do have a bit of a bone to pick with Birchbox, however. They describe this cream as having a "floral scent" on the card, yet the notes are listed on the back of the package as Grapefruit, Bergamot and Black Pepper. Not exactly floral! If I had to describe it, I would say it smells like a sweet orange/bergamot. It's absolutely delightful and refreshing! 

5. TokyoMilk: Bon Bon Lip Balm in "Rose Water"
(Full Size: $10)
 With shea butter and aloe, this sweet-tasting rose water lip balm packs a hydrating punch.

If you haven't heard of TokyoMilk, or tried any of their products, I suggest you do so immediately! Not only is the packaging absolutely beautiful and whimsical, but the products are luxurious and high quality. This lip balm was a bit off-putting for me at first, because I didn't think that a rose-scented lip balm would be appealing. However, it has a very subtle, yet sweet smell and taste to it, with an incredibly light rose undertone. It's packaged beautifully, as all TokyoMilk products are. The balm is very smooth and moisturizing, without being thick and goopy. This product is something I am definitely going to repurchase to gift to friends!

6. Tocca: Fragrance Rollerball in "Giulietta"
(Full Size: $20)
 An airy fragrance brimming with enchanting florals, including pink tulips, lilacs, and lily of the valley.
 This one was a bit of a toss-up for me when I first saw it. I absolutely love Tocca products. Like TokyoMilk, I find their products to be high quality, and their packaging to be beautiful. My issue with Tocca is that many of their scents are heavy on the florals, and I'm very picky with floral scents. 
I hadn't smelled Guilietta before, but I find it to be a very fresh and clean scent. Birchbox description of the scent is a bit different from what is says on the box: Green Apple, Pink Tulips, Vanilla Orchid, Amber. I think that the scent matches the description on the box much more. The green apple sweetens up the florals and the vanilla and amber give it a very natural, light musk. It's a beautiful scent, however I don't think that it lasts very long at all on my skin. 
For a $20 rollerball, I expect the scent to last at least a couple of hours. This one seemed to dissipate almost as soon as I applied it. It's nearly undetectable after a hour or so. While this is one of the nicest scents that I have tried from Tocca, it's definitely the one that lasted the least amount of time. I'll toss this in my bag for quick freshen up moments, but I don't think I would buy this again due to the lack of longevity. 

7. MAKE: Satin Finish Powder Blush in "Geisha"
(Full Size: $25)
 A satiny formula that gives cheeks a rosy pink flush. You're Blushing!
 I haven't tried anything from this brand before, however I've seen them here and there on the Birchbox website. I have a fondness for blush, and this is such a stunning color for spring. It photographs quite pink, but it's really closer to a pink-coral shade. It's a nice size company and the packaging looks sleek and feels sturdy.
Here's a swatch of the blush. On the left is one finger swipe, so you can see it's quite pigmented. On the right is the same blush buffed out a bit. You can really get a beautifully natural flush with this blush. There's no shimmer or glitter in this shade, however it does have a pearly satin finish as the name suggests. Perfect addition to my Spring makeup rotation!

8.Cecilia Wong Skincare: Anti-Aging Rose Serum Spray
(Full Size: $40/ Deluxe Sample: $10)
 Created by a celebrity facialist, this rose mist plumps fine lines, boosts elasticity, and restores dewiness.
This mist has a very strong scent. It's a mix between rose, eucalyptus or menthol of some kind, and an overall strong "herb-like" scent. It's not an offensive smell, just very strong for something that is supposed to be sprayed on your face! I found myself holding my breath when spraying it. The bottle suggests to spray the product on a cleansed face and them apply serum and moisturizer as usual in order to lock in the moisture and good stuff that this spray provides. I didn't see or feel any results after one use, which is typical for a skin care product, but I plan on continuing to use it and let you know what I think in an upcoming empties post!

If you're intrigued about this product, you can learn more about it here.

9. Juara: Tiare Jasmine Tea Bath and Shower Gel
(Full Size: $28 / Deluxe Sample: $2.33)
 Inspired by Indonesian beauty recipes, this sulfate-free formula cleanses and softens the skin with a trio of antioxidant teas.
I'm a big fan of Juara, especially their candlenut body cream and their tamarind tea toner. I think their natural products and subtle scents make for a really lovely line of products! This body wash smells fresh and clean. I haven't used it yet, but I have high hopes!

 Overall Thoughts
I've skipped over many other limited edition boxes that Birchbox has released. This was one I just couldn't pass up, and I'm so glad I didn't! I am impressed with the curation of this box. I really think that all the products go together so well and really make me want to gear up for Spring in full force!
The cost of this box is $58. The overall  retail value of this box is almost $120!
I think that is a fantastic value, and believe this is one of their best limited edition boxes yet!  This would be a perfect Mother's Day gift, or gift for any special gal in your life!

If you're interested in picking up one of these limited edition boxes, you can do so HERE.
You can also try one of these coupons codes to get a possible 20% off your purchase:
WELCOMEOFFER20, LETSGO20,  or MOBILE20 (if you're ordering on a mobile device)
(coupons codes may or may not work for you, but give them a shot!)

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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.

8 comments:

  1. Love it! I think I'll get it and give *some* of the goods to my mama :) Question, do you still earn bb points on these limited edition boxes??

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    1. I'm honestly not sure! I always use my points and wait until I have enough to cover the cost, so I never end up earning points for purchases. I would guess you would still earn points since you are technically spending money in the shop!

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  2. Gah! This one was difficult to resist. I think I will have to pick up the Tokyomilk lipbalm for sure. It definitely sounds like a winner.

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    1. If I didn't have the points I probably wouldn't have bought it. $58 is pretty hefty, even if it's a great deal. If you're only interested in some of the products in the box, you might be better off just getting the ones you're interested in on the Birchbox site and then using a 20% off coupon code/ points. The TokyoMilk lip balm is probably my favorite products. I'm a sucker for pretty packaging and all the Margot Elena lines are known for that! (Lollia and TokyoMilk especially!)

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  3. That Soap and Paper Factory Shea Butter sounds amaaazing! I love bergamot and orange scents. I'm like you and rose is definitely not on my favorite scent list, so it was an easy decision not to purchase this particular box. I might try to find that Hand Cream, though!

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  4. Hey Rachel! I nominated you for the Leibster Award!

    Congrats! I really love your blog!
    For more info check out my Leibster Award page! :)

    http://staceypearl.wordpress.com/2014/05/03/liebster-award/

    Thank you!

    ReplyDelete