Birchbox Review: August 2012

Here’s the full review of my August Birchbox!

  Schick Hydro Silk Razor – I was really excited to see a full sized razor when I opened my Birchbox this month! Not only is this an awesome extra, but I’m pretty sure that every box included one, so no one was left out. Let’s be honest here, razors are expensive, and buying this in the store would’ve likely costs as much, if not more than the entire Birchbox this month. I generally use an epilator, but I still use razors as well and always like trying new ones. The Schick Hydro Silk is a pretty blue razor with a thick, sturdy handle and five blades. I always kind of laugh about how razors keep adding more and more blades, and how many do you really need, anyway? In this case five blades work out pretty well. This razor has a water activated serum that is supposed to moisturize your legs for up to two hours after shaving. The only drawback with this razor is that the serum can feel a little slimy while you’re shaving. If you’re using a thick shaving gel you’ll probably never notice, though. I really like the handle of this razor because it’s easy to hold on to when your hands are wet. The razor itself is a pretty blue color, and while it did not come with any refills there was a coupon on the back for $4 off the refill blades. I was able to get a close shave and my legs did feel soft afterwards, so I really liked this razor. I think this was a great extra and really made me feel like I was getting my moneys worth. For those who don’t use razors and stick to waxing or other methods, this would be great to toss into a gift basket of beauty products for someone else.

Wei Pomegranate Buffing Beads – These are little packets of… well, I guess it’s pretty self explanatory, isn’t it? As a Southerner, these reminded me a little of instant grits with bacon, although a bit finer ground, of course! The objective, apparently, is to mix this with your cleanser and get a nice exfoliation. This seemed a little strange to me since many cleansers already have exfoliating particles in them. However I do have a bottle of Real Purity for use with my Clarisonic for makeup removal, so I mixed the buffing beads with the Purity and rubbed it gently on my face. It’s entirely possible that I used too much of the buffing bead …mix? because when I used it on my face it felt less like gentle beads and more like sand. In fact, I haven’t used it again since. I will give it another try at some point, but to me this just felt too rough. They included two packets and I still have one and a half left. This was my first experience with a Wei product and I just wasn’t impressed.

Yu-Be Moisturizing Skin Cream – This was a decent sized little tube, but it didn’t seem to have that much product in it. It’s for use on skin, lips, and cuticles. The product itself has a somewhat medicinal look to it, being a yellowish cream. I tried it on my lips once, but didn’t really see any results. I used it on my cuticles several times, but again I didn’t really notice much of a change. It’s nice enough, and would be handy to throw into a purse, but I didn’t find that it achieved anything I couldn’t do with shea butter. This is a natural formula free of artificial dyes, petroleum, and fragrance. This does however include camphor -which after a little reading on wikipedia, I’m somewhat wary of.

Wei Golden Root Purifying Mud Mask – The second Wei product in my Birchbox was this mud mask which came packaged in something similar to those coffee creamer containers. The packaging was cute, but ultimately annoying. This was meant to be a one time use mask but I had some leftover with no way to reseal it, and ended up putting it in a ziplock bag. The mask itself is the color and consistency of melted milk chocolate. The full size product contains a bunch of these little containers as well as a brush to apply the mask with. It all seems very decadent and indulgent, and I enjoyed putting this on. After a minute or so, my face started to tingle a bit. I thought it was just working it’s magic, and that maybe it was stinging a little because of my adventure with the buffing beads the day before. By the time I walked into the kitchen to grab a ziplock bag to store the extra product in, my face was burning. I quickly started washing it off, and my skin underneath was bright red. I removed the rest of it as quickly as I could, but my face felt a little itchy and had a very slight burning feeling for hours afterwards. There were no other harmful effects, and in fact my skin looked nice the following day, but I doubt I’ll be using this again. I couldn’t even tell you if this hardens as it dries, because I only had it on for 2-3 minutes. It could be a great product, but it’s just not right for my sensitive skin.

  Caldrea Hand Soap – This hand soap came in two little cardboard packets that you rip the top off of to dispense. I like that they included two, letting you get plenty of uses out of these little packs. The one major drawback to the packaging is that they’re cardboard, and eventually get mushy if you’re keeping them near the sink or touching them with wet hands. That’s just a minor little gripe though, since it is just a sample and you’ll likely use them up quickly. I suppose these are better for the environment anyway. The soap itself was nice, it had a pleasant enough scent and was moisturizing on hands. I did like it and would continue using it if I had some, but I probably would not go out of my way to purchase it.

Stila Stay All Day Foundation, Concealer, HD beauty balm – I really dislike samples that are packaged this way. A little bit of product squeezed under a label, impossible to reseal or get more than one use out of. I do appreciate that it included three different products, because it’s rare to be able to sample the concealer that goes with a foundation, and BB creams are really popular right now. The main problem I had with these was that the shade was all wrong. If this is medium, then I am definitely not a medium. The color was so off, that I immediately went to the Birchbox website and changed my coloring to ‘light’. (Which as it turns out, is the shade I tried in UD foundation which was a much better match for my skin now that I haven’t been tanning for quite a while). Aside from the color being wrong, the formulas didn’t do much for me either. I found it difficult to blend and it just didn’t look right on my skin. The beauty balm matched better but I didn’t see very impressive results. Had the packaging been resealable, I would’ve given these another try later on but since it wasn’t, I gave up on this one.

Juicy Couture Viva La Juicy La Fleur – Why are there two la’s in the title? Does that seem excessive to anyone else? Okay okay, that’s irrelevant. I really wish that my beloved Birchbox had an option on the site for “send me less perfume” because I pretty much get one every month, and as I’ve repeatedly mentioned, I’m not that big on perfume. I kinda liked this one at first, it’s not too overpowering, but throughout the day my fondness for it faded and it’s now left on the shelf with my collection of perfume vials. I would probably enjoy the perfume samples more if they were slightly more tailored to individual tastes. Personally I can’t wear strong perfumes because they give me a headache, so I go for clean and light scents. If Birchbox would let you pick a fragrance preference like: strong, floral, fruity, clean, etc. they would probably get better results. Just a thought!

This was an interesting box for me. While the only product I really liked was the razor, I still enjoyed trying everything and felt that I got my money’s worth. I will probably purchase the refills for the razor but I doubt I’ll be buying any of the other full size products. Another benefit to this box were little things like, two packets of the buffing beads, two packets of soap, and three Stila products to try. I also appreciated that EVERY one of the items was reviewable, making this box worth 70 points!! (100 points = $10 off in the Birchbox shop) So between the razor and the points, it more than paid for itself. In fact, it brought my total up to 300 points and I was able to use those points to buy another 3 month subscription for my sister in law. Score!

*Birchbox delivers deluxe beauty samples to your door for $10 a month. If you’d like to join Birchbox, you can use my referral link here. Thank you!

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3 thoughts on “Birchbox Review: August 2012

  1. Uh-oh! I love masks and the Wei one seemed like a winner so I used my anniversary coupon to order it from the Birchbox store. Now I am worried that my sensitive skin will have issues with it too. I suppose I will find out when it arrives!

    • Aw man, good luck! I would say just have a wet washcloth handy when you put it on, so that if you have a reaction you can wipe it off quickly. And if you’re really worried, maybe test it out on a small area first?

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