Birchbox Review: February 2012

Jouer Luminizing Moisture Tint – This was a really, really tiny sample.. which seems to be a running theme with Jouer. This is the third sample I’ve received from Jouer in Birchboxes, and they were all equally small. The size would’ve been allright, but in addition to being a tiny sample, it wasn’t completely full. That was a bit annoying. I’ve been wanting to try this for a while, so I was still excited to use it. Since I’m a mineral makeup user, I use brushes and didn’t have any sponges handy, so I had to apply it with my fingers. (Would’ve really liked to get the beauty blender that alot of people got this month!) It went on fine, just like a tinted moisturizer. Honestly though, I just didn’t think it was that great. I would’ve liked to have a little more product to try it a couple more times, but since there was so little I just haven’t bothered with it again.

Juice Beauty Blemish Clearing Serum – This was the first time I’ve used anything by Juice Beauty, so I was pretty happy to see this in my box. It came at a good time because I’ve been having some breakouts lately, probably from stress. So far I have been really impressed with this stuff. I’ve used it as spot treatment and as a thin layer over my face. It can really reduce blemishes overnight. Doesn’t blemish sound so much nicer than zit? I think so too. This line is taken straight from the Juice Beauty website – “These amazing formulations are made without parabens, petroleum, propylene or butylene glycol, sodium lauryl sulfates, pesticides, phthalates, artificial dyes or synthetic fragrances.” Organic, gentle, and effective? What’s not to love here? The full size is $29, so it’s not ridiculously out of reach either. In fact, I think I’ll be putting their clear skin set on my wishlist.

Dermalogica Daily Microfoliant – This was a neat little addition to the Birchbox. I’ve never used a powder exfoliant, and this was a generously sized sample in a nice little shaker bottle. You don’t need alot of product, and it smells fresh and nice. I was surprised at how non-gritty it was too. It was pleasant to use, but I didn’t see spectacular results or anything. I’ve used it a few times, but I’m not sure I would use this daily. Perhaps my results weren’t as noticeable since I use a Clarisonic, and my skin might be a little more exfoliated already than someone who doesn’t use one? Either way, I feel like it’s a nice product but not necessarily something I would add to my daily routine. I’ll stick to using my June Jacobs mask once a week.

Eye Rock Designer Liner – I have so many mixed emotions about this product, it’s hard to form a conclusive opinion one way or the other. At first I thought they looked really neat, but my attempt to apply them did not go that smoothly. I started with one of the simpler designs, and I had alot of trouble lining it up and cutting it properly. When I finally got one side done, the inner corner continually popped back up. I didn’t end up wearing them very long because of that, and they were a bit difficult to peel off. Isn’t the first rule of eye makeup ‘dont pull at the skin around your eyes’??

Nevertheless, a few days later I decided to give them another try (For Valentines day). This time I went with the most dramatic style (they thoughtfully included four) and was more careful not to handle them too much as I was applying them. I still found them difficult to apply, and the inner corner on that same side still kept peeling up. I wore them the entire day, and actually started to like them quite a bit. However I was constantly just… aware of them. I could feel them with just about every blink, and they were slightly uncomfortable, they also seemed to push down on my lashes all day, but that could’ve just been the way I applied them. When I was ready to remove them, I decided to try makeup remover to remove some of the stickiness and hopefully cause less pulling on my eye. BAD PLAN. This just made them even more difficult to remove, and I ended up with sticky residue along my lashline. The next morning I woke up with some of my hair stuck to my face there! The only way I finally removed the last traces was to use loose powder, and then kind of pick it off. Ugh. That was obviously my own fault though, they advise you to just peel them off. All in all, these are kinda cool and fun, just be careful when you apply them because doing it wrong will make it tug at your eye all day. I will use the ones I have left, but I would not repurchase these just simply because I don’t want to peel anything off of my eyelids.

These seem more like a special occasion item, rather than a time saver to use daily. And one last thing.. my mother also received these in her Birchbox. I mean, really? I’m not going to say her age because I value my life 😉 but she does have grandkids. Are alot of grandmas out there wearing double winged cat eyeliner? Not that they couldn’t, just would they? I feel like that was just a poor choice on Birchbox’s part. Could’ve been worse though, they could’ve sent us the lip tattoos. Yikes.

Heart Shaped Nail File – Nothing much to say about this. Just a cute little nod to Valentines day. Very happy to receive practical beauty things like this as opposed to food items in the box.

Digital Download GRO – There was a little card included with a link to about 7 songs by Green River Ordinance. I’ve never really listened to this band, but one of the songs ended up being something I’d heard and liked before, but didn’t know the artist. I quickly fell in love with these tracks and have listened to them many times. Generally when you get a card for free music downloads, it’s songs that nobody wants to listen to. This was not the case here. Very cool, Birchbox!

Overall I really liked this month’s Birchbox. The only downside was that aside from a heart shaped nail file, it didn’t seem like a Valentine box at all. Even the tissue paper was silver and gold, more fitting for New Years than Vday. As a single person I can understand that maybe they didn’t want to throw it in everyone’s faces, but still, there are a few main holidays that you would expect to have themed boxes, and Valentines is one of them. I’m not complaining as I definitely feel I got my moneys worth and then some, I just would’ve liked to see some red and pink and really embrace the girly/cute side of Valentines day. Not necessarily a ‘romance’ theme, just something fun. Or maybe if everyone had received the beauty blender, since it was hot pink afterall! 😉 But anyway, I’m pretty happy with what I got and am looking forward to next months box.

Review: September Birchbox

This month’s Birchbox theme was about celebrating the customer and every side of the Birchbox personality. I posted a quick look at my box when I first got it, and now that I’ve had a chance to try everything, let’s get to the reviews!

Salvatore Ferragamo Attimo L’Eau Florale – I’m pretty sure that everyone got a perfume sample this month. I think there were about three different ones that went out. This was just a standard little vial sample in a card, something you could probably pick up at any department store. I’m not much of a perfume person, generally I’ll find one that isn’t too strong and stick with that brand for a while. I used to wear Chanel Chance, and more recently I’ve been using Roses 4 Reines solid perfume by L’Occitane. That being said, I wanted to give this sample a fair chance, so I wore it for an entire day. It’s not a bad scent, but ended up being much too strong, and I could smell it on myself all day, even after a shower. This one is definitely not for me.

Jurlique Purely Age-Defying Firm and Lift Cream – This is a nice little cream that you warm in your fingers and then press into your face and neck. A small amount seemed to go pretty far and it felt nice on my skin. However, after only a couple of uses I got a really bad breakout. I’m not positive that this is what caused it, but it was the only new item I was using on my face at the time. My skin is fairly sensitive, but I normally do not get this many blemishes from trying a new product. It took days to clear up. There could’ve been other factors, just be careful if you have sensitive skin, and check out more reviews to see if anyone else had this issue. I might try it again when I’m feeling brave and see if I have any better luck. I really wanted to like this product, but for now, I won’t be buying it.

Jouer Lip Enhancer – I am definitely a lip product junkie. I have about eight different kinds of lip products in my desk drawer right now, because I really don’t like having chapped lips. Who does? I thought this sample seemed pretty small, but a little goes a long way. And oh my, this stuff is fantastic. It has a subtle hint of color, makes your lips soft and supple, and is not the least bit goopy or sticky. It’s like the ultimate lip balm. I love it, and even use a small amount before bed and my lips look great when I wake up. I can definitely see why the Birchbox girls love it and included it in every box. There’s an excellent chance that this might be my first full sized purchase from Birchbox. A full size tube is $14, but since it’s long lasting on your lips and you don’t need alot of product, I think it’s worth it. I am however concerned that when looking through the ingredient list online (which I don’t always do), i found several parabens included, so keep that in mind and do your own research.

Incoco Nail Polish Applique- I really loved these strips and you can check out my full review with pictures here. For me, this was the best product in the box and made it worth the price this month. I’m still wearing them, in fact.

Colorescience Pro Sunforgettable Mineral Sun Protection – This is a nice concept, it’s a light mineral powder with spf 30. It came in a generous sized sample jar and the shade I got was medium. I’m guessing this is meant to go over foundation, or for days that you skip it. It’s pretty sheer and I don’t think it’s intended to give you any coverage, just to give you a nice finish and maybe absorb some oil like a translucent powder. It’s not a bad product, but I already wear Bare Minerals foundation, which gives coverage as well as spf, so this wasn’t an ideal choice for me. I’m sure I’ll use it once in a while when I want something lighter, but I won’t be purchasing it. The full size does come built into the handle of a brush, so it would be nice to keep in your purse if you aren’t already using something with spf. I’m thinking this could also be nice dusted over a tinted moisturizer for lighter makeup days.

Birchbox Bracelet – In honor of their one year anniversary, each box came with a birchbox friendship bracelet. This was a cute little extra, a hot pink thread bracelet with a silver square logo in the center. It’s adjustable, so that was nice. It might even give you a chance to strike up a conversation with someone who is wearing one, you know you’ll have at least one thing in common!