Review: October Birchbox

Sorry that I’m a little late with this post. I meant to write it up as soon as I had tried everything from my October box, but that didn’t happen. Anyway, before I get to the review I just want to post a quick little thank you to Camophile for his awesome post about His Black Box, and I can’t wait for his next post. 🙂 Also a big thank you to my friend Cricket, who let me refer her to Birchbox recently!

Ouidad Moisture Lock Leave In Conditioner – First of all, am I the only one who really dislikes these little cardboard ‘bottle’ samples? I like that it was a pretty generous size, but these things are impossible to reseal once you open them. [The only thing I’ve found that you can do is put a clothespin on the top where the opening is and drop it in a ziplock bag]. The purpose of a deluxe sample is to use it more than once, so you kind of expect something you can close. And I think I ranted about that last time as well, but it still bugs me, sorry! My next issue with this product is that this is the second time (in 3 months as a member of Birchbox) that I’ve received an Ouidad product, which is a line directed at naturally curly hair. My hair is long and straight, and while sometimes a bit wavy, is definitely not curly. I checked my profile to make sure I hadn’t selected curly by mistake, and then contacted Birchbox over Twitter to ask them about this. They responded very nicely and said it was also for some other hair types, but to email them if they made a mistake. I did not email, because hey, it’s a leave in conditioner and everyone can use those I suppose, but I am hoping I don’t get any more Ouidad for a long time. The conditioner itself was fine, nothing special that I could tell and I didn’t really care for the scent either. I would’ve much rather received one of the hair oils that were in alot of boxes this month, I think it would have suited my hair type better.

Laura Geller Spackle Tinted Under Makeup Primer (Bronze) – This shade was intimidatingly dark in the bottle, and I immediately reconsidered my selection of ‘medium’ on my profile. When you look at me, ‘bronze’ is probably not the term that comes to mind, especially after my complete lack of tanning over the summer due to how incredibly hot it was here. Anyway, upon further reading I realized they sent everyone the bronze shade, and claimed that it worked on all skin tones. This made me a little bit skeptical, I’m not gonna lie. As I’ve mentioned before, I don’t typically use primer, but I was definitely up for trying something that would give me a nice dewy-skin glow. While the shade didn’t come out super dark, and I could see it as being somewhat universal… it just looked odd on me. Not really dark, just slightly off somehow. I wore it alone on one of my light makeup days, so maybe that was the problem. I planned to try it again with my mineral foundation, but I broke out a bit afterwards and suspected this to be the cause. Perhaps it wasn’t, but I just didn’t like it very much and haven’t used it again since. The Smashbox clear primer worked better for me, and I still use it now and then.

Sunday Riley Modern Skincare Juno Transformative Lipid Serum – That’s quite a mouthful, huh? I was actually most excited to try this serum, due entirely to the fact that the full size is a whopping $125. The sample was a little bitty pump bottle, which was very cute but got a bit messy if not used carefully. I read that this was a favorite of models and celebrities, so of course I expected it to be amazing! The product itself is basically an oil like consistency, and it smells bad. I’m not sure why, it just has a sort of unpleasant scent. I tried this after washing my face at night, and my dry skin soaked it right up with very little difference at all. I noticed that it gave the palms of my hands a nice glow, though! I continued to use this randomly, always at night without any really noticeable results. Then one night I used it on the same day that I had used my June Jacobs mask. It seemed to work better on me, making me think that maybe it’s better to use after exfoliating in some way. I had no negative reactions to this and using it more frequently at night seemed to make my skin look pretty nice, but I just haven’t yet seen results that would justify the pricetag. If you already have great skin, this could definitely be a good product to give you a nice glow. I will continue using my sample until it runs out, and update if I change my opinion of it.

Ahava Mineral Hand Cream – This was a pretty small little tube of hand cream that I have used a few times here and there. I’m not sure what the deal with scents was in this month’s box but this was another product I didn’t really care for the smell of. It worked just fine, it’s a nice hand cream and made my hands soft. However I still prefer my L’Occitane hand cream so I won’t be buying this one.

Ahava Dermud Enriched Intensive Foot Cream – I’m guessing that these two foot cream packets were the ‘treat’ in this months box, although the card did not say that. It just listed them after the hand cream as (+ Ahava Foot Cream), or something to that effect. I generally don’t find packet samples that impressive, I mean, I got one in the mail a couple of weeks ago, but I appreciate that they included two. With the first packet I knew I wouldn’t be able to reseal it, and there wasn’t a ton of product in it, so I used the whole packet in one use. The second time, I split it into two uses. My normal foot care routine for dry heels is to use a pumice stone, put on some L’Occitane foot lotion, and sleep in socks. When I tried this cream I was in a hurry to get to bed so I skipped the pumice stone. The next day, I noticed that my feet were soft. Really, really soft. For days afterward I kept noticing how soft my feet were. By the time I finished both sample packets I was sold on this, and ordered the full size bottle using some of my points (LOVE points!). I was nearly out of L’Occitane foot cream anyway, but honestly I think this product is probably better. I noticed they also have this foot cream in a mineral version, which is cheaper, but since I wasn’t that impressed with their mineral hand cream I made sure to go for the Dermud line. I also want to mention that their site states that all Ahava products are paraben free, and not tested on animals.

Overall I think this was a pretty good box. It had a good variety and even though I only loved one of the products, I feel like I got my moneys worth. I enjoyed trying the serum because I never would have bought the full size (and probably still won’t), and the spackle because honestly, I would find it difficult to justify buying a product for my face that is actually called spackle. 😉 That’s all for now!

Random Favorites

Hi everybody! Normally I write pretty extensive reviews with alot of [way too much] detail about the products. Sometimes however, there just isn’t alot to say about a product, even when I love it. So here are a few of my current favs that don’t necessarily warrant an entire post.

Aussie Conditioner Hair Insurance Leave In Spray – I have very long, thick hair that I wash almost every day, so I’m constantly on the look out for good products to help manage it. This is a great smelling spray that helps detangle and leaves my hair shiny and soft. The best part of all? It’s under three bucks.

L’Occitane Hand Cream – This one is definitely more of a splurge. $25 for a hand cream sounds pretty steep, but it’s ‘hands down’ (yay, puns) the best I have found. This is a thick, pleasant smelling cream that contains shea butter and will keep your hands silky soft all day. A full sized tube will last you a long time, but if you’re hesitant to spend that much you can opt for a travel size for around $10. If you don’t want to take my word for it, L’Occitane claims that one tube of this is sold every five seconds around the world. Pretty darn impressive, if you ask me.

L’Occitane Foot Cream – The counterpart to the hand cream, also made with shea butter and about the same price, but a slightly less thick formula. This is a great lotion to rub on your feet before bed and then put on a pair of socks. You’ll wake up with super soft skin. If you can find a set with the hand & foot cream it’s definitely worth checking out, and makes a great gift. If you have to choose one or the other, I’d recommend the hand cream because I’ve recently tried another foot cream that I might actually like a little better, and costs a bit less. I’ll be posting about it soon after I’ve compared them a little more.

Smashbox Cream Eyeliner – I’ve always had trouble with pencil and liquid eyeliners. I like thick eyeliner on the top lash line only, but getting it right (and with a slight wing) never worked out that great. Then I found cream eyeliner and realized that it didn’t have to be such an annoyance. This eyeliner uses a squared, flat brush that makes it easy to get a neat line. It doesn’t dry out and the formula stays on pretty well through the day. You can purchase this in jars, or in a palette that’s roughly the size of a credit card. Some of the palette colors don’t show up well, so I tend to stick with black or brown. I’m currently using a different brush with it, but you can experiment and see what works for you. If you’re unlucky with eyeliner application, cream or gel eyeliner is definitely worth trying. (If you know of other good brands, post about it in the comments!)

That’s all for now. Please check back soon.. my friend, the lovely Camophile will be reviewing His Black Box as soon as he gets a chance!