Glossybox is one of my favorite beauty subscription services. They feature more “high-end” prestige makeup and beauty brands and, since they first started in the UK, they send out a lot of products from the UK and other European brands (which I LOVE).
I wasn’t too crazy about my Ipsy Glam Bag this month — or last month either, to be honest — but it’s kind of my own fault because I’ve been slacking on reviewing the items in my Glam Bag on Ipsy.com. I really find that when I review each item for the month and check off the brands I like and the brands I don’t like I usually get much better Glam Bags.
I think Ipsy does a great job at really personalizing their subscription service. They also let you review bags from past months so I tried to catch up on the ones I missed and I’m sure that I’ll love my Glam Bag again next month!
My Birchboxes have really been getting better and better recently. For a few months there I was actually super close to unsubscribing because I was so unhappy with the boxes I was getting — I loved them when I first subscribed and they were good for awhile, but then I kinda felt like they were going downhill. So I switched up my Birchbox beauty profile a bunch of times and then, about three months ago, my boxes started getting great again. I really liked this month’s box a lot – especially the deluxe Laura Mercier eyeliner (this one is half the size of the regular pencil but there’s definitely a great amount of product here).
Not Soap, Radio Awash in a field of four leaf clovers Body Wash ($16 for 13.61 oz.; birchbox.com): I am loving this super green clover-scented body wash. It is actually infused with real four leaf clover extract and green tea — how awesome is that? I think I’m going to pick up the full-size version of this, or choose one of the other aromatherapeutic scents — there are eight to choose from and they each come in a big 13.61-oz. bottle.
Gilchrist & Soames Spa Therapy Body Lotion ($15 for 8 oz.; birchbox.com): I’m loving the super fresh aqualeaf and citrus scent of this luxe body lotion. It is infused with extracts of Japanese sea fennel to calm irritation and soothe skin, plus other sea-based vitamins and minerals that absorb into skin to moisturize it and reverse environmental damage.
Laura Mercier Longwear Crème Eye Pencil ($24 for 0.04 oz.; birchbox.com): This one was definitely my favorite item this month. This is actually the first time I am using Laura Mercier’s Longwear Crème Eye Pencil and I love it! I have only tested it out so far, but I plan on using it this week. I received this beautiful violet color that’s not too bright — you can definitely do some more “toned-down” makeup looks with this pencil … or you can go all out and do a dramatic look! It’s great for both.
Fekka PrX Reparatives Intense Fortifying Masque ($25 for 7 oz.; birchbox.com): Birchbox sent out a great deluxe sample size of this hair masque. I used it the other day in the shower and my hair came out looking great! This treatment repairs, protects and smoothes damaged and tired hair.
Dr. Lipp Original Nipple Balm for Lips ($14.50 for 0.51 oz.; birchbox.com): I have been meaning to try this stuff out for awhile, so I was so happy to see this mini tube in my November Birchbox! It’s kind of like a thicker Vaseline and it can be used on parched lips, cuticles, elbows and any other dry area on the skin.
Justin’s Chocolate Almond Butter Squeeze Pack ($12.99 for ten 1.15 oz.-packs; birchbox.com): I haven’t tried this out yet, but I thought it was a cool extra to include in my Birchbox this month. I love almond butter and chocolate so I know I’ll like this a lot. You can eat it straight from the pack, or spread it on toast, fruit, crackers, sandwiches, etc.
Subscription Box Breakdown:
I loved my Birchbox this month and I think it was one of the better ones that I have received in recent months. I am so happy that I’m getting better boxes now after hitting a bit of a slump for a few months there. I love the Laura Mercier eyeliner, I definitely want to order a full-sized Not Soap, Radio body wash and the Fekkai hair mask worked great in my hair. Loved all the products pretty much!
Pricing & Availability:
I received my Beauty Box 5 for November a few days ago, and then I got a ton of other boxes over the next few days (this week was like an early Christmas!), but I really just had time to sit down and write the reviews this weekend so I will be posting all of the reviews tonight (Sunday night) and tomorrow morning.
This month’s Beauty Box 5 wasn’t the most exciting (in my opinion). I usually love to receive makeup items the most and, unfortunately, there were no makeup items in this month’s box. However, there was a nice variety of different types of beauty items and accessories which is cool. I will probably put all or most of these items to use.
I use floss picks sometimes on-the-go and I honestly was having a bit of an issue with how I would carry them along with me to keep them clean and organized, so I was just leaving the whole bag in my car (I got cute little Hello Kitty floss picks so that’s really what inspired me to use them since I am obsessed with Hello Kitty). Even though it’s not really an item that I use all of the time, this floss pick pack is a great idea and I will definitely be using the case with these floss picks and to hold my Hello Kitty ones as well 🙂
DenTek Floss Picks + Case ($2.49 for 4 count; dentek.com) comes pre-packed with six “Comfort Clean Floss Picks” and fits conveniently in pockets, purses or travel bags for on-the-go flossing. Each DenTek floss pick comes with “Germ Shield protection” to prevent the growth of bacteria and the cases come in five different colors.
I decided to take a more artsy approach to this next photo 🙂 I had some pretty flowers laying around and I put them down on this white tray I have and liked the way it looked so I decided to put these next two products down on the tray as well and snap a few pics!
The first product is Dove’s Deep Moisture body wash. I always need body wash so, even though this might not be the most exciting product, I will definitely be using it. The second product is a cute little refillable travel bottle. I honestly don’t really have many travel bottles so I’m sure I will find a use for this at some point.
Dove Deep Moisture Body Wash ($6.49 for 22 oz.; drugstore.com) is supposed to provide 10 times more “skin natural nourishment” with Dove’s “NutriumMoisture.” It is described as a “gentle, rich body wash formula” that helps to rinse “cleanly and quickly” and help you have “softer, smoother skin after just one shower.” I haven’t tried this one out yet but, like I said, I always put body washes to use. In fact, I haven’t even bought a full-sized body wash for myself in about a year now because I get so many samples in all of my subscription boxes.
Afterfeather Refillable Travel Bottles ($8.95 for set of two refillable 2-oz. bottles; afterfeather.com) are compact and lightweight, “making them ideal for travel,” and they each hold up to two fluid ounces, which meets TSA compliance for carry-on items. They feature Dandelion and Peony designs and use 25% post-consumer plastic. Ten percent of Afterfeather’s proceeds are donated to charities.
I will most likely not be using this body butter since I have sooooo many body butters and lotions already, many of which I don’t even use, but this one looks super cute, and it smells pretty good, so I’ll probably pass it along to my mom or to a friend. I haven’t used the next product yet, the hair oil from HASK, but if it’s good I will probably keep it and use it. I also have a bunch of hair oils so if this one isn’t as good as the ones I already have then I see no reason to hold onto it.
Laura Ashley Body Butter ($20 for set of six 1.75-oz. body butters; lauraashley.com) is described as a “nourishing, rich lotion” in the scent of “Sweet Peony.” I actually can’t find this six piece set online, maybe it’s new? So I linked to the one body butter I did find at lauraashley.com.
HASK Macadamia Revitalizing Shine Oil ($2.99 for 0.62 oz.; ulta.com) is an ultra-hydrating oil that can be used on wet or dry hair that leaves hair “nourished and glossy” with the deep penetrating and cuticle-sealing qualities of macadamia oil.
Subscription Box Breakdown:
This month was not my favorite month for Beauty Box 5. I thought it was a little boring and the value of the items in the box wasn’t that great either — all of the products this month pretty much cost the same as the $12 monthly box price. I’m not complaining about that, I’m just used to getting a better value out of subscription boxes, including Beauty Box 5.
Pricing & Availability:
Beauty Box 5 is a monthly beauty subscription box that costs $12 per month with the option of paying less per month when you buy a multiple month subscription. BB5 focuses mainly on drugstore makeup, hair and body products. To subscribe click here, or visit beautybox5.com for more information!
I have been a New Beauty Test Tube subscriber for over a year now and I absolutely loved the program when I first subscribed. You receive a new Test Tube every other month and the first few Test Tubes I received were awesome and jam-packed with beauty goodies in great deluxe sample sizes, plus plenty of full-sized items every month. Then, a few months ago, my Test Tubes started going downhill.
I’ve been paying about $40 (including tax & shipping to NY) every two months to basically find repeat products with every new Test Tube I receive. Out of the last three (at least) Test Tube shipments, there were more repeat products than new ones — and many of the products weren’t even ones that I loved enough or used enough to want doubles of them. I decided to stick it out for another couple of months to see what the next Test Tube looked like, and the current one (November/December) had, once again, almost all repeat products.
So I have decided to cancel my New Beauty Test Tube subscription after receiving this latest Test Tube. I really hate the thought of cancelling a subscription box because I am really obsessed with this whole craze and whenever I think of cancelling a subscription box I always tell myself that the next month will probably be better and I don’t want to miss out. But … one of the main reasons I subscribe to subscription boxes is to discover new products, and I just don’t think it’s worth it for me to stay subscribed to NBTT if I just keep getting the same products over and over again.
I still stuck it out for a good six months (at least) after I started seeing a lot of repeat products in my Test Tubes and it seems like each new one I received had more repeats than the last. I really can’t justify paying 40 bucks every other month just to get products that I already received in past Test Tubes — and a lot of the repeats are products that I hardly even used in the first place.
I don’t want to turn this post into a New Beauty Test Tube rant. I really loved the service when I first signed up and I got to try out a lot of great products, including a bunch of products that were completely new to me. I think that anyone who signs up for the program now for the first time would be happy because all the products will be new and there’s no chance for repeats when you are just signing up for the program for the first time. So, with that being said, I am a little sad to have to cancel a subscription box and I might sign up again in the future but, for now, I feel like it’s just a waste.
SO, with my “rant” out of the way, on to the review of the current New Beauty Test Tube for November/December 2014:
I received this Dermalogica Precleanse a few months ago in a subscription box, I’m not sure if it was New Beauty Test Tube or a different one. This pre-cleanse is step one in a two-step cleansing routine and Dermalogica makes a cleanser that goes along with it; you could also use any regular cleanser right after using this product. I honestly haven’t really used this product much since the first time I received it because I have a good cleansing routine that I’ve been sticking to, but this product did get great reviews on the Dermalogica website and people really seem to like it.
Dermalogica Precleanse ($38 for 5.1 oz.; dermalogica.com) is described as a deep-cleansing, “oil-busting emulsifyer” that melts impurities and makeup from the skin. It is the first step in Dermalogica’s Double Cleanse regimen and it “thoroughly melts away layers of excess sebum (oil), sunscreen, waterproof makeup, pollutants and products that build up on skin,” allowing your Dermalogica cleanser (Step 2) to “penetrate even further for professional cleansing results.” The New Beauty Test Tube only came with the pre-cleanse, but you can really use any cleanser afterwards to achieve similar results.
The next item were these makeup remover wipes from Klorane. I’ve never used this specific brand before, but I always put makeup remover wipes to use. I don’t like these as much as my favorite wipes from Ole Henriksen, but they definitely do the trick!
Klorane Make-Up Remover Biodegradable Wipes with Soothing Cucumber ($12.50 for 25 wipes; kloraneusa.com) contain decongesting cornflower water (extracted from Klorane’s own organic cultivation) to soothe skin and remove makeup without the need for water. This alcohol-, fragrance- and paraben-free formula is ideal for sensitive eyes and contact lens-wearers.
I received this Frizz-Ease smoothing creme a few Test Tubes ago and I actually haven’t even used it yet! I guess it’s a good thing that I got a new one because it reminded me that I had this product tucked away in my haircare drawer.
John Frieda Frizz-Ease Straight Fixation Smoothing Creme ($6.99 for 5.0 oz.; johnfrieda.com) is described as a lightweight crème that smooths away frizz and “keeps hair soft and moisturized for up to 24 hours” while it helps to block out humidity. This smoothing creme contains a special “ThermaGuard Complex” to help protect against damage from heat tools and it is formulated with sweet almond oil and Milk Protein to smooth and condition the hair.
I actually think I received the CHI Silk Infusion in a past Test Tube as well, but I’m pretty sure I used it up already since I don’t see it anywhere in my haircare collection. It’s a great treatment for those with dry, damaged hair and it definitely made my hair feel a lot stronger after using it.
CHI Silk Infusion ($41.50 for 12 oz. or $22.50 for 6 oz.; ulta.com) is formulated with “positively charged silk molecules” that “interlock into hair’s natural structure to build strength and resilience and to improve moisture and shine.” This treatment restructures hair with silk, wheat and soy proteins, making hair stronger and minimizing breakage. This leave-in product won’t dry out hair and it works on both wet and dry hair to detangle, provide manageability and reduce frizz. It’s like an all-in-one, leave-in wonder treatment.
These next two items weren’t in any past Test Tubes (or at least none since I’ve been a subscriber), so they were brand-new to me. The tinted moisturizer is a really cool product and it won the New Beauty Beauty Choice Award; as for the lip balm — I constantly need lip balms and I use them every single day, especially now that the weather’s changing. I’m always happy to get a new lip balm!
Revision Skincare Intellishade Broad-Spectrum SPF 45 ($52 for 1.7 oz.; intellishadespf45.com) is a three-in-one anti-aging tinted moisturizer with sunscreen that conceals, corrects and protects. In a clinical study, 94 percent of participants said that they experienced smoother, brighter and more even-toned skin after using Intellishade, which contains “proprietary technology” that enables it to match “every skin tone, every time.” It is formulated with a blend of three peptides and reduces the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles while providing broad-spectrum UV protection.
Donell Lip Saver SPF 15 ($7 for 0.15 oz.; donellskin.com) is a “professional-strength lip balm” that is “designed to combat cracked, fissured lips and extreme dryness caused by the use of Accutane and other chemical treatments.” This lip balm soothes chronically dry, chapped lips and it contains a “proprietary MCC complex for healing properties,” as well as SPF15 for UVA and UVB protection.
This is the third time I have received a Mally eyeliner in a Test Tube and the second time I have received this exact color. It’s a good eyeliner but I haven’t really used it that much. I’ll probably pass this new one along to a friend.
Mally Evercolor Starlight Waterproof Eyeliner ($15 for 0.04 oz.; mallybeauty.com) is described as a “professional-quality, waterproof, long-wear eyeliner” formulated with jojoba oil, a nutrient-rich, vitamin-packed skin nourisher. This formula glides on smoothly and “sets to a beautiful finish.”
This is also the third time I have received this Votivo candle. I do love this candle, so I’m not exactly complaining, I just would have preferred a new product a lot more.
Votivo Aromatic Candle ($15 for one candle tin; votivo.com) is described as a “deliciously fragrant” luxury candle. Votivo scents come in a bunch of different products, including hand-wrapped candles (with hand-pressed seals), fragrance sprays, reed diffusers, sachets and more. I received the “Icy Blue Pine” scent, which is described as “a bold whiff of pine, accented with hints of cedar” that come together in a candle that is “reminiscent of a crisp winter day.”
Subscription Box Breakdown:
If I had not already received a lot of these products then I would definitely be liking this current Test Tube a lot more. There were a few great products and I’m probably going to be using most of them. I’m a little disappointed that I have to cancel my Test Tube subscription, but, like I said before, I really don’t think I should be spending $40 every other month just to get repeat products all the time. I’ll be watching the blogs for reviews on the next few Test Tubes to see if I want to re-subscribe in a few months.
Pricing & Availability:
New Beauty Test Tube is a bi-monthly beauty subscription service that costs $29.95 plus tax and shipping (my Tube cost about $38 every other month). For more information or to sign up for the Test Tube program visit testtube.newbeauty.com.
Glossybox is definitely one of the subscription boxes that I look forward to the most each month and I usually love every single item they choose. Glossybox has its roots in the UK where it started and they often send out products from the UK and products from other European-based beauty brands which I love — most of the time, I find that these products work amazingly well and its fun to experiment and try out items that don’t get as much attention here in the states. I often like a lot of these products way better than their American counterparts.
This month, Glossybox also sent out a very “Made in America” brand — two different products from Rhode Island jeweler Alex and Ani. The Alex and Ani soap bar is HUGE and awesome and then there was also a surprise charm bangle bracelet that I was super happy to receive.
This month’s box also featured an awesome hot pink polish from Nails Inc. London (one of my favorite polish brands), a multi-tasking hair product from Alterna (one of my favorite haircare brands), a hydrating facial mask with good-for-you vitamins and plant extracts, as well as a gentle lip moisturizer/exfoliator that actually works (for me, at least).
All in all I was very happy with this month’s Glossybox and I honestly feel like each month gets better and better. Glossybox always sends out more “luxurious” products than the other beauty subscription boxes (in my opinion) and, even though it might be a little more expensive than some other boxes, it is well worth the $20/month charge (also my opinion).
My March 2014 Glossybox contained:
- Alex and Ani Scent 7 Soap Bar, full-size (reg. $14 for 7 oz.; alexandani.com)
- Alex and Ani Swan Charm Bangle, full-size (reg. $28; alexandani.com)
- Alterna Haircare Bamboo Volume Plumping Strand Expand, 0.85-oz. deluxe sample tube (reg. $22 for 4 oz.; alternahaircare.com)
- Etre Belle Cosmetics Liplift Peel, full-size (reg. $17.80 for 0.5 oz.; etre-belle.co — ** NOTE: I can’t seem to find any website that will ship this product to the US)
- Nails Inc. Brook Street Nail Polish, 0.13-oz. deluxe sample bottle (reg. $9.50 for 0.33 oz.; nailsinc.com)
- Sisley Paris Black Rose Cream Mask, 0.38-oz. deluxe sample tube (reg. $158 for 2.1 oz.; nordstrom.com)
The first product was this SUPER big and awesome soap bar from Alex and Ani (they make soap too?? I had no idea …). I love the earthy/floral scent of this bar … when I took it out of the Glossybox the scent filled up my whole room and it lingered for a good part of the day on my skin after using it in the shower. I also felt like my skin was noticeably moisturized and all-around better feeling after using this soap. I am all about aromatherapy and beauty products that “invigorate your senses,” so I am definitely happy that this came in the March Glossybox.
Alex and Ani Scent 7 Soap Bar (reg. $14 for 7 oz.; alexandani.com) is “inspired by ancient alchemy and scented with warm spice and sweet floral undertones.” It contains shea butter and coconut oil that “effectively nurtures the skin, increasing hydration and thoroughly cleansing the body,” and it is crafted with “essential oils that embody the four elements: earth, air, fire and water,” that, when combined, “assist in harmonizing one’s chi.” Sweet.
Glossybox threw in a non-beauty “bonus item” this month which is awesome and I love when subscription boxes switch it up with a surprise like this. It’s especially cool when it’s a full-sized bracelet that I will most certainly be wearing and probably buying more charms for. I’ve only just heard of Alex and Ani jewelry recently — the company was founded in 2004 but only opened their first retail store in 2009 and then further expanded the business in 2010 and even added European stores a couple of years later.
I love jewelry and, even more, I love “free” jewelry (well, this was sort of free … minus Glossybox’s monthly $20 subscription fee), so the March Glossybox was a total win. As I said before, I feel like I’m loving the Glossyboxes more and more every month.
Alex and Ani Swan Charm Bangle (reg. $28; alexandani.com) comes in a “Russian Gold” or “Russian Silver” finish (I received the silver one) with a swan charm plus three small Alex and Ani logo charms. The majestic swan is a creature that “embodies grace and beauty” and is a “powerful symbol of love.” This bracelet is made with Alex and Ani’s unique and original “Expandable Wire Bangle” design that “replaces traditional clasps with a sliding mechanism, making each piece adjustable” so that it fits perfectly for everyone.
I absolutely love Alterna haircare products, and. out of all the hair products I have tried throughout the years, Alterna is one of the only brands that ever seems to actually work and make a difference in my dry, damaged, color-treated hair. WIth that being said, I was delighteddd to see this Alterna volumizer/hair beautifier in my March Glossybox, especially because it’s a product that I have never used before.
Alterna Haircare Bamboo Volume Plumping Strand Expand (reg. $22 for 4 oz.; alternahaircare.com) is described as a “thickening lotion that strengthens, moisturizes and adds volume to the hair from root to tip,” leaving hair appearing more full-bodied without weighing it down. I haven’t tried this one out yet, but I like the fact that it’s a volumizing lotion, as opposed to a traditional volumizing spray, plus it’s by Alterna so I have a feeling I’m going to love it.
The next product is from German beauty company Etre Belle Cosmetics. I can’t seem to find this product for sale anywhere that will deliver to the US, but I have a feeling it will be more widely available soon. Occasionally, Glossybox will send out a product from a European beauty company that you can’t really (easily) find in the US or Canada, but then, when the product is opened up to a whole new country of potential buyers, the product becomes available somewhere over here for purchase. I guess we’ll have to wait and see.
Etre Belle Cosmetics Liplift Peel (reg. $17.80 for 0.5 oz.; etre-belle.co) is described as a “gentle and moisurizing exfoliator for the lip area” that “gently removes dead cells and refines the surface skin.” This lip exfoliator is formulated with pure hyaluronic microspheres to smooth and it adds up to 54% more volume on the lips.
I was actually just about to buy a new hot pink nail polish because I ran out of all the ones I had and then my Glossybox arrived with this cute little bottle in it. I love this color and, even though the polish came out a little streaky at first, if you use a good top coat it will dry to a perfect opaque shade.
Nails Inc. Brook Street Nail Polish (reg. $9.50 for 0.33 oz.; nailsinc.com) is described as a “bright, summery coral” that is professionally formulated for a “long lasting, super glossy, flawless finish.”
The last product in the March Glossybox was a hydrating cream mask that is absolutely perfect for my dry winter skin. I only tried out this product once so far for a quick test so I can’t really judge how well it works just yet.
Sisley Paris Black Rose Cream Mask (reg. $158 for 2.1 oz.; nordstrom.com) is described as “a skincare mask rich in trace elements, vitamins and plant extracts” that is “specially formulated to act instantly on the signs of aging and fatigue to rejuvenate skin and restore vitality.” This is Sisley’s first mask that is enriched with “anti-aging active ingredients” to restore skin’s radiance and tones while immediately hydrating and re-plumping for visibly softer and smoother skin.
Glossybox is a monthly beauty subscription service that costs $20 per month for 4-6 deluxe- and full-sized beauty products. To subscribe, click here to e-mail me with your e-mail address and name, or visit Glossybox.com for more information.
Alright … I’m getting to the end of the subscription box pile with two more kinda late posts (this one, and the next one is for Ipsy’s March Glam Bag). After this, I have two NEW subscription boxes to review that just arrived yesterday (Glossybox and the Influenster UniVoxBox), and then I’m going to make a bunch of non subscription box-related posts so yay. I’m happy that I’m finally really getting everything up and running on my blog and getting into the swing of things. So, on to the review …
This month, Birchbox featured items that were part of a “Spring Forward” theme: products that are amped-up basics and necessities, including multi-taskers and items that will make you look your best with little effort.
I haven’t been that crazy about my recent Birchboxes, but this month totally changed that for me, mostly thanks to the Michael Todd toner, which was a godsend, and I’m going to buy the full-size item as soon as this (pretty big) deluxe sample bottle runs out. I also loved the “Rescue Balm” from Air Repair and I’m still trying to come to a final conclusion on how I feel about the POP Beauty lip stain, but it was a full-sized item so I can’t complain.
For $10/month, Birchbox sends you 4-6 deluxe and sample-sized beauty items (sometimes they’ll throw a full-size in there), as well as some lifestyle products. I feel like my recent Birchboxes have been a bit skimpy, but at $10/month I guess I can’t really complain. This month I was really happy with most of the products and the sizes (I was getting way too many single-use sample packets over the last few months that I wasn’t that happy about, so I was happy to see awesomely sized products this month).
Each Birchbox comes with a card that tells you the theme of the month and a description of each product on the back. The products you receive are based on a beauty survey that you fill out when joining (you can change your answers at any time — something I have been doing pretty often to try to get better boxes), and there are a bunch of different products featured each month that get divided up into different box combinations.
My March 2014 Birchbox contained:
- Air Repair Rescue Balm All-Purpose Skin Salve and Lip Balm, deluxe-sized sample (reg. $12 for 0.9 oz.; birchbox.com)
- Michael Todd True Organics Blue Green Algae Antibacterial Toner, 1.7-oz. deluxe-sized sample bottle (reg. $18.50 for 8.4 oz.; birchbox.com)
- OmniPotent Duosity Hair Treatment, two 0.34-oz. sample packets that are used together (reg. $25 for 2.5 oz.; birchbox.com)
- POP Beauty Stain Stay in Peach Pucker, full-size version (reg. $16 for 0.13 oz.; birchbox.com)
- Supergoop! City Sunscreen Serum, 0.34-oz. deluxe-sized sample tube (reg. $42 for 1.6 oz.; birchbox.com)
I’ve had serious dry skin/dry lips this winter so I’m always happy to receive new moisturizers and lip balms. This Rescue Balm is an all-purpose salve used to fix any dry issues, including areas on your skin and your lips. I like it best as a lip balm (and I find that it works very well, instantly smoothing out my super chapped lips), but it is a true multi-tasking product and you can use it on your hands, knees, elbows or anywhere else you might have dry patches.
Air Repair Rescue Balm All-Purpose Skin Salve and Lip Balm (reg. $12 for 0.9 oz.; birchbox.com) is described as an “ultra-restorative salve” that prevents transepidermal water loss, which is a primary cause of dry skin. It is formulated with sweet almond oil, lanolin (rich in fatty acids) and vitamin E to hydrate and nourish skin upon contact. It also contains lavender, which acts as an anti-inflammatory agent to calm down irritation and geranium to promote circulation and rejuvenate skin.
The next product is a sunscreen serum from Supergoop! that can be used at any time throughout the year. Supergoop! City Sunscreen Serum (reg. $42 for 1.6 oz.; birchbox.com) contains the brand’s “unique Hydrovotin 24 complex” that “works with the skin’s own moisture mechanisms to increase hydration levels,” as well as vitamins E and B5 to heal damage. It is also formulated with a chemical sunscreen duo that absorbs UVA rays that lead to premature aging and UVB rays that cause sunburn. It received the “top of the line” PA +++ rating which means that this formula “meets the highest standards for sun protection.”
The next product in my March Birchbox was my favorite — an amazing toner from Michael Todd True Organics. I am so in love with this stuff and I can’t wait to buy the full-size version (at the amazing price of just $18.50 for a whopping 8.4-oz. bottle!). I have had some weird skin issues over the last six months — I’m getting more breakouts than I ever have in my entire life and this toner has seriously cleared my skin up so much that it’s back to being almost 100% breakout-free again. Birchbox sent out a great deluxe sample size of this product (1.7 oz.) and I have been using it every single day for the last couple of weeks.
Michael Todd True Organics Blue Green Algae Antibacterial Toner (reg. $18.50 for 8.4 oz.; birchbox.com) is formulated with gentle ingredients and a soothing lavender and birchwood scent to rid skin of oil, sweat and impurities without causing any dryness or irritation. It contains organic blue green algae, kelp and hyaluronic acid that all work together to “eliminate dead skin cells and toxins, revealing fresh, healthy skin,” as well as black willow tree extract to add extra healing power and tea tree oil that “kick-starts your immune response to help fight infections and promote clear skin.” As an added benefit that really rounds out the whole product, making it perfect for my dry, breakout-y skin this winter, this toner also provides serious moisturizing benefits. A+++++ in my book.
I’ve been getting pretty tired of the single-use shampoo and conditioner packets that Birchbox has been sending me for two reasons: 1). More often than not the shampoos I’ve been receiving contain sulfates, which are way too harsh and completely dry out my already dry, color-treated hair; and 2). I use the full Wen Haircare system (which works really well for me — review to come soon), so I don’t really have a need for other hair cleansing products.
With that being said, I was happy to see a haircare product in my March Birchbox that was NOT another shampoo. Instead, I received this deep conditioning treatment that I will most certainly put to use (although I haven’t used it yet — I’m going to be doing that tonight).
OmniPotent Duosity Hair Treatment (reg. $25 for 2.5 oz.; birchbox.com) is a dual-phase conditioning treatment that you mix together yourself to activate. This product is described as a “gluten- and paraben-free formula” that “goes to work immediately to repair years’ worth of hair damage, leaving strands lustrous, hydrated and full of healthy bounce.” One side of the tube contains a “super-nourishing team” of silk amino acids, keratin and other plant-derived proteins. The other side contains a mix of “natural humectants and antioxidants” (aloe, rosemary and sage) that attracts and binds moisture deep into the hair shaft, as well as sodium bicarbonate to help balance pH levels.
The last product in my March Birchbox was a full-sized item, which I was really happy to see because I haven’t really received any full-sizes in recent Birchboxes (and that was one of my gripes over the last few months). I’m not sure exactly how I feel about this product — it’s like a magic marker for your lips, which is kind of weird. It even has a scent … so it’s more like a scented magic marker for your lips (although I do like the peach scent and I was always partial to scented markers … ).
I haven’t really used this lip stain other than trying it out quickly and I guess I would have to layer it with a gloss or something, especially because my lips are so dry this winter and wearing the product alone just accentuated the dry spots. I did find that the color on its own looked okay as it just added some kind of color to my lips, but it didn’t really do much else (I guess that’s the point).
POP Beauty Stain Stay in Peach Pucker (reg. $16 for 0.13 oz.; birchbox.com) is described as a “superpigmented lip stain” with an “easy-to-use pen-style applicator” that “departs the perfect amount of pigmentation and the rich hues stay put for hours.” Birchbox’s description of the product adds that the “long-lasting, no-smudge formula imparts lips with sheer, rich color,” and it comes in six different colors to line and then fill-in lips.
I received the coral color which doesn’t really come out like coral, it kind of just makes my lips a bit more colored-in and tinted, if that makes any sense. I usually love coral on my lips, so I really don’t mind the color although this kind of just looks like it enhances the natural color of my lips — making them more even and less blah-looking. I guess the true test of this product will be in its staying power, which I have yet to try out.
Birchbox is a monthly beauty and lifestyle subscription box service that costs a flat fee of $10 per month. To subscribe to Birchbox click here (you can cancel at any time), or head over to Birchbox.com for more information!