Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Birchbox August 2013

It's that time again!

I got my Birchbox last week and I finally have a chance to sit down and tell you all about it.  I have to say up front that I was a bit underwhelmed by this month's box. I didn't dislike any of the products in it, but I also wasn't super excited by any of them. Such is the luck of the draw with subscription boxes. Not every month is going to be amazing. Still, I do enjoy my subscription to Birchbox overall, and I think that have THE best rewards system to their subscribers out there. I also do appreciate the variety of products that they sample every month. And even with their sneak peeks the contents of your particular box are always a surprise (which I enjoy).

As always, if you'd like to try out Birchbox for yourself, a subscription is only $10 a month. If you use this link you will give me credit for referring you (and I will love you forever, not that I don't already :-p).

Anyway, on to the review!

This month's theme is Finishing School. All of the products sampled are meant to keep you perfectly polished and put those perfect "finishing touches" on your look. Birchbox has also partnered with Ann Taylor this month to provide subscribers with a special discount they can use to spruce up their wardrobes for fall.

Here's what I got:

Dr. Jart+ Premium Beauty Balm SPF 45, 0.17 fl oz, $4.88 value, $39 full-size (1.5 fl oz)
Getting this product in my box was a bit bittersweet. I JUST finished a deluxe sample I've had forever of this product, so now I do get to have some more. On the other hand, I love trying new products, so I was a bit sad to get something that I have used quite a bit in the past. This sample is (unfortunately) quite a bit smaller than the other that I had, so I will probably use it up fairly quickly anyway.

This was actually the first BB cream I ever tried, and it is definitely one of the best. It's a bit thicker than some other BBs and has a decent amount of coverage. It's also quite creamy and blends well. It does have a bit of a dewy finish, so if you are oily skinned like myself you may want to set this with some mattifying powder. Lastly, having SPF 45 is definitely a nice bonus, as most BBs don't have that high of a rating. My biggest gripe is the color. It's a bit pasty looking, especially on someone like me who gets a bit tan in the summer. At the same time, I think it'll be too dark on someone with a porcelain skin tone. So, if the color looks natural on you, this is definitely a great BB option.

It's A 10 Miracle Leave-in Product, 2 oz, $10 value, $19.95 full-size (4 oz)
I was not entirely thrilled to get a leave-in conditioning product, because I am already so in love with Birchbox's exclusive Beauty Protect & Detangle. However, in all fairness, this is a really nice product. It leaves hair soft and silky but without weighing it down or making it greasy. It also has a nice sort of perfume-y scent to it (although it does not seem to last). This was also a decent sized sample (half of the full-size) and will be great to use for travel.

Jasmine Seven Fresh Feet Wipes, 2 wipes ($0.45 value), $8.95 full-size (40 wipes)
I'm not going to lie, I feel a little bit jipped getting these as one of my four "deluxe" samples this month. I only received two wipes, which is a value of less than $0.50. I know that the overall value of my box is worth more than the $10 I am paying, but regardless, I feel like this would have been more appropriate as a Birchbox "extra". I have not tried this product yet, since I would like to save it (seeing as I only have 2 to use) for a time when I'll actually need it. I will say, although the idea of a foot wipe seems a bit odd, I think it would be perfect for my dancer friends. Ballroom comps/practices leave you with pretty terrible smelling tootsies, and this would be so perfect to freshen up afterward.

Model Co Party Proof Lipstick in Kitty, $8 value, $24 for set of 3
I was actually quite pleasantly surprised by this product. I was a bit skeptical of what the quality would be like, and looking at the color in the tube I was afraid it would be a little too dark or too flat on the lips. However, this is actually a very pretty neutral shade, and I've been using it almost every single day! Quality wise, this is a decent lipstick. It's creamy and relatively moisturizing. The color Kitty is a your-lips-but-better kind of pink, so I think the color payout is a bit deceiving. This seems like it's a bit on the sheer side, when really I think it's actually quite pigmented, but just looks incredibly natural. It also has a yummy fruity scent. The lasting power is the only place where this lipstick loses points for me. I find that I definitely have to touch up several times throughout the day. I haven't tried layering a lipliner underneath, but I'm thinking that it might be necessary to prolong this products wear time.

Tan Towel Self-Tan Towelettes Half Body, 1 wipe, $2.40 value, $24 full-size (10 wipes)
My Birchbox extra this month was a Tan Towel Half Body Tan Towelette. For those of you who have been frequenting my posts I received another one of these towelettes in my Hautelook Summer Essentials Bag. On the plus side, I now have two half-body towelettes, so I guess I don't have to choose which half of my body to tan. On the down side, it's just one more product in my box that I've already tried and am not dying to have a repeat of. If you didn't read my previous review, the short version is that these towelettes are pretty decent. They are much easier to use than a gel or lotion (especially if you don't have an extra set of hands to help you) and they go pretty evenly. They will give you a decent amount of color, and are probably best suited for light to medium skin tones. They are a bit pricey though, considering you can only get about 5 total body applications out of one box. I have found drugstore dupes that work just as well for half the cost.

So there you have it! I wasn't in love with this month's box as a whole, but I am very much enjoying the lipstick. The total value of my box is $25.73. I have seen better in previous months, but for $10 I guess I can't complain too much.

In other news, I got the tracking code for my Ipsy Glambag today!! I think I will probably be getting it the mail before the end of the week. I took a sneak peek at my glam room and my bag this month looks AWESOME. I pretty much am receiving everything I had hoped most for (including the new Urban Decay Revolution Lipstick - woo!!). So, in the end, even if my Birchbox was a bit of a miss, it looks like my Glambag is going to be a total hit.

Also, I know I promised a surprise, and it's mostly ready. I will definitely be posting again soon! :-)

Until then, stay gorgeous!