Saturday, August 3, 2013

Birchbox for CEW Limited Edition Boxes

Happy Saturday beautiful people! The weekend is finally here and it could not have come fast enough. I've got some AWESOME stuff to share with you today, so get ready!

Last week Birchbox announced that they were teaming up with Cosmetic Executive Women to create two Limited-Edition boxes filled with product nominees for the 2013 Beauty Insiders' Choice Awards. One box showcased favorites from prestige brands, while the other had the best from drugstore brands. The Prestige box was sold for $18, and the Mass-Appeal box was $12, or you could purchase both boxes at a discount for $26.

I really couldn't resist and ended up ordering both boxes. They both had so many fun things that I had never tried, and were a good value for what you got. Apparently they are both sold out at this point (boo), but you can still purchase full-sized versions of almost all of these products in the Birchbox shop. For those products Birchbox doesn't carry I provided a link to a place that does. Also, Birchbox is offering an additional 35 points in their shop if you purchase any of the CEW nominees with the promo code CEW35.

Soo...yeah! Without further ado, here's a look inside each of the boxes.

Prestige Headliners
Mass Appeal
I wasn't entirely sure of what to expect size-wise of each of the individual products when I was placing my order, and I have to say that I was definitely not disappointed. Almost everything in the Mass-Appeal box was full-sized, and the Prestige box was filled with generous samples as well as some full-sized items.

I've been trying to play with everything throughout the week so I could give you my first impressions. I will say that I am mostly there, but I couldn't wait any longer to post. I will definitely update on any products I haven't had a chance to try yet.

Prestige Headliners (cost - $18.00, value - $67.34)

JULEP™ Essential Cuticle Oil
0.28 fl oz, Sample size ($16.77 value, $18 for full size)
This blend of essential oils and vitamin E strengthens nails and softens cuticles.
This is a great product for manicure maintenance. It nourishes your cuticles and keeps them looking lovely. The roll-on applicator makes it very easy to use and keep hands mess-free. You can easily throw this in your purse to use during the daytime, or keep on your nightstand to apply at bedtime. It's got a pretty lavender scent that is very DIY-spa appropriate. I also love that this sample is essentially full sized. I will definitely add this to my weekly beauty routine!

JULEP™ Nail Color
0.27 fl oz, Full size ($14)
Chip-resistant, fast-drying, toxin-free lacquer. We love the on-trend hues and slim packaging.
I've always wanted to try Julep's nail polish, and seeing that it'd be in this box was a huge motivating factor in buying it. I received the color Jackie, an opaque creme candy apple red. I'm not a big red nailpolish wearer, but I was still excited to try out this polish. And when I did? Holy. Wow. I absolutely LOVE this formula. It's thick and almost gel-like, but not remotely goopy, giving you ample time to apply slowly and with precision without worrying about it starting to dry before you've even finished painting the entire nail. The brush is nice and full, but also easy to control. All I could think as I was putting it on was "What IS this, and why have I not had it in my life?" I honestly could have gotten away with one coat, as the coverage was perfectly opaque, but I decided to go with my usual two. The end result was incredibly shiny, flawless coverage. And after all of that, it was touch-dry in a matter of minutes. I think I just died and went to nailpolish heaven.

IT Cosmetics® Brow Power™ Universal Brow Pencil
0.16g, Full size ($24)
A waterproof, nonsmudging brow pencil that nourishes hair follicles
I don't have a lot of brow related products in my collection, but I've been getting into them more lately. A great brow can do so much for your overall look. Usually I use a brow powder to shape and fill my brows, since a lot of pencils look too harsh, but this pencil was great. It's a little bit warmer than my hair color, but it still looks natural. You apply with small, light strokes to build coverage as needed. I also like that this is a universal product, and can be used by blondes and brunettes alike. The waxy texture of the pencil also helps to keep your brows in place (which you can shape with the handy attached spooley brush).

Living Proof Prime Style Extender™
1 fl oz, Sample size ($4 value, $20 for full size)
This lab-developed formula uses magic molecule OFPMA to keep your hairstyle going twice as long.

I really want to love this product, but I can't say that I do yet. I've only tried it a few times, and my hair ended up feeling a bit greasy and weighed down. To be fair, during this same time frame I've been healing from having a cyst removed from my scalp, and I've been needing to keep my stitches covered with vaseline. So my hair is essentially feeling a bit greasy from that on top of things. I'm going to try it again a few more times (especially once I'm freed of the vaseline) and see if I have a different opinion.

LA FRESH® Eco-Beauty Oil-Free Face Cleanser, Scented
2 wipes ($0.67 value, $9.99 for 30)
Oil-free, botanical-infused wipes that remove makeup, dirt, and oil in a flash.

I wish I had more than two of these little face wipes at my disposal! I love that they are individually wrapped, because it makes them so easy to throw in your bag to freshen up after a good workout, a day at the beach, or any other time you're on-the-go. They remove makeup with ease (although I'd be careful about mascara, as this might be a little irritating on the eye area) but don't leave your skin overly dry. The fruity fragrance is pretty nice as well. Price wise this might be a little high comparative to other cleansing wipes, but I think it's fair given the quality.

Elizabeth Arden PREVAGE® Anti-Aging Triple Defense Shield Broad Spectrum Sunscreen SPF 50
0.17 fl oz, Sample size ($7.90 value, $79 for full size)
This SPF corrects past sun damage and fine lines while protecting against environmental stressors.

Mass Appeal (cost - $12.00, value - $47.18)

Simple® Revitalizing Eye Roll-On
0.5 fl oz, Full size ($12.99)
A pH-balanced eye serum that perks up tired eyes with cooling cucumber and vitamin B5.
This product is a great morning pick-me-up. It instantly cools and tightens up your undereye area, making tired peepers look and feel more awake. I luckily don't suffer from dark circles, so I can't speak for this product's ability to combat them. I don't know if I would repurchase a full size in the future, because this isn't one of my daily beauty concerns, but I will definitely enjoy using this while I have it.

Burt’s Bees® Ultimate Care Hand Cream
50g, Sample size ($7.22 value, $13 for full size)
Ultranourishing hand cream loaded with baobab and watermelon seed oils.
A solid unscented hand cream that can be used by men and women alike. It's not overly greasy and absorbs into your skin quickly, which is key for a hand cream. I think this does a pretty good job of keeping my hands moisturized throughout the day. I love delicious smelling hand products, so I would probably not purchase the full-size of this. But if you have a fragrance allergy this would be a great option.

Revlon® Just Bitten Kissable™ Balm Stain
2.7g, Full size ($8.99)
A retractable chubby crayon that delivers intense moisture and shiny, vivid pigment.
I received the color "Darling", a bright orchid purple color, in my box. I actually don't have a lot of purple toned lip products, so it's always nice to try out something different than my usual. This product falls short of anything spectacular. This is a pretty run-of-the-mill tinted lip balm. It's a little bit greasy, which is kind of off-putting. I will say that the crayon format is fun and the product itself is huge. You definitely get a lot of bang for your buck in that respect. I probably wouldn't purchase another of these for myself.

L'Oréal Paris Infallible Eyeshadow
3.5g, Full size ($7.99)
A 24-hour, waterproof eye shadow that gives you intensely concentrated, shimmery color.
I have mixed feelings about this shadow. I received the color "Iced Latte", which is a shimmery beige/champagne color. It makes a good highlight for the brow bone or inner corner of the eye, but it is way too light and too shimmery to use as an all-over color. The texture of this shadow is a little odd- somewhere between a loose powder and a pressed powder - and kind of grainy (which makes it difficult to blend). I think I would probably prefer to use this over a matte shadow to add a little extra shimmer and pigmentation.

Nivea® A Kiss of Olive Oil & Lemon Moisture Rich Lip Care
4.8g, Full size ($2.99)
Vitamin E, olive oil, and lemon team up in this delicious-smelling, uncommonly hydrating balm.
It's been forever and a day since I've used a drug store lip balm, but this product would totally convert me back. For only $3 this balm keeps your lips hydrated and chap free and smells great. It's actually green in the tube, which is a little odd, but it goes on totally sheer. The scent isn't overly lemony, just pleasantly fresh. It's not overly feminine either, so it could easily be used by guys and girls alike! Definitely something I would repurchase

Olay® Pro-X Spot Fading Treatment
0.23 fl oz, Sample size ($7 value, $39.99 for full size)
A fragrance-free serum that nixes dark spots and discoloration without drying skin.

So that's my review in progress! As I get a chance I will definitely try everything and let you know my thoughts. For now I've got to run. My friend is having a garden party tonight, which sounds like a lot of fun. Wine, food, friends, and plenty of beautiful things to photograph...what more can I ask for?

Have a wonderful night all, and stay gorgeous!