Wednesday, February 5, 2014

January 2014 Birchbox

I'm nearing the end of my subscription-box-catch-up streak, this time bringing you my January Birchbox. While December's box was a bit of a let-down, January seemed to totally make up for things.
The theme this month was Go-Time, bringing subscribers a range of products to get them pumped up for being on their A-game at the beginning of a new year. I'm not 100% sure how exactly all of my products fit into this category, but I loved them so much that I really don't care. Here's the breakdown of what I got.

Liz Earle Cleanse & Polish Hot Cloth Cleanser Starter Kit
Full-Sized Fit (Cleanse & 2 Clothes), $24.50
Sample Value, appx $9.00
British award-winner that uses a two-step ritual to purify skin. A Birchbox Exclusive!

I've been eyeing this cleanser since they debuted it in the Birchbox shop, and I was thrilled to finally get it in one of my boxes. The packaging even for just a sample was so pretty, with a mini cleanser, full-sized muslin cloth, and directions card tucked snugly into a little blue box. Unlike a traditional cleanser, it's massaged into dry skin and then removed with a warm, damp muslin cloth. The cleanser itself is a rich, luxurious lotion that nourishes while dissolving dirt, grime, and even stubborn eye makeup. The muslin cloth offers gentle exfoliation while you wipe it all away. After just one use my face felt baby-butt smooth. I'm not sure how my skin will feel about such a hydrating cleanser come the warmer months when I'm extra greasy, but at least for now my parched winter skin will be loving using this!

Camille Beckman Glycerine Hand Therapy in Midnight Monarch
Full-Size, $15
Sample Value, appx $0.63
A nourishing, quick-absorbing formula that restores skin without feeling greasy.

If there is one product that I will go speedily through in the winter months, it's hand cream. On top of the dry air and cold weather, I also wash my hands quite a bit throughout the day. The end result is often dehydrated, rough, and generally angry hands. This little pot of hand cream will probably not last me very long, but it's really lovely! It's got a nice sort-of-sweet-sort-of-floral scent that is very pretty and feminine. It's very moisturizing without being overly greasy, which is important when you're moisturizing mid-work day and can't afford to not be able to properly hold a pen. I've got quite a bit of hand cream in the reserves, so I'm not sure the full-sized version of this will be in my shopping cart any time soon, but I'll definitely enjoy using my sample.

INIKA Mineral Eyeshadow in Eternal Marine
Full-Size, $20
Packed with certified-organic ingredients, these natural pigments stay vibrant for hours.

It's always exciting to get a full-sized product in a Birchbox, and I was extra excited that this time around it was a beautiful mineral eyeshadow. Looking on the website I was a little skeptical of the wearability shade "Eternal Marine", which looked like a muted blue-green. In reality it's actually more of a shimmery blue-gray that could easily be used for anything from a neutral daytime look to a smokey eye.

The packaging is pretty standard for any mineral product, with the infamous shaker top that inevitably ends up with as much product in the top well as in the bottom. The product is extra silky and finely milled, which will make blending it out extremely easy, and seems to be super pigmented. While I think I will definitely enjoy using this shadow, I know that for practicality's sake I tend to get much more regular use out of pressed shadow palettes.

OmniPotent Duosity Double Whipped Repairing Treatment
150 ml for $25 (sample value $3.33)
This two-part treatment from the pro salon brand restores hair health and prevents damage.

It seems like I've amassed quite a few deep conditioning treatments to try lately. This one from Duosity adds a bit of fun to the mix. The full-sized bottle has two different formulas that are kept separate until your are about to use it. You lather the two products together in your hand to activate, and then apply liberally to damaged parts of your hair. I haven't had a chance to use this too many times, so I'm not sure how it'll help repair my hair in the long run, but I enjoyed nevertheless. It doesn't seem to weigh hair down much, and I also like that it's free of parabens.

Ahmad Tea London
Full Size (2 boxes with a total of 40 tea bags), $7
Sample Value, $0.53
Beat the winter chill with tasty blends from a Buckingham Palace-approved British Brand

Money-wise, tea samples may not be worth a whole lot, but I'm such a sucker for tea that I was thrilled to finally get some in my box! I got 3 bags, each of a different flavor: Blackcurrant Burst, English Tea No. 1, and Green Tea Pure.

I tried the English Tea No. 1 with some honey with my breakfast this morning and it was delicious - a classic black tea with soft notes of bergamot. I can't wait to try the other flavors!

While this may not have been the most valuable box I've ever gotten, it was certainly one of my favorites! The Liz Earle cleanser is the first sample I've received in a while that I would seriously consider purchasing full-sized. The Inika eyeshadow, while maybe not being my favorite format, is definitely beautiful and a total gem to get from a sampling service. And of course, any box that has tea is a winner in my book. If you're interested in learning more about Birchbox or becoming a subscriber, check out my detailed description here.

Total Value: $32.50