Saturday, March 22, 2014

Birchbox March 2014

It's FINALLY springtime!

Or, at least, that's what the calendar tells me.

Mother Nature hasn't exactly been up to speed with the whole changing of the seasons thing, but I'm trying to be patient. I really just can't wait for all the snow to melt away and for a little bit of life to start reappearing in the trees and flower beds. I've got quite a bit of garden related maintenance to do, and as soon as the last frost has come and gone I'm going to be all over that.

In the meantime, Birchbox has me geared up and ready for spring with this month's box. The theme for March is Spring Forward, encouraging us subscribers to make the most out of our extra daylight as well as the beauty products in our arsenals.

I was really impressed with my box this month. I got some really generous samples, a full-sized product, and TWO Birchbox finds (one of which is tea, and you all know how I feel about tea).

Gilchrist & Soames Body Lotion
Sample Value, $3.00 (Full-Size $16, 8 oz)

This fast-absorbing hydrator leaves skin silky-smooth with a light, earthy scent.

This is the second Gilchrist & Soames product I've received from Birchbox, with the first being their BeeKind body lotion back in December. The textures are quite similar, both being slightly on the liquid side, but also being fast absorbing to a silky finish. While the BeeKind line sports a bright lemon verbena fragrance, this lotion has a much lighter scent. In a way it reminds me of a typical fragranceless product, where all you get is the natural scent of the different extracts and oils it contains. Speaking of which, this lotion is chock full of nourishing botanicals to pamper your skin - from red tea and soy, to ginkgo biloba, grape seed, and milk thistle - and skips out on parabens, phthalates, petrol-derived ingredients, mineral oil, urea, DEA, TEA, and propylene glycol. I can definitely see where such a product would appeal to spas and hotels, with its unassuming unisex fragrance and high-quality formulation, but I personally think I'll pass on the full-size. It was certainly nice, but not the kind of rock-my-world product that I need to own.

INIKA Eyeliner in Green Lagoon
Full-Size $20, 0.04 oz

Organic meets au courant in the eco-friendly brand's rich, mineral based liner.

I totally love the idea of organic and natural makeup. I think it's kind of funny how people are often so quick to judge the foods they put in their bodies, but don't think twice about the chemicals and such they smear on top of them. I loved the INIKA Mineral Eyeshadow I received in my January Birchbox, so you can imagine my excitement in seeing this beautiful eyeliner. Now, I am all for a little pop of color into my daily beauty routine, and with March being the month of St. Patty's Day, I was all for an extra dose of green. Unfortunately, I found that this particular shade was barely noticeable on my lids. The texture of the pencil itself is a little on the hard side. I think I was able to get a better swatch on my hand, as I could easily use more pressure without hurting myself. But on my eyelid...not so much. I think this is such a pretty color, so I really want to love this liner, but I still have mixed feelings. I would really like to try the black version of this pencil to see if the visibility is more of shade thing or a formula thing.

Supergoop! City Sunscreen Serum
Sample Value, $10 (Full-Size $42, 1.6 oz)

This antiaging serum, which creates a weightless UV shield, can be worn year-round.

I have to say, I adore Supergoop! I think they offer a really amazing line of products with sun protection, and I have yet to try one that I haven't liked or found to be effective. This sunscreen serum will definitely come in handy as I start spending more time in the great outdoors. It does have that sort of classic sunscreen smell to it, but I find that it does absorb quickly into skin and doesn't feel heavy or greasy. I think this is the perfect counterpart to an SPF-less moisturizer, like Clinique's Dramatically Different Moisturizing Gel. This gives you the option to add sunscreen into your morning beauty routine as you need it.

Sample Value ? (Full-Size $12, 0.9 oz)

 Balms away! This all-natural salve repairs dry, cracked skin anywhere on the body.

My cuticles have been absolutely loving me since I started carrying this tiny tube in my purse. They tend to get extremely dry and start to look quite unattractive, but this handy little balm has started to reverse the cycle. I've also tried it out on my lips, although I think the scent (which is very herbal and reminiscent of lavender) is a bit strong to have under my nose all day. I would exercise caution in applying this product to any large areas of your skin. It is a bit greasy in texture, and takes a while to soak in. Still, it definitely does a great job of repairing and hydrating super dry skin, and does so using only all-natural ingredients (which I can totally get behind).

Mighty Leaf Tea Pouches
Sample Value, $3.00 (Full-Size $9.95, 15 pouches)

Handpicked blend of organic tea leaves, dried fruits, and spices in a biodegradable pouch.

I don't know if I can properly express how excited I am to try these tea pouches. I received three different flavors - Organic African Nectar, Green Tea Tropical, and Vanilla Bean. They all sound delicious, but I think I'm most looking forward to taking a sip of the vanilla. I would keep an eye on my instagram account, because I'm sure there will be pictures taken of these once steeping time becomes a thing!

Ghirardelli Intense Dark Cherry Tango
Sample Value, $0.30 (Full-Size $4.25 for approximately 13 squares)

Take a timeout to embrace Ghirardelli's Cherry Tango Square. After you try the unique blend of dep dark chocolate, tangy cherry, and satisfying almond crunch, we dare you not to do a little happy dance.

Ghirardelli is probably my most favorite mass-produced chocolate brand. The milk chocolate and caramel squares? Amazing. However, as I've gotten a bit older and my tastes more refined, I've definitely developed a new appreciation for dark chocolate. With pieces of almond and cherries to add a bit of depth and complexity, I think this is a dark chocolate bar I would definitely look forward to eating!

Well, Birchbox, it looks like you've done it again. I'll definitely continue to enjoy using all of these samples, especially as we transition into spring. With the ongoing trend for my boxes so far this year, I can't wait to see what April has in store!

If you're interested in becoming a Birchbox subscriber, you can check out my detailed description of their service and browse my past box reviews here. Already a subscriber? I'd love to hear if you got any of the same products, or what your favorite product from this month was.

Total Box Value: approximately $39.00