Friday, May 2, 2014

Birchbox April 2014

A new month is underway, and it's about time that I get around to reviewing my April Birchbox. This month was a bit hit or miss for me. While I did enjoy pretty much everything in my box, there was nothing that floored me either. Let me give you the scoop.

Color Club Gala's Gems Collection in Breakfast At...
Deluxe Sample, $3.25 Value ($13 for set of 4 mini polishes)

Color Club seems to have quite the partnership with Birchbox (much akin to Ipsy and Zoya). This shade is part of the Gala's Gem Collection that I believe is a Birchbox exclusive set. Of all the colors available, I was excited that this is the one I received. Breakfast At... is a pearlescent turquoise shade that has a bit of a minty green thing going on. The swatch above is shown with two coats and without a top coat. As you can see it's a very opaque formula and has a really glossy finish. My first experiences with Color Club have left me feeling sort of ambivalent toward the brand, but with each new polish I'm gaining more and more respect. I think this will be an awesome color to rock this spring.

Camille Beckman Body Butter in Morelia Monarch
Deluxe Sample, $0.70 Value (Full-Size, $15)

A few boxes ago I also received a similar sample of the Camille Beckman Hand Cream in the Midnight Monarch shade. Moreila Monarch is equally lovely - floral with a hint of fruity sweetness that is oh-so-feminine. I'm a huge fan of the whipped, airy texture of this body butter. It goes on feeling really hydrating and silky, without any greasiness. My only complaint is that these samples are so teeny tiny! When it was hand cream I didn't mind as much, but I feel like I'm barely going to get two uses out of this tiny pot if I want to try and moisturize my entire body. Luckily the full-sized price tag is very reasonable, so I may consider buying one down the road.

Anastasia Beverly Hills Clear Brow Gel
Deluxe Sample, $6.70 value (Full-Size, $22)

This was not my first go-round with Anastasia's ever popular Brow Gel. I never understood how huge a difference your brows make in your appearance until I started actually keeping mine well groomed. Whether your a brow perfecting pro, or a low maintenance beauty kind of gal, I feel like this stuff really is a must have. It looks incredibly natural, keeps even the most unruly of brows in place, and doesn't have that flaky/crunchy finish of some imitators.

Keims Cleanshine Energizing Shampoo
Deluxe Sample, $1.90 Value (Full-Size, $9.50)

You know, I wanted to be excited about this shampoo. I really did. I loved the idea of a fresh, pepperminty product to give me a little boost of energy during my morning shower. It also totes some great healthy ingredient claims, like the fact that it's free of parabens and mineral oil. That being said, I had some issues. Firstly, if I wasn't told that this was a Peppermint and Macadamia shampoo, I would probably not guess that those were the two namesake ingredients. There's no pepperminty smell or tell-tale tingling sensation upon using this product. Second, the main cleaning agent in this shampoo is Sodium Laureth Sulfate. Granted this is a gentler sulfate than Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (which in my opinion basically will just destroy your hair) I am usually a no-sulfate shampoo kind of gal. And after having been on a no-sulfate kick for so long I felt like this shampoo was really drying and dulled out my hair quite a bit. Needless to say, I'm probably going to skip out on the full size of this one.

KIND Healthy Grain Bars in Maple Pumpkin Seeds with Sea Salt
Deluxe Sample, $0.80 Value ($11.88 for box of 15 bars)

In my recent grocery store trips, I've been seeing more and more of these KIND products, but I've yet to splurge and pick up a box of anything. I love granola bars and healthy snacks that are easy for me to grab and take on the go. I have to say, this bar was pretty darn delicious! It had a chewy texture familiar to soft granola bars, with a little more "bite" from the pumpkin seeds and other grains. While $11.88 seems like a lot to drop on a snack, this might be something special I treat myself to every once in a while. You also get such high quality and nutritious ingredients in these bars that I think they're worth a few extra cents. 

Total Box Value: $13.35

So there you have it! As you can see I was generally pretty happy with everything in this month's box with the exception of the keims shampoo. I'm also a little bummed about the overall value of my box. I honestly don't think that's the most important factor in things, so long as I get back the value of the $10 I paid. Every month isn't going to be about receiving super luxe products that are worth crazy amounts of money. I think it's more important to actually find products that you enjoy, and honestly, sometimes it's nice to fall in love with something that won't cost you an arm and a leg. That being said, that body butter sample was a little on the skimpy side. I guess I just liked it a lot and kind of wanted a little more to try (perhaps this is my spoiled side coming out).

If you're interested in becoming a Birchbox subscriber, you can read more about the service here and also browse some of my previous boxes!

Sidenote, I've been testing SO many products lately, and have got about 8 posts in draft stages right now. I've been a little busy lately with life outside the blog-o-sphere, but I'm hoping to be more on top of my game in May than I was in April. In the meantime, happy Friday friends! Hope your weekends are off to a wonderful start.

<3 Lauren