Sunday, August 17, 2014

Birchbox August 2014

I've been waiting eagerly for this pretty pink package to arrive in my mailbox this month. Of course there is the usual excitement of getting some awesome new products to try and review. But this month in particular I've had a little something special going on in the Birchbox department that I couldn't wait to share.

A few weeks ago I was contacted by Birchbox and asked if I would be willing to be their Birchblogger of the month for August. Even though I had been on a bit of a hiatus, I was thrilled to be chosen, and have been in full-on blogging mode ever since. For those of you who aren't familiar with the Birchblogger community, we are a network of up-and-coming beauty, lifestyle, and fashion bloggers who are also Birchbox subscribers. Birchbox has always been so supportive of the blogging community, and has created a place where we can share ideas, ask questions, and support each other in our blogging efforts. As Birchblogger of the month I got to do a super fun Q&A (which you can read here) and will also get to write a couple of articles for the Birchbox magazine (!!). If you follow me on Twitter and Facebook I'll be sharing the links as soon as the go live.

Now that I've gotten to share my super exciting news, let's get back to my August Birchbox. This month's theme is Lighten Up, where we're encouraged not only to take a carefree approach to beauty, but to life in general, and to enjoy what's left of the summer heat.

This month I received 5 products to sample:

Laura Geller Beauty Cool Lids Cream Eyeshadow in Silver Sands - Full Size, $19
Key West Aloe Mango Moisturizing Lotion - Full Size, $12
Neil George Shampoo - Full Size, $9
Neil George Conditioner - Full Size, $9
Birchbox Find: nügg Beauty Revitalizing Face Mask - $14.99 for 5 masks

Laura Geller Beauty Cool Lids Cream Eyeshadow in Silver Sands - Deluxe Sample, $12.42 value
This sea-inspired shadow delivers a rich wash of color with a shimmery, wet-look finish.

This cream shadow screams summertime to me. It offers no-fuss application, comes in a shimmery metallic finish that you could rock day or night, and dries to be completely smudge-proof. If you're looking for the kind of product you can throw in your bag to freshen up after a day at the beach or pool, this is it. We also got a very generously-sized sample, with more than half the product of a full-sized tube.

Key West Aloe Mango Moisturizing Lotion - Deluxe Sample, $2.00 value
Packed with 50% aloe vera, this antioxidant-rich hydrator leaves skin silky-smooth.

I LOVE this lotion. Really. It's amazing. There are a lot of lotion options out there, many of which I would be happy to use. But it's rare that I find one that I get excited about. This lotion has a very light, silky feel, but is still incredibly hydrating. It leaves your hands feeling baby soft without any greasiness or residue. The mango scent is absolutely divine, and definitely brings me to that tropical state of mind. Chock full of aloe, vitamin E, and fruit extracts, you would expect the price tag on such a product to be a little high, but a full-sized bottle is actually very reasonably priced at $12. I will definitely be considering buying this from the Birchbox shop!

Neil George Shampoo, Deluxe Sample, $4.50 value
Created by Beverly Hills stylists, this antioxidant-rich cleanser promotes shinier locks.

Neil George Conditioner, Deluxe Sample, $4.50 value
Paraben-free hydrator that detangles and smooths strands with antioxidants.

Everything was going so great…and then there was this duo. I was sadly really not impressed at all with this shampoo or conditioner. First off, the shampoo is not sulfate free, which I can live with, but am not a fan of. That being said, I felt like it didn't lather well, and my hair still didn't feel clean after I washed it. The conditioner was nothing spectacular. The formula was rather thin, and I don't feel like it offered any particularly nourishing benefits to my hair. These sample bottles are half of the full-size, which is a bit surprising to me since they are not all that large. While $9 for a full-sized shampoo seems reasonable compared to, say, Bumble & Bumble's $25 bottles, they also don't perform at anywhere near the same level. Long story short, there are way better options out there that offer more bang for your buck.

nügg Beauty Revitalizing Mask - Deluxe Sample, $3.00 value
This 95% natural treatment hydrates and replenishes dull, tired skin with a bevy of oils.

I have to say that I have not tried this mask yet, although I am looking forward to it. My plan is to save it for my next rainy day pampering session. The specs do look pretty impressive - no parabens, sulfates, synthetic fragrances or dyes, and a whole lot of all-natural plant and fruit oils to nourish and hydrate your skin. The single serve idea is also pretty handy.

Total Box Value: $26.42

I think this was a solid box all-around, although I was kind of bummed that the shampoo and conditioner duo disappointed. It looks like there were some other really awesome products sampled this month. What did you get in your August Birchbox? Did you discover any new favorite products?

If you're interested in getting your own monthly Birchbox, you can read more about how the service works here. Also, if you join using my referral link you'll give me credit for being the one who got you hooked on their awesome subscription (which is always greatly appreciated).