Thursday, January 22, 2015

December 2014 Birchbox

You know, I'm starting to regret this whole not blogging for a month thing. I'm so backlogged on my subscription boxes that it'll be February before I get to this month's stuff. Oye. Anyway! I'm moving on to my December 2014 Birchbox, which was another winning month for me. December's theme was Decked Out, or going full on festive for the holiday season.

Speaking of Decked Out, how adorable is this month's box? Birchbox has really stepped up their game in the last year with livening up the old brown cardboard for special occasions. The gold dots on a rich blue background are reminiscent of snow, sparkle, and all things holiday. Basically, love.

As for the products themselves it was another well rounded month for me, with products for hair, face, and body, as well as a nice little lipgloss for funsies. Here's the breakdown:

This medium-hold spray gives any hair volume and shape-while keeping its natural bounce.

Full Size: 8.0 oz ($18)
Sample Size: 1.5 oz ($3.38)

When I saw the word "Texture" on this bottle I think I was hoping I had been gifted a dry texturizing spray akin to the one from Oribe that I've been lusting after forever. Alas, this stuff is definitely more of a hold-it-in-place hairspray than a product to give you volume and texture. Personally I think this is a little too stiff to use to finish my hair when I'm wearing it down. But for any kind of updo I think this would be great to keep everything in place. It also smells pretty darn amazing, which is always a plus in my book.

A makeup artist fave, this French moisturizer heals dryness and preps skin for foundation.

Full Size: 75 ml ($28)
Sample Size: 5 ml ($1.87)

I can never have too many good quality, everyday moisturizers in my lineup of things to try. While they may not be super exciting to talk about, they're a basic necessity that no skincare regimen should be without. This acclaimed French cream is pretty much everything you could ask for if no-fuss hydration is what you're after. It's got a very light, fresh fragrance that shouldn't offend those with sensitive noses. It's also a nice medium consistency, offering plenty of moisture without being heavy or greasy. Once it absorbs into your skin it leaves a nice, soft finish that doesn't get overly oily throughout the day. It's also apparently a multi-tasking wonder, and can be used for everything from removing makeup to taming flyaways in a pinch.

This probiotic-packed formula nourishes (rather than strips) delicate skin as it cleans.

Full Size: 4.0 oz ($14.99)
Sample Size: 1.0 oz ($3.75)

This is the second product I've tried from Acure and it's definitely continuing to build a positive rep for the brand. This gentle cream cleanser does a great job of removing grime without stripping your skin of moisture. I don't know about you, but I've come to realize how harsh so many cleansers are, and that, even as someone with oily skin, my face is generally a lot happier and less greasy when I use gentle or moisturizing formulas. It's got a lovely list of ingredients, and the price point is really reasonable for what I would consider as a quality brand. On a related sidenote, the scent is almost identical to that of Fresh's Soy Face Cleanser, although I am way more a fan of how this particular product performs in comparison.

Ultrashiny gloss with a sheer finish. Shea butter and jojoba oil keeps lips flake-free.

Full Size: 0.17 oz ($22)
Sample Size: 0.08 oz ($10.35)

Jouer is one of those frequently sampled brands from Birchbox that I never seem to manage to get my hands on. You can imagine my happiness at seeing this teeny gloss sample in my box this month. The color is far less orange than perhaps my photograph makes it seem. In actuality it's a sheer, shimmery nude. I'm not sure that there's anything particularly amazing about this lip gloss. It's got all of your run-of-the mill qualities - plenty of shine and moisture. It's not the most long-lasting formula, but it's nice nevertheless. I don't think I'll be running out to buy the full size any time soon (especially with the giant collection of lip glosses I already own) but I'll definitely enjoy using the sample.

A shea butter-packed shaving cream in a fresh scent. Exclusive to Birchbox!

Full Size: 150 ml ($20)
Sample Size: 22 ml ($2.93)

Another brand I've seen sampled constantly at Birchbox that I somehow have never managed to receive, Whish is known for delectable smelling, high quality bath and body products. This shaving cream is pretty far off from your average foaming gel. It's much more like a thick, hydrating lotion that helps you get a close shave without stripping your skin. The Acai Grapefruit fragrance (which is exclusive to Birchbox) is pleasantly fruity, although there are a ton of other available scents that sound even yummier. While I did appreciate all of the skin loving ingredients in this product, I did have one gripe. Such a rich formula clogged my razor after only a few swipes. As someone who uses disposables, the one I was using was basically dead after just that one shave session, which felt wasteful. Basically, I'm glad I got a chance to try this, but I don't think it's something I love enough to spend $20 on.

While my December box may not have contained any particularly exciting products, I was happy to get a nice collection of everyday staples, none of which I disliked. I think the Acure Facial Cleanser may have been my favorite of the 5 that I tried. My box value comes in at $22.28, which may be on the low end comparatively, but I should note that subscribers did also receive a coupon to redeem for a $10 Gap Gift Card. All in all, another winner Birchbox! I can't wait to share my January box as well, which has been patiently awaiting its turn to be reviewed.

Thinking about becoming a Birchbox subscriber? Use my referral link to let them know I sent you their way! You can also check out reviews of all my previous Birchboxes here.