Wednesday, February 18, 2015

February 2015 Birchbox

While everyone is gallivanting around in a romantic mood this month (guilty #sorrynotsorry), Birchbox is taking a step back and reminding us to send some love and appreciation to our friends. And let's be serious, you know they totally deserve it. They've stayed on the phone with you while you've cried about some guy who's the worst (even if they tried to warn you a month ago), passed no judgment when you binged on wine and cupcakes on a Thursday night, been your "emergency" to get out of an awful date, and is totally letting it slide that you still haven't returned that dress you borrowed two years ago. Our friends are our safety nets, our partners in crime, our supporters, motivators, and much needed reality-checkers. Personally I often think to myself that I couldn't ask for better friends in my life, and all of you out there who are reading should know how much I love you <3

When it comes to my friends in the beauty world, I've also got all the love for Birchbox, which is made no less by this month's box.

I totally love that Birchbox is keeping up with the patterned box trend. This month's orange and pink chat bubble motif is cheery and adorable. The little note is such a cute touch (Oh Birchbox, you're my favorite too <3). I received 5 products this month along with a special coupon for Rent the Runway to get $35 my purchase of $75 or more. I've never tried a service like Rent the Runway before, but it sounds intriguing. I feel like it would have come in SO handy a few years ago when I went to three weddings among mutual friends. Who can afford to buy three different dresses? I mean, seriously.

Here are some quick links to my individual reviews:

This brand new mascara gives lashes dramatic curl and lift for an eye-opening look.

Full Size: 0.3 oz ($24)
Sample Size: 0.1 oz ($8)

I've got to hand it to Benefit, they make some awesome mascaras. Regardless of whether or not you jumped on the band wagon for the They're Real! launch, this new product is definitely worth the hype! Inspired by hot rollers, Roller Lash is meant to deliver ultra long, curled lashes for a high impact look. The brush is really quite unique. It's got a curved shape, which mimics the shape of your eye, has plastic-y spikes (rather than bristles) to really grab on to and separate the lashes. Said spikes are shorter and denser on the under side of the curve to add more product and volume at the root (or at least that's my assumption). To apply, you're meant to wiggle the wand up close to your lash line, and then roll it up and through your lashes. Even after just one use I was really quite impressed. My lashes are naturally long, but very straight, and this made them really stand out. You don't get quite as much volume with this formula as some others, but the length and curl really are quite impressive. Long story short, this may just be my new mascara BFF.

This celeb stylist's new nondrying spray gives you soft, beachy waves - and smells amazing.

Full Size: 4.9 oz ($24)
Sample Size: 1.0 oz ($4.90)

As a stick straight haired girl, I've got a slight obsession with sea salt sprays. Anything that promises to add texture or give me the hope of that messy, beachy look, is kind of a must have. When Birchbox announced this as a sample choice, my answer of course was "Yes, please!". The promise of an amazing smelling hair product also is never a bad choice in my book. When I actually tried this out, though, I was kind of disappointed. I think it was one of those cases of having too high of expectations. I was hoping for a game changer. The Sea Salt Spray to end all other Sea Salt Sprays. Yeah. I wouldn't say that this is it. It is, however, quite nice. It smells fresh, adds texture to hair without making it stiff or sticky, and will (with the assistance of a bun in my case) help you achieve those coveted beachy waves. Quite frankly, though, this reminds me A LOT of my Toni & Guy Casual Sea Salt Texturizing Spray (even in the smell), which is almost half the price of this particular product. Will I use up this sample? You bet. But given the less expensive and equally effective options on the market I'll probably pass on the full-size.

This light, alluring fragrance mimics the subtle scent of bare skin.

Full Size: 2.4 oz ($69)
Sample Size: 0.03 oz ($0.86)

I've never owned a fragrance from Clean, but I've always kind of wanted to. I really like the idea of casual, comforting scents inspired by simple everyday things. Warm Cotton may still be at the top of my wish list, but Skin is certainly also a lovely scent. It's initially very floral in nature, which isn't quite my jam. However, after it has a chance to settle on the skin you can pick up subtle musky, creamy notes that sort of balance everything out. The scent is not overwhelming, nor does it create a perfume aura around you that people can smell from a 5 foot radius. It's a really nice t-shirt-and-jeans-day kind of a fragrance that can make you feel just a little prettier while you run to the grocery store or do your laundry.

This soothing, botanical-infused treatment combats puffiness, wrinkles, and dark circles.

Full Size: 1.0 oz ($27)
Sample Size: 0.125 oz ($3.38)

With my crazy allergies and often lack of restful sleep, I was game to try a product that would de-puff my cranky eyes. Which also is why I am SO SAD this stuff made my eyes burn like whoa. That's kind of the total opposite of what this kind of product is going for. It has a light, refreshing, cucumber scent that makes it seem so promising. The texture, though, is a bit weird. It's got this strange almost rubbery-gel thing going on (think LUSH Shower Jelly but slightly more wet). I expected it to be a bit creamier and more fluid. In addition to the whole burning sensation thing upon application, I feel like this made my eye area feel really tight and uncomfortable in the end. I suppose this is preferable to oily or something if you're using this under makeup, but still. It was an unpleasant sensation. Long story short, I say no thank you to this one.

This gel-cream, derived from antioxidant-rich grapes, hydrates skin and reduces redness.

Full Size: 40 ml ($39)
Sample Size: 3 ml ($2.93)

Ever since I stumbled upon this trio at Sephora I've kind of been in love with all things Caudalie. It makes me sad that this is such an itty bitty tube because this moisturizer is lovely and I'll be sad to see it go. It's really light and gentle, and leaves your face feeling well hydrated without being greasy or leaving an unpleasant residue behind. The scent is also very subtle and fresh which I like. I only wish it wasn't so crazy expensive! This is the kind of product Birchbox points are made for.

While the total value of my box rings in at $20.07 (a comparatively low-ish number) I'm still quite stoked about a few of these products. The Caudalie moisturizer and Benefit mascara may be two of my new favorite products to use on the daily!

Also, as a quick fyi, Birchbox currently has a 40% off sale on winter goodies that you should totally check out! I may or may not have ordered myself a Birchbox t-shirt and another box of tea. I have a problem.

Want to become a Birchbox subscriber? Let them know I sent you their way and use my referral link to join! You can also check out reviews of all my past Birchboxes here.