Tuesday, April 21, 2015

April 2015 Birchbox

When I first heard that Birchbox was going to be collaborating with Rifle Paper Co. this month I'm pretty sure my face actually turned into one of those heart-eyed emojis for a split second. I first discovered Rifle Paper Co. a while back (I think from one of their botanical calendars) and my already ample love for floral basically exploded exponentially. Everything they design is SO FLIPPIN PRETTY. However, their products are a little luxe price-wise, so I've had to reel myself in a bit from buying random stationary and other pretty office goods. Needless to say, thanks to Birchbox I've now been able to satiate a little of my Rifle Paper Co. craving without making my wallet cry. Much like a small child, I'm almost more distracted by the pretty box than I am with what's inside it. I shouldn't shortchange the samples I ended up receiving, because a few of them were great. Let me show you a closer look.

This month's samples were nicely varied - a little skincare, a little makeup, a little something for my hair, and a nice body lotion. Here are the quick links to jump to my individual reviews:

This velvety highlighter leaves skin radiant with a subtle, slightly shimmery glow.

Full Size, 0.11 oz ($28)
Sample Size, 0.04 oz ($10.18)

My feelings towards this highlighter are a bit mixed. The formula itself is nothing groundbreaking. It's very thin and liquidy in texture, but it has a beautiful pinky pearlescent sheen. I've tried a ton of similar products, and I feel like it falls in range with your Benefit High Beam, Becca Shimmering Skin Perfector, and the like. Truthfully I think a lot of what makes this product special is the packaging - the twist up brush applicator, the gold polka dot motif. It's darling, easy to use, and easy to travel with. Unfortunately the sample packaging is entirely different, which is a little bit of a bummer. Normally I would say that I would definitely at least use my sample, but since I already have so many similar products at home it might just end up collecting dust in a drawer. I'm considering passing this off to a new home where it'll get more love.

Weightless spray that adds shine, controls frizz, and safeguards hair from UV rays.

Full Size, 5 oz ($20)
Sample Size, 1.7 oz ($6.80)

After seeing some sneak peek videos about this product I was pretty excited to see that I'd be getting it in my box. I don't own any similar products, which doesn't happen very often to me nowadays. This lightweight oil helps to protect against UV rays and lock in moisture, fighting frizz and keeping your hair looking healthy after a day in the sun. I think I'll be reaching for this a lot once the summer comes around (especially with it being such a handy travel size). It also smells pretty great - vaguely nutty (which I'm attributing to the Sunflower Seed Oil) and a little citrusy. It's that perfect light and refreshing kind of product that's made for a sunny day.

Part skincare, part aromatherapy, this lush cream nourishes the skin and calms the mind.

Full Size, 200 ml ($29)
Sample Size, 25 ml ($3.63)

I don't know what it is about body lotion, but I feel like brands are all over the place with their naming choices. Lotions that feel like balms. Butters that feel like lotions. Why can't you just choose a name that accurately reflects the stuff you're trying to sell?! </end rant> ANYWAY, I actually do really like this product a lot, but (if you haven't already guessed) this is no face & body balm - it's a super lightweight lotion. That being said, it's non greasy, and has that beautifully aromatic spa smell to it that basically induces relaxation. I like that it can be used on both face and body, which would make it a great product to travel with, allowing you to downsize a little bit.

This treatment firms, softens, and minimizes fine lines, with a warm tingle as it works.

Full Size, 8 pods ($60)
Sample Size, 1 pod ($7.50)

I know some people were dying to get this mask, but I'm not going to lie, it kind of terrifies me. I've never been stung by a bee (thank praise the lawd), so I honestly can't say whether or not I'm allergic to bee stings. I've had allergic reactions on my face before and let me tell you, NOT FUN. I'm thinking I might try a small patch test on my arm to see how my skin reacts before I slather this stuff all over my face. So basically, I want to get excited about the whole tingly, skin plumping possibilities, but not until I can guarantee it won't be at the expensive of a horribly painful experience.

This multitasking, long-lasting color adjusts to your skin for a natural, customized shade.

Full Size, 0.1 oz ($25)
Sample Size, ? ($5?)

This was the one product I chose for my box this month. Apparently I failed at paying attention to details because I had NO idea this was a self customizing product until I got it and tried it. That's not to say I regret the decision, because this product really is quite lovely. The texture when you first apply it is really balmy and rich, and the smells is fruity and wonderful. I do kind of wish the moisture lasted longer, because I've found that as it fades this product actually leaves my lips feeling a little dry. That being said the color is really pretty. It gives you an incredibly natural flush that would be wonderful for a minimal makeup day. I also love that the formula is chock full of natural ingredients, opposed to a whole lot of chemicals like some other self adjusting products.

Last but not least, I actually decided to splurge and purchase one of this month's Birchbox Plus items - an adorable Rifle Paper Co. floral patterned tote bag. I'm such a sucker for these lightweight canvas bags. Whether I need to cart a few overnight items to a friends house, my flyers from the Sunday paper, or to grab a few items at the grocery store they're basically the handiest of bags to have on hand. Was this a little overpriced for what it is? Probably. But I love it, and I have no buyers remorse!

As for my box, the total value rang in at just over $33 (or at least that's what I'm estimating without a size on the Jane Iredale stain). Compared to my last couple of boxes that's a really decent value! Truly, when you also consider that you can earn 50 points back on every box that you review the $10 you pay is such a steal. Speaking of points, I recently cashed mine in on Birchbox's latest LE release and I CANNOT wait for it to show up on my doorstep. Reviews will certainly be coming soon!

Interested in becoming a Birchbox subscriber? Use my referral link to join and I'll love you forever! (Okay, I'll love you regardless, but it's nice to get credit!). You can also check out reviews of all my previous boxes here.