Sunday, August 23, 2015

August 2015 Birchbox

Happy Sunday, everyone! I hope you all are having fabulous weekends. Mine has actually been quite lovely so far (as any weekend involving lots of delicious wine and food should be), and I'm hoping today will follow suit. I thought I'd kick things off by giving you all a little peek inside my August Birchbox. Once again Birchbox really nailed it with the products they sent me this month. I couldn't say that I really disliked a single thing, and a few products may have made their way into my monthly favorites. Let me show you a little more!

The Skinny on Birchbox

Birchbox is a beauty and lifestyle subscription service that sends a personalized box of of 5 deluxe samples to your doorstep every month.

What it costs: $10 monthly

Why it's special: After completing your in-depth beauty profile, Birchbox will send you a specially curated box of samples that they think you might love to try. It's the perfect way to discover new brands, or products you might not have thought to try yourself! Birchbox will also occasionally throw in an extra lifestyle goodie like a granola bar, tea, or hair tie to your box as well.

What you get back: Birchbox gives you the opportunity to review each of the samples in your monthly box for 10 Birchbox points a piece. 100 points is worth $10 in the Birchbox shop, which is full of everything from makeup and skincare, to adorable stationary, to jewelry and more. Since each Birchbox has at least 5 samples, you can easily earn 100 points every two months you're subscribed!

Want to know more? You can read about all of the awesome perks of Birchbox here. You can also view all of my previous Birchbox reviews here.

Interested in becoming a subscriber? Use my referral link to join and let Birchbox know I sent you their way!

As per the usual, I've got a nice selection of types of products this month, with some makeup, skincare, and hair products included. A few of these brands I've sampled from Birchbox before, but R + Co and Balance Me are totally new to me. It's always fun to discover a new brand and learn what they're about, but I also appreciate the comfort of my old standbys that I know will almost always deliver a quality product. Basically, this box is awesome, and I can't wait to tell you more about everything inside it. Here's a quick way to jump to each of my individual reviews:

Style-refreshing spray that saps excess oil, gives hair volume and body, and adds tousled texture.

Full Size, 6.3 oz ($29)
Sample Size, 1.6 oz ($7.37)

Dry Shampoo is one of those products that I absolutely love in theory, but most brands only do a sub-par job at formulating. I've heard a lot of great things about R + Co, and I totally dig their packaging design, so I had high hopes for this particular product. The thing that I probably like most about it is the smell, which is quite perfume-y and strong and may not be for everyone but I totally enjoy (for reference, it's almost identical to Dry Bar's Flexible Hairspray). Performance wise I think this was all right, but it didn't blow me away. I like that it doesn't add a lot of gritty texture to your hair, however I'm also not sure if it did the best job soaking up grease. With my hair being so dark and looking dirty quite easily I feel like my dry shampoo standards are really high. Needless to say I'll definitely make use of this travel sized can by keeping it my purse for midday touch ups, but I probably won't be buying the full size.

Calming spot treatment that fights blemishes, refines pores, and balances skin without drying.

Full Size, 15 ml ($30)
Sample Size, 7ml ($14)

I'm fighting a constant battle with breakouts and congested skin, so this serum was definitely a pleasant sight to see. I generally find natural blemish fighters tend to be way less irritating but equally effective as the prescription stuff I've tried, so I was pretty excited to give this a go. I'm happy to report back that it ended up being AWESOME. It's a very lightweight, milky liquid that sinks into skin very quickly and mattifies without being overly drying. It smells nice (in that kind of way that you can tell its 99% natural) and really does an amazing job of clearing up bumps and blemishes. Even after just a few uses I started to notice that my skin looked calmer and less angry. The full sized bottle is kind of pricey, but I think considering how little product you need to use at a time it would last long enough to be worth it. I'll definitely be adding this to my Birchbox wish list!

Packed with antioxidants and humectants, this rich cream hydrates and revitalizes dull or dry skin.

Full Size, 2 oz ($20)
Sample Size, 0.24 oz ($2.40)

A good, basic moisturizer is essential in any skincare routine, and I'm always up for trying new ones. At first I wasn't expecting much from this product, but after taking a look at the ingredients list I was really impressed. The first five ingredients are water, glycerin, aloe, sorbitol, and hyaluronic acid, followed by a variety of plant extracts and oils. I don't know how many products I've seen that flash hyaluronic acid in your face when it's essentially at the bottom of the ingredients list, but it kind of drives me crazy. So thank you, Air Repair, for actually being true to your word! This formula really does a fantastic job of hydrating the skin without making it greasy, and is totally gentle and non-irritating. Considering how crazy expensive some other moisturizers I've liked are, I think the $20 price point on this is spot on. I would definitely, definitely be interested in buying the full size!

This creamy crayon delivers a rich, easy-to-apply color for both lips and cheeks.

Full Size, ?oz ($22)
Sample Size, 0.03 oz (approximately $6)

Blush is by far one of my favorite makeup products, and I enjoy it in just about every formulation. This Cheeky Lip Pencil is so travel friendly, and looks flippin' gorgeous on your cheeks. The formula is very creamy and easy to blend, without being sticky or too dewy. Since it is pretty matte it can be a little drying on the lips. I would definitely recommending pairing it with a balm if you're going to use it both ways. It doesn't look like the full sized pencils are available in the Birchbox shop yet, which is a shame because the metallic gold packaging they come in is really gorgeous. However, they do have a set of three minis available, which is nice if you want to try out a variety of shades.

This cream protects the delicate skin on your hands from harmful rays while keeping it soft and nourished.

Full Size, 10 oz ($34)
Sample Size, 0.14 oz ($0.48)

We're often so worried about slathering our faces with SPF, places like our hands can easily be overlooked. This offering from Supergoop will give your mitts broad spectrum SPF 40 coverage you can use year-round. It does unfortunately smell a bit like sunscreen, but also has some earthy, spa-like notes as well. It sinks into the skin very quickly and doesn't leave your hands feeling greasy, which is always a plus. While $34 does seem like a lot to spend on hand cream, you're getting a 10 oz pump bottle at that price which will probably last you an eon. I feel like I probably should be using a product like this more regularly for the added SPF, but I've got so much hand cream already that I can't justify purchasing this yet.

All in all, another successful box I'd say. The skincare products in this box were the real superstars this time around. I think between the Air Repair Moisturizer and Balance Me Serum my skin is going to be looking happier and more clear than it has in a while. I'll definitely be hoarding my points to invest in full sized versions. The total value of my box adds up to $30.25, which is pretty average for Birchbox and still a pretty great return on my $10. Plus, regardless of how valuable my samples may be cost wise, it's always worth it to me if I find products I love!

What products are you loving from Birchbox this month?