For those of you who don't know, Birchbox is a monthly subscription box that sends various items like skincare, makeup, haircare and fragrances based on a personal profile you create for $10 a month. Birchbox has a system where you can choose one of your five samples, often a choice between three featured samples that month, you may choose the curated box which is often curated by a collaborator or an editor (these boxes tend to have a higher retail value), and the final option which is just sit back and let the algorithm choose all five of your samples for you based off of a profile you created. This time none of the three sample choices (Air Repair Complexion Boosting Moisturizer, Jouer Lip Enhancer and Marcelle 3-in-1 Eye Makeup Remover Gel) nothing really stood out to me so I went balls to the wall and opted for the curated box. Probably not doing that again. The curated box was supposed to contain Kiehl's Rare Earth Deep Pore Daily Cleanser,Juliette Has a Gun Anyway, Oribe Matte Waves Texture Lotion, MAC Cosmetics Prep + Prime Skin, and Beautaniq Beauty Blush Serum in Sunrise. I ended up with:
- MAC Cosmetics Prep + Prime Skin - $6.20
- Beautaniq Beauty Blush Serum in Sunrise - $16, Full Sized, CF, V
- Fave 4 Up for Air Air Dry Cream - $3.27
- Marcelle 3-in-1 Eye Makeup Remover Gel - $1.12, CF
CF = Cruelty Free, V = Vegan
I didn't have high hopes for the MAC Cosmetics Prep + Prime Skin based off of my prior experience with lotion face primers but this one is actually pretty nice. It was hydrating and kept my foundation in place without causing me to look like a sweaty swampy person at the end of the day. Well played, MAC, well played.
Perhaps the greatest discovery this month was the Beautaniq Beauty Blush Serum in Sunrise. I started off underwhelmed because I just received a cream(ish) blush last month from Birchbox and a new favorite blush from Ipsy so I was already feeling blush overload. I also expected this Barbie Pink shade to do me absolutely no favors. Fortunately Birchbox was able to make me look stupid and eat my own words this month. Oh my God, guys, this blush is so beautiful. There is a pretty steep learning curve but once I got past that I found that this blush blends so beautifully and seamlessly. It actually looks quite natural, if I were capable of more of a pink flush instead of a deepening of my skin tone when I blush. I love that it was a full size product too. Way to go, Birchbox!
|Beautaniq swatched and blended (top). The odd texture is light coming through the screen door.|
|That's my toddler's big ass toe photobombing my shot, sorry.|
I immediately thought "Welp, I have no need for this Fave 4 Up for Air Air Dry Cream whatever. It's a styling cream, which I don't style my hair. At this point my super cheap inner voice spoke up and called me an idiot, pointing out that I could at least use this as a leave in conditioner because why not? Final Verdict: It's not overly useful and doesn't affect me in any way one way or another but there's no reason why this can't be used to twist my locs a few times. It was at least serviceable doing that. I still prefer my Jamaican Mango & Lime Resistant Formula Locking Gel. But hell, I can get at least 4 uses out of this.
My second favorite item of the box was the Marcelle 3-in-1 Eye Makeup Remover Gel. It isn't the end all to removing eye makeup but it did put one hell of a dent into the process. I felt like I had to go over it one more time with either more product or my normal Target brand eye makeup remover which is nothing special, but this did definitely quicken the process. I'm sitting on my hands trying not to run out and spend $16 on a full size of this. The one complaint I did have about this product is that it did burn a bit when I stupidly opened my eyes trying to respond to something or other my husband had said.
|Marcelle 3-in-1 Eye Makeup Remover Gel in action|
Michael Todd Charcoal Detox Deep Pore Gel Cleanser recently. It doesn't really have a fragrance and it definitely comes out as this grayish gel but it foams (love it!). I love any cleanser that foams vs. a non-foaming cream cleanser because it gives the impression that it's actually working. It washes away fairly easily and leaves my skin feeling clean without feeling either stripped or coated. I also love that it's cruelty free and even though 10mL seems small, it's enough product to get at least a week's worth of uses out of it to get a good solid feel of whether or not I like it.
|Michael Todd cleanser|
Looking past the fact that I did not receive the curated box that I wanted, I cannot call this a bad box. At a glance, the only product I would be hesitant to use would be the Fave 4 Air Dry Cream but then I can always pretend that doubles as a leave-in conditioner for my kinky hair type. I'm in love with the Beautaniq blush, I've thoroughly enjoyed the Marcelle makeup remover and Michael Todd cleanser and man, I'm loving that MAC primer. I never thought the day would come where I would enjoy and find use in a non-silicone primer but here we are. My box value was $27.72 which I guess is a net win considering I only paid $10 and I found two and a half to three and a half items I can see myself purchasing in the future (if Beautaniq had more than two shades-one that matched theBalm's Pinstripe, maybe?-I can see myself buying it in the future, and I would have a hard time justifying the cost of the MAC primer).
|Naked face only wearing Beautaniq on cheeks and lips|