Tuesday, July 11, 2017

June 2017 Birchbox Review

Hey guys, so I'm finally getting around to reviewing the final box of the month. 'Bout damn time, non? For those of you who don't know, Birchbox is a subscription box that sends out 5 deluxe or sample sized items a month for $10 and no shipping cost. Items sent out are based on a profile you create upon subscribing so my box is just one of the variations sent out to people in the month of June. This month's bag was surprisingly makeup heavy and had 7 samples instead of the standard 5. It included:

The box itself was pretty cute, giving off a more vibrant mid-century vibe. So far I can only attest to four of the boxes being cute, December 2016, March 2017, April 2017 and tentatively June 2017.

Unfortunately I was unable to use the Oribe Gold Lust shampoo and conditioner. I just recently got my starter locs done out on my trip back home so washes have been less frequent and aggressive. It's a shame too because Oribe usually smells fantastic and I was excited to get a chance to try something from them that isn't a dry shampoo or texturizing spray. Unfortunately my decision to get locs was more of an afterthought: I had talked about my desire to do it back home for years (it's easier to find someone to do a two strand twist method vs the palm roll method) but I hadn't actually gone through the steps to set up an appointment until very last minute.

I feel like I just lost everybody's attention with that last monologue.

I haven't had too much time with this product yet but I'm enjoying the Estée Lauder Advanced Night Repair serum. It absorbs well and doesn't feel tacky or oily. I loved that I had Estée Lauder included in my box. Not only is it a high end brand that I've been wanting to try out but it's a product I'd actually use. Tiny as it is, it's still a pretty valuable sample. And to be perfectly honest, this is a larger sized sample than one would usually expect from Birchbox. I recently purchased a serum so this little guy is going to hang out as a backup when I run out of the serum I actually purchased.

The Beauty Crop made yet another appearance in one of my Birchboxes, this time in the form of a blush. I was wondering if Birchbox ever sends full sized samples anymore (they used to drop the occasional brush or nail polish in a box but that was before my time) all while failing to realize my blush that I received is full  sized. The richer cream shade provides so much pigment that it's almost too difficult for me to work with. Just the slightest tap of your finger will give you blush for days to work with. It also blends fairly easily. The peach powder shade was far less impressive. It has a satin finish to it but it's so difficult to pick up any pigment with this shade. Any swatches just look muted, and unfortunately the peach shade does not show up at all on my cheeks. I had to be pretty aggressive to get the peach shade to even show up in the swatch below. If I combine both of these on my face the guava (coral?) shade gives a punch of color while the satin peach shade gives the most subtle glow. I'm sure it would look amazing on a fair skinned person but unfortunately I am too warm and dark for this compact to be overly noticeable.

The Eau de Parfum sample I got from Kensie is beautiful. From the scent to the packaging, everything about this sample was just perfect. My profile states that I want to receive a bonus perfume sample no more than 6 times a year and oh my god, am I glad that this was one of those times. Would I spend the $55 for a full bottle of it? Probably not since I so rarely wear perfumes anyway. Kensie describes their fragrance as having top notes of peach, mandarin and green, middle notes of cyclamen, rose, jasmine, orange flower, oakmoss and violet, and bottom notes of musk, amber, cedarwood, sandalwood, tonka and vanilla. My nose doesn't work that way so let's say it smells slightly heady and musky while smelling very fresh and clean. It's not too perfumey or floral smelling to me with an almost crisp scent of fruit but it's not quite there, if you catch my meaning (you don't). I'll just stick with the manufacturer's description.

The Mellow Cosmetics Liquid Lip Paint was a nice addition to the box. It is a creamy matte formula that has great staying power but it does transfer quite a bit. It's hard to apply and not be messy about it though. It's a very pretty deep berry shade, even though it's a shade I cannot see myself ever reaching for. It seems more like an autumn color than a summer color too. The value was estimated because once again, it would appear that Birchbox has listed the incorrect volume on their site. It usually happens for at least one of my items every month.

Ah, the great disappointment of this month's box: Manna Kadar Priming Shadow Stick. I received mine broken. Reading reviews for this product, it looks like 99.9% of subscribers received a broken shadow stick. I complained to Birchbox about my shadow stick but at that point they had run out of stock to replace mine so I ended up with 50 Birchbox points, which translates to $5.00 credit in their store. This is perfect, especially considering that I for the most part am not planning on buying anything through Birchbox within the next 6 months before my points expire.

Complaints aside, this shadow stick is incredibly creamy and has a nice silvery-taupe shade that probably will not work on my skin tone without looking too 90's frosty. However, if I ever want to work on a throwback Spice Girls look I can use this and a dark brown lipstick, lose like 50-75 lbs and let my ass hang out in some platform shoes. It's settled, I think I may have just figured out my Halloween costume.

My total box value this month was $51.29. That looks completely wrong and I'm now forced to admit that math is not my forté. It cannot be right simply by virtue of my Birchboxes never having a very high value. This value would be almost entirely due to the Estée Lauder serum, Beauty Crop blush and perhaps the Manna Kadar shadow stick though i almost don't want to include that in the total because it arrived annihilated. The dark horse superhero of this box was the Kensie perfume, hands down. It has a very soothing, beautiful (musky?) scent that is just masculine enough to draw me in without giving the impression that I should be wearing my flannel and Doc Martens. Side note: I really miss my flannel shirt and Doc Martens my husband threw in the Goodwill pile when we were purging my closet just before The Big Move out to Chicago. Those were late teens/early 20's staples of my life.

Swatched left to right: The Beauty Crop blush (powder on the left, cream on the right), Mellow Cosmetics liquid lipstick in New York, and a Nyx Gotcha Covered Concealer in medium from my Target Beauty Box that somehow sneaked its way onto this post.

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