Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Birchbox Review - December 2013

Happy New Year's Eve!

This post is kinda late, but better late than never, right? As long as I review December's box before the year ends then I say it's not too late. I received my Birchbox in the mail the day after Christmas - it would've been so awesome if I got it on Christmas Eve, kinda like the last present under the tree. :) Oh well, I'm happy it didn't get lost in the mail amid all the parcel craziness. I must apologize for all the dark yellowy pictures in this post. These pics were all taken after dark, and indoor lighting is apparently no match for natural daylight.

Instead of Birchbox's usual bright pink outer box, this month's box was designed to look like a gold Christmas present. How cute! The inner box was also different for the holidays:

I've been so busy with holiday stuff lately that I barely had time to try out the samples I received in my box, so this might be more of an overview of what I got rather than an actual review of the products. But I'll update as I try em out. I was hoping I'd receive at least one of the spoilers announced for the December box, but no such luck :( Especially The Honest Company Healing Balm or Manna Kadar Sheer Glo Shimmer Lotion. Oh well, better luck next time.

Elite Therapeutics Elite Creme
This cream contains manuka honey and avocado oil to soothe and hydrate skin. It has a pleasant citrus scent to it and is not overly oily, so you don't feel trapped in a cocoon of moisture. The 1 oz. sample size was also generous for a moisturizer. Score! However, I didn't notice any hydrating effects on my skin. But then again, it's not very cold and dry where I live so my skin rarely gets dry and/or sensitive.

Eyeko Skinny Mini Liquid Eyeliner
I'm not a fan of liquid eyeliners because (a) they're messier than pencils and (b) I don't have a steady hand. Give me liquid liner and I'll show you what makeup's worst nightmare looks like. That being said, I must commend Eyeko on making a smudge proof product. I swatched it on my hand and immediately tried rubbing it off. No can do. It stay put all day. However, due to my jerky hands I probably won't be using this anytime soon. Sorry, Eyeko, it's not you, it's me.

Hair Rules Daily Cleansing Cream No Suds Shampoo
This shampoo is supposed to clean your hair sans suds with the help of honey and lemongrass extract. It doesn't contain detergents so you don't have to worry about any damaging adverse effects when shampooing your hair. Me? Well, I like suds. I guess I shouldn't knock it before I try it, but I don't like my hair feeling squeaky clean when I wash it because it gets tangled. The suds make the tangles seem so much more manageable. On the up side, at 2 oz, this is a very generous sample size.

Update 1/13/14: I still prefer suds. This has lasted me three uses so far and I can't get over not having lather on my hair. It's fine for non-workout days when my hair is not a bird nest nightmare, but add in some (okay, lots of) tangles and my fingers get annoyed and stuck from feeling every single knot. Furthermore, the shampoo tends to leave your hair literally feeling squeaky clean, definitely not what I'd like to feel, as I link squeaky clean to a lack of natural hair oils.

La Fresh Travel Lite Makeup Remover Wipes
These wipes are intended for wiping away makeup on-the-go in order to avoid a cosmetic faux pas. Unfortunately, I don't wear makeup very often so I probably won't get a chance to try this anytime soon. I am rather picky with makeup removers, though. A lot of the ones that work well are too oily for my liking, and a lot of the ones that aren't oily don't work well. We'll see how this measures up.

Update 2/27/14: Okay, this is looong overdue, but I tried these out a while back and it's great! Did its job and didn't leave an oily residue on my face. However, I never carry extra makeup with me, so if I get a smudge here and a blob there, I just create a really epic story to tell anyone who might ask rather than remove and reapply makeup before anyone discovers my fiasco. 

Twistband - in Silver
This was my lifestyle extra for December. Honestly, this was a bit of a dud for me. Twistbands are wide so that they don't leave an ugly crease in your hair from wearing a ponytail too long. Yeah they're cute, and I really like the silver color because it matches anything I might be wearing, but it really does not match my lifestyle. I wear ponytails when helping to coach wrestling, and I'll need something that can withstand tugging and pulling and being twisted and retwisted into 10 ponytails each practice. In other words, I need something I can buy in bulk for cheap because I go through about one rubberband a week. I suppose I could use these exclusively for non-strenuous circumstances, but that'd mean carrying around a Twistband and a plain ol' hair tie everyday, and that's just too much accessorizing for this Plain Jane.

Birchbox Screen Cleaner
This was actually a plug for the Birchbox app rather than a December box item. On the flip side of the card pictured above is a chance to get 20% off your next Birchbox Shop purchase for downloading the iPhone app. I hope Birchbox comes out with an Android app soon so I can get 20% off too. :) And what better way to advertise your app than to give out a practical freebie? On one side, this little guy is a screen cleaner that can cling to your phone or case using the other side. While I think it's a really cute and clever way to advertise, I probably won't be using it because with the way I treat my phone, it won't last a day. I stuck it to the back of my phone for 2 seconds and when I lifted it off there was all this dust and junk stuck on it already. I guess that's what happens when you throw your phone all over the place.

Overall this box was just okay for me. I could possibly see myself using the Elite creme and maaaybe the twistband if I ever run out of hair ties, but chances are I won't even use those because the climate doesn't get dry enough to dry out my skin and I always keep an abundance of hair bands at home. I'll have to see about the makeup wipes the next time I decide to wear makeup (could be anywhere within the next two weeks to the next two months though). But since my previous three boxes have been great, I'll let this one slide and stick it out for the new year. If you want your very own Birchbox, sign up here to subscribe!

Note: Post contains referral links. I purchased this box with my own money and was not compensated in any way for this review.

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