Thursday, January 23, 2014

Birchbox Review - January 2014

January 2014 Birchbox. Sorry for the grainy pic. My camera's set to high resolution but has been giving me junky pictures lately :(

It's Birchbox time! Yup, got my box in the mail yesterday. It was a really nice ending to a really crazy weather day. Windy, windy, windy. Gusts up to 100 mph. Not to mention the superswell. Largest swell in a decade - 40-50 ft wave faces on north-facing shores! But I know that's nothing compared to what the East Coast was going through. Stay safe out there, friends! 

Now for some Birchbox business...

Birchbox is a beauty subscription box that sends samples of high-end products straight to your doorstep for $10 a month. Many have said the boxes are a hit or miss; some months you get an awesome box, other months you want to throw everything in the trash. But they do have one of the best points systems - each dollar spent in the Birchbox shop earns you 1 Birchbox point and each product review for your box earns you 10 points. Once you rack up 100 points you can cash it in for $10 worth of credit in the Birchbox shop. Pretty snazzy, huh? 

As soon as I opened this month's box I saw a sticker advertising Birchbox's Subscriber Sundays sweepstakes (say that three times fast) for a chance to win weekly prizes and a grand prize of 10,000 points.

 

January's theme is "Go Time" and encourages us to take on more challenges for the new year rather than give things up. For a kickstart, Birchbox included some inspirational cards with tips on how to get up off the couch and start achieving our goals. To get things started, BB supposedly included new products in this month's boxes. I beg to differ since I've seen some in previous BB variations, but they're new for me so I don't mind.

It's Go Time!

Inspiration

When I opened the tissue everything was so neatly packed. Brownie points!
 

And now on to the items:

 
Liz Earle Cleanse & Polish Hot Cloth Cleanser (Sample Value: $9.51)
A couple of months ago Liz Earle made its Birchbox-US debut. This is the only facial cleanser produced by the UK-based company, and it has won over 90 awards and accolades. How's that for bragging rights? So of course I was thrilled to see one in my box! It's a 1 oz sample size, which is about a third of the full size product. Definitely enough for me to form an opinion. The cleanser is supposed to be  applied to a dry face and a damp muslin cloth is used to polish it off. I've only used it once so far and haven't noticed any difference in my skin yet, but we'll see how it goes over the next few days. I really like the texture of the cleanser; it's smooth and creamy and doesn't burn if any gets in your eyes. One question: Is it just me or is your skin supposed to soak this stuff up instantly? There's barely any left on my face to polish off, and I used as much as I would a normal facial cleanser. Maybe I need to use more?


Klorane Shampoo with Desert Date (Sample Value: $1.77)
I've seen some dry shampoo from Klorane going around in some boxes this month, but I haven't seen this particular one. This shampoo uses desert date to moisturize damaged hair. I have long hair and lots of it, so this might be enough for one use, maybe two. And I might just have a whack nose, but it smells a bit like aftershave. But what'd I expect, a fruity fragrance? Dates don't smell very fruity anyway. 

 
Coastal Scents Revealed Eye Shadow Palette Sampler (Sample Value: $1.99)
I have no clue where the name came from since eye shadows are not all necessarily "coastal" shades, and they certainly aren't scented, but that's alright. They can name it "Old Shoe Shadows" for all I care but as long as it goes on nicely and wears well, I'm a fan. I'm actually happy to receive this in my box because I don't wear makeup too often, so I prefer smaller sized products rather than the full size. It's also perfect to stuff in your purse for touch ups. Plus, I like neutral shades like these instead of wild, adventurous hues. They blend well and you can't tell from the picture below, but they have a nice shimmer.
Swatches of Coastal Scents Revealed sampler palette
  
 
Soak Handmaid Hand Cream - Yuzu scent (Sample Value: $0.94)
This hand cream is packed with moisturizers - shea butter, olive oil, and vitamins A & E. Whoa! 
Upside: True to the claim, this cream is very moisturizing. I also like that it's yuzu-scented (Have you tried yuzu sake? Mmm). 
Downside: The instructions say to use sparingly (and they're right; a little goes a long way), but these packets make it so darn hard to keep for later. Maybe I'll just scrape everything into a container and use as needed.


 
Under Armour Braided Mini Headband (Value: $9.99)
This was my lifestyle extra this month. I'm not one to wear headbands (ponytails work fine), but I must say this is a good find for anyone who does. I'm not even sure if I'm wearing it right -- is it supposed to feel like it's going to fly off the back of your noggin every time you turn your head? Maybe that's because it's the mini headband? If it does end up hitting some unfortunate bystander in the eye, I guess I can always use it to hold back my hair when putting on makeup. Or hand it off to someone who will make use of it (and actually knows how to wear it).


My Birchbox this month had a value of $24.20, over twice the amount I paid for the box. Wow! Overall I am very happy with what I received. I know I can make use of the Liz Earle cleanser, Coastal Scents shadows, and the Soak hand cream. If you're interested in subscribing, please use my link to get your very own Birchbox. Thank you!!




Note: Post contains referral links. I paid for this box on my own and all opinions are completely my own.

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