Thursday, February 27, 2014

Birchbox Review - February 2014

Hello friends! I may be a bit late to the Birchbox show, but in my defense I just received mine yesterday. Birchbox is subscription service where for $10 a month you receive high-end beauty samples to try before you buy. When you first sign up you fill out a profile that tells Birchbox what types of samples you do or do not want to receive, and I've found for the most part that they try to follow your preferences. Birchbox also has a really cool points system where you rack up points for purchases from the Birchbox shop and for reviewing products. These points can then be used for credit in the Birchbox shop.

February's Birchbox was curated by the editors at Us Weekly, the super popular entertainment magazine, in honor of the upcoming 86th Academy Awards. Throughout the month, they will be sharing helpful tips and tricks to give us all that star quality.

I guess the editors at Us Weekly weren't feeling the bright pink box.

Dr. Brandt Pores No More Pore Refiner (Sample Value: $11.25)

This is currently on sale in the Birchbox shop as part of the Dr. Brandt Exclusive Camera-Ready Kit that comes with a full-size version of this item plus a microdermabrasion scrub, eye cream, wrinkle relaxer, mirror and makeup bag all for only $42.00 (based on my calculations it has a total value of over $70). It's a great deal, considering the full-size version of the pore refiner alone in the BB shop is $45.00. Any child can tell you that it's a better deal to save $3.00 and get waaay more product for your money. I almost want to get suckered in and buy the kit just because it's such a good deal, even though I know I most likely won't ever use most of the stuff. I'm actually super excited to try this out because my nose and cheeks have reeeally big pores that always trap oil and makes the rest of my face feel uberly oily.

Update 3/3/14: Ok, so I got suckered and bought the $42 kit using points I saved up. It arrived within 3 days (and that's including a weekend!). Why can't the monthly boxes have this kind of awesomely fast shipping??! I still don't know whether this actually reduces the visibility of my pores, but one thing is for sure - it goes on very light and within 5 minutes I forgot I had even applied it! It really does soak up oil though; it actually left my skin looking dry. Definitely make sure your skin is moisturized before applying this.

Agave Healing Oil Treatment (Sample Value: $1.20)

This hair oil is made from blue agave (yeah that's right, the same thing we get tequila from), which helps hydrate hair while increasing vibrancy and shine. I would've loved to have this stuff when my hair was long and dry at the ends, but I chopped it all off earlier this week and now it's all short and bouncy so I probably won't be needing it for a while. Although it's made for hair, it can also be used as a body oil.

Update 3/5/14: Well this certainly is an oil. You know that texture your hair takes on when you don't wash it for a couple days and it starts getting...crispy, near the roots? Like natural scalp oil, that's what this oil does. It's not very light, but it certainly does hydrate. Smells nice too.

OPI Sheer Tints Top Coat - in I Can Teal You Like Me (Sample Value: $2.25)

Okay, this is a horrible photograph. It looks like black in the picture, but in real life it looks dark blue. Then when you roll the bottle around you can see the teal they're talking about. Doesn't look like it here, but this is supposed to be a translucent top coat to lighten/darken your nail polish color. I'm a fan of sheer polish colors so I think I might just use this alone. I do love blue. Goes great with my 50 shades of blue jeans.

Update 3/5/14: Finally used this baby and I'm kind of on the fence about it. I tried it as a sheer polish alone. Doesn't work. It looks as if I dipped my nail in blue raspberry syrup and forgot to wash it off. Over a nail polish though, it could work depending on what color you're trying to enhance. I used it over an iridescent champagne pink and ended up with a sort of translucent powder blue hue that looks almost silver in the light. I have yet to try it over blue polish to see whether it makes it more intense. Also I'm not a huge fan of the texture. The polish seemed really sticky and thick and was very hard to apply evenly. Is it just me? Or was my bottle drying out or something?

Benefit Cosmetics Fakeup - in Light (Sample Value: $3.43)

Bags under your eyes from lack of sleep? Not to fret. Fake the bright eyed and bushy tailed look with Fakeup. The concealer-moisturizer combo hides dark circles while keeping skin hydrated for up to 6 hours. It comes in three shades - I received the lightest one and swatched it below on the left (unblended) and the right (blended). The fact that I could barely see it after blending tells me two things: 1) The lightest shade is perfect for me, and 2) I need to get out in the sun more.

Benefit Cosmetics Big Easy - in Light

This month's Beauty Extra is a one-use sample of a brand new product from Benefit. I didn't figure out a value for it because I'm pretty sure it's only a few cents' worth. Big Easy is a complexion perfector that is applied after moisturizing to smooth and balance skin. It comes in six shades and supposedly self adjusts to match your exact skin color. I thought it blended with my skin okay. It does go on very light; it starts off as a liquid but quickly takes on a powder texture. The Birchbox shop is currently having a presale event in which you can get an extra 35 BB points if you purchase this product by March 1st.

Overall I thought this month's box was not bad. Not the best, but it could have been a lot worse. It had a value of $18.13, and the highest valued item (Dr. Brandt Pore Refiner) is the one I'm most excited to try so I can't complain. Other pore minimizers didn't seem to work on my huge pores, so I wanna see what this guy can do. Also, with my rekindled interest in nail polish thanks to Birchbox, I can't wait to try the tinted top coat. I might apply it over polish once just to see what effect it's supposed to have, but I'm 90% sure I'll just continue to use this by itself. What'd you get in your Birchbox? If you'd like to get your own subscription, use my referral link to start receiving your very own samples!

Note: Post contains referral links. All opinions are 100% my own. I was not compensated in any way for this box.

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