Thursday, July 24, 2014

Birchbox Review - July 2014

July Birchbox, you're HERE! AT LAST!

Can I rant? Too bad, I'm gonna rant. Skip this paragraph if you dislike rants. I think I'm among the last to get a Birchbox every month. It kind of sucks when promos are over before you even get your box. I've reached out to them asking what the dealio is, hoping they'd say sorry and give me a whole busload of Birchbox points since that's what they seem to do, but instead all I got was "We ship by ground and sometimes it takes up to three weeks to reach Hawaii." Not even a sorry it takes so long :(  They said they have to ground ship because they send polishes and hairsprays, but so does Ipsy, and Ipsy reached me in less than a week. It isn't even a shipping company issue because shipping already sucked before they switched to Newgistics. I know companies warn us about extended shipping times out of the States, but historically I've always gotten my flammable goodies in a normal time frame, no matter where I buy them from. In fact, I even get full-size flammable Birchbox orders within a week. So why not sub boxes? Err. First world problems.

Alright, I'm done. On to this month's box with a happy face and high hopes. Because seriously, anything is better than last month's strongly scented fiasco.

Birchbox teamed up with Women's Health magazine for July and the theme is "Power Up." This month's boxes include beauty products to energize your beauty routine as well as a booklet of 12 Power Up challenges for getting the most out of everything you do. The box itself was very colorful and is probably my favorite Birchbox design to date because of its cuteness factor.

July Birchbox info card (click to enlarge)
Oh, and sorry for the horrible photos throughout this entire post. Normally I'm able to snap the photos with natural daylight, but there was none by the time I got home last night. So, shadowy artificial lighting pictures are what you will all get from me.

Each box included a free 1-year subscription to Women's Health magazine. If you don't want the mag, the card can be returned for a refund. The only magazines I'm really interested in are the cooking ones, but I just can't see myself going through the legwork just to get a $9.99 refund check, so I'll probably just redeem the subscription. Well played, Women's Health, well played.

Harvey Prince Singular Scentsations Imperial Gardenia Perfume (Approx. Sample Value: $5.00)

Believe it or not, the full size is only 8.8 ml so this is one expensive fragrance. Most perfumes have several notes in them that make them sorta complex. This one's got one: gardenia. I mentioned before that I like fruity/floral perfumes, but this is just too much. Don't get me wrong; I love the smell of gardenia. This just...didn't smell like the real thing. Very floral indeed, just not gardenia floral. To me anyway. Thanks for trying though, Harv.

LAQA & Co. Lip Lube Pencil - in Menatour aka Purple (Sample Value: $12.50)

When I think of Menatour I think of Minotaur, the half man-half bull of Greek mythology, and already I'm afraid of this color. This is a glossy, sheer lip pencil that moisturizes and smells minty. I've been seeing these popping up all over and I wanted to try it, but...Menatour purple? Has anyone ever tried it before? I do not match with purple anything, including purple nail polish.  If it's bold and/or looks more purple than pink, sorry..swap pile. Fun fact: I don't think I've ever said purple so many times in so few sentences. Purple.

Real Chemistry Luminous 3-Minute Peel (Sample Value: $4.80)

Finally, something I can get excited about. This is the first facial peel I've received from Birchbox and I'm quite happy to get it. This 3-minute peel is actually a 3-min-30-second peel. You apply it to a clean face, wait 30 seconds, then massage it into your face for 3 minutes before rinsing it off along with the fun dead skin particles. Ever since I tried a foot peel I'm obsessed with dead skin removal. I have a peeling gel in my Sephora shopping cart right now and am thisclose to checkout. I'll wait to see how this one works first.

Juice Beauty Stem Cellular Moisturizer (Sample Value: $6.25)

Yay! Something else I can use! *smiley face* This organic moisturizer uses stem cells of apple buds, grape buds, and lemon bark to firm and smooth away fine lines and wrinkles with the help of Vitamin C. (Luckily) I can't speak about its effect on lines and wrinkles, but it is hydrating and not sticky (yippee!). It also smells very citrusy and reminds me of the Dr. Brandt Microdermabrasion exfoliant.

Ruffian Rapture Collection - Ambrosia (Full Size Value: $11.00)

Last month Birchbox allowed subscribers to choose what color nail polish or lip stain they wanted. I was getting a nail polish and chose Ambrosia, a metallic lavender, because I don't have any lavenders. The other choices were a metallic rose gold and a metallic platinum, both of which I already have similar colors. The formula is probably one of the best I've tried. It goes on smoothly with no issue regarding consistency and one coat is enough for opaque coverage. I was actually surprised how much I liked this color. I guess I lied; I do like purple nail polish, as long as it's pastel. Just no purple lipstick, please (LAQA, I'm talking about you). Here's a haphazard slathering I did of the Ambrosia. Basically all I want you to take away from this is that a single coat is true to color (we already know how horrible I am at painting my nails fingers).

Ruffian Nail Polish Remover Towelette (Value: $1.20)

A Birchbox bonus to go with the nail polish. This towelette is great for on-the-go polish removal in case you suddenly remember you forgot to take off your hot-pink-lime-green mani as you're waiting for your job interview. These are acetone-free wipes that smell like lilies. I have yet to find something that beats a good dousing with acetone to remove polish, so I'll give this a try. One wipe is enough for 10 nails, but I doubt that applies to glitter polish.

My much anticipated Birchbox actually turned out to be pretty good. It was a really high valued box at over $40 thanks to the PURPLE lip pencil that I won't be using. But other than that and the perfume, I am happy to say that I will gladly get use out of everything else. My favorite find is the face peel even if I haven't tried it yet because it sounds so fun. I'd like to see C's face when I tell him I'm peeling my face off. So in the end, I'm glad Birchbox has redeemed itself from last month's stinky box and I'm not as miffed about the 15-day delivery because I discovered that recently Julep's shipping has been crappier (17 days and counting!) so now I have somewhere else to aim my frustrations.

What did you get in your Birchbox this month? If you got the Real Chemistry Peel, what did you think of it? If you'd like to explore beauty products in hopes of finding a new favorite, use my link to start your subscription to Birchbox today!

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