Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Birchbox Review - October 2014

Halloween is just a couple of days away and I have no costume as of this moment. I completely forgot about dressing up for work. I went as Progressive girl Flo a couple of years ago and haven't been able to top that costume idea.
My hair does not like the bumpits.
Photo credit: Kalani Pascual
I was hoping October's Birchbox would autum-ize us in the form of pumpkiny scents and brown sugar scrubs. Or something.

What: Birchbox contains 4-6 samples of high-end beauty and lifestyle products
When: Ships on the 10th of each month
Cost: $10/month or $110/year upfront
Fun fact: Birchbox has an awesome points system where you can review products or make purchases from the Birchbox shop to earn points. Every 100 points gets you $10 credit in the BB shop.

I missed the monthly pick-your-sample email by about 12 hours so by the time I opened it everything was unavailable. Even the last choice was no longer a choice which was kind of a bummer because for once I actually had a preference. So I ended up getting the complete surprise box (and of course ended up not getting my preferred choice. boohoo). 

October info card (click to enlarge)
October's theme is Fanfare. Nothing too autum-y about it, but it is the time of TV's season premiers and I guess I'm a fan of the boob tube. Okay who am I kidding, I'm a huge fan of rotting my eyes while also rotting my teeth with TV snacks. I'm not talking popocorn or chips and salsa. I'm talking entire bags of Reeses and quarts of ice cream. It's how I get my dairy requirement (C just surprised me with a gallon of choco-vanilla swirl yesterday; that's why I love him :D).

Clarisea Rapid Detox Charcoal Exfoliant (Sample value: $4.50)
This little jar is what I'm most excited about this month. This is a carbon-sea salt exfoliant. Activated carbon is great for absorbing stuff (including odors, which is why you often see charcoal sticks in bathrooms and such). In this case, activated bamboo charcoal powder absorbs dirt and oil, and Pacific and Himalayan sea salts stamp out acne-causing bacteria. How? Geek moment time! I'm guessing this happens because the salt creates an alkaline environment (>pH 8) and inhibits the growth of the acne-causing Propionibacterium. The exfoliant itself looks pretty coarse, like sand, so this probably isn't something you'd want to use more than once or twice a week.

Perlier Body Balm - Shea Lavender (Sample value: $4.25)
Perlier is an Italian skincare manufacturer based in Turin. They have their own estate on which they grow their own plants and flowers for research. I'm not feeling particularly lavenderish at the moment so this tube remains sealed, but this lotion has shea butter extracted from the fruits of the Tree of Youth. I'd like to see this tree because I'd live under it forever. That and the Fountain of Youth. Together they sound like a pretty sweet deal. This contains up to 25% pure shea butter to deliver extra plenty moisture for smooth and supple skin. In the famous words of Buffalo Bill, It rubs the lotion on its skin or else it gets the hose again. Happy Halloween, folks.

Jouer Matte Moisture Tint SPF15 in Nude (Sample value: $3.80)
If you're prone to oil buildup, this is the moisturizer for you. It's a mattifying tinted moisturizer that controls shine AND has some added sun protection. Nude is their median shade intended for light to medium complexions (that's me). In reality this shade was quite a bit lighter than my natural skin tone but it did blend easily without making me look pasty. The only thing I can't get over is the sunscreen smell. Ack.
Jouer Matte Moisturizer swatch in Nude
Love this effect. Hate the pencil. This is a glittery black eye pencil that's buildable for extra sparkle. I have nothing like this in my collection so I was super stoked to get it. Unfortunately, it's not creamy at all despite its claims, and it doesn't apply evenly. You can see what I mean in my little swatch below. The glitter factor is definitely there, although you can't tell from the swatch. This is supposedly smudgeproof, but I'm guessing they're referring to the glitter because the color rubbed off with ease but the glitter didn't want to go anywhere. When they improve their formula I'll be the first in line to get this sparkly liner, but until then I'm gonna pass.
Lord & Berry Pailette Glitter Pencil swatch in Black
Number 4 Lumiere d'hiver Clarifying Shampoo & Reconstructing Masque (Total sample value: $6.60)
I received a similar shampoo/conditioner duo (the hydration version) in my June Birchbox. I did not like the scent and was afraid this would smell just as masculine. Thankfully it doesn't. It's musky but not manly. I'm not a huge fan of musk either, but I can deal. This vegan shampoo is sulfate- and paraben-free (Nooooo! I like suds!!) and has lots of natural ingredients: black currant, soy, acai, vitamin C, oolong tea, Irish moss, lemongrass, and oatmeal. The masque is a leave-in treatment with soy protein to strengthen hair, shea butter, jojoba seed oil, and sunflower oil to moisturize, and silicone polymer to smooth and detangle.

Did October deliver? So far not really. I wasn't particularly fond of the Lord & Berry eye pencil and I don't care to smell like sunscreen when I'm cooped up in the office all day with the Jouer slathered on my face. I haven't tried anything else yet, but I  have high hopes for the Clarisea exfoliant. If you'd like to sign up for a Birchbox, use my link and start discovering some awesome beauty products. The shop also has some lifestyle and foodstuff too, so have a look around, but be forewarned  you can spend hooours browsing their stock!

Note: Post contains referral links. All opinions contained within this post are my own.

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