Sunday, January 20, 2013

January 2013 Birchbox Review

Any cosmetic counter could win me over just by the sheer number of samples thrown my way at the time of purchase. And as weird as it sounds, a few samples sprinkled into my bag would make me arguably just as happy as my main purchase.

My January 2013 Birchbox
Mini vials, tubes, packets and sachets were overtaking my beauty shelves. I eventually made a promise to myself to use every single one of them within the year. After I met my goal, I realized I had a severe case of sample sickness. I used to just open up my sample case where I was met with a glittery wash of sheer joy. Something about those little luxuries brought me simple happiness their bigger counterparts just couldn't contend with.

Looking for a quick cure to my sample sickness, I discovered Birchbox about 9 months ago. I signed up immediately and after a month on the wait list, I was in and I couldn't wait for the samples to start.

Every month, I receive a pretty pink box with 4 to 5 “personally customized” samples, which arrive just like a magazine subscription. I’m going to say it- I have been let down a few times. I've gotten some stuff in my box that made me raise an eyebrow and just about made me click down on the ‘unsubscribe’ button…(yeah, I’m talking to you Larabars). For the most part, the generous point system kept me subscribing and since my first month, I have racked up about 80 dollars to spend in the Birchbox store.

I vowed, the next food bar in my ‘makeup’ box would be the final straw. However, the last two months have been pretty decent, especially January’s box, which could be chalked up to me changing my profile stats which Birchbox claims to base each box on. Sick of the crummy boxes, I put a few white lies into my profile. No harm done, especially after I got a virtual pay raise, added ten sophisticated years to my age and received a much better box.

The first item that I put my greedy little paws on was Harvey Prince Ageless-Pink Grapefruit. The makers of this scent claim that it can make you smell 10 years younger, whatever that means. But apparently grapefruit and mango scents cover the chemical smell that aging produces, making you smell and feel younger. While I don’t really buy that, I do want to buy the full-sized product. The idea behind the product is fun to think about and I really do love the smell. It’s light and crisp with a citrus overtone that switches to floral after it dries down. It’s never overpowering, and it lasts quite a while which is important for me because usually after about an hour I forgot if I even put perfume on before leaving the house.

The next item I tore into was the My™ Multi-Purpose Mattifying Moisturizer. This moisturizer mixes mattifying properties with hydrating oils like pili and moring for “long-lasting hydrating power”.

While I like the product, it just isn't for me. I’m in love with the dewy look way too much for this to ever move from sample to staple. Also, it’s winter and my pasty white skin needs a hard-core moisturizer that makes me look like I’m covered in fryer vat grease in order to keep dry lines away all day. So while this is lightweight, non-greasy and moderately moisturizing, I’d never order the full product. Maybe I’ll keep the sample for summer.

Alessandro Cream Rich was next, and while I’m not really a hand cream kinda gal, I must say this is really nice. I don’t care for the scent, or…lack of scent, but the pearly glow which came from the pearl protein extracts, I assume (no shimmer) and the light-weight moisturizing properties were nice. Upon application, the cream immediately soaked into my hands with no greasy residue whatsoever. Again, I’m not the type that buys hand creams, so I don’t think I’ll be getting the full size. But if you are a hand-cream hoarder, I really recommend picking this up for your paws.

My favorite sample of the bunch was the Keratase Nutritive Nectar Thermique- Protect. I was excited to try this, especially since I've been looking for a good heat-protectant spray after torturing my hair with a no-name flat iron for the last year.

After putting in a dime-sized amount to damp hair, I styled as normal and my hair looked about 90% healthier. It made my hair heavy-but bouncy and not a bit greasy or weighed down. The product smelled great and I had fewer frizzies. But most importantly, my slightly wavy hair stayed straighter throughout whole day with less ‘frying time’ in the morning. This is a miracle product for sure, so while the price tag made me see red, I decided to buy the full-sized product anyway.

Lashem Double Trouble Mascara was the last sample I received. I was excited to try this since I’m a mascara maven of sorts. I’m also the type of girl who says “go big or go home” when it comes to my lashes. So after trying on the wee-sized mascara sample, I just about tossed it. This claimed to curl, lengthen and add volume, but this triple-threat went bust as I found that all it did was slightly darken my natural lashes. Even after 4 coats, not much looked different. You know what they say: If you can’t say anything nice, it’s garbage.

Altogether, I'm pleased with my box and I think my profile change did a lot. So if you're having some blah boxes, I recommend changing your age, and income range instead of giving up right away.

I gave you my opinion on my January Birchbox, now give me yours!

Read my other Birchbox Reviews HERE!