Birchbox Sneak Peek: August 2013 [Finishing School]

I’ve been a Birchbox subscriber basically since it started, and now I’m happy to say I’m a Birchblogger, which gives me access to even more Birchbox-greatness & opportunities to share my beauty knowledge!
This weekend Birchbloggers got a sneak peak video of the August box, with the theme of Finishing School, which means this box is packed with everything you need to put the finishing touches on your Back-to-School/ end of summerroutine & look. 
Check out Hayley & Katia showing off the August Birchbox above!
I love Juice Beauty, so I’m thrilled I may be getting the Juice Beauty Oil-Free Moisturizer in this month’s box.  I’m also loving the Whish Coconut Milk Correcting Gel, I’m not familiar with this brand at all, so it’d be fun to try something so new!  I guess I’ll just have to patiently wait & see what’s in my box!   
This month Birchbox has also added some new products to their Birchbox Shop!  I’m loving this SuperGoop! Antioxidant Infused Sunscreen with Vitamin C!
If you aren’t a member of Birchbox yet, you should def subscribe, it’s the best $10 a month you’ll spend, I promise!!  Sign up, here!

goop October Birchbox

I was SO excited when Birchbox announced they were teaming up with Gwenth Paltrow’s goop for the October Birchbox.  I subscribe to goop so I couldn’t wait to see what they would curate for us!!  

Then, I got the box…and was disappointed.  =[ 
I don’t understand what happened…it was supposed to be great.

When I opened the box I got excited reading the little note, and seeing the goop tissue 
paper.  And then I opened it and got…

I’m not saying the products are bad, they’re high quality, and I’m sure they deliver results.  I think I just expected a bit more pizazz, I felt it was a little dry.

First, a Luna bar.  I can get a Luna bar anywhere, right??  And, I’ve had the lemon zest bar before, so nothing new here.

I am really excited to try the Karuna Hydrating Treatment Mask, they suggest you use it on a long flight.  I don’t know where I’m going anytime soon, but whatever, I may just save it for my next journey.

Next is Embryolisse Lait-Crème Concentrè, or 24-hr miracle cream.  I like miracles and I like creams, so I’m thinking I’ll like this product.  Nowwww, while it’s a great hydrator, it can also double as a makeup remover, so that’s pretty great.

The last two products are Lulu Organics Lavender + Clary Sage Hair Powder.  I’m all about dry shampoo because I try to preserve my color the best I can, which for me is not getting my hair wet.  I’m loving the fact that this dry shampoo has lavender and sage– a little added bonus compared to my normal dry shampoo I use.  Last, is Naked Princess Naked Shine Luscious Lip Gloss.  Since I only wear pinks and neutrals on my lips, I know I’ll get good use out of this sample…or should I say one use, since it’s ridiculously small. 

Sooo, as I was saying about my disappointment in the goop Birchbox.  The products are decent, and I know I’ll enjoy them.  I just thought overall it was a little lackluster, and seeing that I love Birchbox SO much, and have been a member basically since the day it started, I was just slightly disappointed.  

BUT, also, I realize Birchbox isn’t 100% to blame as goop really should’ve tried to WOW us like never before!  Such is life, I’m just looking forward to my good old regular Birchbox in November!! 

PS: I’ve been reading a lot of other people’s review on the goop + Birchbox collab (most, if not all, of them as disappointed as me) –but actually some other goop boxes got more interesting products like a full size essie polish and Kiehl’s Body Cleanser.  If I had gotten either one of these, or both like some people, I think I would’ve been way happier- especially since I’m an original Birchbox-er!! 

August Birchbox!

That’s the theme of August’s Birchbox, which is appropriate for me since I’m preparing to move down to Arlington, Virginia and begin graduate school at GWU.  This month’s box was ahhhhmazing, and had tons of goodies that I ended up using right away, and am definitely thinking about purchasing in the very near future!
The first item I took out of my August box was Stila’s ‘forever your curl’ mascara.  Now, I typically only use benefit for my mascara (see my battle of the benefit mascaras here).  However, since stila is one of my favorite brands, and I’ve never tried their mascara, I was happy to see this!  The mascara def created a good curl, but I love extra va-va-voom in my mascara, and this one just didn’t cut it for me.  BUT, I still love stila! PS: I couldn’t get a good picture of it because of the shape of the bottle and how small it was.  
The next item I saw was the Shu Umeura Art of Essense Absolute Nourishing Protective Oil for hair.  Considering the retail price for this item ($68), I’m pretty sure I would not regularly purchase it, especially since I’m so loyal to Bumble and Bumble.  Nonetheless, it’s always great to try new products.  You can use this hair oil as a pre or post shampoo/ conditioner serum, or to help style on dry hair.  Multiusage is super important, and from what I have read about this product, it certainly accomplishes that.  I’ll let you know when I try it out!
Next we have my favorite product from this August box, Talika’s Oil-Free Lash Conditioning Cleanser.    I’ve never heard of this brand before, which is why I love Birchbox so much, it allows me to try new brands I might not find otherwise!  Anyway, with the amount of mascara I wear on a daily basis sometimes I worry about my lashes.  I try to take off my mascara every night, but some nights when I don’t end up going home it’s not always easy…especially since it’s waterproof!!!  This lash cleanser is also a conditioner, nourishing lashes and restoring some of that wear and tare from both applying mascara, and then removing it.  I will definitely be purchasing this from the Birchbox store!
I was surprised to see the Schick Hydro Razor in this month’s box, but alas, this is an important part of beauty upkeep.  The Hydro Razor, keyword hydro, is supposed to moisturize legs for up to two hours after shaving, and it uses five blades for a super close shave.  I am extremelyyy loyal to my Schick Intuition, and have been for years.  Although using this razor was fine, I know I won’t be leaving it’s cousin Intuition anytime soon! 
The last sample is Juicy Couture’s Viva La Juicy La Fleur — which I have used samples of in the past.  It’s very fruity, super girly smelling, which is fun but I don’t love it as an everyday scent.  The fact that it’s so sheer though, good for end of summer and beginning of fall, is nice and keeps it light. 

Glamour’s July Birchbox

This month’s Birchbox was curated by one of my favorites, Glamour magazine with the theme “the senses”, as you can see by the box.  Everything in this month’s box definitely covers those categories, I’m loving it all!  All of the products are perfect for the middle of summer, and they can all come with me in my beach bag if need be! 
B.B. Cream is the new ‘it’ product of the year.  Every single company is coming out with this serious miracle product.  Boscia is a fabulous brand so I’m very happy I get to try out their version of the perfect B.B. Cream.  In case you’re unfamiliar with the B.B. trend, this product works as a one step primer, SPF, serum, and foundation.  Some B.B. Creams come in different shades to match various skin tones, but Boscia’s claims the product adjusts itself to match many different skin tones.  
I’m loving this ‘Blue-Ming‘ polish from Color Club.  Turquoise had been seen in every brand’s lacquer collection this spring/ summer, this is just another shade I’ll have to try! 
I recently lost my headphones, so I was pleasantly surprised when I saw these in my Birchbox!  I love the unique coloring, and featured as a ‘lifestyle extra’ they’re perfect for summer, and more importantly, perfect for a beach day.
Everybody loves mints, end of story.  Bonus: I also love tea and relaxation, and lemongrass…so I’m thinking I’ll love these.  [Minteas: tea mint for relaxation]
Birchbox is always including some sort of perfume, which is cool because I can just throw it in my purse for whenever I need a quick spritz, and it allows me to sample the TONS of fragrances we have in the beauty world!  This fragrance is by Annick Goutal, and it’s called Annick Goutal Eau d’Hadrien.  The scent is very citrusy, so you don’t need a lot to have a good scent.  
This is definitely my favorite product featured in this month’s box.  Stila’s Lip Glaze have always been on my favorites list, and this color is right up my ally.  The name of this Lip Glaze is ‘Action’ and it is from the ‘It’s Go TimeLip Glaze Trio’ limited edition set.  It’s super shimmery and shiny looking, which is the best part, duh.  
Glamour did a great job with this month’s Birchbox.  I know for a fact I’ll be using up all these products rather quickly in the remainder of the month! =] 
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February Birchbox

Seeign that I had a gross stomach bug the other day, I was super excited to open up my Birchbox and get a little glam into my day.  Here’s this month’s goodies!!

I think this nail file is absolutely ADORBZ.  I don’t even want to use it because it’s too cute.

This product an Allure Best of Beauty Award, so I’m excited to try it.  We’ll see how I like it compared to my absolute favorite Laura Mercier tinted moisturizer.

I’m not sure how I feel about press on liner, but I guess that’s the point of this — to try new products!  I’m glad the Birchbox website gives instructions on how to apply them properly, and some additional tips for making them last long.

Dermalogica is a great and somewhat expensive brand, I def wouldn’t just go out a purchase this, especially since I have a favorite exfoliant.  But, I’m really happy I get to try this out, and who knows, if I love it, I may end up purchasing it! 

I know I’ll love this considering it’s my favorite serum — so Birchbox knows me well!!

I’m really happy with this month’s box and can’t wait to get started on using these products! I’ll let you know how it goes =]

And, if you’re interested in signing up for Birchbox click here!  It’s $10 a month for amazing samples, you also earn points with each box that can be put towards money off of a full sized product.  I love the Birchbox blog, and they also have great tips and videos on their website.

September Birchbox!

Yay, I got my September Birchbox last week! 
I know you probably can’t read the little note above, but it basically says that Birchbox is celebrating it’s first birthday!  This month’s box is filled with products that “represent every aspect of the Birchbox personality”.  I’m loving the Birchbox friendship bracelet, it’s super cute and simple and it’s a nice addition to the box that every Birchbox girl will have.  I think the Birchbox team have done a great job marketing their brand, and the products I’ve gotten each month really fit what I like, they actually use that quiz you first take when you sign-up!
Anyway, now on to the products…
The first product is Jurlique Purely Age-Defying Firm and Life Cream.  The full size retails for $70, so I’m really happy I get to try this product out in a sample size.  The botanical ingredients target dullness, which I think will be great when the weather starts to get cold and dry…which tends to dull skin quickly.  I’m also loving these Incoco Nail Polish Applique in cheetah print.  The picture below is a close up, I LOVE this print and it has glitter in it, which is obvz a huge plus for me as well.  The Sally Hansen nail polish strips work great, so I’m excited to try a different brand to see if they work just as well!
The next product is a mineral foundation with SPF 30, by ColorScience.  I’m gonna try to use this sample ASAP because I typically only use liquid foundations in the cooler months to keep my skin hydrated.  The last product is Salvatore Ferragamo’s Attimo L’Eau Florale.  This is a very floral scent, which automatically makes me love it.  I think I may end up buying this in full size, it’s light and classic.  You can tell there’s a lot of different notes of florals, but they blend together perfectly.  It’s super feminine and I think would work best for going out at night.  When I tried it for the first time I literally kept sniffing my hand, I just loved it so much.  And, major plus, I put it on before I started my day of classes, and it lasted for such a long time, I was really impressed.
If you haven’t signed up for Birchbox and are interested, click here!  Even if you want to try it for just 1 month, I highly suggest it!

My First Birchbox!

I was SO happy today when I came home from the beach…I saw a bright pink box from Birchbox!! YAY.  I wrote about Birchbox a couple of posts ago, I while I said I was hesitant at signing up, the good news is…I LOVE EVERYTHING IN MY BOX!
First off, the packaging is so cute.  When I opened the box I saw that Cynthia Rowley was a contributor to this month’s box.  I love Cynthia Rowley, I have a super cute silver sequin pillow by her and I take it everywhere with me…literally…it’s in my car right now.  The products in this month’s box are her favorites, which works perfectly for me because my favorite facial product of all time is in it!  
I’ll begin with my favorite, “Purity made simple” facial cleanser by philosophy.  This is my favorite makeup remover ever.  My mom and I both use it, and we’re addicted.  Of course, it’s a travel size, which is perfect because I’m going to Chicago at the end of the month, so I’ll def need it then.
My next product is “Redken shine brillance” glistening mist.  I thought maybe at first this was a light hair spray, but I sprayed it on my hand and it’s not sticky at all…which is what I was hoping for.  The smell isn’t so lovely, but we’ll see how it works out.
The next two products are Joya perfume and Nuxe dry oil.  I’m not familiar with either of these brands, so I’m excited to see if I like the products.  I don’t typically use shower oil in the summer (spray tan killer), so I probably won’t start using that until the fall.  The Joya perfume is a roll on, it smells very clean and fresh but I’m not sure I would really consider it a fabulous scent.
The last two products are a ybf beauty eyebrow pencil, in taupe, and a KIND almond and apicot snack bar.  Um, I was slightly confused as to why there was a snack bar in my beauty box…but then I read the note in the box and Cynthia Rowley says she always has one on her, so it’s an extra for this month.  I’m excited to use the eyebrow pencil, I’ve honestly never used one before because I really love my eyebrows, but whenever I go get my makeup done professionally they always still fill them in.  It’ll be a good experiement…hopefully.
SO, that’s my July Birchbox!  My expectations were definitely exceeded with this first box, from the products to the packaging.  I hope next month makes me just as happpyyyyy!

Just Because…Birchbox

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Last night I took the $10 plunge and signed up for the beauty-box-of-the-month club, Birchbox!  This club is relatively new but so far the press and reviews have been great!  In case you haven’t heard about Birchbox here’s a quick rundown…every month, for $10, you get a box with four or five beauty samples.  The samples cover hair, skin, makeup, body, and fragrance.  

Also, you can earn reward points, there are different things you can do to earn these points like purchase full size products (recieve 1 point for every dollar), refer friends (50 points for every friend who signs up), and review products (10 points for every review you do).  Once you get 100 points, you’ll get a $10 reward that you can put towards a full sized product.
I’m super excited to recieve my first box in July.  I took a beauty quiz so my box is more tailored for me.  For example they ask about skin tone, hair color, etc.  It’s very similar to the jewelry profile Jewelmint asks you to complete. It’s all about narrowing down the best options for you!  
I was slightly skeptical about this club for the past month, samples are samples.  They’re small, and although you get 4 or 5 per box is $10 really worth it?  Well, I decided it was once I took a look at their brand page.  I think Birchbox has done a great job of securing deals with amazing brands, I recognized and think highly of almost all of them!  bareMinerals, benefit, Cargo, juice Beauty, laura mercier, Nars, Oscar Blandi, stila, too faced, and Kate Spade are some of my favorites from the list!  I use these brands, and others listed, almost every day.  So I know I’ll use, and hopefully love, every sample given to me!
I’m constantly looking for ways to build up and evolve my beauty routine.  Rather than spending $30-$50 for a new product, I can try the sample first and then really think about whether or not I want to purchase it.  And if I do, I can purchase directly from Birchbox and get rewards points!  While I’m not really looking to spend money on full sized products any time soon, I’m loving my beauty routine right now, it’s always a good option down the road.  
For now, I think I’m gonna have fun sampling new things every month!  I’ll do a review with pictures once I get my first box!