Monday, April 18, 2016

Birchbox: April 2016 Review

Hello, friends! I'm so excited to dig into my monthly Birchbox with you today! Mostly because of the adorable packaging. Can we just take this all in for a minute? I wish everything in my life looked like this. Well not everything, but my house could certainly use a healthy dose of beautifully painted flowers, that's for sure. 

Birchbox: April 2016 Curated Box Review

Birchbox? What's that?

Birchbox is a monthly beauty and lifestyle subscription service. It sends 4-5 deluxe samples that are curated to your beauty profile. It is $10 a month, and has a wonderful rewards program, in which you can earn points for reviewing products and making purchases in the Birchbox Shop. You can then redeem those points for full-sized products! It's probably the best rewards program out there, in my opinion, which was one of the big draws in me signing up. They're always adding new products to the shop. In the past, they have sampled products from Amika, Juice Beauty, Shiseido, as well as pages of others! Some products are even exclusive to Birchbox, like Cynthia Rowley's new makeup line and the cult-favorite Beauty Protector brand. If you're interested in subscribing to Birchbox, I would love it if you used my referral link! Thank you!

Birchbox: April 2016 Curated Box Review

This month's theme was Effortlessly Elegant. I opted in to the guest curated box, much to the surprise of no one. Birchbox partnered with Rifle Paper Co for the box design this month, and I'm so in love. If you haven't heard of Rifle Paper Co, they're an online retailer of all pretty things having to do with paper: planners, stationery, calendars, you name it. I kind of want one of everything. Their Birchbox design kind of reminds me of their current "Stop and Smell the Roses" collection, not that I've been browsing their website or anything. This month's box came with a 20% off code to their website, and let's just say I will be working on my skill in self-restraint this month. 

Birchbox: April 2016 Review

As always, this box came with a wonderfully convenient information card. It details what all of the products are in your box and how to use them. Nifty, huh? I always poke fun at these if I find a typo or error, but they're actually really helpful. 

Birchbox: April 2016 Curated Box Review

But enough about that. Let's get to the good stuff~

MARCELLE 3-in-1 Micellar Solution
(SAMPLE-SIZE value [1.7oz]: $3.50) (Full-size cost [10oz]: $21) 

Birchbox: April 2016 Curated Box Review - Marcelle 3-in-1 Micellar Solution

I know some of you are probably like, "Wait, did they really just package water?" so let me explain really quickly. Micellar water isn't just water, but tiny balls of cleansing oil (micelles) suspended in water. It's like a dual-phase makeup remover, only it doesn't require shaking to combine the oil and water together. I prefer them to makeup removers, since I find that they're less likely to sting my eyes or irritate my skin, and they usually leave my skin feeling soft without a greasy residue. You can also use them to remove dirt and oils too, just like any ol' cleanser.

I've only been using this one for a few days, but so far I like it. It has a thin, watery consistency (as to be expected) and does a pretty decent job of getting makeup off. I wouldn't rely on this alone for makeup removal (my Clarisonic brush still came off with the remnants of foundation), but I never use solely a cleansing water to wash my face at night. For those of you who didn't like the Dr. Jart+ Micro Water (as seen in my Birchbox last June) because you felt it left a residue, you might like this more. I feel like the Dr. Jart+ leaves my skin feeling softer and more hydrated (something I'm always after) so I prefer that one. That being said, this is still a great option if you're interested in trying micellar waters! I really like them for freshening up in the morning without drying my skin out.

DR. JART+ Liftra Contour Cream
(SAMPLE-SIZE value [.17oz]: $6) (Full-size cost [1.7oz]: $60) 

Birchbox: April 2016 Curated Box Review - Dr. Jart Liftra Contour Cream

Speaking of Dr. Jart+, I got a sample from them this month! I'm a huge fan of this brand. Their BB creams have been a favorite of mine for years. But when I first received this product, I wasn't quite sure what it is. It sounds like some kind of makeup product, with "contour" in the name, but this is actually a moisturizer! The description says it's designed to add collagen, to firm and add volume to the skin. As a 20-something, I'm not really lacking in firmness right now, so this is probably a product my mother would get more use out of it. I'm curious to see if it really make a difference on mature women!  

LAURA GELLER Baked Blush-n-Brighten in Tropic Hues
(SAMPLE-SIZE value [.04oz]: $6.36) (Full-size cost [.176oz]: $28) 

Birchbox: April 2016 Curated Box Review - Laura Geller Baked Blush-n-Brighten in Tropic Hues

This blush was one of the main reasons I selected the curated box this month. I'm such a fan of Laura Geller and her baked blushes! I actually received one of these in a different shade, Pink Grapefruit, around this time last year in a Birchbox, too. This blush is really pretty! These blushes are baked with color marbleized throughout, that combine when you swirl a brush through it. I'm a cream blush junkie, so it takes a really good product for me to use a powder blush, and this is one of those rare occasions.

Birchbox April 2016 Review - LAURA GELLER Baked Blush-n-Brighten in Tropic Hues Swatch

It's shimmery in a sense that it can double as a highlighter, but it's subtle. Definitely not glittery or sparkly, though you can use a highlighter in addition to this without looking like a greaseball. All in all, I'm a fan, and would gladly buy the whole line of blushes if that wasn't going overboard. I'll think I'll get a lot of use out of it this spring.

Birchbox: April 2016 Curated Box Review - Laura Geller Baked Blush-n-Brighten in Tropic Hues Swatch

PARLOR Volumizing Lifting Spray
(SAMPLE-SIZE value [1oz]: $4.90) (Full-size cost [4.9oz]: $24) 

Birchbox: April 2016 Curated Box Review - Parlor Volumizing Lifting Spray

This is a hair product that's intended to add volume and give a little boost to your roots. I've mentioned before that I don't do a lot of fancy things with my hair, so I won't get much use out of it, but overall I hear relatively good things about this brand. Parlor is exclusive to Birchbox, created by Jeff Chastain. Apparently this contains biotin (a form of Vitamin B known to improve hair health), as well as sweet almond oil. If your hair tends to look flat, give this a go and let me know what you think!

I traded this with my mother in exchange for a Burt's Bees tinted lip balm from her Birchbox this month, which I'll get much more use out of. If you convert your friends and family members to Birchbox subscribers, it's like getting to make your own box! Be an enabler! 

TOCCA Crema de Mano Hand Cream in Giulietta
(SAMPLE-SIZE value [1oz]: $5) (Full-size cost [2oz]: $10) 

Birchbox: April 2016 Curated Box Review - Tocca Crema de Mano Hand Cream in Giulietta

I have heard so much about Tocca over the years, specifically their hand creams, so it's about time I received one of them in my box! These hand creams are supposedly quite luxurious, not to mention people always rave about the scents. This one is supposedly scented with pink tulips and green apple. Sounds like something that would be up my alley, since I'm a fan of florals and fruity fragrances. I'm not quite sure where the listed price of $20 on the info card came from, but maybe there's a super size version that I'm not seeing online. This came with a little seal over the top, so I'm going to let this stay fresh until I finish my current hand cream. I'm almost out, so I'll let you guys know when I open this!

The Stats:

  • Marcelle Micellar Water: $3.50
  • Dr. Jart Cream: $6
  • Laura Geller Blush: $6.36
  • Parlor Volumizing Spray: $4.90
  • Tocca Hand Cream: $5
  • TOTAL: $25.76

The Best: 
That Laura Geller blush is giving me life right now.

The Worst: 
I think I'm a little young to be using a moisturizer like the Dr. Jart one.  I would mention the Parlor hair product here too, but I traded with my mom so I'm not sure it counts. I think I'm on to something, Birchbox! Set up trades on your website! 

The Verdict: 
I got three products that I was stoked about. I can't blame Birchbox for giving me products I won't use, considering I selected the curated box with pre-selected products. I'm happy! It's always a fun little gift to get in my mailbox each month, even if I'm expecting it. 

Did you get this month's Birchbox? What did you think?

Want to see more Birchbox reviews?  

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Disclaimer: Not sponsored. I paid ten whole dollars for this. Affiliate links included.