Birchbox Review: May

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May’s Birchbox arrived during a particularly chaotic week, so it was a welcome moment to myself to open the small cardboard box with the pink embossed logo that I have come to know and love. The one word that comes to mind with many of this month’s selections is “fragrant.” As I experimented with each sample, I was delighted at how wonderfully fragrant each product was in addition to their purpose. Here’s how May shaped up…

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1. Beauty Protector Protect & Detangle – I’m a huge leave-in conditioner user and I’ve used the same brand for years. This product was great at detangling wet hair and I’m sure it helped protect against my blow drying and heat usage when testing the sample. It did what it was designed to do, but not in any special way for me personally that left a lasting impression. I’m happy with what I use in this area and at $22 full-sized, I wouldn’t trade my tried and true Infusium 23 for this. At best, this convenient sample-sized detangler will be a great thing take along when I travel.

2. amika Obliphica Nourishing Mask – Since I am African-American, conditioning is a MUST to help hydrate my naturally dry strands. I typically deep condition once a week leaving the product in my hair for at least an hour. amika’s nourishing mask was a welcome change to my normal routine. When reading up about the product, I wanted to know more about “Obliphica.” Essentially, this oil from buckthorn berries is filled with lots of natural vitamins that penetrate the hair follicle repairing it from the inside out. After using the sample, right away I was extremely into the smell of my hair. While I can’t say my hair looked shiny as promoted (this came more from the hair treatment oil noted below) the results were good. Great news for those that are sticklers about ingredients? This mask is free of parabens and sulfates.

3. amika Obliphica Hair Treatment – This hair oil is simply divine smelling. While it can be applied on wet hair, I opted to use it after blow drying and just before flat ironing since it not only contains shine properties, but protects against heat styling. The texture of the product is smooth and light and great at not weighing the hair the down. What was particularly cool is that amika encourages you to mix the oil into other styling products, increasing its versatility and allowing its amazing hydration factor to carry on. Note: you don’t need much, I learned this the hard way!

4. Isaac Mizrahi FABULOUS Eau de Parfum – Of all the perfume samples I’ve received from Birchbox, hands down this is my favorite. At first spritz it is strong, but once the perfume settles into the skin, the fragrance is fun and flirty.  Peony, citrus, mandarin, nectarine, musk, sandalwood, vanilla, and tuberose are just a few of the notes found in this long-lasting scent.  Simply put, as Isaac Mizrahi did, it’s “FABULOUS” and will be added to my collection.

5. COOLA Classic SPF 30 Cucumber Moisturizer – Again, the first thing I noticed was the light fragrant cucumber smell as I applied Coola’s Classic SPF Moisturizer. The formula is extremely lightweight and refreshing as it easily melts into the skin. I am a big fan of its use of organic ingredients (about 70%) and how soft and hydrated my skin looked. This is a great moisturizer if you’re in the market for something new, but it is pricey.

6. Sumita Color Contrast Eyeliner – I don’t wear eyeliner everyday but when I do, it’s typically brown or black. My first time experimenting with gray came from Sumita and I have to say, I liked it…a lot. The pencil glides on smooth and I found I liked using it most when lining just the bottom lid. It gave my eyes a slight pop without the extra drama that comes when lining the entire eye. My only complaint is that it’s extremely difficult to get a thin line with this pencil, it goes on pretty heavily, likely due to the fact that it is a soft wax and constantly needs to be sharpened to get a pointy tip. While not bad in comparison to other brands, this did smear slightly – something that I am trying to avoid with all eye make-up in general. At best, Sumita has gotten me to think about working with gray eyeliner more.

If you’re a Birchboxer, I’d love to hear your thoughts on your May goodies! Please drop me a line in the comments section.

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