Birchbox Review | January

birchbox january ATG

How the latest and greatest in beauty made my January feel a little bit more gorgeous…or not so much.

Product reviews are from left to right.

Fekkai Brilliant Glossing Crème | I’m rather picky about what I use in my hair, and have found over the years to usually stick with what works for me. There have been very few new products that I’ve introduced to my hair care routine over the last 4 years – though I’m willing to experiment courtesy of my Birchbox subscription, of course. Not surprisingly, my philosophy to stick with what works applies here. In a nutshell, Fekkai’s Brilliant Glossing Crème did absolutely nothing for me. I found it to be unimpressive when I used the “pea-sized” amount as directed on damp hair. Nothing. The next time I increased the amount of product thinking perhaps my naturally drier and kinkier hair texture might require a higher dosage. That time it came out greasy. Add in that this is not at all pleasantly scented, is $20 full-sized, and my constant bafflement at specifically how this product did anything positive for my strands, and unfortunately, I was done.

Overall: It’s a pass.

Burt’s Bees® Intense Hydration Day Lotion with Clary Sage | My skin is naturally pretty dry and during the winter months can be so dehydrated that it cracks to the point that I channel the likes of a corpse.  So as I sat down to type this post, I slathered some on yet again, and feel confident that Burt’s Bees is on to something with their “Intense Hydration Day Lotion.” It has a thick, creamy texture that’s rather divine when you spread it over really dry skin, immediately providing much-needed moisture and relief. What I don’t particularly care for is the slight greasy feeling your hands submit to as the product works its way into your skin; and while I know that this means less chemicals in its 99% “natural formula,” I wish this had a more appealing scent. Either way, this product means business on the hydration front, and if you suffer from corpse-like skin during the dead of winter, here’s some serious help to bring it back to life.

Overall:  It’s a do.

Dr. Lipp Original Nipple Balm for Lips | It’s juvenile, I know – but couldn’t we have found a not so distracting name for our product here? Okay, so we discovered something that worked well for nursing mothers for multiple purposes, but there’s something somewhat comical when you’re out and about and need a chapped-lipped fix and your friend asks, “what’s that?” and you casually announce, “nipple balm.”  Bonus points for memorable branding, I suppose. The interesting thing is that this product is really great for chapped lips and has staying power. It has a slightly more liquid feel to it so it’s easier to apply, but in essence channels Vaseline if you ask me. I’ll enjoy the sample and all the perks of what a little nipple balm can do, but I’m not convinced it’s worth making a full-sized purchase. Perhaps as I make my way through the sample, I’ll have a change of heart though I’m not a fan of spending $14.50 on something like this. I’m still pretty content with the simple and much more affordable Chapstick sample Birchbox sent me a few months ago.

Overall: Use Vaseline…or Chapstick.

Nail Rock | I’m a huge fan of what’s happening in the mani/pedi world: playful colors, patterns, and super fun embellishments usually get me to break out my “Ooh, I LOVE it!” face. I just don’t think the textured nail movement is a trend that I can get behind. Nail Rock was my introduction. Let me explain. You polish your nails as you normally would and dip the wet nail bed into the nail velvet and let dry. I knew minutes after applying the texture that this wasn’t for me. The 3D-inspired pop of velvet looked like I’d smashed cotton balls on my nails beds. It was a bit ridiculous. I learned that Nail Rock uses glitter textures as well and I would’ve preferred a sample using that feature instead. The sad thing was that while I loved the deep purple color (perfect for winter), the consistency of the nail polish is lacking so I don’t think I could use it alone without experiencing mild frustration. You need like 4 coats before it finally starts to look like a solidly painted nail. This is likely because it’s designed for you to dip the polish into the velvet which would hide the “watery” look underneath acting more as a filler.

Overall: Velvet textured nails are too gimmicky. It’s a pass.

Juicy Couture – Viva La Juicy | One spritz of Juicy Couture’s “Viva La Juicy and you instantly feel a little more flirty. Its subtle mix of florals, fruits, and sweet undertones cultivate a vibe of playful femininity. It is an expense at $90 full-sized, so while I’ll certainly enjoy the sample, I don’t have any plans to purchase it. The fragrance market is flooded with a plethora of options at half the cost. It’s a shame because this is a winner. If you’re looking for an amazing everyday scent at a more resonable price point, I’d recommend Harvey Prince’s “Hello.” It’s officially my new favorite.

Overall: It’s a do…if you can afford it.

How did your first Birchbox of 2014 work for you? I’d love your feedback in the comments section below.

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