Birchbox Review | July 2014

How the latest and greatest in beauty and lifestyle products made me feel a little bit more gorgeous this month…or not so much. Here’s the skinny…

Birchbox Review July ATG FINAL

#1.  Harvey Prince Hello Body Cream | It’s no secret that thanks to Birchbox, I’m a fan of Harvey Prince. If I had to pick my signature scent right now, Hello is my near daily go-to perfume choice (which I’ve gushed about before here and here.). In a nutshell, the Hello Body Cream is the icing on the cake! The formula is infused with my beloved Hello perfume, along with sweet almond oil, citrus botanicals, and shea butter to give it a bright scent, and light moisturizing feel. The texture is silky and the product blends into the skin almost instantly. Your hands (which is where I opted to use this product) feel saturated and soft, without a greasy residue. As much as I love the cream, I’ll stick to their perfume as my Harvey Prince indulgence of choice. Though I do adore this product, I can’t see myself spending $22 on a 12 ounce bottle of lotion at this time. I’d rather save up and invest in the fragrance.

Overall: A do…if you can get behind the cost.

#2.  Ruffian Nail Lacquer – Ambrosia | I’ve received a Ruffian nail polish sample from Birchbox before. I won’t go into much further detail from my previous review last September, but I will say that I loved this color much better than the one I got last year. I do think this was largely why I was so unimpressed at the time. There’s nothing worse than a “blah” shade in any beauty product. The Ambrosia color has a unique metallic lavender finish that sparkles subtly in the sunshine. And even better, you really only need one coat. Where Ruffian does excel is in the design of the bottle. I do appreciate the ball shape on the cap. It allows for a good grip and gives you more control during application.

 Overall: Perhaps I misjudged Ruffian the first time around. Relationship status, pending.

#3.  Juice Beauty Stem Cellular Repair Moisturizer  | Like most skin care products designed to help with fine lines and wrinkles, this gel serum from Juice Beauty (cool name!) would take time and repeated usage to see any real results. I’ve only used this product a few times and would need to continue use for a while to form an opinion (and I don’t know if the size of the sample would give me enough product to form one anyway!). I don’t really have anything to say other than I wasn’t a fan of how it made my skin feel pretty dry after application. I was always desperate to get to my moisturizer after using it. Admittedly, I happen to be in the category right now of not really having aging concerns when it comes to my skin. This likely due to my age, my race (African-Americans tend to age well), and the fact that my mom looks more like my sister (so I have good genes!). That being said, I’ve always been one for good skin care (also thanks to my mom) and probably do need to start thinking more seriously about using something like this product on a more regular basis to get an early start at warding off signs of aging. Unfortunately, I don’t think it would be with this product anyway.

Overall: Eh.

#4.  Ruffian Dressing Room Nail Lacquer Remover Towelettes | I have a confession to make and I may lose cool points for it. I typically resort to maximum strength acetone-based nail polish remover when it’s time for a polish change. And while I know this stuff is known to wreak havoc on nails, I like the ease of a quick swipe, swipe, swipe, and the polish is gone. Though I think these towelettes are a pretty genius idea, I wasn’t thrilled that it took 3 times as long for me to remove my polish. It’s not like I was in any big rush or anything, I just hate rubbing the same nail over…and over…and over…times 10 (it’s my A.D.D. nature, I’m sure). However, these perfume scented towelettes are winners in and of themselves. Each wipe is enough to remove the polish of an entire mani or pedi. They are acetone-free, and therefore, naturally much less harsh on nails. Add in the fact that they smell wonderful, and are infused with vitamin E – which leaves the nail bed area all the more moisturized – and this is something I could buy into, despite the longer removal time. Where these fall short is being able to really reach toward the sides of the nail bed nearest the skin in the deeper crevices. You’ll still need the aid of a Q-tip, which is slightly disappointing given that a box of 10 towelettes costs $12.

Overall: A do…if you don’t mind a longer removal time…and the cost.

#5.  100% Pure Gingerade Shower Gel (Honey Cream Wash) | This was a case of I just couldn’t tell. I couldn’t tell if this all-natural (a plus!) ginger-inspired body wash was a scent I could get behind because I didn’t hate it, but I couldn’t say I loved it either. I really couldn’t tell much about its performance from the pathetic-sized samples I got where one packet barely did anything on my loofah. I actually had to add my go-to Caress body wash to it to finish my shower. This has all the ingredients for a terrible first impression. It might help if Birchbox sent a larger sample to really get a sense of the product, but this was disappointing. I just gave up and denounced this altogether. There are too many products on the market to experiment with. Neeeext!

Overall: Pass.

#6. Ofra Universal Eyebrow Pencil | I don’t personally use eyebrow pencils. If I ever feel the need to define them on a rare given day, I usually just add a few swipes over my brow bone using a brown eyeliner pencil applied with a light hand. That said, this eyebrow pencil by Ofra is a good option if you don’t like the all-in-one convenience of just using your eyeliner. What makes this particular pencil stand-out, is that it’s designed to work on any gals brows, from blondes to brunettes. Obviously, I can’t speak to its universality, but as a brunette with a darker (honey) complexion this pencil works well. You really only need just a few strokes and you’re set. The pencil is long-lasting and fills nicely.

Overall:  A do… if you’d rather not just use an eyeliner.

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(I’m not affiliated with Birchbox outside of just being a fan…with an opinion.)

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