September’s Birchbox ranks as one of my all-time favorites. I don’t really have a bad thing to say….well, maybe a little thing… or two. Let’s break it down!
#1. Macadamia Professional Healing Oil Spray | Coincidentally, about a week before this product arrived, I remember looking at myself in the mirror and flat out saying out loud (yes, I talk to myself…and often), “I wish I could just add a lightweight spritz of oil to my hair right now, to give it just a hint of shine and moisture in-between shampoo sessions.” Of course, I already have an oil product that I use religiously for this purpose, but it involves distributing product the old-fashioned way: pouring a gooey substance into your hands, rubbing them together, and then applying to the hair. I was in the mood for something that I could just grab, spray, comb through and be out! Sometimes the Birchbox Gods, or rather Goddesses, hear your cry. This Macadamia Professional Healing Oil Spray satisfies all your hair moisturizing needs. It’s light, instantly gives your hair sheen, smells heavenly, requires no contact with gooey substances, and works great on wet or dry strands. It also didn’t hurt that someone walked over to me one day and said my hair looked fantastic! Outside of my stellar hair-dressing skills (I’m no José Eber but I do well), I’m giving this product part credit in keeping my hair happy and healthy as of late. I’m in LOVE. This will definitely become apart of my routine full-time. The great news is that it’s a steal on Amazon for twice the size.
Overall: It’s a do. Repeat: It’s a DO. Third time’s a charm: DO IT!
#2. TEMPTU S/B Highlighter | I like make-up as much as the next girl, but unless I’m going to work or going out somewhere special, I don’t feel the need to have a full face of make-up on. And even then, I keep things pretty standard: a little concealer for under the eyes, foundation, mascara, and if I’m feeling especially in the mood, some blush on the cheeks. The point being that I’ve never used a highlighter. Thanks to Birchbox, I got my first taste using this “Champagne Shimmer” highlighter from Temptu, who I learned is also leading the at-home make-up airbrushing revolution (and now I kinda want one). While I don’t think a highlighter is an absolute necessity (because this becomes yet ANOTHER expense), I can certainly see how incorporating a good highlighter magically gives your skin a more polished, glowing look after you’ve applied your basics. I especially loved the effect you get when mixing the highlighter with your foundation for an all over radiant shimmer (a tip I learned from a fellow Birchboxer). Since I’m new to highlighters, I want to experiment with different shades and brands, but this one from Temptu is a great start. It’s seriously has me considering the idea of adding highlighters to my routine.
Overall: A do.
#3. Yu-Be Moisturizing Skin Cream | Rumor has it that this has been Japan’s top-selling moisturizer for over 50 years…unfortunately, this would be the product where I have that aforementioned bad thing to say. While I appreciated this product’s aim – moisturizing everything from my heels to my lips (somehow that sounds weird as I type that, but that’s what this stuff does!), I couldn’t get past the Vicks Vapor Rub smell. I felt like I should be in bed with a cold just begging be to able to smell something, anything, so that I knew my clogged sinuses were only temporary and that relief was on the way. (In that moment, even catching a whiff of Vick’s is a godsend). I liked the product, but couldn’t get over the smell or the texture. It really just seems to be a high-end version of Vaseline if you ask me.
#4. Laura Mercier Full Blown Volume Supreme Mascara | If you knew me, or read any of my beauty-related posts over the last year, you know that I’m loyal to Benefit’s They’re Real! Mascara. I’ve said it over, and over, and over….and over, again. I’m very happy in the mascara area at the moment, but if I were on the prowl for a new find, this gem from Laura Mercier might be a serious contender. It goes on smooth, welcomes multiple applications with ease to create volume-filled lashes to your liking that don’t clump, and it doesn’t flake. Here’s where my second bad thing to say comes into play: I’ve gotten so use to the ease and clean application with Benefit’s wand (I hardly ever have to use a Q-Tip afterward), that I have a hard time using the more traditional “bushy” mascara wands that get product all over the eyelid (yuck!). Otherwise, this is a great mascara if you want a more natural look. If you want intense volume and va-va-voom lashes, They’re Real! is your friend.
Overall: A do, but I’m still sticking with They’re Real! until they stop making the stuff. Best mascara. Ever.
#5. Dr. Brandt Pores No More Vacuum Cleaner | Luckily, I don’t really have much pore-related drama in my life. I may get a blemish here or there every so often, but I don’t personally battle blackheads or have large pores or anything. My skin concerns are almost always related to hydration and seeking a more even complexion (because on the rare occasion I do get a pimple, it almost always leaves a small mark behind). That being said, this mask from Dr. Brandt was impressive for me in that it didn’t make my skin feel dry after use. This is important given that its mission is to extract all the junk that’s lurking in your pores – and in my experience, products such as these have me begging for a moisturizer as soon I get the stuff off. I enjoyed sampling this mask. It’s quick and easy to use. I appreciated how it turns light blue as an indicator that it’s time to rinse off. The most heavenly part has to be the way your skin feels squeaky clean as you pat dry. The feel of the air on your skin is indescribable right after use. Magic!
Overall: A do. If you can get behind the cost.
#6. ChapStick Dual-Ended Hydration Lock | At the moment I’m crushing on Burt’s Bees Tinted Lip Balm, but this Chapstick will go to good use. My relationship with Chapstick was re-invigorated by Birchbox last October when they introduced me to their Hydration Lock product line, which I adore. The twist on this particular Chapstick is the “Dual-Ended” feature. One side “Renews” while the other “Moisturizes” (yeah, I don’t get the difference either.) Upon further investigation, the “renew” end is great for use alone or as a primer for your lipstick during the day. The “Moisturize” side contains antioxidants more geared toward night use. The gimmick is apparent here, but I still like the product. Chapstick is Chapstick. I doubt I’ll be paying too much attention to what end I use. As long as my lips feel nourished and it lasts longer than 10 minutes, I’m happy.
Overall: A Do.
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(I’m not affiliated with Birchbox outside of just being a fan…with an opinion.)