Birchbox Review | January 2015

Birchbox Review_January 2015_ATG FINAL
The first Birchbox of 2015 arrived a few weeks ago and it’s been quite the experimentation. My take on how January’s Birchbox products held up…

#1. Key West Aloe Gentle Aloe Cleanser | What is it about the word “aloe” that conjures up such feelings of calmness? Well, this facial cleanser from Key West Aloe lives up to that soothing feeling. (Ahh!) What makes this cleanser unique is that it contains 30% pure aloe vera, packing nutrient-rich power. It’s gentle enough for sensitive skin, smells wonderful, has a great texture, and compliments use with your Clarasonic device extremely well if you have one. Your skin leaves the bathroom feeling clean, soft, refreshed, and calm. At $16.50 full-sized (granted it’s only 6 ounces), it won’t break the bank either.

Overall: A do.

#2. Essentiel Elements Wake Up Rosemary Body Lotion | It’s no secret that I’m a huge fan of the shower gel version of this product. I use it when I’m looking for an especially indulgent showering session. This is in part because the scent is incredibly invigorating and instantly wakes up your senses, which is helpfully intensified by the steam. It should be no surprise then, that the body lotion equivalent packs that same Rosemary-scented punch. Admittedly, I went back and forth a lot with this lotion when deciding what my review would be. On the one hand, I loved the light texture and the way the product melts into your skin right away, without a trace of residue. On the other hand, though I enjoy the body wash immensely, having that same scent in lotion form isn’t really my cup of tea I found. I tend to prefer softer scents when it comes to lotions, usually, of the vanilla or floral variety. Add in the fact that there are entirely TOO MANY lotions in the world to not be fully satisfied (even if I am loyal to its counterpart), and I’ve made my decision. I’ll finish the sample, but my relationship with Essentiel Elements Rosemary products will likely stop with the shower gel.

 Overall:  A do…if the fragrance doesn’t bother you.

#3. Sweet Science Invisible Daily Tint  | I was pretty stoked to see this guy in my January box. I’m a huge stickler for having SPF on my face anytime I leave the house. Though my daily go-to moisturizer has sunscreen protection, my sometimes preferred heavier moisturizer for the winter months does not, essentially forcing me to use the product that does. It’s nice to have something that if you want more coverage to brave the colder months, you can still use it and slap on products like Sweet Science’s Invisible Daily Tint to help with the lack of sunscreen. This SPF 35 packed formula somehow mimics the coloring of your skin upon application, but invisibly settles in. This is because the tint is also designed to even skin tone, which you can see instantly. I’ve only used the sample on days when I didn’t want to wear make-up (though you certainly can use it with make-up) and I’m impressed. While the product is slightly gooey/messy to work with, I enjoyed the SPF protection and the light, even skin-toned coverage it provides, without the need for foundation. It also mattifies the skin, blocking out “shiny face syndrome.” I have to say, I’m not a fan of the $45 price tag for the full-sized version (at a mere 1 ounce!) – especially given how flooded the market is with products like this. That being said, this is a solid contender.

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

#4. REN Glycol Lactic Radiance Renewal Mask | This mask sure does make a girl feel special. It contains fruit acids and papaya enzymes that gently exfoliate the skin. It tingles for a few seconds after applying, but the feeling doesn’t last long and isn’t irritating in a way that makes you want to just give up and wash it off. It also smells wonderful. I’ve only used this product a few times and it would take consistent use to really see an overall improvement, I’m sure. I can say that 10 minutes after 1 use…your skin feels soft and refreshed; your complexion a little brighter. I hate to sound like a broken record (and trust me, I know beauty can be pricey) but again, $55 for 1.7 ounces is a stretch. Don’t get me wrong, if I find something I L.O.V.E. I’ll work with the cost, but glycol lactic masks are everywhere (though they do tend run on the pricier side, I know). I’m keeping my options open at the moment. I thoroughly enjoyed the sample and will certainly finish it out.

Overall:  A do (so far)….if you can get behind the cost.

#5. Katherine Cosmetics Everyday Eyeliner | I’ve sampled and reviewed A LOT of eyeliner over the years through Birchbox (and I mean a lot!) but this find one from a brand I’d never even heard of has to be my favorite yet. The “sample” was generous as you can tell – the liner arrived full-sized! I was immediately struck by the smudging brush located on the opposite end of the liner for your convenience. The pigment was rich, didn’t smear, was long-lasting, and flattering. I received the “Bonanza Black” shade (which to me channels more of a dark brown) and found it something that I could use day-to-day with no trouble. Perhaps if you’re fairer skinned the “Cessna Brown” might be more your speed. It’s little finds like this that make Birchbox fun! I highly recommend this liner if you’re in the market for something new and something that works.

Overall:  A do.


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

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