Happy September! Let’s take a quick step back and explore last month’s Birchbox.
Here’s how the latest and greatest in beauty made August feel a little bit more gorgeous…or not so much.
#1. Neil George Shampoo | I’m pretty much at a place where I wish Birchbox would stop sending me shampoo and conditioner samples altogether. With the exception of the Davines line, I’m consistently disappointed by the shampoo and conditioner products. What’s worse is when so-called celebrated “top Hollywood hair stylists” create product lines for us regular folk that channel nothing more than what you’d find stocked standard in a hotel bathroom at the Marriott. (I can’t take full credit for this analogy, I read something similar when researching the product, but I couldn’t agree more with that description.) Unfortunately, what Birchbox seems to be missing (though I’m sure they’re aware of it per the meticulously detailed profile they have you fill out when signing up) is that I am African-American, and therefore, require tons of moisture in both a shampoo and conditioner. Thick, creamy, lather-rich shampoos are my go-to. Neil George couldn’t be more opposite of this. It has the consistency of a step above water, and barely lathered after using half the sample (I’m sorry, I like a lathering shampoo). Perhaps this works better on a different hair type from mine (though this product is not highly reviewed overall on Birchbox.com). I ended up giving this to my boyfriend (whose hair texture is the complete contrast of mine) so as to not waste it, and even he thought it was “just fine.”
#2. Neil George Conditioner | See above and insert said comment here.
#3. SeaRX Birch Sap Moisturizing Lotion | This product was the star of my August Birchbox, a surprisingly refreshing and effective moisturizing lotion. I absolutely LOVED the smell and the lightweight texture. Enhanced with minerals from the ocean, birch sap, and sugar – there was something non-threatening about applying it on my face. It’s as if you could almost feel nature melt seamlessly into the skin. I actually looked forward to using this product, and appreciated the way my skin looked and felt after each usage. The downside, which is uber important to me, is that there is no SPF protection included in this product – a necessity for me when thinking about a facial moisturizer. The good news is that this product can be used all over the body, which I do like when it comes to versatility. If I were to proceed with this gem full-time, I’d either only use it at night, or supplement a sunscreen for day use (which drives the cost up more, not making me happy given that this product is already $28 full-sized).
Overall: A do, though disappointed in the no SPF factor.
#4. Dr. Jart+ PORE MEDIC Pore Minish Primer | It took me awhile to even warm up to the idea of a primer. I always thought if you bought the right make up this step was unnecessary. I came to the conclusion after being introduced to Lancome’s La Base Pro Face Primer in one of my early Birchbox’s that a primer is, in fact, a good idea and now I’m hooked. Primers smooth the skin, helps prevent makeup from seeping into pores (and clogging them), as well as keep your makeup looking as is of you’d just applied it. I’m especially a fan of primers during the summer to help maintain application as much as possible during the warmer (read: sweaty) months of the year. This one by Dr. Jart did an admirable job. I can’t say that my pores looked tightened, because in general my pores look just fine if you ask me. Dr. Jart’s primer also claims to improve complexion. I can’t vouch for that either given the short time I’ve been using the sample. What it does (and did well) is create a the perfect canvas for make up application. Kudos to them for removing a lot of the no-no chemicals found in products (i.e. parabens, sulfates, etc.). I also like the more reasonable price point. The Lancome primer I use is smaller at .8oz and costs $10 more.
Overall: A do.
#5. Noir Cosmetics Long-Wear Eyeliner | Overall, I found this to be an effective eyeliner. It glides on about as smoothly as a pencil eyeliner can, and does so with a rich jet black pigmentation. I didn’t test its “water-proof” claim personally, but can attest to its wear. I won’t say that this liner doesn’t smudge (because it did some) but given the opaqueness, and the fact that this is not a gel or liquid liner, it performed well. I am especially impressed with its vitamin E and jojoba oil ingredients – making it more appealing for such a sensitive area (and those of us who wear contacts!). I don’t find this to be unreasonably priced at $15 either. Win, win.
Overall: A do.
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(I’m not affiliated with Birchbox outside of just being a fan…with an opinion.)