Birchbox Review | October

1-IMG_20131029_171904_995-001

I think this is my favorite Birchbox yet. Here’s how the latest and greatest in beauty made my October feel little bit more gorgeous. Product reviews are from left to right.


Supergoop!® City Sunscreen Serum | If a complete stranger approached me on the street one day and said, “OMG, you have the most radiant skin ever! What moisturizer do you use?” Somehow saying “Why, thank you! I’m a huge fan of Supergoop!” just doesn’t quite feel right to me; nor sound serious to said stranger, I’m sure.  I can’t think of a worse name for a beauty product, but bonus points for originality. Aside from the terrible name, this moisturizer is pretty fantastic. It’s lightweight, has a SPF 30 sun protection factor, and did my skin proud. One application and my skin instantly felt moisturized, especially during this time of year where my skin can get rather dry. At $42 full-sized, it’s a splurge for a skin cream, though a nice alternative. You all know I’m a huge fan of Murad’s moisturizer which I’ve happily been using for years. I’m not currently in the market to make the switch at this time, but “The Goop” would definitely be a contender.

Benefit Fakeup | I really, really wanted to like this product. I recently got turned on the best mascara ever from Benefit (their They’re Real! Mascara is to die for) and got to thinking that perhaps Benefit could be more to me than just awesome eyelashes. Their “Fakeup” is a concealer with a unique application that uses a hydration ring around the color. While Birchbox magically sent me a color sample that was a shade lighter than my skin tone so pretty close to what I would use as a concealer shade, I found that the hydration ring which lent to a smooth application and added some moisture under my eyes, performed poorly when it came to coverage. I think the hydration aspect to this product, though awesome in theory, means that the consistency of the color isn’t bold enough to be an effective concealer. My favorite go-to concealer is still Mac’s Studio Finish Concealer. It outperforms Benefit’s Fakeup, hands down.

Serious Skincare® Glycolic Gommage Extreme Renewal | My experience with this Serious Skincare facial mask was nothing but seriously incredible. I was surprised that the texture came of the generously sized sample, mimicking your typical clay mask. While I looked like a Ninja Turtle for the next 10 minutes, this product was using its powerful alpha-hydroxy acid (glycolic) to soothingly melt away dead skin cells and draw out toxins – revealing noticeably hydrated and soft skin after the first use. My skin was radiant, feeling every inch clean and refreshed. I’m impressed with this product and would certainly purchase a full size version. For $38.50, but used once or twice a week, this seemingly expensive product is not only reasonable, but well worth it for its amazing deep cleaning/exfoliating properties. I’m a fan!

POP Beauty Aqua Lacquer | I love a glossy lip. Even better, I love a glossy lip that lasts longer than 5 minutes. Unfortunately, to get and keep that look usually entails a super thick gooey consistency (think Mac’s Lipglass) which I’ve actually become accustomed to (when I’m in the mood). This product felt similar to Lipglass in some respects, though not quite as sticky.  It still has a gluey feel to it which aids in giving high shine lips that’s long-lasting, but uses jojoba oil to give some hydration as well. I agree with much of the complaint, if you don’t like sticky lip glosses this isn’t for you. While the product also claims to plump lips, I didn’t notice much a difference, other than the slight sting that’s present when applying. I have naturally full lips (as many African-American women do) so this isn’t something that ever appeals to me anyway. What I didn’t really care for is the hard “paddle style” applicator. I prefer a lip brush or wand which makes the application process more enjoyable. Overall, I’m happy with the sample and the light pink high shine gloss it gives my lips. This sample has been and will stay in my purse for when I need to punch things up.

ChapStick® Hydration Lock |  What can I say? ChapStick is ChapStick, a beloved American treasure for dry lipped people everywhere! This product is awesome, and the gentle Vanilla Creme flavor is unassuming, yet effective. The creamy texture, the smell, and the moisturization factor are all “A-plusses” in my book. My lips instantly feel smoother. Thanks for the full-sized sample, Birchbox!

Advertisements

To Prime or Not To Prime

I’ve had a change of heart, girls. And it involves the use of a base primer before applying your make-up for the day. I always thought of primers as not very necessary if you use foundation and other beauty products that are already designed (though admittedly oftentimes fail) to have a “long-lasting” effect. If you recall, I reviewed Lancôme’s La Base Pro Primer in my first Birchbox two months ago and didn’t think much of it, not because I didn’t like it; but thought it was just another expensive something that I could live without. That’s until…

1-IMG_20130411_114353_715-001

…this last week or so. I’ve been grabbing the La Base Pro Primer every morning to finish up the Birchbox sample, and realized not long after that when I really looked at my make-up toward the end of a busy day; my cheeks still had a subtle glow from the cream blush application I’d applied that morning, and most noticeably, my concealer was still managing to hang in there. My biggest beauty complaint is how flawless my eye make-up looks when it’s first done, but by 3:00pm, dark circle central returns under my eyes and my mascara and eyeliner seem to smear no matter what I do!

Even better, I’m noticing that my skin isn’t as oily by the end of the day. The primer glides on in an oil-free manner creating a matte texture on my skin providing the perfect canvas before adding my favorite MAC concealer and Estee Lauder foundation. At $42.00 a bottle, it is an expense, but one that I’m willing to overlook since a bottle should ideally last you for months.

So sincere apologies girls, I spoke way too hastily on this one. Lancôme’s La Base Pro Primer IS worth the hype!

You can take a look inside my make-up bag by reading about my favorite products here.

Happy Primping! xx

{Here’s a great how-to video to get the most out of your make-up primer.}