Sunday, April 21, 2013

Birchbox March 2013 - full review

Hi friends,

As promised, here is my review of all the products included in the March 2013 Birchbox (don't miss my April 2013 Birchbox Open Box).

To recap, below is what I received in my March 2013 Birchbox. I had also mentioned that this was my make it or lose it box since I was not too pleased with the previous ones and seriously considering canceling my subscription altogether. For those of you who are new to Birchbox, it is a monthly beauty samples subscription ($10/month). I also subscribe to EcoEmi, an all organic and natural samples subscription which also includes cosmetics and non cosmetics samples ($15/month).

I have tried every sample in the March 2013 Box and am prepared for a thorough review, so here goes:

I thought the samples were actually pretty exciting this time around as opposed to the previous months. I was  looking forward to trying them all and take a few notes to make sure I would remember everything I wanted to mention about them.

For each item (starting with the back row from left to right) I will include a quick description, my review as well as a final grade. Each "full Size" link will lead you to the individual product from the Birchbox website itself.

1. Serge Normant - Meta Revive Dry Shampoo - F
I was looking forward to trying this products since I had heard a lot of buzz lately about dry shampoos and how they can restore your hair style and manageability in between shampoos. This product is meant to be used on dry hair (obviously), spraying it at the roots and thoroughly brushing afterwards.
I did not like it one bit and was very disappointed. To start, it is supposed to have a subtle fragrance which turned out to be more like baby powder from the dollar store. Further, while I understand I have a full head of wavy, at times freezy hair, I really thought this product was going to help manage my do in between shampoos, as promised. Well, after one application, the not so eco friendly spray can went straight to the trash and my hair looked something like this:
(Photo Source)
I kid you not, I was stuck with motorcycle hair for the rest of the day and must have lost 20% of my hair through combing alone to get rid of the stuff until I got fed up and washed it all off. I was not impressed with this product at all. That said, I can see how someone with straight and perhaps oily hair could see results. I just don't think it is appropriate for coarse/curly hair. The product retails at $25 (full size) I would say that if you have curly hair, skip it. If excessive oil on straight hair is something that describes you, you may want to try it, but in this case I would think that every dry shampoo would give the same result.

2. Whish - Shave Crave Shaving Cream - C+ 

This is an organic Shea Butter shaving cream that is foam free and promised to give a close shave. The tube itself did not look too big but I was able to try it on both legs and underarms. So I guess it was enough for one application. It also boasted an exclusive blueberry scent (whatever is exclusive about blueberry itself, I am not sure).
Let me start with the scent, to me it smelled nothing like blueberry so I guess that is what was so exclusive about it. Instead, it smelled more like some kind of bubble gum candy but it was not a bad smell, just not blueberry. As for the cream, it comes out white and lands on your legs as semi transparent therefore making it very difficult to figure out what was shaved and was still needed to be shaved. I had to turn towards the light to see where the cream was. I normally use shaving gels that would foam upon being applied to the skin. I like this type of product because you can really see it on your skin and know where your blade is going. This one however, I struggled and was not impressed. As for the close shave, I am fairly convinced it has to do with your razor blade (quality and age) rather than the cream itself.  With regards to the shaving part of the product I would give it a D but my skin was someone moisturized afterwards (no crocodile skin) and that alone raised the grade to a C+. The tube retails for $20 (full size), I can't justify the price based on the results from the sample.

3. Marcelle - BB Cream Golden Glow - C-

This is a Canadian company I never heard of and was very excited to try. As mentioned in my March 2013 Open Box post, I was looking to try on a BB cream and was pleased to receive this sample. Ingredients include Aloe Vera Juice. I felt the cream was too thick. I also did not care for the tint. I can see where Birchbox had to send a sample that would fit everyone but since we all fill out a profile including skin tone, the customization claim from the company failed right here and there for me. I have very fair skin and my foundations are usually light to medium light. This product came out orange on my skin and left visible streaks. To be fair I went out to the local Walgreens and used a coupon to purchase a L'Oreal BB Cream to compare the two against each other. Well, I was not happy with that one either, so perhaps BB Creams are just not for me. Again, I felt the texture was too thick, the color was wrong, and for some reason it also felt as though it was an old sample. I am not giving it a horrible review though because there were some areas on my face that appeared to be improved such as my nose and chin. But BB's are for the entire face since they are also treatment creams and to me, it did not provide anything my regular 1.5 Matchmaker MAC foundation does not provide. This product retails at $27 (full size).

4. Caldrea - Body Lotions - B+

Finally products I actually enjoyed. I am a big fan of body lotions and butters and make it a ritual to apply moisturizer every night and after every shower. I tried each one on three consecutive nights so that I would have a fresh memory to compare them against one another. Overall, these were decent lotions, lightly scented and rather moisturizing. I am just not sure whether they do anything better than other lotions out there. I tend to like thick - shea butter type creams since lotions tend to be absorbed too quickly on my skin. That said, as lotions, they did the job, they apply easily and do moisturize. I tried the Coconut Fig first and was pleased, it just did not smell much like coconut, or fig. I guess it was simply a perfect blend of both. The Aloe Water and Apricot was a bit better and because of the Aloe Vera ingredient the application felt different but provided similar results. I enjoyed the sweet scent but felt it did not have much staying power. My favorite of the three is the Tea Olive Lime lotion. Again, similar application and results. However, I really enjoyed the scent and this one had better staying power. In fact, I felt it was very similar to the Lime and Bergamot body lotion and body spray I currently used from Vera Wang (Kohls). I guess I enjoyed this one best based on its similarity with what I already have on hand. These lotions retail for $22 (full size). My Vera Wang is much more affordable and I probably will stick with it, for now.

5 - Madewell - Emery Board - B+

There are two things I like about this board. The first one is the design since one side is plain pink and the other has a beautiful flower pattern (not shown here). Second, it comes in a plastic protective sleeve which makes it a great purse emery board. Unfortunately, both sides have the same coarseness level and I would have like a smooth and a rough side. I have been using it regularly and so far it does not show any sign of age. For these reasons I give it a B+. It is a good emery board. Full size retail is $5.

Based on all these reviews, I would give the March 2013 Birchbox a rating of C+/B-.  Which is again putting me on the fence with the subscription itself. I guess the reason why I am still a subscriber is that regardless of the results I still thoroughly enjoy discovering and trying on new products.

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Sophia, NJ.

* This blog contains affilitate advertising. While I receive a commission for some of the items advertised on this site, I am not solicited by any company to review their products. I am not affiliated with Birchbox. All opinions are my own.


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