Sunday, August 18, 2013

Birchbox July 2013 - Full Review

Hi friends,

This is my full review for the July 2013 Birchbox. 

For those of you who may not be familiar with Birchbox, it is a monthly cosmetics sample subscription ($10/month - shipping included). You receive up to 5 samples, occasionally a full size product and get to try brands you may not be familiar with. Overall, I find it to be a great way to curb on spending by simply trying out before I purchase anything. The majority of the time the samples are big enough to give you a real opportunity to try the products and test their effectiveness.

Overall, this month's box was a good me, I enjoyed trying all of the samples and had a few surprises too!

July 2013 Birchbox - Full Review

 Number 4 - Super Comb Prep & Protect  - B-
 Full Size $32

I really was not wowed by this product. It does have nice fresh scent and applies evenly. But it let my hair wet and weighed down at first then dried up to a frizz by the end of the day. Seriously,  my hair looked as though it had been stuck in the 70s, which is not a good look for me.
Overall, I found it to be a good in between treatment when you run out of your regular leave-in conditioner, but this is not something I would purchase as a stand alone product since it left my hair frizzy and very dry to the touch. I am starting to think that any leave-in conditioner that is packaged as a spray/spritz product will leave my hair to be a frizzy mess (aside from the Shea Radiance sample I had received from one of my EcoEmi boxes this year - still my favorite leave-in hair product). Creams may be a better option for super frizzy hair.

Purminerals - CC Cream Broad Spectrum SPF 40 - A-
Full size $38

After the BB Cream, here comes the CC Cream! 

I tried a whole bunch of BB Creams since last year and have not found a single one that did anything for me. I find them to be too greasy on my skin and their staying power is mediocre.This however is a bit different.

It is a tone complexion corrector with an SPF 40. 

At first I thought it was going to be too dark and thick for me. The sample I received is in MEDIUM and looked  ashy on my hand. But it turned out to be a real surprise!

It does apply as a thick cream and the SPF ingredients do make it difficult to spread since it does not glide onto your skin. That being said, it offered really good coverage and an even skin tone. And because it is mineral based, it gives a matte finish, which is my preferred type of finish. The MEDIUM shade is a bit too gray for me though, so I would prefer something with a tad more pink in the formula.

So, how does it compare to your regular foundation? This is not as fluid, and requires either a stipple brush or a sponge for application. It provides a similar coverage with good pore filling but this is not a pore eraser/filler.

I am really intrigued by this product and may consider purchasing a full size, but need to sample other shades. One drawback is that it does feel dry on the skin, so I would recommend you apply a good moisturizer first. As for staying power, I would say it is above average and  reminded me of Revlon's Colorstay foundation. Since I am planning on a short stay away vacation at the end of the month, I will be using this Pur Minerals CC Cream as my foundation - good coverage, good staying power = perfect for all day long and on the go makeup.

Wei - Golden Root Purifying Mud Mask - B-
Full size $42


As I mentioned in the July Open Box post, I am familiar with the Wei line of skincare and have enjoyed their products, finding them to be very effective. For some reason I like the concept of using Chinese traditional remedies and herbal medicine for skincare routine. If I recall well, Wei uses old recipes from generations past with modern technology. That was always an attractive selling point for me.
This is not a cheap mask, the full size retails at $42, so based on the price alone, I know I would not purchase this item.
I tried it on yesterday morning and really was not all that impressed.
It does have a great texture and applies as though chocolate pudding, it is very moist, thick and cold to the touch. This is the kind of mask you would leave on until it is dry but it does not pull the skin while drying, which is a plus.

I found it difficult to remove and required too much rinsing. It is also not a clean experience as I ended up with a lot of brown water all around my sink and some of the residual mask landed on my towel. I would recommend putting this mask on your face before taking a shower and rinsing off in the shower instead of at the sink.
As for the results, I found my skin looked much brighter and tight after one use. But, it did draw out any tiny bit of oil and I found my skin very dry afterwards. It also made tiny wrinkles along my cheeks and mouth area more visible.
So for that reason alone, I cannot say this was a great mask. I ended up doubling on my moisturizer afterwards to keep my skin supple.

Wei - Pomegranate Buffing Beads - A
Full Size $20

These are a lot of fun! Each little packet comes with enough product for one application. Basically, this looks like a salt and pepper mix, with regards to texture and appearance. 
You would add the buffing beads to your skin cleanser (in the palm of your hand) and apply directly to the skin, washing as usual (being careful with the eye area).

I found this product to be very effective yet gentle on my skin. It is very similar to microdermabrasion with regards to results, leaving the skin silky smooth after one use. I find it to be gentle enough for multiple weekly uses but would not recommend it on a daily basis. It also had a very pleasant scent: a mix of fruit and nuts.
Like every scrub-type product, this should be incorporated to your evening routine, allowing the skin to renew properly at night. If you scrub in the morning, you are basically removing a layer of brand new skin cells!

There was only one thing I did not like about this product (hence the lack of A+): it does not rinse off well. I found that when I rinsed my face by splashing it with water, the beads tended to gather at the base of my neck and I had to rinse some more then rub them off with a towel. After a couple of hours, I would still have some stuck on my neck here and there. I understand these are not meant to melt away, but it can be annoying since it feels like sand leftover on your skin. That being said, this is a very good way to exfoliate and I found that it left my skin smooth, and my pores less visible. I liked it, a lot!

Dr. Jart - Ceramidin Cream - B-
Full Size $48

I did not see the big deal about this product. It is nothing more than a basic moisturizer! You may remember the claim (26 hours moisturizing effect!). Well, I did not  test whether I felt moisturized an extra two hours on the days I sampled it but I can tell you this: it is a moisturizer! 

I did not notice anything out of the ordinary with regards to how my skin felt afterwards, no miracle there.
I can tell you this though: it has way too much perfume in it. I am not sure whether they are natural scents or perfume, but wow! it really does smell perfumy and I did not care for that, one bit! I just do not want my face cream to smell like a body lotion! 

It applies well but has a weird greyish-yellow tint that makes it look like a prescription from your Dermatologist...not too glamorous, if you ask me! Bottom line - it was nice to sample but I won't go out of my way to purchase a full size!

I hope you found this review helpful. 
Here are more Birchbox reviews you may want to check out:

March 2013
April 2013
May 2013
June 2013

Sophia, NJ

You can find me on FACEBOOK and YOUTUBE

* My blog contains affiliate advertising. I am not affiliated with any of the brands mentioned in this post. All opinions are my own. This is not a sponsored post.

1 comment:

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