Friday, October 11, 2013

Birchbox - September 2013 - Review

Hi friends,

In my last beauty post I had announced that I would cut time by going straight to the box reviews rather than showcasing a new box, and then returning to it for a the review. As a result, the box reviews will be coming a little bit later in the month. In this case, way later since we are already in October.

Let me begin by saying that it's about time I realize I have ceased to be excited about the monthly box from Birchbox, and apparently I am not the only one as oodles of YouTubers and Bloggers are dropping out of the program or seriously considering it. I had said I would try it for a whole year, just to be fair, in order to give it a good average rating. I basically have three more months left to go and it's no longer Christmas every month for me... I am, again, thinking about cancelling and switching to another subscription box.

Overall, while I still love receiving samples in the mail, their boxes have become increasingly uninspired, not to mention the lack of full size and limited makeup. They also send a lot of stuff I could easily get at my Sephora or Ulta and quite frankly, it's all become very blah for me.
Nevertheless, here is the review for the September 2013:

It was called the Heritage Collection:


Berrimatrix Intense Repair Complex with Copper & Vitamin E
Full Size $116
Let me start with the price. I don't care if a jar is made of crystal or plastic, if the ingredients are rare and or hard to process. The bottom line is that no one should be paying $116 for a jar of face cream that doe nothing more than moisturize while sitting on the surface of your skin until you wash it off the same day!
I never heard of this brand (oh, surprise) and the card reads:
"A hydrator with blueberry extract that absorbs instantly to soothe and repair skin."
This hydrator is so fluid, it has the texture of carnation milk. It is very hard to take out of the jar because of its fluidity and I suspect it is supposed to be in a pump rather than a jar, which would probably make it disappear at a faster rate than if it had a more solid consistency. Now, I was a good girl and seriously gave this a try, using it faithfully for the duration of the jar. It glides onto your skin and does absorb well. As for moisture, it does the job, but it really ends there. I cannot say that I felt any kind of difference from using this pricey concoction than I would from any regular (and more affordable brands). To be honest, even if it was $20 I would not purchase it because it failed to demonstrate any kind of result that would convince me blueberry and copper mixed together = beautiful skin.
This is a Sea Salt Spray
Full size $27
There has been a lot of hoopla on the web and in magazines this past summer about sea salt sprays and how they make your hair look like you just came back from the beach. I am not really sure how that is supposed to be attractive since most of us can't wait to get into the shower when we come back from either the beach or the pool, and for a valid reason: we don't want our hair to be all tangled up, looking like ragweed and smelling musty.
The card states: "This styling spray gives you beachy texture and megavolume without any stickiness. Spray on wet hair to boost volume before styling, or dry hair to mattify and add lift".
Let me start by saying that this was a generous sample, the only problem is that I have no use for it. The stuff made my dry hair unbelievably matte (think lifeless as in totally dead looking) and so tangled, I ended up tying my hair back for the rest of the day, looking like I never brushed that same morning. I gave it another try on wet hair and it did separate my curls in a nice way,  and added volume but again, it mattifies your hair, giving them the appearance of lifeless lumps. I can see where this would be great on straight hair that needs volume, but on curly and unmanageable hair like mine, it's not a good look, dead and lumpy, if you know what I mean.
That said, it smells wonderful, a mix of nuts and patchouli and exotic coconut kind of smell, it is very soothing to me. So if it was a fragrance, I would buy it, as a hair thing, forget it. So why I am rating it at a C- and not a complete hall of flops? I plan on cutting my hair short (soon) and am thinking that this spray may actually help me get out the door faster in the morning, in the like of towel dry spray and go...again, not a big fan of the matte effect but it is very volumizing.
Ultimate Youth Power Eye Serum
Full size $36
Because I am a complete maniac when it comes to eye cream and serums, I would pay $36 or more for a good one. This is not the case though. "With plant stem cell technology, this conquering serum targets fine lines and dark circle".
It reads that you only need a pea-size amount for your eyes, the problem is that the stuff is so fluid and slippery, I had half the tube come out at the first squeeze. Not wanting to lose any of the precious "stem cell technology" I ended up using it all over my face that one time. After that, I had learned my lesson and was a bit more gentle on the squeeze the tube action thing.
As a serum, it comes out as a semi translucent gel like texture that glides onto the skin and absorbs almost instantly. It did give me some bounce under my eyes and seemed to act as a good moisturizer but I cannot say that I looked rested or de-puffed the following day. It is just a standard eye serum - my opinion of course. I don't know why but for some reason, anything that would use plant stem cell technology ought to be pricier than $36 so it does appear a bit bogus as a claim to me, not to mention the use of the three BIG buzz words bunched together into one name: ULTIMATE - YOUTH -!
Bottom line, it's a good moisturizer for your eyes, nothing amazing.
Nail Lacquer in Fox Hunt
Full size $10
F for Color - B for formula
If you have been reading my blogs for a while, you know exactly what I did with this thing, right? I mean look at it, it's neon copper/orange glow for crying at loud! And it is screaming "look at me, look at me, look at me!" I could not even get myself to swatch it on my finger nails for the purpose of this post, though I did try it on my toes and I will spare you the sight of that.
This is supposed to be an exclusive to Birchbox and the first nail collection from Ruffian (a clothing brand). I live under a rock, so of course I never heard of them.
Ok, so bottom line the color is hideous but what about the quality? Well, it is actually a better texture and application process than other salon lacquers, go figure. I thought the formula was very good and would not mind trying other colors. So I went on line (we knew that) to check out the rest of the collection available on the Birchbox website:
image source

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And it's pretty frightening to me that the only wearable color I can see here is the boring pink at the bottom...Which is easily available in less expensive and equally impressive brands of nail polish such as this one by Wet 'n Wild (2% Milk - that's the name). I have to mention  Wet 'n Wild Megalast lacquers because I recently discovered them and I am unbelievably impressed by both the formula and the brush - hence the ease of application, not bad for a lacquer that costs less than $2!
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Bon Genre
Full size $55 -$75
It is difficult to rate a fragrance because it is such a personal thing. This one is a mix of lychee and "mysterious" Jasmine Noire...Basically it is fruity, floral and spicy at the same time, somewhat similar to Narciso Rodriguez (for her). It is a warm scent, very feminine with good lasting power but I think I would get bored with it after a while because it is a bit overwhelming on the jasmine note.
Just for the sake of it, I went to fetch a picture of the actual bottle to show you, because sometimes, half the fun in perfume is in the packaging itself and this one is a bit flashy, to say the least:
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So, that pretty much sums it up, another blah box from Birchbox.
You can find me on FACEBOOK and YOUTUBE.

Thanks for reading and sharing my blog.
Sophia, NJ.


* This blog contains affiliate advertising. I am not affiliated with any of the brands mentioned above. I am not affiliated with Birchbox, Sephora, Ulta or Wet'n Wild or am I solicited to write reviews. All opinions are my own. 

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