A tad late, since this is the December 2013 box, but here is the full review of the products I received.
To begin, I thought this was a very good box. This was supposed to be the end of year one and I believe my 12th box (one year) since I started my subscription with Birchbox in 2012. As you know, I have kept ambivalent about the subscription because the boxes are always hit or miss for me. I have to say, though, that the last few boxes have been pretty good and this one is no exception. Is Birchbox my favorite subscription box? Still not! I find that while I enjoy trying and discovering products, they are always high end stuff I would never buy as stand alone for myself.
This is the holiday 2013 Birchbox - Sparkle and Shine
Hair Rules - Nourishment leave-in Conditioner - A
Full Size $12
I am always looking for a leave-in treatment to tame my frizzy hair. This one did the trick for me. This is a "lightweight hydration that detangles and revitalizes with honey, ginger root, and gardenia".
I applied it on damp hair before blow drying and found my hair to be smooth and very manageable. The following day, my hair had maintained its style, which is a plus and selling point for me. I recommend this product and will purchase it, since I find it to be affordable when considering the results. Visit the site to purchase your own: Hair Rules Leave-in Conditioner.
Borghese - Splendore Brightening Makeup - B
Full Size - $30
I thought this was a very generous size sample - more like a large travel size. This is a brightening cream (very fluid) loaded with shimmer in a champagne color. "Light diffusing liquid shimmer that veils imperfections and leaves a subtle glow".
Overall, I found this cream to be too bright and sparkly, you can add it to your foundation to add a bit of glow to your face though. As a stand alone it is just too much and not very discreet on the face. Generally, I thought the texture and consistency were good, it does blend well with my liquid foundation and does leave a hint of shimmer, but I would not wear this during the day. I also found it was a bit greasy and did not stay well by end of day. I would not purchase it and quite frankly am not sure how much use I would have out of this product since I tend to shy away from shimmer. I guess it's just not for me, but I can see how other users may find it to be great.
You can check it out on the Birchbox site: Borghese Brightening Makeup.
Phenome - Rejuvenating line Minimizer - B
Full Size $78
I was very excited to try this product since I love using serums under my regular moisturizer. "Creamy hydrator made with 100% plant water that helps banish dryness and fine lines".
Overall, I found the scent to be very pleasant. It has a medicinal plant aroma, with a hint of licorice, and as a scent, does feel very luxurious when you apply it to the face.
As for the texture, it comes out as a lightly tinted cream, almost like a paste. I did not care for the application itself, the product blends well at first, but is not slippery, as a result it pulls on the skin as you try to complete the application. It does leave my skin with a matte finish which is my preferred finish.
As for the result, I cannot say I noticed any difference. I also need to take into account that a sample size this small would not yield earth shattering results. That being said, at first impression, I do not think this is something I would purchase, not to mention the price ($78) which is too prohibitive for me. Check it out on the Birchbox site: Phenome Line minimizer.
Antica Farmacista - Hand Cream - B
Full Size - $18
I really love the scent for this hand cream, it is a mix of verbena, lemon and cedar. Very clean and fresh. "Luxe formula that nourishes with shea butter and vitamin E, leaving a fresh citrus scent".
This is a thick texture, similar to a body cream. It applies very well, absorbs well and does not leave a greasy film on your hands. The scent, again, is wonderful but very reminiscent of the kind of hand creams you would find at high end kitchen stores (think Williams & Sonoma). By that, I mean that the lemon scent itself is not something I would wear on a regular basis as it is more of a side of the sink type of scent, if I even make sense here.
Otherwise, it is good quality and I enjoyed using it. Would I purchase it? No (I have too many similar products). I don't even think it would make a great gift since it comes in a tube that is rather blah looking:
I checked the company's website (Antica Farmacista). The site itself is absolutely beautiful and projects a sense of luxury on its own, but the company specializes in Home Frangrance and Scented Oil Diffusers. I am not sure if I would turn to them for a Hand Cream.
Twistband - Hair Tie - A
Pack of six - $10
This was actually the first time I tried one of those twistbands everyone raves about, and I completely understand the hype. It's just too bad I cut my hair and have no use for it at this time. But I did wear it as a bracelet and thought it looked pretty cool. I just find the price to be a bit hight ($10 for six) when considering this is the kind of stuff we lose all the time!
Birchbox also sent this little gizmo below as an add-on this month. Basically, this is advertisement for their new mobile app (something I would not use) and came with a little sticky thing (the black diamond) you would stick to the back of your phone and use to clean your screen with. I think it's pretty cool as a concept but as a person who tries to eliminate germs around me, not to mention that my phone cover is full of sparkles and therefore does not have a flat surface to stick this thing to...This is not something I would use. Therefore, I cannot rate it. But it's cool nonetheless.
So there you have it, it was a good box, I enjoyed the products, especially the leave-in conditioner and am eagerly awaiting my next box.
Thank you Birchbox for a good year, even though you almost got nixed (by me) last summer!
Here is my Open Box video, if you want to see the products in action:
Thank you for reading and sharing my blog.
Happy New Year,