Birchbox Favorites

The reason I joined Birchbox almost one full year ago was to practice my favorite principle of “try before you buy.” Each month, for only $10, Birchbox mails a box of large or full sized products for sampling. There is almost always one full sized product that makes the month worth the $10. Since joining, I’ve been exposed to many products that I like, but there are a handful that my improved beauty regimen just cannot live without. Here are my top three:

Eyeko eyeliner
Image courtesy of polyvore


1. Eyeko Skinny Liquid Eyeliner– this liquid eyeliner’s pen-style applicator is a life-saver. I like that the applicator is skinny because I can do a thin liner or build up to a thicker look. The company also makes a fat eye stick for a smudgier look, but I’ll stick with my skinny.

2. Miss Jessie’s® Original Quick Curls – August was the best month to receive this amazing curl cream. The cream’s moisturizing botanicals kept my curls calm and lightweight, giving them a very soft and natural look, which is not easy for me to achieve in the late, humid East Coast summer.

Image courtesy of TartCosmetics.com
3. Tarte LipSurgence™ lip tint: I’m not huge on lip color – at least I didn’t used to be – but this product is amazing. Birchbox gave a full-sized sample in August. I already had this lip tint in a deep red and a light pink, and Birchbox  gave me ‘Joy’ – the stick looks orange but it goes on in a deep peachy color that is just perfect for any season. I wear this tint just about every day.

Do you have an favorite products thanks to Birchbox?

June Birchbox: Nerdy Excitement

Hello! I know that it’s been long time, no post, and I am so sorry for that! Everything has been insanely busy, and I hate to admit that I’ve been completely uninspired lately. But today, Birchbox decided to throw a little inspiration and excitement my way.

Finally jaded from all the sample boxes I’ve been receiving for the past six months (I recently cancelled MyGlam because every month was “nothing special”), I opened my Birchbox this morning with a lack of enthusiasm, expecting the same old stuff. I was greeted with – get ready for it – a box of 20 Cynthia Rowley BAND-AIDs. How cute are these things??
I know this is beyond nerdy, but I am the blister queen. My feet do not get along with any of my darn work shoes, cute as they may be. As you can see, I’ve already ripped the box open.
Other items from my June Birchbox that I’m eager to test-drive include:
  • Eyeko skinny liquid liner: Direct from the UK, This user-friendly liquid liner has a genius pen applicator and a super smooth formula. I tested this on my hand already and I’m in love!
  • Melvita rose floral water: This organic mist works as a light toner and mid-day skin refresher.
  • theBalm cosmetics stainiac in beauty queen: This two-in-one lip and cheek stain has a sheer gel formula for a subtle yet long-lasting flush.
  • Yu-Be moisturizing skin cream: This best-selling  Japanese cream has a concentrated formula for use on hands, lips and other dry areas.
I also received a little Birchbox Man extra, a John Varvatos cologne that I will pass on to the boyfriend for testing.
What did you receive in your Birchbox?

March Birchbox in Review

This month, Birchbox partnered with Teen Vogue to put together an exciting Birchbox for prom season. I may be nearly a decade from my last prom, but I can still get all dolled up, right? This was by far my favorite Birchbox since joining. Here are the goods:

 


 

1. tarte LipSurgence™ lip tint: I’m obsessed with this product. Birchbox gave a full-sized sample, making the whole box completely worth the $10. I have this lip tint in a deep red and a light pink already. Birchbox  gave me Joy – the stick looks orange but it goes on in a deep peachy color that is just perfect for welcoming Spring.
2. essie® Luxeffects Nail Polish:I have to admit that I’m not a sparkle girl. Glitter and shiny things are great for accents every now and then though, so I will hold onto this full-sized goodie with the intent to step outside of my comfort zone sometime soon. If anything, I have my New Year’s Eve polish 9 months early.
3. Annick Goutal Petite Cherie: This scent is absolutely beautiful. It’s very sweet and clean, but a little young – perfect for the prom-goer though!
4. PETER THOMAS ROTH Max Anti-Shine Mattifying Gel: I’m not sure why Birchbox included this product in my box. I have normal to dry skin, so a mattifying gel probably won’t do me any good. I will try it eventually but haven’t yet.
What did you get in your Birchbox?

February Birchbox in Review

I could not help feeling slightly disappointed with my Birchbox this month. I liked two out of the four products enough to potentially purchase in the future, but I was especially disappointed in the February freebies: a free digital music download, and an impractically heart-shaped nail file. I’ve already misplaced the paper for the music download, and the heart-shaped file is just not shaped well for filing nails!
Here are the main products from my February box:
1. Dermalogica Daily Microexfoliator: this was the jumbo-sized sample, and I’m glad it was! I’ve never tried a powder exfoliator before, and I really liked the product. I typically used an exfoliating scrub from Philosophy every morning, but decided to take this little guy along to Europe with me to avoid bringing any liquids I didn’t need. I usually break out when I switch up my routine, but didn’t see any difference in my skin over the 10 days I was away.
2. Eye Rock Designer Liner: I haven’t tried these yet! I’m reserving them for nights out in NYC, and I’ve been away so I haven’t had any. Did anyone else get the designer liner? If so, what did you think?
3. Jouer Luminizing Moisture Tint: I love Jouer, but this sample was so teeny tiny. I tried it as a luminizer rather than a moisturizing tint, because I don’t like my whole face looking sparkly. A tiny dab on each cheekbone was all I needed to become luminous! Will definitely put this on my shopping list for the summer.
4. Juice Beauty Blemish Clearing Serum: I rarely get pimples or blemishes, but did have one last week and tried out this clearing serum. I couldn’t tell if my blemish cleared at a normal pace, or if the serum accelerated it.
What did you get in your Birchbox?

Bored of Birchbox? Maybe MyGlam is for you.

If you’ve read my blog in the past three months, it’s probably pretty apparent that I’m a fan of Birchbox. The element of surprise and the super-sized samples are more than enough to convince me to cough up a Hamilton each month and wait in anticipation for my package to arrive.
I was a bit surprised when other blogger reviews seemed less pleased with their monthly loot. Different strokes for different folks? Well, if that’s the case I’ve found another “stroke,” if you will: MyGlam.com. My Glam sends you a monthly “glam bag,” also for $10, which contains 4-5 full-sized products or deluxe-sized samples. Unlike Birchbox, MyGlam is more focused on makeup, and leaves the other beauty products out. You can check out the December bag here. It also looks like a cute cosmetic bag is included in every offer – a lovely added bonus for an over-organizer like me!
The site must be catching on too, because it seems they may be experiencing some growing pains. I signed up for the site last night, but was too lazy to get off my tuckus and find my credit card to complete the order. I tried to go back this morning, and it appears the small window of opportunity has closed. But fret not, you can still register to join the community, and select to be notified when subscriptions open back up.
Do you already subscribe to MyGlam? Tell me what you think!

January Birchbox in Review

January’s Birchbox was all about clarity – a fresh start for the new year. They included a cute little tip card in the box for mind, body and soul detoxes. What are you doing to make a fresh start for 2012? I’m personally trying my hand at group fitness classes at my gym. I have an odd case of group workout anxiety, and I’m determined to get over it this year and try new things. The products in my January Birchbox are completely conducive to my get fit goal!

ORIGINS Checks and Balances Frothy Face Wash is fantastic! Just a little bit of face wash is all you need for a whole lot of froth. The cleanser has a minty scent that is completely refreshing and relaxing at the same time, and left my skin feeling balanced. I’m definitely purchasing a full size, and this sample size will find a home in my gym bag.
Birchbox is encouraging members to swap out their black eyeliner for something new this year. The stila Smudge Stick comes in a few eccentric colors, but i was happy that they gave me Lionfish, a shimmery dark brown that is perfect for a daytime look. The eyeliner is long lasting but not as long as some of my other waterproof eyeliners. Still a great product!
I must not be the only one who liked this product because it’s now out of stock! The Archipelago Pomegranate Body Soap is super sudsy. The pomegranate scent is light, and the soap doesn’t dry out your skin. I prefer this soap to my usual body wash.
My Birchbox came on a day when I skipped breakfast so I was very happy to find the LARABAR inside. The bar is gooey and feels raw, and it actually tastes like health food. If you’re into that sort of thing, I’d say it’s good, but I can imagine a lot of people not liking it so much. For me, the texture put me off a bit, but I thought it was the perfect small breakfast replacement on a busy day.

Awkward & Awesome Thursday

Let’s jump right into things, shall we?


AWKWARD
1. Last night we had friends over to celebrate our friend Kevin’s birthday. Boyfriend and I set out to cook a scrumptious dinner for everyone, but there were a few hiccups along the way. Mainly, we accidentally fed our vegetarian friend meat product. TWICE. Jamie put gravy on her mashed potatoes, and I gave her a lentil soup, that I made with chicken stock. I felt like scum of the earth. To add insult to injury, I tainted the green beans by spilling them in the sink. Everyone was total cool about it, and humored me by eating them anyway (after I rinsed them of course), but I still felt like I’d committed one too many hostess fails.


2. A colleague and I have decided to take on a 6:30 a.m. spinning class, starting yesterday. I got my booty out of bed at 5:45, drank my energy drink and hustled over to the gym. This was my first time spinning, and I did not know what to expect. The instructor seemed to think he was a house DJ, which was fun yet a bit creepy for a Wednesday morning. I fumbled my way through a decent workout, nearly falling off of the bike at least once. Today my bottom is so sore! I don’t know if I will make it through the day without leaving work to buy a donut pillow! Holy ouch, Batman.


AWESOME
1. My iPhone is coming today! I’m so excited that I will at least sit through the booty pain at work until it is delivered. My friend shared a great website for cases with me. I’m considering one of these. 



What do you think? I’m leaning a bit towards the one on the right.


2. Have you seen BaubleBar‘s monogram and nameplate necklaces? I absolutely love them – so SJP! Starting yesteday they are available in rose gold. I’m coveting the monogram one.



3. My January Birchbox finally came! Expect a review soon! I’m totally bummed that I didn’t get a new Zoya nailpolish color, but it looks like I got some other winning products to try.


Is your week awesome or awkward so far? 


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Birchbox/ Jouer event in review

This Saturday my friend Julia and I met up for brunch at Barbounia and continued on to the Birchbox/ Jouer event at A Startup Store. We sipped champagne and tested some Jouer cosmetics with mini makeovers. I’m slowly falling in love with the Jouer brand! Here are some of our favorite products from the testing session:
1.      Jouer Essential Lip Enhancer – This lip conditioner is slightly tinted pink but has practically no color. Vitamin E, Shea Butter and Jojoba Oil give your lips a moisturized smooth texture that stays. 
2.      Jouer Crème Eyeshadow in Cashmere – This creamy eyeshadow instantly made it to my ‘must have’ list. Its texture is perfect for fingertip application – which is great on the run. The color is slightly shimmery, and looks wonderful on its own, or as a base for a daytime smoky eye.
3.      Jouer Liquid Shimmer Eyeliner in Fox – I do not wear liquid eyeliner. Let me repeat that: I.Do.Not.Wear.Liquid.Eyeliner. That said, I LOVE this product. It goes on clean and the color is a perfect charcoal tint. I’m totally making the switch from my eyepencil.
The coolest thing about Jouer’s products is that the compacts snap into one another, so you can mix and match your own palette. It’s like Legos for stylish adult women!  They also sell palettes already grouped together. This one is called Jouer Sunday Brunch Signature Palette, how appropriate!
All in all the day was a success! Do you have any Jouer products? Which ones are your favorites?

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Birchbox/Jouer Shopping Event

Good afternoon and happy New Year!
I wanted to take a quick moment to share a Birchbox event that I am attending this weekend. Birchbox and Jouer Cosmetics are joining forces for some post-holiday celebration this Saturday in Chelsea. The event promises “bubbly and treats,” accompanied by mini-makeovers and special gifts with purchase. 

Let me tell you, in-store events are one of my absolute favorite highlights of NYC. Sure, you can find them all over the place, but in no other city do you “stumble” upon as many, as frequently. My lust for social shopping aside, I’ve received two different Jouer samples in past monthly Birchboxes, and I loved them both! I can’t wait to go try more goodies and sip some bubbly with my friends. I hope you’ll join me!  
Here is more info from the registration page:
Birchbox and Jouer invite you for an afternoon of indulgence: 
   Saturday, January 7th
   2-5pm
   A Startup Store
   144 10th Avenue (at 19th street)
Want to know more about A Startup Store? Check out this article from DailyCandy.

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December Birchbox in Review

I took a long holiday break from actively being on my computer – and I have to admit that it was refreshing! Never mind that my iMac decided to have it’s annual breakdown, and I haven’t had time to bring it to Apple for a diagnosis yet. We’ll pretend the hiatus was fully intentional. And now, with a new and improved Macbook Air, courtesy of my extremely generous parents, we’re upgraded and ready to blog. So, without further ado, I owe you readers a Birchbox review! As you can see, I’m continuing to use Have to Have to curate my links. I really like it! Click through above to see the full list of items that were in my Birchbox this month. It annoys me that the preview only has four pictures, but I LOVE that the website alerts you when items are on sale, so we’ll call it even. On to the review:

1. AHAVA Mineral Body Lotion (Water) – This lotion smells incredible! It’s super hydrating, and perfect for the winter. The full size is a little on the pricey side, but may be worth it for thirsty skin in the winter. (Retail: 8.5 oz – $24)

2. Jouer Moisturizing Lip Gloss (Birchbox Pink) – Jouer Moisturizing Lip Gloss is exactly what it claims – moisturizing. The gloss went on smooth and wasn’t sticky at all. The Birchbox  Pink shade is sold out, but it was a perfect pink, and I would totally buy it again. (Retail: .21fl oz – $20)

3. Amika Obliphica Hair Treatment – I have curly, frizzy hair, and this oil was the perfect finishing touch. I used it when straightening my hair too, and my strands were noticeably silkier. Boyfriend loved the scent too, which makes this product an all-around win. (Retail 3.38 fl oz – $34)

4. Incoco Nail Polish Applique (Bling Bling Glitter) – I LOVE these stick on nail appliques! Birchbox sent me the Bling Bling Glitter nails, which don’t seem to be available on their site, but you can find them here. Application was easy, and my nails are short enough that I could used 5 appliques for 10 fingers. They have a bunch of solid colors and also funky designs. You don’t have to wait for your nails to dry, and they really don’t chip as easy as regular nail polish. (Retail: 16 nails – $7.99)

Extras:
Showstopper Designer Fashion Tape – I actually had the chance to use this double sided tape with an outfit last week. While it worked and held up all night, I thought the strips were way too thick. I’ve used Hollywood Fashion Tape before, which is much thinner and you can find it in most drug stores.

EBOOST Orange Natural Energy Booster – I haven’t tried this yet! Maybe today before the gym!

What did you get in your Birchbox this month?