First, I would like to provide a special thank you to Vogue Magazine and Jane Iredale cosmetics for sending me a complementary Starter Kit to test and review for you. This kit is available in 5 different shades for $55 at Nordstrom and several other major retailers.
Each Starter Kit includes the following: Smooth Affair Facial Primer and Brightener (0.24 oz), PurePressed Base Broad Spectrum SPF 20 (0.1 oz), Amazing Base Loose Mineral Powder Broad Spectrum SPF 20 (0.06 oz), and Pommisst Hydration Spray (0.5 oz).
The Pommisst Spray could very well be my favorite product of the lot. However, it's a close race. The thing I love most about this spray is the amazing scent. It smell so distinctly of luscious apricot. It left my very dry skin hydrated and ready for make-up. A full-sized 3.04 oz bottle retails at $27.
The Smooth Affair primer is very effective. Just a little bit goes a long way and it has a really nice zesty citrus smell. Its effects are most visible after you apply the pressed and loose powders. It keeps the product even and makes your skin glow. When combined with the other products, your face will look healthy and energized! A full-sized 1.7 oz tube retails at $48.
The PurePressed Base is truly fabulous. Not only is it a great base foundation, but it also serves as a SPF 20 sunscreen and as a concealer. Apply just the pressed powder to hide imperfections or combine it with the loose powder for full coverage. A full-sized compact retails at $52.
The Amazing Base loose powder provides the perfect finishing touch. It sets everything else in place and evens out your skin tone/eliminates redness. It also provides sun protection (SPF 20). The full-sized tub retails at $44.
The brush and make-up bag were also exquisite quality. The brush is so gentle on the skin and distributes product very evenly. There wasn't any specific information on the bag, but it has the same feel as some products I have made of saffiano leather. It also has a large and very effective mirror inside.
Here's my finished looked look using all of the Jane Iredale products above. Neat & natural with sun protection - perfect for a day at the beach!
You may be wondering why I'm reviewing the April box in late May....no, I wasn't lazy. I was actually the lucky winner of a BeautyBar contest to get a free box! So, I got my prize box a little later than the paid subscribers. Thank you so so much to BeautyBar because I absolutely love this box. I think they did a fabulous job on this one.
For $15/month, I'd say this month's box was a really good deal. It contained two full-size products that easily offset the price - the Butter London eyeliner is worth $18 and the Tatcha Beauty Papers are worth $12. I think the Borghese product might be full-size too since a full-size comes in a 1oz glass bottle and this box has a 1oz plastic tube. If so, that's valued at $30!!
Butter London Wink Eye Pencil in Brown Sugar (Full-size, $18)
This is only the second Sample Society box I've received and both have contained a Butter London product! I think that's fantastic because I love the brand - it's high quality and offers some really unique and beautiful colors. I'll definitely be using this eye pencil since I've been meaning to try out a brown liner.
I have very dry skin so I was also pretty excited to receive this product. I'm not usually a fan of getting skincare products in subscription boxes, but this one definitely looks like it's worth a shot! It moisturizes and firms which should make your skin look youthful and more energetic over time.
Illume 2oz Travel Tin Candle in Anemone (Full-size, $9)
I'm a big candle person so I was also really excited about this product. Illume has a great reputation and I love the floral print around the tin. It's got a really fresh and invigorating scent.
I'm also not usually that excited about receiving foundations and BB creams in a subscription box. However, I like that this product is a little different. If you have a demanding job and a demanding social schedule, you'll understand the importance of finding a make-up that will brighten your face and erase dark circles. I think that's something every woman should have for those weeks that wear you a little thin.
Tatcha Aburatorigami Japanese Beauty Papers (Full-size, $12)
I haven't used beauty papers in a very long time. Nevertheless, I'm excited to try these. It's a pretty generous pack (30 sheets). Each of the sheets has little gold flecks in it and is unscented.
Disclaimer: I am currently employed by UK Trade & Investment. However, all written content and opinions expressed on this blog (including and especially those regarding British brands) are my own. This is a personal blog that is in no way affiliated with my place of employment. In this case I received this box for FREE through an online contest hosted by BeautyBar.com.
Thanks to Klout and People Magazine, I received complementary access to People Premium, 3 months of People Magazine, and a People V.I.P. Subscription Box! Typically, a People VIP Subscription would include the following: a 1 year subscription to People Magazine, a 6 month People Magazine subscription to gift, and 3 V.I.P. Subscription Boxes - all for about $204.66/year.
I was thrilled to receive a Zoya nail polish in this box. Zoya is one of my favorite nail polish brands because it is so long lasting and such great quality. It also dries with an intense shine that doesn't require you to use a topcoat. I like this color, "Rue", which looks like a light purplish pink in the bottle. When applied, it has more of a lilac nude/beige tone. It's a really mature looking shade that is light enough but also neutral enough to wear all year round. (Retail Value: $9)
This multi-layered, gold accented, sky blue bracelet is great for spring and summer. I have a particularly small wrist, so I like that it has an adjustable chain link fastener. Since this item was not branded, I can't really judge its value. I was surprised at the number of items included in this box that were not branded / had "Made in China" tags as opposed to typical subscription boxes of this type. However, they all seem to be of good quality.
This professional hair detangler was also not branded. I was glad to see this product included because it's so practical - something that everyone can use. It's perfect for all hair types and dry or wet hair. I know I will use this a lot - especially when traveling!
I haven't opened this box of recipe cards yet but it is quite heavy and substantial. From what I can tell on the box, it looks like they keep the recipes simple - minimal steps and not too many ingredients. I think they will be fun to use the next time I entertain! (Retail Value: $15.29)
This set of 3 chevron printed lime green & white cosmetic bags are also very practical. They come in three great sizes. The largest is ideal for shampoos, deodorants, foundations, and larger bottles. The smallest one would be great for makeup brushes. The middle - perfect for everything in-between! These items were also not branded so it is difficult to judge retail value.
Overall, this box had a number of very practical items that I think most women could use. However, if you are a label-junkie, you may be disappointed. Given the variety of the content, I would say this box most closely resembles the Popsugar MustHave Box.
This was my 6th Birchbox in my latest subscription cycle. Hearing that this month's box was a collaboration with Kate Spade Saturday definitely piqued my interest and encouraged me to continue my subscription. Overall again I have to say I didn't love every single item in the box. I think that my December, January, and April boxes were a better fit for me. However, there are definitely a few things in this box that I'm pretty excited to try!
My box contained: Gilchrist & Soames Spa Therapy Body Lotion (Full-size, $15), Nexxus Color Assure Pre-Wash Primer, Shampoo, & Conditioner (Full-size, $11.99-$17.99), Pixi Shea Lip Balm in Coral Crush (Full-size, $8), Whish Shave Crave Shaving Cream in Acai Grapefruit (Full-size, $20), and a Lifestyle Extra - 32 Oral Care Effervescent Breath Crystals with IsoVoxy (Pack of 15-60, $9.99-$29.50).
This Whish Shave Cream, exclusive to Birchbox's shop, was definitely one of the items I was fairly excited to try. I don't typically splurge on shave creams. Honestly, I think my legs will be just fine with the drugstore brands. However, I thought this was a nice little luxury to try. The packaging is perfect to take on a work trip - TSA approved size and non-aerosol. Most importantly, I love the smell! Acai and grapefruit are two of my favorite fruits out there and the shave cream just smells so invigorating and citrusy (the grapefruit is definitely the overpowering scent). The texture is very thick and luxurious. It also seems like it would moisturize very well. I can't wait to try it!
Although I'm not very familiar with the Nexxus brand and wasn't a fan of the single-use packaging this sample came in, I'm always psyched to receive shampoo & conditioner samples. I'm especially psyched when they are for color-treated hair. Having these kinds of samples is SO key for work trips or any flights when I'm not checking a bag. I really look forward trying these out on my next trip! Unfortunately, I can't judge on texture or smell yet because they are single-use packages.
The "Pre-Wash Primer" would be an interesting addition to my routine. The packaging says that you use it "repel water" and "lock in color vibrancy". It sounds like it makes your hair soft and silky but I don't know enough about color protection to understand why I'd want a product that would repel water when I'm taking a shower. If you know, please leave a comment on this post - I'd love to learn!
Another Gilchrist & Soames body lotion - didn't I receive one in different packing a couple months ago in my Birchbox? I'm never particularly pleased when Birchbox repeats an item. However, because of the different packaging and "Spa Therapy" branding, this lotion is a little different. As I said with my previous review, I think this brand could do a lot more to promote themselves and get past their old "hotel freebie" image. So, I expect to see some exciting things from them in the future as they work even more on their transition into a coveted retail luxury brand.
The scent for this one is "Relaxing Sea Fennel" but I actually think it smells more like a cucumber melon sort of scent (equally pleasant). The texture seems to be fairly thin like the other Gilchrist & Soames product I'd received, so it's definitely more of a traditional body lotion than body butter or creme.
I was actually pretty exited to receive this Pixi Shea Butter Lip Balm in my box this month. I love the amazing moisturizing power of shea butter and this product is full size and very cute! Unfortunately, I tried a swatch and although it felt like a very nice texture, the color was way too bright for my pigmentation. Unfortunately, I'll probably end up swapping this one on eDivv.com.
I was pretty excited to receive a Lifestyle Extra again this month. I'm always kind of sad when I don't get one in my box. These seem like great things to take on the go / stash in your purse. They'd be perfect to take on a date at a restaurant when you want to enjoy some garlic pasta or curry ;)
I wasn't quite sure what to expect from the Kate Spade Saturday collaboration. I do think it is nice when beauty boxes do these kinds of creative collabs and even more so when the partner is strongly involved in all aspects - picking the product, finding beauty products that pair with their products, providing a little Lifestyle Extra from their brand, etc. I didn't think the Saturday element of this box was overwhelming. It was really just the outer mailing box packaging, yellow tissue paper, black & white striped interior of the box, and the enclosed discount card for $25 off a $75 purchase. I saw that they also incorporated some of their clothes into the Birchbox preview videos on the website.
Overall, it was a pretty decent box. I got three items for my on-the-go lifestyle (shave cream, hair care, and breath crystals), one item that I loved but the color just didn't suit me (lip balm), and one item that was a sort of repeat of an item I'd received recently (body lotion). I also got a discount card for Kate Spade Saturday which I might consider using on one of the items in their cute new "Jumping Gazelles" print. There didn't seem to be as much variation among boxes this month so I think a received a lot of the same items as other subscribers this time. What did you think of your May box? Did you pick out anything at Saturday?
Disclaimer: I am currently employed by UK Trade & Investment. However, all written content and opinions expressed on this blog (including and especially those regarding British brands) are my own. This is a personal blog that is in no way affiliated with my place of employment.