I was so excited after last month's late arrival that this month's box arrived promptly on the 10th of the month. I mean, Birchbox, how long can you keep us waiting in suspense?! Actually this month was the first time I didn't leave it up to surprise. Birchbox sent out a link in advance to take a sneak peek at your box's contents before it arrived - so I caved. I was actually quite pleased, so I knew I had something to look forward to!
This month's curated box wasn't so exciting to me so again I opted for the pick-1-sample option. So far, that strategy has worked out really well for me - even better than any of the curated boxes. I've found that both boxes that I used this strategy on had higher values or better brands than most of the others I've received. This month's sample choice selection for me was the "It's a 10" Miracle Leave-in Product. It wasn't new to me. I've purchased it before - but I knew that it was a really good product and it's quite expensive.
My box contained: It's a 10 Miracle Leave-in Product (Full-size, $18), Elite Therapeutics Rosemary Eucalyptus Body Creme (Full-size, $19), Liz Earle Cleanse & Polish Hot Cloth Cleanser (Full-size, $25.50), Jelly Pong Pong GLOW GETTER Highlighter (Full-size, $14), and Reloxin Lift Revitalizing Facial Masque Treatment (Set of 10, $110).
I've used this product a number of times before because my hair stylist highly recommends it. I know it doesn't come cheap at $18/bottle. I was excited to see that this sample is 2 oz which is 1/2 the size of the full-sized product. That's a $9 value in a Birchbox I paid $10 for (less actually since I have an annual subscription). I find this product is most effective when used on damp hair. Every time I use this product it detangles my hair and leaves it very soft, smooth, and shiny. It also has a really nice smell - I've gotten several compliments after I've used it. I really cannot say enough nice things about this spray. I've tried a lot of alternatives because even the full-size bottles are fairly small and pretty pricey, but I have yet to find another product that is quite as effective as this one. Some will come close, but this one is really tops.
Elite Therapeutics Rosemary Eucalyptus Body Creme
I've tried this creme a couple times now, but only on my hands. The first time I tried it was after cooking and washing my hands with kitchen soap, so admittedly my hands were probably unusually dry and irritated. I noticed that time that the creme didn't keep my hands moisturized for very long. The second time I tried it was a little bit better. I like the idea of a rosemary eucalyptus scent but this smells a little more like lavender and soap. I like that the product has 70% certified organic ingredients, is paraben and cruelty free, and is physician formulated. However, there are so many other body cremes / lotions out on the market and I really didn't care too much for the scent of this one. It also seemed to me to be pretty overpriced for something that is really average.
If you decide to purchase a full-size version of this product, be sure to keep the muslin cloth from this sample. The cloth alone is worth something ($7.50 for a set of 2). I've wanted to try popular British brand Liz Earle's products for a while and was so pleased to finally get this product in my box. It's a two step process - first you massage the cleanser onto your face in a circular motion from the center outwards, then you clean it off with hot water using the enclosed muslin cloth and add a final splash of cool water. The cloth is really great quality and will last you many, many uses if cleaned and cared for properly. All you have to do is throw it in the wash every 2-3 uses and let it air dry.
I have to say after the very first use I fell in love with this product. This is one of those cleansers with all natural ingredients that really is very clearly composed of what's on the label - rosemary, chamomile, cocoa butter, and eucalyptus essential oil. The scent is so lovely - so soothing and distinctly eucalyptus. The texture is very smooth but deeply penetrating like a good moisturizer. It exfoliates but it doesn't have any rough particles that irritate sensitive skin. I loved the tingling cool sensation my skin had when I first took off the product. It felt so invigorating! As a result, my skin looked very firm, even-toned, and felt softer than it ever had before. It also looked delightfully healthy and well hydrated - a challenge for my very dry skin. I had already taken my make-up off so I'm afraid I can't judge it on its make-up removing capabilities yet, but it does claim to remove even the toughest mascaras. I absolutely love this cleanser and despite its high price, I might just save up my Birchbox points and treat myself to this and other Liz Earle products. I was simply blown away by the immediate and unique effects of this product on my skin type.
Jelly Pong Pong GLOW GETTER Highlighter
I have to admit that this is the one product I saw in my box preview that I knew just wasn't for me. I have very fair skin so any product like this is extremely noticeable and unnatural looking. The only real highlighter I use is Benefit's Watt's Up because it's pretty subtle, sort of like a shimmery concealer. I only use that under my eyes though, to hide dark circles and generally look more energized. I read some fellow subscribers' reviews of the Jelly Pong Pong product, all of which said this has a super glittery effect. Since, I'm in my late 20s, that's not exactly the look I usually go for anymore. I know there were a lot of other subscribers who were really excited about this product and disappointed they didn't get it in their boxes, so perhaps I'll make someone's day with a swap!
These 2 samples are full-sized masques which means the Reloxin product alone is worth $20 (the accompanying literature says $22)! That's twice the price of this month's entire Birchbox. What amazing value! I haven't used them yet because I want to save them for days when I feel like I really need them. I'm hoping they'll hide some of the light lines in my forehead and any signs of fatigue on my face. The effects are supposed to last up to 24 hours and be a risk-free alternative to Botox.