Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Birchbox "Adventure" June 2015 Review

So, I cheated a little bit. I love to use Birchbox to explore products that are new-to-me, but I couldn't resist selecting this old favorite as my sample choice.

I started using these eye gels around Christmas last year - I remember because I asked for them as a gift. I've since ordered 2 or 3 more packs. I even found them on once for just $16.99! I literally jumped for joy. These are my special little luxury. They're not particularly cheap, so I don't use them every day. But, they are really nice to use on a day when you're feeling a little stressed - and your skin is showing it.

They are really easy to apply and come in nice little foil packets that you can bring on the airplane or pop in your purse for a pick-me-up. The gel is a little cool to the touch which is really nice on your skin. After 10 minutes you feel perfectly pampered and the skin under your eyes feels ultra-smooth. I cannot recommend these enough - or any other Skyn Iceland products I've tried!

I also learned to be a little patient this time around. There have been 1 or 2 times before when I've mentioned I haven't received my sample choice and contacted customer service so they'd send me a replacement item. This time, I saw in my box preview after my box had been shipped that this sample choice was missing. I let them know and they sent another, only for it to turn out that it was indeed included in my final box. So, I ended up with 2! Certainly not complaining, but now I've learned not to rely so much on the box preview next time.

Coola SPF 50 Sport - Mango (full-size, $32)

I received a Coola sunscreen in a previous Birchbox, so admittedly I wasn't all that excited about this one. You can always use sunscreen this time of year though and this time the sample was Mango scented rather than unscented so I thought that was a plus!

I love that it's SPF 50, organic, and not too thick. It dries just like a moisturizing lotion so it doesn't leave any sticky residue. I wouldn't say the scent smells purely of mango, maybe like more of a creamy mango - mango sorbet! It's nice. I don't think I would pay $32 for any sunscreen though, unless it was more of a multi-purpose beauty product.

Dr. Jart+ Dermaclear Micro Water (full-size, $32)

I just tried this product last night after reading that it not only removes impurities and tones and brightens skin, but also removes make-up. I really put it to the test. 

Ladies, if you've tried Benefit's They're Real! Mascara & Push Up Liner, you know exactly what I'm talking about. Those are my two favorite eye makeup products but they are notoriously difficult to remove (so far, I've had a lot of luck finding a variety of affordable products to remove them though - ask me!). 

With a simple cotton ball I found that this product was very effective in removing my eye makeup thoroughly and quickly. However, I did find that I needed to use a considerable amount of product to do it - perhaps my cotton ball was soaking up too much liquid too quickly?

The next day my skin did look pretty clear, but admittedly I have been using a lot of other skin care products this week so I can't say it is attributed to this one product I've only tried once so far. I also can't speak for the long-term effects because of this. Since the bottle isn't overly large and I had to use a lot of product, I'm not sure I'll have an answer for you before I use up this product entirely. I love Dr. Jart+ products in general but I'm not completely sold on the value of this one yet. 

There are tons of "micellar" water products on the market, especially if you travel internationally. They're a real trend at the moment. I picked up a very cheap and effective one at Monoprix in Paris (think: the Target of France). I've also found that some make-up removing wipes are more heavy-duty than others. I'm particularly fond of the Pond's ones, which are really thick and will remove all waterproof makeup.

You may have noticed this is the third item that I received in my box that was one of the sample choices (the Coola and Skyn Iceland ones were too). This has actually never happened to me before but I thought it was pretty nice. Sometimes the sample choices are tough decisions to make and I know this month I spent some time debating between old favorite Skyn Iceland and trying out this new Dr. Jart+ product.

Marcelle Mini Waterproof Eyeliner in Indigo (full-size set, $18)

I've read a lot of comments online that subscribers were generally really disappointed with this eyeliner. It's partly because Birchbox told everyone they were going to receive a Eyeko Fat Liquid Liner (looked to be full-size - a $16 value). 

We didn't end up getting the Eyeko liner apparently because it got held up in customs - it's a British brand. So, every subscriber received a Marcelle eyeliner instead. If you paid for a Birchbox this month on the sole basis that you were excited about the Eyeko liner, I can understand why you would be really disappointed.

Here's the message from the Birchbox Facebook page:

"We are sending every subscriber an email letting them know that we originally planned to include an Eyeko Fat Liner in every single box for June, but Customs is currently holding our eyeliners hostage (oh no!)! Good news! You are still going to get an amazing makeup sample by Marcelle (which we love!). We absolutely plan to have the Eyeko Fat Liners sent in a future box; so, hope you enjoy the Marcelle this month and the Eyeko later on."

A few bloggers also complained about the color they received too. I guess a lot of subscribers got the really bright sparkly aqua one from the set. I guess I was pretty lucky then, because I love the color I received. It's a really classic navy with just a slight hint of shimmer. It's definitely very mature and does't have much of a "glitter" effect.

Sienna Naturals Moisturizing Leave-in Conditioner (full-size, $19)

This was the only product in this month's box that I really wasn't all that pleased with after sampling it.

My hair often gets a bit tangled when it gets dry or when I've just taken a shower. So, leave-in conditioner is really necessary for me to keep it looking nice. I've already found a few I like - Edward Beale's Moroccan Gloss Argan Oil Leave-In Treatment in particular (which I can usually get at T.J. Maxx for half price, $7.99). 

So, I had pretty high hopes for this one. I would definitely be interested in mixing up my leave-in conditioners every so often. While this one smells nice and has a pretty comparable texture, I found that applying even a small amount left my hair looking kind of greasy. That's always a no-go for me. Who wants to put effort into taking care of their hair only for it to look unhygienic / not washed?

I was excited to get a Lifestyle Extra this month! It had been a while since I received one. While I don't think this Emi Jay tie is different from the Twistband ones I already have, I was still happy to receive it. I can always use another hair tie for the gym and I like to pull back my hair at night so it doesn't tangle while I'm sleeping. 

These types of ties are great for making sure you don't get a crimp in your hair like traditional hair ties used to do. I am slightly envious of the subscribers who received the lace Pura Vida Bracelet Headband this month instead though. Those look pretty and a bit more unique. Overall, very happy with this month's box though!

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