Saturday, September 26, 2015

Birchbox "You're Beautiful" September 2015 Review

This month you'll be getting a Birchbox overload from me! I'll be reviewing not one, not two, but three Birchboxes. I was fortunate enough on my travels this month to visit the limited edition pop-up Birchbox stations at Le Bon Marche Rive Gauche in Paris and Selfridge's in London. Could I be the first Birchbox superfan to achieve the trifecta? Quite possibly! So, I'll kick it off with "Birchbox Around the World: Part I" featuring my subscription box from Birchbox USA.

My box contained: Juice Beauty Apple Peel Sensitive (Full-size, $39), Davines LOVE Smoothing Shampoo (Full-size, $25), Davines LOVE Smoothing Conditioner (Full-size, $29), Malin + Goetz Vitamin E Face Moisturizer (Full-size, $46), Malin + Goetz Grapefruit Face Cleanser (Full-size, $32), English Laundry Eau de Parfum Signature for Her (Full-size, $90), POP Beauty POP Portfolio Eyeshadow Palette (Full-size, $26)

And now for the products in my box this month...

Juice Beauty Apple Peel Sensitive (Full-size, $39)

This product actually isn't new to me. I received it once before from Birchbox, through the "Build Your Own Birchbox" station at the Soho store. It is a great peel for very sensitive skin. It's got fruit-derived acids, and no bumpy rough bits like most exfoliating peels. To be honest, I thought it was a bit too sensitive and didn't do as much for my skin type as some of the more intensive peels. Also to note - despite having apple in the name, this peel does not have the scent or texture of an apple.

This was my sample choice selection and I could not be more pleased. I have been obsessed with Davines ever since I first received a sample in my June 2014 box...and then again in my September 2014 box and my December 2014 box. The June 2014 box actually included these identical products, just in the old packaging. So, I already know that I absolutely love them. They are really nourishing and leave your hair moisturized, shiny, and bouncy. My hair feels so clean, happy, and healthy after I use them. I cannot say enough great things!

Davines products aren't all that easy to find outside of the Birchbox website. They may be selling them in the Birchbox Soho store now, since they have an upcoming event with the brand, but they weren't a few months ago. When I asked them why not they said that the brand wanted to maintain its salon-only status. 

I was actually just in Rome earlier this month and visited the massive Eataly store at Piazzale XII Ottobre. I was thrilled to see that they had a massive Davines section there (see the photo above!), which makes sense because they have a lot of natural ingredients and are an Italian brand. They sold both the full size products and the travel size ones (the exact same size as my Birchbox samples). I got a full sized OI Shampoo and several travel sized shampoos and conditioners. I think the travel sized ones ran for about 6 or 7 euros each including tax (about $6-7 + tax at the moment). So, that makes this sample alone pretty valuable!

Malin + Goetz was another brand I was really excited to see in this month's Birchbox. They have a store on Madison Avenue near where I live and I had previously received some travel sized samples on a transatlantic Delta flight last October when, by some incredible miracle, I was bumped up to First Class! 

I haven't had a chance to try the moisturizer yet because it is a small foil sample and I want to save it for on-the-go use. I love that it has hyaluronic acid though, because I've found that to be pretty effective on my dry skin. I did get a chance to try the face cleanser.  First off, I have to say that I love grapefruit so to me, this scent is just divine! It reminds me of the yummy Kiehl's Bath and Shower Liquid Body Cleanser they have at my local Pure Yoga. This Malin + Goetz cleanser goes on in a nice, thick cooling gel that instantly feels very refreshing. After rinsing, it left my skin feeling firm and I thought my complexion looked brighter and more energized. I like that it's gentle enough for daily use for all complexions but still powerful enough to give you a deep clean. 

English Laundry Eau de Parfum Signature for Her (Full-size, $90)

I've actually received an English Laundry perfume sample in a previous Birchbox, the No. 7 for Her scent in March 2014.  As I said then, the English Laundry by Christopher Wicks brand just doesn't mean that much to me. I don't really know much about it and haven't seen it anywhere aside from in my Birchboxes. Their perfumes seem a little pricey for a relatively unknown brand. However, the last sample pleasantly surprised me and so did this one. 

To me, this one smells very sweet with notes of honeysuckle and watermelon. The description actually says "quince mingles, white chocolate, jasmine, rose, and orris root" so to each their own. However, I thought it smelled a lot more sweet than that. It actually kind of reminded me of the Nicki Minaj Pink Friday Perfume I received in a Walmart Beauty Box last fall.  I would definitely leave this one for Summer because it is so intensely sweet. Nice, but not necessarily my cup of tea, since I prefer perfumes with heavier floral notes over candy-sweet fruity notes.

POP Beauty POP Portfolio Eyeshadow Palette (Full-size, $26)

This was another sample choice option and not the one I picked since I went with the Davines. That being said, just because you pick one sample choice, it doesn't mean you absolutely won't receive one of the others! That's always nice because sometimes it's a very hard decision.  I know a lot of people selected the POP Eyeshadow Palette. The reason I didn't is because I did not think it was as prestigious of a brand as some of the other choices. 

I received a POP Lip Crayon from someone in an trade before, thinking it would be similar to the LAQA & Co Lip Crayons. Unfortunately, I was very disappointed. It seemed really waxy and cheap, like a starter make-up kit you might buy for a little girl at a dollar store. So, that tarnished the brand's reputation a bit for me.

However, I think this eyeshadow palette is an entirely different case. First of all, the sample size is very generous. These really look like three full-sized colors and I anticipate them lasting a long time. The trio is called "Sugar Plum" and it is a perfect range of colors for the transition into Autumn. 

On the left, there is a shimmery silver-white that is great for highlighting your brow bones or adding shimmer to another eyeshadow color. In the middle, there is a rich plum color that is definitely more of a majestic purple than an oxblood. It is a bit faint, so you may have to put on a couple coats to create a noticeable effect. Finally, on the right there is nice sparkly grey-black. This one seems to have the most shimmer to it and is the most saturated - so just a little will do! 

What I like most about these colors is that they complement each other really well and they all smear really easily with the touch of a finger so that you can blend the colors nicely for a fierce smoky eye.

This month Birchbox treated me to an extra little surprise. My box included a promo code for 20% off any purchase of $35 or more on their website. That's a pretty valuable code considering it's the same discount as a first-time order using the Birchbox app. I may just consider using some of my Birchbox points this month for something special.

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