Friday, May 27, 2016

Birchbox "Out of Doors" May 2016 Review

This month's Birchbox was all about the basics. My box contained a pretty natural shade of lip gloss, a concealer, a sunscreen, a moisturizing hair spray, and a body peel. Sample choice this time around was really hard because the curated box had Davines haircare products - my absolute favorite - but I didn't like much else that was included in it. 

So, I took a gamble and went with the single sample choice option. I picked the Real Chemistry Luminous 3-Minute Body Peel because I really liked the Real Chemistry Luminous 3-Minute Peel for face that I received in a previous box. I ended up liking everything well enough in this box. Nothing had the same "wow factor" that the Davines products would have, but everything was relatively effective and interesting to try. 

One of the reasons this sample choice looked so attractive was because of how large it is. The pouch is bigger than an index card, and since it's for body, I figured I'd have enough product to try it out on multiple parts of my body a few times. As you can see in the photo below, the pouch was unfortunately mostly air. The actual amount of product in the pouch starts at the top and ends at the bottom of the word "Chemistry", where the horizontal crease is in the photo.

Real Chemistry Luminous 3-Minute Body Peel ($34.00)

Reading the packaging it was interesting to see how many ways this product could be used: to soften feet, smooth calves and thighs, exfoliate the bikini area for better shaving, soften hands, smoothen rough elbows, and create glowing upper arms and shoulders. I tried out this product on one of the most challenging places of my body. I have one elbow that's always been a lot more rough than the other and seems to continue to have dry, flaky skin no matter how much lotion I apply to it. 

After taking a shower, I applied a small amount of the product to my elbow and massaged it around until, as the pouch describes, it started to form small solids. I assumed those solids were the sand particles in the formula. Actually they are the combination of gel and your dry skin. It was incredible how in just three minutes most of the pesky dry skin that had been irritating me for ages just flaked right off, without a mess, easily, and painlessly. 

Because this is a problem area, I'm sure I will need to repeat the process every couple weeks or so to maintain these results. However, I have to say that after just one use I could see how this product could really be life changing for some. I cannot count the number of different types of lotion I'd tried to help this one small problem patch of skin. I'm sure for others who have even larger patches of concern, this would easily become their favorite product in their medicine cabinet. I am so incredibly glad I picked this sample! When I selected it, I never even thought about using it on my elbow.

Supergoop Everyday Sunscreen ($48.00)

This sunscreen has great SPF 50 coverage and is long-lasting. I've gotten this sample several times before. I have to admit, while I love the packaging, I don't really understand what makes the Supergoop brand unique, as compared to some of the nicer sunscreens you can get in the pharmacy for a fraction of the price. 

Since you also have to be very careful with the expiry dates of sunscreen, I don't think I would splurge on the full sizer version of this product which is a full 18 oz. I don't think I'd ever use it all up before it expired. Maybe it would be a good value for someone who lives in a beach town and spend long periods of time out in the sun every day. I will say that it isn't oily and doesn't leave any greasy residue. It has a texture just like a thick body lotion and is safe to use on your face.

Parlor Moisturizing Seasalt Spray ($24.00)

I tried out this product with extremely low expectations. I've received Parlor samples in my Birchbox about three times already. I tried the Parlor Smoothing Blowout Spray before an important professional event just a few weeks ago and was absolutely horrified to find that it left my hair looking extremely greasy. I had to run off and buy some last minute dry shampoo to reverse the damage!

This product was a pleasant surprise. It didn't do anything to help detangle my hair, but once my hair dried it looked shiny and a bit lighter (seemed to counteract brassy tones). Mind you, I used my absolute best conditioner and shampoo (Davines OI line) before applying this spray. So, it's likely a good part of the result is related to those products and not just this spray. However, it seems like it definitely did contribute to the overall shiny, healthy look.

Well People Bio Correct Concealer in Fair ($22.50)

This is a very effective concealer that blends really well to match a number of skin tones. I do think it might blend a little better for someone with yellow undertones than pink undertones though. It's good for covering up acne, dark circles, or other dark marks. However, it doesn't really cover up freckles or red spots. A little bit goes a long way, so I think even this tiny sample tube will last quite a while. I also like that it's by Well People because that means it has lots of natural, good-for-you ingredients.

I've received some ModelCo products before - a full sized lip gloss/lipstick combo in a Popsugar Must Have Box I think and a sample size lipstick in a previous Birchbox. One thing I've noticed is that no matter the color they always have the same scent - kind of like a super sweet artificial strawberry candy. Despite my description, I don't really think that's a bad thing. They are also all extremely moisturizing. 

Since I have very dry lips, I love keeping a ModelCo gloss or lipstick in my bag. They have a really nice glossy shine as well. The only things I didn't really like about this particular sample were the applicator, which didn't apply the product as smoothly as I'd like and the color, which isn't a particularly great match for my very fair skin. I would have preferred a shade of pink, red, or purple.

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