Birchbox, Hair, Lips

Birchbox December 2013 Review

birchbox 12:2013

I HAVE SO MUCH TO DO RIGHT NOW TO GET READY FOR CHRISTMAS. Soooo…this month’s Birchbox review is going to be quick and dirty!

hold on butts

This month’s box came later than usual, but that’s not anything. I just hate waiting! I was really looking forward to the December box, and it had a few really good things in it! Also, the box lid was different than usual, but very, very cute.

Camille Beckman Body Butter – Morelia Monarch Scent

What they said: A handcrafted formal that softens skin with shea butter, sweet almond oil, and glycerin.
What I say: The lotion formula is nice, but the scent is STRONG. I had to wash my hands because I just couldn’t take it. It’s too bad, the formula wasn’t greasy, and it was really moisturizing. But, yikes! Too much.

Klorane Gentle Dry Shampoo with Oat Milk

What they said: Award winning fan fave that absorbs grease and puts the bounce back in second day hair.
What I say: This dry shampoo was a lucky coincidence because my new color means I have to wash my hair less. I used this the day after I got my hair done, and it was really great! It gave my hair great volume, and it looked and smelled so fresh and so clean clean. I really like it! Good get!

LAQA & Co. Lil’ Lip Duo in Bossy Boots (I think!)

What they said: Megawatt color and lip-nourishing vitamin E, plus an easy to wield crayon applicator.
What I say: I’m not sure what color I got because the stick wasn’t labeled, but I think it’s Bossy Boots! Whatever color it is, I really liked this lip crayon. The color was glossy and the formula was moisturizing. It’s fun to use with that easy point and the twist up sharpener.

birchbox 12:13 lip gloss

I wore it for a few hours with minimal wear. And I was chewing my lips because I kept forgetting I was wearing color. I’m an idiot. Real world testing, I guess.

Miracle Skin Transformer SPF20 Face

What they said: This tinted hydrator color corrects, leaving a smooth airbrushed finish.
What I say: I haven’t tried this yet! I’m sorry! I was just going to put it on, but my hands still smell like lotion, and I didn’t want to transfer the scent to my face too.

bliss that’s incredi-‘peel’!

What they said: Spa grade pads that gently soothe and retexturize overnight the reveal even, radiant skin.
What I say: I haven’t used this yet either! GAH! I’m out of control!!


So that’s it! A pretty ok box. The stuff that I liked, I really liked. I’m off now to finish wrapping presents and do millions of loads of laundry. I’m only here to hit it and quit it today. Don’t act so surprised! I told you what this was at the beginning. QUICK AND DIRTY.

Get your own Birchbox HERE.


Birchbox November 2013, Review & Photos

birchbox 11:13


REAL TALK: I took photos of this month’s Birchbox much faster than usual because it had a snack in it. I mean, I was on it with a quickness. Never mind that I just got rid of all the leftover Halloween candy. This is WAAAY better than picked over Whoppers.

So, my November box was already in it to win it with the inclusion of food. And things only got better from there!

TOCCA Crema da Mano in Cleopatra

What they said: Loaded with natural oils, this grapefruit and cucumber lotion absorbs in a flash.
What I say: This hand cream is already out on the coffee table as my new “house lotion.” I’m a sucker for all things Cleo, and I love a nicely scented grapefruit product. It smells wonderful, and it moisturizes nicely without leaving any greasiness or weirdness behind.

Color Club polish in Top Shelf

What they said: From the new Cocktail Hour Collecion, this shimmering shade give nails a gorgeous glint.
What I say: I do not understand why I keep getting polish in this color! What’s with the rose gold obsession, Birchbox?! This color is not me, at all. Plus, it’s kind of a bummer that I really did get another Color Club polish in a nearly identical shade just a couple months ago. This was the dud of the box for me.

Chella Ivory Lace Highlighter Pencil

What they said: This face illuminator brightens and contours – it can be applied 10 different ways!
What I say: YAY! This is in my makeup bag, and it’s my new eyebrow highlighting pencil. The coverage is great, it blends nicely, and the color is nice. I’m super stoked to get such a good product in a generous size!

Vasanti Cosmetics BrightenUp! Enzymatic Face Rejuvenator

What they said: This customer fave mimics effects of microdermabrasion for a glowing, smooth complexion.
What I say: Another really solid product! When I was an esthetician in salons, one of my favorite treatments was a papaya enzyme peel. This product is really close to the one I used in my facials; the texture and the effectiveness are remarkably similar. I loved this. I miss my peel! So far, I’ve only used this once, but there was a noticeable difference in the brightness of my complexion, and the texture of my skin. It lives in my shower now, and if it keeps up the good work, it could become permanent.

Chuao Chocopod

What they said: Made with premium cacao, these inventive treats satisfy any sweet tooth.
What I say: The piece I got had candied orange peel in it, and that’s all I needed to know. Yum, yum, get in my belly. I ate it all up, and it was DELICIOUS!


Besides the boring nail polish, this was an A+ box. I had a hand cream AND a brow highlighter in my Sephora cart, then this box came, and I was able to buy other stuff! Between that and the chocolate, it’s like Birchbox has got me bugged. Add in the fabulous papaya peel, and I was SO EXCITED. This month was totally worth the $10 price! I’ve found myself, more and more, really looking forward to getting my Birchbox every month. I’m really excited to see what’s in store for December!

Get your own Birchbox subscription HERE.


Birchbox October 2013 Review

birchbox october 2013

October Birchbox was another good one! I love a full size product, gurl!

12 Benefits Instant Healthy Hair Treatment

What they said: Created by two industry experts, this heroic, all-in-one detangles, protects, and heals.

What I say: I love this treatment spray! My hair has been a little gross at the ends from going blonde, and this spray has been great for that!

dr. brandt light years away whitening cream cleanser/whitening renewal system

What they said: Two step brightening system for fading dark spots with antioxidant Active Marine C Complex.

What I say: I haven’t tried this yet! Why it gotta be whitening tho?

dr. brandt microdermabrasion skin exfoliant

What they said: Breakthrough at home treatment for a glowing complexion.

What I say: This is a really nice exfoliant. My skin was definitely smoother and brighter after using it. However, I did sustain a minor breakout after I used it. I don’t know if the zits and the product are related, but…maybe. I’ll have to conduct further research into the matter.

theBalm cosmetics Stainiac in Beauty Queen

What they said: Bestselling stain that gives cheeks and lips a sheer, rosy tint.

What I say: This was cool. It was gel instead of liquid, which is nice for application. But, for me personally, I’m not a huge fan of stains. I don’t know, they just don’t work for me. Like, they literally don’t work for me. It’s like my lips repel the color. The brand doesn’t matter, the formula for stains plus my lips equals nothing.

BIRCHBOX FIND: ChapStick Hydration Lock

What they said: Clinically proven to moisturize lips from 9-5. It also doubles as a lip primer and comes chock full of damage defending antioxidants like CoQ10 and Vitamin E.

What I say: WHAAAAAAAT?!?! This ChapStick is amazing! Actually amazing! Like, I was amazed! As soon as I started using it, I noticed a huge difference in the look and texture of my lips. The copy on the packaging promises a fuller and smoother appearance, and this product really delivered. My lips are soft and smooth even when I don’t have any of this product on, and I love it as a lip primer. I’m super stoked to find a lip balm I love that’s not crazy expensive. Plus, my Birchbox came with a $1 off coupon for my next tube. Love it!

I’m still really enjoying my Birchbox subscription. I love getting things I wouldn’t have noticed in the store, like the ChapStick, and it’s pretty freaking fun to open up my delivery every month and see what I got for Monthly Beauty Christmas.

Get your own Birchbox subscription HERE! 




Birchbox Swap Party!!

A few days ago, I had a brilliant idea.

A brilliant idea that would combine four of my favorite things: new beauty products, my friend Erin, my friend Denys, and lunch.


birchbox swap


We all went through our Birchboxes for the last few months, gathered up the samples we didn’t use or didn’t like, and met for lunch! Then, we dumped everything out and started swapping! It was so fun to see the things they got in their Birchboxes! It was SO FUN to pick new samples! It was so fun to talk to Denys into keeping her red lipstick!

My Cuban sandwich gave me a stomach ache.

But, my Birchbox swap idea gave me a great big head! Because my friends loved it!

So now, I have a bunch of new samples to try, and a standing date with my friends to swap smooches and products.

birchbox swap haul

I’m smelly and into sun protection.

If you and your friends get Birchbox subscriptions, I really recommend you start your own chapter of the Birchbox Lunch Bunch. If you don’t get Birchbox, you should!

I think next time I’m going to make us all wear fancy red hats. The good ideas just keep coming!

Get your own Birchbox subscription HERE.


Birchbox, Lips, Nails

Birchbox September 2013, Review and Pics

birchbox 9:13

Damn you, Birchbox.

After my first box was whatever, and that was followed by a box that was way late, I was ready to be mad. I had a strong thirst for haterade, and I was all set to chug it.

But I keep getting great boxes!!

This month’s box is the third box in a row that has been pretty spot on. I’ll use everything in it, and I’m actually going to BUY a full sized product this month! That’s never happened before!

Let’s get to it. From left to right….

Serge Normant Meta Luxe Hair Spray

What they said: Airy mist that keeps your ‘do smooth and frizz free, and also shields strands from UV rays.

What I say: I haven’t used this yet! I don’t really have a lot of use for hairspray in my day to day life. I do like to keep my travel toiletries bag stocked with travel size products, that way I only have to throw in the extra stuff I’m bringing, so I’m going to add this hairspray to that bag. It smells really, really good. That’s nice. I have one travel size hairspray that, I’m telling you, it smells like dead bodies. I’m going to chuck that one and add this one.

Ruffian Nail Lacquer – Delirium

What they said: Bold purple from the fashion label’s first lacquer collection.


birchbox 9:13 ruffian polish

It is surely a bold purple, and I swear I’m picking up some shifting dark blue in there. The checkout lady at the grocery store said to me, “That’s a beautiful cobalt blue polish you have on!” And I was like, thanks. For whatever reason, I always find myself arguing with people over what is and isn’t purple. So, I just let this one go. It does look pretty blue indoors.

The Ruffian bottle is pretty, and the handle on the brush made application super easy! The formula of their polish is really luxe. Deeply pigmented, beautifully self leveling, and flowing from the brush; I only really needed one coat. I did two just because I always do. Gorgeous.

Grand Central Beauty S.M.A.R.T. Skin Perfecting Polisher

What they said: This multitasker made with natural botanical exfoliates, tones, smoothes, and moisturizes.

What I say:  UMMM. FUN!!! This stuff is fun! You massage a little bit onto your face, and all this crud comes off! Little beads in the gel scrub everything up and lift it away. The bottle says rinsing is optional, so I didn’t rinse to see what would happen. Everything worked out great! My skin was soft, smooth and bright. My little bottle had some weird pink stuff all over it, and it was only about half full, but it was still cool.

Dr. Lipp Original Nipple Balm for Lips

What they said: Originally made for nursing moms, this ultra hydrating balm is a makeup artist fave.

What I say: I’m buying this!! It nailed my chapped lips and my scratchy cuticles in one fell swoop. A little bead of balm was all it took to take care of everything. LOVE IT. BUYING IT. WANT IT AT MY HOUSE. THE LIPS ARE THE NIPPLES OF THE FACE.

Keratherapy Deep Conditioning Masque

What they said: Right any number of hair sins with this intensely restorative, keratin infused masque.

What I say: I haven’t used this yet. It came in while I had my head shellacked in a coconut scented disaster, and I was feeling a little deep conditioned out. I’ll get to it soon. I always think my hair is too dry.


So, I guess at this point, I can really say I’m enjoying my Birchbox subscription. If the boxes keep coming like this, I’ll be happy. And still no perfume samples! I hate perfume samples.

Get your own Birchbox subscription HERE

Benefit, Birchbox, Stila

Birchbox August 2013 Review

Hey! It’s the beginning of September! You know what that means?! Time to review my August Birchbox!

It also means my birthday is exactly one month away. Barf. 32, I see you. That’s ok. Beyonce just turned 32. If I’m ever doing anything the same as Beyonce, it has to be right.

August’s Birchbox theme was “Finishing School.” Which is like, OK, whatever. I ain’t about balancing books on my head, and I don’t buy into your patriarchal construct that I have to keep my knees together when I’m sitting down. SLOUCH ON, SISTERS.

Birchbox 8:13

Kerastase Bain Chroma Riche Cleanse

What they said: Shampoo that uses vitamin E and powerful UV filters to restore moisture and preserve color.

What I say: I broke my no-poo regimen to use this, and it was worth it! It made my hair feel incredibly soft and, dare I say, luxurious. But, I’m happy with my co-wash system, so I won’t be buying this. It was really nice though, I’m happy to have finally been able to try this brand. I do wish they’d sent me a shampoo and a conditioner instead of two shampoo samples.

pūr~lisse pūr~youth preserve age delay skin serum

What they said: Powered by peptide complex Lotus Lupine 5, this clinically proven anti-aging serum firms and smoothes.

What I say: I don’t know what the hell Lotus Lupine 5 is, but this serum is really really nice. It feels velvety between your fingers, almost powdery. It glides onto your skin and feels wonderful. I don’t know if it really works for anti-aging the way it says since this isn’t really enough to be able to tell for sure, but I’m very interested in a full size product.

stila stay all day liquid lipstick in beso

Stila swatch

What they said: Long lasting liquid lipstick in a wearable red that glides on like a gloss, but stays put like a stain.

What I say: I am cuckoo bananas for this lipstick (stain?). The little applicator is soft and spongy, it feels great to use and it makes controlling the slippery color a little easier. The red color is gorgeous, and the wear is phenomenal. I honestly don’t know exactly how long this will say put on your mouth since every time I tried to swatch it, I ended up having to wipe it off because it got late or whatever. Birchbox says to take your time during application because once it’s on, it’s not budging. That’s good advice here. I did all kinds of stuff with my mouth wearing this product, and it only wore off a little bit in the center. This was another product that has made Birchbox worth it for me. I probably would have just walked past these at Sephora and never given them another look, but now I want them in all different colors! Love it. A+

Sumita Color Contrast Eyeliner in Black

What they said: This extra bold liner combines rich pigment with long lasting wear – no smudges or smears.

What I say: I wish this was true, but the liner disappeared off one of my eyes so fast, I thought maybe I forgot to put it on that one. Maybe it was just my extra oily eyelids? With a primer, this liner would probably be fine. I did like the soft consistency of the pencil though. Did you ever used to melt your eyeliners with a lighter to get them to be more of a liquid? That’s like a good high school trick. This liner has a soft melty texture that’s similar without the risk of a burnt eyelid. I always like to have extra black liners around, and this one was full size! So, even though I wasn’t impressed, that’s good? It’s like the joke at the beginning of “Annie Hall”:

“There’s an old joke – um… two elderly women are at a Catskill mountain resort, and one of ’em says, “Boy, the food at this place is really terrible.” The other one says, “Yeah, I know; and such small portions.” Well, that’s essentially how I feel about life – full of loneliness, and misery, and suffering, and unhappiness, and it’s all over much too quickly.”

Like that. But with eyeliner.

Benefit Cosmetics Triple Performing Facial Emulsion + Total Moisture Face Cream + It’s Potent Eye Cream

What they said: A three step system for scoring an ultra radiant, youthful, and deeply hydrated complexion.

What I say: I already bought this system when it first came out a couple years ago. I took it all back. I really hated it! The perfume smell was way too much, and I didn’t like the way it made my skin feel. I didn’t even open these samples because I already know the score.


Overall, August’s Birchox was a hit. I was into everything but the Benefit stuff. I am REALLY not mad at that stila lippie. Totally worth the $10 this month.

Get your own Birchbox HERE.

Birchbox, Face, Lips, Moisturizer, Nails

Birchbox July 2013 Review and Photos

Birchbox July 2013

Since everyone is already getting their August Birchboxes, I’m going to do a quick review of July’s box.

July’s box didn’t start off great. After I got my shipping notice, the tracking info never updated and the box never showed up. I emailed Birchbox and they said a new one would be sent out to me, and I’d have it within 10 days. 10 days later, I sent another email asking why I still hadn’t received my box. They assured me it was coming. Sure enough, the next day, day 11, it was in my mailbox.

I got a notice that my August box had shipped before I even got my July box!

It’s too bad this month’s box was so late, since what was inside was pretty good.


ModelCo Party Proof Matte Lipstick in Peony

Birchbox 7:13 lipstick

What they said: Long lasting, nondrying pigment that won’t come off on your drink (or significant other).

What I say: No fucking way is this matte OR party proof. The color applies beautifully, smooth and creamy, but it comes right off just like any other lipstick. I waited around for it to turn matte, party proof, or something, but it never did. It absolutely left lipstick all over my drinks and my dude. I blotted it down, and that was helpful in keeping the color on my lips, but it was still transferring color. If they hadn’t claimed this lipstick was long wearing like that, I would have been totally happy with it. The dark hot pink color is really pretty, and I like the hydration you get. But, I don’t like being told something about a product that is 100% not true. Plus, my lipstick was broken at the base, so it’s moving around inside the tube a little. I don’t think the heat was very kind to it during shipping.

Marcelle BB Cream Golden Glow

What they said: True complexion illuminator with golden light reflecting pigments, the BB Cream Gold boosts radiance instantly and gives your skin a multitude of skincare benefits.

What I say: Loved it! I was shocked because my skin is notoriously hard to match, but the Marcelle BB Cream Gold blended right in, and made my skin look great. It wasn’t heavy, it evened out my tone, didn’t dry me out, and the golden sheen gave me a really pretty glow. I would really maybe buy this one! I don’t actually wear makeup out to run errands that much, but I’m going to use this little bottle and see how I like it. The moisturizing/correcting combo is pretty enticing.

Benta Berry G-1 Moisturizing Face Cream

What they said: A French best seller, this cream both hydrates and purifies, thanks to blueberry and dead nettle.

What I say: I liked this too! I’ve become pretty oily in my old age, which is totally fine. Oilier skin doesn’t wrinkle as fast! Buuuuuut, I do sometimes feel like I’m just melting off my makeup. This face cream claims to be mattifying. That was a little bit worrisome to me, since mattifying can often translate into drying. When I tried it out though, my concerns were unfounded. Since I’m usually extremely oily when I wake up, I put it on before bed one night, and when I woke up in the morning, my grease had been significantly decreased. My skin felt fine, not dry or gross. I wouldn’t use it all the time, since I don’t really mind my oils all that much, but it would be good for days when you really need a matte surface to lay down your face. Special events and stuff. Like I said, my skin felt fine. I liked it better on its own though. Also, this is the “SUITS” pick, as in that show on USA. So, that’s hilarious. Please call in “Burn Notice” next. I want Bruce Campbell picking out my lipsticks.

Color Club Collection Nail Polish in Put a Pin In It

What they said: This custom rose gold brightens andy summer ensemble – and looks great with a tan.

What I say: Hey, Nana! Want a new nail polish?!

Birchbox Bobby Pins

What they said: We designed these patterned pins to add style to summer hair with minimal effort.

What I say: They’re barrettes. They’re cute, I guess. They’re really hard to get open, and they hurt to take out. I will probably hardly ever, if ever, wear them.


Overall, this was a pretty good box. I’m going to use most of the stuff that came in it, and the samples were really decent sized. The wait was aggravating, so I can’t give it a completely great review this month. But, it’s better than last month, and I really feel like I got my $10 worth out of this box.

Sign up for Birchbox HERE!


Birchbox July 2013

I can’t review July’s Birchbox for you guys yet because I never got it. I got the shipping notice, but the tracking info never updated and my box never showed up. I sent in an email letting them know, and they told me this:

birchbox email

Mmmmm….’kay? So, I never got another email back, and our money was never refunded. I *guess* that means I should get another box; but I never got a new tracking number either.  I’m also not super happy with being told I was going to get a bunch of different stuff. I don’t know what that means! Leftovers? Junk drawer detritus?

That was on 7/23, and I haven’t seen anything yet. 10 business days will be next Tuesday, so see you (by) next Tuesday, Birchbox! I hope!

I’ll keep you guys updated on this crisis as it continues to unfold.



Birchbox June 2013 Review

My first Birchbox was a really exciting experience! I tried most of the products, and although I didn’t love everything, it was still a lot of fun.

color club pardon my french

Color Club Nail Lacquer in Pardon My French, $8 for the set of 4

I’m pretty sure I always thought this polish brand was cheap and/or for little girls. The daisy on the bottles has really been throwing me, I guess. It was cool to get the chance to try a brand I never would have tried otherwise! The formula of the polish was really nice, it flowed on easily and covered evenly with two coats. The color was a pretty pinkish-lilac, but it wasn’t really anything special. Off the top of my head, I have at least 2 other polishes in my stash that look like Pardon My French. I hate putting products on blast like that, but whatever. It’s gotta be done. That’s the beauty review game. I was actually really hoping to get the mint color, but that’s ok.

birchbox 6:13 Whish Shave Cream

Whish Shave Crave Shaving Cream, Blueberry, $20

“This decadent shave cream from whish one-ups its competitors. Made in the U.S. with eco-friendly ingredients, the non-drying formula gives you a mighty close shave without leaving legs devoid of moisture.”

This is $20 shaving cream. Come on.

I’m not even going to try to justify spending that money. And I will spend money on all kinds of nonsense. Hell, I throw away more groceries every week than I’m comfortable admitting. We’re working on that.

But this, this is shaving cream. I shaved one leg with this, and one leg with my regular shaving cream. There wasn’t any discernible difference moisture, or otherwise, between the two. In fact, I’d be willing to bet if I did a close inspection, I’d find more leftover hair on the Whish leg than the Skintimate leg. Not because the shaving cream is bad, but because it doesn’t show up on your legs like regular shaving cream, so I kept losing my place! I really, really hate that. That’s how I end up out in public with a big strip of hair up the front of my shin. I wear glasses, I’m basically flying blind in the shower.

The only thing this shaving cream has over regular shaving cream, is the delicious smelling blueberry scent. I could smell it as soon as I opened the Birchbox. Mmmm!

birchbox 6:13 My Prime Moisturizer

My Prime Mattifying Moisturizer, $68

“Finding the right dry-touch formula is challenging, but this cream offers the right amount of moisture without any heaviness or residue.”

This worked ok, I guess. My face is matte. That’s true. The texture was so odd though, it was off-putting. Like, it was thick and didn’t apply smoothly. I didn’t feel like I was putting moisture INTO my skin, it felt like I was just pushing product around on my face. That by itself, was enough to make me not like it. My skin doesn’t feel any better than it did before, in fact it feels a little worse. It says it’s supposed to be so moisturizing, but it made some spots on my cheeks a little rougher. I’m sure that’s due to the mattifying, but I have other products that do the same thing without leaving my skin feeling weird.


I haven’t tried the Nexxus Youth Renewal Rejuvenating Elixir yet, because I just started doing my new hair washing method, and that would have messed me up. I do really like the little tili Bag zippered travel bag. It’s cute, and I’ll definitely use it when I’m traveling this month.

Initially, I felt like my first Birchbox was disappointing. I was a little underwhelmed with what I got. But, then I noticed things like the primer being anti-aging. Usually, I don’t care about stuff like that, but lately, I’ve been looking into working some into my beauty routine. I told them that! So, they sent me anti-aging. That moisturizer was $68, and I probably never would have used it otherwise. That makes me think that probably, sometimes, the Birchbox is a fucking gold mine. Beauty gambling!