Birchbox July 2015

Birchbox is a monthly $10 beauty/skincare sample subscription box. I’m working on a summary of my first year of being a subscriber, plus an overview of how Birchbox works, but meanwhile let’s talk about this month:

The sample choice this month was only one product: Stila’s stay all day lipstick, and subscribers could choose from Beso (cool-toned red), Venezia (pink-leaning coral), or Bella (bright pink). The featured box this month included Stila stay all day liquid lipstick in Bella, JUARA Enzyme Radiance Scrub, Oribe Apr├Ęs Beach Wave and Shine Spray, Supergoop! Anti-Aging City Sunscreen Serum SPF 30, and theBalm Balm Desert bronzer.

I was able to secure the color of my choice, Venezia. I also received the Supergoop sunscreen that was in the featured box, Harvey Prince’s Hello perfume, Bumble and bumble hair priming spray, and a Vasanti face scrub.

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Stila stay all day liquid lipstick in Venezia – Venezia is at least as lovely as I hoped. I already own Beso, and the only difference between the two formulas appears to be the color. Both stay well through eating and drinking without much transfer. Both are vanilla frosting-scented, and both are slightly drying. I used a not-particularly moisturizing lip balm underneath, and managed to avoid the day-after flaky lips, AND the lipstick was just as fade-proof/non-feathering/all-around-great. It’s not smooch-proof, but it’s a product that I can easily recommend. If you’re into intensely pigmented lip products, I highly recommend you pick up one of these. Indirect sunlight swatches, from left to right: Sephora Cream Lip Stain in Always Red, Stila Beso, Stila Venezia, NYX Matte Lipstick in Indie Flick, and XO Memebox Time on My Lip in Pink. They’re all slightly more vibrant than the photo shows.image

Supergoop! Anti-Aging City Sunscreen Serum SPF 30 – This sample was part of Sephora’s Sun Safety Kit this year, so I already have it. I haven’t used it because I prefer to only have one facial sunscreen open at a time. It’s not a particularly exciting product, but it is something that I’ll use, and obviously since I purchased it elsewhere it’s something that I want. Nice pick. *pats Birchbox on the back.”

Harvey Prince’s Hello – Birchbox sends Harvey Prince products to me in every other box. HP has way, way more representation than any other brand, and I’m effing sick of it. Hello is a bland lightly floral sweet citrus scent. Like most citrus scents, it fades quickly. Birchbox claims Hello is one of their best-sellers and most-beloved products. Just because Birchbox beats us over the head with it doesn’t mean we like it. I mean, it’s fine. It’s fine. Boring and forgettable, but fine.

Bumble and bumble Hairdresser’s Invisible Oil Protective Primer – Bumble and bumble recently had a great sample offer and the result is that I have more than a full size’s worth of samples of this exact product. I like that Birchbox thought it’d be up my alley and sent me a sample the very first month that they started carrying Bumble and bumble.

Vasanti BrightenUp! Enzymatic Face Rejuvenator – It’s a face scrub. It has “microderm crystals” in it, which are very fine-grit, That sounds like it would be gentle, but it’s not. It is exactly as harsh and jagged as grinding a bunch of crystals into your face sounds. This would be great for after a weekend of sleeping in layers of makeup, maybe. It WILL shred away your skin, like you’d expect from a microdermabrasion treatment. If you rarely exfoliate, I can see this being a “holy crap! My skin is baby-soft when I exfoliate!” moment, and you’d be correct. It’s just that a scrub like this is the equivalent of getting liposuction every few months instead of figuring out how to eat better. If you’re going to use this, use very little pressure, use very little product, and only use it on the parts of your skin that you think can handle thousands of micro-cuts. And then moisturize the bejeezus out of your skin afterward. This would be an absolutely amazing body scrub, but I find it way too intense for regular facial use. I’d recommend looking into gentle chemical exfoliation (AHAs or BHAs), or daily/multiple times daily use of a konjac sponge before introducing something as intense as this Vasanti treatment to your skincare routine.

This month Birchbox sent me three things I’m into, one thing I’m not, and one thing that I enjoyed testing out but is not for me. This was a solid box, I’d say. If you’d like to subscribe to Birchbox, consider using my referral link. You can also purchase any of these products in the Birchbox shop without subscribing.

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