Birchbox Review – January 2014

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I ended up getting my January 2014 Birchbox in the first week of February, and just haven’t taken the time to sit down and write out a review until now. Very much needed slacking time for me, ahhhh. It also gave me more time to try the products out! Anyway for those of you not familiar with Birchbox, it’s a monthly subscription service that sends you 4-6 samples (and sometimes full sized products) for $10 shipped.

This was actually my first month trying Birchbox out. I was very pleasantly surprised and have decided to keep getting them for now. I guess low expectations can pay off in that way. They have a reputation for sending lots of foil packets…. and certainly aren’t one of the beauty boxes I’ve heard people raving about. ever. In fact, I’ve heard a lot more of the opposite…so we’ll see how they shape out over the course of the next few months, but the January Box was awesome, and I would say hands down beat out my January Ipsy box if we were comparing the two! I got Box 1, and here’s what it contained:

Fekkai Advanced Brilliant Glossing Conditioner 2 fl. oz.
Fekkai Advanced Brilliant Glossing Shampoo  2 fl. oz
Reviver Dry Deodorant Swipes for Clothes 1-Pack
INIKA Mineral Eyeshadow – Full Size!
Nail Rock Glitter Nail Polish – Full Size!

Bonus: Cynthia Rowley Liquid Eyeliner Pen – Full Size

Approximate Total Retail Value (w/o Free Bonus Liner) = $39.59
Approximate Total Retail Value (with Free Bonus Liner) = $57.59

My box had 2 full sized items, PLUS a full sized bonus item and deluxe sized samples this month!

Fekkai Advanced Brilliant Glossing Shampoo &
Fekkai Advanced Brilliant Glossing Conditioner
16oz./each – Appx. Value $5/each

Going to do the review on these together, since I used them together. First of all Fekkai is a good brand, and I’ve used other products of theirs before with luck. I was impressed with the size of these samples, so glad they weren’t foil packets and I think it’s really nice to have gotten 2oz sizes of each to really give a good trial run with your hair on. That being said… I have yet to do that myself. Have only tried them a couple of times so far each, so not much use – but I wasn’t terribly impressed or floored by them. Another fact worth mentioning is the first ingredient after water is sulfate, which is very unfortunate for those of us that prefer to stay sulfate-free. One of the big selling points on this stuff is that it’s supposed make your hair shiny, and I’m not *positive* it’s a result of these products use, but my hair has had some good shine goin so that claim could be legit. In general, I just have so many hair products, and with my super long unruly hair type – I’m pretty hard to please in this department. They are just okay as far as I’m concerned – they certainly aren’t BAD… so that’s a good thing. And you can always use up shampoo samples so at least they won’t be wasted. We’ll see what I really think once I’ve finished them all up but certainly a win as far as usability, brand recognition, and product size/value. Have also read people that don’t shampoo their hair often have noticed they need to shampoo even LESS often with this product, so those will be the things I watch out for as I finish up my samples.

Inika Mineral Eyeshadow in Eternal Marine
Full Size! – Appx. Value $20

Was really happy to see I got this one. Inika is an all natural and organic line. This product is 100% vegan, cruelty free, as well as free of Talcs, Parabens, Fragrances, Fillers, and more. I’ve heard good things about their foundation and bronzer so couldn’t wait to check this out. For those of you that don’t use mineral eyeshadow much, be aware they usually do have more fallout then you might be used to and can take some time to master. Using with a primer (or if you don’t have an eye primer at least be sure to cover the eye with a good concealer or base of some kind.. that will help the loose minerals to have something to “stick” to. For the quick look I did with this shadow below – I didn’t have a regular primer on me and used “Eyetini Cordial Creme Shadow + Base” in Violette all over as my base, which worked great. You can definitely experiment with the products you’ve already got to find a way to make mineral shadows work for you! With all of that said, I did find this Inika to have great staying power and it lasted well from what I could tell! The color is fantastic, its a medium gray shade with a ton of green sparkles (and perhaps a few pinkish sparkles mixed in as well, slightly reminiscent of my oh so beloved vex by mac – though this color is much darker than that, and way more green than pink so certainly not even close to a dupe of any kind) but the shades in the sparkle are what I’m reminded of. Definitely a very wearable color with so many looks!

Nail Rock Glitter Nail Polish
Full Size! – Appx. Value $6.99

I was SO EXCITED to see this one in my box this month. The blue color WAS PERFECT (for the new druzy rings I’d been matching my nails to lol) and in general – I just love glitteryness. Obviously, it was awesome to get the full sized product there, and I think it’s cool they include the glitter seperately. More versatile that way. With all that, there’s certainly some things left to be desired with the polish itself. I’m wearing it right now, and it’s ALRIGHT…. but there’s just a few things. First, I opted to use a top coat so as not to have loose glitter bits getting all over my house, my cat, and whatever else I’m working on… and much to my surprise this stuff just flat out LOOKS wayyyy better without any topcoat. That was my experience anyway, and I’d say if you don’t mind getting glitter everyfreakinwhere – then just DO NOT use the top coat at all. Now, the other issue is the base coat formula isn’t good. It seems to chip easily on its own, and is a thin forumla that’s going to require AT LEAST a couple coats to keep from looking strange and sheer. Now, the glitter helps toughin it up, and if you do opt for a clear coat like I did – that definitely has helped too. We’ll see how taking off this layer of glitter fares compared to normal pain in the ass to remove glitter polishes. I think I’m ready to take this off and try something else for V-Day so I may have to report back on that, but I assume it’s going to be an extra thick layer of pain in the ass on that.

Reviver Dry Deodorant Wipe
Appx. Value $2.60

Haven’t had a chance to use these yet, but I love the novelty factor. I think it’s a cool idea to be able to throw one in your purse to have for a deodorant related emergency should the need arise. Also love the fact that it’s reusable – and for those of you big on natural deodorants which don’t have the anti antiperspirant factor…. having a little something to help dry ya off seems like a good way to go. Not sure how long you can re-use it for, and doubt it’s washable or anything but yeah it’s pretty much just a little square patch that you slip over your fingers and “wipe on clothes and hair”… so yeah I guess you just dry off yo stinky parts with it. lol. I certainly can’t hate on that! It has a nice fresh, almost slightly citrus-y smell and comes in it’s own little ziplock pouch to seal in the freshness. They are the kind of thing I definitely wouldn’t have picked up for myself ever, and I certainly wouldn’t have paid $17 for a pack of 6 – but sure think it’s cool to have one just in case I’m out and happen to pick up a funky smell from something? This was considered a ‘Lifestyle Extra’ in the box… so it’s neat they throw in something extra non beauty related to and mix things up a bit, too.

Gift w/subscription – Cynthia Rowley Liquid Eyeliner Pen –
Appx. Value $18

Since this was my first box I got some sort of promotion I guess and got this eyeliner included free with my first box. Score! The pen tip is a good quality and has a very fine tip….so it could be really good for extra precise work. It’s actually a bit finer than I like for normal eyeliner but great for intricate designs. Wasn’t very impressed with the formula, and the color of the liner is not quite as dark as I’d like, either. It’s got a bit of a blue gray tone to it. Haven’t used it much so those are just my first impressions. Certainly don’t see myself purchasing again mainly because I want something darker and more pigmented.

Here’s a makeup look I did with a few of the products from this bag, mixed in with a few of the products from my February Ipsy bag!

Feb 2014 Birchbox vs Ipsy Look
Wearing: Inika Mineral Eyeshadow in Eternal Marine, Cynthia Rowley Liquid Eyeliner, Pop Beauty Lip Gloss in Fuscia Freesia, and Eyetini Shadow Tint in Violette.

In other news, I did inadvertently peek at my February Box, which arrives tomorrow. I’m not nearly as excited about it at all, but will still be sticking with Birchbox to see how it all shakes out! February’s review coming soon!!

Jenni Sais Quoi
Jenni is a photographer, herbalist, reiki master, certified yoga and meditation instructor; as well as an artist of many mediums. She muses at the world through a lens steeped in mindfulness, creativity, and compassion with the hope that her own journey and art inspire people to lead happier and healthier lives through conscious awareness, self acceptance, and mastering physical, emotional, and spiritual well being.

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