Sunday, January 19, 2014

January Birchbox!

Man, I just LOVE Birchbox. This was just my second month, but I was just as excited for this one as I was for December's. Maybe even more so! Let's jump right in, shall we?! Here's the photo of what was in my box, the photo is from the Birchbox website:

I have to also say that I absolutely LOVE that it comes in that little brown box - it's SO cute, and just the right size to use for a small gift for a friend or something. I love stuff that I can reuse with little to no effort involved, and this box is just perfect.

So, here's what was inside! (clockwise starting from the mint colored bottle on the left)
~ Liz Earle Cleanse & Polish Hot Cloth Cleanser with muslin cloth
~ Camille Beckman Body Butter in Morelia Monarch scent
~ Coastal Scents Revealed eyeshadow palette (the full size has 20 colors, the trial size had 4)
~ Under Armour Braided Mini Headband
~ Omnipotent Duosity Hair Treatment

Liz Earle Cleanse & Polish Hot Cloth Cleanser:
At first I thought, "I haven't used a washcloth in years. Literally, probably not since I was like 8. Why would I need a washcloth...?" Well, let me just tell you, I washed my face this morning with my normal cleanser after using the Liz Earle one the last few days, and I was missing Liz Earle and the muslin cloth. The cleanser itself is awesome. It doesn't foam or even lather at all, and it's meant to be used without water first. So, squirt some on the hand, massage onto dry face, then use the muslin cloth with nice hot water to wipe everything away. The ingredients list for this product is surprisingly SHORT, always a good thing, and most of it is plant oils. It's safe for use around eyes, which is always important to me since the skin around the eyes is SO delicate and sensitive, and yet we plaster on so much eye makeup and make it so difficult to remove...this cleanser removes it. I still really like my eye makeup remover (Mary Kay), and I have been using it even while I used this cleanser, but it does tend to leave a little bit of smudge underneath my eyes - this cleanser gets that smudge OFF! This cleanser feels super smooth, totally non irritating, and apparently has won over 90 beauty awards worldwide. There's a reason - it's great. The hot cloth wiping it all off at the end makes me feel like I'm in my own little spa for a couple of minutes. Feels great. I wish it had also come with the moisturizer that pairs with it; I would love to try the whole system together. There is also a toner solution that is sold separately, but I'm not a huge fan of toners in general. If one ever comes in my Birchbox though, I'll DEFINITELY try - I'm loving Liz Earle. When I run out of all of my Mary Kay cleanser, this is definitely a product I will consider buying to replace it.

Camille Beckman Body Butter in Morelia Monarch scent:
Body butters usually fall into one of two categories: soak in nicely and make skin soft, or don't soak in very well and make it impossible to do anything with your hands for an hour because it's too greasy. This one definitely falls into the first category; it's really thick but rubs in really nicely and makes the skin feel great. I used this mostly on the backs of my hands, my elbows, and my knees. I still have some of course, but I do have to admit that this is not one of those products that you can say a little bit goes a long way. I used a totally normal amount, maybe even a little bit more of it than my normal lotions. The scent is really subtle and nice. Overall, I really like this, but it's not something I will buy - I have about a million lotions and stuff that I don't use very often so they just last forever. I can't justify buying more when there's so many on my shelves and in my drawers.

Coastal Scents Revealed eyeshadow palette:
I'm not sure if all of the samples of these that were sent out this month were the same, but the colors I got were black, a light nude shimmer, brown shimmer, and a sort of greenish brown shimmer (sort of like weathered bronze maybe?). The reviews of these shadows tended to say that it didn't have much staying power and would crease on the eyelids throughout the day as it wore off a bit. I haven't had that same experience, but I also use a primer first so that's probably why. (Side note: I LOVE the primer I use; I ordered a couple of gift sets for myself in the post-Christmas Sephora sale, and this primer came in the bareMinerals set - it's called Prime Time in Rose Nectar, a light shimmery pink color.) Back to the Coastal Scents Revealed shadows...I like the colors, they are similar to ones I already use regularly, although I have been trying to reduce the amount of shimmer in my life lately - without success, obviously. But that's ok. I don't really have that much to say about these eyeshadows; I have about a million shadows in all sorts of brands: Clinique, Mary Kay, Urban Decay, and now Coastal Scents. Eyeshadow is something that I don't normally buy because I always get them as gifts with purchase or in a gift set or something like that, so as long as they're fairly neutral in color (i.e. various shades of browns) and not bright blue or something, I'll wear them daily. I save the fun colors for rare occasions of summer parties or concerts or something. So, I am very indifferent about this product, sorry.

Under Armour Braided Mini Headband:
Mine is not multicolored like the one in the photo, it is one color - neon coral. I really like this headband. I like headbands in general, but don't wear them very often because the ones that wrap all the way around the back of my head ALWAYS slip back and fall off. I must have the wrong shape of head for these kinds of headbands, because this is literally the only one I have ever found that lasted through a workout - and I did have to adjust it once still. It grips like nobody's business, and it's TIGHT, which definitely helps. I like this headband a lot and will definitely use it when I remember to. I don't think I'll need to actually buy any of these though, one is probably enough until it wears out or the grippy stuff gets too dirty to do its job or something. So I guess I may end up buying one at some point in the future, but not anytime soon.

Omnipotent Duosity Hair Treatment:
I really really wanted to give this product a RAVE review. I mean, it's gluten- and paraben-free!! Which, don't get me wrong, is awesome. But the truth is that, while it's nice and I like it, I don't feel like I really CARE about it. So, here goes: it's designed in such a way that it's actually two products, stored separately in their compartments, and then you dispense it in relatively equal amounts and rub it together. It foams/lathers really nicely on the hands, and then put it in your hair focusing on the ends - it's basically a conditioner that's supposed to do a bunch of healing things to your hair. Which I'm sure it does, but quite honestly I don't feel THAT much of a difference once my hair is dried. When I rinsed it out in my shower, though - WOW, so so so so soft. The first time I tried it, I was worried that it wasn't rinsed out all the way because my hair was SO silky. I expected my hair to feel weighed down after I dried it, but that wasn't the case. I used this product again yesterday, and didn't use any of my normal after-shower hair products, so I'd have a better perspective on this particular product - and my hair feels really nice still today. Not greasy or weighed down, the ends are soft and nice. So, I suppose it does live up to its claims. The thing is, I don't really care. Haha. Maybe that's because I absolutely love the Beauty Protect leave-in conditioner I got in last month's box, so I just spritz a bit of that before blow-drying. The Duosity does smell really good though, and I am pretty shocked at just HOW silky my hair feels in the shower after it's all been rinsed out. It's nice, for sure. Probably not something I will spend money on, but I might reconsider when I run out of the shampoos and conditioners I already have.

Well, that's all for now friends! Thanks for reading, and any of you who got different items in your Birchboxes or have opinions on the above products, I'd love to hear all about it! Also, my friend over at I'm Better in Real Life wrote her review of her January Birchbox, and I'm sure she'd love for you to take a look!

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