A New Day

Taking a look at all of the things I've been missing

December Birchbox Review

on December 26, 2014

Oh hey, a Birchbox! I know, I know… its been like 6 months since my last Birchbox post.

The last few months, I’ve gone with the guest curated or themed box. There are so many people who do reviews of those that I really didn’t feel as though my thoughts were needed out in blog-land. And honestly, I didn’t really enjoy those boxes as much as I do the ones specifically catered to my profile. I’ve been a Birchbox subscriber for nearly 3 years and have been fine-tuning my profile for just as long. I almost feel like I kind of owe myself the joy of receiving a box designed to fit what I REALLY want from the subscription. So in December, I went back to it being all about me. 🙂

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The December theme was Decked Out – designed to “help start the celebrations a little early.” Each subscriber received a $10 gift from the GAP (redeemable online) and the chance to choose one additional sample. Sample Choice started a few months ago and is a first come, first serve option to choose between a limited number of products to enhance your Birchbox. I love getting the Sample Choice email and try to grab what I want as soon as it hits my inbox. I’ve been able to snag some really great extras the last few months!

 

What’s in the box?

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Embryolisse Lait-Crème Concentré (24-Hour Miracle Cream) – “Take a peek in any makeup artist’s kit and you’ll spy a well-loved tube of Embryolisse’s cult Lait-Crème Concentre. Since we’re just as picky as the pros, you’d better believe we’re fans too. This velvety moisturizer gives skin the ultimate silky finish, thanks to generous amounts of soothing shea butter and aloe vera. Plus, it doubles as a makeup remover, post-shave soother, and all-over body lotion. Who says beauty isn’t practical?

How it Works

This concentrated formula is rich without being heavy, thanks to shea butter, aloe, and soy proteins. It absorbs quickly without any residue.

How to Use

To use a skin primer and daily moisturizer, apply a small amount to face and neck. To use as a makeup remover, add a small amount to a cotton ball and gently wipe away makeup. Be careful not to get it in your eyes. Rinse thoroughly and follow with your favorite cleanser.”

Price: $28 for 75ml

Feedback: Embryolisse is a brand that’s been on my radar for a while and am excited to try. The scent of this cream is really strong, so may not be a great option for a facial moisturizer. But in a test patch on my hand, it makes me really want to give it a shot… the skin is very smooth and visibly more hydrated. This would be a great winter moisturizer.

Manna Kadar Lip Locked in Lucky – “There’s one place where we can appreciate extra steps, and that’s the StairMaster. Apart from that, we prefer a routine that’s as brief and streamlined as humanly possible. Enter this all-in-one lip product from Manna Kadar. A primer, lip stain, and gloss in one, it eliminates the need for a hefty makeup bag but ensures that your lips stay lusciously vibrant all day long (and well into the night too).

How it Works

This lip stain delivers rich, long-lasting color with a matte finish. Vitamins A and E, as well as natural berry extracts, keep lips soft and smooth. Paraben-free and cruelty-free, this product is also allergy tested, so your sensitive skin can rest easy. Choose from seven shades: Manna Babe, a creamy magenta; All of You, an all-purpose nude; All of Me, a nude rose-pink; Lucky, a nude petal-pink; Siren, a bright, dazzling red; Pinot Noir, a luscious wine-red, and Coral Crush, a punchy coral.

How to Use

Sweep the applicator wand onto lips. Save your trusty balms and primers for another day.”

Price: $24 for 1.2oz.

Feedback: this shade is gorgeous. I haven’t given this a full test drive yet.

Royal Apothic Cuppa Cuppa Firming Tea Treatment Mask – “If you ask whether we’d like a cuppa, we’ll take two—and no need to ask whether we’d like milk or sugar, or even a mug. We prefer to take ours in this Cuppa Cuppa Firming Tea Treatment Mask from Royal Apothic. Infused with a blend of exotic teas, this clay mask leaves us with smoother, firmer, more radiant skin. What’s more, the treatment takes only 8 minutes—leaving us plenty of time for scones with clotted cream, if anyone’s offering.

How it Works

This clay-based formula is packed with antioxidant-rich black, green, and white teas, as well as other beneficial botanical extracts including acai, pomegranate, coffee, and goji berry. It firms, reduces dark spots, helps skin retain moisture, and gently exfoliates to reveal a refreshed, luminous complexion.

How to Use

Apply the entire contents of one tube to face, neck, and chest, avoiding eye area. Wait 8 minutes, then wet fingers and gently massage in a circular motion. Rinse with warm water and pat dry.”

Price: $54 for 6 tubes, 0.33 oz. each

Feedback: I’m currently finishing up another mask, but this will be next in line! I do love tea products and have tried a few from Memebox. This is right up my alley.

RUSK Texture Dry Finishing Spray – “A great cut is essential to maintaining your hairstyle, but don’t number your good hair days to those spent in the salon. Keep it in shape between visits with this finishing spray, which adds of texture and volume without leaving hair stiff. Whether you have a pixie cut or you’re sporting long locks, the medium-hold formula will help you make the most of your style.

How it Works

This talc-free spray is safe to use on color-treated hair. It’s made with hydrolyzed quinoa, silk amino acids, and keratin to prevent premature color from fading and boost moisture levels. Silica texturizes hair and leaves behind a matte finish.

How to Use

Shake the can vigorously. Spray on your roots, or mist all over to lock in your style.”

Price: $18 for 8oz.

Feedback: I haven’t actually had the chance to test this out. All I can say is that it smells nice.

**SAMPLE CHOICE BONUS!**

Vasanti Kajal Extreme Intense Eye Pencil in Rose Gold – “A natural eye look has its place in a woman’s makeup repertoire, but sometimes an occasion calls for something a bit bolder. This kohl pencil glides on easily, adding instant drama to your look, while the waterproof formula stays put for up to eight hours. Plus, each pencil has a handy built-in smudger and sharpener, so you can create well-defined or sultry looks

How it Works

We’re never ones to shy away from smoky eyes or winged liner, and this versatile liner lets us create both. The smooth, creamy formula goes on easily and won’t smudge all over the place. We love how the built-in sharpener keeps the tip precise.

How to Use

Keeping your hands as steady as possible, draw a thin line on your lash line. For a more shadowy effect, draw a slightly thicker line and use the smudger to wing it out. Keep your liner tidy with the sharpener.”

Price: $18 for .04oz.

Feedback: this sample is nearly full-size (.03oz) – what a great addition to the overall value! This is a really smooth pencil and very well pigmented. I’m most looking forward to using this as a waterline color. Rose Gold is such a different color for a pencil and a welcome addition to my collection!

 

If I haven’t made it clear over the last year, I really love Birchbox. We may sometimes disagree on what I like (or what they think I might like…), but the quality has not faltered. I love the points system and their customer service. My subscription is set to renew in January for the full year and I say yes. 100% yes. Here’s my credit card. I look forward to another great year!

Stay tuned to my favorite products of the year – there is sure to be some more Birchbox praise!

What did you get this month?

 

About Birchbox:
“Birchbox is the leading discovery commerce platform. We are redefining the retail process by offering consumers a unique and personalized way to discover, learn about, and shop the best beauty, grooming, and lifestyle products on the market…
Each month, you’ll receive a selection of samples that we’ve tried (and retried) ourselves. We source our samples from both well-known brands and emerging gems. The women’s subscription includes everything from skincare to makeup, as well as fun non-beauty extras. The men’s subscription delivers top-tier grooming products in addition to lifestyle accessories ranging from hip socks to tech accessories.”
Birchbox is $10 per month. Referrals, purchases and reviews of products will give you points to use in the BB store – 10 points = $1
Click here to use my referral code to get a subscription of your own!
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