Monday, October 14, 2013

October Birchbox: Reveal & Review

So if you have been following me on Facebook and Twitter, you know I was pretty stoked to start receiving my Birchbox this month.  I filled out my little survey, and as evidenced by my last Birchbox post, I enjoyed a good amount of the products my friend gave me.  Needless to say, I was beyond excited when it showed up in my mailbox on Saturday.  

I frantically reached for the scissors and opened the box only to be disappointed.  Now, I know it's a crap shoot as to what you get in your box.  The staffers don't know everyone individually, and I get that, but why have us fill out the survey if they won't look at it?  Hair product samples are generally a huge miss for curly girls like me since they are filled with sulfates, silicones, and other nasties I wouldn't be caught dead putting in my hair.  I definitely left the hair product box unchecked on the survey to avoid this issue.  Of COURSE I had two in this box.  

Both are by Bain de Terre and are the Macadamia Oil Nourishing line.  Just to be sure, the first thing I did was check the ingredient list.  I was optimistic since they say right on the front that they are paraben-free (score one point!).  Alas, the second ingredient is Sodium Laureth Sulfate, followed swiftly by Sodium Chloride (SALT!!!).  You couldn't pay me enough to use this product.  Okay, that's a lie.  Give me a few thousand and I'd use it, but my poor ringlets would hate me for weeks.  

I think the thing that peeved me the most, though, was the fact that they sent me the shampoo AND the conditioner.  Really guys!?  Just in case I could spin this positively, I read that label too.  Nope, another dud.  Dimethicone is the fifth ingredient.  For those of you who don't know about silicones in hair care products, here is a quick lesson.  Silicones coat your hair strands and it's what give your hair that soft, silky feeling and the gorgeous shine.  Sounds great, right?  Not so, because the only way to get rid of that from your hair is to use a harsh cleanser since they aren't water soluble (can't rinse off on their own in water).  Harsh cleansers are those sulfates we're all trying to avoid.  Yeah, they take the excess gunk from styling products out, but they also strip your hair of it's natural oils and rough up your hair cuticle.  That's why your hair looks terrible without product after you wash it (and it's why you get the "squeaky" clean; you've just destroyed your hair).  What do you reach for to solve that problem?  Why, your favorite silicone ridden conditioner and styling products.  It's a vicious cycle.  I didn't want to throw them out so I gave them away.  That's two out of five items gone already.

In comes the nail polish.  Now, I had gotten one from my friend when I raided her stash by the same brand, Ruffian.  Completely forgetting about it, I left it out of my last post, but honestly it was really good.  The coverage was fantastic as you only needed one coat!  I was excited to get another in my own box, except the color is horrific!  

(Ruffian Nail Lacquer in "Hedge Fund")

The picture makes it seem more grey-green than it really is.  The color is closer to sick baby poop green.  That's right, I said poop.  It's honestly one of the ugliest colors I have ever seen.  That said, I will totally try it out and see how it looks on my nails, but to be perfectly honest, I see myself giving this away too.  I am sure there are other chicks out there who would find this color appealing, but for me, I've changed too many diapers to stomach it.  

I was really excited to see that I got one of the Pop Beauty lip glosses in my box in a really flattering pink color.  The first thing I noticed was that, even as a tube, it had an applicator!  Really it's just a piece of plastic, though, and nothing to get excited about.  I prefer doe tip or brush applicators and this one was a solid but flexible piece of plastic.  Not that helpful at applying.  The color is sheer, but buildable.  Unfortunately, this ALSO goes in the give away pile as it is one of those sticky lip glosses, and I just can't stand the feel of those on my lips.  

(Pop Beauty Aqua Lacquer in "Floating Rose")

With four out of five products being total bummers, I was really happy to get the last one.  I am a chapstick junkie.  I can honestly say I have never finished one as I tend to lose them or melt them in the dryer, so it's always handy to have a backup.  

The thing that caught my eye with this one is that it contains CoQ10.  This is a substance naturally found in the human body, but diminishes with age.  In this aspect, it is used to prevent anti-aging effects on the lips.  These effects are loss of collagen and elasticity, which occur due to age and are the reason why many older women seem to have smaller lips than they did when they were younger.

I was a little put off at first by the label that said it is Vanilla Creme scented (flavored?), but I actually can't smell anything.  It is definitely moisturizing and my lips feel nice and soft after using this.  Of all the things I got, this is the only item I will be keeping.  

As promised, I am ready to give my verdicts on the last 3 products from my friend's Birchbox stash.  They consisted of a mattifying gel, a BB cream, and a moisturizer.

The mattifying gel was  pretty terrible.  It certainly did not make my skin appear matte or absorb any oil throughout the day.  It actually made my skin feel more oily than usual, which is pretty sad considering what it is marketed for.  If you have oily skin, stay away.  Maybe it would work for those who want a matte finish on their skin, but are not oily to begin with.  

The BB cream was exceptionally appealing as I have heard nothing but good things about Dr. Jart+.  Sadly, this was no good for me as it left me with a dewy finish, all too reminiscent of my typical oily skin.  It also appeared cakey, which is surprising since BB creams are supposed to fall between a tinted moisturizer and a light finish foundation.  This stuff had pretty heavy coverage and I barely used any of it.  

Last is the Ceramidin cream, also by Dr. Jart+.  I have used this at night since it seems thicker than my typical daily lotion.  It definitely hydrates and makes my skin feel soft.  This stuff is pretty good and probably worth the high price since you need very little and the 1.6 oz bottle would probably last you months.  If you suffer from eczema or excessive dry facial skin, I say try it.  It retails at Sephora for $48.  

Tell me what you got in your Birchbox and how you liked the products by leaving a comment below or on Twitter and Facebook! 

XO - Bekah

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