Wednesday, November 13, 2013

November Birchbox: Reveal & Review

It's that time again!  I gotta say the November Birchbox snuck up on me.  I remember getting my October one near the middle of the month, but this month's came much earlier on the 6th.  Plus, the day I got the e-mail that it had shipped was the day it arrived so that was a nice surprise!  I must admit that I felt some trepidation since October's was such a letdown.  

I was actually very pleased with this month's samples, though.  This was before even using them!  There was a nice mix and no horrible shampoo samples.  They will have a lot to top in December.  

The box came pretty jam packed with products.  I know we are supposed to receive 4-5 high end samples, but I got 9!  I mean, if you count how some of the samples had multiple packets, which I do.  I was freaking thrilled!

So the first thing I grabbed out of the box was this perfume sample.  Folle de Joie is one of the loveliest scents I have ever worn.  It's not too heavy and is one of those that you may need to apply throughout the day.  I don't tend to as I don't carry makeup or beauty items with me in my purse (just chapstick).  

The scent is very clean smelling with hints of floral and maybe a tiny hint of citrus.  The downside is this perfume costs $98!  Yes, you read that correctly and you are not going insane.  I mean, it's beautiful, but unless I got this as a gift, I could never see myself owning it.  I better be careful to save the sample for nice occasions!  

Next up was the Wei Beauty Golden Root purifying mud mask.  This was the first product I actually tried after the unboxing and I was very pleased with it.  The package says single application, but in all honesty, I probably could have used it twice.  I kind of piled on the product figuring I couldn't save the rest, but I probably should have.

 This stuff smelled amazing and was one of the smoothest masks I have ever worn; it put my Mario Badescu Flower & Tonic mask to shame.  Now, upon researching the product, I found that Wei has 3 different companies all under the Wei name: Wei Beauty, Wei East, and Wei To Go.  Obviously, the last one is travel sizes (why you need a whole company and separate website for that is beyond me) but the other two have me confused.  Wei East is mid-ranged in pricing, but Wei Beauty isn't so expensive that you are saving much buying the lower price tag product.  The mask sells for $42 as 10 single application tubs and a brush to smooth it on.  Frankly, I think the brush is a bit extraneous.  Since the tubs are more like dual usage tubs (at least for me) you actually get 20 applications.  It's definitely a splurge regardless, but I may pick it up as a little treat.

The next thing I got were 3 tea bags from Mighty Leaf.  I have only tried one of them so far since the Organic African Nectar was the only one that is caffeine free.  I am very sensitive to caffeine and I can't have it past noon or I will be up all night.  I will have to try the other two as a morning drink, but I have been so busy, it hasn't occurred to me to brew a cup before I leave for work.  Maybe this weekend.  The smell pretty darn good and the African Nectar one was very tasty.  They are on the pricier side for tea ($9.95 for 15 pouches), but if you are into high quality tea like I am, you will love them.  

I was highly confused by this product, also by Wei.  I opened the package which are called Pomegranate buffing beads to find a coarse ground powder instead.  So they aren't actually bead at all!  No matter.  I actually have a similar product that my sister gave me about 2 years ago.  Basically you mix it with you regular cleanser and now you have an exfoliating cleanser.  At $20 for 20 pouches it's a pretty good buy if you don't exfoliate everyday (which you really shouldn't!  Twice a week is fine!)  I mixed mine with my current evening cleanser, Cetaphil.  I had a nice scrub and my face feels very soft and not at all irritated, but then again I don't have sensitive skin.  I was happy to get 2 packets of this, so I get to use it again.  I may pick this up at some point, but I have to use up the bottle of the stuff my sister gave me (the name escapes me at the moment) first.

Next I got a Bee Kind Body Lotion.  I wasn't impressed or unimpressed with this product.  It moisturizes nicely and isn't greasy, but it does smell very lemony which I don't care for.  My biggest complaint is that it contains silicones, which, much like hair care, simply coat you in a smooth feeling product that doesn't soak in and washes away with soap.  I'd prefer to see something like shea or cocoa butter which really hydrate the skin.  It retails at $15 for 8oz.  Bath and Body Works lotions also have silicones but they cost less and they are constantly running deals and giving coupons for free products.  Save your money here, this is nothing special.

Last up is the Chella Ivory Lace Highlighter pencil.  This is probably a dream come true.  One of my biggest pet peeves is how many companies tell people to use a shimmery shadow as their eye brow highlight.  This can be bad if not used sparingly, which is often the case.  This is especially bad for brides.  Ladies, unless you want to look like your eyebrows are glowing like they have batteries in your pictures, go with a matte color slightly lighter than your regular skin tone.  There's highlighting, and then there is electrifying.  Anyway, this pencil give a perfect matte highlight and can be used all over your face.  It retails for $18, which is a bit steep since you can get the same effect with a matte shadow, but a little bit does go quite a long way.  I think I will have this sample for years. 

Overall, this box was a hit.  I am only giving away one product (the lotion, I really can't stand citrusy smells!), and honestly aside from the smell, it is still a good product.  I hope my December box will be just as good! 

What did you get in your Birchbox?  Did you love it or hate it?  Let me know what you think in the comments below or on Facebook & Twitter!  

XO - Bekah

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