reviews

Birchbox- May 2014

May has finally brought some sunny gorgeous weather to Manhattan, and lately I’ve felt like throwing open the windows and spring cleaning/decluttering the apartment. A big bag of expired or unused beauty items went to the trash, but here comes Birchbox with another month of samples to crowd up my shower and vanity! (Just kidding of course, I love testing all the new products I receive.)

Things kicked off with the Glichrist & Soames Spa Therapy Body Lotion, a creamy moisturizer with a light fresh scent. I have to complain a bit because I received a Glichrist & Soames lotion in the past (I guess since this is a new formula or scent Birchbox doesn’t consider it a repeat), but at least the packaging is more travel-friendly than the last lotion I received. Overall I probably wouldn’t run out to purchase this lotion, but it will be handy to throw in my purse.

Gilchrist & Soames Spa Therapy Body Lotion

Gilchrist & Soames Spa Therapy Body Lotion

 

Next was a cute trio from the Nexxus Color Assure line– a primer, shampoo, and conditioner. While the sample looks precious it’s really no more than a fancied up foil packet, so unfortunately I only got one use of the shampoo and conditioner, and two uses out of the primer. Small size complaints aside, I really enjoyed the products from the Nexxus Color Assure range. I put them to the ultimate test as my first wash on freshly colored auburn hair and experienced virtually zero color run off, hooray! My favorite of the bunch was the primer,  a unique product that coats your dry hair before you shower to give it some extra protection.

Nexxus Color Assure Pre-Wash Primer, Shampoo, & Conditioner

Nexxus Color Assure Pre-Wash Primer, Shampoo, & Conditioner

 

I was thrilled to find a full sized makeup item in this month’s box as well– the Pixi Shea Butter Lip Balm in Color Crush. The balm went on smooth with a light feel and lasted well over several hours. The color looks a little intense in the photo on the left, but as you can see in the swatch it mellows out to a soft pinky orange on the lips.

Pixi Shea Butter Lip Balm

Pixi Shea Butter Lip Balm

 

I stopped using shaving cream years ago (in favor of using cheaper and more moisturizing conditioners on my legs), but I wanted to give the grapefruit acai scented Whish Shave Crave Shaving Cream a try to see if maybe I’ve been missing out all this time. While the Whish cream gave a smooth, close shave, it also left my legs feeling squeaky clean when I finished (somewhat of a red flag for someone with dry skin).  I’ll finish off this sample, but would not plan to purchase a full size.

Whish Shave Crave Shaving Cream

Whish Shave Crave Shaving Cream

 

This month’s Lifestyle Extra was two packs of 32 Oral Care Effervescent Breath Crystals. Part mouthwash, part Pop Rocks, these flavored crystals freshen breath and give your mouth a clean feeling. My boyfriend loves these, and I agree they’re great for on the go when you don’t have a a toothbrush nearby. We both liked the Peppermint flavor, but found the Honey Mint a little too cough syrupy.

32 Oral Care Effervescent Breath Crystals

32 Oral Care Effervescent Breath Crystals

 

I’d love to know what you received in your May Birchbox, or what products you’re loving in general now that spring has finally arrived! Until next time…

-LMC ♥

New at the Drugstore: Revlon Colorstay Moisture Stain

revlonmoisturestain5

Word on the street was that the new Revlon Colorstay Moisture Stains were set to release at US drugstores this July, so imagine my surprise when I happened upon a full display at my local Harmon this past weekend! The Moisture Stain line comes in an array of colors from nudes and pinks to vibrant reds and corals. I choose the shade 001 India Intrigue, a bright fuchsia perfect for summer. I also selected a bold color over one of the more neutral shades so I could really test out the staining power of this product.

Right off the bat the Moisture Stains reminded me of the L’Oreal Caresse Wet Shine Stains that were released last year. Reviews of the L’Oreal stains were mixed, but I enjoyed their glossy shine and staying power. While I wouldn’t call them a dead on dupe for the YSL Rouge Pur Couture Glossy Stains, they were a nice drugstore alternative. It seems that’s what Revlon was going for with their Moisture Stains as well– even the packaging bears a strong resemblance to the YSL stains’ sleek boxy packaging.

When applied to the lips these have a classic glossy stain “wet” feeling that quickly dries down to a shiny, almost tacky finish. Adding multiple coats once the previous layer has dried adds to the richness of color and the shine. I don’t think the staying power of the Revlon Moisture Stains compares to the L’Oreal or YSL versions, as India Intrigue easily came off on cups, utensils, and my teeth (yikes!) throughout the day.

Revlon Colorstay Moisture Stain in 001 India Intrigue

Revlon Colorstay Moisture Stain in 001 India Intrigue

 

Here’s where things get really strange though. I’ve worn this glossy stain several times now, and each time about 1 hour after application the color begins to deepen into a seriously dark burgundy shade. It’s apparent on the lips, and when removing the product you can see how dark it has actually become. I’m not sure if this is its staining formula working in overdrive, or if perhaps I just picked a flawed color or bottle, but this is certainly a dealbreaker for me. Color-changing makeup might be a fun novelty, but I bought the Revlon Moisture Stain in India Intrigue for its beautiful fuchsia shade– I didn’t sign up for vampy plum lips after an hour!

Revlon Colorstay Moisture Stain in India Intrigue (initial application)

Revlon Colorstay Moisture Stain in India Intrigue (initial application)

Revlon Colorstay Moisture Stain in India Intrigue (after wearing for 45 minutes)

Revlon Colorstay Moisture Stain in India Intrigue (after wearing for 45 minutes)

Revlon Colorstay Moisture Stain fresh from the tub (left) and removed from my lips after 1 hour (right)

Revlon Colorstay Moisture Stain fresh from the tube (left) and wiped off my lips after 1 hour (right)

 

If you’ve spotted the new Revlon Moisture Stains and have given them a try, let me know. And definitely chime in if you’ve experienced the same weird color changing effects so I know I’m not the only one! While I was excited about this addition to the Revlon line, I have to say my pick for a drugstore glossy stain is still the L’Oreal Caresse Wet Shine Stains. How about you?

-LMC ♥

April 2014 Favorites

Spring is finally here and I’ve loved updating my current makeup and skincare routine for the new season. I also picked up some  items at IMATS New York and as birthday gifts during April, so there have been a lot of new goodies to try out this month.

For lips I’m loving the NYX Butter Gloss in “Angel Food Cake,” a warm mauvey red that gives my nature lip color the perfect boost of color and shine. I’m not a huge lipgloss fan, but this formula is extremely easy to wear and fades nicely throughout the day, rather than the gross patchy/crusty look that can get left behind when some glosses wear away. I can’t believe it’s taken me so long to give the Butter Glosses a try, but now I definitely plan to add more shades to my collection.

NYX Butter Gloss in "Angel Food Cake"

NYX Butter Gloss in “Angel Food Cake”

 

On my cheeks it’s been all about a natural flush, which I’ve achieved most days using either Stila’s Convertible Color in “Gerbera” or Tarte’s Amazonian Clay 12-hour Blush in “Exposed”. Gerbera is a lovely cream product meant for cheeks or lips (I have to say it’s not my favorite on the lips, but it’s beautiful as a blush), that imparts a natural coral pop when blended into the apples of my cheeks. Exposed is a rosy mauve/brown that I use as a bit of blush and contour in one and leaves me looking like I’ve spent an afternoon outside rather than indoors at a computer!

Stila Convertible Color in "Gerbera"

Stila Convertible Color in “Gerbera”

Tarte Amazonian Clay 12-hour Blush in "Exposed"

Tarte Amazonian Clay 12-hour Blush in “Exposed”

Tarte "Exposed", Stila "Gerbera", NYX "Angel Food Cake"

Tarte “Exposed”, Stila “Gerbera”, NYX “Angel Food Cake”

 

The brush that earns top honors this month is Sigma’s F15 Duo Fibre Powder/Blush brush. It’s perfect for precise application of cream or powder products and is just so damn soft, I can’t get over it. I’m a big fan of all of the Sigma brushes I’ve tried so far, but this one is definitely my favorite of the moment.

Sigma F15 Duo Fibre Powder/Blush brush

Sigma F15 Duo Fibre Powder/Blush brush

 

When I first tried Benefit’s They’re Real mascara last year I found the formula too wet and clumpy for my taste and barely used the tube I had received as a sample from Sephora. After receiving another sample I decided to give it a second try since it seems to be such a crowd pleaser, and boy am I glad, because this time around I’m in love. Maybe my tastes have changed or my first tube was a little off, but this month I’ve been loving They’re Real for lashes that are separated, lengthened, and thickened all at once. This has been my go-to mascara nearly every day in April, and I see a full size purchase in my future once this cute sample runs out.

Benefit They're Real mascara

Benefit They’re Real mascara

 

Last but not least, my skincare favorite this month has been Dermalogica’s Ultracalming Cleanser, which I picked up during my visit to Dermalogica Academy (check it a post about my visit here). This gentle cleanser has a combination cream/gel formula and works wonders on my dry, sensitive skin. Sadly I used up my travel sized bottle yesterday, so I’ll be saving my pennies to purchase a full size soon!

Dermalogica Ultracalming Cleanser

Dermalogica Ultracalming Cleanser

 

There you have my most-loved products for the month of April. Has spring finally hit where you live, and have you switched up any of your makeup, skincare, or frangrances to welcome the new season? Leave a comment and let me know what you’re loving!

-LMC ♥