samples

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 ♥

Birchbox- April 2014

This month’s Birchbox theme is “Rainy Days,” bringing us a box full of beauty samples perfect for testing when you’re stuck indoors during April showers. This April hasn’t been too rainy in NYC, but I’m still game for testing new samples, whatever the weather, so let’s get started.

aprilbirchbox7

 

 

Color Club Gala’s Gems Collection in “Breakfast at…” – I got a sneak peak at the Gala’s Gem’s Collection at a Birchbox event a few months back (click here to read all about it), so I already knew I was a fan of these polishes before “Breakfast at…” came in this month’s box. The range features four gorgeous pastel shades perfect for spring. Unfortunately I already own the entire collection, but I will definitely put this duplicate to good use by gifting it to a friend.

Color Club Gala's Gems Collection in "Breakfast at..."

Color Club Gala’s Gems Collection in “Breakfast at…”

 

Number 4 High Performance Hair Care Clarifying Shampoo & Reconstructing Masque – This is the one product I haven’t tested out yet from this month’s box. To be honest I’m a little wary about using a clarifying shampoo on my colored hair, so I may stick it on my boyfriend’s shelf in the shower for him to try. The Reconstructing Masque sounds nice, but the sample is so tiny (imagine a ketchup packet) I’m skeptical of whether it will be able to cover my entire head. If I give either a try and they work miracles, I’ll definitely report back.

Number 4 High Performance Hair Care Clarifying Shampoo

Number 4 High Performance Hair Care Clarifying Shampoo

Number 4 High Performance Hair Care Reconstructing Masque

Number 4 High Performance Hair Care Reconstructing Masque

 

Sumita Color Contrast Eyeliner in “Jamun (Deep Purple)” – This soft wax pencil promises to give long wearing color while not irritating the eyes, and I can say it definitely delivers on both. A beautiful purpely brown color that’s hard to pick up in photographs, this is a great softer alternative to lining the eyes with classic black liner. I’m not sure where you can buy Sumita products, but with a full size of this liner retailing for just over $10 I would certainly be interested in trying more from the range.

Sumita Color Contrast Eyeliner in "Jamun (Deep Purple)"

Sumita Color Contrast Eyeliner in “Jamun (Deep Purple)”

 

Supergoop! City Sunscreen Serum – I was a little disappointed to find another sunscreen in my box after receiving a Coola sunscreen last month that wasn’t my cup of tea. This Supergoop sunscreen serum is much better though, going on even, not irritating my sensitive skin, and wearing well under makeup all day. I’m happy with the moisturizer/sunscreen I’m currently using, but this is certainly a good alternative and will make a great addition to my travel makeup bag.

Supergoop! City Sunscreen Serum

Supergoop! City Sunscreen Serum

 

KIND Snacks Healthy Grains Bar in Maple Pumpkin Seeds with Sea Salt – Last but not least, this month’s lifestyle extra was a delicious granola bar from KIND Snacks. Full of whole grains and the perfect balance of salty and sweet flavor, I’ve already gone out and purchased a box of these– they’re delicious!

KIND Snacks Healthy Grains Bar in Maple Pumpkin Seeds with Sea Salt

KIND Snacks Healthy Grains Bar in Maple Pumpkin Seeds with Sea Salt

 

Overall I’m very happy with my April Birchbox and appreciated its mix of makeup, skincare, haircare, and nail products, since it seems like for the past few months my boxes have contained a ton of skincare products. Did you get any of the same samples in your box this month? Leave a comment telling me what you’re loving!

-LMC ♥

 

Birchbox- February 2014

birchboxfeb3

As if my recent drugstore haul wasn’t enough, my February Birchbox also showed up last week– better late than never! I’m definitely enjoying the products in this month’s box, a special collaboration between Birchbox and US Weekly. Without further ado, here come the samples…

Skin&Co Roma Truffle Therapy Serum – This serum promises to smooth wrinkles and restore dull, dry skin with its blend of antioxidant ingredients, including truffle extract. I was weirdly hoping it would have a truffle scent, but instead it just has a faint perfumey smell. The serum has a light lotion-like consistency that absorbs quickly into the skin. I can’t tell any long term effects yet, but it also hasn’t over-dried my skin or broken me out, so no complaints either.

Skin&Co Roma Truffle Therapy Serum

Skin&Co Roma Truffle Therapy Serum

Harvey Prince “Hello” perfume – Hello is a fresh scent with notes of Meyer lemon, mandarin, grapefruit, forsythia, and plumeria– definitely a fragrance to usher in spring! I prefer more deep, woodsy scents myself, but this is a nice sized sample (loving the spray top!) that will be handy for travel.

Hello by Harvey Prince

Hello by Harvey Prince

OPI Sheer Tints in Don’t Violet Me Down – This sheer polish can be worn on the nails alone for a “wash of high-shine, translucent color” or layered over another polish to give it a glossy tinted effect. I’m loving the Geometric Nail Art tutorial on Birchbox’s website featuring several Sheer Tint shades, so I’ll have to give that a try. My only caution is to use your judgement on what colors will look good on bare nails– adding a blue or purple tint to nails I find makes one look a little dead/sickly, and I can’t imagine who would want the yellow tint either. In combination with a cream polish underneath, however, these look great!

OPI Sheer Tints in Violet Me Down

OPI Sheer Tints in Violet Me Down

Beauty Protector Protect & Oil – This protective hair oil, exclusive to Birchbox, promises to defend against UV rays, heat, and breakage and can be used on damp or dry hair. Adding a few drops to the ends of my dry hair before flat ironing left it smooth, shiny, and (hopefully!) protected. The sample size is nice and generous, but doesn’t come with a dropper or anything to prevent product from pouring out all over the place, so be careful when dispensing just a little bit into your hands!

Beauty Protector Protect & Oil

Beauty Protector Protect & Oil

Harney & Sons Fine Teas – I haven’t given these teas a try yet, but after my recent coffee boycott I was very happy to find these in my box as February’s lifestyle extra. With flavors like Cleansing White Vanilla Grapefruit (white tea with citrus tones) and Enlightening Paris (black tea with fruit and caramel) I’m excited to give these a taste.

Harvey & Sons Teas

Harvey & Sons Teas

If you received a Birchbox this month (or another subscription service) I’d love to know what products you received and how you’re liking them!

-LMC ♥