I love exploring new skincare and beauty products, and somehow I manage to do it without the help of any beauty box subscription services. I usually explore new products through glossy magazines and blogs, my favorite online beauty stores, at Sephora, or while traveling. However, I’ve been so busy these days that I haven’t had enough time experimenting with new products. Recalling my incredibly satisfying trip to Birchbox Soho, I decided to subscribe to their services and report to you, my dear readers, about my experiment.
This month’s box was created in collaboration with Rifle Paper Co., a company that is known for its colorful and stylish prints, chic illustrations, and breathtaking phone accessories. The box was so pretty that I immediately ordered an iPhone case and coasters from the company’s website. I have to admit, I am addicted to all kinds of paper goods, and Rifle Paper Co. is my new prescription for fulfilling that addiction.
Based on my requests, Birchbox team included in my box the following products to try:
Whish Shave Crave Shaving Cream | Temple Spa Peace Be Still Calming Face & Body Balm
Cynthia Rowley Beauty Brightening Illuminator | Supergoop! Advanced SPF 37 Eye Cream
Beauty Protector Protect & Oil
Prior to ordering my first Birchbox, I answered a couple of questions about the products that I would like to receive in my monthly box. I read those questions carefully as Birchbox decides which products to include in my package based on those recommendations. I asked for lots of makeup, skincare and hair care products, and nail polishes. I said ‘no’ to fragrances and bath and body products because I am super picky about those categories. I have my top 10 perfumes that I use all of the time and my favorite Black African soap that I will not switch to anything else so I decided to exclude those types of products from my box. Also, knowing my love for chocolate snacks, I literally forced myself not to include ‘Sweet Treats’ and other food-related products in my box. Makeup and skincare products only, please!
#1: Beauty Protector Protect & Oil
That hair oil was lovely! It smelled and felt good. I am not sure how ‘protective’ this oil is, but it definitely helped with de-frizzing and detangling my hair. Also, I loved the fact that my hair didn’t look greasy after using this oil even the next day. I didn’t use this oil for styling my hair, but according to the product description, it will also protect hair from heat (sounds good actually). I enjoyed the fact that Birchbox tried to pack in my box as many organic and natural products as possible (most of them were paraben-free) and this product was not an exception. Also, I believe that the price tag for this hair oil is pretty reasonable, $25.95 for a full-price product. I am giving Beauty Protector Protect & Oil a five-star rating and including it in my to-buy list.
#2: Temple Spa Peace Be Still Calming Face & Body Balm
Usually, I am not a fan of beauty products containing lavender, but this one is an exception. Temple Spa Peace Be Still smells so luxurious and fresh! It actually reminded me of products used at Stowe SPA that Ben and I visited last month (I wrote about in my post 10 Things I Loved about Stowe, Vermont). A very sophisticated balm absorbed in my skin (I used it as a body lotion) in a matter of seconds and left it moisturized but not sticky. I ended up using this balm as a hand lotion especially for those days when I am working on the computer and need my cream to absorb quickly. Also, it happened to be a perfect to-go cream that I take with me for all kinds of dry-skin emergencies. As a truly deluxe product, Temple SPA balm deserves a five-star rating (even though it has a luxurious price tag, $29).
#3: Cynthia Rowley Beauty Brightening Illuminator
I love highlighters, and this one by Cynthia Rowley is worth purchasing. Usually, it comes in a tube with a brush that makes it easier to reach the inner corners of eyes and under the eyebrow, but I loved the product even without it’s helpful addition (the sample included in my box was packaged rather as a lotion not a highlighter). I have very pale skin, and it is sometimes difficult for me to find a highlighter that is not too dark for my fair skin completion. However, this Beauty Brightening Illuminator worked perfectly for my skin tone. The product is rather pink than orange and blends smoothly on skin. I am giving it a five-star rating for making my skin look healthier and more radiant.
#4: Whish Shave Crave Shaving Cream
I don’t know how they figure that I am one of those rare people that are still shaving as opposed to getting laser treatment for my legs, but Birchbox got me right. As I wrote in my post The Unbearable Lightness of Being, I avoid all kinds of “permanent” beauty solutions and do use shaving cream on a regular basis. However, I was not too excited about this particular one. Yes, it smelled very delicious (think vanilla cupcake) and reminded me of whipped cream as it has a very light and pleasant consistency (also, it’s organic!). However, I felt that it was just too liquid to use and overall didn’t improve my shaving experience. Whish Shave Crave Shaving Cream has more than 35,000 positive reviews on the Birchbox website, but I am only giving it a good three-stars rating, but no more than that. Also, for the $20 price I can buy two of my favorite shaving creams or just steal a free one from Ben’s bathroom.
#5: Supergoop! Advanced SPF 37 Anti-Aging Eye Cream
I recently started using an eye cream (you can read about it here), and this product seems to work fine. Supergoop! Advanced SPF 37 Anti-Aging Eye Cream doesn’t feel as luxurious as the Shiseido one (perhaps, it has something to do with packaging), but it contains SPF 37 which is a selling point for me (37 is a weird number though, why not 35?). I tried this eye cream a couple of times and didn’t irritate my skin (it is already a good sign considering how sensitive my skin is). Also, I loved that this product contains oat peptide complex that makes it similar to many Aveeno products that I constantly use (and love). This eye cream receives a well-deserved four-star rating from me for its quality and five-stars for its mission of raising awareness of the UV protection skincare that helps to prevent skin cancer and premature skin aging.
Overall, my experience with Birchbox subscription was positive. For just $10 per box, I received not only five full-size samples, but also a pretty design box that I will be using for storing my business cards and office supplies. It was a total beauty steal!