My July Birchbox arrived slightly later than usual, so I didn’t get a chance to check it out until I got back from my trip. Each month, Birchbox subscribers receive a variety of beauty samples to try for only $10.
This month, Birchbox got together with Women’s Health to feature samples that will help “energize” your routine. I don’t know what makes these samples any different from the others, but whatever. It also includes a booklet of “Power Up Challenges” to help inspire you to get the best workouts, sleep, etc. and a subscription offer to Women’s Health.
Birchbox gave me the option of choosing between three different Ruffian Nail Lacquer colors. I chose Ambrosia because I don’t have nearly enough purple in my nail polish collection. It’s a pearly purple, and I actually ended up liking it more than I thought I would! It only took one coat to look opaque and smooth and it dried insanely fast. By the time I had finished painting all of my fingers and toes, the ones I started with were already dry. I walked right into the kitchen and started cooking breakfast without having to worry about being careful not to bang them up. Unfortunately, it requires a top coat. Within just a couple of hours, the polish started to chip and rub off despite being completely dry. It was easy enough to touch up, though, and the top coat has helped with durability. This is an amazing polish if you don’t mind adding a top coat. Personally, I would much rather do one coat of polish and a clear coat because the odds of me screwing it up are far less likely. I’d love to try more of this brand. Full size 0.17 oz, $11.00 value
My box also had a Ruffian Dressing Room Nail Lacquer Remover Towelette, for when I get tired of the Ambrosia. These are acetone-free, so they don’t have that strong chemical odor that a lot of removers have. Instead, they have a moody floral scent. They also have vitamin E to help strengthen nails, so your fingers and nails don’t feel dry after removing your polish. I was able to get all 10 fingernails clean with just one towelette, but I wish it had more of a texture to it to rub the polish off easier. These don’t perform particularly better or worse than other removers, so I’m not super jazzed about them or anything. With each towelette valued at $1.20, I’d rather just keep buying the massive bottle of cheap drugstore stuff that lasts me an eternity. Nail polish remover just isn’t one of those things I splurge on.
I honestly didn’t know what to expect with the Real Chemistry Luminous 3-Minute Peel since I have never actually used a peel before. Sloughing off dead layers of skin sounded painful and irritating, especially with my skin being so sensitive. This stuff, however, is easily witchcraft. It’s a clear gel that you rub into your face and it removes dead skin to leave it looking brighter and smoother. I could see it working almost immediately after I put it on as the dead skin began rolling off, and there was nothing painful about it. In fact, it felt like I was just rubbing moisturizer into my face. After a couple of minutes (or until it started drying out), I rinsed my face off. My skin felt incredibly smooth and was glowing. I have tried a lot of new skin care products over the past couple of months, and while I’ve discovered some major gems, this one easily tops them all. A few days later, my skin is still super soft and radiant. This product is really pricey ($48.00 for a 1.7 oz bottle), but it is meant to only be used once a week, and I can’t even imagine how much of a positive difference it would make after prolonged use. I love to use things like masks, but they take so long and seem like such a huge production that I almost never do them. This only takes a couple of minutes before bed and has results that are significantly more impressive, so it’s the perfect product for me. 0.17 oz, $4.80 value
The Beauty Protector Protect & Treat Hair Mask has the same amazing scent that the shampoo and conditioner do that carries on throughout the day. I didn’t really notice much of a difference in the state of my hair after using this, but I did just chop about 7 inches off, so I don’t think it could possibly feel any healthier than it already does. 2 x 0.5 oz, $6.49 total value
The Naobay Body Radiance Lotion is identical to most “natural” and “organic” lotions I’ve encountered. First, I have a problem with these words because technically, everything is natural, and anything living is organic. A lot of companies use these terms to manipulate people into thinking they mean things like no lab-made ingredients, no pesticides, no GMOs, etc. Personally, I don’t care, I just find it annoying. Especially when it sucks. The lotion has such a watery consistency, I accidentally squeezed out almost half of the tube onto the floor when I first tried it. It’s not moisturizing at all and makes my skin feel gummy and sticky. The only good thing about it is that it has a light, lemony scent that reminds me of Trix cereal. 1.01 oz, $2.89 value
Benefit is one of those big brand names that I keep expecting to be good because they have really cute packaging, but every Benefit product I’ve tried with the exception of their blushes has been a huge disappointment. Benefit Posiebalm falls into that same category of just being a meh product I’m glad I never spent money on.
It’s a pink tinted lip balm with an overwhelming, perfume smell. I’m usually not a fan of scented or flavored balms, but if you’re going to make one, at least make it something food related. I don’t want to taste perfume on my lips. This balm would actually be a nice color if it didn’t settle into the dry areas on my lips. It seems to keep my lips hydrated for a decent amount of time, but once it’s worn off, they feel extremely dry. I’m pretty sure there are better priced drug store varieties out there that accomplish the same or better. 0.01 oz, $1.80 value. Here’s how it looks on my lips:
Total box value is $28.18. It’s not my favorite box, but the Real Chemistry Luminous 3-Minute Peel makes me want to jump up and down like a kid on Christmas morning, so it was totally worth the $10.
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