Monday, April 21, 2014

April 2014 Birchbox Review

This post contains a Birchbox referral link, product links are for information purposes & I do not receive any kind of compensation for these.  This is not a sponsored post.

This month's theme is Rainy Days and I think it's also my best Birchbox ever!  I'm really excited for three of the items as they are all from brands I've never tried before.  Before we get started, I'll just mention that each subscriber got a card from the Birchbox 52 Bright Ideas for a Rainy Day set.  They are printed on heavy cardstock and each features a tip along with an original illustration.  I thought they were a fun little extra.

Okay, now let's dig in!  I'll list them in order of most excited to try on down...also, this month I used all iPhone pictures so I'm sorry for the less than usual image quality.

theBalm, How 'Bout Them Apples Cheek & Lip Cream (Full Size, $32):  I got the shade Pie and the packaging is oh so cute!  Yes it's kinda tiny but for some reason, this time it works!  I really wanted this last month, but ended up getting a fantastic Stila lip glaze, since this can be used on both cheeks and lips I don't think both would be included in one Birchbox, so I couldn't complain too much.  I'm excited to now get to try it out.

This creamy stain can be applied to either the lips or cheeks.  It's a little light in pigmentation for my lips but it's super cute as a blush and although I've had trouble working with cream formulas before this went on beautifully.

Cynthia Rowley Beauty, Black Eyeliner (Full Size, $16): Like the previous sample, this product has a top notch presentation.  The black and gold is just so luxe.  It glides on smoothly and if you work quickly you can smudge it a bit for a smokey look.  This product is a Birchbox exclusive and come in other colors like silver, charcoal, and violet...each of which I think would be other great ones to try!  I have used this twice so far and really liked how smoothly it went on.

Klorane, Gentle Dry Shampoo with Oat Milk (Full Size, $18): I have never tried a dry shampoo but they seem to be all the rage among the YouTube Beauty Mavens I watch.  I've been curious to see how they work so this is perfect.  I have only used it on the morning after a shower kind of day and I did think it brought back some volume.  I don't really like to go longer than that between washings but I may try just so I can see how it work then.  It a nice kind of thing to have on hand for hectic mornings.

nyakio, Kenyan Coffee Face Polish, Body Scrub & Hydrating Face Oil with Kola Nut (Full Sizes $34-55): These samples came in the form of the dreaded foil packs but they are packaged in a nicer way the normal, within their own fold out, as a higher end brand should present themselves.  This gives them a more substantive look that when foil packs are just randomly tossed in, that always looks cheapy in my opinion.  That being said, since it's a three in one kind of thing, this is acceptable as a sample but each one is more of a one use trial size.

  • Kenyan Coffee Face Polish (Full Size, $34): Face cleaners and exfoliant in one, this contains Kenyan coffee and jojoba to remove dull skin while lemongrass and neroli oils moisturize.  I just did a facial mask so I need to wait a day or two to try this one out.
  • Kenyan Coffee Body Scrub (Full Size, $55): Described as a blend of Kenyan coffee beans and nourishing oils exfoliates and hydrates, leaving skin renewed and ready for the day ahead: Think of it as skincare’s version of espresso.  If you are a coffee lover you will think this smells fantastic, be warned it has a very strong scent and is more of a black coffee smell and little bit much for my personal taste.  Sadly the sample isn't enough to use for your whole body to really get a feel for it, but it did make my dry winter legs feel a lot nicer and smoother.  To be honest, this is a bit too pricey for me to purchase full size when the one I like from B&BW is only $16 and comes with 3 more ounces.
  • Hydrating Kola Nut Collection (Full Size, $49): Birchbox says that - Just a few drops of the lightweight formula, a blend of eight oils and the African kola nut, last a full 12 hours. Its powerful hydration keeps our skin looking more luminous, even, and youthful all day long. While pricey, I feel like the full sized product would last quite awhile since you only need a little bit.  It felt a little odd to be putting oil on my face versus a moisturizer and I didn't think it did any better of a job than the lotions I normally use.  In fact, I think the lotions do a better job plus they have SPF so I am not tempted to switch for that reason alone.  More importantly, it had a very strong and distasteful scent.  It lingered after application and this was really not for me. 

The last thing I received was a Lifestyle Extra. This Maple Pumpkin Seeds with Sea Salt KIND Healthy Grain Bar was way too salty for me.  I couldn't take more than two bites and it wasn't for my husband either.  We tend to have a low sodium diet so I think this was just the wrong flavor for us.  The Dark Chocolate Chunk or Peanut Butter Dark Chocolate might have been more successful for us.  These retail for $11.88 for a box of $15.


I received three items that more than make this a top notch Birchbox for me!  I think they more than equal the $10 purchase price and since I get to review the nyakio samples individually I have seven items I can review for 10 points a piece.  That means my reviews will earn me $7 to spend in the Birchbox store and bring the cost of this month's box to just $3!!!


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