Thursday, December 11, 2014

Birchbox: November & December 2014

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I've got a two for one post today, since I forgot to ever share my November box.  I'm not sure how it slipped my mind as I was excited to finally be able to select a Guest Editor Birchbox.  I have now spent enough to earn Aces status so I got early access.  November's was a partnership with BuzzFeed Life the resulted in the Happy Holiday Hacks box.

I have never been able to choose the Guest Editor box because they've always been sold out when I tried to choose before.  I picked it without thinking too much.  I've had a little bit of selection remorse as I've been seeing some amazing boxes this month, but knowing my luck I would'n't have gotten one similar to the ones I've liked.

(4 out of 5 items, I had misplaced the mask!)

Here's what came in mine, from left to right in the photo above, none of which were a surprise.  I think it's just a case of the grass is always greener that's keeping me from loving what I got...that and the Silver Spruce scented Greenleaf candle!  Whew, that's stronger than I would've liked.

Dr. Lipp Original Nipple Balm for Lips, full size $14.50: Great for lips—and cuticles too, this isn't usually something I'd get excited about but it does really work and well!  I save it for my cuticles and since we've already got snow on the ground, I'm probably going to need it this winter!

amika Perk Up Dry Shampoo, $9 for 1fl oz.: I've gotten a sample of this before and it absorbs oil and adds volume and smells pretty nice.  Plus, let's be honest, I like the pretty container.  I don't use dry shampoo very often but recently went through my samples so it great to have more!

Greenleaf Signature Candle in Silver Spruce, $1.92 per votive:  This is described as a fresh wintery aroma of crisp Siberian Fir and cedarwood, softened with sandalwood.  It's not for me but I might light it once our artificial tree is up because I do miss the smell of a real tree.  I just don't think I'd feel the need to burn a candle to get the scent very often.

Mirenesse iCurl Secret Weapon 24hr Mascara, full size $35.96.  This claims to have a formula that lengthens, curls, and lasts.  Those are all things I'd love to find in a mascara but I've got three other samples open right now.  I'm going to hold off on trying this, so I'm sorry I can't give any feedback yet.  I did see that it's one of sample choices for December, so if you're interested you might try to snag one for your box.

NOT SHOWN in PICTURE: Dr. Jart+ Pore Minimalist Mask, $7.50 for one mask.  I have really liked the Dr. Jart samples I've gotten so far and I although new to masking, I've been loving how my skin feels after the ones I've tried so far.  I just got my first facial, loved it, and was told that I don't really have large pores except for a few around my nose.  I guess I don't really need minimizing products anymore.  This is also supposed to refresh and refine skin plus detox, tighten, & brighten in minutes so I'm still excited to try it, but it's probably too pricey for me to purchase.  Hope I find this soon!

This was actually a decent Birchbox for me, as I really like or am excited about four out of the five samples.  It's my first time getting a Guest Editor Box but maybe trying to pick one sample is a better option for me.  I think knowing exactly what I was getting kind of took the excitement out of it for me.  What do you think, do you like knowing everything you're getting or being surprised?

Turns out I probably should've picked the Guest Editor box for December because I probably would've liked the lip sample in it, better than the one I selected.  However, it does have seven products in it, if you count the bonuses so there's a far amount of goodies to slather and rub on!  Should be fun!

Manna Kadar Lip Locked in Lucky, full size $24:  This was the sample I selected, after missing out in October I think I was determined to snag one!  Lucky is a nude petal pink, and I'm always thinking I need to find the perfect neutral and the preview looked so pretty I thought it was bound to be a hit.

Let start out by saying, it's a really nice product; primer, lip stain, and gloss all in one.  It feels nice and creamy & it's pretty opaque.  It's full of good things like vitamins and free of undesirables like parabens & is also cruelty free.  The only issue for me is that I can't stand the color.  On me it's very unflattering, I think I'll have to accept that neutrals don't do much for me and that berries are the way to go.

It was nice to see what the formula is like, since I wouldn't have bought one for $24 without a sample, but it would've been better to have a sample I will actually get some use out of.  This color is pretty much a dud for me.  I only used it once so maybe a friend will take.  I think in Pinot Noir it wold've been love, but I can see why it's safer to send out a neutral for sampling.

The Number 4 Hair Care Hydrating Shampoo, full size $34, is the real sample.  The foil pack conditioner is a bonus so although it's a foil pack I'm not complaining.  It's always nice to try out both the shampoo & conditioner from a line together.  I just got my highlights redone for the holidays so it's nice to have a sulfate free product to try.  Based on it's price, I doubt I would ever pick this up in a full size.

Yu-Be Moisturizing Skin Cream, full size $16: This is a supposed to be a super moisturizer that will help the most stubborn spots, but is still gentle enough for infants and children.  I probably would've been more interested in this, if I hadn't gotten also gotten the nipple balm in my November Birchbox.  They both seem to be for the same purpose.  It has an herbal scent, but it's too strong for my taste, to ever use this on my lips but it'll be fine for cuticles.

Ojan rare blend oil Rejuvenating Therapy, full size $35: I feel like this is a brand I used to see on home shopping channels & therefore kind of dismiss.  Well shame on me.  It's  my favorite product of the month!

You shake this up and then use a drop on either wet or dry hair to help strengthen & protect, increase shine, soften texture, & fight frizz and flyaways. I have been using this on dry hair and it's great for touch ups since I usually notice frizz after heat styling.

W3LL PEOPLE Bio Brightener Stick, full size $33: This was also one of three sample choices you could've selected this month.  I've mentioned before that I don't use highlighters so I'm not sure what I'll do with this.  The color looks pretty in the container but is basically shimmer when I swatch it on my wrist.

My bonus of the month is this Miracle Skin Transformer Miracle Revival Mud Mask, full slize $38 and is the sample I'm second most excited about.  Designed to unclog pores & firm skin, I hope there is enough in the foil pack to get a thin layer on my entire face.

Before I finish, I had to give a shout out to this beautiful box, that everything came packaged in for December.  The gold foil is so pretty, I am probably going to end up keeping this one too!  I hope I don't end up a crazy Birchbox box hoarder!

Overall, these boxes are okay but not fabulous boxes.  I feel they were worth the price, when you factor in the points I will earn towards products in the Birchbox store by doing reviews.  However, I wasn't wowed by either but that is partially due to my poor self selections.  Guess I can no longer complain about what Birchbox selects for me, since I didn't do much better these two months!

I should've picked an item over the editor box in November and done the opposite in December since then I'd have gotten a Cynthia Rowley Lip Stain, which I've been wanting to try, and a Ruffian nail lacquer, that I know I'd have loved.  Oh well!  Birchbox is still super fun to get each month and I do try a lot more stuff and a lot more higher end stuff than I ever would without it.


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