Wednesday, August 21, 2013

August 2013 Birchbox

The August 2013 "Finishing School" Birchbox was all about the finishing touches.  "Once upon a time, finishing school meant an elegant Swiss academy where a young lady went to learn the intricacies of high society.  While the concept may feel a bit outdated (truth be told, we're more likely to sign up for a night class in Photoshop), we love the idea of zeroing in on the details; from the elegance of a handwritten invitation, to the confidence-boosting power of bright red lipstick.  As proof that finishing touches are anything but fussy, we collaborated with Ann Taylor to bring you a guide to fall's best accessory trends.  Learn how to update your day, night, and weekend looks without breaking the bank."

My August 2013 Birchbox included the following samples:

KMS California - FREESHAPE Hot Flex Spray ($18.99/200 ml)
Heat-activated spray that protects against breakage and damage while providing medium hold.

Sample size: 30 ml
Sample value: $2.85

I love that this product provides both heat protection and hold.  I've yet to try this but I hope it will help my hair stay curled after styling (my fine, super healthy locks just do not like to hold curl).  I've only tried one other product from the KMS brand, which I really enjoy, so I'm excited to have another one from the line to try.  I think the sample size is very generous and I'm sure to get lots of use out of this product.

OC8 - Professional Mattifying Gel ($41.00/1.6 oz)
A lightweight gel that creates a sheer matte layer and absorbs shine for eight hours.

Sample size: 2 g
Sample value: $1.82

I actually received a FULL SIZE bottle of this mattifying gel in my September 2012 GLOSSYBOX, so this isn't a new product to me.  By comparison, these tiny 1g foil packets are pretty laughable.  I had high hopes for this product when I first received it in my GLOSSYBOX.  As I've mentioned numerous times on my blog before, I have incredibly oily skin (which pretty much nothing helps).  Unfortunately this gel isn't any miracle for me and only keeps my skin matte for an hour or so, if I'm lucky.  But, as I said, nothing I've tried has ever helped keep my skin even remotely matte for more than an hour or two, so this might be a fantastic product for someone with less oily skin.

Stila - Stay All Day Liquid Lipstick ($22.00/0.1 oz)
Longlasting liquid lipstick in a wearable red that glides on like a gloss but stays like a stain.

Sample size: 0.03 oz
Sample value: $6.60

{Stila Stay All Day Liquid Lipstick in Beso}

This warm red applies like a gloss but with the full opacity of a lipstick.  On my lips it dries matte and to a slightly deeper shade of red than it appears in the swatch.  I think this will be a fun shade to reach for once fall rolls around.  The sample size is very generous and perfect for carrying on the go for touch-ups.

Whish - Exfoliating Body Wash ($22.00/6 oz)
A coconut-rich scrub that brightens and exfoliates with sugar cane and bamboo powder.

Sample size: 0.75 oz
Sample value: $2.75

I've only tested this out on my hand thus far, but it seems to be a VERY gentle exfoliant.  I typically prefer to use a basic shower gel followed by a DIY body scrub with a little more "grit" to it.  I don't think I'll find this magical enough to ever consider spending the $22/6 oz on the full size product, but this will be a good size product to keep on hand for traveling.

Whish - Hair Inhibiting Deodorant Swipes ($22.00/30 wipes)
From the shaving pros at Whish, these wipes tackle odor and slow hair growth in one swipe.

Sample size: 1 wipe
Sample value: $0.73

These wipes are an interesting (and new to me) concept.  I think this will be a product I keep on hand in my purse for days when I'm busy and need a little freshening up.

Total box value: $14.75

Honestly, I'm not overly thrilled about this month's box.  I do really like the Stila Stay All Day Lipstick (this is a product I've been curious about trying to a few months) and I'm looking forward to trying the KMS Hot Flex Spray.  The two tiny foil samples were pretty disappointing and the exfoliating body wash isn't especially exciting.  All in all, it was an okay month but not one of my favorites from recently (I've had some pretty great boxes lately).

I'd love to know what you received in your August Birchbox!  Leave a comment below.


  1. I received the exact same box this month. I'm definitely underwhelmed and the only sample I will actually use is the KMS one, which is going to end up at the bottom of a large pile. Oh well.

  2. Hopefully the KMS will work for you! I can not find anything to help my hair keep curl. Except maybe if i sprayed it with 2 tons of aqua-net! hah

    1. I've got my fingers crossed. I can't remember the specific product, but I actually got a sample of something in a past subscription that was sort of the same type of product (heat protection + hold) and it actually had the opposite effect on my hair and made my style fall flat almost immediately after styling. It was the weirdest thing.

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