Friday, November 15, 2013

November 2013 Birchbox

The November 2013 Birchbox was all about giving, getting, and creating "More Good."  "As any Thanksgiving feast can attest, this is not the time for holding back.  Rather, this month--and the entire holiday season--is about abundance in all forms.  More thanks, more giving, more thoughtfulness, more samples, and of course more pumpkin pie and stuffing.  All month, we're bringing you ideas for how you can bring more good to your life, from a roundup of our favorite charitable beauty brands to easy ways to give back."

This month I received the following samples:

Aloxxi - Flexible Hairspray ($18.00/300 mL)
Semi-firm hold (read: no crunch) spray that tames flyaways while also protecting hair color.

Sample size: 50 mL
Sample value: $3.00

A girl can always use hairspray.  My current favorite is Kenra Volume Spray 25, of which I have a giant bottle in my bathroom.  I love getting little hairspray samples like this--perfect for my purse or for traveling.  This one from Aloxxi claims to be anti-humidity while providing a light shine and protection from UV damage.

Ayres - Midnight Tango Body Butter ($28.00/6.75 oz)
Full of natural skin-softeners, this moisturizer has a heady (dare we say sexy?) scent.

Sample size: 1 oz
Sample value: $4.15

This Ayres Body Butter has a fairly light (not at all greasy) and fast absorbing texture.  It leaves the skin soft without the long dry time of a lot of thick butters.  The Midnight Tango scent claims to be "a sensual combination of sweet vanilla and orange blossom."  To my nose, it has sort of an earthy, herbal fragrance upfront that fades away to more sweetness.  A look at the ingredient list reveals neroli, rosemary and ylang among the essential oils in the product, which I believe are the main notes I'm picking up on initially.  Overall I really enjoy the texture but the scent might be a pass for me.  I haven't used it head-to-toe yet, but I worry the fragrance could be overpowering if used generously.

Color Club - Nail Polish in Baldwin Blues ($8.00/0.5 oz)
On-trend pro-quality lacquer that will take you easily--and gorgeously--from day to night.

Sample size: 0.25 oz
Sample value: $4.00

I've sampled a few Color Club polishes from Birchbox over the past year or so.  The shade I received in this month's box, Baldwin Blues, is from Color Club's new Harlem Lights Collection.  Baldwin Blues is described as "a sophisticated not-quite-navy blue."  I'd say it's navy meets deep teal and it's quite pretty!  The swatch above is two coats.

Laura Mercier - Lip Glacé in Opal ($24.00/4.5 g)
A gorgeously pigmented lip gloss that provides rich color with a high-shine finish.

Sample size: 2.8 g
Sample value: $14.93

I received the Laura Mercier Lip Glacé in Opal, a "light pinky beige."  It has very subtle shimmer throughout and has a somewhat sheer, but buildable opacity.  The texture feels a little thick on the lips, but not sticky.  Unfortunately, for me, I couldn't get past the smell of this gloss.  I'm never normally bothered by scented lip products, but this one smells like a mixture of plastic, menthol, and vanilla.  YUCK!

Fatty Sundays - Chocolate Covered Pretzel in Toasted Coconut($7.00/2.54 oz)
Sweet and salty gourmet pretzel sticks that we can't stop eating.

Sample size: unknown
Sample value: unknown

I would have snapped a photo of the mini Chocolate Covered Pretzel, but oddly Birchbox provided no protective packaging for my products this month (everything was openly thrown in my box with no padding) and the poor pretzel stick was crushed to oblivion.  As such, I couldn't get the full effect of the product, but the crumbs tasted pretty nice.  This was my "Lifestyle Extra" this month so I'm not really bummed that it arrived broken, I'm just glad none of my other products were damaged due to the lacking packaging.

Total box value: $26.08 (plus the value of the Fatty Sundays pretzel sample)

I'm fairly happy with my Birchbox sample selection this month, save for the Laura Mercier gloss (I'm not sure I'll be able to get used to that scent), and the minor packaging fail that resulted in the untimely destruction of a poor, innocent pretzel stick.

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