Tuesday, November 5, 2013

October 2013 Birchbox

The October 2013 Birchbox was "devoted to award winners, celeb favorites, up-and-comers--and all the other products we can't stop talking about."  My October 2013 box included five items: a couple full-size lip products and a few deluxe samples.

12 Benefits - Instant Healthy Hair Treatment ($19.00/6 oz)
Created by two industry experts, this heroic all-in-one detangles, protects, and heels.

Sample size: 1.5 oz
Sample value: $4.75

I haven't tried this out just yet (using up a few other leave-in products first), but I'm really pleased with the sample size and packaging.  I generally really enjoy products like this so I imagine this will be a hit. The claims remind me a lot of It's a 10, but this product is cheaper per ounce.  I purchased It's a 10 once and loved it, but I felt I had to use a ton of the product to see a difference and I couldn't justify repurchasing it as quickly as I used up the bottle.  I'm hoping I have more luck with this 12 Benefits treatment!

Karuna - Hydrating Mask ($28.00/4 masks)
This all-natural cloth mask is infused with a hydrating cocktail of antioxidants.

Sample size: 1 mask
Sample value: $7.00

I have oily skin and tend to prefer using a clay mask at least once a week to absorb excess oil and clear out my pores (the Borghese Fango Active Mud for Face & Body is my favorite); however, every now and then--especially in fall and winter--I do like to give my skin an extra dose of moisture with a hydrating mask. I've tried a couple other hydrating sheets masks and have really enjoyed them, so I'm looking forward to trying this one from Karuna.

POP Beauty - Aqua Lacquer in Flowering Fuchsia ($14.00/0.34 oz)
A British makeup pro created this sheer gloss, which plumps and hydrates with jojoba oil.

Sample size: 0.34 oz
Sample value: $14.00

This POP Beauty Aqua Lacquer is sheer, slightly minty, and silky smooth (not at all sticky).  The shade I received, Flowering Fuchsia, is a really pretty vibrant pink, sheer with no shimmer.  It's pretty on it's own or layered over a lipstick.

The POP Beauty Aqua Lacquers have a flat plastic applicator.  Personally, I'm not crazy about the way these sort of applicators apply product or feel on the lips.  I find they're best used to sort of dab the product on the lip, rather than applying the product in a sweeping motion.  Other than my slight annoyance with the applicator, I really enjoy this product!

Supergoop! - City Sunscreen Serum ($42.00/1.6 oz)
This anti-aging SPF 30 serum, which creates a weightless UV shield, can be worn year-round.

Sample size: 5ml
Sample value: $4.44

Unfortunately this was a repeat sample for me (I first received it as two small foil packets in my July 2012 Birchbox).  Fortunately Birchbox realized the mistake of sending a repeat sample and provided me with 100 Birchbox points ($10.00 value to use in the Birchbox shop) as an apology.  I couldn't have been more pleased with their generosity to quickly offer an apology for the situation.

That aside, the serum itself is something I'll probably set aside and save for next summer.  It does have a strong sunscreen set, but dries fairly quickly and feels mostly weightless on the skin.  I think this will be nice to have for the humid days of summer.  I don't think it's a particularly special product.  I wouldn't splurge to purchase it full size, but it's a sample that I'll certainly (happily) use.

ChapStick - Hydration Lock (approximately $3.00/0.15 oz)
Chapstick Hydration Lock is clinically proven to moisturize lips, from 9-5.  It also doubles as a lip primer and comes chock full of damage-defending antioxidants like CoQ10 and Vitamin E.

Sample size: 0.15 oz
Sample value: approximately $3.00

Admittedly, I wasn't thrilled to see an item from ChapStick in my Birchbox; however, the claims for this product were pretty dramatic and I was curious to see if it lived up to them.  I will say, I don't find this product particularly hydrating in itself.  This isn't something I'd reach for if my lips were dry, irritated, or flaky.  However, what I do like this product for is sort of a lip primer before applying a pigmented lip product.  I will apply this over hydrated, smooth (no flakes) lips and it acts similarly to how a silicone primer does on the skin.  It fills in any fine lines on the lips, creating a smooth and somewhat plumped canvas.  It feels slightly silky on the lips, providing the perfect foundation for any other lip products to glide over.  I find that my pigmented lip products have a more perfected appearance when applied over a thin layer of this Hydration Lock.  For me, this feels more lightweight than most lip balms, so it doesn't interfere with other lip products as much as a heavy balm might.

Total box value: $33.19

I'm really pleased with my October Birchbox!  I received a nice selection of generously-sized samples (and a couple of full-size products).  Every product is one that I'll use and I've been pretty pleased with the ones I've tried thus far.

What did you receive in your October box?

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