Tuesday, February 18, 2014

February 2014 Birchbox

"Step. Pose. Repeat. It's award season, and we're prepping by watching all the Best Picture nominees and dusting off our sartorial scorecards. (After all, the red-carpet posing is a show in itself.) This year, we've got some serious experts in our corner--the editors at US Weekly, who have celebrity makeup artists on speed-dial and know the secret behind every red-carpet look."

For the February 2014 box, Birchbox teamed up with US Weekly to present a collection of products worthy of the stars and the red carpet.

My February Birchbox included the following samples:

Beauty Protector - Protect & Oil ($25.95/4 oz)
Exclusive launch!  This just-for-you hair oil defends against UV rays, heat, and breakage.

Sample size: unknown (about 0.20 oz)
Sample value: unknown (about $1.30)

I really enjoyed the Protect & Detangle spray from Beauty Protector, so I'm looking forward to trying their new Protect & Oil.  With oils like these, you don't need much (especially on fine hair), so this adorable little vial should last a while.

COOLA - Tinted Matte SPF 30 for Face ($36.00/1.7 oz)
Mineral-based tinted moisturizer with lasting sun protection and a shine-free finish.

Sample size: 0.17
Sample value: $3.60

I've sample a few products now from COOLA and have enjoyed them all.  I appreciate that they're mineral-based and they tend to be fairly lightweight and comfortable on the skin.  I'm thrilled that this provides a matte finish as I have oily skin.  As for the tinted claim: while the product does have a slight tint, it is practically transparent and really provides no color whatsoever when blended out.  Honestly not something I'm too concerned with, but I feel like it's a bit misleading to call this product a "BB Cream" as the sample is labeled.  I'm going to be setting this one aside for spring and summer.

Ruby Wing - Color Changing Nail Polish in Kitten Heels ($10.00/15 ml)
This color-changing polish morphs from a hot fuchsia to a deep magenta in the sun.

Sample size: 7 ml
Sample value: $4.67

I've seen these Ruby Wing Color Changing Nail Polishes around for some time and had thought they were a cute concept but had yet to try one.  I received the shade Kitten Heels which changes from a hot pink (indoors) to a warm red (outdoors).  While I never wear polishes this bright on my nails, I could definitely see this as a fun shade to wear on my toes in the summer!

Smashbox Cosmetics - Full Exposure Mascara ($19.50/0.38 oz)
Hybrid fiber formula that expertly lengthens, volumizes, and curls sans clumps or flakes.

Sample size: 0.14 oz
Sample value: $7.18

First impressions of this product are pretty good but not outstanding.  I like that the fiber formula is more subtle and doesn't leave you with fuzzy, spidery lashes.  It doesn't seem to add that much dramatic volume as the formula seems fairly dry from my experience with the sample.  As for the brush, it is pretty much identical to the wand on Benefit's Bad Gal (which, if you're familiar with that mascara, you will know is rather large).  I haven't worn this for a full day yet, so I can't speak to how well it wears, but I'm curious to continue to try it out for a bit and see what I think.

Smashbox Cosmetics - Full Explosure Palette ($49.00/0.14 oz)
A range of versatile hues, complete with tips on creating the best look for your eye shape.

Sample size: unknown
Sample value: unknown

When I first opened my box this month, I was kind of bummed to see these tiny samples; however, this sample was actually my "Beauty Extra" for the month (not counting towards my 4+ deluxe samples that are guaranteed).  Additionally, when I actually swatched a couple of the shadows, I was pleasantly surprised at how easily the pigments transferred from the paper, to my fingers, and from there to my hand.  This is something you could legitimately use at least once or twice to test out the shadows to see if splurging on the full palette is something you're interested in.  The full palette features a row of 7 shimmer shadows and 7 matte shades.

{Swatches of the third matte shade and seventh shimmer shade from the palette.}

Total box value: approximately $16.75

Overall, not a bad month!  All the samples I received are ones that I'm happy to try out, so that makes this a pretty good box for me even though the value isn't as high as other months.

What did you get in your February Birchbox?

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