Saturday, June 15, 2013

Birchbox - June 2013


It's summer! A lot of people are ready for some fun in the sun, planning their extravagant (or tiny and practical, nobody is judging here lol) vacation! But one thing's for the time summer comes along, everybody has a bad bad case of....wonderlust! 

"Counting the days until your next takeoff? Mentally assembling the ultimate packing list for Bora-Bora? Corralling the family for a beach getaway? We feel you. When wanderlust strikes, it sticks. That's why this month's box is filled with samples from near and far that will serve you well on all your summer adventures."  

 - Taken From Wanderlust card in June 2013 Birchbox
If you missed it, I did a Birchbox June Reveal post that included sneak peeks, reveals, and a spoiler video from Birchbox late last month! Here's the link if you want to take a peek! -

 Ready to see what I received this month? Suuuuure, why not! 

 Aha! Fooled you! Haha! First let's take a look at the new improved design of the Birchbox logo and shipping box! They've completely modernized the original symbol and lettering! (If you want a comparison of the old one vs. the new one, click on the June REVEAL link above!) and here is the Birchbox itself:

 I actually love the new logo and design. It's clean, simple, sleek and with a contemporary flare. Now for the goodies inside!...

 I received a skin care sample set, lotion, hair product, polish, gum and post cards.

 Time to see what Birchbox recommends I take on my travels! ::jumps on sleek jet::

So when you go-a-travelin' one important thing to remember is your skin! You may be popping in and out of rough weather, jumping from hot to cold and a lot of people don't understand how much it affects your skin. It's good to stay prepared and bring a good moisturizer along (or one for each type of weather you may encounter depending on how many places you travel to). This sampler contains four different products:

  •  Cream Cleanser - a hydrating anti-aging olive and grape seed oil-based emollient that retains moisture without clogging pores. It removes oil and makeup and can be used as a replenishing and rebalancing mask.

    • My thoughts on Cream Cleanser - It was Ok. It wasn't anything too special in my opinion. It's non-foaming and does leave the skin feeling wiped clean and slightly hydrated without leaning towards feeling squeaky tight and overly exfoliated/fresh. It did have a fairly strong aroma reminiscent of a powdery fragrance, which I was not fond of. Even after I rinsed, I could still smell it. 

  •   Serum Extract - for a lighter use moisturizer instead of a heavy cream, or it can be combined with one for a stronger moisturizing effect. It firms the skin and promotes collagen production. 

    • My thoughts on Serum Extract - It did feel nice, I'm always up for finding a good serum. It's definitely light-weight and does provide just enough moisture for daytime use if you feel like skipping a heavier cream. However, once again, I did not like the fragrance. 

  • Eye Emulsion - a multi-tasking product for anti-aging, firming of the skin, anti-inflammatory from Acai oils, hydrating with organic borage oil and rosewater, and antioxidant defense for protection against free radical damage. 

    • My thoughts on Eye Emulsion - This was probably my favorite of the four. It provided an excellent amount of moisture without drowning my eyes in a heavy cream. You only need very little of this product to fully cover the under-eye area as it spreads well and the scent was not as strong as the other three products.

  • Night Moisture - containing apricot oil, emollient grape seed oil and fair trade shea butter for a rich texture, naturally-occurring complexes for rejuvenating and combating the effects of environmental stress/aging, and algae extracts and pullulan for moisturizing and firming. It also keeps your skin's elasticity from deteriorating and stimulates collagen contraction. 

    • My thoughts on Night Moisture -  I have mixed feelings on this sample. On one hand I really do love a deep nighttime moisturizer, especially one that works extremely well, which this one definitely does. It completely softened my skin and left it hydrated, smooth and silky even till the next morning. HOWEVER, the fragrance was even stronger that the others. Once again, I do not enjoy a powdery strong scent. I think it's very overwhelming and can completely ruin an enjoyable facial product!

  • OVERALL RESULT & THOUGHTS - These products are just not for me. I think this line is aimed towards a more mature woman, both from the fragrance and the moisturizing properties. If you don't mind strong powdery scents that this does work very well if hydrating/moisturizing is what you're looking for. Fair warning though, I came THIS CLOSE to rushing to the bathroom and washing it all off after 5 minutes of putting the Night Moisture on, the scent was that strong and overwhelming. Eep! I suffered through it though....because I love you all and wanted to give a complete review....clothespins are handy items to have around fyi...

BODY MOISTURE in Grapefruit 
Of course, along with a well moisturized face when going abroad (or just to a different city) is having a well-hydrated and moisturized body! That's a lot of skin to keep up with! ::le sigh:: I feel so terribly sounding so much like a fragrance snob...I promise you, I'm not really, but here's another fragrance that I just did not love. Maybe it's the way it mixes with my skin oils, I don't know but I had such high hopes for Grapefuit and I was left a little sad. Typically grapefruit scents are fresh, zesty and sometimes with a little sweet note, but this grapefruit scent starts zesty, but then relaxes into a bit of a musk. Such a shame that I don't love it more than I do, since the bottle size is very generous! ::sniffle, hangs head:: As far as moisturizing properties, it does make a good difference on the top part of my hand as far as adding softness and smoothing out the skin, however, it did not make as much of an effect on my palm as I'd prefer. This is an allover lotion, however, so I'm sure it'd be excellent for legs, arms, etc. I'd say it gives decent moisturization without being a heavy triple-moisturizing cream. It includes aloe vera, apricot kernel oil, green tea, fruit extracts, sweet almond oil, silk amino acids and proteins, and shea butter and honey. 

Ocean water, mountain air, many different traveling factors can cause your hair to go "Uh-oh! Not for me!". Keeping your hair is great shape and taken care of when putting it through different climates and conditions is just as important as taking care of your skin! It IS part of your body, too, ya know. ::wink:: For so long now I have heard such WONDERFUL things about this product from previous Birchbox receivers as it has been going out as a monthly sample for a while. I must say, I was very pleasantly surprised! I LOVED IT TOO! and...may we take a moment to be in awe of the fact that Cookie LIKED the way this product smelled as well! ::gasp, stagger, shock!:: I are amazing. I told you it was possible. I can't find specifics as to what the fragrance exactly is, although Birchbox says it's an airy floral, but to me it smells like a soft but sweet deep vanilla. Mmmmm. I love bakery scents! This product is mainly used as a conditioner and softener. I've tried it two different ways. First on a day when I was just staying home, so I decided to deep condition my hair since I only use conditioner once a week or so (My hair is so darn thin and gets so oily, I do use biosilk and other products to keep it hydrated and prevent breakage though). So I shampooed my hair as usual with a clarifying shampoo, then I put a light conditioner on for moisturizing and to prevent split ends (that's mainly where I concentrated it). Afterwards I spritzed this product all over my hair after towel drying it and let it air dry to finish. My hair was RIDICULOUSLY soft afterwards. I even got the softness test two thumbs up from my Hubby! He looooves to run his hands through my hair. My second trial was for going out, and I went through the steps of my normal routine...volumizing shampoo, towel-dried hair, biosilk from middle to tips, I spritzed the Beauty Protector on, used styling products, then let air-dry till about 75% dry, then I put volumizing products in, blow-dried the remaining 25%, styled, hairsprayed and checked out the results. I did notice a softer shinier sheen in my hair! Also, it did seem smoother and less frizzy! 

The only thing I'll say about this product is to the girls that tend to have oily hair, go lightly with it. Although my hair was very soft when I let it air-dry for the day I stayed home, by nighttime and especially the next morning, it was fairly oily and a little slick looking from all the conditioning. I think I definitely can spritz less and it should be perfectly fine. Love!

 Without a doubt my FAVORITE product from this box! I ADORE this polish! If you haven't read my Birchbox June REVEAL post, you definitely should now because it contains information regarding this collab collection for this box. Click HERE to read the post. So out of the four neon pastel shades going out, I received Reign in Spain, made to represent Birchbox's global office in Spain! -

 Such a gorgeous, bright, fiery coral!

I've heard quite a few people complain about Color Club they chip easy, are streaky, etc...I can tell you that with my experiences with them...that just isn't the case for me! I'm one of those who likes to take my absolute time when I polish so I allow myself a huge slot in the day to work slowly, one layer at a time...starting with base coat, normally two coats of polish and a nice top coat. This formula did look a teensy bit streaky on the first coat, but evened out decently enough with a second. I did have to do a third coat on a few fingers on my right hand though (being right handed, when I paint with my left sometimes I can use too much force and accidentally thin it out too much from pressure). 

The color is FANTASTIC, here is what two coats looks like in the direct white-filtered daylight:

 My poor cuticles are sloooowly starting to get by day!

Here it is in shaded daylight -

 Notice how it shifts to a neon when it's darker? UGH, so fabulous.

and here it is in the dark with light from a far-away lamp -

 It looks almost glow-in-the-dark, doesn't it?! Are you in love with it yet? Because you SHOULD be! 

Regardless of WHERE you are....please make sure at all times you maintain AT THE VERY LEAST....decent smelling breath. Trust me when I say this can seriously alter your relationship with people! Haha! Plus it's just good manners, regardless. No time to brush? Pop a gum and chew away for a quick fix! So here we have Glee Gum...which I must admit I there was a little eyebrow raising when I found out I was receiving this in my Birchbox as I thought (and still think) that this item is a little silly for a beauty sub, however, I reviewed it just the same! (Please though, Birchbox, I received a pen last month and gum this month...I've been a good girl and a good sport, but we need to discuss life style extras sometime soon, mwuah!)

This gum is not only sugar-free, but it's GMO, Aspartame, Additive, Dairy, Gluten, Egg, Yeast, Nut, Soy, Peanut and Corn Free! Aaaaand, it's vegetarian! However, if you're seriously watching your waistline, as you can see it DOES contain Xylitol which can make a difference to a sugar-free diet...especially medical ones. The flavor is a fabulous fresh mint but unfortunately it did not last very long (5 minutes) and it quickly dulled into a bland unpleasant aftertaste that made me want to spit it out. Also, a BIG likeability factor for me is...could it product excellent bubbles to pop...and could not. Not even a one with three pieces of the gum, and I'm an excellent bubble popping, seriously! 

  Here we have a fun little extra from Birchbox for their monthly Wanderlust theme. Postcards from Birchbox's four global offices locations! - 

New York, New York
London, England
Paris, France
Barcelona, Spain

 While I think the postcards are awfully cute, I also think they are a tad unpractical unless I am actually TRAVELING to those locations and want to send one out. I think it would be rather unusual to send one of them from a different location (especially home!) than the postcard name. HOWEVER, I did have the thought that these could be placed in a four section frame such as this:

 as a mod travel art piece that could be hung on the wall! I think it would be very bright, chic and contemporary! What do you think?


1) 29 Cosmetics Skin Care Collection Samples: This one I had a bit of difficulty pricing as the samples didn't have a given/written size! I used a system of measuring the given space with liquids and it seems that each individual circle section is a little over a mL in volume...about 1.39 mL roughly. Each sample compartment was filled about 3/4 of the way with product so if we measure that and convert to ounces we get about 0.035 oz. of each product. So...
  • Cream Cleanser - Full-size $68 (4.2 fl oz), so the sample is roughly $0.57
  • Serum Extract - Full-size $175 (1.07 fl oz), so the sample is roughly $5.72!!
  • Eye Emulsion - Full-size $150 (1.07 fl oz), so the sample is roughly $4.91!!
  • Night Moisture - Full-size $110 (2.0 fl oz), so the sample is roughly $1.92

 2) Antica Farmacista Moisturizer in Grapefruit: 
  •  Full-size is $25 (10 oz)
  •  Sample is 1.5 fl oz, so it is $3.75
 3) Beauty Protector, Protect and Detangle:
  • Full-size is $21.95 (8 oz)
  • Sample is (guesstamation) 1 fl oz, so it is roughly $2.74

4) Color Club Polish in Reign in Spain: 
  • Four minis in the Wanderlust pack are $8
  • I received a single mini, so it is $2

5) Glee Gum Sugar-free in Refresh-Mint:
  • Full-size box contains 18 pieces of gum. 12 boxes are $11.95 ($0.99 per box-ish)
  • Sample contains 4 pieces of gum, so roughly $0.22

6) Four Wanderlust Postcards:
  • Average postcard is about $0.50
  • Four samples given, so around $2

Total Worth of Box: $23.83

So we did a LITTLE bit better than last month, going over a little than double of what was paid! Those 29 Cosmetic samples certainly knocked me over in surprise given their size!


Well, needless to say, this box was not a complete favorite. I loved the theme and I love the new modern look, but the fragrance of half the box's samples was not a plus for me. However, I ALWAYS love nail polishes and Reign in Spain is GORGEOUS. Totally makes up for the lotion and skin products! I'm also very happy to have finally tried the Beauty Protector and to have loved it the same as almost everyone else! The gum....well....what can one say....::chew chew chew:: done..... ::smiles::
If you're going on vacation this summer, whether it be to a city an hour away or across the ocean and abroad, be safe, be skin smart and enjoy a relaxing break! Bon Voyage! 

Happy Makeuping (and Wanderlusting!)
Love, Cookie


  1. Love the art! Love the nail polish shade. I know what you mean about the grape fruit though, sometimes when I buy products and it lists a certain ingredient I don't think it smells anything like it. Coconut is one of those ingredients, if you have ever smelled organic coconut it is very different from many of the so called "coconut" scented beauty products. They sometimes get vanilla wrong too.

    1. Yeah, I tend to stay away from those scents as they can just be....odd lol....usually I jump in when I see apple, citrus, chocolate (although that's a tough one to do), cinnamon, or any other bakery scents :-)

  2. I got that detangler spray in my Birchbox last month. The spray bottle didn't work, but Birchbox was nice enough to send me a replacement, and I felt like it really made a difference! I might have to buy a full sized one!

    1. I know! I was so impressed with it! Even my hairdresser said my tresses felt softer and she asked what I'd be using and I said: BEAUTY PROTECTOR! ::eyebrow wiggle:: lol

  3. I love that leave in conditioner, I got it last month and had to repurchase it. I only put it on my ends, since I tend to get an oily scalp. I use it as a heat protectant. I have a birchbox link party going on, come link up your box to share what you got:

    1. Yeah, I'm definitely only going to be able to do ends most often, I get a very oily scalp as well! Ooooo, a link party! How fun! Thanks! :-D