Friday, September 27, 2013

Birchbox - September 2013


Happy 3 Year Anniversary to Birchbox! This month they are celebrating their 3 years of their very popular Birchbox subscription service with a fun array of classic to ultra modern, fashionable products in every box. There were a few that I previewed that I was hoping to receive this month and I did get some! If you missed my preview post, here is the link:

Here is what Birchbox has to say this month!...


"The best part about beauty? It's not the glitter or the gloss, or even those miraculous antioxidants from far-off lands. It's the stories. Every brand we work with, from the just-hatched to the iconic, has it's own fascinating history. Just look at Ruffian, a New York-based fashion label started by two designers with a flair for Victorian drama. Their first nail lacquer collection - which all our subscribers will get to try this month - was inspired by the runways but voted on by you. File that away for party conversation when someone compliments your mani.

This also happens to be our anniversary month, and we can't let it pass without thanking the people who have helped create our story: our members. All we had was an idea - we needed you to add the magic."

Katia, Hayley & the Birchbox Team

Love it! I adore makeup history, in fact, I was watching some fascinating videos on YouTube from the awesome Lisa Eldridge about the very thing. Here's some fab links:

and now, on to my box!

 I received: hairspray, nail polish, face polisher, a balm, hair mask

To the review! ::sounds the charge::


"Airy mist that keeps your 'do smooth and frizz-free, and also shields strands from UV rays." - from 2013 September Birchbox card

This is my second Serge Normant product that I've received in a beauty sub. The first was the Serge Normant Dry Shampoo (click to read review), which I typically HATE dry shampoos, but this was is phenomenal! It SERIOUSLY gives incredible volume, cuts down the oiliness and lasts all day. I absolutely loved it. This product though, unfortunately, was just not for me. I have such issues with hair sprays, I seriously do! My hair is the snobbiest thing when it comes to them. My hair is thin but heavy from easily getting oily and the weight and doesn't like to volumize, plus parts of it are straight and other parts are quite curly so styling it can be....well....entertaining, shall we say? Some days it loves to cooperate and other days it just hates my guts. 

I tried using this product several different ways upon several different occasions, but it just wouldn't do what I needed it to do. It's one of those very strong, fast action (and loud I might add lol) sprays that sort of knock the wind out of you. It also has a pretty strong typical hairspray scent, which I'm not usually a fan of. It always ends up overpowering my perfume when I go out! A big question is, does it work, however? Hmmmm, yes and no for me. It covers a wide area fairly well, and it does have some hold, but for someone with thin hair who wants volume, I don't think it really worked well on me. I felt like my bangs fell a bit through the day, and they normally stay perked up with my favorite hairsprays. Also, since this hairspray didn't add any volume at all, it doesn't offer the main thing that I need. It provided light hold, but not enough to keep my hair from going flat after a few hours and it didn't provide any real shine or control my crazy frizz. All in all, just not for my hair. Let me know if you have better luck with this product and what methods you used!


"This multitasking made with natural botanicals exfoliates, tones, smooths, and moisturizes." - from 2013 September Birchbox card

This was a very unusual product for me to try out! It sounded like it'd be a super, all-rounded, multitasking wonder but...hate to sound so down in this post, but it didn't have any amazing effect on me either. As soon as I began massaging it onto my skin, I felt a warming sensation and immediately after my rosacea started to flare up and continued throughout the process and for a few hours after I finished. It's a clear formula (albeit a TAD cloudy) with tiny little clear polishing beads in it that you really can't see at all but you can definitely feel once you start rubbing it on. For me, though, it wasn't enough of an exfoliated power to really feel like it was exfoliating. It could be that I'm used to a stronger exfoliation product, or it's main purpose isn't for that. Since it is called a polisher, I'll focus on that. It did, ever so lightly, polish my skin, but nothing that was nicely noticeable or outstanding. I used this product for almost a week with little to no difference. It did feel slightly more moisturized after use, and I did notice that I didn't need to apply as much moisturizer/cream after using this though! So here's a breakdown of what  it's supposed to do: Smooths - Yes, ever so slightly, but not so much noticeably, more touchable than anything. Moisturizes - Yes, just a bit to where I don't have to slather on moisturizer afterwards but not to where I don't need any at all. Anti-Aging - Hard to say. Redness-Reducing - Definitely not for me! It had the opposite effect! Tones - Hmmmm, maybe a teensy weensy bit? Not much for me as well, but it did have some effect. 

In the end, I just don't think this product is for me. I think this would be better suited for someone with normal skin to slightly oily skin and no rosacea. 

NAIL LACQUER in Delirium

"Bold purple from the fashion label's first lacquer collection. Exclusive to Birchbox!" - from 2013 September Birchbox card

THIS COLOR. Oh my, my, my. It is STUNNING. It is the richest, most vibrant shade of purple. When Birchbox members were called to vote for what shade they wanted to be made from Ruffian for an future Birchbox, this was one of the shades I voted for and I'm SO glad I did now! The bottle is so darn adorable, dontchathink?

I DIE. Look at this color! It's such a vibrant purple in the light, but then such a dark, deep black purple in the shadows. Yes, this is NOT my finger, this is a swatch stick! I have had my nails done so much with the 30 Manis Marathon, unfortunately, I'm a little stuck at the moment when it comes to swatching colors on my hands, but fortunately I used this exact shade in a recent 30 Manis post that I WILL be able to show you it on my hands, just with other shades, however, I thought I'd go ahead and show you an individual swatch as well! I'll have the pic of the mani in the finale ::wink::

The polish went on perfectly, only needing two coats for full opacity (shown in pic above). It dries somewhat between matte and satin and I had no issues with bubbling, pooling or runnings. It's a slightly thick formula, but it dries very quickly.


"Originally made for nursing moms, this ultrahydrating balm is a makeup artist fave." - from 2013 September Birchbox card

I KNOW....nipple balm. That is the WEIRDEST thing to say ::giggles::. If you're a longtime Birchbox subscriber, this product should be familiar to you as it has been going out for a little while now, and I must say, at first I didn't want to receive it at all and was SO disappointed that I did finally. However, once I tried it, I fell in love. NO, not on my lips and CERTAINLY not on my...well, you know, the name of it....but on my CUTICLES! Ladies....if you need some serious cuticle help then THIS is the product for YOU! I kid you not, this little baby will soften them right up. Dryness, cracking, peeling, you name it, it will fix those cuticles right up! It's a very thick balm, much thicker than a typical lip balm, but it spreads easily and stays on for quite some time, providing excellent moisturization and hydration where needed. I love putting this on after a mani or before I go to bed, it works wonders! In fact, I've already bought a full-size!



"Right any number of hair sins with this intensely restorative, keratin-infused masque." - from 2013 September Birchbox card

::leaps and bounds through barrels of hair masks::....ok, maybe that's a bit dramatic, but OH MY GOODNESS, I suddenly have hair masks galore! I went from zero (I need hair masks! Must buy all hair masks) to....every sub gives me one. Well alrighty then! I feel my hair mask prayers have been answered! Moving on to the review....heehee....

I loved this product! It has a slightly sweet, slightly powdery scent to me, but very faint and fresh and myyyyy goodness it made my hair superdupes soft! It slightly brightened my color, didn't weigh my strands down and very deeply hydrated, provided a few days worth of smooth, touchably soft hair. A little really went a long way and the formula was very easy to spread. This foil, as you can, is pretty decently size, but since I have long hair you would think it would only work for one application, but nope! I was able to use it twice! That definitely lets me know that a full-size would last quite a while. Possibly one of the best hair masques I've yet to try!



Serge Normant Meta Luxe Hair Spray:
  • Fullsize (7.5 oz) - $25
  • I received a 2.0 oz travel size - $6.67

GrandCentral Beauty S.M.A.R.T. Skin Perfecting Polisher:
  • Fullsize (1 fl oz) - $38
  • I received a 0.20 fl oz sample - $7.60

Ruffian Nail Lacquer in Delirium
  • Fullsize (5 mL) - $10
  • I received a fullsize!

Dr. Lipp Original Nipple Balm for Lips
  • Fullsize (0.507 fl oz) - $14.50
  • I received a 0.1 fl oz sample - $7.35

Keratherapy Deep Conditioning Masque
  • Fullsize (8 fl oz) - $23
  • I received a 0.33 fl oz foil - $0.95

Total Paid for Box:  $10
Definitely a higher worth box than last month, so I am quite pleased! The sample sizes were fantastic, I received a nail polish, which I ALWAYS love, and four of the five products were over $5 worth each! Well done this month, Birchbox, I'm very happy with it!

So I may not have been madly in love with a few items in this month's box but I still thoroughly enjoyed trying everything out! The hair spray, and face polisher weren't good for me, but everything else was fabulous! This is probably one of the better boxes I've received this year! Here is the promised finale pic of the nails, which you may have already seen from my last 30 Manis Marathon post!...

Quite obviously the deeper purple is the Ruffian Delirium, and didn't I tell you it was absolutely gorgeous? Here's the link to the post if you'd like to read more on it! - 

30 Manis Marathon - Mani #6 - Violet
I hope you enjoyed this review! If you're interested in trying out Birchbox for yourself, you are more than welcome to use my referral link, just click HERE.  

and last but not least, here's another little insert from this month's Birchbox....

Hmmm, that last little DID they know? ;-)

Happy Makeuping!



  1. very nice manicure!! <3
    nice weekend!
    Judit kiss

  2. Hahaha nipple balm... so far I've managed to avoid that one! I would totally use it on my cuticles, though!

    And FYI... don't buy that brand anymore! As far as I can tell, it's 100% Lanolin, and there are SO many other brands that you can buy in the baby aisle at the grocery store that cost much less! They are way overcharging for that brand!

    1. OMG, I'm obsessed with it for my cuticles! Thanks so much for the heads up! I'll definitely be heading to the baby aisle when I need it for my nails ;-)