Saturday, November 23, 2013

Birchbox - November 2013


Who can say no to more good? November is all about more good to me! Ok, maybe too much goodness on a certain day that involves turkey and stuffing, haha, but it's definitely the season for both thankfulness and giving....and Birchbox definitely gave more good this month! Here's what they have to say....

"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'll be 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. In addition, we're donating a portion of the proceeds from the Birchbox Shop to No Kid Hungry, a nationwide organization that works to end childhood hunger.

There's plenty more good where that came from - we can't wait to celebrate with you all month!"

Katia, Hayley & the Birchbox Team

I always get such a happy warm feeling when this time of the year comes around....looks like Birchbox is feeling the same! 

They also included this fun little booklet which showcases products and items in the Birchbox Shop and ideas for the Holidays.

Here's what I received in my Birchbox this month!

 I received: A face serum, mascara, nail polish, body cream and chocolate

To the review!....


"This translucent formula transforms skin, boosting it's natural moisture barrier up to 50%." - from my November 2013 Birchbox card

I LOVED this stuff! I had been hearing some horror stories from some of the ladies on Makeuptalk about how this serum was giving them a rash (I'm so sorry!) so I was hesitant to try it, but luckily, it had no ill effect on my skin at all! In fact, it did wonders for it!

The formula is very very runny for a serum, as you can see from the photo above. I seriously had to scurry to take the pictures as quickly as I could because it would just run down my hand in a second. My best suggestion when using this product is to slowly squeeze the tube right above the center of your palm, then rub your hands together because if you squeeze it above your fingertips, it'll roll right off and drip right through. Messy, messy! 

Serums are typically used right after cleansers but before moisturizers but with this elixir I almost didn't need any moisturizer to follow up at all! It gave my skin such deep hydration, completely smoothing it out and lasting for hours. When I used it in the morning, I decided to use a very, very light moisturizer afterwards and I noticed my makeup went on SO smoothly especially the concealer during blending. At night, after applying, my skin felt baby soft even though the weather was freezing which usually dries out my skin by the morning. ADORE! On warmer days, I may not need a moisturizer at all! If you need deep extra hydration often then I definitely recommend taking a look at this. However, since I've heard several ladies have had bad reactions to it, I'd possibly try a sample of it first before ordering. Sometimes you can call up a company or email them and request a sample to test before purchase! You can start by swatching it on your wrist or on the back of your hand to see if there is any reaction, then after a day if there is none, you can try it on your face!

in Femme

"Loaded with antioxidants, this aromatic body cream leaves skin silky and soft." - from my November 2013 Birchbox card

 How adorable is this jar? I absolutely feel in love with it the moment I saw it...unfortunately, I didn't quite fall in love with the lotion. The fragrance consists of:

"A floral bouquet on a bed of amber, sprinkled with a dash of ylang ylang for a heady and ambiguous fragrance that restores a personal sense of calm, balance and femininity."

Top Notes: Ylang Ylang, Rose
Heart Notes: Lily of the Valley, Jasmine, a touch of Tuberose
Base Notes: Cedar, Amber, White musk

- from
If you're long-time Charming Cheshire reader, I KNOW you're thinking: "OH MY, ylang ylang, rose, tuberose, cedar, white musk...nooooo, that is SO not Cookie at ALL!". Haha, well, my darlings, you'd be absolutely right. Just not my cup of tea, I'm afraid. It's just too heavy floral and musky for my taste. 

The formula is not the best I've used for a body cream, but it's not bad. It's a bit on the light side, however my main issue with it is that it didn't give much coverage. I had to use more than I typically do to fully moisturize any areas of skin. When I DID use the right amount, it did give great moisturization, but I much prefer using less product, that way I know it will last me that much longer before I need to buy a new one! When I use body creams I usually use them on my hands and elbows as they get dry while my arms, legs, etc. never do. When I try a lotion on my hands and elbows and it has no great effect then I know that I need to find another product. My hands get dry SO quickly and easily. I need a much creamier lotion to fix them up. If you only need a lighter body cream though, you may indeed like to try the Tiosson Body Creams! Something tells me if I had tried their Fatale fragrance (bergamot, cardamom, coriander, ginger, cinnamon, rose, hint of chocolate, lily of the valley, patchouli, sandlewood, vanilla, musk) or Flamboyant (mandarin, bergamot, lemon, peony, honeysuckle, amber, musk) I probably would have loved it so much more, but with the fragrance dislike and the too light moisturization, it's just not for me!


in Top Shelf

"On-trend pro-quality lacquer that will take you easily - and gorgeously - from day to night." - from my November 2013 Birchbox card

How STUNNING is this color? It is GORGEOUS. It's a fabulous champagne gold metallic. Also, how darn adorable are polish minis? I think they are such a wonderful thing to have. I'm notorious for never being able to finish a bottle of polish, but I definitely don't feel as bad with mini bottles!

Unfortunately, as gorgeous as this color is, it is STREAKY. It only needs two coats for full opacity, but it's very tricky to worth with since the stroke lines are so visible as you can see in the picture above. Even if you brush on lightly and with as few brush strokes as possibly, it will STILL be streaky. I'm not complaining too much though, since the color is so gorgeous and you could definitely try several things with this instead of full coverage if you're not comfortable with long streaks down your nail. You could use it for a french tip, half-moons, or you could use a sponge to apply that should give you a streak-free nail regardless! I wore it for about 3 days with both base and top coat and I had no trouble with major chipping other than typical wear and tear. An absolutely stunning polish, if you don't mind tricky application.


"Water-resistant formula that curls, thickens, and lasts all day." - from my November 2013 Birchbox card

::cue the angelic choir singing:: OHHHHHHH my word. I am STUNNED by this mascara! I could seriously throw all of my other mascaras just out the window in comparison to this one! It is FANTASTIC!

The wand is curved as you can see with provides a fantastic means to reach those itty bitty eyelashes all the way around your eye and helps assist in giving your lashes a fantaaaastic curl. The bristles are fairly thin, but packed well and spaced out nicely so it it keeps lashes beautifully separated even with multiple coats. Did I mention it gives them the most amazing curve? You practically don't need to use a lash curler beforehand! It somewhat volumizes, but not quite as much as a volumizing mascara, however, it is very buildable and doesn't clump up at all, so you can layer up till you're satisfied with the volume!

The formula is excellent, no clumps at all! On the right side of my hand is a single light swipe and on the left is a double swipe that was a bit more heavy handed. Notice the awesome brushstrokes and lack of clumps! The curl lasted all day long with awesome lift and I had absolutely no flaking or smudging! Also to note, their website states that it also contains conditioning keratin and shea better, which I love. Gotta take good care of my little flutters! If you haven't guessed by now, I absolutely recommend trying out this mascara! 


in Honeycomb

"Made with premium cacao, these inventive treats satisfy any sweet tooth." - from my November 2013 Birchbox card

I have heard so many people rave about these Chocopods and NOW I KNOW WHY! WOW! It was absolutely amazing! It was so darn amazing, I actually went and ordered a whole Chocopod assortment the very next day! The assortment contains: 

Firecracker:  sultry sea salt, smoky chipotle and popping candy exploding in dark chocolate

Honeycomb: luscious amber honey, caramelized into crisp bits and enrobed in dark chocolate

Maple Bacon: crisp bites of bacon drizzled with delicate maple sweetness and a sprinkle of bonfire smoked sea salt, bathed in milk chocoalte

Pop Corn: mixed puffed whole grains, toasted corn chips, and a sprinkle of seat salt with a surprising POP in milk chocolate

Potato Chip: crisp kettle cooked potato chips and a hint of sea salt, mix and mingle in milk chocolate

Orange-A-Go-Go: rich dark chocolate grooves with zesty bits of candied orange and soulful orange bergamot

Salted Chocolate: crunchy, toasted breadcrumbs dusted with sea salt and swirled in dark chocolate

Spicy Maya: seductive cinnamon, pasilla chile and warming cayenne bedded in dark chocolate

I mean, seriously, couldn't you just die? I tried the Honeycomb, as you can see from above, and it was the PERFECT blend of crispy sweet honey and rich, velvety dark chocolate that just melted and oozed deliciousness in your mouth! A very tantalizing, unique treat that'll have you begging for more! I certainly was! Can't wait for my goodies to arrive to try other exciting flavors.


1) DDF Amplifying Elixir:
  • Full-size (1.7 oz) - $75
  • I received a 0.5 fl oz sample tube - $22.06

2) Tiossan Body Cream in Femme:
  • Full-size (6.5 oz) - $38
  • I received a 0.25 oz sample - $1.46

3) Color Club Nail Polish in Top Shelf:
  • Full-size (0.5 fl oz) - $8
  • I received a mini polish which is 0.25 fl oz - $4

4) Eyeko Black Magic Mascara:
  • Full-size (0.29 fl oz) - $24
  • I received a 0.13 sample tube - $10.76

5) Chuao Chocopod in Honeycomb:
  • 8 Piece assorted Chocopod set - $9.95
  • I received a single Chocopod - $1.24

Total Paid for Box: $10

Total Worth of Box: $39.52

Seriously, the mascara and elixir make this entire box absolutely worth it! ALONE each is worth over what I paid (the elixir is worth double!) and I pretty much loved almost everything I received. The only dud for me was the Tiossan Body Cream. Absolutely happy with this month's worth!


So I really didn't have that much makeup to do a makeup Finale, but I did want to show you the mascara. I was actually inspired by the name Black Magic, so I went with a black magic combined with Fall look that I had fun rocking that day for work! 
I went with a vivid midnight blue eyeshadow for my entire lid, then blended in some purple on the outsides and below my lower lashes. I also used a midnight blue eyeliner for the center of my cat-eye and a dark purple for the outer wing. I combined the eyes with a rich dark rose maroon lipstick for a Fall feel.

I going to have a love affair with my mascara moment.....LOOK! You can see my lashes when I look up! Haha, love it! Those little stubborn buggers never want to curl, so the fact that they are looking curled in the picture makes me happy.

Look at that LENGTH and separation! I have on about three coats of the mascara here, if you can believe...I know, clump free!....and I just adore it.

I am superdupes happy with my Birchbox this month! I've been wondering how my feelings have been lately for them, but I think they've redeemed themselves in my eyes with this month's picks for me. Here's hoping for an amazing December box!

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.


Happy Makeuping!



  1. I've tried the DDF serum before and liked it I usually only use it in the winter since my skin is so oily, so I'll be breaking it out again soon. I got the nail polish in charcoal, would have preferred the gold. Too bad it's streaky though :-(

    1. I know, it's such a shame about the polish, isn't it? I mean, it's not too bad if you work with it a bit, but streaks would be better! :-)

  2. That mascara looks like a keeper. Hope they sample it again in the future!

    1. I agree! I seriously need to go out and buy a full-size though now, I've almost run out of the sample because I use it everyday! :-D