Friday, February 28, 2014

Birchbox - February 2014


It's Birchbox time! And, coincidentally award season time, as well! Coming up soon is the 86th Academy Awards (who's going to be watching?) and it looks like Birchbox is ready to get all all glammed up and looking fab juuuuust in case we have some red carpet moments of our own! Here's what they have to say about this month...

"Hi there,

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 as Us Weekly, who have celebrity makeup artists on speed-dial and know the secret behind every red-carpet look.

All month we'll be sharing star beauty intel with you, starting with Us Weekly editor Gwen Flamberg's tips on posing for flattering photos. We've also got guides to getting an airbrushed finish (sans airbrush) and picking the right makeup for your eye shape."

Ready your ballots!

Katie, Hayley & the Birchbox Team

Do you love being in the spotlight? Haha, according to my friends and family, I'm both incredibly shy but a lover of the spotlight as well....that's a bit confusing isn't it? I'm okay with that though! ::strikes a pose::

Time to take a look at my Birchbox!....

 I received a shampoo, conditioner, eye cream, nail polish and tea


Shampoo - "A paraben-free blend of argan and monoi oils nourishes strands while keeping color vibrant." 

Conditioner - "Paraben-free blend that protects and repairs color-treated hair with argan and monoi oils" - from February 2014 Birchbox card

OOooooooooh, I looooooove these products. The fragrance of them is AMAZING. I take a little whiff and I'm whisked away onto some tropical island with big beautiful bright flowers blooming everywhere and a waterfall cascading in the background...::sigh::. Fantastic visual, am I right? But seriously, the smell is out of the world. It's not overly floral, it's a softer, smoother type of scent that isn't too sweet as well. More lush and tropical than garden-y.

Shampoo: I think the shampoo is wonderful, it lathers really, really well, and just a small amount of product covers a lot of hair. I definitely have color-treated hair so this came at a perfect time since I just re-colored it not too long ago. I've noticed the blond highlights in my hair seem brighter and healthier looking and none of the color has faded or dulled at all since I've been using this. There is definitely a difference between using this and using my other typical shampoo, which is more of a volumizing than color-treating one. I've been switching between the two as needed, but leaning more towards the color-treating one more often than not. It also doesn't dry out my hair or strip my scalp too much of it's natural oils. I'll definitely be purchasing a full-size of it once I'm done!

Conditioner: I rarely use conditioners, I tend to stick to just oils, or hair masks every few days or so, but I actually really liked this one! It wasn't a heavy conditioner but it really softened my hair without weighing it down. I've been getting in the habit of applying at the mid-length of my hair first, then working my way up with what's left on my hands, then applying more on the ends of my hair for a deeper treatment. I let it sit for a few minutes then rinse it off and let me tell you, my hair has been soooooft. Even my Hubby has noticed how smooth and soft it feels! Plus, he seriously loves the smell! My hair has been very manageable, less tangled but still easily style-able. Love it! Again, definitely purchasing a full-size of this as well as the shampoo!

::Step. Pose. Flounces Hair::


"Silky fluid with antioxidant grape water and hyaluronic acid to quickly depuff and smooth." - from February 2014 Birchbox card

When they say it depuffs, it DEPUFFS. I mean, wow. I haven't had too much luck with Caudalie products, but this one definitely lived up to it's depuffing claims! I've been using this morning and night for many days now and even alternated between doing both eyes or just doing one eye while applying a different eye cream/serum to the other to compare results. I noticed that the eye(s) that had the Caudalie were always non-puffy and somewhat smoother, however, I also noticed that it did nothing for my wrinkles, in fact, they were a bit more noticeable compared to how my other creams treated them. This eye cream is definitely the best of all the eye creams/serums, etc that I've ever tried for depuffing, however, one of the worst for wrinkle treatment. I haven't noticed any brightening effect, however, I've had quite a few late nights as of late, and my dark circles are serious buggers that just will not go away, both from hereditary genes and lack of sleep.

The formula is very creamy and it takes very little to cover the entire under eye area. I barely need a millimeter in diameter to feel like I'm getting full, thick-enough coverage for one side. This product will definitely last you quite some time! 

It is fairly hydrating, however, I've still needed to use an under eye moisturizing primer before applying concealer, but I think that has more to do with the fact the weather has been jumping from 40 degrees one day to 75 the next. My skin has been taking a beating! I've been needing to perform super hydrating measures!

If you have some serious issues with puffiness under the eyes, I very highly recommend trying this out, especially if you want both serious overnight treatment as well as a quick pick-me-up in the morning! However, if you have major problems with wrinkles, than you may not like it as much. I'll probably be keeping a spare of this around for those mornings when I need to soothe and smooth under the eyes. Hopefully when the weather calms down, so will my dark circles and wrinkles!

 ::Step. Pose. Flutters Eyelashes at Camera::

in I Can Teal You Like Me

"This tinted top coat gives nails a wash of high-shine, translucent color." - from February 2014 Birchbox card

I know what you're thinking....that's not sheer! Haha! I know, I know. No matter WHAT angle I photographed it from (and believe me, I tried) it looks black. Silly bottle! Trust me, it's not black. 

Voila! Color! Sheer color at that! As you can see, it's not black at all, in fact, it's not exactly teal, either. To me it's more of a teal-tinted blue. Like a bright azure blue. It's gorgeous, regardless! The formula is somewhat thick for a sheer polish. It's almost like a gel. 

Here we have two coats of the Sheer Tint and no topcoat (even though I'm holding a top coat in my just looked ridiculously silly to hold the mini bottle in my amazonian hand ::giggles::) You can see, it's quite sheer and super glossy! I actually quite like it, although, I know it's not everyone's cup o' tea. I think it looks like ocean water on my fingertips! I bet this would be gorgeous for a oceanic mani or as a modern french tip with a color on the tips! I'm not too terribly fond to see my slightly stained nail lines underneath and the blue can make any staining look a bit yellow-greenish but it's still pretty! The formula isn't the most amazing to work with, but it's still fairly easy. Since it's a bit thicker, you have to work a bit faster and with fewer brushstrokes, especially since it doesn't even out too terribly well by itself. It takes a bit longer to dry compared to other typical OPI polishes, but it does last quite some time with no chipping or peeling (with topcoat). Mine lasted about 3-4 days.

Another awesome wear to wear one of these tints is over a colored polish for a color-changing effect that looks rich, vibrant and deep. In the photo above I layered it over a red polish on my middle and ring finger while leaving just the red polish on my pointer and pinky. I applied a single coat of the red on each finger, then a single coat of the sheer tint on the two middle fingers. The result is a gorgeous rich, vampy looking red that is just luscious to me. Such a big difference! Very sultry. I think it'd be tons of fun to try this out on multiple different shades, types of polish finishes, etc! 

I'm very curious to try out the other shades they have...

  • Be Magentale with Me (magenta)
  • Don't Violet Me Down (violet)
  • I'm Never Amberrassed (amber)

::Step. Pose. Waves at Fans and Paparazzi:: 


in Paris and White Vanilla Grapefruit

"Rich and flavorful tea blends from the family-owned craft brand." - from February 2014 Birchbox card

So, I'm not a HUGE tea drinker. So....drat. Haha, don't get me wrong, I do like tea, however, I wasn't too enthralled with getting it in my Birchbox. I did peruse Harney and Sons' website though and after checking out all the flavored teas I want to know....WHY didn't they send me the Chocolate or Hot Cinnamon flavor? Gah! I would have totally loved to try those. Here is the flavoring of the ones I received:

"Mike has enjoyed many a pot of tea in the famous Paris tea shops. In homage to the city he has created this blend, reminiscent of one of their most popular blends. It is a fruity black tea with vanilla and caramel flavors, and a hint of lemony Bergamot." -

White Vanilla Grapefruit:
White teas enriched by vanilla and brightened by grapefruit bring forth the cleansing White Vanilla Grapefruit tea. Each refreshing brew reveals light and smooth citrus notes. -

I could tell by reading the descriptions that I wouldn't care too much for the flavors, I don't typically like vanilla tastes in my teas....come to think of it, I don't like vanilla flavor much at all...I'm too much of a chocoholic! Anyhow, so I haven't actually tried these, instead, I'm going to include them in a gift bag/box for someone because they really are adorable and very fancy looking. I love the design of the packaging! If anyone who is reading this has tried this brand before, let me know what you think of them, I'm a little tempted to order some of the other flavors to try!

 ::Kicks off high heels, takes off diamonds, snuggles onto couch with a cup of tea...ahhhhhh::


1) Bain de Terre Passion Flower COLOR PRESERVING SHAMPOO:
  • Full-size (13.5 oz) - $12
  • I received a 1.7 oz travel size - $1.51

2) Bain de Terre Passion Flower COLOR PRESERVING CONDITIONER:
  • Full-size (13.5 oz) - $13.50
  • I received a 1.7 oz travel size - $1.70

3) Caudalie S.O.S. Morning Eye Rescue:
  • Full-size (0.5 oz) - $34
  • I received a 0.23 oz sample tube - $15.64

4) OPI Sheer Tint Mini in I Can Teal You Like Me:
  • Minis are typically $12.95 for a four-pack, so a single is roughly - $3.24

5) Herney & Sons Fine Teas:
  • Full-size (20 sachets) - $9.60
  • I received 2 sachets - $0.96

Total Paid for Box:  $10

Total Worth of Box:  $23.05

So, I'm not too terribly impressed with the worth of this box. The Caudalie was it's saving grace, really. Without it, the box would be worth $7.41. Hmmmm. I wish the OPI was a full-size, I think I'd feel better about it's worth with that, especially since the shampoo and conditioner are travel size instead of foils and the eye cream is a good size as well. The total worth is barely over twice what I paid, so I can't complain too much, but still on the lower end of the worth of previous boxes.


Definitely an interesting box and nothing like I've had before! I really love the shampoo and conditioner and I certainly want to repurchase them. I'm always a huge fan of OPI and their new Sheer Tints seem fun, unusual and interesting to play around with. I love it's versatility! The Caudalie was allllllmost a holy grail item for me, if only it worked it's wonders on my wrinkles as well as it did on my puffiness. The's tea. What can one say. Haha! Not my favorite flavors, but super cute nonetheless and a great gift addition for someone!

I hope you enjoyed this review! 

Birchbox is a monthly beauty subscription service that provides four to six beauty, grooming and lifestyle samples monthly for the low price of $10 per month (no shipping, however NY, NJ, MA and VA may have sales tax). They have a beauty questionnaire at the beginning of your subscription sign-up so your profile and samples are better suited for your likes and preferences. Birchbox is available in the US, France, Spain and the UK. They also has a fantastic points system that builds up points that you can redeem towards Birchbox Shop purchases by reviewing the items from your subscription box each month. Every review gets you 10 points, every dollar you spend at the shop gets you one point each and for every 100 points you earn, you get $10 towards Shop purchases! You can also earn 50 points by referral when your friends join Birchbox by using your referral link! So what are you waiting for? Join Birchbox!

If you'd like to join, please feel free to use my referral link, just click HERE to start the sign-up process!

Happy Makeping! ::strikes an award-winning pose with you::



  1. I am a Harney & Sons addict and let me tell you, just order the hot cinnamon sunset. OMG!! So good!! Hot or cold it is awesome. And the chocolate mint is TASTY!!!! So is the soho blend that is coconut and chocolate!

    1. Thank you so much for giving me that info! You definitely tipped the scale for me, I'm just going to HAVE to order some now ;-)