2016 February Birchbox

Tuesday, March 08, 2016

I haven't done one of these posts in an exceptionally long time, so here it is: my February 2016 Birchbox! Keep reading to see what products I received in my box and my thoughts on all of them.






Arrow Boost Color Enhancing Lip Balm  Full Size $14

This is a product from Birchbox's new made-for-Birchbox brand called Arrow, which consists of products for people who are constantly moving about and have an active lifestyle. The balm reminds me of the color-changing Lipsurgence in Energy from Tarte. It goes on clear, but then transforms into your perfect pink shade based off your skin's pH. Mine happens to turn into a very blue-based, almost icy/neon pink, which isn't really my favorite shade of pink. I can manage having it on my lips through because of how sheer it is. There's just something about this scent that has me somewhat hesitant to like it. It has a kind of fruity/minty taste and smell that really confuses my senses. The balm itself is more of a waxy texture, which I don't enjoy as much as peppermint-based balms, since those tend to sink into my lips better. It just feels like an average balm, and I don't think it's worth the money for the results you get. If you're looking for a good balm, try out the Naked Lips Organic Peppermint lip balm (my absolute FAVORITE.) or the Lollipops Delicieuse Lip Balm. Both of those are under $6 and work far better to moisturize your lips. Rating: 3 out of 10

Not Soap, Radio Body Wash (in the scent Liquid Freud)   Full Size $16

This is a brand that's gotten some attention in the past few months. The whole point is that these washes are meant to be aromatherapeutic and help with different ailments. The scent I got, Liquid Freud, is meant to help promote emotional well-being through coconut and mango scents. It's a slightly odd combination but works better than I expected. There are other scents available on the Birchbox website if you're interested. I like the idea of this, but there are a couple things that leave me feeling less than impressed. First, the scent isn't too strong and doesn't linger afterwards. I personally don't need a smell to linger on my after a shower, but I expect to get something. After I washed myself, I got only the mild scent of water. That's it. Second, the texture isn't great. I love a body wash that lathers well, and this one just doesn't deliver. It becomes this kind of slightly milky gel once you apply it to the skin and doesn't really feel like it's reaching deep into the skin to clean it. Overall, the concept is great, but I am less than impressed. Rating: 3 out of 10

Obliphica Professional Seaberry Serum (for Medium to Coarse Hair)   Full Size $38

Okay, it's products like this that make me occasionally question the matchmaking abilities of Birchbox. Why on earth would they send this product to me, a person who has very thin and very fine hair? I just don't get it. It does say that it can be used on color-treated hair, so I'm still going to try using the sample. I've tried other products from this brand and feel that the brand on the whole is decent, though it's not something that particularly appeals to me. I spend most of my time with makeup as opposed to hair products, so I'm sure someone who is more hair-centric would enjoy this product and be more excited about it than myself. From testing it on the back of my hand, it has a very oily, slick texture that makes me a bit hesitant to try it, since I'm not a huge fan of hair oils. Anyway, I'll still try it out and let you guys know my thoughts on it. Rating: 4 out of 10

REN Glycol Lactic Radiance Renewal Mask   Full Size $55

I've actually already received this sample from a previous Sephora purchase and oh my gosh. I love it. I've seen Essiebutton on YouTube talk about REN before, and I'd always been interested to try some products out. However, they were so expensive that I never bought any because hello, I'm not spending that much money on something that could be a total dud. This however, is not a dud and is actually fantastic. It's a very thick gel mask that goes onto clean skin, and it contains acids in it that help to strip away dead skin and any other harmful things to leave your skin feeling clean and firm. When you first apply this, it feels almost like you have a relatively thick foundation on, but after a few minutes, it begins warming up, feeling softer and almost like it's melting into your skin. You can really feel and see a difference in your skin after just one use. The box says that if you've got sensitive skin, that you should test it out on a patch of skin beforehand. This is meant to be a once a week treatment, so a bottle would last you quite a while, as you don't need much product to fully cover your face. The one thing that I don't like too much is the smell. It's definitely something I can tolerate, but it's mildly medicinal and unpleasant. Apart from that detail, I really love this product. I think this is a great product to use whenever your skin is misbehaving and needs some help returning to normal. Rating: 9 out of 10

Tocca Eau de Parfum (scent Emelia)   Full Size $68

Fragrances are always the groan-inducing products in any beauty subscription box. "Ugh, not ANOTHER perfume sample. I already have like, 10 of those from past boxes." This one however, is actually worth a mention out of all the other perfume samples I've gotten. This is the newest Tocca scent, and I've gotta say that I really enjoy it. It has a nice fig leaf, clementine, fruity scent to it, to the point of being tad spicy, but in a very good way. The spiciness factor is somewhat similar to that in Jo Malone's Wood Sage and Sea Salt. To me, it feels like a really fresh scent that would be best in the fall, but it's definitely light enough to wear all year round. Rating: 8 out of 10

There you have it: my (very late) thoughts on my February Birchbox! The March Birchbox will be coming soon, so stay tuned for that post in the near future.

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