Birchbox – February 2012

My February Birchbox came and after reviewing all the products I have to say I am feeling a little… flat (pun intended). But truthfully this month’s theme seems to be “flat” beauty products, if you can believe that: eye make-up wipes, powder puffs, and eyeliner strips:

My February 2012 Birchbox Contained:

1. BENTA BERRY G-1 Moisturizing Face Cream ($22 for 30 ml). My favorite product this month! I do love this moisturizer, it is so very french in scent, is so clean and soft on the skin and lasts quite a while. I will absolutely be getting a full-size of this wonderful moisturizer.

2. Eye Rock Designer Liner ($13 for two sets of liners). I have a confession: I haven’t tried these out yet. Designer liner doesn’t feel appropriate for the office so I will have to wait for a special occasion to rock these cat-eye liner strips. I’ll be sure to keep everyone posted on how these turn out.

3. colorescience pro® Pressed Mineral Foundation ($50 for 0.42 oz). I brought this Puff on my road trip with Mom to see my sister at Indiana University this weekend and it was a life-saver. The little is full of about 3-4 days of mineral make-up which you can layer for additional coverage. I used this in place of my usual concealer (which I forgot) and powder and it worked really well and lasted +12 hours. Very impressed with this little puff!

4. LA FRESH® Eco Beauty Waterproof Makeup Remover – Pouch of 24 ($9.99 for one pouch of 24 wipes). These were also a life-saver on my road trip when I was running around but they weren’t really a stand-out from other makeup removers I’ve tried. I still had to moisturize after using these even though the package says it will condition your skin after use.

EXTRA: I received two extras this month (1) a hot pink heart-shaped nail file board and (2) six free songs from Green River Ordinance.

Ashley

Past Birchboxes:

January 2011.

December 2011.

November 2011.

My January Birchbox

It… finally… came. Sadly my “January” box didn’t arrive until January 30th and the last few days I have been test driving the products so unfortunately this post comes a few days into February. But I have to say, it was worth the wait this month.

My January 2012 Birchbox Contained:

1. Juicy Couture – Viva La Juicy – 3.4 oz. This perfume smells delicious but since I already found my signature scent, I suspect I’ll be sticking with my signature scent from Jo Malone.

2. stila Smudge Stick Waterproof Eye Liner. I had a lovely brown eyeliner from stila which I used all-up (and I’m not sure why I didn’t buy another). stila has a great eyeliner formula – however the color I got from Birchbox this month was ‘peacock’, a bright teal blue which I just don’t see myself wearing. But Birchbox has a neutral-looking brown on the website and I think I would really love that.

3. BORGHESE CuraForte Moisture Intensifier. This is an interesting product meant to boost your moisturizer however so far I have not experienced any real moisture boosts since using it. Maybe I’m using it wrong? Has anyone tried this?

4. Jouer Body Butter. This body butter smells divine – so mature and sophisticated and the formula is silky but not slimy. I really enjoy this stuff!

5. LÄRABAR Mini Bars. Each bar has nine ingredients max and no ‘icky’ ingredients. And this month I happened to get a flavor I would have never tried on my own but am so glad I did – Coconut Cream Pie. Confession: I am not a huge fan of coconut, especially coconut texture. But this little bar was smooth, not overly chewy and the taste took me to a beach in the tropics – so summer-y and delicious!

EXTRA: A small Birchbox magnet for the fridge (and matches my hot pink kitchen perfectly!).

Am I too scared of colored eyeliner? Does anyone have any thoughts for wearing colored eyeliner after Halloween?

Ashley

Past Birchboxes:

November 2011.

December 2011.

My December Birchbox

My December Birchbox finally came in the mail yesterday. Apparently there was a delay with their distribution supply company and I was awarded Birchbox points for the wait. I can’t help but appreciate when companies take initiative to please their customers like that. So many times I have felt like my business didn’t mean anything to a particular company. Usually I solve this by “voting with my dollars” as Ian would say and just not shop with that company again. I was so surprised that Birchbox took initiative to email me about why my box had been delayed and to award me points for the wait.

Thank you Birchbox for having class!

As I have said before, I adore Birchbox. I have found several of my favorite beauty and lifestyle products through their service and I really enjoy getting a small box of goodies each month. When I saw my December box in my post-Christmas mail pile, I was very excited to see what I would get.

 My December 2011 Birchbox Contained:

1. Benefit The POREfessional ($29 for full-size). Despite Benefit being a popular beauty brand, this is the first product I have ever tried from them. The POREfessional is meant to act as pore-minimizing primer. When I put it on it when on cleanly like velvet and helped my concealer go on very easily. I’m always in the market for a good primer and this one may very well make it to my make-up bag.

2. Harvey Prince Yogini – 8.8 ml ($26 for full-size). The scent was so-so. Yogini is supposed to be a more sophisticated ‘new-age’ scent. While I like the concept, the scent didn’t live up to its promise. But then again I have never enjoyed Harvey Prince scents so if you are a fan you may enjoy this.

3. Nuxe Huile Prodigieuse® OR Multi-Usage Dry Oil Shimmer 50 ml ($40 for 50 ml). This stuff was fun – a dry oil with a subtle gold shimmer which is perfect for a night out or a tropical vacation. However since I do not often go out to gold-shimmer appropriate events so I’ll just save the trial-size for my next tropical vacation (here’s wishing).

4. Jouer Moisturizing Lip Gloss ($20 for full-size). This was a nice formula and a pretty pink color but didn’t seem to last very long. I’m going to give it a few more test runs but I’ll likely be sticking with my regular lip gloss.

5. Showstoppers® Designer Fashion Tape in Nude/Black ($9.99 for a full pack). This stuff is INCREDIBLY handy to have. Fashion tape is extremely useful not just for fixing cleavage problems but also for keeping shoulder straps in place. I love to have these around for special events.

6. EBOOST Orange Natural Energy Booster. Very similar to the Vita-C stuff I already drink. And it never hurts to have more Vitamin C in your diet!

Ashley

Why I Love Birchbox (and you will too)

I discovered Birchbox back in February and have been obsessed since, eagerly awaiting my box of goodies each month. If you’re trying to think of something fun and spontaneous to give as a gift, give a Birchbox subscription. Birchbox, a $10 a month service, is one of the most addictive subscriptions: every month they send you 4-5 high-profile beauty samples for you to try out. What I love about this is it allows me to try products which I would normally never have tried, especially ones that cost +$30. An added bonus? All the small sample sizes are perfect for traveling so I keep a toiletries bag packed with my Birchbox samples in case I have any last minute travel plans.
 
Since February I’ve become addicted to several products I’ve received through my Birchbox…
 

My Favorite Beauty Products (discovered through Birchbox):

1. Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Oil-Free Lotion. Even though I was skeptical about this oil-free formula since I have rather dry skin this amazing and cooling moisturizer works perfect in the summer (though as it gets colder I’m using my heavier moisturizers more often).
 
2. LIV GRN C2C Fragrance Collection in Natural. This stuff smells like heaven. I never thought I would spend $60 on a bottle of perfume until this stuff.
 
3. Number 4 Lumiere d’hiver Reconstructing Masque. I’ve written about this stuff before in my first “Life Upgrades” post – it literally inspired Lifevesting’s product reviews. This masque conditions and treats my hair beautifully without weighing it down.
 
4. Pür Minerals 4-in-1 Pressed Mineral Foundation with SPF 15. Again I was skeptical of this since my skin tends to be rather dry but I love how light and easy this is to use when I’m running late in the morning.
 
5. Twistband Hair Ties. Over Thanksgiving I introduced my sister to these and all of the sudden one of them disappeared. And I dont blame her… these are simple and fun but dress-up a simple ponytail. Plus they dont tug on my hair and look a lot better than a scrunchie on my wrist.
 
Back last week I got my November box in the mail and was excited to try the new products and share my thoughts (and photos) with you:

Chocolate from my November Birchbox

 My November 2011 Birchbox Contained:

1. LaROCCA Champagne and Shimmer Acai Sugar Polish – I wasn’t a huge fan of this scrub. While it sounded luxurious the $35 scrub made my skin greasy and oily but I did enjoy the champagne scent of this. But I think for now I’ll stick to scrubbing gloves and my favorite body wash for exfoliating.

2. Chuao Chocolate Bars – MY FAVORITE THING THIS MONTH! Oh soooo delicious! I got the Firecracker flavor which has popping candies and a hint of chipotle and it was such a rich and complex taste. I will definatly be grabbing a few of these and giving them as stocking stuffers this holiday season.

3. Klorane Soothing Eye Makeup Remover with Cornflower Water – I don’t think I’ll be buying a full-size of this eye makeup remover but it’s nice to have a travel size sample ready for vacation!

4. Oscar Blandi Jasmine Protein Mist – this mist is a nice multi-tasker: use it on dry hair to change the style or use it on wet to protect and detangle. This works similarly to the No. 4 Comb and Protect Spray which I am obsessed with and if I weren’t such a brand loyalist I’d buy a full-size – this version is cheaper than the No. 4 and is great for long hair.

5. Zoya Gems & Jewels Collection in Noel. For some reason blue nailpolish gives me the willies (except navy nail polish which I love)… I can do almost any other color but blue on my fingernails feels frostbitten so I wasn’t a huge fan of this but the other colors in this collection, especially the greens look gorgeous and nicely formulated.

I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving! I had one of the best of my life: everyone was healthy, the meal was delicious, the family time was fun and joyful… what more could anyone want from Thanksgiving?

I also tried to shop on Black Friday with my sister and mother but gosh, aren’t all those long lines a turn-off? Honestly, I’d almost rather not get “the amazing deal” in exchange for a pleasant and civilized shopping experience.

What do you think? Would you pay more just to avoid shopping on Black Friday?

Ashley

Life Upgrade – Number Four High Performance Hair Care

Lifevesting’s First Ever Product Highlight:

Photo From Behind the Chair

Number Four High Performance Hair Care

I first learned about Number Four when a small sample of the Lumiere d’hiver Reconstructing Masque™ came with my August 2011 Birchbox (I’ll post more on Birchbox later). With its intriguing scent mixture of acai berry, hibiscus, mangosteen, oolong tea, black currant and yerba mate I was curious enough to try it that night in the shower. I applied the masque to my [thick/disobedient/ever-frizzy] long locks and waited five minutes wondering what a $60 bottle of hair masque could possibly do for me that hundreds of other products couldn’t.

When I washed off the masque and blow-dried my hair all I could think was…

Woah…

Oh…

Ah…

Woah…

I was hooked. My hair felt soft and silky. After blow-drying it had all the bounce and curl of Kate Middleton’s locks and stayed silky even after my next wash (sans masque). Birchbox was also kind enough to include a small one-use sample of Number Four’s L’eau de Mer Hydrating Shampoo™. Again, this product was hair bliss in a tube. Another favorite which I bought a full-sized bottle of without even testing first is their Lumiere d’hiver Super Comb Prep and Protect Spray™ which I spritz on before blow-drying or straightening and which helps calm frizz in-between weekly masque treatments.

The line’s name comes from the four signature Liquid Complexes™ used in each product. The best part about these products? The entire line is 100% vegan, sulfate free, gluten free, paraben-free and never tested on animals. As someone who never spent more than $7 on a bottle of hair product before it takes a lot to convert me and I was amazingly surprised at how wonderful and well-rounded these products were. Though the hefty price tag may scare you, these are products are worth spending your hard-earned cash on.

Ashley