First Impressions: Birchbox October 2013

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Yay! Finally doing the last review of my October boxes. I got in all my November boxes this week so I knew I had to get my act together. So here is my box.

The first item is the Avène Cleanance Gel Soapless Cleanser for oily/acne prone skin. I don’t know how they claim to be soapless as this foams up, which is usually because of detergent in the product. Also I do not have oily or acne prone skin so I found this soap a little drying. It does smell nice and fresh and it did a good job taking care of any makeup left on my face after using a makeup wipe.

Full size: $20

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The next item is Curly Solutions Curl Keeper. This is a water based hair serum to help curls stay frizz free. When I first used it I didn’t think it was going to work because this felt like I was pouring water into my hand. I am happy to admit I was wrong as my curls looked great every time I use this. My curls are defined and as frizz free as they could be living in the Deep South. I have gotten a bunch of compliments on my hair. I wish I didn’t just buy a big bottle Quidad Climate Control® Heat & Humidity Gel because I would definitely buy a bottle of this.

Full size: $10

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The next item is DDF Wrinkle Resist Plus Pore Minimizer Moisturizer Serum. This serum is designed to minimize pores and soften fine lines. I didn’t notice any difference when I used this and like most serums and wrinkle creams I think I need to use for an extended period before anything happens.

Full size: $85

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The next item is theBalm cosmetics Stainiac in Beauty Queen. This is a lip and cheek stain similar to Benefit’s Benetint. I’m not a fan of either product. I find they dry too quickly to spread and then I have streaks where I first put the product.

Full size: $17

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The last item is a Birchbox Find, which is Chapstick Hydration Lock in Vanilla Créme. This is nice and reminds me of the medicated Chapstick. When I first started using it I thought it was a little too waxy for me but now it is the perfect balance you would want in a lip balm, not too waxy and not too greasy.

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Not the best box but it was saved by the awesome Curl Keeper serum.

First Impressions: beautybox 5 and Birchbox September 2013

Hi, reader! Looks like time got away from me again this month. I realized that today was the last day of the month and I still haven’t done my beautybox 5 and Birchbox review. I also have my POPSUGAR Must Have box to post too. Boy time goes by so quickly when you have things to do.

First up is my beautybox 5 box.

As you might notice beautybox 5 info card has a new look. Their info card looks more like Birchbox’s info card. And they now have a monthly theme. This month’s theme is “on the go” with products to help with the woman on the go.

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The first product is the Bella Pierre Cosmetics Shimmer Powder in Celebration. As the info card says this can be used anywhere you need sparkle. I think this has too much color, at least for my pale skin, to use as all over shimmer powder. I used this as an eyeshadow and it worked nicely. The only downside is I have a ton of eyeshadows this color. I guess it is a good thing I love gold eye shadows.

Full size: .08 oz for $15

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The next item is the Body Drench Lip Drench lip balm in Grapefruit. This is nice, not too greasy and too oily. And the best part is that it smells like yummy grapefruit! After the first use I threw it my purse and I think think I might like this more than my EOS lip balm.

Full size: .15 oz for $4.99

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The next item is Fine Featherheads Fly Ties. Hair ties! I love hair ties and I can always use more. I really like the colors too. If you want to get your own set of Fly Ties hair ties click here to visit there website. Don’t worry the link isn’t a referral or affiliate link.

Full size: 4 pack for $7.95

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The next item is Skiin Shop Instant Skin Tightener & Line Filler. The info card says this is “plastic surgery in a bottle” and it lifts, tightens and rehydrates your skin. I used this a few times and didn’t notice any miracles. This might be a product that needs to be used a while to notice any results.

Full size: .5 oz for $39.95

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The last item is Every Beauty Makeup Remover Pads with Argan Oil. After the hair ties I was probably the most excited for this product. These are dry makeup wipes that you add to activate and I could finally get a face wipe that wouldn’t be too dry. Well, this is the product. After using it I wasn’t that impressed. I don’t think that it did that good of a job taking off my makeup and it barely touched my waterproof liner and mascara. Definitely needed to follow up with a separate cleanser.

Full size: 50 count for $6.99

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Now on to my Birchbox.

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As you can see from the picture above the theme this month was Heritage, which celebrates Birchbox 3rd anniversary.

The first item in the box is Benefit Cosmetics Sugarbomb Ultra Plush lip gloss. Definitely my favorite item in this box. Adds just enough color to my lips and is a great color, a great neutral pink that isn’t too cool or too warm. But the best thing about this lip gloss is that this isn’t sticky at all, of course that means it doesn’t have any staying power but I’m okay with that. Another downside is that it has a strong tropical fruit scent.

Full size: $16

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The next item is the COOLA Matte SPF 30 Face. This is a mineral based sunscreen, which means no yucky sunscreen smell!, and has a slight yellow tint that helps neutralize redness. This feels like a face primer and it worked great under my foundation. I really liked this and if it was a little cheaper I would totally buy this right now.

Full price: $36

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The next item is the Juice Beauty Green Apple Peel Sensitve. This is a facial peel for sensitive skin. I have tried this yet as I’m a little afraid about what will happen. I know it is designed for sensitive skin but yeah. I’m a scaredy cat. It does smell like green apples.

Full size: $39

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The next item is the Racinne Ultimate Youth Power Eye Serum. This serum is to help with fine lines and dark circles. Like the Skiin Shop line filler I got in my beautybox 5 box, I didn’t notice any immediate results and this is probably something that needs to be used for a while. Also this weirdly smells like hairspray, thankfully it doesn’t last long. This isn’t moisturizing at all so I have to add a moisturizer over it.

Full size: $36

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The last item in the box is the RUFFIAN nail lacquer in Delirium. I haven’t used this yet but it is a pretty shiny purple. Sorry I forgot to take a swatch picture but it looks just like the bottle color.

Full size: $10

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So that was my two boxes. I am happy with both boxes and surprisingly I think the beautybox 5 box was my favorite beauty box this month. They have really stepped up their boxes.

Birchbox and Ipsy August 2013

Hi everyone. So I’m late again with my Birchbox and Ipsy posts so I am combining them again this month.

Since I have a lot to share let’s just get started.

The theme for Birchbox this month was Finishing School, with the boxes this month giving you items to help you finish a look.

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The first item is the Dr. Jart+ Premium BB Cream SPF 45+. Like all BB creams this is supposed to help even out your skintone, protect against the sun, and do other helpful skin beneficial things. First off this does not have that icky sunscreen smell! but this one size fits all color is a little too dark for my skin. It does blend out nicely and doesn’t look really obvious that I’m wearing something too dark for my skin tone. This does a decent job of evening out my skin tone but I still put my regular foundation on over it. I don’t think I would buy the full size but I will finish up the sample.

Full size: $39

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As you can see, this is a little too dark for me. The pale pasty hand on the left is without the BB cream and the hand on the right has it on.

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The next item is the Jasmine Seven Fresh Feet Wipes. These wipes are for quickly refreshing your feet. These smelled nice and pepperminty. I am a morning shower person so I think these are a great idea to use so I won’t but dirty feet in my bed.

Full size: $25.95

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The next item is the ModelCo party Proof lipstick in Kitty. This is a semi-matte lipstick that is hydrating and long lasting. While I do agree that this is hydrating, I don’t think it is any longer lasting than other lipsticks. This has a nice fruity scent and goes on smoothly. Kitty is a great nude color for me. It gives a little bit of color and doesn’t wash out my lips.

Full size: set of three for $24

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The next item is the Number 4 Super Comb Prep & Protect spray. This is a leave in conditioner that protects your hair from heat style and uv rays, and detangles. I was not that impressed with this. While it did a decent job detangling, it is not a good leave in conditioner.

Full size: $32

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The last item in the box is the Miss Jessie’s Original Super Slip Sudsy Shampoo. This product is to help conquer tangles, dryness, and frizz. This shampoo has a really weird texture. One time I had a craft at work to make slime and that is what this shampoo feels like. This shampoo also does not get foamy or bubbly. Though it did get my hair clean. I like the fruity smell.

Full size: $14

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Everything I got in my box.

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On to Ipsy. Their theme for this month was Glamour Academy. Obviously school was on Birchbox and Ipsy’s brain for this month.

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The bag for this month.

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The first item in the bag was MICAbeauty Cosmetics Shimmer Powder in Bronze. I looked on MICAbeauty’s website to see what a shimmer powder is and this is listed under the eyeshadow, which is a good thing because that is how I was using it. This is mineral eyeshadow that is a pretty golden peach shadow. It went on very smoothly and stayed on until I washed it off.

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Here is an eye look I did using the Shimmer Powder. It is on the lid, not sure what else I used. I should really make this post when I take these pictures or at least make notes somewhere.

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The next item is the Pixi Lash Booster mascara in black. This is an okay mascara, nothing special about it.

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The next item is the Chella Dazzling Dark brown eyebrow color. I prefer powder to fill in my brows so I wasn’t that thrilled to get the pencil. Also this is a little too dark and red toned for my brows. I can get it to work but I rather use something else that I don’t have to make work.

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The next item is the Michael Todd Jojoba Charcoal facial scrub. This was my favorite thing in the bag. I have sensitive skin that becomes irritated with any scrub but this is gentle enough that I didn’t have any problems with it. The scrub bits are kinda spongey so while they scrub they are not too harsh. One suggestion I would make it to use this in your shower. The black charcoal part is kinda messy when removing it.

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The last item is the Urban Decay Revolution Lipstick in Anarchy. This is super pigmented and long lasting.

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Here is everything I got in my Ipsy bag.

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So that is what I got in my boxes this month.

Birchbox and Ipsy July 2013

Since I was bad this month with writing blog posts. And it is already August I thought it would be best to combine Birchbox and Ipsy together in one posts.

First up is Birchbox. For the July box they had the USA Network show “Suits” help curate the box and everyone got a product picked by them.

So here is what I got in my box.

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The first item is the Kérastase Fondant Chroma Captive. This product is to keep your dyed hair shiny and last longer. This is not a conditioner but something to use after you wash your hair. You put it in and rinse it out after 2-3 minutes. I do dye my hair but I haven’t used this yet.

Full size: $41 (I think this is crazy expensive for what is essentially a L’Oreal product.)

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The next item is the ModelCo Fibre LASHXTEND Lengthening Mascara. This is a mascara with fibers in it to extend the length of your mascara. I gave this away as I have had bad experiences with fiber mascaras. I do think it is cool that the have a mirror on the bottle.

Full size: $24

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The next item is theBalm cosmetics InStain Long-Wearing Powder Staining Blush in the shade Swiss Dot. This is a blush stain in powder form. This is definitely long lasting. I put it on at 8am and it was still there 12 hours later.

Full size: $22

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I put in a large paper clip to show the size of the sample.

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The next item and the Suits pick is Benta Berry G-1 Moisturizing Face cream. This is so full of perfume that I could barely wear this. This is also very matte and would be better for oily skin.

Full size: $22

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The last item is Birchbox bobby pins. While I think these are really cute I feel that they are really big, at least for how I style my hair, and hard to put on.

Set of six, $5

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So now on to the Ipsy bag.

The theme:

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The bag:

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The contents:

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The first item is Big Sexy Hair Weather Proof Humidity Resistance Spray. This spray is used to protect your hair from humidity. Can’t say that I noticed any difference between using using this and not using it.

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The next item is the Coola Mineral Sunscreen unscented with SPF 20. This is a physical sunscreen so no nasty sunscreen smell! Yay! This absorbs quickly and didn’t make my face greasy or effect my makeup. If this wasn’t so expensive, full size is $36 for 1.7 oz., I would definitely buy a full size.

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The next item is the Nailtini polish in Mai Tai. Not a fan of the color, a tangerine orange, but it applied nicely on the swatch nail.

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The next item is the Pop Beauty Pouty Pop crayon in Coral Crush. This applied nicely, feels more like a lip balm than a lipstick. I was surprised by how pink this was, more pink than coral.

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The last item is the BH cosmetics California Collection eye palette. This is a collection of three eye shadows from their three California themed collections. The gold eyeshadow was the most pigmented and the purple color barely had any and was also hard to work with.

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Here is a look I did using the palette.

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Here is a look using the eye palette from the Ipsy bag and the blush from Birchbox.

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So that is my two boxes for the month.

First Impressions: Birchbox June 2013

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So first thing, Birchbox got a new look. Gone is the cute pink birch square and in its place is the design below and the picture above. I like the old logo design better but they are using this one since they feel it is more globally appealing as they now have offices in New York, London, Paris, and Madrid. The box itself also got a makeover. The box is a little more sturdy and now has a super cute chevron design on the inside.

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This month’s theme is Wanderlust which is perfect since I am actually going on a work trip next week. It will be my first time in Chicago and I’m super excited! Anyway back to the box. My Birchboxes have been pretty awesome lately and this is no exception. If you are interested in your own box and want to help me out click here.

Here is all my goodies. See the cute chevron pattern I was talking about?

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The first thing in the box is the Birchbox + Color Club polish in Reign in Spain. Birchbox worked with Color Club to make a four polish collection to represent their four locations. As I’m sure you can tell by the name I got the color that represents their Madrid office. This is a bright neon peach. This color is awesome for summer. It took three coats to cover the nail wheel so I might have to use polish thinner before using it in my nails. In case you are wondering the other colors in the set were a neon mint green (the one I really wanted), a purple,and white polish.

Full size: $8 for set of four mini polishes

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The next item is the DevaCurl 3-Step System. I have used DevaCurl before, not sure if I used this one, no poo, or if I used the low poo. When I used it before I thought it was okay but I didn’t like it enough to buy again. The gel was also decent, but again while it worked it didn’t impress me enough to buy again. I haven’t used these packets yet because I’m going to take them with me on my work trip. These will fit much better in my 1oz baggy for the airport then little plastic bottles. I’m a little nervous about taking untried products on a trip but I’ll be brave. If my hair ends up looking horrible I guess I can take comfort in the fact that I will probably never see any of the people at this conference again and librarians tend look eccentric anyway.

Full size: $19 for each

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The next item is the Eyeko Skinny Liquid Eyeliner in black. This is a felt tip liquid liner and it applies wonderfully. I love liquid liners, especially if it is the felt tip variety. This also came off easily when I washed my makeup off, which leads me to believe that this isn’t waterproof. Saying that it didn’t move and it looked the same before I washed it off for the night as it did that morning when I applied it. I thought this was great and Birchbox’s website shows that it comes it several other colors so I might buy another liner in navy.

I used liner in my Glamour Doll Eyes post so click here to check it out.

Full size: $15

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The next item is the suki Exfoliate Foaming Cleanser. This is a two-in-one cleanser and sugar exfoliator that lathers, which is pretty cool. This also smells wonderful, nice and lemony. This worked really well, my face felt nice and squeaky clean. My sensitive skin is not a fan of exfoliation so I can’t use this too often. Also I would only use this in the shower as I prefer to use a facial soap that I can use on my eyes when taking off makeup, my favorite product for that is Philosophy’s Purity Made Simple. Overall I really liked this product and definitely will use up my sample not sure about a full size purchase.

The nail polish I’m wearing in the picture is Zoya Gemma, in case you were wondering.

Full size: $32.95

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The last item in the box was a Lifestyle Extra of Tweezerman Matchbox Itty Bitty Nail Files. While I think the packaging and the files themselves are really cute I just not a nail filer person. I just can’t get the hang of filing my nails. Also the the file grit seems kind of sparse for this to be an effective filer. I think I’m going to give these away even though they are tiny and cute.

Full size: $5 (which I think is what this is)

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Birchbox also included in the box five postcards to celebrate their new offices. These are really cute. I have seen on the Makeuptalk Forum that people were going to frame them, which I think I might do too.

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So that’s my box for the month. Another great month! Can’t wait until next month. I’ve read that the box will be themed around the USA network show “Suits”. I have never seen the show before so I have no idea what kinda of products would be going in the box. All I know about the show is that it is set in a lawyer firm and there is a guy pretending to be a lawyer because he never went to law school.

Until next time!

First Impressions: Birchbox May 2013

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The theme for this month’s box is Beauty Diaries. Personally, I think they made the theme generic so they can give out things that have been sampled before. Three of the things that were in my box, I’ve seen before in other people’s unboxing videos and posts. Saying that, I really liked this box. Two of the samples that I got I’ve really wanted to try and thought about buying just to get them. Also I think the info card this month was cute. Love the Mad Lib diary format. So enough chit chat and let’s get into the box.

As always if you are interested in the box and want to help me out, click here.

The first thing in the box was the Beauty Protector Protect & Detangle spray. This is supposed to lock in color, add shine, and detangle. I can’t speak about the first two things but it does detangle. This spray made it so much easier to comb through my curly hair that likes to knot up. This also smells really good, kinda sweet, and the scent lasts a long time. Not sure if I would buy the full size but I will definitely use up this sample.

Full size, $21.95

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The next item is the Isaac Mizrahi FABULOUS Isaac Mizrahi Eau de Parfum. Sigh. Another perfume sample. This perfume has a blend of mandarin, jasmine, and vanilla. I didn’t smell the mandarin at all but I do get the jasmine and vanilla as I think it smells like a sweet floral scent. I didn’t get the initial perfume headache so I thought this might be something I could wear. But no. After about an hour of wearing I found the scent overwhelming and I got my headache. And lucky me this is pretty long lasting perfume. So in the give away bag it goes.

Full size, $20-69

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The next item is the Supergoop! Daily Correct SPF 35 CC Cream. This evens out your skin tone and protects against UVA, UVB, and infrared-A rays. I don’t know what infrared-A rays are so I guess it’s a good thing this protects against them. This only comes in two shades, light/medium and medium/dark so I thought this probably wouldn’t work for me but this blends out perfectly. While this does even out my skin tone I still needed to wear a foundation with this. My favorite thing about this product is that there is no sunscreen smell!!! Yay! I liked it so much that I already purchased the full size. I think this would be great for days I don’t want to wear a full face of makeup and also for traveling. The only thing I don’t like about this is I wish it was cheaper.

Full size, $32

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The next product is Whish Shave Crave shaving cream. This is a foam-free shaving cream that contains organic shea butter to keep your legs moisturized. I really wanted to try this product, probably because of the blueberry scent, so I was thrilled to get this in my box. I’m glad I resisted buying the full size because I think this is only so-so. I like a thick shave cream so I can see where I have already shaved. This is a thin cream, probably because it is foam-free, so it was hard to tell what I have already shaved and didn’t. I have sensitive skin and shaving is super irritating to my legs in case you were wondering why I have to be careful not to reshave in the same place. I did like the scent and it does a decent job of moisturizing but I feel I could get the same effect with using a hair conditioner for a lot less money. I’ll use up the sample but most likely won’t purchase the full size.

Full size, $20

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The last two products in my box, yep I got six products this month!, are both from Amika. The first is the Obliphica Nourishing Mask and the second is the Obliphica Hair Treatment. The nourishing mask works the same as the Macadamia Natural Oil Deep Repair Masque, which is an extra rich conditioner that helps to repair damaged and dry hair. The Hair treatment is fragrant hair oil. I’m sorry to say that I haven’t tried these out yet. I keep forgetting to take them out the box and I think the foil package of hair just seems like it would be really messy.

Obliphica Nourishing Mask: Full size, $12-40
Obliphica Hair Treatment: Full size, $34

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So I think this is probably my best Birchbox to date. I got things I wanted to try and found a new favorite. Can’t beat that. So if you want to see how I filled out my beauty diary, here is what I put.

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First Impressions: Birchbox April 2013

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This month’s Birchbox was sponsored by Women’s Health magazine and the theme is Tiny Tweaks, Big Results. Beside the items in my box I also got a year’s subscription to Women’s Health magazine, which has a value of $10. Right away this box has a great value, the subscription alone is the cost of the box.

If you are interested in Birchbox and want to help me out click here.

The first item in my box is the Caudalie Divine Oil. This oil is a blend of grape, argan, hibiscus, and sesame oils and can be used for hair, skin, and nails. This seems moisturizing enough but I don’t like the way it smells. Way too perfumey for me. It wasn’t as bad as the Premiere Cru I got in my Sample Society box but it was still too strong for me. I’m going to stick with my plain argan oil that works great and doesn’t have a scent. This is going in my give away bag.

The full size prize of this is $9-49.

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The next item is Mirenesse Glossy Kiss lipstick in 7. Quick Kiss. This is a bright red coral shade. This product can also be used as a blush. I don’t think I’ll be trying that. This fades pretty quickly into a pink. I wouldn’t suggest this if you are looking for something long lasting or if you don’t like to reapply your lip product. This was nice and I’ll use it but not something I would need to repurchase as there are cheaper products I like better, though I like the pencil applicator as it makes it easier to apply this bright color.

The full size price is $26.55.

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The next item is the Nexxus Youth Renewal Rejuvenating Elixir. According to the product card, “this new shine-boosting serum cures dry strands and reduces the odds of age-related breakage.” This is suppose to help with the 8 signs of hair aging, though the product card doesn’t say what the 8 signs are. This is a thin serum that has a nice light scent. It did leave me hair soft and I can tell where I put the majority of the product. This is a small sample so I will be using the rest. Not that I wouldn’t use this if this was a large sample. I guess I’m saying don’t know if you would buy a full size but I’ll use the rest of what I have.

The full size is $20.99.

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The next item is the Vitivia Pro: Vitamin capsules. Both capsules have a silicon primer feel and no scent. So that was great for me. The orange capsules contain vitamin A and will help refine pores and smooth fine lines. This is applied at night before moisturizer. The brown capsules contain vitamin C and will help fight wrinkles and age spots. This is a applied in the morning before moisturizer and makeup. There was a four day supply of both, this wasn’t enough to make a noticeable difference but I really liked these. In the four days of use it did help with the dry spots on my cheeks and my foundation went on smoothly without the need of an additional primer I normally have to use. I would love to buy these in a full size but this is really expensive. This is sold in a 28 day supply for $55 and that $55 is for a 28 supply of the vitamin A and another $55 for a 28 supply of the vitamin C capsules. Unless I win the lottery I could never justify $110 in skin care that wouldn’t even last a full month. Doing the math it would cost me $1540 a year! If only I was indecently wealthy.

The full six is $55.

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The last item in the box is a Birchbox Find and it is the Simple Revitalizing Eye roll-on. This is suppose to reduce puffiness and revitalize tired eyes by instantly cooling and gently massaging the eye area. I didn’t notice any difference using this. It didn’t help with puffiness and I didn’t think it made my eyes look more awake. It does feel nice with the cold metal applicator ball but that’s about all I can say about it.

Not sure how much the full price is since this product was not listed on my product card. I have seen this brand at Walmart so I would say this is probably under $10, but that is a guess.

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So that is my box for this month. Pretty decent box as I would use everything except for one item and that is because I have perfume sensitivity, not because it didn’t work. Can’t wait for next month and Birchbox if you are reading this, and I doubt you are, feel free it to put some more Vitivia Pro: Vitamin capsules in next month’s box.