Tuesday, November 3, 2015

October 2015 Birchbox - Positive Force - Unboxing & Review

Hello! Hope you're having a great day! For this post, I want to share with you my October 2015 Birchbox.
Pretty! And also off-center. Hmm. You also might notice that I don't have a Youtube video about this box to embed in this post; I don't know why, but it's been kind of hard for me to film lately. Bad timing, bad lighting, not feeling well, not having time...there always seems to be something that gets in the way. Which I think means that I just don't really want to film right now, even though I might not want to admit it to myself. I've been going through some life changes again and it's been hard to find motivation to do much of anything really. So I apologize for my lack of posting and filming and I hope that you still find these interesting and informative, if somewhat late.
With the month of October, companies seem to go one of two ways: Halloween or breast cancer awareness. Birchbox went with the latter and (unfortunately) partnered with Estee Lauder (it's kind of a long story and a soapbox topic of mine, but basically Estee Lauder wanted to purchase the idea of using a pink ribbon to support breast cancer awareness and use it as a marketing thing from the lady that came up with it and she refused to sell. Instead of dropping the idea, Estee Lauder changed the color of the ribbon slightly and now uses it to push their products in the month of October. It is important to be aware of breast cancer and to be able to talk about it freely, but it's not okay to use it to sell products) and released two specially curated boxes of Estee Lauder products. I went with my normal, surprise box and just picked my sample choice.
Overall, my October Birchbox was alright; it wasn't bad, but it was kind of dull. I'll get use out of all the products, and I am happy with the sample I got to choose, but I think I liked what other people got in their boxes a little more (but that's usually how it goes; the grass is always greener on the other side).

I almost forgot to do my quick Birchbox information run down: it's a $10 a month beauty subscription service. You get about five (sometimes an extra or two) deluxe and full sized samples, though you very, very rarely get anything full sized. The best featured of the Birchbox subscription is the reward system; for every product you get (including extras), you can review them on the site to earn points. You earn 10 points for every review and earn $10 to spend in the Birchbox store for every 100 points you collect. Birchbox also runs a lot of promos and you get free shipping on products from the brands that were sampled that month (or on everything if you're a Birchbox Ace, which is pretty easy to do). The samples themselves aren't as good as some other services, but the reward system is top-notch.

Birchbox also has farily informative, uh, information cards, though it would be better if they listed the size of the full size products along with their price. It's not that difficult to research, though, since all of the products featured are sold directly through Birchbox, so you don't have to hunt them down online like with Ipsy. I got the standard five products this month, and this was also the first time that I noticed that the products are listed in alphabetical order. And I've been with Birchbox for a long time now...
My first product is a Soothing Moisture Mask from the brand Avene. I've used Avene's spa water spray before and loved it (I know some people thing it's stupid to spend money on aerosol water, and it kind of is, but it's really soothing and feels nice right after you shave or if you have any skin irritation), so I was happy to get another product to sample from them. You basically just put this mask on, leave it on for 10-15 minutes, then wipe off the excess. I don't think you have to rinse it, which is nice. It's supposed to banish redness and irritation, which makes sense since that's what the spa water is used for. The full size is 50mL for $26, making this 5mL sample worth about $2.60.
Next is the sample I picked! This is Benefit's Roller Lash mascara and is one of my favorite mascaras ever. The formula is so-so (though it washes off really easily, which is nice), but the brush is pretty awesome. It's really grips my lashes and coats them evenly and fully. Benefit claims that this mascara is 12-hour wear, which I don't really agree with since it does wash off so readily; if you have watery eyes I don't think this mascara is going to stick around for long, though it doesn't seem to flake on me. It also apparently has B5 pro-vitamin for lash conditioning, though they don't seem to advertise it as such. The full size is 8.5g for $24, making this 3g sample worth about $8.50.
Another well-loved brand and a product I think I have tried before (if not this exact one, then I know for sure I've used the other products in the Ceramidin line), but a sample I'm happy to have regardless. This is the Dr. Jart+ (I guess that + is actually part of the brand name) Ceramidin Cream. It is a lightweight hydrating cream with ceramides (lipids found in your skin) and folic acid. It provides relief from eczema, redness, and dryness and it prevents cell DNA damage from pollution, UV exposure, and irritation. Dr. Jart+ is a Korean brand, and was one of the first ones that was readily available in the United States through Sephora (it was the first Korean BB creams I ever used and it's still basically my favorite, though I would recommend only getting the original or the black label detox since the radiance one is way too dewy). The full size is $48 for 50mL, so this 5m sample is worth about $4.80.
Still yet another brand that I've tried before, and a product I've even sampled before (though not from Birchbox so it's not a double sample or anything). This is Klorane's Gentle Dry Shampoo with Oat Milk and it's actually one of my favorite dry shampoos that I've ever tried. Unlike a lot of other dry shampoos, which leave my hair feeling, well, dry!, this one leaves it hydrated and clean feeling. It uses corn and rice starch to minimize residue (I have platinum blonde hair, so I rarely see any dry shampoo residue anyways. I have no clue how this product would look on darker hair unfortunately) and it softens your hair with oat milk (which I think it definitely does!). The full size of this product is 3.2oz for $20, so this 1oz sample is worth $6.25.
And, finally, I got a sample of Manna Kadar Cosmetics Lip Locked 3-in-1 lip product in the color Lucky. This was probably the most interesting product in my October Birchbox just because it was something that I hadn't tried before (though I have gotten products from Manna Kadar Cosmetics). It's a primer, lip-stain, and lip gloss in one and the color, Lucky, is described as a nude petal-pink.
I do like how Manna Kadar calls it a "priming gloss stain"; it sounds a lot more elegant.
It's definitely a nudey-pink, but I think it's one that will look at least decent on me (I discovered that nude-mauves work much better for me). It seems kind of sheer, which makes sense for a lip gloss, but I'm curious to see how a color as light as this will stain. I'm also curious as to how well it works as primer, since it would be interesting to layer other lip colors over it (and the other colors this product comes in). It's paraben-free and has vitamins A & E. It also is supposed to have a matte finish which seems kind of impossible for a gloss-product, but hey, it could happen. I do look forward to giving this product a try! The full size is 1.2oz for $24, making this 0.09oz sample worth about $1.80.

And that's my October 2015 Birchbox! Overall, I got five deluxe size samples with a total value of about $23.95 and 50 Birchbox points. Not a very high value, but it's still worth more than I paid for the box. Plus, I got $5 more to spend in the shop!

Thanks for reading! <3

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