Product Review: What I thought of my BirchBox goodies…

So a while back I mentioned that I’d received a nifty little package in the mail from BirchBox.  Then, a month later, I received my second one (it’s a monthly subscription).  I told you guys that I was going to take all of my goodies with me on my vacation to Lake Tahoe and let you know what I thought.

So, I did take everything, but I didn’t use everything.  I’m not all about the whole makeup wearing/hair arranging when I’m on vacation so there were several items that I haven’t used yet.  I WILL let you know what I think about them when I do.  Promise. 

Here’s what I’ve used (and what I think about it) so far…

Borghese Bagno Di Vita Soak

I used these bath salts the day we arrived in Tahoe.  I was exhausted from travelling (I’m sure having to be at the airport at 5am had something to do with that) and I just wanted to chill when we finally made it into our hotel room.  So, I drew a bath, tossed a package of these suckers in, and soaked for about thirty minutes.  I won’t say that I felt like a million bucks or that I think that these bath salts are anything different than the zillions of other bath salts I’ve used over the years.  However, I will say that they smell very nice, and I like the fact that they turn the water a soft blue color.  It was sort of like being in a small pool. 

theBalm cosmetics Stainiac in Beauty Queen

I actually like this lip stain.  The only thing I don’t like is that you really have to pay attention when you apply it because it can get a little streaky.  As long as you have 30 seconds to focus, and a mirror, you’re all good. This lip stain doesn’t stay on for 12 hours or anything though; if you eat or drink something, it’s gone.  It has a nice, light color though and it doesn’t feel greasy like some lip glosses can. 

LUNA Bar in Chocolate Peppermint Stick

The Luna Bar is AMAZING.  I seriously could devour these.  I’m kind of hoping that Santa remembers to put these in my stocking this year.  YUM YUM!  I’m not sure how they stack up nutritionally against other similar products but the flavor is fabulous and there’s definitely way more protein (8g total) than you’d get by eating a cookie or something similar.  The Chocolate Peppermint flavor has just a subtle mint tone and isn’t overpowering while still being VERY chocolaty.  I’m definitely planning on getting some of these to put in my lunch box.  Soooo good. 

Kerastase Paris Cristalliste Lait Cristal & Bain Cristal with Lumiere Liquide



The Keratase ‘set’ that I got came with a shine serum that I used once on our trip.  I honestly don’t feel like I can really review this because I’m of the opinion that shine serums only work well on my hair when I straighten it, which I didn’t do.  I put a few drops in my wet hair, scrunched it around a bit and ran out the door.  Since I’m wearing my hair curly now I don’t know that I’ll be able to give this product a ‘real’ review since I don’t have any intentions of straightening my hair for a long long time. 



One reason I love snail mail…

Have you heard of BirchBox?  I hadn’t, at least not until a friend of mine posted something on Facebook about it.  It made me curious so I started researching.  Here’s the deal… for $10/month they’ll send you a box full of beauty goodies.  You don’t really know what’s in the box (although they do ask you questions about your skin / eye / hair coloring, etc).  More than a few times I’ve purchased a new beauty product only to try it once or twice and absolutely hate it.  Yes, at most places you can return the product but geez what a hassle.  The concept of BirchBox is great.  They send you mostly sample sizes of new products but some full size ones as well.  The eyeliner and the nail polish I got were both ‘full size’ (although to be fair, those don’t exactly come in ‘trial sizes’ usually).  I like surprises and I definitely like fun beauty stuff so I figured, what the hell.  I can cancel whenever I want so what’s the risk?  Well, I got my first box in this weekend.  I did some research on the items and I want to give you a rundown of what I would have spent if I had gone out and purchased all of these items (at full size) and at full price….

Eyeliner:  $22
Nail Polish:  $3
Foundation:  $34
Shampoo:  $36
Conditioner:  $39
Shine Serum:  $42

TOTAL:  $176

So, basically I spent $10 to try out $176 worth of beauty products.  AND if I hate them, I don’t have to hassle with returning them.  I think I’m in love. 

What to know what was in my box?  Here’s a rundown…

Stila Sparkle Waterproof Liquid Eyeliner in Curacao

So this morning right before I took my shower I did a test line of this eyeliner on my hand.  It’s waterproof for sure!  It took some scrubbing to get it to come off.  I can’t wait to use this stuff when we go on vacation this summer! 

(the one I got is the dark blue one second from the right)


Color Club Professional Nail Lacquer in Disco Nap

I haven’t tried this yet but when I go for my pedicure in a few weeks I think I’m going to give it a go!


Dr. Jart + Water Fuse BB Beauty Balm Multi-Action Skincare + Makeup SPF 25

So I’m pretty curious about this stuff.  It’s formulated for crazy hyper-sensitive skin like mine.  I don’t generally wear anything on my face (just eye makeup and lipstick) however I’m definitely going to give this stuff a shot at some point.  Here’s what Sephora has to say about the product: 

What it is:
A one-step skin perfecting balm that minimizes the need for foundation or concealer.

What it is formulated to do:
A moisturizer, sunscreen, and treatment serum, this all-in-one product also hides imperfections. Made with 50 percent water, Dr. Jart’s Advanced Water Bead Technology helps hydrate and maintain healthy moisture for a dewy, fresh look. Like a drink for your skin, once applied, tiny droplets of water appear before being quickly absorbed, generating an instant soothing and cooling effect.

What it is formulated WITHOUT:
– Sulfates
– Synthetic Fragrances
– Synthetic Dyes
– Petrochemicals
– Phthalates
– GMOs
– Triclosan

Kerastase Paris Cristalliste Lait Cristal & Bain Cristal with Lumiere Liquide

I received a trial size sampling of this product and at first, I wasn’t all that thrilled.  Most of that had to do with the fact that all the writing on the product is in a foreign language (I think French).  I just kept wondering ‘what the heck did they send me?’  After looking it up though, I’m excited to see what this product has to offer.  Here’s what their website has to say:

Introducing the best kept secret for long hair, Cristalliste. A product line designed specifically for young women with long hair, prone to weighed down roots and dry ends.

Kérastase’s Liquid Light Complex creates the ultimate in luminosity and shimmer. Pure and lightweight from the roots, smooth and free-flowing to the ends.

Featuring advanced technology from La Recherche Avancée L’Oréal, this daily haircare regimen maintains healthy hair while combating the causes of thinning to leave hair feeling and looking stronger, thicker and refreshed.


I haven’t actually tried any of the products yet but my plan is to take them all with us on vacation (except for the nail polish which I’ll have put on professionally) and try them out there.  We’re going someplace where the sun is closer and the air is dryer so I’ll definitely be needing makeup with SPF and extra conditioning for my hair.  We’re also going to be in the water a lot so I’ll definitely be testing out the eyeliners claim to long-wear waterproof.  I’ll let you know how it all turns out!