Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Birchbox July 2014

Birchbox July 2014: Women's Health Collaboration

I'm trying really hard to get my backlog of July boxes published while it is still July!  Hopefully now that I'm caught up, I can get back to timely reviews.

Like last year, Birchbox has once again teamed up with Women's Health.  They included a coupon for a free year of Women's Health magazine, or you could opt for a $9.99 refund for it.  So, this box was basically all profit when you take into account the magazine or refund, plus the points you earn for reviewing all the items!  

Birchbox and Women's Health, July 2014

I have been loving all of the cute custom designs BB has been rolling out for the collaboration boxes.  Good thing I save them to use for gift boxes!

My box came rather late this month, so I had time to peek at the items online.

Birchbox July 2014 First Look

Birchbox has also implemented a new feature, where you can choose one of the samples that will be included in your upcoming box!  More on that later.

BB included a little booklet of challenges, I've featured some of them in the background of my pictures.

Naobay Body Radiance Lotion

This is a nice lotion.  It smells like lemons, and is not too heavy.  I like it.  That's all I have to say about that.

Full size (250 mL) is $24, making this 50 mL sample worth $4.80

Like I mentioned, BB let you pick this month from 3 different Ruffian polish colors, OR from 3 different lip gloss colors.  I chose this rose-gold color called Rosary, from their Rapture collection.  I talked myself out of a metallic silver or a metallic lavender because I'm a sucker for anything rose-gold.

I have one other Ruffian polish that I like, because it goes on evenly and lasts for a long time without chipping.  However, these are only 5 mL (normal polishes are usually 15 mL) and a single polish retails on Birchbox for $11!  As a set of three, you only pay $26.50 which brings the individual cost down to $8.33/polish.

Ruffian Rosary
No watermark because I'm lazy
Go ahead, steal my picture of my streaky nails.  See if I care.

This polish, being a metallic finish, was definitely streaky.  That's hard to avoid in metallics, but I've definitely encountered worse.  Do you remember the really old (late 90s) Sally Hansen Chrome polishes? That's what this reminds me of, but less streaky.  Man, I loved those! I had one in this color, it makes me feel really nostalgic which I look at my nails.

Nostalgia aside, this polish shows every nail imperfection you have, and also doesn't last more than a day without chipping.  Too bad.


Beauty Protector Protect & Treat Hair Mask

After getting the Joico reconstructor in #NGQ03, anything else seems like a let-down, including my beloved Beauty Protector brand.  This mask was light pink, smelled like all the other products from this brand, and did a decent job at deep conditioning my hair.  My hair is to the point where the 0.5 fl.oz. container was just barely enough for it! So, at least I received two uses in this box.

Now that I calculated it out, about $3.25 is kinda pricy for a single deep conditioning session!  I think I'll save my BB points for more bottles of the Protect & Detangle spray.

$25.95 for 4 fl.oz., 2 x 0.5 fl.oz. samples worth $6.49

benefit Posie Balm

I was super excited to receive a product from benefit this month!  I love their posie tint, and I had high hopes for the lip-balm form, posie balm.  It mostly has mango butter, and leaves a sheer wash of color.  I untwisted it fully for the picture above... that's a tiny sliver of lip balm! Holy crap! If you're going to spend all that effort on fancy packaging, you would think there would be a little more of the product inside!

Full size, 0.1 oz, is $18.  The sample is worth $1.80 because it is 0.01 oz of product.

Caudalie Polyphenol C15 Overnight Detox Oil

I've tried some Caudalie products in the past, and have generally liked them.  It's a little too expensive of a skin-care/ antiaging line for me, but I normally appreciate getting the products.  This oil is supposed to promote overnight cellturnover and skin purification.  Sure.  It will keep your face nice and hydrated though!  My skin looks nice and smooth and youthful in the mornings after I use this.  However, that comes with a price.  This smells awful.  Seriously.  It's like a terrible herbal smell I would expect from Juice Beauty, and not from Caudalie.  Ugh.  Fortunately, the smell only lingers for a minute or two.

30 mL is $52, so the 1 mL sample is worth $1.73.  I hate those little trial vials, but since I've been careful when I open this up, I have been able to get quite a few uses out of it.  A little goes a long way (especially when it smells this badly!)

Ruffian Dressing Room Perfumed Nail Lacquer Remover Towelette

This was a little bonus in the box, since (almost) everyone got a Ruffian nail polish.  I like these little travel packets a lot, and I will bring it with me on my upcoming vacation.  They aren't really cost effective, but they sure are convenient!

Set of 10 retails for $12, making a single wipe worth $1.20

Birchbox July 2014

I was pretty pleased  with this box.  I can get past the tiny sample size for the posie balm, and the smell of the Caudalie oil, so everything worked out pretty well for me.  Nothing went into my giveaway stash!

All together, this month's box had a value of $23.35.  Factor in the free year of Women's Health (or the $9.99 rebate) and the 60 points I received for reviewing the items (10 points per item, each 100 points = $10 to spend in the BB shop, so 60 points = $6), and I would say this was a great month overall.

Birchbox costs $10 per month and you get 4-6 sample (and occasionally full sized) items.  You can review each item you receive for 10 BB points, and every 100 points can be redeemed for $10 to spend in their online shop.  This is a great deal!  If you want to try Birchbox, please use my link here.  I'll get some extra BB points for each referral.

No special consideration or compensation was received for this post and all thoughts and opinions are my own. All items mentioned within were paid for by me. This post contains referral links.

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Julep July 2014

Julep July 2014 Review

Now that Julep is in its second month of "customize your own box" boxes, I have to say, I am just as happy fully customizing my box as I was when the colors were set in pairs already.  Also, I apparently have boring polish color choices.

Julep July 2014

The beauty item this month was the Bare Body Milk lotion.

Bare Body Milk lotion and bonus Tootsie Rolls.  Because 'Mur'ca.

This lotion is light and smells very, very faintly like something tropical.  Other than that, it is pretty unremarkable.  I like it, and I needed a new bottle of lotion, so this is working out nicely.

The Chosen Ones

This month, Julep released the Poolside collection.  It was filled with brightly colored creme polishes, with a stardust (matte textured glitter) thrown in as an add-on option.  Bright chartreuse! Bright fuchsia! Bright cerulean!  ...And the colors I chose.

Lorenzana and Kelsey

I think I picked the two colors closest to neutrals in the collection.  This is why I can't be left up to my own polish-making decisions.  I'd just pick neutrals, every time!

They are pretty, though.
Lorenzana, top, and Kelsey, bottom

Lorenzana is more greige than purple (like it looks above).  Julep calls it a "shiitake creme" to sound fancy.  It is a nice understated color, and it is on the unusual side for a neutral, therefore I like it.  I've been more into demure nail looks in the past few months, and this will be a nice polish to wear year-round.  Julep does cream finishes really, really well.  They barely need two coats, never are streaky, and last for almost a week without chipping on me.

Kelsey is a pale peach creme (yeah, like I need another one of those), and it made my skin look a little redder than I would like.  I think this would look fantastic on someone with a darker skin tone than me.

I decided to use them both at once in a Ruffian-style manicure that I wore for a full week.  Yup.  A whole week.  That's how busy I have been! I don't even have time to do my nails any day other than Sunday!

Julep Lorenzana over Julep Kelsey
Julep is now a minimum of $19.99 per month if you prepay for 3 months at a time.  New customers also only get to skip twice per year.  If you want to sign up, you can try a starter kit with the code FREEBOX and you only pay shipping!  Julep polishes last almost a week on me without chipping (and that's without a base or top coat) and are some of my favorites.  I think the quality is worth the price.

To try it, please use my link here.  I'll get a discount on my next box for each referral.

No special consideration or compensation was received for this post and all thoughts and opinions are my own. All items mentioned within were paid for by me.