Like anyone who can’t resist the urge to spoil a surprise when presented with the opportunity, I peeked at my Birchbox online just days before receiving it. And so for about three days I craved the Ghirardelli Toffee Crunch chocolate bar that was expected in box. I hardly gave any thought to the beauty samples, all I wanted was that chocolate. It was the first thing I got my hands on when the box arrived and, needless to say, it’s now gone. But back to the beauty samples. They are all lovely. There’s not a single item that I dislike. But unlike past boxes, there isn’t a single sample that I am particularly stoked about. Except for maybe the chocolate. Great addition, Birchbox! Nonetheless, I was still very excited about these samples and couldn’t wait try them. Even though I just received my box today, I managed to try every sample. Of course, some samples require further usage for a more accurate review of the product, but for now I’ll summarize my findings. If you are still not a subscriber, don’t miss out. Seriously. There’s still time to get November’s box with the Ghirardelli chocolate bar and, if you’re lucky, you might get the Toffee Crunch; sign up.
Dr. Lipp Orignal Nipple Balm for Lips: I’ll just say what everyone is thinking: Nipple balm for lips? Why? Turns out it really works and has multiple functions including (but not limited to) moisturizing lips, dry skin, and cuticles. Though it has a thicker texture than other balms and a slight medicinal scent, it is 100% natural and has a pretty, glossy shine. I’m not sure if this will replace my other less expensive balms, namely, rosebud salve and ChapStick Hydration Lock (a sample from October’s Birchbox). But rest assured a lip balm review is in the works this month.
Folle de Joie eau de parfum: This is only my second perfume sample from Birchbox and so far I’ve loved both (the last one was from Oscar de la Renta). Lightweight and floral-scented – but not overwhelmingly so – this perfume gives off a summery vibe, which seems a little out of place for the fall/winter season, especially here in the frigid northeast. Regardless, I am already hooked on this fragrance so its seasonal displacement is not an issue.
Eyeko Black Magic Mascara: I don’t think it’s premature to say that I already love this mascara and its UK-based brand. The paraben-free formula, infused with keratin and Shea butter, leaves my lashes defined, curled, and elongated. The wand is slightly curved for intense curling, while the mascara itself is lightweight and easy to wash. This is definitely going to replace my drugstore mascaras (sorry, Maybelline and Rimmel).
Miss Jessie’s Original Leave-in Condish: First, I love this scent. Like other Miss Jessie’s products, this leave-in conditioner has a prominent laundry scent, which is great if you’re like me and enjoy the fresh fragrance of linens. As a devoted fan of Pillow Soft Curls, I was so eager to try this that I immediately washed my hair. While it is recommended in conjunction with another curling lotion, I think it does a superb job of moisturizing and softening my curls when used alone. Next time I’ll try it with Pillow Soft Curls to see if it makes any difference. I’m also interested in seeing how well this conditioner works when applied prior to heat styling (because, you know, I always straighten my hair).
Vasanti BrightenUp! Enzymatic Face Rejuvenator: Maybe it’s a little unfair that I’m reviewing this sample after using Dr. Brandt’s Microdermabrasion skin exfoliant for the past few weeks. While Vasanti did a good job of buffing away dead skin cells, evening my skin tone, and leaving my skin smooth and soft, I think Dr. Brandt does a more effective job. The shortcoming may be due to the fact that Vasanti is an exfoliant that only mimics microdermabrasion (Birchbox’s words), in contrast to Dr. Brandt. We’ll see how the two compare over time.