Birchbox: April 2016

I heard the mailman drop my April Birchbox at the front door yesterday afternoon and ran downstairs to get my hands on it. I made sure not to slice the top of my Birchbox while opening the shipping box with scissors like I did last month—I had seen Birchboxers posting photos in a Facebook group that I’m a member of, and I knew that I was going to be in love with this month’s design. Rifle Paper Co. simply outdid themselves with the design:

IMG_7145

The April Birchbox design is, hands down, my all-time favorite so far. I absolutely love botanical illustrations—so much so that I’d like to get a tattoo of one—and this design incorporates some of my favorite colors: purples, blues, and greens. I sincerely hope that RPC produces some products with this particular design, because I would buy the shit out of them. 🙂

For some reason, I haven’t received a sample choice email from Birchbox for the past couple months, but I somehow remembered to log in to the site at the end of March to view the sample choice options and pick one. Because I don’t have an email to refer back to, I actually don’t remember what the sample options were but I’m pretty sure that I selected the Au Naturale Mini Face Palette—it’s the only item I received that sounded familiar.

This month’s theme is, pretty obviously, spring. The back of the sample card shows some cute paper flowers and has a link to a page on Birchbox where you can download the flowers and instructions on how to make them. I might actually try making them…though I’m pretty crappy at crafting. The box also included a card with a 20% off code for use on the Rifle Paper Co. website. Sweet!

Let’s take a look at my sample card:

IMG_7148

This month’s box felt pretty heavy, and when you see my samples you’ll understand why:

IMG_7142

I’d say it’s a nice array of samples, including one that’s full sized! Let’s start with that one: the Acure Organics Lip Lush in the color No Strings (full-size $5.99).

Acure Organics Lip Lush in No Strings - Birchbox

I’m happy that Birchbox is beginning to push ingredient-conscious products (they recently released a New Naturals limited edition box that I’m coveting pretty hard). I already own several Acure Organics products—shampoo, conditioner, facial scrub, eye cream—so I’m totally on board with this very affordable natural products brand. This lip gloss is infused with argan oil and offers sheer, shiny color. Here’s a swatch of the gloss on my arm:

Acure Organics Lip Lush in No Strings swatch - Birchbox

And here’s the gloss on my otherwise (mostly) bare face:

IMG_7162

I love this color—Birchbox nailed this sample for me. Had I decided to buy this lip gloss for myself, No Strings is the color I would have chosen. The gloss is smooth, moisturizing, and not at all sticky. Plus, at a $5.99 value, this full-size product comprises almost 60% of the cost of the box. Big win!

Next up is the amika Touchable Hairspray (full-size, $24). Eh, you know how I feel about hair styling products. Basically the only styling products I use regularly are sea salt sprays. amika is a solid brand with cute packaging design, but their products are a little overly fragranced for my taste. Still, I’ll try this hairspray out the next time I have an event where I want to “do” something with my hair. At least Birchbox didn’t send me yet another dry shampoo (I’ve already gotten four, including one from amika)!

The next sample really piqued my interest: Aquareveal Soft Water Peel for Face (full-size, $58). This product is supposed to gently remove impurities and exfoliate skin. The instructions say to apply it to your damp face and massage it in for 30 seconds to two minutes to release dead skin cells and then rinse. The usage reminds me of the Real Chemistry Luminous 3-Minute Peel sample that I received in an earlier Birchbox, which I really liked. I’m excited to try this sample out!

Another skin care sample that got me excited (and was the first thing I noticed when I opened the box) is the Marcelle 3-in-1 Micellar Solution (full-size, $21). Micellar water is a hot product in beautyland but I have yet to try one, so I’m very glad that Birchbox finally sent me a sample. What the hell is micellar water, anyway? According to The Internets, it’s soft water that contains tiny oil molecules called micelles, which bind to dirt and other gunk on your skin to help cleanse and tone it. Micellar water originated in France…and we all know that effortless French Girl Beauty is a THING we non-French girls would kill to replicate. To use micellar water, all you do is soak a cotton ball or pad with it and gently wipe your face, including the eye and lip areas. It’s supposed to be gentle enough for sensitive skin, and there’s no rinsing needed. I can’t wait to try my sample!

Last but not least is my chosen sample, the Au Naturale Mini Face Palette in Lovely (full-size trio, $42), which comes in an adorable little package.

Au Naturale Mini Face Palette in Lively - Birchbox

The trio includes a lipstick (color: Sangria), a blush (color: Palermo), and a cream eye shadow (color: Ivory). The orange blush frightened me a little. The true color doesn’t really come through in the photo but in the palette, the color gave off a sort of “Donald Trump but with sparkles” vibe (nopenopenope, in all the possible ways). Below you can see swatches on my arm.

Au Naturale Mini Face Palette in Lively swatches - Birchbox

L-R: Lipstick in Sangria, Blush in Palermo, Shadow in Ivory

The Palermo swatch was a little less “Wannabe Hitler Presidential Candidate” than it appeared in the palette, but it’s still not a color I’d normally use on my face. I tried each of these products out and was pleasantly surprised:

IMG_7164

The lipstick is a very vibrant blue-fuschia and I thought the color would be way too much on my pale skin. However, I think it actually looked pretty good. I didn’t put that much on, so my light application turned out well. I also used an extra light touch with the blush and it was not nearly as bad as I expected based on how it looked in the palette. The cream eye shadow has too much glitter in it for my taste; I think some of the sparkles got in my eyes and irritated my contacts a little. Overall I wasn’t in love with this palette because of the colors and the overly sparkly shadow, but I’m happy I got to try this natural brand out for the first time.

So let’s do an EWG Skin Deep check on these products:

  • Acure Organics Lip Lush: unlisted, but most of the other products by the brand are low or low-medium hazard with limited data.
  • amika Touchable Hairspray: unlisted
  • Aquareveal Soft Water Peel for Face: unlisted
  • Marcelle 3-in-1 Micellar Solution: unlisted
  • Au Naturale Lipstick: low hazard, limited data
  • Au Naturale Blusher: low hazard, fair data
  • Au Naturale Eye Shadow: low hazard, limited data

I’m overall quite happy with this month’s Birchbox. Last month left me feeling pretty meh about it, but I got some interesting samples this time around and I’m thrilled with the full sized natural lip gloss. Two thumbs up!

You can browse through my previous Birchbox reviews here.

What is Birchbox?

Birchbox is a $10/month subscription box that includes five sample sized products based on your preferences (makeup, skin care, hair care, fragrance, etc.). They also have an online store filled with full sized versions of all the products they include in their monthly subscription boxes, so if you fall in love with a sample they sent you, you can go back to their site and buy the real thing. Use my referral link to sign up for your own subscription!

BB_Bottom_RAF_Banner

Advertisements

2 thoughts on “Birchbox: April 2016

Leave a Comment

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s