Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Birchbox August 2012 Box #5 and Box #6

This month Birchbox teamed up with Pencils of Promise, a non-profit, to build a school in Central America. In August, 15% of all sales in the Birchbox shop are to go to the organization with the hopes of building a school in Guatemala. This is especially cool to me, as my future sister-in-law is adopted from Guatemala and even though she's only six, her mother has taken her back to see and help out at orphanages there.

I received two boxes this month because I can't help myself and love Birchbox.

Box #5:

Caldera Hand Soap in Ginger Pomolo
Juicy Couture Viva la Juicy La Fleur
Yu-Be Moisturizing Skin Cream

Schick Hydro Silk Razor (not pictured)
stila smudge stick waterproof eyeliner in oscar fish

The smudge stick is very pretty. If you look closely you can see that it has bits of shimmery bronze in it. And they're not joking when they say it's waterproof. I scrubbed my arm with a washcloth and I still have a brown line that you can see. I'm excited to use this.

I've already received the Yu-Be Cream in a previous box. The smell is... something else, but I use it on my cuticles after I do my nails or on my heels. If you can get past the smell, it works well. It says you can use it on your lips, and I'm sure it would be moisturizing, but the smell.

I keep spraying on the Juicy Couture Viva la Juicy La Fleur. I love, love, love Juicy Couture fragrances, so I was extremely eager to try this. I was especially excited to receive it in both boxes. I will use every drop. It has the sweetness of all Juicy fragrances with a nice floral undertone. However, like most will say, the scent goes away quickly, and at $70 for a full-sized bottle, I don't think it should. I have it on right now and I keep smelling it over and over.

I haven't tried the Caldera Hand Soap yet, and I would just throw it in my bag just in case, but it's in the dreaded cardboard liquid sample holder. I'm afraid it would get all over everything. I guess I'll keep in in my bathroom at home in case I run out of hand soap.

Box #6:

Beauty Fixation Make-Up Remover (3 Ct.)
Comodynes Hydra-Tanning Face Moisturizing Summer Glow 
Comodynes Self-Tanning Intensive 
DDF Brightening Cleanser 
Juicy Couture Viva la Juicy La Fleur 
Schick Hydro Silk Razor

Everyone else that got the Beauty Fixation Q-tips (lip conditioner, nail polish remover, etc.) got a full box, but we just got three for the make-up remover, which makes no sense to me whatsoever. I might get a better feel for them if I had the box to take around with me, but as it stands, I'm not going to put some stray Q-tips full of make-up remover in my purse. Some subscribers had these come open already, and I'm afraid that will happen inside my purse full of things that I like to have with me all the time.

The Cosmodynes Self-Tanning wipes will get some use when school starts back up next week. I've seen pictures of good results, as long as you only use one per leg. I'm happy to try it out, but I've honestly been happy with my Banana Boat Summer Color that I can get at Walmart for $7. I will not be trying the Hydra Tanning Face Moisturizing Summer Glow because of my sensitive skin. I don't even want to attempt it a week before classes.

My boyfriend stole the DDF Brightening Cleanser for this exact reason. I can't use it, but he can. It smells really good and he seems to like it. He took it before I could even get a good picture.

The Schick Hydro Silk Razor was an extra in all Birchboxes this month. The moisture strip on the razor is really weird and has almost a mucous-y consistency when mixed with shave gel (or used in general). This was somewhat off-putting, but it had a nice, close shave, so I won't complain. I have three of these now. Who doesn't need more razors?

Overall, it was a good Birchbox month. A lot of people were unhappy, but it depends on what you're looking for in a beauty box sub. I think I would have been significantly less happy had I not gotten the Stila liner in one of my boxes, but it's full-sized and pays for both boxes itself.

You can subscribe to Birchbox here for $10/month (disclaimer: referral link). It's been more than worth it for me consistently.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Sally Hansen Magnetic Nail Color

Sally Hansen Magnetic Nail Color in Polar Purple ($9.99)

This Sally Hansen Magnetic Nail Color came in my Summer Beauty VoxBox, complimentary of Influenster for review purposes. And I love it! I am a huge fan of Sally Hansen nail products anyway (the nail polish strips are incredible), so I was excited when they came out with this line of magnetic polish. 

Being the huge science nerd that I am (I spent the summer studying stable mixed-atom cluster structures), I went insane when magnetic polish came out on the market. I swooned over $20 bottles of magnetic polishes. I could never succumb to a $20 polish, but I bought a bunch of the "salon" quality brands when they emerged with magnetics. 

I have to say, this magnetic polish works the best of any of the others. Maybe they have a stronger, better magnet, but I think it's the formula. It goes on really smoothly and makes awesome waves in the polish. I found the trick was to do a normal layer (as in my picture), then do a thicker layer and make sure to immediately put the magnetic over it and hold it there for 10+ seconds. I put a top coat and it lasted me over a week with literally no chipping, even at the tips. It's such a pretty metallic purple that you could definitely just wear it without using the magnetic on it.

Now I need Red-y Response, which looks like a reddish fuchsia.

Hawaiian Tropic Silk Hydration Lotion Sunscreen

Hawaiian Tropic Silk Hydration Lotion Sunscreen SPF 30 ($8.99 for 6 oz.)

 One of the products I received from Influenster in the Summer Beauty VoxBox was the Hawaiian Tropic Silk Hydration Lotion Sunscreen SPF 30.

"With its ultra-luxurious hydrating silk ribbons, Hawaiian Tropic Silk Hydration™ lotion sunscreen nourishes and pampers skin while providing broad spectrum UVA and UVB protection, and 12-hour moisturization when out in the sun. Also available in SPF 12 and 50."

This stuff definitely looks cool in the bottle, but I'm a sucker for those swirled lotions and makeup. It smells nice and definitely keeps you moisturized without being greasy. It doesn't break out my sensitive skin either, which is a plus (however, I only used it on my body, not my face). The only problem that I can see with this product is that, since it is a lotion, I tended to use a lot more of it in a single use than normal sunscreen. Maybe that's just me and my perception of how my skin should feel when it's covered in sunscreen.

If I buy this in it's full size, I will probably get the SPF 50. I tend to just use sunscreen on my easily-burned areas and use something with bronzer all over. I'm not blown away, but it's definitely a good product.