Beauty / Reviews

Birchbox No. 2: Number 4, Aerie, Mox Botanicals, Eyeko & Chuao

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Note the adorable, festive wrapping complete with a thick pink ribbon (purse charm, perhaps? Hair bow?) and indie-esque gift tag. Also, with the wrapping of the perfume (the silver tube) I sort of thought it was candy. Thank goodness I wasn’t that tired when I opened the box!

Number 4 Lumiere d’hiver Clarifying Shampoo: I’ve been curious about these clarifying, lather-less shampoos ever since receiving my “Hey ProActiv customer, try Wen!” mailer. However, it always seemed like a waste of time. I have oily hair– why would I use something that doesn’t lather? Won’t it only get dirtier? And why is it so expensive?

The Number 4-brand product isn’t actually lather-less, which I liked; it suds just enough to be able to tell it’s moving through your hair and around the scalp. The product didn’t smell particularly amazing, but not bad, either. To be honest, it smelled like many expensive products do: clean, simple and unrecognizable. It took two quarter-sized dollops to clean my long, thick locks and it washed out nicely.

I noticed some immediate change in my hair after using. First of all, it’s soft. Like, really soft. Like I just colored my hair soft. It’s actually so soft that I don’t think I could  use this stuff every day, as I imagine it would start to build up, knowing my hair, and weight things down. My second observation? My hair doesn’t smell as pretty as normal. Perhaps it’s because I’m used to the light-and-lovely aroma of Redken Color Extend shampoo, but there seems to be no leftover fragrance at all. Maybe that’s why Birchbox included perfume…

Final thoughts? I can’t stop touching my hair, and that’s probably all that matters. I think I’ll keep this trial bottle in the shower for weekly use.

Aerie Shimmer Eau de Toilette: As I’ve said before, I’m not much of a perfume person. Regardless, this light, floral scent was quite lovely. Personally, one petite dab was enough; although the peony and vanilla combination was airy (and made by Aerie, ha!), it was strong enough to seem overpowering after two dabs.

Mox Botanicals Lip Butter in Pomegranate and Fig: Although I have a stigma against lip pots (hello, you’re putting your finger in the pot, then dabbing your lips…) this stuff really is worthwhile. There is a slight tingling and plumping effect, quite similar to using a  lip plumper, which I really enjoyed. It will take long-term use to see if and how well it manages my perpetually chapped lips– although I bet drinking more water could help me with that, too… Whoops…– it’s worked very well for the last 24 hours and I can’t wait to put it on when I get home from work.

If you’re already a fan, make sure to check out the Birchbox-exclusive flavor. Pomegranate and Fig is as lovely as you’d expect without smelling or tasting fake or perfumey.

Eyeko Skinny Liquid Eyeliner in Olive: It’s funny that liquid eyeliner was included, as moments before realizing my box was ready for pick-up in the apartment office I noticed it was almost time to replace mine. While they are totally different (moving from traditional black liquid eyeliner to a felt-tipped olive eyeliner marker) this Eyeko product might make a perfect replacement while expanding my cosmetic horizon at the same time.

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At first glance the product looks like an old fashioned fountain pen complete with horrifying tip I would never place near my eyes. Lance even shot me a look of fear and a “Be careful with that” comment when I opened the package. Thankfully– and obviously to most, I’m sure– the tip is squishy like a felt-tipped marker and saturated in deep green. The color makes my brown eyes look like golden honey, which I adore; I’m sure other brown-eyed-babes can agree that without the right make-up, brown eyes can be such a bore. However, it isn’t so green that it’s really noticeable. Only up close and at certain angles does the hint of color pop. Other than that, it’s simply an easy-to-apply liquid eyeliner that, thus far, stays in place nicely. I’m thrilled, and my peepers look extra peppy.

Chuao Salted Chocolate Crunch ChocoPod: As a recent convert to the salted chocolate craze, I was excited to try this– and thrilled by the taste! It was a grown-up version of a crisped rice chocolate bar. My only complaint? I could have eaten many this size. Let’s be real– this was a teeny chocolate bar and I’m a chocolate-crazed woman. Do fancy treats come in king size yet?

Never heard of Birchbox? For $10/month ($20 for men) Birchbox sends you a customized box of deluxe sample- (and sometimes full!) sized beauty and lifestyle items. If you love the items, you can order them from their website and get points– which equal free Birchbox $$– plus free shipping. Care to check it out for yourself? Sign up here!

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