Monday, September 26, 2016

REVIEW: September Birchbox -- Go Forth and Multitask

Well gosh. I'm still happy with Birchbox so far. I like to think last month's issue with the messed-up eyeshadow was a fluke (especially since all my reading showed that this was likely an issue with the powder since no one got their sample intact). I've not been on board long at all, but I'm still getting a lot more use and help out of all my samples than I did with previous subscription boxes.

Is everything a hit? No. That's why they're samples: to learn what fits for you. But I'm getting a lot of good fits. Especially this month.

Milk Makeup Lip + Cheek - $24

This was the sample I chose for myself. This month's box had a variety of samples from Milk available to choose from. And apparently they're a well-loved brand, though I'm unfamiliar with them. Of all the things they offered, a lip/cheek colour seemed most helpful to me.

Up-front, I've only ever used one or two 'multitasking' makeups before. I got a lip/eye pencil once that only did me any good for lips, and a lip/cheek colour that also tended to only be good for lips. This one, though, actually does multitask as it promises to.

Better still, it actually manages to behave differently depending on where you use it. I'm not much for blush sticks because they feel a bit tacky when I put them on -- and yeah, this does kind of have that going on just as you're putting it on. But the 'Milk Melt technology' they talk up, where it reacts to your body heat, actually seems to have something to it.

The width of the stick didn't make it hard to put on as a lip colour, either. It just felt more like using one of those big round lip balms.

Will probably be buying a couple of these in different shades. The shade I got (Perk) was well matched, but I do want to experiment with others.

Klorane Dry Shampoo with Oat Milk - $20

They must've read my mind on this. I recently got my hair dyed, and to keep all the colour from just washing out within the first few weeks, I have to make sure to only wash my hair every other day. Which I hate because I start feeling a little greasy after a day.

I really like dry shampoo both for that and for mornings when I'm about to go out for an early appearance and don't have time for a shower but need my hair extra-clean. And this works really well. Spray it in, leave it two minutes, brush it out.

Best part? They have a brunette formula that's tinted slightly so you don't get spray residue in your hair that you have to worry about knocking out.

I really, really like this. And it's a godsend for just-dyed hair.

JUARA Candlenut Body Creme - $38

My first question on seeing this was 'what the heck is a candlenut.' Answer: it's an Indian walnut, and is used in food, skin care, and games of marbles, apparently.

I use body lotion after I shower, especially as the weather starts getting colder, and the sample tube I got was good for one all-over use. It smelled very nice and felt heavy -- not in the gross oily way, but in the 'Your skin is going to retain moisture and like it' way. Which I'm all about.

This seems like it'd be especially good for my local mid-Atlantic natives who get rough elbows and knees in the winter when the humidity drops down to nothing. I've used a lot of heavy moisturizers before because of that, and this one seems like it'd do the trick.

Kiehl's Powerful-Strength Line-Reducing Concentrate - $60

I'm fortunate in that I'm halfway to 36 and still doing pretty all right on the aging front, even with my constant stress. I've got some grey hairs, but I'm pretty low on wrinkles. A couple smile lines, but nothing anyone's going to notice.

Regardless, I gave this a go, knowing that it's probably not going to alter anything about my appearance but figuring I should see how it is.

It's... warm and heavy and a bit greasy. I saw a few reviewers on the Birchbox site say it feels 'soothing' going on, but to me it just felt a bit weird. Not sure it's for me.

Again in the site reviews, though, people were saying it definitely does work for them. So I guess this was just the mismatch of the month.

NUXE RĂªve de Miel Facial Cleansing and Make-Up Removing Gel - $19

Okay, so first up, I should note that Birchbox spoiled me in my first month with the Marcelle micellar water. That is my go-to makeup remover now. I happily try other things, but that stuff is just so great that I always gravitate back to it.

This is more like a face wash than anything else, which means it's not great for, say, on the road or if you've just gotten home and all you want is sleep. But if you've got time and aren't lazy and in a hurry like me, it does work. Definitely.

It smells really nice -- a bit like honey -- and in my case didn't actually lather up. But it does work. It gets everything off. Well, mostly everything. If you use this, you'll still probably want to use an eye makeup remover first (another reason I like the micellar water). But everything else? Right off, no stinging or harsh smell like other makeup removers.

I'm not sure I'd use it for my skin care routine outside of makeup removal, if only because I'm pretty married to my current face washes. But for someone like me who's very picky about makeup remover, it passed the test.

As ever, Birchbox remains good, and I'm still quite glad I switched. If you're interested, follow this link and sign up! Remember that there's also a men's box!