November 2015 Birchbox Review

November’s Birchbox theme was “Feeling Fancy”. And boy, did this box achieve that! While this is by no means the best box I’ve received from Birchbox, it certainly felt luxurious — everything from the box design to the product packaging to the products themselves. Just look at how classy my samples look, sitting there on the pretty burgundy tissue paper! It’s like they were specially coordinated to all match in shades of black, white, and grey.


I originally thought the pattern on this box was just “nice enough.” But once I opened the box I fell in love with it! What I thought was really special about the appearance of this one was how put-together it looked as I opened it. The product card echoed the box design, the tissue paper color complemented the box color really well, the color of the other included card played off the color of the tissue paper…except for the strange brown color of the pillow insert, everything was so on-point thematically. It really did feel fancy.

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February 2016 Birchbox Sample Choice Comparison

Birchbox’s sample choice has become a monthly staple now; you can find a description of the program here. This month there are 4 samples to choose from plus a curated box filled with beauty samples meant for date night (February 14th is Valentine’s day, after all…). Let’s get started!


The Arrow BOOST Color Enhancing Lip Balm is one of the items released a few weeks ago as part of Birchbox’s newest in-house brand. The brand, “Arrow,” is supposed to be all about beauty on the go for a busy lifestyle. This is a lip balm that changes color based on the pH of your lips. The 9 reviews on the Birchbox website so far are all 5 stars, and here‘s a review of the Arrow products so far if you’re interested. This sample is probably full size, in which case it would be worth $14.

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Who Can Resist Three New Zoya Polishes…

I had skipped out on ordering the Zoya Cyber Monday box (although once I saw what it contained, I sort of wished I had!), but since I was in the market for a new base as well as a new top coat I couldn’t resist this deal that popped up a week later: buy a mini color lock set and receive 3 full-size polishes for free. Since the full-size polishes retail for $9-10 on their own and I wanted all of the items in the kit, to me this was a great deal!



I spent ages poring over all the polishes on the Zoya site trying to pick the perfect three. They have so many beautiful colors that it’s just so hard to choose! I looked at swatches of SO many of the polishes that it probably took me hours, not even kidding. I ended up with Tinsley, Hermina, and Nimue.

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Crabtree & Evelyn Hand Cream Extravaganza

I love Crabtree & Evelyn products, despite not having ever owned very many of them. I can pinpoint the exact moment when my love began – the year I received a basket of products from their Summer Hill line from my grandmother for my birthday. It felt like such an adult gift, since scented gifts were so rare for me to receive, especially as nice as ones as these. I used those products like they were made of silver and was so sad when the single product I loved the most out of that basket, the Summer Hill Hand Therapy, finally ran out. I still have and use several of the other longer-lasting products from that basket, like the perfume, but I still think about that hand cream.


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2015 on Just a Primer

2015 is the second year I’ve been writing on the pages of this little blog, and I’m constantly amazed by the process, whether it’s prompting me to think more critically, write more eloquently, or interact with others who share my interests in beauty and blogging.

I wanted to take a moment to look back on 2015 and all the incredible things that happened for Just a Primer in terms of posts and views. But first, I wanted to acknowledge the most important component of all this: you! I have 88 beautiful, wonderful, heartening followers, and I am so grateful for your attention and your companionship in this big wide blogging world!

Now, down to statistics. My most popular post by far was my January review of the new Chloé perfume, Love Story. This post received twice as many views as any other post from this year. It actually appears on the first page of the Google results when you search “chloe love story review,” which makes me prouder than it probably should.

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