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.
LOC | One & Done Shadow Stick in Impress Me
I totally thought this would be the star of the box. And I did really like it — the color is a truly stunning lilac rose gold. I love the creaminess of the stick, and how well it applies. Usually I find that pencil shadows drag on my lid and don’t blend well, but this didn’t have either of those problems! And it contains the perfect amount of satin shimmer to walk the line between going-out and everyday wear.
But I did find that the shadow creased on the top of my lids and gradually wore away more and more as the day went on. It probably started after around 5 hours of wear. I have heard that primer can help, and while I normally do use it, I didn’t think I’d need it on a stick shadow that promises creaseless wear. However, it’s worth a shot to try later because the color and texture of this are just so lovely.
Living proof | Perfect hair Day (PhD) dry shampoo
THIS was the star of the box. I had been considering the curated box pretty much solely because of this, so I was very pleased to receive this anyway. Even though I got another can of dry shampoo just last month, I was still pumped to get to sample this. It was a little harder to brush out of my hair than the Klorane one from last month, but I didn’t mind too much because I think it did a great job of freshening up my hair.
MAKE | Face Gloss
This is a bit of a bizarre product. I wasn’t expecting much from a product type that I don’t use very frequently to begin with (i.e. highlighter). Still, the reason I don’t use highlighter is because of the huge amount of shimmer most of them pack, and this one’s selling point is that it provides a highlight with zero shimmer so I was definitely interested to try it. However, as soon as I started applying it to my face I found that I really disliked the texture — it felt like I was putting a lip gloss on my cheeks. The feeling did go away after it dried down, and I guess it did look nice.
I tried this again a few weeks later, to see if I had just over-reacted about the texture the first time. Nope! It’s just as lip glossy as before, and I don’t like it.
Temple Spa | La La Lagoon Aromatic Bath & Shower Gel
This is boring. Shower gel is almost always boring for me, but this one is especially boring. Even the scent is boring. I guess it’s cool in a way because it completes my “Temple Spa” set — I’ve now sampled every single item they carry in the Birchbox shop so at least I can’t receive any more of this brand — but even with only 4 items I’ve gotten a little sick of seeing their distinctively-shaped tubes in my Birchboxes this year. Their tubes aren’t even actually distinctively-shaped, and I could still pick them out of an unlabeled lineup at this point, solely on the basis of their matte texture (or something) (although I will confess that I loved sampling their body balm and might even consider buying the full size). There’s nothing intrinsically wrong with this shower gel, though, and I will eventually use it! I’m just so overwhelmed with shower gel right now that I can’t get excited about it.
Liz Earle | Superskin Moisturizer with Natural Neroli
This was unexpected. Liz Earle is a super high end brand, one which rarely appears in Birchboxes. This is an extremely expensive moisturizer, far out of the range I would normally spend on moisturizer (or any product, actually). It definitely fits the “Feeling Fancy” ticket of this month’s theme. This sample is worth $22.50 on its own. Label me impressed!
I also loved the packaging of this sample! The box was really pretty, and it included an instruction booklet on how to massage the product into your face.
That said, I don’t love this moisturizer. It’s a little too thick for my taste and I’m not a fan of the strong neroli scent. I find that it takes too long to sink into my skin for me to use it in the mornings, especially if I apply a serum underneath it, and it leaves my skin looking shiny until it absorbs completely. After having recently re-ordered my favorite winter moisturizer by Yves Rocher, this one just can’t compete.
However, I will definitely use all of it up! My favorite use for it so far has been as a neck moisturizer. I usually neglect moisturizing my neck and decolleté, but this is perfect for that purpose. The heavier weight is nice for an area of my body that I so often forget to moisturize at all, and the strong scent doesn’t bother me when it’s not on my face! Win-win!
Verdict: I thought this box was pretty awesome! Except for the shower gel, I was excited to try every single product (and I will use the shower gel eventually). The color of the LOC shadow stick is just as beautiful as I was hoping for, and although the lasting power isn’t what I expected, I will definitely keep using it. The Living proof product was a great addition to my now two cans strong dry shampoo “collection.” The Liz Earle moisturizer is extremely luxurious and I’ll enjoy using it over the next few months (yes, the sample size is really that big). Although I’m totally not convinced about the worthwhileness of the MAKE face gloss, it was still a really interesting product to try. Also, this box was worth $51.78, making it my highest value box so far in 1.5 years of subscribing to Birchbox — talk about “feeling fancy”! Yet another success for Birchbox!
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