Have you tried Birchbox or any of the other monthly beauty subscription services?  I love the concept of having samples of beauty products and skincare delivered to my door every month and Bella loves watching unboxing videos on YouTube.  After a few months of debating which subscription service to try, I signed up for Birchbox and received my first box at the end of January.  I was very excited to open the box and see what they had sent me based on the profile I completed online.  The box itself was so cute and love the customizability of the first box of the year.  With everyone making resolutions it was somewhat thought provoking to choose a sticker.  What will 2016 bring?  I have no idea, but whatever it throws my way, I’ll be ready.  So I chose the fearlessness sticker to add to my box.  I’ll likely repurpose the box to hold some lesser used makeup items on my vanity, but it will serve as a reminder to approach the obstacles of each day without fear.  

So let’s take a look at the goodies selected for my January Birchbox, shall we?  

The first product I tried was the Peripera Tint Water in Strawberry Juice.  This is described as being “enriched with a nourishing fruit complex that includes papaya extract” and is meant to saturate cheeks with juicy color.  It did nothing for me.  Maybe to add a flush to bare summer tanned skin, but in the heart of winter, it gave an unnatural streak to my cheeks.  The doe foot applicator is essentially worthless because you still need to use your fingers to blend it in, leaving behind red stain on your fingertips as well.  So I thought I would try to repurpose it as a lip stain similar to Benefit’s Benetint.  Nope, didn’t like it as a lip stain either.  Think the staining from a cherry popsicle where it clings to the dryer parts of your inner lips with that temporary artificial red color… The packaging is adorable, but I’ll pass on that too since I prefer more sophisticated packaging for public touch ups on the go, etc.  Bella  was excited to receive it as a hand me down product.  Seems like it may be better suited for a teen or tween.  I’ll let you all know what she thinks!  

The second product I tried was the Cargo Swimmables Shadow Stick in Coral Reef.  I so wanted to love this product!  The Cargo Swimmables Blush in Los Cabos is one of my all time favorite make-up products.  However, this shadow stick was a big disappointment.  First, the color is all wrong for me.  It’s a light peachy shimmery nude.  I’ve tried corals in the past and it’s just not a good color for me.  Second, the formula is just… just…it’s just not good.  It’s chalky and drags roughly across the eyelid causing an uneven application.  I tried blending it out with one of the Real Techniques brushes, but even then it was difficult to get a smooth even application without major effort.  It does last a long time, so there is that, but there are so many great shadow sticks on the market.  Many of them are also waterproof or water-resistant and some come in at a much lower price point too. So, I’m not thinking this will be on my shopping list any time soon.  

The third product I tried was the Derma e Hydrating Serum with Hyaluric Acid.  This is exactly what it says it is, a “ultra hydrating formula that absorbs deep into the skin for smoother, younger-looking complextion.” I find it a bit to greasy for under makeup but it’s a decent nighttime hydrator,  will it replace my Nerium, probably not, but at $29.95 for the full size bottle, it may be an option for someone looking for a budget friendly hydrating product.  

The final products I tried in my January Birchbox were the Beautiful Nutrition Grapefruit Detox Shine Repair Shampoo and Conditioner.  A good clarifying shampoo and conditioner are a must if you use styling products on a regular basis.  I try to use one every week to restore my hair to its natural beauty.  This one did the trick.  I especially liked the conditioner and how easy it was to comb through my hair after the shower.  The shampoo is sulfate free and they have a great fresh grapefruit scent that is not overpowering.  At $12 a bottle it won’t break the bank, but isn’t exactly a budget brand either.  

All in all, I was not too impressed by my first box, but I’ll give it a go for awhile,  let’s see what February’s box brings.