Hey all, it’s been a long time. I don’t know what happened, only that I found myself either really busy, really unmotivated, or both when it came to updating, unboxing, trying products out… or even just stuff like housecleaning! But especially keeping up with blogging/product review. Part of it is that I’ve been trying (but not succeeding perfectly) to shop less and use up what I already have, so I guess by extension, in trying not to tempt myself, I’d avoided my subscription boxes.
But enough of that, because I am trying to make small steps to getting back on track, with both makeup/stuff and life. 🙂
I got my June Birchbox about a week ago, and while I miss their old image, the new look of their re-branding isn’t bad either. The old style was more true to the BIRCH part of Birchbox (looked like birchbark!), but the new design is clean and simpler as well. The inside of the box had a neat zigzag pattern too. I apologize now for not showing any photos here, but I’m sure other blogs have examples if you’re dying to know. I just wanted to share verbally what I got and my take on a couple of the things I got, out of my personalized box, which was apparently #29: https://www.birchbox.com/shop/birchbox-1/june-2013/june-2013-bb29
1. The Davines 3-Step System, comprised of a hefty (for a sample) 2-oz bottle of Davines Love Smoothing Shampoo ($24 for 8 oz), small .41 oz packet of Davines Love Smoothing Conditioner ($27.50, 8 oz), and even smaller packet of Davines Oi/Oil ($41, 4 oz)
I gave this a shot for my shower before work today. My long hair had been really crunchy and brittle due to harsh bleaching and frequent coloring over the past 1.5 years. This did what it promised: made my dry and frizzy hair super soft, smooth, and not tangly. The smell of the shampoo/conditioner is grapefruit-y and light. Perfect texture-wise too, neither too watery and thin, nor clumpy and thick, so application was easy, and the shampoo lathered really well. I finger-combed the oil through my hair and especially at the ends and now it feels flexible and soft the way it had been pre-coloring. I ran my fingers through my hair constantly while I was at work, just marveling at how silky it felt.
Drawbacks about the sample though is that there’s way more shampoo than conditioner or oil – plus, the packaging for the oil made it hard for me to save and use again since it’s a packet and might leak or spill out (whereas the conditioner is thicker and I could fold the packet to keep it closed). I had to wrap it in plastic wrap since I didn’t have a pot or jar to empty the contents into. It’s also pretty pricey, now that I’ve looked at the site. I’ve really fallen in love with hair oils lately, since Ipsy’s May bag had Macadamia healing treatment oil, which I also LOOOVE, but I don’t know if I can justify spending over $40 or even basically $100 for the whole system.
2. Antica Farmacista Le Emulsioni Corpo Vellutanti Body Moisturizer ($25, 10 oz) – body lotion in the Grapefruit scent. I haven’t tried this yet on anything but the back of my hand, and it’s on the thin side, which I guess is to be expected for a lotion. (I’ve gotten used to thicker creams and balms.) It says on the back of the bottle “POMPELMO – A clean, fresh & invigorating pure grapefruit fragrance,” but it comes off as somewhat grapefruit ROSE-y to me instead. I could take it or leave it. With my skin as dry as it has been lately, I’m not sure it’d quench my problem areas, but it isn’t bad.
3. Juicy Couture Couture La La ($90 for 3.4 oz, $70 for 1.7 oz, or $19 for rollerball)
This is the only Juicy Couture fragrance I’ve not disliked so far, and I have tried a few of their others in the past! I’ve wanted to like JC perfumes because their brand and image is chic and the perfume notes sound delectable ON PAPER, but every time I’ve tried their perfumes on my skin… it’s fallen flat. There must be something about them, an ingredient or method, that’s heavy and artificial-smelling. As I said, Couture La La might be the only one I like (sort of) – because that heavy/artificial aspect is least apparent in this one, (Though I can still detect it… I wish I knew how to explain it or what it was!)
Couture La La is citrusy in a tart way, and white florals do shine through. I wouldn’t say it’s juicy nor particularly sweet, and on the whole is a medium-weight scent. The alcohol-iness lasts a long time in the beginning before it wears down to a softer, more pleasant scent. Still, although it’s been the least offensive and almost nice of JC perfumes, I just don’t think it suits me.
4. Pardon My French from the Color Club® Wanderlust Collection ($8 for set of 4 mini polishes). According to the page, it’s inspired by Paris:
Pardon My French’s lavender represents our love affair with the candy-colored arrays of macarons in the City of Light’s iconic bakeries.
These are apparently bright pastels that trend toward fluorescent, but aren’t jarringly bright, just eye-catching enough. I had actually been hoping for the green color, London Calling, because I’ve lately been obsessed with green polishes and dying for a seafoam green polish (sidenote: in the past few weeks, I’d been wearing Julep polishes like palest mint Susie, kelly green Payton, and mint green Dianna, the latter two from the June Maven deluxe box). Plus, I’d gotten Zoya’s Julie in my May Ipsy and wasn’t hoping to not get another purple color. OH WELL! I guess it’s nice to be almost forced into stepping outside of my usual, and I’ve been pleasantly surprised by both Julie and Pardon My French so far. I wonder if it’s because I’m pretty fair-skinned but still very yellow that these pale purples stand out on me, but it makes me feel like a cartoon character, a magical girl like a Sailor Scout, having my nails this way.
Texture and quality of Color Club polishes have been about the same as others in that it seems like every polish needs at least 2 coats now for even coverage. I am convinced that when I was a kid, my $1 Wet ‘n’ Wild polishes really only needed one coat, dried fast, and either lasted long or peeled well off – whereas nowadays, good-looking nails are taking more time and money. Inflation! On the plus side, Pardon My French seemed to dry fairly fast. On the neg, the smell was stronger even than what I’m used to.
At Lexi’s suggestion and for kicks, I did put a thin layer of Julie on a couple of fingers after two coats of Pardon My French (and one of Ulta X-Dry), and hypothesis confirmed! Some dimension is added because the pinkish Pardon My French glows a little bit through the more sheer Julie, plus Julie already contains shimmer. Not bad.
That’s that for the June Birchbox. I haven’t tried everything in the May box yet because one sample I got was Kerastase’s color protecting shampoo and I’ve been waiting to re-dye my hair before the text phase. But more on that next time, PLUS… eventually an Ipsy bag review. (Ipsy, by the way, is awesome.) xox