Monthly Archives: July 2012

June 2012 Birchbox – #1

Birchbox is a subscription service that sends a goody box full of high-end samples and sometimes full-size products based on the profile you complete to make sure they suit your needs/wants! The subscription costs $10/month which is pretty reasonable seeing as the box itself can contain items WELL over that amount (note – I received my 1 year subscription as a gift for being a loyal customer of Cafe Escapes so check them out and tell them @KimR5 sent you). They also have a nice rewards program, where for each survey you complete for the products that are sent you get 10 points and then every 100 points earns you $10 in Birchbox credits which you can redeem in their online store for full-sized products. One feature I ♥ about their website is that it details featured items you might see in your box, featured items for next month’s box you might see and the tracking number for each package. Extremely helpful – especially to ensure that you received everything that was hand selected for you by Birchbox. Currently they are only offering this for women but I saw a link on their site that shows beta testing for men which would be really interesting! If this sounds like something you’re interested in, please use my referral link to join now!

The June 2012 Birchbox is the first one I’ve ever received and color me impressed by everything from the way it was packaged for shipping, the box itself, the way the products were hand-wrapped, etc. Kudos to Birchbox! One of the samples I received is actually for a man which was a nice a bonus and no doubt a nod to the upcoming subscription program for men that I mentioned above. The shipping on it was a bit delayed BUT customer service promptly took action and made sure I received it as soon as possible – thankfully before my July one is set to arrive!

Each Birchbox revolves around a theme and June was no exception as its theme was “Jet Set” – devoted to products that will indulge my inner jetsetter, from hardy formula that can last throughout a long-haul flight to imported finds that they’ve picked up on their global adventures. Here is a list of the samples I received:

John Varvatos | Star USA cologne – In honor of Father’s Day, we’ve included this dapper cologne, a blend of ginger, juniper, berries, and vetiver. (Full-size, $55-70)

  • First impressions: The sample bottle itself was a bit tricky to open without spilling as there a cap for the bottle instead of tiny nozzle. I wasn’t really wowed BUT in the process of opening the bottle I spilled a bit on my fingertips and it completely changed the way it smelled into something I ♥! A bit sweet yet refreshing – definitely puts the m in manly. I cannot wait to see how it mixes with my fiance’s body chemistry!

theBalm cosmetics | Stainiac in Beauty Queen – We’re crazy about this two-in-one lip and cheek stain: the sheer gel formula delivers a subtle, long-wearing flush. (Full-size, $17)

  • First impressions: I’ve seen quite a few different lip and cheek stains in my day but never one that had the consistency of a balm or gel – it’s always been liquid so that is a nice change of pace. Personally, my lighter features don’t fare so well with bright reds so I’ll spare you the ridiculous picture of me WITH said lip stain on but I know plenty of my girl friends that would be in love with this product so I’ll pass it along.

Comodynes | Self-Tanning Intensive – Who needs the sun when you can get a safe, buildable, and natural-looking tan with these bestselling European towelettes? (Pack of 8, $14.99)

  • First impressions: This particular product could wind up being a blessing or a curse and seeing as it’s the work week I’ll have to give this a whirl when I don’t have to show my face (just in case) for a few days. The package notes that it will provide a deeper tan in about 3 hours but doesn’t mention how long the tan is slated to last. I’ll make sure to do an update.

Masqueology | Pore Minimizing Mask – This targeted sheet mask shrinks visible pores while amping up your skin’s moisture levels. Use it daily and – if you’re brave – during your next flight. (Full-size, $24)

  • First impressions: The package itself is HUMONGOUS but then again it’s a full face mask as opposed to just your general run of the mill pore strips so I’ll give it a pass. I’ll be doing a test-run on this tonight so stay tuned – although, it will NOT be during a flight unfortunately. *le sigh*

stila | one step bronze – Fake an island glow with this three-in-one bronzer, primer, and serum. It also keeps your skin’s oil production in check. (Full-size, $36)

  • First impressions: Did my profile say I wanted to try out for a revival of The Jersey Shore with all of this self tanning business? 😀 The only experience I have with bronzers has been something similar to blush so this was a new experience for me. The package said it would warm & color correct, enhance and illuminate skintone and help diminish the appearance of sunspots. Now I am 31 but I grew up in the 80s where putting baby oil on your skin instead of lotion with SPF was popular so I am starting to see faint sunspots on my face! It didn’t minimize my pores but it definitely added a little overall color and a bit of shimmer which might put this product in the “items I use when getting ready to go out on the town or date” pile but it’s still a quality product. The real test will be on keeping my oil production in check as I always find myself reapplying powder throughout the day.

tili | Bags – Breeze through airport security with these too-cute plastic bags. They’re perfectly sized for storing all of your travel essentials (and beauty samples). (Pack of 9-12, $8.49-$9.49)

  • First impressions: Definitely a CUTE idea but no way no how would these pass through airport security these days! They are pretty hardcore about liquids, gels, etc. being in CLEAR quart-sized bags so unfortunately I just think this is a novelty and not as practical as they make them sound. I can’t bring myself to pay $8.49 for 9 decorated quart sized Ziploc bags but for now it DOES hold all of my Birchbox samples nicely. 🙂

So there you have it, my very 1st Birchbox. I’ve already seen the preview for July’s box (which should be arriving any day now) and I hope some of the goodies I saw are in MY box! Remember, if you want to purchase a subscription use my link to join!

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Pantene Silkening Detangler

I recently purchased and had a chance to try Pantene’s Silkening Detangler:

I wasn’t sure if it’d be the best product for me seeing as it is “intended” for medium-thick hair and I have paper thin hair but I figured since I’ve never been disappointed with Pantene I’d give it a try. I have been working on ways to spend less time in the shower (for green and other various reasons) and this product wound up being a great solution for me! It not only allows me to spend at least 3-4 minutes less in the shower waiting for the conditioner to set in but I hardly have to use ANY of the product to get it to work!

After lightly towel drying my hair I did maybe 3-4 spritzes of the product over my hair and then combed my fingers through it as gently as possible to minimize breakage. The two things that stood out the most was how silky and non-greasy my hair felt almost immediately AND how enticing it smelled. Yes – it smelled good enough to drop the word enticing into the description. 😉 Even the next day after having slept with my hair in a bun all night I could still smell the product in my hair as if I had just sprayed it! If I didn’t have the kinks in my hair from the bun I could have just put in some dry shampoo and been ready for the day.

After doing some research I discovered that there is a fine hair version of this product as well so hopefully I can find it in a  store near me once I run out. It retails for around $3.99 per bottle at Target which should be less when paired with a coupon or sale. If you try it out or have already tried it let me know! It seems like it’d be the perfect item to toss in your bag when hitting the pool, beach, waterpark, etc.

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