birchbox unboxing: september ’17

Happy seventh anniversary, Birchbox!

It’s been seven years since Birchbox has rolled out its beauty subscription service and they’re paying it back to their customers on their big birthday. Since being a member since July ’16, I’ve had my gripes with Birchbox in the past, but I couldn’t imagine not receiving a box from them monthly.

This month is all about celebrating its customers and they rolled out three different box designs, created by illustrators and what inspires them. Mine was by Katherine Moffatt and it’s called “Adventurous, Energetic, Excited.”

The quote wrapped around the lid says “I am inspired by women who radiate energy, emotion, and an adventurous spirit. This design is influenced by women who venture into new territories, choose their own paths, and add more meaning to their lives.” Now, those are some words to live by!

Here’s what’s inside my Birchbox this month:

Avene | Cleanance MAT Mattifying Toner

When you get repeat products in your beauty subscriptions, it might be disappointing. However, if they’re products you actually like, consider it a win and an opportunity to stockpile your travel collection.

If you checked out my July Ipsy Unbagging, you’ll already know my thoughts about this toner, so there’s no need to beat an already dead horse. But if I have to reiterate, Avene has some bomb skincare and I should probably use toner more consistently.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5

Daily Concepts | Your Facial Micro Scrubber

Fingers just don’t cut it when it comes to fully exfoliating your face. Who would have thought that a small finger pad could change your skincare routine?

This dual-texture facial scrubbing tool will help gently, yet effectively remove dirt, oil and grime from your face. Its sponge on the inside of the pad helps create a lather with your cleanser, allowing for it to really cleanse the skin.

I love how it’s a gentle (though, it didn’t feel so gentle) multi-use scrubber and its adorable little hanging thread lets you know when its time to replace when its letters fade. Nothing’s better than a little pick-me-up when you start your day with some uplifting words, so definitely check out its message.

It comfortably fits all four fingers and it wasn’t too much of an inconvenience to use in the shower. I’ve been using the Kate Somerville EradiKate Daily Cleanser Acne Treatment, which I redeemed a free sample with a recent online order from Sephora.

I don’t mind a harsh exfoliant, but I did notice that this felt slightly rough on my skin at times, making it a little uncomfortable. After I was done and washed away the cleanser, I did noticed that a lot of blackheads were pulled to the surface and made extractions easier.

It can be used morning and night, alone with water or paired with your favorite cleanser.

This was one of the pre-selected curated options for this month and I opted for another product. Thankfully, Birchbox knows what the heart really wanted and sent me this too. Since this thing can be used more than once, splurging $8 is a no-brainer for a tool that’ll work.

Rating: 4 out of 5

Davines | MINU Shampoo

One of the hardest obstacles I’ve had to overcome in life is breaking my hair-washing schedule. If we’re being totally honest with ourselves, I wash my hair twice a week (Sundays and Wednesdays), and even then it sometimes feels like an absolute stretch.

Bless the good Lord for creating dry shampoo.

Davines has been one of those hair care brands that I’ve received a ton of times in my Birchboxes and I can’t decide if I love them or not. I love that there a more safer choice when it comes to their ingredients, but I don’t always love the results.

However, this one I can get on board with. It’s a color protecting shampoo that leaves my tresses shiny. I’m not in absolute love with the scent, but it’s definitely not the worse shampoo I’ve ever used.

It lathers up nicely and it rinses out fairly easily. My hair felt softer, looked healthier and I would have loved to see how well it protected against fading for my mahogany color or my short-lived rose gold hair.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5

MAC Cosmetics | In Extreme Dimension 3D Black Lash Mascara

When Birchbox announced that MAC Cosmetics was joining their store, I was overly delighted. If we’re having an honesty corner over here, I’ve only had one product ever from MAC! (It was a lipstick from the Cinderella collection years ago and I wore it constantly because of the name!)

This was one of the pre-selected curated choices this month and I didn’t hesitate twice to pick it. I’ve always wanted to be one of those people who swore up and down about MAC, but there isn’t a MAC counter or store close enough to me to justify spending the money on it. Plus, I don’t know that many people who swear by their mascaras, so I wanted to test it out for myself.

Mac In-Extreme Black Lash mascara on left eye

Its formula reminds me a lot of Benefit’s Roller Lash, which is one of my all-time favorite mascaras. It didn’t flake, it lasted all day, and it lifted my lashes. It wasn’t crazy volume, but it did make a difference on those minimal makeup mornings.

My lashes weren’t clump together, it didn’t weigh them down and it didn’t smudge after a crazy upper body routine at the gym (after not being there for nearly 2 weeks!) It won’t replace my obsession for the Roller Lash, but it certainly isn’t the worst mascara I’ve ever used. On a first impression, I won’t run out and get it when I run out, but I’ll certainly keep it in the back of my mind when it’s time to restock.

Rating: 3 out of 5

Smashbox Cosmetics | Photo Finish Pore Minimizing Primer

When I first started dabbling in make-up, the entire beauty community swore up and down about Smashbox Cosmetics and their Photo Finish primers. I remember being a young, impressionable girl watching the real OG beauty guru’s like Juicystar07 and being like I NEED THIS PRODUCT.

But, when you’re 15, you obviously don’t have a paycheck to blow at Sephora or Ulta and cannot afford a $39 primer. Hell, I have a full-time job and I still can barely afford it!

I received the Iconic Photo Finish primer in one of my Sephora Plays this year and I had mix reviews about it. I liked it, but it didn’t absolutely blow me away. It was moisturizing, but it did leave my skin feeling a little oily.

I swear, it’s like trying to find the Goldie Locks of primers.

Upon testing this, its consistency is the exact same as Benefit’s Pore-fessional, which I’ve mentioned before I’m not obsess with. My pores are a major skin concern of mine but when I apply any pore-minimizing primer, it seems to just weigh down my skin and leave it oiler than before.

This formula melted nicely into my skin and it didn’t feel too heavy. My foundation applied easily over top and it seemed to hold up. Since I’m still skeptical, I’ll have to keep testing it out to make sure I love it.

Rating: 3 out of 5


Davines | MINU Hair Serum & Conditioner

As a way to pay it back to their customers, I received two bonus products this month, both of which compliment the MINU shampoo from Davines.

I liked the conditioner because it was thick and dispersed well through my ends. It left my hair incredibly soft and manageable post-shower and even air-dried.

As for the serum, it was the oddest formula I’ve tested to date. It was incredibly gooey, which I thought would leave my hair feeling sticky and disgusting, but surprisingly, it worked well with the shampoo and conditioner and left my locks wicked shiny and lightweight.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5

If you’re interested in signing up for Birchbox, use my referral link here!

About sarah

28. writer. obsessed with makeup, traveling, nyr and sparkle.
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1 Response to birchbox unboxing: september ’17

  1. Pingback: ipsy unbagging: october ’17 | life with sarah

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