Here's what came for me this month:
Coola Tinted Matte Mineral Sunscreen SPF30 For Face (0.17 fl oz), approximate retail value $3.60
I have had pretty mixed results with tinted Coola products, which seem to vary anywhere from "somewhat Robyn-colored" to "this is the right color match for a bottle of Fanta". Luckily, this falls into the former category. The shade is perfectly light, although it definitely leans too yellow for me! (It doesn't matter, though, since I slather on a thick coat of foundation right on top.)
This product also seems to be having a bit of an identity crisis. Is it a bb cream? A sunscreen? Something else entirely? To me, it covers like a very, very sheer tinted moisturizer. The texture, though, is a little funky. It's a little greasy with a bit of graininess to it. No big deal, but not something I'd buy myself.
Ruby Wing Color Changing Nail Polish in Kitten Heels (0.25 fl oz), approximate retail value $5.00
I swear, I really do believe that this product does, actually change color. There is a viable mechanism by which color changing cosmetics work (they utilize photochromic pigments, like the sort used on 'transition' lenses that darken into sunglasses when you go outside). In theory, this should change from a highlighter pink to a red color.
Unfortunately, I am an indoor kind of lady. I stood outside in the cold, hoping my nails would change color, for a solid three minutes before deciding, "This is ridiculous" and going back inside. IT IS WINTER. MY FINGERS BELONG TWO INCHES FROM MY SPACE HEATER, NOT OUTSIDE.
The formula otherwise seemed fine. It's just that I am too impatient to wait for any color change effect, so I haven't witnessed it.
Beauty Protector Protect and Oil (estimated size 0.2 fl oz), estimated retail value $1.30
I am not sure that I have a good use for hair oil, but, nevertheless, I went ahead and coated my ludicrous locks with a layer. The good news is that it didn't make my hair look greasy! The bad news is that it didn't look like much of anything happened, at all.
Smashbox Cosmetics Full Exposure Mascara (0.14oz), approximate retail value $7.18
I like the idea that Smashbox is being sent out by Birchbox, even though I wasn't digging the samples I got in this box. This mascara is pretty much the most generic mascara I have ever used. It's definitely a length-over-volume mascara, but it's not good enough at pumping up length to be actually impressive.
A quick before-and-after:
Smashbox Full Exposure
One more time!
Smashbox Full Exposure
The final effect looks perfectly nice. There's nothing wrong with it. Still, it took approximately 800 million coats of mascara to get where I wanted to go and, even then, it wasn't anything mind-blowing. There are better mascaras in this price range!
Smashbox Full Exposure Palette (estimated size 0.001oz), estimated retail value $0.10
This last sample was super shitty. Cardboard samples aren't an effective way to actually try out a product. Essentially, this is an advertisement for the new Smashbox Full Exposure palette.
The sample contained ten shades from the Smashbox Full Exposure Palette. This kind of baffled me, since the Full Exposure Palette only contains 14 shades. Why not go for the whole hog?
The palette is divided into glitterbombs:
I will say that I did swatch this palette in person and found that the swatches that I got from the sample were pretty accurate. (So at least that may be a little helpful for those of you who received this product as a sample.)
The biggest issue is simple pigmentation. The shimmers are all very weakly pigmented and the mattes vary from "very nice" to "pretty crappy".
Weirdly, though, (and I have NO GOOD EXPLANATION FOR THIS), I don't hate the palette. I don't know why I don't hate it. Logically, I should hate it. But I don't. I think the biggest upside is that it is a total dream to work with. The pigmentation is crap, but it blends well!
|Smashbox Full Exposure Palette on Human Face|
Total Box Value: $17.18
Overall, I have a big ol' shrug for this month's Birchbox. It was neither awful nor stellar. Still, the Birchbox points system easily makes up for these so-so boxes, so I'm definitely not grumbling too loudly.
If joining Birchbox will fill your life with joy and fairy dust, you are always welcome to use my Birchbox referral link by clicking here.