Friday, March 14, 2014

Birchbox March 2014 Review

Birchbox. Stuff. It came. Hooray!

It's rainy, so I can only assume that the weather has decided to be Spring, now. Birchbox is thematically appropriate with their "Spring Forward" box, though their featured products never seem to have anything to do with the theme.

Here's what I got:



Jergens BB Body Perfecting Skin Cream (1 fl oz), approximate retail value $1.60


First came BB creams for your face. Next came BB creams for your hair. I suppose that BB creams for your body are the logical next step, no? The Jergens BB Body cream is this month's "Birchbox Find"-- a drugstore product that Birchbox pretends to get excited about because Jergens paid them to (let's not pretend otherwise).

The product itself is essentially translucent-- it doesn't initially appear to do much of anything. However, people online have been reporting that the product is having a self-tanning effect. Uh oh.


I decided to peruse the ingredients and see what was going on. We see water, shea butter, fatty alcohols that give an emollient quality to the product, glycerin to improve smoothness, petroleum jelly, dimethicone (everyone's favorite source of "that silicone-y feel"), ethylhexyl isononanoate for a skin conditioning agent...  a shitload more stuff that is really just there to make the product feel nice (to be fair, it does feel pretty nice)...

And then we get to dihydroxyacetone (DHA), the classic self-tanning ingredient. Move a little farther down the list and you'll hit erythrulose, another common self-tanning ingredient.

This is a self-tanning product.
Source: http://www.drugstore.com/jergens-bb-body-skin-perfecting-cream-all-light-skin-tones/qxp510116?catid=182924
I suppose there is nothing inherently atrocious about having artificial tanning ingredients in a product. Furthermore, Jergens is apparently well-known for their fake tan products. As someone who doesn't fake bake, though, that's not necessarily on my radar. And although the product may not be inherently awful, the advertising says nothing about fake tanning.

The summary of alleged benefits looks like this:

Source: http://www.jergens.com/products/daily-moisturizers/bb-body-perfecting-skin-cream.aspx#

Notice that it says jack shit about tanning.

I really do not approve of products that try to change my skin color... but I really, really, really, really disapprove of products that try to change my skin color and don't fucking warn me about it. This whole situation makes me grumpy because I feel like the company isn't being honest about what the product is actually doing. It's "evening" your skin by making you tanner. It's "correcting" your skin by making you motherfucking tanner.

Leave my skin color alone, Jergens.

Keims Haircare Cleanshine Energizing Shampoo in Peppermint and Macadamia (1.69 fl oz), approximate retail value $1.90


This is another generously-sized sample, which is handy for me since I have absurd amounts of hair. Tiny shampoo samples just don't cut the mustard. The shampoo is relatively thin, in a sheer, amber color. It kinda looks like something you might find in a hotel... The soft, minty scent smells awesome, though, and it is more-than-the-average amount of foamy.

Supergoop City Sunscreen Serum (0.34 fl oz), approximate retail value $8.93 


I will never turn down extra sunscreen, so I was happy to get this in my box. I also tend to like Supergoop sunscreens (I got a few tubes free last year, so I did use it quite a bit)... but damn are those fuckers overpriced. This is $42 for 1.6 ounces. If you're putting on the 0.04oz needed to get full SPF protection on your face, you're only getting 40 applications out of this sucker. You're spending over a dollar on every single sunscreen application. No thank you.

It's a nice sunscreen. It goes on well under makeup. It's not greasy. But unless it's the fountain of eternal youth with a 100% no cancer guarantee, I'm buying a cheaper sunscreen.

Grand Central Beauty SMART Skin Perfecting Serum + Primer (0.27 fl oz), approximate retail value $10.80


I honestly just don't have a lot to say about this product. It's really expensive and does not appear to do anything. I am not really sure what the point of this is.

Inika Certified Organic Eye Liner in 10 Green Lagoon (full size at 0.04 oz), retail value $20.00


Last but not least: EYELINER. This is a full-sized product that does come with a sharpener on the cap.


The color I got was Green Lagoon, a mermaid-y metallic teal.

Unfortunately, the pencil is as hard as a rock. I feel that unyielding eyeliners are really difficult to use, because you just end up poking yourself in the eyelid.


Because the product is so solid, I had a hard time getting a lot of opacity out of the product because it simply was not comfortable to use...


...although you can see it a little better close up.


Total Box Value: $40.23

This was a high retail value box and several of my samples were rather large. Still, I didn't get any products that I'm really excited about. Although I'll definitely use everything except the Jergens, for me, the ideal Birchbox month is a month where I discover something that I really love and want to incorporate into my everyday routine. That didn't happen here. I'm honestly feeling a little 'meh' about the box as a whole. (Luckily, Birchbox points are the best and they more than make up for a few lacklaster products. Gotta love free things.)

If you are filled with an urge to subscribe to Birchbox, you are, as always, welcome to use my referral link by clicking here.

25 comments:

  1. Sugergoop is really expensive, but I love their City Serum. It's hard to find a sunscreen that doesn't feel like it's burning my face.

    I'm with you on sneaky tanning. I'm okay with being pale! If I decide one day that I'm not, then I'll go out and buy St. Tropez or something. I don't need a product to "correct" my skin tone by changing it entirely. Yeesh.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It feels like it is burning your skin? Hm... that's worrying. I would normally suggest giving physical sunscreens a try (sunscreens with titanium dioxide and/or zinc oxide as the active ingredients), but this isn't a physical sunscreen and seems to be working for you...? If you have the budget for it, I'm glad you found something good!

      Delete
  2. have you tried heating up the eyeliner? I have heard that is a good method in a pinch for getting some use (and pigmentation) out of super hard liners. Great post!!!

    ReplyDelete
  3. This may sound weird but when I was in middle school girls used to heat up their eyeliners with a lighter to make them go on smoother and darker...I wonder if that would work for the green. It kinda sounds like too much work but at the same time that looks like it could be a really pretty color if it were easier to use.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ha! I don't even think I own a lighter...

      Delete
    2. In high school I used to heat mine up by holding it against the lightbulb on my nighttable lamp. Also, I can't use the BB body cream because my husband keeps calling it "Jerkins."

      Delete
  4. As an eyeliner fiend and recovered goth, I can vouch for the lighter method. Just recap it for 30 seconds after running the lighter over the wax- it sets the pencil just enough to smudge nicely without gooping in one spot. I still do this sometimes on cold mornings. Anyway, the green really suits you; I'm always jealous of fellow fair and light eyed ladies who can pull off subtle eyeliner colors. I look dead without a swipe of black.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. There's a swipe of black under the green on my eye for dimension!

      Delete
  5. Oh man, I totally would have used that BB cream and ended up tan and it would have been bad.

    Also, have you seen the Lorac Warm it Up/Cool it Down palettes on HauteLook? I actually just bought the Mint one their website but I'm curious as to what you think of these as it seems like a great deal upfront.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I got that mint one, too. Hard to pass up at $16.50! This will be my first Lorac product and I'm looking fwd. to trying it out.

      Delete
    2. I saw them and won't be buying them. When LORAC is good, they're really, really good... but when LORAC is cheap, they're usually not good. Let me know what you think when you get it! Crossing my fingers that I'm wrong.

      Delete
    3. Robyn,
      Isn't this palette the one you reviewed on May 14, 2013? The difference being that it was then offered at Ulta and Sephora. I don't know about the other places this year, but I bought mine on Lorac's website.

      Delete
    4. Oh, sorry! I misread you. I thought that one of the two new Hautelook palettes was the 'mint' one. The Mint Edition palette is perfectly solid! I would skip the "Warm It Up"/"Cool It Down" palettes, personally, though!

      Delete
  6. The other day i was in Walgreens and I almost bought the BB body cream to use for photo shoots. Now that I know about the self-tanning effects, I'm really glad I decided against it. I'm happy as a ghost, that you very much.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hear, hear. I use Prtty Peaushun in the original colorless option for shoots. It's a bit of a beauty investment, but you get a ton and the packaging is travel/eco-friendly. Makes legs look sickening for hours even under hot lights (so it won't dry out like oils) without adding color (unless you opt for one. But they also make a light one for fair-skinned customers). Plus, it's actually nourishing and hydrating.

      Delete
    2. I'm really not happy that they didn't label it more clearly...

      (Also, FYI: Celia knows what she is talking about!)

      Delete
  7. I'm with unebranche on absolutely LOVING the Supergoop City Serum. I don't know why I bought it, but it maaaaaayyy have been a drunk internet order. It was great stuff, although once I started using near-to-sufficient amounts for getting the full whack of SPF, I used it up pretty fast. Robyn, do you have a favorite face sunscreeen right now that isn't messing with your makeup or causing problems with your skin? I smuggle Aveeno from the US whenever I'm stateside but I'm always on the lookout for brands that are transatlantic. I tried Neutrogena ones once or twice but they're fantastic at turning me into a pink zinc ghost.

    Also: what is your lipstick color in the eye makeup photo?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hm. Neutrogena sunscreens are definitely my go-to sunscreens. I know the EltaMD sunscreens are much beloved, although they are also kinda pricy. I am one of those who wants to buy sunscreen by the gallon.

      Delete
    2. Oh, and the lipstick is L'Oreal Spiced Cider.

      Delete
  8. Wow. Suuuuuper not liking how the Jergens BB Cream is advertised. The Birchbox product page says "There’s no shortage of options when it comes to finding a heroic BB cream or tinted moisturizer for the face. But for years, self-tanner was our only option when it came to perfecting the skin on our arms and legs. Enter our latest Birchbox Find: a complexion-correcting moisturizer for the whole body." That seems to pretty clearly imply (at LEAST imply) that this is NOT a self-tanning product, but merely a tinted moisturizer that's meant for the body. So I'm pretty glad I saw this--I'm extremely pale and I'm not looking to change that. Plus, being a sample, there's a very good chance I wouldn't have applied it evenly. I'm guessing it's pretty subtle and I wouldn't have immediately looked ridiculous if I'd just applied it to one area, but it's still definitely something I'd like them to be clear about!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's definitely relatively low on the ingredients list, but if 1. people are seeing results before knowing that it has self-tanning ingredients and 2. the self-tanning ingredients are there, I'm inclined to say that it is having some form of effect, even if its subtle!

      Delete
  9. Funny thing: when I read 'BB cream for the body', I actually instantly assumed it *was* going to be a fake tan. Literally, like one of those moisturizers that claims to slowly build up a natural tan. Lo and behold, I was right.

    Not labelling it as such, however, is so wrong on so many levels I can't even. I am not a fake tan person and never have been (happy with my vampiric skin), so, like you, this product offends me on multiple levels.

    That eyeliner's colour is so pretty - I wish for you that it was a bit softer! Maybe heat it up a bit before you use it?

    ReplyDelete
  10. I like that eyeliner color.. sad it didn't wrk tat well!!

    ReplyDelete
  11. For those talking about sunscreen: Estee Lauder's is the only one that I can wear on my face.

    ReplyDelete

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...