January Birchbox

So you know how January went by extra slow, kinda like how time stretched and elongated in the black hole in Interstellar, or while watching the movie Interstellar?  Well it seems as though that long yawn of a month was a once in a lifetime thing, because February is back to moving at hyper speed.  I obviously could not keep up with this chaos and am sad to say I have already received two new Birchboxes and have yet to review either one!  I really am the worst.  However, I figure all of you out there are just as frazzled as I am by how time and nature must play with man so, and will give me a pass and continue to love me and laugh at my cutting wit and share my hilarity with your friends and coworkers and launch me into celebrity blogdom.

So here we go.  January Birchbox!

Pretty in pink.
Pretty in pink.

Isn’t their packaging just too much?  That confetti-patterned box, the hot pink tissue, the color-coordinated products? Mm, if I were just a hair more superficial that alone would compel me to give it a good review.  But I’m not.  SO LET’S TEAR THIS BABY APART.

Whish?  More like Psssssh.
Whish? More like Psssssh.

1.  Whish Shave Crave Shaving Cream:  Here is a list of things that could be used as shaving cream that cost less than this full-sized product:

  • Skintimate Shaving Cream
  • Organic Coconut Oil
  • Paul Mitchell conditioner
  • L’Occitane Shea Butter
  • Raw Honey infused with Lavender
  • Truffle Oil
  • Bottled tears of an albino tiger

Basically anything that is liquid and can safely be rubbed onto human skin would be a better buy.  Yes it smells good (my sample was grapefruit acai), and yes it is moisturizing, but is it worth $20?  And no, I didn’t mistype.  Ladies and–well, probably just more ladies–a full-sized Whish Shaving Cream costs $20 for a 5 oz container.  In no world should that exist.  If you are dying for an expensive shaving product that smells like grapefruit, here’s an idea: buy the Burt’s Bees Deep Conditioner.  It too is 5 oz, will be highly moisturizing, and, at $8 a bottle, will nicely serve as an overpriced shaving cream.  Problem solved.

Cleopatra, comin' atcha.
Cleopatra, comin’ atcha.

2. Tocca Crema Da Mano in Cleopatra:  For those of you uncultured swine out there who do not speak Italian, this is a fancy little hand cream.  I recognized this brand from Anthropologie; I tend to ogle over their lotions and drawer knobs since they’re the only things I can afford, so I know their stock pretty well.  This lotion is ethereal in scent.  It smells like a summer day on the Amalfi Coast–light, bright, sunny, and buoyant.  It is a blend of grapefruit and cucumber which really adds to this fantasy I’m creating–I can see it now, me sipping a greyhound, nibbling at a salad of cucumber, tomato, and basil while Paolo, my Italian fling turned husband turned secret heir to the Ferrari fortune is enraptured by my grace, charm, and wit…

As a lotion, it is only sufficient.  It feels a little too sticky when applying and doesn’t hold much moisture.  I liked it more for the rich girl, jetsetting fantasies it provided me with than for actual practical use, but that might be reason enough to purchase a full-size.

Sorry this picture is so boring.
Sorry this picture is so boring.

3.  Harvey Prince Perfume–Sincerely:  I’ve never really been a perfume girl.  Most of the time they just end up giving me a headache, and the ones I do like are usually intended for octogenarians; I act old enough as it is, I don’t need that added layer.  However, during my aforementioned explorations in the bath and body displays at Anthropologie, I did end up finding a scent that was the right balance between cranky-indie-bookworm and bunko-playing-cat-lady.  It is called Wish by Lollia and is described by its maker as “Warm Vanilla Bean and Rice Flower delicately frosted with sugared pastille. Jasmine Leaves sweetened with Sugar Cane. Comforting Ylang Ylang and the sheerest of Amber Woods complete the scene, creating the most luxurious of fragrant escapes,” and is described by me as sweet with a hint of floral (sometimes less is more, Lollia).  I really loved that combo and think of that scent as “me,” but it does feel a little heavy in the spring and summer when I really just want something with a little less weight.  That is why I was ever so happy to receive this perfume sample.  Harvey Prince’s Sincerely is like the cinnamon gum-chewing, tv-watching, loud-laughing cousin of Wish.  The scent profile is a little different–consisting of Indian tuberose, Turkish cyclamen, and Spanish mandarin–and errs on the side of spiciness.  However, it does have the same sugary, flowery vibe.  The reviews for this product on Birchbox are mixed–some say it seems a bit “mature” for their tastes–which means I should probably file it away with my cat sweaters and elastic-waisted pants until I hit 65.  So I will not buy the full-sized product, but I think I’ll just enjoy this sample while it lasts.

ajnfksjdf
Who needs the Naked palette?  JK!  I do!

4.  Coastal Scents Revealed Palette: Girls love all things naked.  And they like the eyeshadow palette too (thank you, thank you, I’ll be here all week).  For real though, even girls who don’t really understand makeup love the Naked 2 palette.  It has the perfect spread of neutral colors and a few slightly fun, night-on-the-town shadows that I and the other previously mentioned ladies will most likely never touch (Really?  Silver?  Do they think that goes with any living human’s skin tone?)  The only thing the Naked 2 is missing are some matte tones.  That’s where this sample comes in.  According to the online reviews I’ve seen, the Coastal Scents Revealed palette is the poor girl’s Naked, but is even more comprehensive.  Not only are there a handful of matte shadows, but it has incredibly accurate dupes for both the Naked 1 and 2 palettes!  What’s even better?  It only costs $20.  The same price as that goddamn Whish shaving cream (unbelievable.  Just completely out of control).  Obviously I was very eager to try this out and see if the quality was even half as good as Urban Decay’s.  Conclusion: it was.  And maybe more than half as good.  Like, 65%.  Which is really saying something.  Here’s a super not awkward picture of me wearing the shades.

Hey guys!  It's really weird to take pictures of your own eyes.  Just thought you should know.
Hey guys!  Just taking a totally normal zoomed-in selfie.  

And here’s an even more average, not weird or uncomfortable at all, close-up picture, so you can get a better idea of the colors on skin:

Forgive me, I know not what I do.
Forgive me, I know not what I do.

I used the beigy tan color (top right in the sample) and it was a perfect tone for my skin, adding just a little darkness and slight mystery.  I err on the dark side (according to the Pottermore’s expertly calibrated Sorting Hat, I am a Slytherin after all; it only makes sense) and loved the depth of this color.  I applied the darkest shade (bottom right) to the outer corner of my eyelid and admittedly used a color from the Naked 2 for the crease.  All in all, it was a really great look for the day time and could easily be vamped up for the night, if you happen to be one of those people who leaves the house after sundown.  I’ve been reaching for this little sample just about every morning so I think I may splurge and buy the actual product when this runs out.

The most generic bottle of hairspray in existence.
The most generic bottle of hairspray with the most generic name in existence.  

5.  Number 4 Non-Aerosol Hairspray:  I’m going to be frank with you: I have no way of giving this product an accurate review.  My hair has only held a curl once in my entire life and that was only because a gay man did it with a straightener.  That beautiful mane of curls stayed for approximately 48 hours before I was forced to shower them away, water mingling with the tears I shed for the beauty I would never get back…

That being said, I did spritz this on my hair when it was french braided and pinned at the nape of my neck.  From what I could tell, the spray held up well in the heat (I was out all day in the scorching San Diego Winter sun), and didn’t harden and make my hair helmet-like.  And that’s probably as good of a hairspray review you will ever receive from me.

Alright my lovelies, I still have one more Birchbox to cast judgement upon and another one soon on its heels.  This is not the last you will hear from me!

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