Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Inside the Box: November

Hey guys, sorry I (Charlotte) flaked last month, but luckily you have Vanessa to write awesome reviews in my absence. It's almost like she doesn't need me...almost. Anyhow, by now, you should all be well acquainted with Birchbox, so let's dive right in!

Charlotte's November Birchbox

Jouer-Lip Enhancer
Lip Enhancer is apparently a fancy phrase for chapstick. Joier is lightly scented, creamy, and lightweight. It works by improving the look of your pout by hydrating and moisturizing. It is a little too greasy for me to use as an everyday chapstick or lip balm. Does not give you the "bee sting " look like I expected, but it is good for an overnight lip cream.

Kate Spade New York-Twirl Eau de Parfum
I would like to forewarn all of you, I love old lady perfume. I mean the kind you can smell 20 minutes after they have walked away; the kind that makes you think to yourself, "That scent reminds me of my Great Great Aunt Mildred". Some of my favorites are Flirtatious, Fancy by Jessica Simpson, Reb'l Fleur by Rihanna, Forbidden Rose by Avril Lavigne, and Juicy Couture's Couture Couture, Juicy Couture, and Viva La Juicy. Now that you know where I'm coming from, I think Twist smells nice, it has a fruity, floral scent as advertised. It is light enough for everyday use, and doesn't bother my sensitive allergies. However, I cannot guarantee you that it does not fall into the "Old Lady Perfume" category, but I think you should make a trip to your local fragrance store to check it out for yourself, and see if it is worth $80 a bottle.

Supersmile-Professional Whitening Toothpaste
I love white teeth. I have been obsessed with whitening products since I was in high school, and they first hit mass retailers like Target. This product is no exception. I like the minty smell and taste and my teeth felt cleaner and brighter after only one use. Usually whitening toothpaste doesn't leave me minty fresh and sometimes it seems grainy, which I absolutely hate. I didn't experience anything negative with Supersmile. At $21 it is sort of pricey, but if it works even better in the long run than it did after only one use, it may be worth the money.

ZOYA-Nail Polish in Noel
Noel is a pretty shimmery teal color. ZOYA sells most of their polishes at $8 a piece, and they often run online promotions that make their nail polish even more affordable. However, if you are one of our normal readers, you may know that I personally have not had a good experience with ZOYA, and this polish did not change my mind. Good color, bad consistency.

Alex & Isabelle Classic Hair Tie.
This month, my "treat" was the Alex & Isabelle Classic Hair Tie. Each tie is basically a "fancy" 10 in. open ended piece of elastic that you are supposed to tie in your hair. It reminds me of the fabric that my mom used when I was little to do rag curls. RAG CURLS people!The only reason I am mentioning it is because I took an oath to tell you about EVERYTHING in my Birchbox, even the lame stuff...What's that? I didn't take any such oath? Oh well. If you are crazy and absolutely love these, I found them cheaper on Etsy.

My favorites in this month's Birchbox were hands down, Jouer Lip Enhancer, and Kate Spade Twirl Eau de Parfum.

My least favorite (by far) was the "Classic Hair Tie". I can assure you, it is a stupid idea, not worth buying. You can get the same effect with a piece of elastic from your local fabric store and at a cheaper price too.

Vanessa's November Birchbox

I was busy daydreaming about pecan pie, so I only cracked my Birchbox open a couple of days ago! Let's turn this mutha out:

Atelier Cologne - Vanille Insensee Cologne Absolue
(30ml $60, 200ml $170)
I'm not gonna lie, I saw "Vanille" and reeled back in horror. I loathe vanilla, especially in perfume. But this isn't straight up sugary vanilla, it's its grown up cousin, and actually really nice. You can still smell the vanilla, but there are amber, citrus and oak wood notes that create other layers. Instead of being nauseatingly sweet, it's warm and sort of woodsy. Very sophisticated, and a pleasant surprise.

Borghese - Fango Active Mud
7oz. $33.50, 17.5oz. $64
Borghese has been around forever, and comes packaged in these great glass jars (it's always about the package for me, *wink*wink*). Borghese's mud is Italian, from volcanic hills in Tuscany that's supposed to provide mineral nourishment and helps rid skin of impurities. It also contains the Acqua di Vita Complex (to revitalize your skin and help reduce the signs of aging) and a variety of oils to moisturize and prettify your skin. I love mud masks, this can actually be used on your face and body (mud paaaaarty!) so I used it on my face and legs. The oils make the mud smell amaaaaazing, so you'll look like you fell face-first into a mud pie, but you'll smell great. It left my skin feeling soft and clean, without any dryness or oiliness. It's pricy, so it won't be for everyone - but there are tons of good mud products that are less expensive, so check out your local drugstores for brands like Queen Helene.

La Rocca Skincare - Champagne and Shimmer Supreme Creme
6.76oz. $35
I got excited when I saw this, mostly because I love champagne. I'm wary about shimmer though, it's a fine line between a subtle glow and Twilight vamp sparkle. The product description reads, "shea butter and olive oil join forces to leave skin firm, supple and ready to set off your favorite party dress." I guess I'd have to use it more than once to determine if those firm and supple claims hold true, but I can say this it smells great. The shimmer effect is super subtle and looks kind of amazing on my skin tone. It's rich and creamy without being greasy, it absorbed into my skin right away and didn't leave any sort of residue. This is my Birchbox pic of the month, $35 for some goddess-like shimmer? Yes, please.

Zoya Nail Polish in Izzy
$8 per bottle
Izzy is an extremely bright pink that I wouldn't normally buy. I'm staring at my goth black polish as I type. But since I'm still hooked on ombre nails, it's gonna earn a spot in my bucket-o-polish. I'd never used Zoya before, so I did a little research and found out that the company is concerned about toxic chemicals in nail polish. Their formulas are free from those chemicals that are harmful (toluene, camphor, formaldehyde and dibutyl phthalate). It still smelled like regular polish, but I guess I can feel safer breathing in the fumes? The texture of the polish was okay, no better or worse than other products I've used before. It took two coats to get full coverage, which is pretty typical for most polishes. It's priced similarly to brands like O.P.I., and is an option for someone looking for a little less toxicity in their beauty regime.

Treat: Two Paper Dolls - Ampersand Coasters
Set of six, $15
This month's treat was a set of two super cute coasters from Two Paper Dolls. They do all kinds of cool printing and letterpress services - invitations, notecards, business cards as well as website designs. I've been pouring all over their cool cards and t-shirts on their print shop page.

My favorite item this month was the La Rocca Skincare Champagne and Shimmer Supreme Creme. I didn't have any duds this month (woo!) and will be teasing Charlotte about the hair tie until our next shipments arrive.

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