October Birchbox Review: Part I
Last month I reported that I’d received my first Birchbox in the mail, a monthly delivery of semi-random beauty products, usually in sample sizes. I was thrilled with the selection and high quality of the products I’d received. This month I’m less enthusiastic, but I still think Birchbox is a great way to sample a variety of products for relatively low cost.
First off, love the packaging. It’s lame, but I’m a sucker for nice packaging. This fragrance from Kate Spade is very floral, and slightly lemony. My favorite thing about the scent is that it’s in it for the long haul–it lasted literally all day and I could still get a whiff of it if I brought my hand or wrist near my face. But I don’t think it mellows very well (and this is my own terminology, I have no idea what professional odorists? call it). That is, fragrance is really delightful when it meshes with your own body chemistry to create a variation on the original scent. This fragrance did not do that, for whatever reason. It smelled like I’d just sprayed it all day–so the result was too powerful, and too alcoholic. This could be because it just doesn’t mesh well with my particular chemistry. So be it. It is definitely worth a trip to your local Sephora or department store for a test drive. See how it ages on ya’.
WEI appears to be a company that specializes in Eastern-inspired beauty and wellness products. Their website sells only cleansers, moisturizers, and other treatments; they don’t seem to have make-up. Their pairing with Birchbox provides two products not found on their regular website: REAL CLEAN Gelled Oil Cleanser and IDEAL SKIN Perfect Finish.
First, the Gelled Oil Cleanser. Oil cleansing is a method of cleaning the face based on the principle that like attracts like. Many make-up products have oil in them, so if you apply oil on top of the makeup, it removes it from the surface to which it is adhered. Similarly, if you have oily skin and you apply oil, you’ll remove the excess oil from your skin. I was not the ideal person to try this cleanser because I don’t have oily skin. In the summer I have combination skin and in the fall, winter and spring I have dry skin. So applying an oil cleanser to my already dry skin only removes the oil there, which I need because I have less than my skin ideally needs. Boo hoo. But, I will say that it didn’t dry out my skin; perhaps because there was only enough to use for about four washings. If you do have oily skin, this may be a good product for you.
But, also know that you can easily create your own oil cleanser at home. The base for most oil cleansers is plain old olive oil, and then you add other oil or oils, based on your skin type. Last year I experimented with oil cleansing before I figured out that it wasn’t for me, and the method I used was combining two parts olive oil with one part castor oil. I applied to my dry face, using a circular motion to massage it into the skin. Then I laid a warm, damp washcloth over my face for about a minute to draw out the oil. Then I wiped clean with the other side of the cloth. Though my skin felt pretty awesome directly after cleansing, it quickly became dried out, and I abandoned it.
Second, the Perfect Finish. This is a foundation, or perhaps a tinted moisturizer–the packaging and website are woefully unclear. But I loved this product. It is SO light. If you hate wearing foundation, this is the product for you. I applied moisturizer beforehand, then the foundation, and I could barely feel it on. I have pale skin, and I was sent the “light” color, which was a tad too light for me. I think I have the remnants of a tan still. But come January, it would be the perfect shade for my skin. I highly recommend.
Stay tuned for Part II in a week or two!