April 2012 Birchbox

Oh goodness, I just have the hardest time keeping up with these! I don’t want to throw them up and do some sort of “first impressions” review — I’m a horrible judge when it comes to first impressions. I can be mean and too harsh. These products are exactly why. I thought, “ugh, I don’t want another lip balm, what am I going to do with yet another cuticle cream in my arsenal?” Yet these are some of my favorite products in this box here. Birchbox always brings out the best in their April boxes, I think. And it’s always their most eco-friendly stuff too, for Earth Day. Lets get to it! As always, click on the pictures for large, high-quality photos.

Birchbox says:

Hi there!

This month, we’re bringing things back down to earth with fresh products that take inspiration from the world around us. You’ll find skincare packed with nourishing natural ingredients (they’re practically good enough to eat), healthy hair products, and an optimistic new fragrance.”

Alima Pure | Organic Nourishing Lipbalm in Rhubarb | Full-size: $7

Both wholesome and chic, this tinted balm is made with pure plant butters and delivers a natural flush of color.

This is an amazing lip balm, and one of my go-to lip products, along with my trusty Jack Black. It has an almost gritty/sandy feeling on the first swipe, but then in warms up and smooths on. It’s super soft, slick, and slightly tinted, and very moisturizing. I used it for two weeks straight when I ran out of Jack Black. It worked just as well. It has a sweet, sort of generic scent, and a generic but inoffensive taste. It does add just a natural touch of sheer color. Also, I believe this may be full size, but I’m not too sure on that.

J.R. Watkins | Hand and Cuticle Salve | Full-size: $7.99 (Birchbox has it on their website as $8.99)

Slather on this creamy balm pre-manicure. It’s full of natural moisturizers to keep your hands and cuticles super soft.

I. Love. This. So much. It’s super-ultra-crazy moisturizing, it’s creamy (slightly oily, but not too bad), and it smells good! This is so much better than Burt’s Bees Cuticle Balm, or anything I’ve tried. As any regular reader of this blog will know, I have the driest cuticles ever. I had a super bad dry spot on my knuckle that I tried for months to get rid of in any possible way. As soon as I opened this I put it on and within a day or two the spot was almost gone. It helps with pushing back cuticles easily, and moisturizing cuticles instantly. It is a tad greasy, so I don’t put it on before bed, but I use it before and after a full manicure. This is .25 oz, and full size is 2.1 oz. This will last for a long time, and I will definitely buy the full size. The value is way more than the cost. $9 for a 3-in-1 product?

Jurlique | Moisture Replenishing Day Cream | Full size: $40

Protect your skin from dryness with this botanical cream, which is infused with rosehip and avocado oils.

This is a very nice cream. Very moisturizing, and very nice quality. However, it’s called a day cream, but there’s no SPF in it, and it’s way too thick and a bit too oily to wear under makeup. This is, however an excellent night cream. Obviously, with rosehip and avocado oils in there, it’s not going to be horrible. I wear this every night over my usual CeraVe PM moisturizer, which is thinner. Adding this cream on top after the moisturizer has sunk in is excellent. I’ve seen noticeable improvement to my skin, and no breakouts related to it. It has that “natural” scent, you know, like the “organic” scent that everything good has. The Weleda moisturizer, Pangea products, and my holy grail hand sanitizer (also by Jurlique), all have similar scents, with Weleda and this cream being near identical. I have to find out what they have in common. It’s a delicious scent that makes you feel good about yourself and your impact on this planet. 🙂 This is a good sized sample, even though it’s a tenth of the full size. Full size is 5oz for $40, while this is 0.5oz. This is a good sized tube that could last a while on it’s own, and I wish they’d sell one this size for $4! The packaging is super clean, which I like. I love the box as well.

Wonderstruck Taylor Swift | Full-size, $49.50 – $59.50

The pop-country songstress’ scent is as catchy as her lyrics. We thing it’s worthy of a standing gig on our vanity.

This smells very good. Very good. I suck at describing scents, and nowhere is it described for me. I’m considering buying a rollerball or something small of this. It has a warm, cozy feel to it. It actually smells how the cardboard packaging above looks. It’s clean and sophisticated while staying warm and “relatable.” Some celebrities come out with scents that make them seem otherworldly, or something like Chanel, which smells expensive. This is something I can see Taylor wearing, or Nicole Richie. (Sidenote: I’m so excited for the upcoming perfumes from Nicole Richie and Lady Gaga! It’d be interesting what they come up with.)

However, while I love the packaging of the cardboard sleeve and the sample tube, I hate the whole charm bracelet and round bottle design of the full size perfume. Not that it’s going to be on display, but those things just bother me.

LIFESTYLE EXTRA: Dropps | Laundry Detergent | Pack of 20: $6

Lighten your laundry day load with these single-use, eco-friendly detergent packs. We love their convenience factor and adorable design.

I haven’t tried these yet, as we’ve just received a front loading HE washer, where as before we had an archaic top-loader for 20 years. I’m still not quite sure how to use it, so I can’t say anything for it, review-wise. However, the design isn’t anything to write home about. The outside packaging is super commercial- it’d blend in at Walmart, and the pacs themselves are extremely simple – the usual clear “skin,” with what appears to be water inside. I’m excited to try this, however, just to see how it works. Remember how, at first, eco-friendly products we’re seen as competitive? They just didn’t have the oomph? Well, they’ve all picked up in the past few years, and I’m realizing that I’m gravitating towards them even more as their price points come down. For a pack of 20, I don’t think I’ll pay $6 yet, but we’ll see.

So, final thoughts? I loved every single product in this box. Every single one. Even though I haven’t tried the Dropps, I love the idea of them. So simple and friendly looking.

Any thoughts on these products? Do you have them? What did you get in your Birchbox recently?

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