Friday, July 20, 2012

My favorite Birchbox Samples

Most of us have subscribed already or have heard of the many monthly sampling subscriptions out there.  I've tried a few that I have shared in the past year or so.  One thing is for certain, I have been happily introduced to so many new brands.

One sampling service that I have stuck with, for better or worse, has been Birchbox.  They definitely have had their up and down months, from paper coasters to the endless perfume samples that you can get without a sample box for free.

But overall, I am excited every month when my Birchbox comes in the mail.  Today, I wanted to share a few memorable samples that I have and will purchase full sizes in the future.

One has been the Shu Uemura Cleansin Oil shampoo.  I only needed a single sample to know I needed this shampoo in my life.  With a 20% off coupon and some Birchbox points, I was able to score this $55 priced baby for a steal!  For me, it works as a gentle clarifying shampoo, removing build up and allowing for my conditioner to deeply penetrate.  I love the smell, the lather and the fact that it is free of parabens and silicones.

Laura Geller Blush in Brighten in Como.  I use this everyday either as a cheek highlight, brow highlight, inner corner highlight, cupie's bow, or a combo of all those areas.  This was a full size product and it will last me probably forever!

Stila eyeshadow in Cloud.  Hands down my favorite eyeshadow ever!  Buttery soft and smooth, this shadow glides on like a dream.  It's a fantastic gray, silvery taupe shade.  It was my first time sampling Stila when I received this one month and I intend to explore more within the brand.  I did swatch a few eyeshadows at IMATS but none of them seemed to be the quality of Cloud so I passed.  Kitten is another I want to try as well as diamond lil, storm and espresso.

Stila Smudge Stick Waterproof eye liner in blue ribbon.  I have blue eyes and blue is the least used color on my eyes.  I guess it should be intuitive to use blue to bring out the color of my eyes, but I needed Birchbox to   include this in a sample box to try out that concept!  I guess I still have nightmares of the bright blue eyeliner that my friends would try to force on me in middle school.  Never was a fan, plus those eyeliners were so dry and rough, it hurt to apply it!  lol  Fast forward 20 years and this Stila smudge stick is soft and in a dark blue shade that truly complements my eye color.  It is also waterproof, something I appreciate having oily lids.  Unfortunately my smudge stick does not twist up.  I will be needing to purchase in the future.

Dry shampoo and baby powder are staples in my hair routine as I do not like to wash my hair everyday because the ends can get quite dry but my scalp is on constant oil production mode.  Baby powder works pretty god but you really need to work it in and the spill factor on dark clothes is not sure.  I've pretty much tried most dry shampoo sprays, white sticky powder that I can't stand the smell, feel or texture of my hair after using.  Enter into my life, Oscar Blandi Volumizing Dry Shampoo Spray.  Non-sticky with a lemony scent.  So much neater than baby powder.  I just need to use up one that I currently cannot stand and I will buy this one.  Waste not, want not!

Cynthia Rowley Band-Aids.  This are chic and fun.  Yeah it's not makeup or skincare but an essential everyday item that I can use. Better than Spiderman or Disney princesses!  Great item that I can throw in my purse.  You never know when you are going to need a bandage.  :)

Colorscience Pro Sunforgettable mineral powder, SPF 30.  I used to always wear mineral foundations, mainly Bare Minerals for years.  I've branched out to liquid and BB creams in the past couple of year but I am finding myself wanting to go back to powder foundations.  This is in fair which is currently too light but it works well in the winter for me.

Jouer luminizing moisture tint.  SPF 20, oil free.  I've gone back and forth with oil free for oily skin because my skin doesn't need any more oil and then not oil-free for oily skin because my skin will over-compensate.  I still enjoy light coverage so my skin will show through and luminosity in my products.  Glowing skin looks better than dull skin any day.  As a perfecting base, it blurs imperfections, minimizing pores and doesn't deaden the skin, giving a lit from within, healthy look to the skin.  This sample is in pearl but I want to try this next in golden.

theBalm Stainiac.  I love theBalm.  I love them even more because I can find great deals on their products in Marshall's and TJ Maxx.  Oh and today on Hautelook! :)   My lips aren't really pigmented so this stain just adds a little something, just a rosy natural tint and doesn't look like I have any product on my lips.  I don't have to worry about getting my lip lines perfect, I can just slap it on and I'm done.  It lasts for a long time and it doesn't dry out my lips.  I will need a full size soon!

Jouer lipgloss in Birchbox pink.  I actually like to pair this with theBalm Stainiac.  Both are tiny and take up barely any room in my already packed purse.  I need the extra color base to really make this pink pop on my lips.  It's moisturizing and non-sticky too.  Great formula.  This sample has lasted a good while too!

Nuxe Dry Oil in Golden Shimmer.  I reserve this for special occasions.  In fact, I saved it for my sister's wedding and then ran out of time getting ready and never used it!  Still one of my favorite luxury samples.  I've used it a few times sparingly for it's light scent and shimmer.  I love lathering oils on my body after a bath or shower.  They absorb so much more readily than lotion and work a lot better at moisturizing and softening the skin.  I will definitely repurchase this when I run out of the sample.

Last but certainly not least VMV Hypoallergenics Re-everything eye serum.  I've used a lot of eye creams and serum in my day and I've seen results with only 2 so far.  VMV Hypoallergenics Re-everything eye serum and Estee Lauder Advanced Night Repair.  And have I ever re-purchased them?  Nope.  Why?  Well for one the hefty price tag.  But all the others I have tried and used are always less but if you add them up, the price tag out weighs VMV Hypoallergenics Re-everything eye serum's $80.  Currently I am using 2 fabulous eye creams in their own right but I still want VMV Hypoallergenics!  However, I still need a few more Birchbox points to make this purchase a reality.

So there you have it, my 11 Birchbox faves.  If you are subscribed to Birchbox or another monthly sampling service, what is your favorite product sampled to date?