Spring Awakening was this month's theme for Birchbox's April selections. The samples came in a lovely Rifle Paper Co. box with an assortment of spring plants adorning the pattern.
The first products I'll review are two that are from the same brand and related - Beaver Repair Rescue Shampoo and Conditioner. First off, the brand name needs some overhauling. Not the most appealing name for a beauty product. The shampoo was surprisingly non-fragrant and light, which I liked. Conversely, the conditioner was more thick in consistency and very fragrant. I wasn't offended by the fragrance, just expected that to be from the shampoo and not the conditioner. Neither left my hair feeling heavy and weighted, so that is a positive. The sample sizes were really good for a hair care product when usually foil packages are sent. I'll use the sample, but doubtful this will be a full-size purchase later. I'd give these products a B.
The next product was Acure Organics Pore Minimizing Facial Scrub. I recently purchased a brightening scrub from the Acure Organics line that I like....very mud like in texture, but it did a good job. This product is made with red clay, which is obvious in the look and smell. The first time I used it, I liked it, but when I used it the second time, I could barely get it to squeeze out of the tube. I poked through the hole to see if it was clogged, but it seemed clear. I finally got some to come out after much lamenting. If the next time I use it I get the same result, I may just have to toss it. I give this product a B for effectiveness, but a C for packaging.
The next product was Penthaligon's Levantium Eau de Toilette. Now that's a mouthful! I love getting fragrance samples but of all the fragrance samples I've received from my various beauty subscriptions only one has been something I actually would have purchased (if the price point wasn't the cost of a small country.) This fragrance was not my favorite and it was hard to discern what the exact problem was with the smell. I found that if it lingered for a while on my clothing or body, I grew to like it more. Translation: it needed time to settle and prime to make it ok. It never became appealing, nor worth the exorbitant price to purchase. I give this product a C.
The final product in the box was Au Naturale Cosmetics Trio Set. As you can see in the picture, it included a lipstick, blush and shadow. Though the picture doesn't translate the size well, this sample is teeny. The width of each of those pots is smaller than my pinky finger. Application is near impossible and the colors aren't the best. I love a fuchsia pink for lipstick, but this shade isn't great, and goes on very dry. The blush is an odd peach hue and not really a shade I'd typically use. The shadow might work better as a primer because once you apply it, you can't really see it. Add to that the teeny tiny flip sample is tough to open. This is my least favorite product in the box and I give it a D.
With BirchBox, you can pay for add-on items to come along with your editor-selected samples. This month, I chose a Laura Geller set. It included facial primer, concealer, blush and a makeup brush. I have to say I enjoyed these four products more than anything I received in my actual Birchbox. The primer consistency is thin and somewhat silicone, but very good on smoothing for foundation application. The concealer takes very little (emphasis on VERY) to do the job which means this little tube may last me forever. The blush is the absolute perfect color and the little compact it comes in includes a cute half mirror. The brush isn't bad, but not the best brush I've ever used. For travel purposes, though, this brush could be very multi-functional. I give this bonus set an A.
Overall, I'd grade this month's Birchbox a B. The Laura Geller add on I purchased brought that grade up. If you would like to start your own monthly subscription, click here to get started!