may 2015 birchbox review

May 2015 Birchbox ReviewYou might be looking at your calendar and saying ‘Bekkie, why are you posting about the May Birchbox on the last day of June’ and to that I say… I totally forgot about it. But I didn’t get one this month because of my no-buy, so I figured I would still put this up.

For May, Birchbox Canada partnered with Emily Shuman (lifestyle blogger over at Cupcakes and Cashmere) – though I’m really not sure how much of that partnering goes in to the actual items, or if it’s just the box design and note card. There was nothing overly exciting in the box, but I do like the items and they will come in handy for traveling this summer. Here’s what I got:

Paid: $15.00
Approximate Value: $30.00

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Number 4™ Non-Aerosol Hairspray
30 ml | $5.00 (Full Size – 200 ml | $34.00)

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It’s rare to find a hairspray that’s great for our hair and the environment. This non-aerosol mist fits the mold: it’s full of natural botanicals to nourish strands, and it provides the strong yet flexible hold you need to tame flyaways and support updos. Best of all, the earth-friendly formula doesn’t contain any harmful chemicals.

Styling resins provide flexible hold and shine while humidity resistance technology reduces frizz, even on the hottest summer days. Heliogenol protects colored and untreated hair against free radical damage. All Number 4 products are vegan and free of gluten, sulfates, and parabens.

I’ve received a few Number 4 samples in the past and I’ve really liked them, though the cost is higher than I prefer to pay for hair products. I am headed to Newfoundland in August and will be packing this for sure! Great opportunity to put the frizz reducing “humidity resistance technology” to the test.

Gilchrist & Soames Spa Therapy Body Wash
44 ml | $3.35 (Full Size 236 ml | $18.00)

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We always feel refreshed after treating ourselves to a seaweed wrap—when we have the time and budget to get one. Now we can enjoy elements of the spa treatment during our daily scrub down: This body wash from Gilchrist & Soames is loaded with extracts of Japanese sea wrack. The natural formula hydrates and reinvigorates skin, and leaves behind a fresh aqualeaf and citrus scent.

This moisturizing cleanser forms a rich foam to pamper and gently cleanse. Nourishing vitamins and minerals in Japanese sea wrack smooth and refresh skin. Even better? Absolutely no phthalates, mineral oils, parabens, or petrol-derived materials are a part of the formula.

I used this up within the first few days of getting the box. I absolutely loved it and will be looking to buy the full size once I’m out of my current body wash.

BeeKind™ Body Lotion
44 ml | $3.50 (Full Size – 236 ml | $19.00)

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Taking a personal timeout to apply moisturizer is always an act of kindness toward our skin. But BeeKind™’s products let us show some TLC to ourselves and the world at large. Made with natural skin conditioners like honey and organic chamomile, this natural hydrator absorbs instantly without greasy residue, leaving behind a zesty lemon verbena scent. Plus, every BeeKind™ purchase helps support a healthier honeybee population, which in turn supports a greener, more sustainable planet.

This fast-absorbing formula comes to you free of parabens, phthalates, petrol-derived ingredients, mineral oil, urea, DEA, TEA, and propylene glycol, but chock full of proven hydrators like honey, organic chamomile, and Brassica plant extract. In place of petrochemicals, there’s good old-fashioned soybean and cottonseed oil for an added moisture boost. On the eco-friendly front, a portion of the proceeds from every BeeKind™ purchase goes toward the Honey Bee Research Program at the University of California at Davis, and, on top of that, the packaging is recyclable.

I haven’t used this yet because I’m saving it for my travel bag, but I love the light, lemony scent. I’m a big fan of the fact that they support honey bee research too!

Raw Spirit Fragrances Desert Blush Eau de Parfum
1 ml | $6.00 (7.5ml | $50.00)

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Inspired by the Western Australian desert, this floral scent definitely brings the heat. It’s based around Australian boronia, a tiny pink blossom known for its sweet, citrusy aroma. Other notes include jasmine petals and violets mixed with warm musk, cedarwood, and sustainably harvested Australian sandalwood. The resulting fragrance is equal parts romantic and airy. Bonus: A portion of all sales helps support sustainable agricultural projects among Indigenous Australians.

I think I’ve mentioned before that I’m not a big fan of parfum’s because they are extremely concentrated and I find them overwhelming. I also work in a scent reduced environment so it’s not something I could wear on a regular basis. I also found it to be very musky and not the sort of fragrance I would reach for in the summer… but I know scents work differently for different people and some of the reviews out there are quite positive.

LAQA & Co. Sheer Lip Lube Pencil – Menatour
0.05 oz | $12.50 (Full size – 0.1oz | $25.00)

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LAQA & Co. aims to arm women everywhere with not only the highest quality lip and nail products possible, but also the most convenient lip and nail products possible. From a day of errands to a friend of a friend’s house party to an impromptu selfie, this easy-to-use lip pencil provides high gloss and sheer color, no sharpener required.

Unlike some glosses that simply provide a nice shine, this lip lube channels softening shea butter, which moisturizes and fills in any unsightly lines, and is infused with refreshing mint. Available in an array of wearable, softly pigmented shades.

So I think my definition of sheer is a bit different than theirs, and this shade isn’t something I’ll probably ever wear… but oh my gosh the formula is fantastic – seriously like butter. I love the packaging, I love the mint scent and sensation… I will absolutely be picking up some less in-your-face shades once my no-buy is over.

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Like I said at the beginning, nothing ground breaking… but nothing awful either. Apparently this month there was supposed to be a full size Eyeko eyeliner… which then didn’t end up happening because it was held up at the border – yikes! Hopefully it’ll be in next month’s though since I’ll be getting that one ♥

I’ve cut down significantly on my subscriptions and I miss them so I’d love to know… what is your favorite monthly subscription?

april birchbox canada

April 2015 Birchbox Oh my gosh, first a beautyblender and now this! I saw on instagram that Birchbox had paired up with Rifle Paper Co. but then I also saw a few comments saying subscribers were receiving plain boxes, and I was worried I’d be one of them. I was not! Isn’t it gorgeous? I’m not sure what I’m going to do with it, but it looks nice on my desk for now!

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Benefit – Roller Lash Mascara
April 2015 Birchbox Using this new super-curling mascara from Benefit Cosmetics is truly an eye-opening experience: It gives lashes major curl for a wide-eyed, wide-awake look. The mascara’s innovative Hook ‘n’ Roll™ brush is coated in tiny, soft hooks, which catch onto and lift, curl, and separate each lash instantly. The brush is universal and works with any eye shape or size and varying lash types (it works especially well with short or straight lashes that won’t usually hold a curl). The mascara itself is inky black with a satiny finish, doesn’t smudge or flake, and contains provitamin B5 for lash-conditioning benefits. The result is a dramatic (but not overdone) look that lasts for up to 12 hours. Plus, it’s easy to remove!

A few days before I received this, I forgot to put mascara on and had said to myself ‘I wish I had a travel size Roller Lash’. I’ll have my review of this mascara up soon, but for now I’ll just say – I love it!

Jelly Pong Pong Glow Getter Highlighter
April 2015 Birchbox April 2015 Birchbox You have no problem gunning for what you want in life—be it a promotion at work, the skinny jeans that fit you just so, or gorgeous, radiant skin. This weightless gel highlighter makes that last part a total breeze. It’s oil-free and made with 80 percent water, which gives it an incredibly lightweight texture that also won’t clog pores. The pearlescent pigments in the formula give skin a subtle, luminous shimmer. Better still, this gel is hypoallergenic and free of mineral oil, phthalates, triclosan, and sulfates.

I haven’t used this beyond swatching yet – but it did blend out easily to a nice shimmer.

Whish Shave Crave Shaving Cream
April 2015 Birchbox This decadent shave cream from whish one-ups its competitors. Made in the U.S. with eco-friendly ingredients, the non-drying formula gives you a mighty close shave without leaving legs devoid of moisture. And, unlike its distant peers, it’s designed not to foam up: instead, the rich lotion is chock full of organic and natural botanicals that soften skin.

I never use shaving cream… I shave quickly in the shower while the water slowly gets cold. After using this I think I have to change that. My legs feel so smooth… now I don’t know if that’s all because of the Whish Shaving Cream, or that there would be an improvement regardless of the cream I used, but they also aren’t itchy. It does have a fresh floral scent – so if you have sensitivities to fragrance you’ll want to pass!

Mèreadesso® All-In-One Moisturizer – Travel Size
April 2015 Birchbox April 2015 Birchbox For us, traveling used to by synonymous with overpacking. But after a little self-reflection, we realized that our shoes do not, in fact, need a suitcase all to themselves. Let the downsizing begin. Developed by Linda Stephenson, a former beauty exec with a science-based background, this moisturizer streamlines your skincare routine and enriches skin with natural enzymes and antioxidants. This travel-size multitasker also functions as a makeup primer, serum, and eye cream, so it’s perfect for tossing in your carry on—with plenty of room to spare.

Many people experience a cooling and tightening sensation and it has a light refreshing citrus scent, mostly due to the many herbal extracts in this formula.

I haven’t used this yet… I really liked the packaging, and that it was a re-sealable sample… so I looked it up and saw that what I thought was a sample is actually worth $28.00 CAD! If you are unfamiliar, as I was – this is a moisturizer, serum, primer, day cream, night cream and eye cream-in one. They say this size should last 2 weeks – and the full size ($120) will last 4 months.

Not Soap, Radio Body Wash – Bathing with Sharks
April 2015 Birchbox In the ever-expanding world of beauty products, soap can sometimes get the short shrift—until you happen upon a collection like this one. Sure, it’ll get you clean, but these aromatherapeutic formulas also aim to address the most pressing of your first-world problems—with a snarky sense of humor and seriously delicious scents.

They say it is ‘beach-scented’ and that pretty much sums it up. I didn’t need much to lather up my pouf, and the rest of their scents sound divine – I’ll definitely be checking them out!

In the past I haven’t liked beauty boxes that contained mostly skincare, but from start to finish I love it. I look forward to April, though it will be hard to top this design.

spring 2015 luxe box reveal

Spring 2015 Luxe Box RevealI have been excited about this box since putting together my Spring Luxe Box preview post, and it was worth the wait. It was full of products I’ve never used before, and some that I’ve really wanted to try. The value of this box was comparable to previous boxes, and I received the same items in my regular subscription and for writing the spring preview post which I really didn’t mind.

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Paid: $24.99
Approximate Value: $66.00

Crabtree & Evelyn – Petal Pink Nail Lacquer

Spring 2015 Luxe Box RevealThe Petal Pink nail lacquer is sheer in colour. This fast-drying polish glides on smooth for gorgeous, glossy colour.

The colour they show it as on their website is far darker than it actually is. It’s a super sheer pink, perfect for french nails.

Eyeko – Brow Gel
$15.00 | 4 ml

Spring 2015 Luxe Box RevealSpring 2015 Luxe Box RevealThis nano-brush and botanically-enriched formula effortlessly defines brows for a natural finish whilst maintaining a healthy brow look. Infused with key ingredients Keratin and Gingko Bilabo combined with natural proteins and multi vitamins to condition, thicken and visibily improve the appearance of your brows.

I’m not totally sold on this – the shade is fine, though it is a bit shimmery – but I don’t find that it holds my brows in place as well as my ABH brow gel does. I will hold on to it and give it another try though!

Buxom Show Some Skin Weightless Foundation

Spring 2015 Luxe Box RevealSpring 2015 Luxe Box RevealIndulge in flawless, come-closer coverage with a sensually silky finish that’s so weightless…it’s like wearing nothing at all. This skin-pampering formula—the best of a bb & foundation in one sexy package—delivers light-to-medium coverage and is clinically proven to increase hydration, brighten and smooth skin while softening the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. Formulated with vitamin C and marine algae extracts to deliver a weightless, breathable texture that seamlessly blends into skin.

I’m glad they include 4 shades to test. I haven’t tried it yet but I am almost out of foundation and my Sephora order is 2 weeks away so… I’m sure I will soon!

Collagen Caviar Cotton Sheet Mask

Spring 2015 Luxe Box RevealA pure cotton sheet mask with caviar for healthy, revitalized skin. It contains caviar extract, marine collagen and pure gold to help detoxify and moisturize the skin.

I was a little intimidated by this when I first looked at it, but I gave it a try and really liked how it left my skin feeling. Check out the mask in action here I am saving the other one for my next at-home spa evening!

Double Ended Blending Brush

Spring 2015 Luxe Box RevealApply foundation flawlessly with this double ended blending brush, which combines a foundation brush and blending sponge into one easy to use tool.

This was the item I most wanted to get, and I think I hyped it up too much in my head. I don’t use a flat brush to apply my foundation anyway, and I prefer my beauty blender sponge. It also smelled a bit funny and chemically when I first took it out of the package, washing it seemed to help though.

Klorane Gentle Dry Shampoo with Oat Extract
$6.10 | 50 ml

Spring 2015 Luxe Box RevealPractical and quick to use, Klorane Gentle Dry Shampoo with Oat Extract is ideal for people with little time, and therefore unable to wash their hair. It owes its cleansing properties to an original combination of highly absorbent agents that act as truly effective sponges to soak up dirt or sebum on the scalp. Hair volume and bounce is restored in just a few minutes.

Loooooove this. It smells amazing and I don’t find It leaves a white powder behind after I brush it through. It’s available at shoppers too so I’ll be grabbing a full size version ASAP!

Paula’s Choice Skin Perfecting 2% BHA Liquid Exfoliant
$14.00 | 30 ml

Spring 2015 Luxe Box RevealSkin Perfecting 2% BHA Liquid Exfoliant rapidly exfoliates both the skin’s surface and inside the pore, reshaping the pore lining and unclogging pores. It creates radiant, even-toned skin while reducing redness. The result is a dramatic improvement in the skin’s appearance, feel and function which leads to healthier skin. This product can be used by those with all skin types, but the texture is especially suited for those with normal to oily or combination skin, stubborn blackheads or blemish-prone skin.

I tried this for the first time last night after washing my face – I have heard amazing things about Paula’s Choice so I will definitely make this part of my routine for a few weeks at least. I’m interested to see if it does anything for hormonal blemishes.

Soap & Glory The Righteous Butter
$5.00 | 50 ml

Spring 2015 Luxe Box RevealThis award winning, iconic body butter is jam packed with softening shea butter and aloe vera to transform dry skin leaving it velvety smooth. The Righteous Butter is Britain’s Best Body Butter and has achieved cult like status with one sold every 20 seconds around the world. This luxurious body butter features a new dynamic moisture trap matrix to help hold hydration in longer. Its alluring scent of Soap & Glory’s signature Pink Fragrance combines fresh bergamot, mandarin, rose, jasmine, peach, strawberry, oakmoss, amber, and warm vanilla notes. Recommended for all skin types especially very dry skin, skin is left delicately fragranced, hydrated, super soft, and completely comfortable.

I walk past this endcap every time I am at shoppers, and I’m always tempted to grab something… but I never do. That’s going to change now! This body butter smells divine. I need to own everything that has their ‘signature pink fragrance’ because I love it. It also leaves my skin feeling really nice.

Overall super happy with my luxe box! Looking forward to what summer has to bring.

Have you used any of these products before? I’d love to hear your thoughts!