Tuesday, May 08, 2018

**REVIEW** Birchbox May 2018

UPDATE: If you sign up for Birchbox because of this post, please do a gal a solid and let me get the referral points by using this link: TRUDY SENT ME!

As I told you in my last post, this month's Birchbox arrived at the same time as the Walmart Beauty Box. I was really wiped out from a treatment so to come home and have two goodie boxes waiting... Nice.

I'm pretty happy with this month's box. There were 3 favorite items and 2 so-so products. Here we go. I will start with my favorites and work down to the least liked.

This Glowtion (love the name) from Wander Beauty was the top fave in this box.

I tried bronzer years ago and I looked like an electric clown. This illuminator is more subtle and really does add a glow that looks natural. I don't wear a full face of makeup on a daily basis and I love that, sans foundation, this gave me a fresh and pretty look.

Yeah, that's a soap spot on the mirror! LOL

The Georgette Klinger Coconut Cleansing Milk came in at Number 2 because of the ingredients and the price.

This is the key** ingredients list: coconut oil, coconut extract, grape extract, and cucumber extract. I found the full ingredients online and you can see them at bottom of this post. This is a really gentle cleanser and I love the way it smells - but there is added fragrance. Affordable is what topped it for me.

Next was the Ouai Volume Spray (and I had to Google it to know that you pronounce Ouai as "way").

One thing I have not used before getting the Walmart box is any kind of hairspray. This Ouai item is not a hairspray but it's not something I would have picked up to try before now. It is light and has a great smell. My hair wasn't sticky or crunchy after using this and it did give my curls the lift I like and added some shine. I am wearing some in the previous photo. The price isn't too bad so this is something I might purchase in a full size.

This next item would have been my top fave if not for the high price. It's the Whal Myung Skin Elixir.

It's great stuff but, dang, almost sixty bucks??? Nah for me, mon. LOL

I used this with a little bit of foundation and it made the color go on smooth and even while giving my face a lighter and less made-up feel. If I could afford it, this would be in my beauty bag all the time.

My least fave item ranks that way because it's just not something I'm at all interested in. If I ever get around to trying it, I will give a review. For now, let's just say, it's a skip for me.

All in all, I would say that this was a really good box. Everything except the lip mask was a hit. I'm happy to have discovered the illuminator and the volume spray.


** Full list of ingredients for the Coconut Cleansing Milk:
Deionized Water, Glycerin, Cocos Nucifera (Coconut) Extract, Cocos Nucifera (Coconut) Oil, Cocamidopropyl Betaine, Propylene Glycol, Peg-8 Laurate, Vitis Vinifera (Grape) Extract, Cucumis Sativus (Cucumber) Extract, Polyacrylamide, C13-14 Isoparaffin & Laureth-7, Acrylates/C10-30 Alkyl Acrylate Crosspolymer, Caprylyl Glycol, Phenoxyethanol, Hexylene Glycol, Triethanolamine, Fragrance

**REVIEW** Walmart Beauty Box (Classic Spring 2018)

Wow! Walmart really surprised me with this box. It's my first one and I was not expecting to be this happy with it.

I happened to have received my Birchbox for May today at the same time the Walmart box arrived. I thought for sure that, next to Birchbox, the Walmart box wouldn't hold up. I was so wrong. Not only did the Walmart box hold some real goodies, but it was right up there with Birchbox. Consider this: the Walmart box is $5 and comes on a quarterly basis. Birchbox was good this time, but Walmart definitely held its own.

These are the photos, because you know I always take some. And first off, the box was presented as nicely as, say, Birchbox.

Simple and kind of elegant

 Then, it got nicer as I opened the simple and elegant outer box to see more care in presentation.

 When I undid the tissue, I was really kind of wowed. This was a really packed box.

I was thinking, "Look at you, Walmart..." Like I said, there wasn't a disappointing item in the box. Let's see them one by one:

The Dove Exfoliating Body Polish is priced at $5.93 for a 10.5oz jar on Walmart.com and comes in 3 formulations: the Crushed Macadamia & Rice Milk that was in my box; Kiwi Seeds & Cool Aloe; and Pomegranate Seeds & Shea Butter. The box sample was a 1oz (30g) size. I'm not a huge fan of using anything exfoliating on my skin, but I might try this on my awful feet.

Dove Exfoliating Body Polish
 Next up, from a brand I hadn't heard of or noticed before is this Hello toothpaste. I got the Sensitivity Relief formula of Soothing Mint & Coconut Oil. Sounds interesting, right? Well, so does the Mojito Mint flavor I saw online... Looks like the full-sized tubes come in a few different sizes, including a toddler version. My sample was a .85oz (24.1g) tube and the 4oz tube online is currently priced at $4.82.

One of the most interesting items was this Advanced Therapy Ointment Body Spray by Aquaphor. I am always on the lookout for good moisturizers and I gave this a try right away. Love it. I got a .86oz (24.5g) sample and it doesn't take a lot to cover a large area of skin. The 3.7oz is priced at $9.97 and there are options for purchasing multi-packs of the 3.72oz size.

Some of you all know that I love me some Aussie Moist products, but I have never tried the hairsprays. When I saw this 24-hour Hold Mega Hairspray, I was leery and mentioned it to my niece. She mentioned that she will set her Bantu styling knots with a light spray so that her curls hold through the day. I gave it a try tonight when I did my twists for tomorrow. I will have to wait to see how this spray worked, but I can tell you that it smells good. I mean, it is an aerosol spray but it has a nicer scent than most. My sample was a 1.5oz (42g) Level 1 Flexible Hold. The 14oz size is priced at $3.43. I can work with that.

Another beauty product that I'm not fond of in general is facial masks - of almost any kind. I tend to use oils and serums on my face for cleansing and toning. This is an Acai Berry Revitalizing Sleeping Mask. I really will be leery of leaving something on my face overnight, but I will give this a patch-test try and get back to you. I can't even correctly pronounce the word "Acai" to tell the truth. The sample is a .35oz (10g size) and that's the same size sold online for $2.50.

I've tried shower lotions before so I was kind of familiar with the idea of this Jergens Natural Glow Wet Skin Moisturizer. It's the "natural glow" part that makes this interesting. I got the 2oz (59mL) size for "fair to medium" skin tones. I have to say that this will be fun to try. The 7.5oz (221mL) size is $8.64 and there seem to be different sizes (and prices) that you can look at when you check for your shade.

 Another product I can't wait to try is the  Foam Conditioner by Pantene. I got a 1.4oz (4.g) sample of the "Sheer Volume" formula. There are formulas for several hair types and desired results with a price of  $5.97 each for 6oz containers.

I thought it was pretty cool that there was a 3-day Rembrandt (teeth) Whitening Boost Kit included since 3 days is what's suggested to see some results. In addition to the 3-day sample, Walmart included a $2 coupon towards the purchase of a 1-week kit. Seeing as how those kits run just over $22, that coupon is going to be great for someone who was thinking of trying the full week. I have a crown that is sensitive so the 3 days is a good enough trial for me.

Last up is another coupon and one that I will most definitely be using. It's for a free (FREE) box of Nice 'n Easy Hair Color. And they aren't playing about the "free" part. The coupon will cover a purchase up to $8.99 and the online price (always higher than in-store prices) is running at $7.99. Oh yeah! That one coupon paid me back and some for the subscription box cost.

Here's the thing: when I first heard of the Walmart box, a lot of the reviews gave the impression that it was just full of cheap items from the Travel-sized item section of the store. In reality, the sample sizes are generous and I had not even heard of two of the products (the Aquaphor and the Hello brand toothpaste), so there.

Maybe this was just a really good box, but the items more than paid for the subscription and I can use every single item in it (okay, except for the overnight mask). And even with the mask that I will only patch test, there was not one moment of disappointment like there was with the Sephora box.

Another good thing is that this box is $20 for the year and I can afford it. I sure hope Walmart doesn't start trying to compete with the pricier boxes if it means raising the subscription. Oh, and I don't want to forget that subscribers get to enter to win a $500 Walmart gift card by filling out a questionnaire type survey of the box. Done and done.


Note 1: I was not compensated for this review, nor was I requested to do the review.
Note 2: The prices shown are current for the date this post was written and taken from the online store.