Birchbox One Year Anniversary – My favorite products.

To find out more about what Birchbox is click here.

This month marks the one year anniversary of me subscribing to Birchbox. The year really has flown by and I’m still looking forward to my box each month. In this post I want to introduce the highlights of this past year’s boxes, products I’ve come to love, purchased the full size of, and/or firmly integrated into my beauty routine. Here are my Top 10.

Birchbox One Year Anniversary - My favorite products1. Jouer Matte Moisture Tint (February 2013)

Full Size: 1.7 oz, $38

Jouer - Matte Moisture TintI had been using the BareMineral powder foundation for close to two years when I decided that I needed a change. I wasn’t happy with the coverage and staying power of the BareMineral foundation and I thought that my face looked kinda chalky with it. I started using primer in order to help with the problems I was having but at that point I already felt over-it and ready to move on. Don’t get me wrong – I think BareMinerals products are pretty great but I was just ready to try something different.

Around the same time BB creams started to really hit the market. I received a few samples in my Birchbox and at my local BeautyBrands but nothing seemed to fit (beside the Smashbox Camera Ready BB Cream – I really liked that one). Then I received the Jouer Matte Moisture Tint in my February Birchbox and I fell in love.

The Jouer Matte Moisture Tint is a tinted moisturizer with a matte finish. The things I like about it are that it blends really well with my skin color so it looks very natural. The coverage is also pretty good for a tinted moisturizer and you can layer it for more coverage. It evens out my skin tone, covers up my acne scars, and overall gives me a very nice complexion. It also doesn’t dry out my skin and it feels very light, almost like it’s not there. With the right primer it lasts all day. I also like that it has an SPF although I think that it could be higher (The Smashbox Camera Ready BB cream has an SPF of 35).

The sample I got lasted for over a week and after that I decided to buy the full size. I’ve now almost used up the first tube so the full size lasted me about 5-6 month which I think is a great value for the money.

2. theBalm® cosmetics InStain® Long-Wearing Powder Staining Blush (July 2013)

Full Size: 0.09 oz, $22

theBalm - InStain BlushI already wrote about this blush in the review for my July Birchbox and I’m still loving it. It lasts long, blends well, and the color is just so flattering. The powder is very fine and goes on very smooth. It doesn’t just sit on top of your skin but rather gives your cheeks a natural, rosy flush. I really want to buy more shades but I have yet to see this product in stores. As soon as I find it I’ll make sure to snatch up a few more. Until then this sample will last me for a really long time because a little really does go a long way.

3. theBalm® cosmetics Put a Lid On It™ (January 2013)

Full size: 0.4 fl oz / 11.8 ml, $18

theBalm - Put A Lid On ItI’ve never used to use eyelid primer but since I started to wear eye shadow more often I found that it is key to achieving a long-lasting look and making the colors pop. Put A Lid On It does a great job at that. You only need a tiny amount to cover your whole lid and it goes on in a thin, even layer. It also keeps my tinted moisturizer and eye shadow from settling into the creases. I really like how light-weight it is. I’ve almost used up the sample so I recently purchased the full size.

4. amika Obliphica Nourishing Mask (May 2013)

Full size: 500 ml, $40

amika - Nourishing MaskMy hair stylist has been using amika shampoos on my hair for a while now and I’ve always really liked the smell and how it made my hair feel so I was very excited when I got a sample of their hair mask in my May Birchbox. The mask is no different. The smell is amazing but I’m having a hard time describing it. It’s kinda tropical. Maybe a little vanilla-y? With hints of fruit? Coconut? I don’t know what it is but the smell makes me fell like I’m in a spa getting pampered.

This mask makes my hair very soft and shiny and nourishes my dry ends really well. You don’t need very much, only about a tablespoon which is why I can justify the price tag. I have to be careful to not use too much or my hair will get greasy faster. This happens to me with a lot of hair masks because I already tend to somewhat oily roots that will make my hair look slightly greasy on day two.

BeautyBrands, my favorite beauty store, recently had their annual liter sale so I was able to snatch up a large jar of this product for less than half the full price.

5. Benefit it’s potent! eye cream (July 2013)

Full size: 0.5 oz, $32

benefit - It's Potent Eye CreamThis eye cream was one of the products I was most excited about in my July Birchbox because I’ve heard from a couple of people that swear by it. I’ve since tested if for about a week and I’ve liked it pretty well. It has a nice texture that feels like it is very nourishing but once you put it on it isnt’ heavy or greasy. It sinks right in and makes the skin around my eyes very smooth. However, it claims to erase dark under-eye circles and so far I haven’t seen any improvement in that respect. I would still consider purchasing it because I like all other aspects about it.

6. Beauty Fixation Make Up Remover (September 2012)

Full size: 24 applicators, $5

beauty fixation - Make Up RemoverThese makeup remover applicators are a really neat idea. They look like a Q-Tip but the straw in the middle contains a makeup remover liquid. When you break off the marked end of the Q-Tip the liquid flows to the bottom into the other cotton ball tip. From there you can use the cotton tip for a very precise application. I don’t use these little guys very often but they are great when I’m working on a more “elaborate” eye makeup and I need to fix my eyeliner or remove some mascara smudges.

7. Suki Exfoliate Foaming Cleanser  (June 2013)

Full size: 4 oz, $32.95

Suki - Exfoliating Foaming CleanserThe best thing about this exfoliating cleanser is its scent. It smells very citrusy. I wanna take a spoon to it every time I smell it; that’s how good it is. This is another one of those products where the smell just makes me feel like I’m at a spa. The exfoliating agent in this cleanser is sugar. When you mix it with water it foams very nicely and the sugar crystals get softer so it makes for a very comfortable exfoliation. I haven’t had any issues with skin irritation or dryness after using this. I’m considering buying the full size of it but I think I’ll wait until I’ve used up some of my other exfoliating cleansers.

8. theBalm® cosmetics Mary-Lou Manizer (October 2012)

Full size: 8.5 g, $24

theBalm - Mary-Lou Manizer - largeBefore subscribing to Birchbox I’ve never really played around with conturing much. To be quite honest I didn’t even know what conturing was or how to achieve that flawless celebrity look. I think Kim Kardashian is the prime example of the application of this technique. Once I received this sample in my October Birchbox I looked into what to use it for and, more importantly, how to use it. Mary-Lou Manizer has been great as a highlighter. It’s not too sparkly but more like a nice shimmer. You still have to be careful not to apply too much if you’re going for  a somewhat natural look – a little goes a long way. It can also be used as an eyeshadow. I mostly use this product when I want to do a more elaborate makeup for a night out with the best boyfriend in the world. At this rate this sample will probably last me a decade but that’s ok.

9. Sumita Color Contrast Eyeliner (May 2013)

Full size: $11

Sumita - Color Contrast EyelinerThis eyeliner has an interesting consistency. It is very soft and it smudges kinda easily. Not at all good for a eyeliner, right? Well, here is what I use it for: I use it in between my lashes by applying the eyeliner from below my lash line. This makes my lashes look much more ticker and voluminous. For this purpose this eyeliner works really well. The only downside I found is that it is very, very hard to remove. Every time I use it I end up with raccoon eyes after cleansing my face even when I use makeup remover wipes on my eye makeup before hand. For that reason I only use this eyeliner on special occasions.

10. Eyeko Skinny Liquid Eyeliner (December 2012)

Full size: 0.07 oz, $16

Eyeko - Skinny Liquid EyelinerUsing liquid eyeliner always has been kinda intimidating to me. I found myself to not be very good at it and not having a stead enough hand. Well, this eyeliner has  a felt tip pen with a very thin tip that makes the application super easy and precise. It still takes me a while to achieve a flawless look, just because I’m not practiced enough but overall this has been a game changer. The result is a very defined line like you would get with liquid eyeliner. The color I received, purple, is a little different and since I prefer a more natural look this tends to be another one of those products that I use on special occasions only.

 

So here it is, my top 10 beauty products I’ve received in my Birchboxes so far. What have been some of your favorite products you got in your beauty subscription boxes?

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