August Birchbox

Ok so I got my Birchbox super duper early this month and I feel terrible that I am just now writing about it. Although to be fair, I like to try at least some of the products before posting. What good is a review if you haven’t tried the products yet right?

Birchbox: $10 a month sending awesome beauty samples to your door based off of your beauty profile. They do have a points reward and referral system to be used in their shop, make sure to do product reviews to get BB points! 

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Harvey Prince Ageless Body Cream, I love all of the Harvey Prince scents that I’ve gotten to sample so far and this lotion was another win for me. This is a fairly strong scented lotion, you don’t want to layer on any extra perfume with this. I kind of like that about it since I normally forget to wear fragrance these days. It also wears well, normally scents fade really fast on my skin, this one didn’t. The only downside? This has Red33 in it even though Birchbox says that this is a hypoallergenic lotion. There are many who get a bad reaction when using products with this ingredient, just a heads up. 

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Neil George Shampoo and Conditioner, This is a new brand for me to try out and I am pleased both with the sample size and that BB sent the set instead of just one to try. Sometimes I feel like hair care products work best when you stick with the same line instead of mixing and matching them. Im not crazy about the scent, it isn’t awful it’s just not for me. I still can’t wait to give it a go and see how it works in my hair. 

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nugg face mask-revitalizing, Yay! I never splurge on face masks and I can’t wait to try this out! I like the little pod it comes in. This mask is supposed to revitalize and plump dull tired skin, yes please! As a tired mommy, I will take anything that makes me look less tired and zombie like. 

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Laura Geller Cool Lids Eyeshadow in Silver Sands, This was my customized pick for August and it did not disappoint. You only need a little so this tube should last me a while. The color is really pretty and not too dark. You can layer to make it darker or keep it light and more sheer. I used this over my whole eyelid and I like it a lot. It dries quickly and lasts about all day with no smudging or budging. This is a first trying a liquid eyeshadow and I think I’d like to try more shades now. 

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All of the items were a win for me this month. Sometimes it’s hit or miss but for August Im happy with all of my products. I also feel like if I saved this for travel all I would need is a little shower gel and lip balm and I would be all set! Since subscribing to BB I have had a much easier time packing my beauty and skincare essentials : ).

On another note: I really like that Birchbox is changing things ups to offer more customization to the boxes. I was debating over whether or not to get the other box option and Im glad I didn’t. My mother in law picked the box that had set samples this month and sadly her Benefit eyeliner was all dried out, did anyone else have that problem? That new eyeliner has been seen everywhere and it does look really neat, but what a downer to have the sample not work. 

What’s Making Me Smile Today, like the winner of my Jamberry giveaway!

Today I am smiling for many reasons:

*My daughter P finally FINALLY! let me put her curly blonde locks up in pigtails and wow she looked adorable! Also my outfits that I got on super sale from Fab Kids look adorable on her as shown below, Im loving them and she is too. Right now they have a promotion similar to Gymboree where you spend $50 and get a $25 credit for future use, pretty neat. Also if you use my referral link here you get your first outfit for $15 plus shipping (outfits are normally a dress,leggings and accessory). I think that’s a great deal and their clothes so far are holding up well to my busy bee and the washer. 

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*When we were at the park today it made me smile to see an older man (probably someone’s grandfather) with a pack of wipes in his shirt front pocket. Im not sure if anyone else would think that’s sweet. But for me normally when I see an old man I would have thought it was a pack of cigarettes in his pocket. To see someone out with their grandkids being a good grandfather is really sweet. 

*I have a Birchbox order coming soon! I have gotten some referrals and saved up a lot of review points recently and finally made a purchase. Right now Birchbox has a promotion for their new Wedding Shop. When you purchase $90 exclusively in the wedding shop or on gift subscriptions you can use the promo GIFTFORME to get the awesome Limited Edition Modern Mermaid box for free with purchase!!! I have been eying that so I caved and used all my points, Im super excited for that beautiful mirror that comes in the box. Keep an eye out for my review when it comes in the mail! 

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There is also a new code out to get a free copy of Mindy Kaling’s book “Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me?” when you spend $35 or more in the BB shop. Use the code MINDY and don’t forget to add on a mystery sample pack for free : )

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*Citrus Lane a subscription for the kiddos and one of our favorites for getting new toys and baby gear is having a great deal. For new subscribers you can use the code 30BOXSHOP to get your first box for $9 plus $10 to use in their shop! That is one of the best deals I have ever seen, I would check it out if you have toddlers at home.

June's Citrus Lane Box

Our June’s Citrus Lane Box

 * And Finally I am happy to announce the winner for my Jamberry Nail Wraps Giveaway!!!! Thank you to everyone who entered and congratulations to Tiffanee R. !!!!!

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July Birchbox Man with Details Magazine

For Father’s Day I bought A a subscription to Birchbox Man which is normally $20 a month, I did find a promo code that made it $10 and will post if I see another one.While the mens box is more expensive than the women’s BB includes more lifestyle items in these boxes then in the women’s. From reviews that I have seen the boxes are normally worth it and include a lot of great products to try out. I also have to mention that I like the men’s boxes much better. The box slides out like a drawer instead of just taking the top off in the women’s box. I think this design is safer to keep products in without them falling out.

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Harrys Razor and Code for Blade Refills

I was hoping that we would get this razor to try out and we did! It look very nice in person but it seems a bit cheap. Thats probably because it is more affordable at $10, but I think I had higher expectations. When A tried it out I thought it looked like he had a good shave, however he was unimpressed with this razor. I am happy to report that if you received the promo code card for free refills it is no strings attached. I didn’t have to enter any payment information which I really like!

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Number 4 Shampoo and Conditioner

Well now the tiny conditioner was just a bonus sample so Im not going to complain. I just think it’s pointless to include it when you would need more than that to determine if you liked it or not. A doesn’t even use conditioner so thats alright. The shampoo is a decent size and smells good.

Proraso Shave Cream

I have seen this a lot and wanted A to try it someday, now he has! He liked it a lot and loved that it had a minty smell and feel to it. I think we might get more soon.

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Alfred Lane Solid Cologne

This was the clear favorite in the whole box. Our daughter just turned 2 and gets into everything, this cleverly designed tin is too hard for her to open and is therefore safe for now! It smells great very warm and comforting. A loves that he can take it with him to work and apply wherever needed basically whenever he wants.

Clinique For Men Moisturizer

A hasn’t tried this yet but I had no idea Clinique had a mens line. I think this is a brand that has been around a long time and is neat that it’s available on Birchbox now. I also like that this is a moisturizer with SPF for A, he isn’t too careful about putting on sunscreen this should help.

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A was never as product obsessed as I am, but now with his BB box I can tell he is really happy trying everything out and stepping out of his normal comfort zone. I even think he’s found some new favorites. I would say we have both been happy with the two boxes that we have received so far. When I first saw that Birchbox came out with the men’s boxes I didn’t think they would be for someone like A who isn’t into skincare regimens etc. but what he’s gotten has been a good fit and is being used. I think this makes a good gift for any guy in your life be it dad, husband, or brother etc.

Top 4 Natural Shampoos for Curly Hair

Since I was debating what shampoo to try out next and I am kind of picky I thought I would do a post about my favorite shampoos that I have tried. My hair has been short and long and is thick and curly. Anyone who has curly hair knows how tangled and time consuming it can be to get knots out. Finding the right hair care products are important. Initially I used the Redken All Soft line because their products worked well in my hair. That was over 2 years ago, since then I have come to learn more about what ingredients are in the products I use and have been much more careful.

I try to stay away from anything with parabens and sulfates among other things. Im sure most of you looking at all natural products see that their aren’t any parabens and sulfates in the ingredients. Those two are the most common ingredients I see on labels. Parabens are included in many skincare, hair and and makeup products because it helps prevent the growth of microbes. Basically it makes it last longer, but at a cost. The use of parabens in these products has been linked to breast cancer and reproductive toxicity. I found this information on Campaign for Safe Cosmetics but one google search will give you all the information you need. Sulfates are really harsh cleaning agents that give soapy products that big lather and bubbles. I tend to steer clear of sulfates because they have a harmful effect on skin. Especially those with sensitive skin should watch out because it strips the skin and can make it irritated and dry. I don’t want sulfates in my shampoo, dry hair equals frizz especially in the summertime. I have read reviews of people upset that their sulfate free shampoo doesn’t have enough lather. Well, that’s because it’s not stripping the hair of essential oils and moisture. I know we all want our hair to feel clean and not be greasy. I have found and listed the following shampoos that I have used myself and lather fairly well even though they are without the bad stuff.

One of the first shampoos I tried was Carol’s Daughter Monoi Repairing Shampoo

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This is $20 a bottle so it is fairly expensive depending on how much hair you have and how frequently you wash your hair. Personally I love the smell and conditioning of this product for really dry hair. But I definitely don’t feel as clean and I think this line is best with conditioners.

The next shampoo I used is DevaCurl No Poo Cleanse

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This is $19 a bottle, has a hilarious name and it works really well without all the “poo” that other shampoos have. It has peppermint oil in it so it is really refreshing in the shower and is nice on the scalp. My hair feels clean when using this shampoo without being too dry.

Acure Organics Argan Oil Shampoo

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This shampoo is much more affordable at $9.99 a bottle and smells amazing, but only if you like almonds. It does come in two other scents but this one is awesome! Argan oil is really great and has omega fatty acids that help moisturize and strengthen hair. When I used this shampoo my hair smells great and felt clean and not greasy at all.

My newest shampoo is from Alba Botanica and is the Natural Hawaiian Shampoo in Gardenia.

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This is the most affordable shampoo on sale from Vitacost right now for $6.61. I decided to get this because at Whole Foods I decided to smell it and wow fantastic! When I was little we had Gardenias in our backyard and I love the smell. It is hard to find a great Gardenia scent but I really like this one. Sadly the scent doesn’t last long after washing my hair but while in the shower it smells good. The ingredients for this shampoo are all natural and have good things like macadamia seed oil and aloe in it. Im not going to pass official judgement yet because I just started using it and I basically bought it because I loved the smell so much.

So for now those are the more natural shampoos I have been using and liked with my hair. These are my honest opinions as I have tried all of these and am always in search of a great product. Feel free to agree, disagree, volunteer something new for me to try. I would like to hear your thoughts.

June Birchbox

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Just got my Birchbox in the mail today! I have to be honest, I was too curious to see what I was going to get in my box and I peeked online already. So I did already know what products I got in my June box. What I didn’t know was what size samples I was going to get.

Birchbox is a monthly beauty box that is only $10 a month, they also offer a men’s box for $20 and right now I believe that there are still some great promotions running that Im going to go over.

First for men use the code SUMMERSUBMAN to get your first box for only $10. This is a great deal since the men’s boxes normally have a high value. It also makes a nice last minute gift for Father’s Day coming up.

For women’s subscriptions there are always a lot of great promos to use with purchases and take advantage of the bonus shop. Also right now using the Ibotta app you can get $3 off of a women’s monthly subscription or $5 of a 3 month subscription. Then use a promo code SUMMERSUB at checkout. This makes your first box only $2!

Okay now on to June’s box,

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This month Birchbox’s theme is Away We Go and they partnered up with JetBlue. I think that it would be really neat to fly JetBlue and buy one of these exclusive amenity kits from BB during the flight. I normally fly Southwest but this new collaboration would motivate me to change if I had any upcoming trips in the future : )

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Miss Jessies Original MultiCultural Curls

I have tried a product from Miss Jessie before and really liked it with my curly hair. This is an interesting product and although I don’t like foil samples I am going to use this asap! It is currently raining and for all the girls out there with curly hair- you know what that does to our hair! Talk about frizz. Based off the description this is a lightweight cream that smoothes and shapes curls. All I can say is I hope my little girl doesn’t get into this. My last box she somehow got ahold of the sunscreen sample and squirted it all over her poor uncle! It was both sad and hilarious.

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Caudalie Polyphenol C15 Anti-Wrinkle Defense Serum

This is an antioxidant serum that evens out and plumps skin. I don’t need a product like this and this sample is tiny. It’s unfortunate and for anyone to buy a product that’s more expensive (full size $62) and not have enough sample to try it out. If you used twice a day as directed this sample would probably only last 2 days tops.

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Antica Farmacista Bergamot & Ocean Aria Body Wash

This is nicely packaged and a good size bottle to travel with. I wish there were more body washes this size since I change body wash so often. I have a bit of trouble committing to one scent and I like trying different products, I have to remind myself I have three other bottles to use up first! This is a nice scent and I like that it has almond oil. I wish I could find the ingredients for this but it wasn’t listed on BB’s site. I also find it hilarious that they sent out a sample of a product that is currently out of stock.

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Lifetherapy Vacation Hydrating Body Lotion

I was hoping this was a decent size and it is! I really don’t like getting lotion or anything in packets. This is a nice little bottle great for travel and to have in my bag. It’s not my favorite scent but I have been wanting to try more beachy, summery scents. The Vacation scent that I got smells like vanilla and coconut to me. This lotion is also paraben free and that’s awesome because I do try my best to stay away from any harmful ingredients like parabens.

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Benefit Cosmetics They’re Real ! Mascara 

I like the Benefit brand and have two samples of this mascara already so this was another bummer. It’s not BB’s fault but hopefully I can trade this for something new.

Well, I feel like this is probably the most negative review of a Birchbox I have ever done. Normally I am really happy with the contents of my box. This time around it makes me really happy that I am part of a swap site and can trade these items Im not going to use. At least with all the promos I used it still worked out in my favor. $2 for the box and after product reviews $5 in credits for the BB shop. There are a ton of different variations every month and I am really curious to see what everyone else is getting. I hope they end up with better fitting samples than I did this month.

 

 

 

Birchbox Limited Edition In Bloom Box

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Let me start this post by saying that I absolutely love Birchbox’s limited edition boxes, I always love them and wish I could have enough points to get all of them! Since was for my second mother’s day I treated myself to Birchbox”s mother’s day In Bloom box. I already adore most things floral, a whole box with floral products, yay! As usual the packaging is great and I actually do re use all of my boxes, this one is no exception.

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Liz Earle Cleanse and Polish with Muslin Face Cloth- $10

I am so happy that BB included this cleanser and face wash because I just recently switched to this face wash and have been using it for a few months now. Liz Earle cleanser and polish is truly an amazing face wash/ritual. I say ritual because it is a bit more involved then just washing you face. First you massage the creamy cleanser into your skin. Then you take the muslin cloth and run it under hot water and I let it sit on my face. This part feels so good, it’s like all the impurities are just getting steamed off my face. “Polish” the cleanser off with the cloth and the last step: splash cold water on your face. It may take longer to do but it is worth it! I have tried many cleansers and I feel like my skin has never looked clearer, it glows!

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The Soap Paper Factory Hand Cream in Gardenia- $18

I received the Gardenia scent and it is really divine. When I was younger we had a row of gardenias in our backyard. Sometimes floral scents like this are too powdery or sweet but this one is spot on and I really like it! The fact that this line as adorable packaging and is free of parabens, cruelty free and made in the USA, even better!

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Juara Bath & Shower Gel in Tiare Jasmine Tea- $3

I haven’t used this yet but it smells nice. I really like getting to try the brand Juara since they are a natural beauty line. This shower gel is 100% vegetarian and you can bet there are no harmful ingredients like parabens or sulfates.

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MAKE Satin Finish Powder Blush in Geisha- $30

This packaging is so bold! The blush shade that was sent out is a very pretty pink. Normally I wouldn’t be so excited for blush but lately I have really been wearing it a lot. Im going to try this out soon and hopefully post a photo of it on.

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Tocca Rollerball in Guillietta- $14

Another win for me, I already own both the perfume and lotion in this scent. It is a blend of tulips and green apples. This is probably not for everyone but I tend to enjoy wearing floral scents.

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Ten Over Ten Deluxe Nail Polish in Spring- $12

I haven’t tried this line before but this color is the perfect shade of pink for springtime- it’s even named spring!

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Cecilia Wong Anti-Aging Rose Serum Spray- $10

This definitely smells like roses but doesn’t bother me as much as I thought it would. Lots of times rose scented things smell old ladyish to me but this is nice. This spray is anti-aging and has hyaluronic acid in it, which I am always hearing about. Any product with that in it is supposed to work wonders on the skin. This line is also more natural and is free of parabens and all the other bad chemicals.

TokyoMilk Bon Bon Lip Balm in Rose Water- $10

I really like the packaging on TokyoMilk’s products and have wanted to try them, but this is the first thing I have tried from their line. I absolutely love the packaging it is so nice! This is a great item to gift someone because it is just so pretty. For the actual product, I am not as impressed. As much as I love rosewater and the scent, I don’t want that on my lips. I also don’t like using a lip balm tin and would rather have the stick so it’s more hygienic. This is going on my night stand to look pretty : )

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Votivo Travel Tin in Rush of Rose- $12 

Woah this is a strong scented candle! I am not so fond of rose scented things. This candle smells nice and when lit really smells up the room. If blindfolded you would probably have thought you were in a bedroom full of roses, it is that intense. I just can’t handle that much of this scent, it made me a little nauseous. I would like to try other scents from Votivo though if all of them are that great at freshening up a room!

I think this was the perfect way both to use up my points in the Birchbox shop and also to treat myself on mother’s day. I know Mother’s Day has now passed but there were so many items in this box I even felt guilty and shared them with my soon to be mother-in-law. This box had everything skincare, bath and body, make-up, it gets credit for the all inclusive gift for pampering someone and making their day.

 

Update on Birchbox Promo

Okay so the other day I posted about the awesome deal through Ibotta for Birchbox. Currently Ibotta has two offers for a cash rebate. All you do is click through their link and you can get either $3 off a monthly subscription or $5 off a gift subscription of 3 months or more.

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Now the good news is I just saw another way to get this for even cheaper than the low monthly price of $10! Go through Ibotta and get $3 off then enter the promo code SUMMERSUB to get $5 off ! That makes your first month only $2 plus if you review products you’ll rack up points to use on products in the Birchbox shop!

I ❤ Birchbox and awesome promo codes!

Anyone know of more good deals going on, I’m always on the lookout for more.

Birchbox Bobby Pins

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So I received these bobby pins in Birchbox’s box for July and I just wanted to show some pictures of how they look. Wow it was not easy to take pictures of my hair! Almost all of the ones I took my phone must have used flash. The pattern of these pins are super cute so I wanted to be able to show them off, poo. Oh well, so these are the best shots I have. Anyone else loving their bobby pins from their birchbox? I think Im definitely getting more, I love wearing these.

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July Birchbox: Power Play

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Birchbox was one of the first beauty boxes I started subscribing to. For $10 a month it is a great way to discover new products. Sure the sample sizes are sometimes ridiculously tiny, but other times I find something I really really enjoy and buy more of. This month I would say is one of the not so hot months for Birchbox. It seemed like the men’s box was better in my opinion. Even though both boxes included “Suits picks” the men’s box was more fitting than the women’s. That being said I still received some items that I am really enjoying sampling.

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I got my box way later than usual this month and so I totally peeked at what I was getting! I just couldn’t resist and when I saw I was getting the Benefit samples I was so excited. I have been wanting to try Benefits skincare line for a while.

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Benefit Triple Performing Cleanser, Total Moisture Moisturizer,It’s Potent! Eye Cream

Benefit always has nice packaging and this little sample pack was no exception. I just wish the sizes were bigger! I hope I can get a few uses out of this to see if it works well on my skin. I have tried the eye cream before and I liked it.

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Birchbox Bobby Pins

Loving these! So cute and versatile. I wear a lot of blues and greens so these will work well with a lot of outfits. I also recently cut my hair short so I like using pins to get my hair out of my face. I think Im going to get more.

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Pur Minerals CC Cream in Medium

Dr. Jart Ceramidin Cream

I currently use Supergoop’s CC cream but this one was nice! I prefer lighter formulas in the summer because I don’t want to feel smothered and gross out in the heat. This CC cream is definitely not something I would wear right now, but when it cools off I would use this. It has much more coverage and a thicker consistency than other bb and cc creams I have tried. I think this is a great alternative to foundation because it does the same job while also  protecting your skin with a wopping 40 SPF. I have been using the Ceramidin cream this week and so far I think my skin looks the same. I do like it as a moisturizer and I would consider getting it in the future. One thing I will add is that it doesn’t have a weird smell! With a name like Ceramidin I wasn’t so sure about what this cream would smell like. So if your curious, it doesn’t smell bad!

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Curly Hair Solutions Curl Keeper

I wasn’t so excited when I first saw this product. But then I read the description on Birchbox’s site and it changed my mind. This product is like a gel to help enhance curls but without that awful crunchiness that most gels will give your curls. I have naturally curly hair that can get frizzy in the summer. The curl keeper is meant to be used on slightly damp hair. For me this sounds pretty awesome. Since I don’t wash my hair everyday I can just dampened my hair and use this product to get it back in shape and control the frizz.

This wasn’t one of the best Birchbox’s as far as sample sizes, but the product selection was a win for me. I have been using all of the products I received since getting my box on Saturday. I think that the bobby pins for my hair are probably my favorite. Im posting a separate post to show you all some photos!

June Birchbox: Wanderlust!

Loving the theme Wanderlust this month and the brand new look of Birchbox! I was so excited to get my box this month and wouldn’t ya know it, I received my box later than usual! But at last it was delivered to my door yesterday, yay!

Check out the new box and logo design:

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First Look:

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All the wonderful beauty products!

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Laqa and Co Lil Lip

I wanted this sooo bad! But then I got it and realized it didn’t have the awesome packaging so Im a bit bummed. I think I’m going to have to buy the duo. This company commissions up and coming artists to design the box that they come in.  I love this bright color and how cute and little it is! This color also lasted a very long time, even after I ate dinner.

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Suki Exfoliate Foaming Cleanser

I have been wanting to try this brand for a while now. I don’t have any exfoliating cleansers right now so Im going to try this asap. It’s made with lemongrass and chamomile and smells really nice and lemony.

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Color Club Wanderlust Collection- London Calling

Every box this month included a shade of nail polish from the Wanderlust collection. I loved all the colors so Im really happy with this minty green shade. It is much brighter than I would have expected. I swatched one nail and it was bright almost lime green!

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Davines 3- Step System- Love Smoothing Shampoo and Conditioner and Oi/Oil 

I love getting hair care samples but I am bummed by the size of the conditioner and oil. The shampoo smells amazing and sounds amazing. It has Indian fig as an ingredient to moisturize your locks, sounds nice! The company also focuses on using eco-friendly ingredients and recyclable materials.

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Postcards!

Also included in the Wanderlust box are postcards. I thought these were adorable! The locations are of Birchbox’s International offices.

I love Birchbox, so much. Im happy with my box this month except for the lame tiny conditioner and oil samples. Everything else is great for summer and I am looking forward to sending out my postcards to some lucky friends and family. What was in your Birchbox this month?