Happy Hump Day, everyone! Is it me or do these summer months just fly by? I feel like the magical time during the year when there is no school traffic is coming to an end too quickly.
I have come to realize that having two dogs is definitely like practicing to have children.
Can only bring one out of town with you? Drop the other off at grandma’s.
One wants to go swimming and the other doesn’t.
One steals the other one’s snack.
One acts like they want a chewbone but they only want the chewbone the other one has.
One has wandered through the sprinklers without your knowledge.
One steals the other one’s bed.
One has an ear infection.
One is crying.
One is having potty accidents.
One won’t sleep without bedtime toys.
One has had their feelings hurt by the other.
One is vomiting.
One has escaped the fence.
They have both escaped the fence together.
Never in a million years did I think I would have a bedtime routine for dogs. They also expect to be fully tucked in. They have conspired to become a little team I like to call the Bedtime Police. They start passive aggressively staring at me from the stairs the second the sun goes down. There is just no pleasing these two, I swear.
In addition to my normal Birchbox review, I wanted to try something new. I calculated the value of the samples against the value of the full size product to see how much these boxes are actually worth. Being the total math nerd that I am, this was incredibly fun for me… and also eye opening! Mind you, I was the girl in college that carried my financial calculator around to the bars with me to be able to properly calculate tips. I do not regret this.
While I understand that the prices of beauty products are 100% completely and absurdly inflated, it unfortunately doesn’t make them cheaper or change the fact that I continue to spend money on them.
For example, I saw that there was a mega-sale on the La Mer Crème de la Mer Moisturizing Cream for the very low price of $1,030. But hey, it’s over $400 off! Thank you, Nordstrom Anniversary Sale. Unless this is made from the magical potion from Death Becomes Her and turns me into the epitome of perfection as we know it, Meryl Streep, it’s a waste of moolah. I did not consider buying this for one second, in case I needed to clear things up.
I am ashamed to admit that after some careful thought and consideration, against my better judgment, and against the advice of my friend, Emily, I spent $54 on a set of three deodorants. This stuff reigns high above all other smelly good things/anti-perspirants. But they’re normally $24 apiece (I am aware that this is ridiculous) and saved $18. So I basically got one for free, ok? I hate you*, Nordstrom Anniversary Sale.
*If we’re being honest, I went back to make this purchase after already making a sizeable purchase of other
necessary things. I need help.
Anyhoo, back to the subject at hand… my July Birchbox!
Stila Look At Me Liquid Lipstick TrioThis is a brand I have loved for a long time. I am addicted to their Stay all Day Liquid Liner, so I was excited to try this product. A WORD OF CAUTION: if you do not apply this carefully, you will look like the Joker. I did not apply this carefully. This was my sample choice for the month, so I was able to choose the pretty coral color. It goes on bright and thick. If you’re not the best at coloring inside the lines, then this lip paint is not for you. I am looking forward to trying it again for a bold weekend look, but this color was not office appropriate at all. I had a hard time getting it off my lips and the surrounding area before I headed into the office. I prayed that no one would notice that I looked like a 3 year old who got into their mommy’s lipstick drawer.
Stila Stay All Day Liquid Lipstick (0.1 oz.) – $22
Sample Value (0.05 oz.) – $11
3/5 would buy
Benefit They’re Real! Mascara
Oh Benefit Cosmetics, one of my great loves in life. But this stuff… THIS STUFF… I really have a love/hate relationship with. It is a truly wonderful mascara. It is. But you have one shot to get it right before it dries. Once it’s on, it’s on and it’s there for good. This stuff can be I-M-P-O-S-S-I-B-L-E to get off. You more or less need a mascara exorcism to expel this beauty tar from your precious lashes. So much so, that this product has its own makeup remover.
I’ve owned this full size product in the past and never bought it again for this reason. I like a mascara that you can add another layer to at the end of the day to freshen up. Layering this product results in your eyelashes looking like clumpy spider legs. I had mentioned their Roller Lash Mascara in a previous post and concluded that I wasn’t so crazy about it. It has really grown on me and seems to be much easier to take off. It still has the same layering issue, but not nearly as bad as this stuff.
If you’re looking for a high performance mascara that makes your lashes look fab, but you’re ok with never being able to fully take it off… give it a shot!
Full Size (0.3 oz.) – $24
Sample Value (0.1 oz.) – $8
3/5 would buy
COOLA Classic SPF 30 Cucumber Moisturizer for FaceThis is another brand that I have discovered over time through Birchbox and have really grown to love! I have expressed my love for all things SPF in the past. If you think sun damage doesn’t apply to you, then take a good, hard look at Tan Mom. I know I am being dramatic, but come on, my lovely friends… take care of your skin and protect it from the sun!
As a moisturizer? This stuff is meh. As a moisturizer doubling as sunscreen? I give it a thumbs up! The cucumber scent is wonderfully pleasant! However, if I am shelling out for a moisturizer then I need it to be a little more heavy duty than this one.
Full Size (1.7 oz.) – $32
Sample Value (0.24 oz.) – $4.52
2/5 would buy
dr. brandt micodermabrasion skin exfoliant
first and foremost, i have a hard time blogging about brands that don’t use capital letters in their names or products. typing this is killing me.
Facial exfoliants are quickly becoming the new body lotion in terms of how frequently I receive these kinds of samples. The good news is that when you receive these samples, they last forever. The bad news is that they last forever. I have an apothecary jar in my bathroom that houses all the lone body lotions and facial exfoliants. At least they have each other.
I did like that this product did not feel like I was scraping my face off with sand. It also rinsed off easily (which I like for the times I am not washing my hair) and did a decent job.
Since I am not currently in the market to add to my exfoliant collection, I’ll have to pass on the splurge. But it is fun to receive a pricey sample every once in a while 🙂
Full Size (2 oz.) – $78
Sample Value (0.25 oz) – $9.75
2/5 would buy
Oribe Dry Texturizing SprayAfter many hours of YouTubing and Pinteresting, I have learned that the true secret to a glam head of hair, especially with extensions, is texturizing spray. If we’re being honest here, it is something that makes your clean hair feel dirty enough to tease and add volume to. If you sometimes struggle with the decision to style clean hair that will ultimately be flat or dirty hair that will ultimately be, well, dirtier, then you need a bottle of texturizing spray.
This one is pretty good and is highly rated. I already use the Amika Un.Done Texture Spray and personally prefer it over the Oribe. The Amika smells much better and does not make my hair feel as gunky as the Oribe does. Plus the Amika packaging is oh so fun!
I was excited to give this one a shot to see what all the fuss is about, but I’ll stick with my regular stuff.
Full Size (8.5 oz.) – $42
Sample Value (1.0 oz.) – $4.94
2/5 would buy
I wanted to add the sample value calculation in case it might help any of you lovely readers decide if subscribing to Birchbox or even trying it out would be worth the cost. As someone who loves to try new things but always feels guilty returning something that didn’t work out, I love using this service to enable my addiction to beauty products.
Just to clarify, my sample value calculation does not factor in the processing costs such as sample selection, processing, or shipping (which is all included in the $10 I pay per month). So I am really getting an even better deal on these samples!
Total Value of July’s Samples: $38.21
If you are interested in giving Birchbox a shot, then pretty please use my referral link!
I will be back tomorrow (hopefully) with my July Ipsy Glam Bag Review.
Thanks for stopping by! See y’all next time…