(Beauty) Products: Review 1/12


When my first Birchbox arrived a few weeks ago I was ridiculously excited. (Eeeee Birchbox!!) I had no idea, truly, what to expect, and when I opened the box I handled the products inside like someone unearthing a time capsule from a different planet. Lip… stain? What is this jewel-toned wonder? I am also really excited to share my dive into the land of products with you all. So! What was inside?


First up was the bun maker thing. My first reaction was that I was impressed that I would receive something so cool in a sample box. I have been eyeing the craze of the top knot and the sock bun – which I have not tried – and I was interested to see how these contraptions work. I am not at all interested in a “half-up” bun, but the low bun is definitely my style, so the next morning I gave it a shot, following the step by step instructions in the package.

First you have to slip your hair through the slit, which I could not do unless I bent the thing open. I didn’t know if this was allowed, but I couldn’t figure out how to do it otherwise, so I just went with it. Then you start at the ends of your hair and roll the whole thing up into your hair. Then you pull the ends into a circle (the styling tool stays where you bend it) and then move the hair around it so it turns into the pefect little round bun (which also kind of looks like a butt hole, I have to admit).

This is the best I could do:


There was no way I could connect the hair at the top of the bun into a perect circle. The best I could do was pin it in place which… kind of looked like an interesting side twist bun thing but didn’t make sense to me. It didn’t feel secure at all and in general, did not uphold its boasts as the “the perfect styling tool!” Have any of you used one of these? Am I doing something wrong? In my opinion, this is a dud. Maybe if you have less hair it would work? I’m not sure. It doesn’t really make sense to me.


Next up was this fancy 8 hour chap stick, which… ok, it’s chap stick. I am an obsessed chap stick user, so I’m very ok with interesting free samples of it. But! 8 hours? Really? No. It’s just chap stick. I’ve recently started using vaseline for all of my chap stick needs and it works soooo much better! And is an excellent lip gloss as well. My recommendation? By a tub of petroleum jelly. Smooth glossy lips for years.


Lip and cheek stain! I’ve always been fascinated by these products. I first tried it on my cheeks and the immediate effect was… I really didn’t know what I was doing or how much to put on. I didn’t put a super large amount and I kind of felt like… womp, who could tell there was anything there at all? But then a few hours later I caught myself in the mirror and thought my little apple rosey cheeks looked delightful. My favorite part about it, though, is how it looks on my lips.


It is subtle and looks really natural. I’ve worn it to work most days in the last few weeks and I really like it. I don’t really think about it once I bought it on. I apply it like gloss, let it dry, and then put some vaseline (true story!) over it and walk out the door. The color stays for several hours and doesn’t get all over my water glass. The best part is I don’t have to think about it once I put it on (set it and forget it!). If you are shy about lipstick and think gloss is annoying, I would definitely check out a lip stain. It sounds more committal than it actually is. Two thumbs up!


I’ve used some form of scrubby face wash for many, many years. This? This is something different. The granules are SO fine I bet they could blast through cement if applied correctly. At first the fineness of the scrubbies kind of freaked me out. It really felt like I was exfoliating the shit out of my face. I worried that my sensitive skin would have a bad reaction. I actually called Kamel to come look at my face while I was still in the shower and tell me if I was swelling up. I wasn’t, all was well. I really like how smooth my skin feels after using this, and it has a lovely refreshing lemon scent and eucalyptus icey sensation after I rinse it off. I would definitely be interested in investing in a face wash like this.

Last, but not least, I also was sent a nail polish.


I am a pedicure person, not a manicure person (my nails always peel afterwards and it is a nightmare). So I have not tried this sample. It is called “Hedge Fund” which makes me laugh because it does resemble the green/grey of money. I’m going to be setting aside anything I do not use and then at the end of this I’ll be giving it all away. This nail polish will be part of that prize pack.

So now it is your turn. Have you taken any beauty risks lately? Have you tried something new? Have you ever tried any of these products?

**Please note, Birchbox is not sponsoring me. I’m paying for a subscription and talking about my experiences, as I do with most things.**

15 thoughts on “(Beauty) Products: Review 1/12”

  1. I love lip stains for all the reasons that you mention, this one looks good on you, and on your cheeks too, very very natural. Bonus points because even if I do like some lip gloss, the boy won’t kiss me until it falls off if I dare wear any, so I kind of have stopped using them. I have not really been taking beauty risks lately though. If you ever master the cat-eye, do show us how!

  2. I think one of the best jobs in the world would be to make up names for nail polish. They’re always so fun!

    I tried one of those hair lip things once — not the same exact model, but same idea. It was a big “whomp whomp”. Soooort of worked? But not really. And definitely didn’t match up with the promised results.

    You may have convinced me to finally try out lip stain. I hate lip gloss, and have never been a lipstick girl — although that DOES bring me to my latest beauty purchase. I totally splurged and bought a Chanel lipstick. WHICH ARE FREAKIN’ EXPENSIVE. But omg, it feels AMAZING. It’s like putting on chap stick. And the color — “Boy” — is this really nice neutral-pinky color that just sort of…I dunno. Makes me look a little more polished? A little more “not dead”? Always a good thing.

  3. I’ve never had success with any of the myriad of hair thingies that turn into a craze like that. I even tried the bump it … which might have been the worst of them all. I’ve had far better luck with elastics and bobby pins.

    As far as beauty risks? Nah, lately I’ve been a little boring. Switching up my shampoo the other month is the biggest thing I’ve done, and that’s just because it smells pretty.

  4. Okay wait, I have been in search of the perfect lip stain for years. But every single one I try makes my lips super dried out as the stain dries. Does this not do that??! In which case, I should get some! Probably I have to be willing to pay more than just a few dollars to get a lip stain that doesn’t suck all the moisture out of my lips right away.

  5. I got the same exact box!!! the bun thingy did not impress me because I have tried them before and they always fail. I don’t have enough hair to cover such a fat tube–what i need is something similar but thinner and longer.

  6. I got the lipstain and the chapstick, and the nail polish in an earlier box – I love the lipstain, and used it to make myself look less like the walking dead yesterday! The chapstick lives in my nightstand table, and i think it smells delicious, but… oh hey, its chapstick. I think I want to try the nail polish, but maybe as an index finger color. TBD.

    Birchbox is so fun! I think my favorite products (after almost an entire year) have been mostly hair products, as well as one exfoliant/facewash that I LOVE and bought a full size of..

  7. I have tried 2 new beauty things in the past few weeks. I, too, have never been a manicure person. BUT…all the ladies in the office are, and I am always coveting their shades, especially the darkish fall colors for some reason. So I took the leap this weekend, bought a manicure set, and painted my nails this kind of stormy purplish grayish color. And I’m really feeling it! I think maybe the dark colors are better for me cause they are not so BAM, but still unconventional, kinda?

    I bought a lipstick, too. Revlon. I have never worn lipstick. And it reminds me of my grandmother. It makes me feel like a grown up. But also, I bought a pale, nude kind of color. Nothing crazy, but enough for those zombie-like days.

  8. Oh I love this kind of thing – it’s like a care package of fun things to try 🙂

    Lip Stain!in! Huge fan! Had it once, loved it, lost it while travelling, Bugger. But on the topic of fancy lipstick, I bought a fancy one a year ago, on a whim at sephora – the illamasqua brand. And I cannot rave enough about it. It is such good quality that it works as stain, chapstick, and lipstick all at one time. It is a beautiful color (very bold) and makes me feel super grown up.

  9. Excited to keep reading your reviews of these things – just tried a hair mask last night for the first time after reading your other products post and I am IN LOVE. It is MAGIC.

  10. I got the same lip & cheek stain in my October box. I didn’t like it on my cheeks, I thought it felt gloopy. Maybe I was using too much? I’ll have to try it on my lips — I am so not a full lipstick sort of person.

Leave a Reply to Claire Cancel reply