BYOB Unboxed

When I was in New York earlier this month, I was so excited to visit the flagship Birchbox store in SoHo!  Aside from trying various products I’d been coveting, I built my own Birchbox (aka BYOB).

Following are reviews for the products I selected for my BYOB.


Kate Spade Live Colorfully

The tropics meet Park Avenue.  Admittedly, this was not my first time trying Live Colorfully, but I jumped at the opportunity for a throw-in-my-purse-sized sample.  I absolutely love this perfume!  Live Colorfully is floral and tropical, without smelling too strong or coconutty–just the combination of fun and grace we’ve come to expect from Kate Spade.  To me, the dominant smell is gardenia.  This is a scent best worn in warm weather, and a little bit goes a long way.

Macadamia Professional™ Style Extend Dry Shampoo

I chose Macadamia Professional’s dry shampoo because I am a big fan of their foaming cleansing conditioner (this one, I can’t speak to the new formula, which I haven’t tried).

A note on dry shampoos, generally: I am on the fence about dry shampoos.  I find a little goes a long way and it really helps to aim at the roots, holding the can from about eight inches away.  If you go overboard, your hair will be at least as sticky and weighed-down as oily hair.  Also, I find dry shampoos work best when you are going to style your hair.  If I leave my hair unstyled, I’ve yet to find a dry shampoo that really makes my hair look freshly washed.  I should also mention I have thick, dark brown shoulder-length hair.

This particular product has a subtle coconut scent, which I like.  I followed the directions, sprayed at the roots from eight to ten inches away, waited a minute, then brushed into hair.  This dry shampoo made my hair feel lighter than some others I’ve used, and it did not make my hair feel weighed down.  It comes out clear and dries a little on the whitish side, but not in any way that is visible (I only know it dries white because I sprayed some directly onto my fingertips to check).  All in all, I would say it’s a good dry shampoo.

Wilma Schumann Skincare Hydrating Collagen Eye Pads

I had never tried this skincare line before, but I figured I was a prime candidate for collagen eye pads since I’ve turned 25 (wink wink).  The sample was only one application so, of course, I can’t speak to long-term results.  However, I really enjoyed trying this sample.  I applied one pad under each eye (think football player), put on an episode of The Mindy Project, and voila, time to remove!  I am not sure what the pads are made of, but they are thick and smooth (not paper), felt luxurious on my sensitive undereye skin, and stayed in place.  When I removed the pads, my eyes felt soothed and unpuffed.  I would be interested in buying this product to see if it does anything for my dark undereye circles with repeated use.  At the very least, it felt like a mini spa treatment on my couch!

Rituals Foaming Shower Gel in Happy Buddha

I’ve been using the same drugstore body wash for the last fifteen years, but I always enjoy mixing things up a bit.  This shower gel dispenses thick and smooth, and the smell of citrus and cedar will leave you feeling invigorated and ready to take on the day!  Smooth this luxurious foaming shower gel on with your hands.  In a pinch, it works double duty as a shave gel.

ModelCo Party Proof Lipstick

I chose the Party Proof Matte Lipstick because I’ve tried it before and really liked it.  The BYOB sample was Get Naked, which is a nude (a little on the peachy side).  Unfortunately, it was too light for my skin tone and made me look like a ghost.  Total bummer, because I really like this brand of lipstick.  I do not frequently use lipstick, but ModelCo feels sheer, but with excellent coverage, and has a light strawberry scent.  The color I tried previously was Kitty, which I liked so much I used the whole tube!  Unless you have a very light skin tone, I would recommend Kitty to achieve subtle (but not quite nude) color.

Illume Gardenia Scented Candle

This gardenia-scented candle is just that — gardenia.  Rather than have that overly sweet, candied undertone that some candles have, this Illume candle smells like freshly cut gardenias.  A perfect fragrance to accompany a bath or a lazy Sunday afternoon.



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