It's already the end of January! It's time for the wrap-up review, where I give you a quick overview of each box I got this month, then I choose my favorite box(es) and product(s). Occasionally, my opinion of a product changes after I've had a chance to try it more, so I'll make a note of that in the end of the month wrap-up when that happens. I include only monthly boxes, no special edition boxes. If you want to read the full review of a particular box, I've included links to each one below. You'll also find the links to the boxes and products in the full review, so click on through if you need those.
My January ipsy was just okay. The Trust Fund Beauty Lip Gloss in Method to the Madness was sticky and gave me almost no color on my lips, so it was not for me at all. I love Trust Fund Beauty's nail polish and highlighter, but the lip products I've tried from them leave something to be desired. The Bahama Mama Bronzer from theBalm was a good, basic bronzer, but it wasn't anything amazing. I liked the Manna Kadar Paradise Blush. It reminded me a lot of NARS Orgasm. The Pur~lisse Blue Lotus Seed Mud Mask and Exfoliant stung when I applied it, but the stinging quickly went away and the mask left my skin feeling tight and smooth. My favorite product in my ipsy bag this month was definitely the Ciaté Gelology Top Coat. This top coat dried quickly and gave my nails a chip-resistant finish.
The January Birchbox was better than most Birchboxes. My product choice was Sunday Riley's Good Genes. I've been wanting to try it for quite some time. It's a lactic acid treatment that is supposed to brighten and smooth skin, plus fight signs of aging. The sample was too small to see much of a difference, but I've heard nothing but good things about this product. The only downside is that it's very expensive. ARROW is Birchbox's new house brand. I absolutely love the ARROW ENDURE Water-resistant Mascara. The formula is fabulous. It gave me lots of length, a good amount of volume, and absolutely no clumping. I was really surprised. I hope we get to try other ARROW products in future Birchboxes. The Nuxe Moisturizing Cream Crème Fraîche de Beauté is a moisturizer with a strong floral scent to it. It was non-greasy, hydrating, and a good, basic moisturizer, but that's all it is -- it isn't a brightener and it doesn't have ingredients that fight signs of aging. I've tried the Pixi Glow Tonic before and liked it, but this was my first time trying it in the To-Go form, which is just the tonic on a disposable pad. It's a lot more expensive to get the pads, so I suggest just sticking to the regular bottle of tonic and using your own cotton pads. The final product was the Burt's Bees Lipstick in Brimming Berry. This went on smoothly and had surprisingly good pigment. I prefer liquid lipsticks, but, if you like conventional lipstick, this is a high quality, inexpensive product that is worth a try. This was definitely a good month for Birchbox!
The Glossybox this month wasn't bad. The Daily Concepts Exfoliating Body Scrubber wasn't for me as the texture was a little too rough, but I liked everything else in the box. The AG Hair Care Cleansing Cream is a foam-free shampoo. You're not supposed to use conditioner after using it. I was worried my hair wouldn't be soft and shiny because of the lack of conditioner, but that wasn't the case at all. My hair looked amazing! It did give me a little extra volume, which I could have done without, but it'll be good when my hair needs a little love. The oOlution Eye Love is your basic eye cream. It's very hydrating and is supposed to be anti-aging. The Theorie des Vulcans Noir Eternal Mask Scrub was gently exfoliating. It can be used as a mask or a scrub. I tried both and didn't notice any added benefit from using it as a mask, so I'll just use it as a scrub. Finally, there was the Universal Beauty Secret Flush Soothing Cream Blusher in Nectar #4. This had a fruity scent to it and was very buildable, so it was easy to go for a subtle or bold blush look. This was one of the better Glossyboxes I've seen in some time!
My January DermStore BeautyFix was pretty good. I was surprised that the MDSolarSciences Daily Anti-Aging Moisturizer was half of the full size as it was so small! This was a good, non-greasy moisturizer that gave me a bit of sunblock, which is good even in the winter months. I got a full size of the Briogeo Don't Despair, Repair! Deep Conditioning Mask. I've gotten tons of samples of this product in boxes before, but I'm always happy to get more as it does make my hair soft and shiny. I was also a fan of the Dermalogica Daily Superfoliant. This is a grey powder that you mix with water and it gently exfoliates your skin. It made my skin soft and smooth. We got a teeny sample of the Demarché Labs BioRewind. This is a serum that is supposed to be anti-aging. With a sample this small, you can't really see how well it works, and that's a big problem when you're trying to sell us a $125 product. It also smells really bad. When I wrote my BeautyFix review, I still had long hair. The Nick Chavez SoftFlocker kept my flyaways in check, but that was all I had used it for. Now that my hair is short, I've been using this for texturizing my hair and giving it a little hold. I've been using this daily and am in love with this product! It's the perfect thing to use for short hairstyles. I've gotten many samples of the Eau Thermale Avène Thermal Spring Water in boxes before and it's never been my thing, so I wasn't excited to get yet another one. This is water in a can. It contains minerals in it from the spring, but I don't really want to spray water on my face. The final product was the Manna Kadar Cosmetics LipLocked Priming Lipstick in Lust. This is a medium neutral color with a slight bit of oranginess to it. It was extraordinarily unflattering on me and I don't imagine it will be a flattering color on many people. The Dermalogic Daily Superfoliant, the Nick Chavez SoftFlocker, and the Briogeo hair mask were fabulous, but I could have done without the other products in the box.
The Play! by Sephora this month was so-so. I was pretty disappointed that the perfume this month, Pinrose Wild Child, was a one-time-use packet instead of the standard perfume vial sample. I like to use a perfume a few time to get a good feel for it and wasn't able to do it with this one. This is a floral fragrance with vanilla base notes. I liked the floral part, but the base notes made it so this perfume wasn't for me. The Caudalie Resveratrol Lift Face Lifting Moisturizer was a good, lightweight daytime moisturizer with added sunblock. The resveratrol fights signs of aging, so that made me like it even more. I've heard so many good things about the Clinique Almost Lipstick in Black Honey, but it was a disappointment for me. It's said to be universally flattering, which makes sense -- it's extremely sheer and will just darken your lips a shade, so of course it will look good on anyone. I like bright, bold lip color, so this wasn't for me. The OUAI Treatment Masque is a ten minute hair mask that gave me a lot of shine and just a little extra softness. I prefer the Briogeo mask, but that OUAI was okay. Sephora asked subscribers to select their skin color for this month's box, so I was hoping for a foundation or concealer. People with medium skin tones seemed to get foundation, but those of us with dark or light complexions ended up with the Dermablend Loose Setting Powder. I had really been looking forward to trying a new foundation, so that made me sad. I did like the soft, long-lasting finish the setting powder gave me, though. The final product was my favorite! I loved the tarte FRXXXTION Stick. This is a charcoal exfoliator, cleanser, and face mask all in one. To use it, you wet your face, then you rub the stick all over your face. It feels like you are using a crayon and it makes your skin look grey. You then rub it in for a few seconds and rinse (or leave it on for a few minutes if using it as a mask). The exfoliation was gentle and it made my skin feel brand new. It definitely wasn't a bad month for Play!, but it wasn't the best month either.
My January Julep box was great, but Julep is almost always going to be great because you get to pick your own products. This month, I chose the new product from Julep, Boost Your Radiance Reparative Rosehip Seed Facial Oil, plus two polishes from the January collection. I also used my Jules (Julep's points) to get a third nail polish, a polish from the December collection that I had really liked but hadn't gotten. The face oil was moisturizing, non-greasy, lightweight, and absorbed quickly. Unfortunately, the bottle fell on the floor and broke after I used it a couple of times, so I was unable to see how well it worked after using it for an extended period of time. I chose Pacita, which Julep described as a honey ginger sheer iridescent shimmer, and Darcy, which Julep called a Baja sunrise sheer iridescent shimmer, which were both from the January nail polish collection. I thought I was going to like Darcy more, but I ended up loving Pacita. It's a warm medium brown with tons of sparkle. Darcy was beautiful, too, though -- it was a little more sheer than Pacita, and it looks green, purple, or blue depending on the light. I used my Jules to Roselyn from the December collection, which Julep calls a snowstorm shimmer. I thought this was going to be sparkly white, but it has almost a grey or blue cast to it. It's gorgeous. I'm loving my Julep subscription.
The January Goodbeing was not the best Goodbeing box I've gotten. The only product I really liked this month was the Gaffer and Child Shaving Butter. It was creamy, moisturizing, had a light lavender lemon scent, and gave me a close, smooth shave. I highly recommend this shaving cream. The Kaia Naturals The Takesumi Detox Bamboo Charcoal Deodorant in Juicy Bamboo is supposed to draw out all the gross stuff from your armpit skin over the course of the first couple weeks you are using it, so it makes you smell worse at first. I was skeptical of this claim, but it really did make me smell a lot worse than I do if I go without deodorant. Because of that, I couldn't bring myself to go the couple of weeks to see if it really did make a difference. Goodbeing sent me the Devita Moisture Tint in both Light and Medium. This is a BB balm, so it's not the best for my skin type. I need better coverage, so I need regular foundation, not just a BB balm. I used the Light color as a primer, though, so it works for that, plus it's a little moisturizing. The Medium was much too dark. The Mi-Me Gray Label Vetiver Dark Sugar Scrub was my least favorite product in the box. While the scrub itself was exfoliating but not irritating, the vanilla vetiver scent was horrible, in my opinion. If you like straight vanilla and vetiver, then you'll like this scrub, but the scent was absolutely not for me.
I loved my Petit Vour this month! All four products were fabulous. The Blissoma Tone Adaptive Energy Tonique was the perfect toner for my skin. It had a fresh scent and was the rare hydrating toner. It was made for people with acne or oily or combination skin and I found it helped my skin recover from its monthly breakout faster than usual. The EVOVLh UltraShine Moisture Shampoo and Conditioner smell great and left my hair so soft and shiny. It is supposed to be pH balancing and color-safe. The fourth product, Lauren B. Beauty Nail Couture Nail Polish in Vintage on Vine was my favorite Petit Vour product. This was a beautiful mauve/lavender/taupe/grey color. The color it looked depended on the lighting. I kept looking at my nails and thinking how beautiful they were. One coat covered my nails and the polish held up for a couple of days on my nails. This was one of the better Petit Vour boxes I've gotten.
The January Kloverbox was all about looking and feeling your best for the new year! The Balipura Auric Spray in Let Go was a perfect choice for the theme. I wasn't sure how the cinnamon grapefruit scent would work, but the two scents went together surprisingly well. The Natural Annie Essentials Happy Edges is supposed to encourage hair growth, so it wasn't something I had much interest in. I had a friend try it out for me. She didn't use it long enough to see signs of hair growth, but she did find it moisturized her hair well and didn't leave it feeling greasy. The other three products in the January Kloverbox were all for dental care. The Humble Brush is a toothbrush with a biodegradable bamboo handle. When you purchase one, one is also donated to someone who needs dental care products. It isn't fancy, but it cleaned my teeth well. The Essential Oxygen Organic Brushing Rinse is part toothpaste and part mouthwash. You're supposed to swish it around in your mouth, then brush your teeth with it. I liked the strong peppermint taste and it made my mouth feel extra fresh. Finally, there was the Ecodent GentleFloss. This was a vegan floss with no beeswax on it and it didn't feel nearly as waxy as I am used to, which made me worry it would be difficult to use. I was surprised by how well it worked -- it got into the tightest spaces and didn't break. This is my favorite floss. Kloverbox had a great start to the new year.
My Mommy Mailbox was a lot of fun. The Sailor Paper Company Eat, Drink, and Be Merry Coasters were paper coasters with beautiful gold, mint, and white designs. Each of the eight coasters had a different print. As long as your glass isn't too wet, you should be able to use these multiple times. The Lauren Brooke Cosmetiques Luminous Face Highlighter in Glow (Neutral) had a beautiful pearly finish to it. It gave me the perfect amount of highlight without being over the top. It should work for most complexions. The Rabbit Creek Caramel Apple Cheese Ball Mix was given to a friend as I don't eat cheese balls. She tried them out and loved them. My two favorite products in the January Mommy Mailbox were the Henlie necklace and the Sugar Dunk MiniDunk sampler. The Henlie necklace is a cute piece of costume jewelry that is a little different, but very versatile. I've gotten a lot of compliments on it. The MiniDunk sampler contained four small jars of Sugar Dunk bath scrubs. I loved all four of the scrubs, but my two favorites were the grapefruit mint salt scrub and orange vanilla sugar scrub.
The January PopSugar Must Have was worth $190, which is an amazing value. The Goldfaden MD Fresh A Peel Multi Acid Resurfacing Peel is a treatment you use two to three times a week that brightens and smooths your skin using lactic acid and fruit enzymes. You need to let it set for only one to three minutes before rinsing, so it's great when your skin needs some love but you are short on time. I'm not into yoga, so I didn't really need the Manduka eQua Yoga Mat Towel. It's extremely soft, though, so I might use it for other things. You're supposed to place it on top of your yoga mat to absorb sweat and minimize slipping. May Designs' The 2017 Desk Calendar was cute, but I'm not much of a desk calendar person. The designs on each card are pretty, though, and you can use the card as a greeting card once the month is over. I loved having the Daily Concepts Your Hair Wrap Towel as my hair takes forever to dry. This was very comfortable and easy to use. Now that I cut my hair off, I have less of a need for it, but it's still good to have around. I've never been a tea drinker, but I love peppermint, so I quite enjoyed the Dean and Deluca Peppermint Tea. I wish it came in tea bags instead of being loose leaf, but it's yummy and relaxing. The Instant Happy Notes is a small book of sticky notes with inspirational messages on them that you are supposed to give to people. This really isn't my style, but it is cute. There was a sponsored extra this month, a candle from Glade. It had a warm coconut scent to it and was surprisingly nice for a Glade candle! This wasn't my favorite PopSugar box ever, but it was a solid one.
Last but not least was Terra Bella Box. I got another Sugar Dunk MiniDunk sampler! Normally, I wouldn't like getting two of the exact same product in two different boxes in the same month, but I loved the sampler, so I was happy to have a second set! The Parlo Cosmetics Whipped Shave Cream in Sweet Coconut Lime had a surprisingly subtle scent to it, but I liked that it wasn't heavily fragranced. It was hydrating and gave me a smooth shave. The Lauren Brooke Cosmetiques Organic Intensive Skin Thérapie was very moisturizing and perfect for the cold snap we had. It seems a little greasy going on, but it absorbs quickly and doesn't feel greasy once it's absorbed. It's perfect for elbows, knees, lips, and wherever you have extra dry skin. The Jersey Shore Sun Mongongo in Mandarin Green Orange and Ginger was lip balm that smelled great and made my lips feel hydrated. It's a little greasier feeling than I would like, but it works well and I need some effective lip balm this time of year, so I can live with that. This was a great month for Terra Bella.
Choosing favorite products is always difficult! This month, I narrowed it down to six: Nick Chavez SoftFlocker from DermStore BeautyFix, tarte cosmetics FRXXXTION Stick from Play! by Sephora, Ciaté Gelology Top Coat from ipsy, ARROW ENDURE Water-resistant Mascara from Birchbox, and Sugar Dunk MiniDunk Sampler from both Terra Bella Box and Mommy Mailbox.
As for favorite boxes, I think Petit Vour, Mommy Mailbox, and Birchbox did it this month. It was harder than usual to choose favorites this month.
That's it for January! Watch for February spoilers and reviews to start soon! What did you think of the January boxes? Did you have any favorite boxes or products?