Birchbox February ♡ First Impression + Overall Review + Shopping Birchbox From NZ

Birchbox is a monthly beauty subscription service that is available in the USA, UK, Ireland, France and Spain. The company claims to deliver "high-end beauty and lifestyles samples from top brands", like most subscription boxes services, you can choose to pay as an one-time thing or you can pay a full year and get a discount. The boxes cost USD $10.00 per month, plus free shipping to any American addresses.

From what I have been seeing online, different countries gets all different products; for example, this month I have seen some UK boxes included a Spectrum tapered powder blush (totally jealous!) and the products included in their boxes is completely different to what I have received (I am subscribed to Birchbox USA). Most of the products included in the UK boxes are full-sized, while the USA boxes includes all sample-sized. Also, not everyone that is subscribed to Birchbox USA receives the same products, but I see that we all get sample-sized items... Okay, it's getting a little complicated here, but you get the ideas. 

Birchbox February 2016
Birchbox February 2016

Birchbox February First Impression: not impressed, nor disappointed; for ten dollars a month I can't really complaint and let's be honest here, whatever Birchbox includes in their boxes, it's always better than the beauty boxes we get in New Zealand.

Although all items included are sample-sized products, I was not that disappointed, nowadays I enjoy sample sizes more rather than a full-sized product that I know I won't use. I was actually more disappointed at how messy the box was, it had OCC lip tar smeared all over even though the lip product has not been used and one of the product was opened and already used, which is kind of gross.

Birchbox February 2016
Birchbox February 2016

Birchbox February includes five sample-sized products, the prices shown in the description card are all full-sized prices and also it includes a coupon code for a free Benefit item if purchase over some amount in the Birchbox shop etc...

Birchbox February 2016

♥ Birchbox February includes:
Birchbox February 2016

NAOBAY Oxygenating Cream Moisturizer | Full-Sized USD $36.00 is an eco-conscious moisturizer that is loaded with avocado and olive oils to nourish skin, it claims to leave your complexion hydrated and smooth. It is suitable for all skin types and recommended to use morning and night.

I love that this moisturizer has a fresh lemon drop scent but I feel like it's not suitable for all skin types as recommended. Although the moisturizer is hydrating and made my skin feels quite smooth, it feels thick and it feels like the moisturizer sits on top of my skin instead of sinking in. I have oily skin and within three hours of applying this moisturizer, I had to go and wash my face as my face was feeling oily and my eyes were stingy due to my facial oil.

Birchbox February 2016

BEAUTY PROTECTOR Protect & Detangle | Full-Sized USD $21.95 is a paraben and sulfate-free leave-in detangler mist, it helps minimize frizz, smooth and moisturizes each strand of hair. It provides protection against UV rays and heat, safeguards color and add shine. This product is 100 percent vegan and suitable for all hair types, it has a weightless, non greasy formula that leaves behind an airy floral scent.

Birchbox February 2016

NOT SOAP, RADIO Liquid Feud Body Wash | Full-Sized USD $16.00 is described as a body wash with a snarky sense of humor and seriously delicious scents. This body wash is available in four scents, I have received Liquid Feud and it is coconut milk and mango scented.

Okay, absolutely no sense of humor here, cause I don't get a thing hahhaha ~ I absolutely adore this body wash and I think it is the best item I have received in my February Birchbox. Coconut and mango and two of my favourite fruits out there, you can probably imagine me drooling all over during each shower heheh, I love that this body wash leaves my skin feeling soft and smooth, the coconut scent also lingers around for hours after shower.

Birchbox February 2016
Birchbox February 2016

ARROW REVIVE Cooling Cheek Tint "Pink Punch" | Full-Sized USD $18.00 is a vegan, paraben-free, cruelty-free and gulten-free easy to use cheek tint that claims to deliver a long lasting natural looking flush throughout the day. It is made with breathable, oil-free gel formula that allows it to seamlessly sink into skin without clogging pores and streaking.

I rarely use cheek tints because I always feel panicky when they dry before I can blend out the colors, I am either not skilled enough, nor quick enough to use anything liquidy on my cheek so I try to avoid it as much as I could. Arrow Revive Cooling Cheek Tint is amazing though, it has a not so liquidy texture that allows time to blend, once the color set it delivers a sheer and pretty pink flush. The color looks very natural on and it last for hours throughout the day.

Birchbox February 2016
Birchbox February 2016

OCC Lip Tar Matte Liquid Lipstick "Strumpet" | Full-Sized USD $16.00 is a vegan, cruelty-free and gulten-free liquid lipstick that is infused with peppermint oil for a silky feel. It is recommended to apply the tiniest amount to lips for a matte and opaque coverage, or layer to create a glossy finish.

I have tried applying with the tiniest amount and I have layered over and over, non of these applications dries matte, instead it leaves a glossy look as seen in my lip swatch above. I have lined my lips with a lip pencil, I tried to get a precise line using a lip brush, but the application turns out pretty messy and feathered within minutes of applying the lip tar. I have never been an OCC lip tar fan, I find their formulas are either too liquidy and streaky to apply, or too opaque and messy. In the February Birchbox I have received the colour Strumpet, it's such a gorgeous purple-ish red-ish pink, I love the colour and I love the refreshing peppermint scent.

Overall Review: Although I was not too impressed when I first opened the box, I did end up liking the items I have received. I used to make a judgement on if these beauty boxes are worth it by the product sizings I have received, if a box is filled with all full-sized products it's worth continued subscribed to, if only one or two full-sized item and the rest are sample products I would probably think twice before cancelling and if a box comes with only sample sizes products I would immediately unsubscribed lol. I slowly realised that I hardly used any of these full-sized items I have received in beauty subscription boxes, if these items are from brands I have never heard of, then it's tested, review and never heard of again.

I actually quite like the idea of a sample-sized only box, this way I don't feel guilty of wasting a full-sized product that is not suitable for me and I love that sample-sized items are all very travel friendly. I could slip the OCC lip tar and the Arrow Revive cheek tint in my purse for an easy touch up throughout the day, or I could re-use the Not Soap, Radio bottle once I finished the body wash and re-fill it with some other liquid products for easy travelling storage. Also, I love to be able to try out a new product before buying the full-sized as I tend to always make a bad decision in buying new products from new-to-me brands.

What I love about Birchbox: One of the things that I absolutely adored about Birchbox is their Birchbox Points Program. These points could be earned through reviewing the products you have received in your beauty boxes and every 100 Birchbox points equals to USD $10.00 to spend in the Birchbox shop. You can also earn points by inviting friends and/or shopping on Birchbox.

How does Birchbox work in New Zealand? I have wondered too... Before I placed my order... The answer is it doesn't work in New Zealand as Birchbox USA only ships their beauty boxes to American addresses. The only solution to getting your monthly subscription boxes is to get your box send to a USA mail forwarding address. I use YouShop and it works fabulously!

Birchbox beauty box: USD $10 per month / approximately NZD $15.00
Shipping to USA mail forwarding address: FREE!
Shipping from USA to New Zealand: usually NZD $17.00

Adding together it comes to NZD $32.00 per box / per month.


what are your thoughts on Birchbox February 2016?

MAC Guo Pei Morning Light Eyeshadow Quad ♡ Review + Swatches

Remember when Rihanna made a dramatic arrival at The 27 Met Gala last year in an over the top gown that looks like scramble eggs?! Yup, the dress was designed by fashion designer Guo Pei. 

Guo Pei is a Chinese fashion designer who is best known for designing dresses for Chinese celebrities. I didn't know who she was until MAC Cosmetics has announced their collaboration and out of curiosity, I looked her up on Google and end up really liking her styles, I find her designs very inspiring as they have the traditional Chinese imperial feel and I love that because I have always been intrigued by those kind of designs.

Obviously I cannot afford a Guo Pei dress, but I was able to get a few items from the MAC x Guo Pei collection and today I will be reviewing the MAC Morning Light Eyeshadow Quad.

MAC Guo Pei Morning Light Eyeshadow Quad
MAC Guo Pei Morning Light Eyeshadow Quad

MAC Guo Pei Morning Light Eyeshadow Quad is described as warm, honeyed natural tones. It contains four eyeshadows in Earth Scent (blackened brown), Amber Lights (peachy brown with shimmer), Walking Dawn (light medium gold) and Sweet Vapours (soft beige with pink duochrome). The quad claims to be safe for contact lens wearers and the eyeshadows can be used wet or dry.

The eyeshadow quad comes packaged in floral fabric and gold metal. I have seen beautiful Limited Edition MAC packaging and don't forget there are a lot of cute ones too, but MAC Guo Pei is the most luxurious and elegant packaging I have seen from MAC.

Morning Light Eyeshadow Quad is retailed for USD $70.00, it is $30 more expensive from the regular quads and I personally think that although the eyeshadow qualities are amazing and the packaging is to-die-for, $70 for a MAC eyeshadow quad is a rip-off.

MAC Guo Pei Morning Light Eyeshadow Quad

All four eyeshadows included in the Morning Light quad are insanely pigmented, except for Sweet Vapouors, the pink duochrome is beautiful as seen in my arm swatch, but it doesn't show up too well on the eyes. The texture of these eyeshadows are creamy soft, they applies smoothly and blends beautifully. The combination of four colors also work perfectly together and even though the colors are so pigmented, it is such a nice quad for beginners as the colors blends so well together, it's hard to mess up your look. 

MAC Guo Pei Morning Light Eyeshadow Quad - Earthy Scent
MAC Guo Pei Morning Light Eyeshadow Quad - Amber Lights
MAC Guo Pei Morning Light Eyeshadow Quad - Walking Dawn
MAC Guo Pei Morning Light Eyeshadow Quad - Sweet Vapours
MAC Guo Pei Morning Light Eyeshadow Quad

MAC Guo Pei Morning Light Eyeshadow Quad is Limited Edition and it is still available to purchase from MAC online if you can justify spending $70 on an eyeshadow quad.

I am not a regular eyeshadow wearer nor am I familiar with all the eyeshadow brands out there, I do own a few eyeshadow palettes here and there and all of them are as good quality as MAC without a huge price tag. Therefore I feel like $70 for an eyeshadow quad is too expensive and I would not spend that much even though it's limited edition and it has a to-die-for packaging.

P.S I bought my quad brand new with an affordable price tag from a makeup artist and it is one of those MAC samples that were giving out to bloggers for review purpose etc... It doesn't have the retail packaging with a proper label on the back, but it is exactly the same as the ones sold in stores.


did you buy anything from the MAC Guo Pei collection?

Berrisom Oops My Lip Tint Pack Set ♡ [Virgin Red, Vivid Scarlet, Lovely Peach, Pure Pink, Bubble Pink, Sexy Red] Swatches + Review

I have reviewed the Berrisom Oops My Lip Tint Pack in the past (click here for the review) and till this day I still love this product, it has such a cool concept and each of the lip tint is so wearable and long lasting.

I finally purchased the six colours set from eBay and I am excited to show you the lip swatches I have done. Although I love the quality and the beautiful shades of these lip tint, I dread the drying-ness of these lip products; they are one of the most drying lip tints I own in my collection and while I was doing the lip swatches yesterday, there were so many moments that I wanted to give up and be like "no more swatches"!

Berrisom Oops My Lip Tint Pack Set
Berrisom Oops My Lip Tint Pack Set

Berrisom Oops My Lip Tint Pack is described as one of the hippest lip makeup in Korea. It is waterproof, smudge proof, transfer-free (eating, drinking or kissing) and it claims to leave a vibrant colour that lasts for over 12 hours without smearing or fading.

It is suggest to apply a liberal amount of the lip tint pack onto clean lips, let it dry for five to ten minutes, then gently peel the lip tint pack off. Apply lip balm or lip gloss for addiction moisture.

 Berrisom Oops My Lip Tint Pack Set
 Berrisom Oops My Lip Tint Pack Set
Berrisom Oops My Lip Tint Pack Set

In my experience, the Berrisom Oops My Lip Tint Pack takes approximately fifteen minutes to dry down, the drying time depends on the amount of product you have applied; and during the drying time, it is a must to have your mouth open at all times. It is a no-no to press your lips together or rub your lips while it is drying as the texture is very sticky and it will ruin what you have just applied, which resulting in having to re-apply the product and the outcome wouldn't be what you wanted because you have applied too much and the colour turned out to be too dark.

The application of these lip tint pack is so messy and uneven, if apply too much they drip and if apply not enough they won't peel. It is sometimes frustrating when the product smears everywhere at the start of the application; but once it dried and peel off, the colour stays put, it is truly waterproof, smudge proof, transfer-free as Berrisom has claimed.

These are also very long lasting and they usually wears for nine hours on me, non of these has ever reached the 12 hours point as it claimed. Whether it is a darker or lighter shade, the colours fades once it hits the eight to nine hours wearing time, the colours fades evenly and it doesn't smear around.

♥ first applied...

 Berrisom Oops My Lip Tint Pack Set

♥ 15 minutes after...

Berrisom Oops My Lip Tint Pack Set

♥ while peeling lip tint pack...

Berrisom Oops My Lip Tint Pack Set

♥ the result...

Berrisom Oops My Lip Tint Pack Set


Berrisom Oops My Lip Tint Pack "Lovely Peach"
Berrisom Oops My Lip Tint Pack "Lovely Peach"


 Berrisom Oops My Lip Tint Pack "Pure Pink"
 Berrisom Oops My Lip Tint Pack "Pure Pink"


  Berrisom Oops My Lip Tint Pack "Bubble Pink"
 Berrisom Oops My Lip Tint Pack "Bubble Pink"


 Berrisom Oops My Lip Tint Pack "Vivid Scarlet"
 Berrisom Oops My Lip Tint Pack "Vivid Scarlet"


  Berrisom Oops My Lip Tint Pack "Virgin Red"
  Berrisom Oops My Lip Tint Pack "Virgin Red"


  Berrisom Oops My Lip Tint Pack "Sexy Red"
  Berrisom Oops My Lip Tint Pack "Sexy Red"