Birchbox March 2015

Birchbox March 2015 - reviews and EWG skin deep cosmetics database scores via

ewg skindeep cosmetics database score 4Dear Clark Volumizing Tonic – ok I was most excited to try this product just because of the ingredient list and rightly so. It’s amazing and actually does what it says it will do. It gives your hair a little extra boost and it does it without a lot of the unhealthy junk that so many other products use. This is what I keep expecting dry shampoos to do and feel like. More volume, a little texture to help style your hair. I’m in love! And Volumizing sprays aren’t even the type of product I usually get excited about. And honestly I don’t want hair the size of Texas so the volume is very reasonable and fairly controllable for those worried about that. You can got big if you want or just give your hair a little oomph. It is not scent-free but it is scented only by the ingredients it uses. That does mean though that you will smell lightly of patchouli. No one else can smell it and after half a day I don’t even smell it really. So yes, if you sniff the bottle your first thought might be “hippie” but your hair won’t look that way.

Now here’s why I’m going to remind you to take the EWG score with a grain of salt. This product got a 4. But the ingredients are amazingly good and healthy! Clove oil alone gets a 5. I LOVE clove oil! It’s amazing. It’s healthy. I understand that if you put essential oil directly on the skin it could be a bad thing if it’s not diluted but that’s not what we’re doing here. Alchohol 40B … again … we aren’t drinking this in quantity so there’s less concern here. There are three ingredients I can’t identify as natural that are between a 2-3 each that aren’t great but are mostly contamination concerns so I’m not even really worried about those either. No parabens, no synthetic fragrances, no cones, this is a healthy product and not one that I’m going to avoid because it got a score above a 3. So I’m going to say that unless you have an allergy to one of the ingredients, you should just ignore the score on this product and really look at the ingredients here.

I’ve used this product pretty much every day since I’ve received it! Between this and my new hair brush, every day seems to be a good hair day! I’ll stop gushing now… 🙂

ewg skindeep cosmetics database score 5Laura Geller Beauty Baked Blush-n-Brighten – the first three ingredients are Talc, Mica, Mineral Oil, and Dimethicone. 3 of those are ingredients I avoid (hint, mica is the good one.) Two just feel weird on my skin (talc and mineral oil) and one seems to cause my skin to break out for some reason (dimethicone.)  It also has parabens and “Imidazolidinyl Urea” which is a formaldehyde releaser. I haven’t even run it through the EWG skin deep database yet! However I thought it was going to be a lot worse than a 5. 

ewg skindeep cosmetics database score 3Whish Three Whishes Body Butter – I have not been thrilled with any of the Whish products. They all contain fragrance and the scents have been … just not good in my opinion for the most part. If they would ditch or go with a natural fragrance though their products would be a lot better. However it’s most unhealthy ingredient is the fragrance which makes it a 3 with the EWG skin deep cosmetics database.

ewg skindeep cosmetics database score 4Supergoop!® Advanced SPF 37 Anti-Aging Eye Cream – dimethicone rules this one out for me. This is not the worst sunscreen though at a 4 but there are also healthier sunscreens out there. Also I think one of the active ingredients may be one of the sunscreens you want to avoid in the ocean due to how it can damage coral reefs. I’ll have to go back and look at that. I wrote a previous post on this.

ewg skindeep cosmetics database score 2derma e® Evenly Radiant® Brightening Day Crème SPF15 – you may already know that I’m a big fan of Derma e. Honestly it took some samples to get me to fall in love with them because the only thing I’m not a fan of is the packaging. I hate products I have to dip my fingers into! Despite this I have actually had some Derma e products that I’ve used the entire product and repurchased. That said, I’ve already tried this and while it’s good, it’s not my favorite moisturizer from this company. But it is good and it’s WAY better than many moisturizers from other companies. I think the real test will be when it’s summer. This seems like a better moisturizer for the summer months when your skin is less dry. Right now I’m actually using a night cream during the day because the winter has been harsh. When it comes to the ingredients though, the list on this product is great and scores a healthy 2 with the EWG Skin Deep Cosmetics Database. Yay!


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Birchbox unboxing May 2014

Birchbox unboxing May 2014 • via

Caldrea Body Lotion – in Aloe Water Apricot

ewg skindeep cosmetics database score 4Fragrance added (likely synthetic), no cones, could be healthier but not bad. This scores a 4 with the cosmetics database (0 is healthiest, 10 is worst.) The synthetic fragrance knocks that down a lot but it does have some other ingredients that are excellent for skin moisturizing so I’ll probably give this a try.

Caldrea Body Wash – in Aloe Water Apricot

ewg skindeep cosmetics database score 5Fragrance added (likely synthetic), no cones, could be healthier but could also be worse. This scores a 5 with the cosmetics database. I’m not big on body washes anymore so I’m not sure yet if I’ll try this.

Marcelle New·Age 8 in 1 Power Serum

ewg skindeep cosmetics database score 4Cones rule this one out for me personally. It has one ingredient to be a little concerned about which brings it’s ranking up to a 4 with the cosmetics database (0 is the healthiest, 10 is the worst.) Not bad, could be better but if it’s not something you are allergic to, I would give it a shot.

PIXI Beauty Shea Butter Lip Balm – in Pixi Pink

ewg skindeep cosmetics database score 3Pretty good here. None of the usual nasties. No fragrances etc. This ranks a healthy 3 with the cosmetics database. Now lip balms are nice but I do lean towards glosses so I’m really not sure how much I will use this in particular.

This is going to sound a little odd but between the name, the color, and the tube itself, this reminds me of some sort of tinkerbell lipstick I had as a kid. The color is a fairly vibrant pink but it’s also still a lip balm so it’s sheer.

One thing to note – the twist tube on this seems to like to let the product fall back down into the tube. This is something Pixi Beauty needs to maybe work on. This is not a dollar store product (like I would wear anything from the dollar store to begin with – scary!) and it makes it a bit harder to put on.

Votivo Candle Travel Tin

Ok here’s where I’m going to get a little weird. Soy candles are supposed to be healthier than paraffin candles right? Well every time I’ve tried to go with healthier candles, I’ve ended up with a MASSIVE headache. Soy candles. Paraffin candles with natural scents. I’m not sure what goes on here that really messes with me. Basically the only candles that don’t give me a headache are synthetic (I know, bad) and paraffin. Best is a basic vanilla. I will give this one a shot even though it looks like it’s soy with synthetic fragrance so not entirely healthy. But I really have not figured out my deal with candles. Tim is the same way though … with some opposite allergies (he can’t handle lavendar for example) so it makes candle choosing VERY difficult and I opt for the “not healthy” candles because “not healthy” is better than a massive headache.

Out of the box the smell is decent. Lit might be another story completely. We’ll see.

Votivo Candle Travel Tin

Supergoop!® Everyday SPF 30 with Cellular Response Technology

ewg skindeep cosmetics database score 5Another neither here nor there. See my comments on the sunscreen ipsy sent this month. This is also a 5 with the cosmetics database. With a little planning you can do better. Take a look at my previous post on natural / healthier sunscreens.


So the May 2014 Birchbox overall: some things I’m really excited to try and some things that aren’t my cup of tea. Still worth the $10/month to try some new products!

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Birchbox April 2013 Unboxing & Reviews


In my Birchbox for April 2013:

  • Caudalie Divine Oil – “Fragrance“… otherwise the ingredients are good. I’ll have to try this for a day to see if I react to it. They have an excellent ethics policy on their website so I decided to check further and see if there was any chance that the “fragrance” was from essential oils – nope. Too bad. This is what their website says at the bottom of their FAQ page “What is the origin (natural or synthetic) of your fragrances? We prefer synthetic molecules for our face care products and Fresh Fragrances to prevent the risk of sensitization. Essential oils are indeed known for their photosensitizing and allergic risk.” I really disagree with this statement as it relates to allergies. Personally, I’m more likely to have an allergic sinus reaction to a synthetic fragrance than one from a natural ingredient. Synthetic cause allergic reactions as well and you could have an allergic reaction to the other ingredients + check out what the cosmetics database says about FRAGRANCE.  I’ll probably try this since it doesn’t make my nose itch. I’m still going to dock it a star for synthetics fragrance when there’s just no need. starstarstarstarstarempty 
  • Juice Beauty Stem Cellular Repair CC Cream – Excellent ingredients. I’m REALLY excited to try this one. Hmm except “Warm Glow” is not a match to my color. I’m going to dock it a star for two reasons: 1) I still get to try it but I can’t go around looking like an oompa loompa so I can’t try it for a full day 2) The product only comes in two color options (“neutral glow” and “warm glow”) seems like it would make it less likely work for people. $39 is a bit of a hefty price to pay to check a shade so with only two colors they should have either sent two samples OR included with the single bigger sample one of those peel back shade numbers they tend to use in magazines with all shades. Just sayin’ – it’s not like lipgloss and the goal is to get me interested to buy a full size version right? starstarstarstarstarempty 
  • Hail Merry Macaroons – More excellent ingredients. Gluten Free. Non-GMO. Vegan (this last one I don’t care that much about.) Made with Coconut and Coconut Oil – Nom. starstarstarstarstar 
  • Ojon rare blend™ Deep Conditioner – Seriously? What have you done with my birchbox, ingredients look good on this one as well and I’ll be trying it! Use like conditioner at the end of your shower except leave it in for at least 2 minutes before rinsing it out. I went ahead and tried this and I’m in love with it. Soft lovely hair. starstarstarstarstar
  • Supergoop!® Advanced SPF 37 Anti-Aging Eye Cream – Paraben, Fragrance,and Oxybenzone Free. BUT it has dimethicone listed as an ingredient (linked to ingredient list.) Without a doubt will break me out. :/ Ugh. So SO close but not for me. I am however giving it one star because it is so SO close and usually the ones that have dimethicone in them aren’t! starstaremptystaremptystaremptystarempty
  • Elizabeth Arden – 3 samples in one: staremptystaremptystaremptystaremptystarempty 0/5 stars for these next three.
    • Visible Difference Skin Balancing Exfoliating Cleanser – Fragrance and Parabens. :/ There’s no dimethicone in this one but I’m not sure I’m going to try it out. I checked it on the cosmetics database with a custom report using the ingredients listed on Birchbox’s site and it came up a 5. It’s on the higher side for me but it’s also not the worst product out there (they go up to 10.) FRAGRANCE and PROPYLPARABEN are the ingredients that really affect this one’s score – it would probably be around a 3 and acceptable with healthier versions of these. I’m giving it one star because despite the score I’m tempted to try this one. I love exfoliators and it’s not horrendous (but I won’t try it if the smell makes my nose itch.) starstaremptystaremptystaremptystarempty 
    • Visible Difference Optimizing Skin Serum – again with Fragrance and Parabens. Dimethicone means I won’t be trying this one. And when I ran it through the cosmetics database, the custom report generator based on the ingredients this one came up a 10. 10 is the worst score you can get. staremptystaremptystaremptystaremptystarempty
    • Visible Difference Skin Balancing Lotion – more fragrance and parabens but again the dimethicone is the killer for me. I ran it through the cosmetics database and it came up an 8 so it’s pretty bad for your health as well. staremptystaremptystaremptystaremptystarempty

AND OH MY GOODNESS — NO CRAPPY PERFUME SAMPLES!!!! THANK YOU!!!! Now the brands could work a bit on the synthetic fragrance IN products side of things but that’s notsomething Birchbox can control.

If you tally my numbers above we have a little over 3 stars for this box. starstarstarstaremptystarempty 🙂

Birchbox April 2013 is a good one for me.

I think the product I’m most excited about is the Ojon rare blend™ Deep Conditioner because my hair looks like this without using a curling iron or straightener.


What I used in my hair for this photo and video below:

  • Desert Essence Organics Fragrance Free Shampoo
  • Ojon Rare Blend Deep Conditioner – healthier, softer, nicer looking
  • Alba Botanica soft hold style cream – adds a bit of volume and a little control
  • Shea Moisture Organic Hold & Shine Hair Moisture Mist Coconut & Hibiscus – not really for hold, but acts more as a detangler for my hair because the Alba style cream seems to make it more tangle prone

Birchbox April 2013 Unboxing video below:

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Update May 16th: The Ojon has dimeticone in it -ARGH!!! I was trying to figure out what I had used  recently that was breaking out my chin and I’ve used this a couple times the last few weeks. I thought maybe it was stress but then I reviewed the ingredients and there it was. ARGH!

Birchbox Glamour Magazine July 2012 unboxing


  • Color Club nail polish in Blue-Ming – looks like Essie Turquoise & Caicos in the bottle but they are different enough on that I’m glad I have both. The Color Club is a little brighter and a little more in your face whereas the Essie is a little more demure.
  • Eyeko Skinny Liquid Eyeliner in Black (not waterproof)
  • Harvey Prince fragrance in Eau Flirt (you know the drill by now, synthetic fragrance is not my thing)
  • Supergoop! City Sunscreen Serum – this is ok. There are better but this is acceptable:
    Here’s the 2012 Sunscreen Guide:
  • Tea Forté Minteas Reboot in Cocoa Mate – these are organic and have yerba mate as an ingredient. I thought I had these in some other flavors but it turned out that what I had were actually SenCha mints in different flavors. These taste VERY similar.
  • Neon Earbuds – cute but lacking in bass… tried them after the video and they’re a little too tin-y. I’ve actually bought $10 earbuds before that sound better than these. I was kinda excited to get these but they ended up in the trash they were bad enough.

Link to Glamour’s “getting pretty” playlist:

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