Birchbox August 2015 Unboxing & Review

birchbox august 2015 unboxing and review

This month’s Birchbox is all about taking advantage of the Summer season by embracing air-dried hair and minimal makeup looks, and having fun in the sun (while ensuring our skin is protected!).  From an SPF rich moisturizer to a warm bronzer/blush combo, this box includes everything you need to make the most of Summer, whether you’re heading to the beach or soaking up the sun in your own backyard.  (And check out the adorable pool design!)  So let’s get to the unboxing…

august 2015 soak it up birchbox unboxed

birchbox august 2015 soak it up themed box unboxed

In total, my August 2015 Birchbox included six samples, ranging from makeup, skincare, and haircare.  Here are the sample products I received, along with my initial impressions/reviews of each:

 thebalm balm desert bronzer blush and dr. brandt® pores no more® cleanser

theBalm® cosmetics Balm Desert® Bronzer/Blush – This duel bronzer/blush is perfect for Summer (and any time of year for that matter!).   It’s a simple two-in-one cheek product (perfect for a minimal makeup look!) that adds rosy-warm tones to the skin, plus a gorgeous sheen.  I was SO impressed by the formula – it’s super pigmented and has a satiny smooth texture. Here’s a quick swatch on the hand (on NC25-27 skin, for reference):

thebalm balm desert bronzer blush swatch

dr. brandt® pores no more® cleanser – This is part of the dermatologist Dr. Brandt’s bestselling ‘pores no more’ line. I’ve tried his pores no more pore refiner primer, but didn’t really notice a difference, so I’m curious to see how the cleanser works out. (My guess is that the cleanser might be a little more effective at reducing pores. The way I figure it, let the product do its work when your pores are open and clean!)

ipkn pore apple sun cream and coola after sun lotion

IPKN Pore Apple Sun Cream – This ‘sun cream’ is quite the little multitasker!  According to the Birchbox website, it’s supposed to smooth skin, color correct, protect with SPF 40+, and help to reduce sebum production.  I did like how smoothly it applied, without leaving any sort of residue or greasy feeling on the skin.  Oh, and bonus – it smells like delicious green apples (as you might expect)!  This is definitely going in my beach bag as my daily face cream!

COOLA® Environmental Repair Plus® Radical Recovery™ After-Sun Lotion – Normally, I use straight aloe after a long day in the sun, but this after-sun lotion contains some additional beneficial ingredients (in addition to aloe) to help repair your skin.  For example, it contains Agave which promotes collagen synthesis to help repair your skin and reverse sun damage.

I tested out the After-Sun lotion after spending a long day in the sun, and wow, it really calmed down my skin.  I noticed my facial redness subsided and the stinging went away after only a couple of minutes.  The best part was, it didn’t feel oily or greasy – it’s very lightweight and easy to spread over your face and body.

r + co death valley dry shampoo and Kérastase Bain Force Architecte cleanse shampoo

R+Co DEATH VALLEY Dry Shampoo – This is one of the products I chose during the ‘selection’ window, as I love dry shampoos for both adding volume and reducing hair oilies.  However, after testing it out multiple times on my hair, I was just not impressed.  It weighed down my hair and made it look even oilier.  I don’t think I’ll be finishing this (very large) sample, unfortunately.

Kérastase Bain Force Architecte Shampoo – This is a restoring shampoo that’s supposed to help heal your hair strands and strengthen limp hair while adding shine. It’s another sample I’ll be saving for my next beach or pool day, when my hair will likely need some extra help and restoration!

Overall, I was happy with the range of products in the August 2015 Birchbox.  Right off the bat, I’d say the theBalm Balm Desert Bronzer/Blush and the IPKN Pore Apple Sun Cream were my two favorite finds this month, out of all the products!  (But of course, this may change as I finish up all the samples!)

If you’d like to subscribe to Birchbox’s monthly box, you can sign up here. It’s only $10 a month and is a great way to test out some great products!

If you are subscribed, let me know what you thought about your August 2015 Birchbox!

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