Birchbox No. 5: Whish, Incoco, Madewell, Caldrea & Serge Normant

I took my time reviewing my March Birchbox; if nothing else, I kept having reasons to not have blue patterned nails and it slowed the sweet Birchbox process down. Finally! Everything has been used and reviewed– and, for the most part, enjoyed.

Note: Amazing how many reasons there are in adult, career-having life to not have blue patterned nails. Bummer.

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Whish Shave Crave Shaving Cream

As sweet smelling as cotton candy and as moisturizing as Skintimate, this Whish shaving cream was provided in a Birchbox-exclusive blueberry scent. It doesn’t sud or foam, so it’s like shaving with lotion– really amazing lotion that leaves your skin feeling spectacular. My only concern? The smell is so sugary sweet I can only handle it on certain mornings. Sometimes, 6 a.m. is too early for candy-sweet smells, even if they are delightful.

Incoco Design Nail Polish Appliques

When I was an Avon lady (a fun, but trying gig, should you ever be interested), we released a nail polish strip. In 2006, this was unlike any product I’d ever seen and it was, especially for someone who was terrible at painting her nails, wonderful; they were solid-color manicures that attached like a sticker but were made of real nail polish. Fast-forward a few years and these babies are common knowledge. Between brands like Sally Hansen, Essie and Sephora, all cosmetic markets seem to be on the nail strip bandwagon. These Incoco Design appliques, with the addition of a clear top coat after applying, worked like the epitome of the perfect nail strips: I only took them off because my nails grew out.

Birchbox Nails 278128712

My only real issue with these polish strips– excluding the totally-my-own-fault fact that some I stuck to my cuticle and not my nail, which makes it easier for them to peel– is that they were slightly hard to apply. I got the feeling it was their thinness (which I also believe is why they stayed in place so long) which made them a little harder than competing brands to apply. In the end, they lasted significantly longer without chips, which makes the trickier application worth while. If I ever wanted patterned nails again, which you know I will, I would happily buy another set.

Madewell for Birchbox Nail Emery Board

It’s an adorable nail file. What else is there to say? You’ve used an emery board, just maybe not one this cute.

Caldrea Body Lotion in Aloe Water Apricot, Tea Olive Lime and Coconut Fig Leaf

I don’t like how head shops smell. I mean no offense if you do— after all, I don’t like cheese, so I doubt I’m the norm for preferences— but I really dislike it. Is it patchouli? Is that what that particularly pungent scent is? Two of these three lotion samples screamed whatever that head shop odor is, and were thrown away without use. I suppose that’s why they sent all available scents. The Coconut Fig Leaf was a pleasant break from the other trying too hard to smell natural varieties, but it didn’t rub in like proper lotion. It was kind of like an adorable lip gloss in some kind of equally-sweet (themed) container. Like those little pots they sell at Urban Outfitters that are shaped like foods and are full of glittery lip balm. It smells great and it looks great, but it doesn’t change anything— you still need a real moisturizer.

Serge Normant Meta Revive Dry Shampoo

It’s only fair that I explain that I don’t use dry shampoo for its intended purpose the vast majority of the time; I hate going a day with dirty hair, no matter how perfect dry shampoo can make it look. I typically use dry shampoo to refresh my hair after work before going out, and for that this product is perfect. It left my tresses as smooth and bouncy as they had been in the morning, and there was a faint, pleasant, (read: clean) scent. Remember: You only need a spritz, and hold the can 8″+ away from your hair, then brush baby brush. Lovely.

Are you using Birchbox yet? Which box subscriptions are your favorites?