Somehow I forgot to take an unboxing photo of my January Birchbox before I used some of the stuff, but here is the Birchbox image of the box I got.
|I took this from Birchbox's site|
Right off the bat, the dry conditioner and headband are not for me. I am going to try to swap them. I am sure they are great quality items, but I don't do dry shampoos and the headband grips A LOT! I only use headbands when I do my makeup or wash my face and it was gripping my head too much when I put it on for five seconds, so I knew it would mess up my hair when I was doing makeup. It seems to be marketed for sports, and I think it would be perfect for that.
Everyone is doing a neutral palette now because of Urban Decay's very famous Naked line of neutral palettes. But not all palettes are created equal. Coastal Scents is a lower-priced brand that is sold online. They typically sell stuff like palettes with one majillion colors for $20 or something.
The facial cleanser was fine. I only got two foil packs so I can't say whether it is a long-term hit. I did not like the body butter and I wish I would have just swapped it because a lot of girls want it. But I've used it now and swapping used stuff is gross!
Last, the big thing everyone was excited for in this month's box was the Coastal Scents Revealed palette. Birchbox included a 4-pot sample. It's a teeny sample. I put it next to a normal-sized lipstick for size comparison.
|Revealed Palette Sample|
In fact, I was sort of surprised to see Coastal Scents in Birchbox at all. I'm not afraid of trying some bargain makeup, but Birchbox typically deals with medium to higher-end brands. And oddly enough, the Birchbox set for the Revealed palette and 3 brushes is $34 with free shipping this month, but on their own site, Coastal Scents has it bundled in their "Sweetheart Collection" with 8 brushes, a blush palette and an eyeliner for $24.95 plus about $9 shipping! By the way, this is a "Valentine's Special," but it expires on 1/31/14, so hurry up and order it if you want it.
For those of you playing at home, that combo plus shipping is the same price as the Birchbox set with way more stuff. Sure, the brushes with the Birchbox set are "Elite," but how Elite can they be when they sell for $4-6 apiece on the Coastal Scents site?
So, it really makes no damn sense to me whatsoever that Birchbox is selling this. If I wanted to buy cheap Coastal Scents makeup, I would just go ahead and buy it in one of their big bundles on their own site. But at the same time, I am not complaining about getting it in my box since you only pay $10 a month for Birchbox and you have the choice to get $5 back a month through points for reviews. I just hope Birchbox is not going down the road of Ipsy with a lot of low-priced, borderline drugstore brands of products. I really love Birchbox but don't need to sample low-priced products!
OK. Enough ranting! Let's test out the makeup.
The palette does have a slight fragrance like most inexpensive makeup does. It's not as strong as the super cheap stuff they sell at Ulta at Christmastime, but it's just a bit perfume-y. The texture is kind of average as well. I generally don't like putting perfume-y stuff around my eyes but I tried it out for the sake of "journalism."
I did an eye look with all of the colors. I used the darkest one as eyeliner, the next darkest on my crease, and so forth. You can figure it out.
Please note that I use Benefit Stay Don't Stray under any eye look.
|Eye look with Coastal Scents Revealed|
So.. it's fine. It's not the best makeup I have ever tried or the worst. I didn't particularly like the colors in the sample palette. They were a bit too gray for my tastes. With taupes and neutrals I prefer more of a brown or rosy tone. The makeup lasted OK throughout the day, but that might be more because of my primer than anything. I probably won't use this sample much ever again, and I am not buying the Revealed palette, because I already have both affordable and higher-end neutrals that I like better.
My final judgement is that you should probably save your money for another palette. But if you REALLY want a Naked dupe for half the price and you don't mind it being a bit less quality, and you have a good eye primer to work with, go ahead and get it. But look for deals on it because if you are going to pay $34, you can get much better palettes for that price and I am not sure anyone needs the so-called "Elite" brushes that come with the Birchbox set.