Birchbox | Collective Review #2


about makena

I’m Makena, the creator and editor of Makeup By Makena — a beauty blog dedicated to empowering others through the art of makeup.






Read Now

Beauty Book

This 32-page magazine is a guide to my all-time favorite beauty products.


Whenever I open up one of my brand new Birchboxes each month, I am filled with both excitement and intrigue at the thought of receiving five mysterious and personally-selected beauty products. I love reading these types of beauty subscription posts on other blogs because it allows me to vicariously experience those same feelings of curiosity and enjoyment, so today I will be sharing my thoughts on my past four boxes.

May 2017


May’s Birchbox was perfectly suited for the beginning of Summer, containing a collection of products that focused on beach day preparation! My love affair with COOLA started with this little COOLA SPF 30 Organic Makeup Setting Spray, which keeps my makeup in place for the entire day while protecting me from the sun’s powerful rays. I have seen so many of my favorite YouTuber and beauty bloggers raving about MAC Cosmetics Strobe Cream and even though it is very subtle, I like to reach for it when I want additional dewiness on my cheekbones rather than an intense shimmery highlight. It looks so beautiful on bare skin! I truly enjoy bringing this mini bottle of OUAI Wave Spray with me when I spend the day at the beach with friends because it enhances my hair’s natural waves while providing additional volume and texture for an effortless look without feeling dry or crunchy. One of the most unique beauty products I have ever tried is The Beauty Crop Fabulous Flocking Lashes Waterproof Mascara; it is a tubing mascara, meaning that instead of running when wet and leaving you with the dreaded racoon eyes, this simply falls of your lashes in rubber-like chunks. I found the actual mascara to be more of a tint since it was not very lengthening, but it is a safe option for days spent in the sea. Lastly, I received the Vita Liberata Fabulous Self-Tanning Gradual Lotion. I have never tried a self-tanner before but my face is always several shades lighter than my body, and this product worked extremely well at giving me a sun-kissed glow and a natural-looking even complexion. It was easy to use, felt moisturizing on my sensitive skin, and made me less inclined to wear foundation. This month’s box was a success!


June 2017


The first item in my subscription box was the oh-so-popular Oribe Dry Texturizing Spray, which I immediately fell in love with! It is a weightless, but effective dry shampoo combined with plenty of instant volume. If it were not so pricey I would love to purchase the full size because it makes my long wavy hair look put together without any effort and I adore the clean scent, which lasts all day. Next, I received a sample of the classic Smashbox Cosmetics Photo Finish Foundation Primer, which is great to use underneath more full-coverage foundations since it is silicone-based. I’m not the biggest fan of these types of primers, but this does make my face feel smooth and I think it might make my makeup last slightly longer. With its invigorating yet soothing properties, the Marcelle Hydra-C 24H Energizing Hydrating Gel is a wonderful light-weight and fresh moisturizer to start my day with. Although I was disappointed with this sample’s ridiculously small size, the Benefit Cosmetics Goof Proof Brow Pencil does have excellent reviews, so I will be saving this brown shade for an overnight trip. Lastly, the Manna Kadar Cosmetics Eye Candy Priming Shadow Stick in ‘Jelly Bean’ features a shimmery lavender-taupe shade with silver undertones. This shade isn’t the best for my warm skintone and despite the decent amount of pigmentation, this eyeshadow seemed to disappear when blended out.

July 2017


July’s box was all about practicality and I loved this amika Un.Done Texture Spray so much that I used up the entire travel-sized bottle during my first month of college. It felt so light-weight and without any effort whatsoever, it boosted my volume and made my locks look tousled for the perfect casual look. The Avène Cleanance Expert is a multi-tasking moisturizer, claiming to simultaneously hydrate and mattify skin while treating acne and priming the face for makeup. Honestly, I try to avoid changing my skincare routine, but I should give this another chance because when I did use this it made my face feel more healthy and balanced. After testing the elegantly-packaged Michael Todd Charcoal Detox Deep Pore Gel Cleanser, my skin felt so much more clean and fresh than it had before and I think this does an excellent job of removing all of my makeup to unclog my pores before going to bed. I was highly impressed by the coverage offered by the Marcelle CC Cream SPF 35 Complete Correction – Golden Glow; the formula made my skin tone more even, yet still looked very natural, and I loved how it stayed consistently luminous throughout the day without ever looking oily. Unfortunately, I did not like the Beautaniq Beauty Blush Serum in ‘Sunrise’ because the hot pink shade was not flattering for an everyday makeup look and the gel-like formula was so pigmented that is stained my cheek area before I was able to blend it out. Unless you are going for that clown look, I would not recommend purchasing this blush.

August 2017


First of all, isn’t this ombré pink and purple sunset box absolutely gorgeous? I loved it so much I keep it in my dorm to store some of jewelry in! First, I was able to try the amazing Stila Cosmetics Stay All Day® Liquid Lipstick in ‘Perla’, a cool-toned, light dusty pink-nude shade. The formula dries down to completely matte finish very quickly and lasts until you take it off. I enjoy using this so much and think it is a great one-of-a-kind winter shade! The next product in my August box was this healthy sized Acure Organics Day Cream, which is a nourishing mousturizer to help firm skin and even out tone. It feels so calming when I apply it after cleansing my face and I am looking forward to using it more in the colder wheather. I was beyond excited when I opened my box and saw the GLAMGLOW® THIRSTYMUD™ Hydrating Treatment because as a girl with dry skin, I have always wanted to try one of Glamglow’s products but they are too expensive for my budget. In the summer, my skin is not nearly as dry as it is in the winter, and since my sample is so small, I am saving this moisturizing face mask until December! I havw also been loving this Oribe Gold Lust Dry Shampoo; I still like the previous Oribe product better, but this one still works well for absorning excess oil without leaving my roots all white and chalky. Finally, the Marcelle City Multi-Protection Tinted Cream SPF 25 is an all-in-one tinted moisturizer for more even skin plus a natural glow. Once applied, it is very similar to the other Marcelle product in the previous box.

I hoped you enjoyed browsing through a few of Birchboxes with me and please stay tuned for my annual 12 Days of Christmas, which starts December 1st!


Connect With Me:
~Instagram~     {Pinterest}      ~Tumblr~    {Twitter}     ~Bloglovin’~


Read the Comments +

  1. That Glamglow mask is amazing, I have a mini tube and it’s one of my favorite moisturizing masks! I usually use it as an overnight mask when my skin is in really bad shape!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Hey, I'm Makena.

I’m Makena, the creator and editor of Makeup By Makena — a beauty blog dedicated to empowering others through the art of makeup.

READ          LATEST


follow @makeup_by_makena

If you want to elevate your everyday makeup routine, you’ve come to the right place. I share approachable, aesthetic, and, most importantly, authentic content for beginners and professionals alike.