If we’re being honest, 2015 was a year of challenges and disappointments for me. When I wasn’t fighting with someone about work or feelings or responsibilities, I was trying my best to escape it all by reading or burying myself in video games. So when this month’s Birchbox asked everyone to come up with their own theme for 2016, I had to think about it. After some time, I ended up choosing “Strength” from the list of stickers, because that’s what I need to be now: strong, and brave. I felt like I let my weaknesses get the best of me last year as I gave up on many things and people, but not this year! The products I received this month were also pretty great; I’ve tried all of these brands in the past except Evelyn Iona Cosmetics, so I was happy to see some friendly faces. Now – how about my thoughts on each?

First, the Good

Let’s start with my favorite, and my sample choice this month: Eyeko’s Fat Liquid Eyeliner in Black ($16). Eyeko products are always on point (see what I did there?), so I was excited to try this fat eyeliner pen. Since the applicator is larger than usual liquid liners, it’s much easier to grip and control, especially for beginners. Where was this a year ago when I was terrified of liquid liners?! The wear is long-lasting and stays put and is perfect for a dramatic, bold cat eye, and with that $16 price tag, it’s a no-brainer. I’ve been using this eyeliner every day since I got it, and I’m definitely using it until the sample runs out!

My second favorite product this month is Whish’s Three Whishes Body Butter in Almond ($24). If you know me at all, you know I LOVE almond-scented anything. Just ask my boyfriend: I have almond shower wash, cherry almond body lotion, almond leave-in conditioner – I’m even obsessed with almond milk and almond butter and almond cereal – and trust me, the list goes on. So needless to say, I’m a little biased with this one. I’ve been using this body butter as a hand cream for a week, and its rich, thicker-than-lotion formula has worked wonders for my dry winter skin. I think I found my new favorite body butter? (I just have to restrain from eating it, I guess!)

My third favorite was Number 4™’s Super Comb Prep & Protect Spray ($32). Since I frequently blow out my massively thick, curly hair, a detangling, heat-protectant leave-in conditioner is pretty much a necessity, and this product didn’t disappoint! It actually cut my blow-dry time down about 10 minutes because I wasn’t spending so much time trying to comb out my locks and spray each section with my usual Iron Guard spray. My hair was super soft at the end as well, so I was definitely impressed!

And Then the Bad

I was, however, not really impressed with Evelyn Iona’s Natural & Organic Concealer ($24). While I do like the fact that it’s organic and gentle on skin, I thought it just didn’t last or stay put as well as other concealers I’ve tried. Since it’s a cream concealer, I first applied it with a brush, and then tried again another day with my fingers, and still generally wasn’t very impressed. I don’t know – maybe I need to work with it some more.

On the Fence

I’m a bit indifferent about Supergoop!®’s Advanced SPF 37 Anti-Aging Eye Cream ($45), especially with that price tag. While I definitely respect the anti-aging and SPF properties, I just didn’t think it works (or smells) as well as my caffeine bean eye cream. Maybe it’s just a product that works better over time? I know it’s never too early to start thinking about anti-aging products, but I simply don’t have any fine lines yet, and after a week of use, couldn’t really tell a difference.

Are any of you Birchbox subscribers? What did you get in your January boxes? If you aren’t a subscriber and are interested in signing up, please use my referral link by clicking here and enjoy 50% off your first box!


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