Over the past year I’ve been making a concerted effort to clean up my beauty and skin care routine. While I’m not even close to phasing out all products containing potentially toxic ingredients, I’m now much more conscious about researching prior to buying. The Environmental Working Group’s Skin Deep database is essential to my own research. I highly recommend you download their free Healthy Living app on your phone—it allows you to scan bar codes while shopping to find out how the products are rated.
The New Naturals box costs $59 but is valued at a whopping $215! I redeemed 200 Birchbox points that I’d earned by reviewing my monthly samples, so I only paid $44.24 including tax (as a Birchbox ACE I get free shipping)…a MAJOR steal, if you ask me! The box includes seven full sized beauty and skin care products, one sample sized facial mask, and a canvas zippered pouch. When you do the math, I only paid an average of $4.92 per product. Incredible!
As always, Birchbox included a card with descriptions of each product, plus notes on why they fall under the “ingredient conscious” category. Each product is free of parabens, sulfates, petrochemicals, and phthalates, and some of the products have additional attributes like organic, cruelty-free, vegan, gluten-free, etc.
Let’s just take another look at my goodies, shall we? Birchbox curated SUCH a lovely box!
Time to dig in to each product! Because I do so for my Birchbox samples each month, I’ll also list each product’s Skin Deep rating as I go along.
First up is the Juice Beauty Hydrating Mist ($22).
Facial mists are super hot right now, and I was excited to try this one out. I’ve only tried one Juice Beauty sample, through Birchbox, and have never bought a full sized product by the brand. This mist contains organic grapeseed, rosehip oil, ylang ylang oil, and aloe to refresh and hydrate skin. And let me tell you: It. Smells. Amazing. You know how picky I am about fragranced products, but I’m in love with this scent. All you do is spritz it on your face for a little pick-me-up. I will say that the mist leaves a bit of a residue feeling immediately after it dries on your face, but it dissipates quickly. You can keep the bottle in the fridge for extra refreshment in the summer, which I’m definitely going to try. Bonus attributes: cruelty-free, synthetic-free, artificial fragrance-free. Skin Deep Rating: low hazard/limited data for an old 2012 formulation.
Next is the One Love Organics Gardenia + Tea Antioxidant Body Serum ($39).
I’m always reluctant to try skin care products meant for the body because my skin reacts and gets itchy VERY easily, especially on my legs. I’ve definitely never tried a body serum before for that reason. So far I’ve only used this stuff on my arms and it hasn’t caused any itching, which is promising! The serum is basically a very light oil in spray form, and it absorbs quickly. This product smells SO GOOD—I’m a total sucker for gardenia, which is one of the main notes in my Marc Jacobs perfume, my signature fragrance for the past 15 years (seriously). It’s nice that this product complements rather than contradicts my perfume. While I love the scent, I will avoid using this serum over the summer when I know I’m going to be outdoors and exposed to mosquitoes, because they love me even when I’m not wearing scented products. Bonus attributes: ECOCERT, cruelty-free, artificial fragrance-free. Skin Deep Rating: unlisted.
An ingredient conscious nail polish remover, EXO Supply Co. Pure Remover – Lavender ($15.95), was also included in the box.
I’ve always been suspicious of natural nail polish removers’ ability to get the job done, but last year I purchased Karma Organic Spa Nail Polish Remover ($12) and was surprised to find that it actually worked. I was happy to have the opportunity to try this similar product from the New Naturals box. I almost always have nail polish on so I use remover quite often…and the standard stuff is just so toxic. I tried the EXO polish remover on my fingernails a couple days ago (which is why my nails are bare in these photos!), and while it doesn’t strip polish off as cleanly or quickly as a toxic remover, it really does take the polish off. I was wearing a reddish-coral polish and it took some extra cotton balls and swipes to get every last bit of it off, but I felt better about not having inhaled nasty fumes in the process. And the EXO remover legitimately smells good! Bonus attributes: cruelty-free, acetone-free, alcohol-free, non-toxic. Skin Deep Rating: unlisted.
It’s not the best mascara I’ve ever used but it works well enough that I’ll certainly get some mileage out of this tube. Bonus attributes: Cruelty-free, gluten-free, petroleum-free, aluminum-free, fiber-free. Skin Deep Rating: low hazard/limited data, EWG Verified.
The one product in this box that’s not full sized is the Tata Harper Resurfacing Mask ($58 full-size).
SO MANY beauty bloggers rave about Tata Harper’s products, so I’m super excited to finally try one of them out! Tata Harper is a full-on luxury brand with skin care products ranging from a $40 cleanser to a $380 wrinkle elixir (no, seriously…that’s not a typo!). When I see Into the Gloss #ITGTopShelfie interviews with medicine cabinets full of Tata Harper, I’m like…who can even afford this stuff?! And then I remember that a lot of beauty industry folks and celebs get products for free while the rest of us regular people actually have to shell out money. 😛 Anyway, this mask is meant to help even skin tone and shed dead skin cells for glowing skin. Bonus attributes: ECOCERT, cruelty-free, gluten-free, synthetic-free, 100% non-toxic. Skin Deep Rating: low hazard/limited data for an old 2012 formulation.
The Au Naturale Cosmetics Organic Creme Highlighter Stick ($32) is another fairly high-value product included in this box. I will say that while the packaging is nice to look at, it actually feels a little cheap. But it’s what’s on the inside that actually counts, right? The rose gold highlighter color looks beautiful, but I’m not 100% sure how I’m going to use this product. The shade is too dark to work as a highlighter on my pale skin, but it might work okay as a blush or even a creme eye shadow. There’s a little too much shimmer in the product for me to want to wear this on a regular basis, but it’ll be fun for a special occasion. Unfortunately I don’t see myself ever using up this entire stick—it contains A LOT of product. Bonus attributes: organic, vegan, cruelty-free, gluten-free. Skin Deep Rating: unlisted, but most of the brand’s products are low hazard/limited or fair data.
On to the lip products! The first is ILIA Beauty Lip Gloss in Peek-a-Boo ($24). I’d been interested in trying ILIA out, so I was excited to receive this gloss in the box. And it is lovely! It’s a nice pinky-nude that works really well on my skin tone. The formula is shiny but not overly so, and it’s sticky but not in that annoying “my hair keeps getting stuck to my lip gloss” kind of way. This gloss contains shea butter, coconut oil, and vitamin E for lots of moisture. I’ll get plenty of use out of this product! Bonus attributes: organic, cruelty-free. Skin Deep Rating: unlisted; there is one ILIA lipstick in the database and it’s low hazard/limited data.
I wore the lip gloss out on a date night and I think it’s a near-perfect nude on me!
The final beauty product included in the New Naturals box is rms beauty Lip Shine in Honest ($25). rms beauty is a cult brand probably best known for its living luminizer, which is what makeup artists use to give J. Crew models that incredible glow. I have the living luminizer and I love it, so I was thrilled to get another rms product to try out. This lip shine uses moringa and coconut oils as well as pure mineral pigments. The color is a pretty peachy pink that gives my lips a hint of color and shine, plus plenty of moisture. This will be an excellent lip product for spring and summer! Bonus attributes: organic, cruelty-free, gluten-free. Skin Deep Rating: this specific color is unlisted, but the four others that are listed are low hazard/limited data.
I swatched the highlighter, lip gloss, and lip shine on my arm so you can get a better sense of the colors on my skin tone:
I can’t forget to mention the Dogeared Lil’ Zip pouch ($24). I don’t typically go for products with sayings on them, but “beauty is everywhere” is not the worst thing. 😛 The pouch is 100% cotton and is quite spacious—it’ll be great for travel!
I simply cannot rave enough about the value of Birchbox’s Limited Edition New Naturals box… especially considering the fact that I got mine for $20 off. If you’ve been at all interested in cleaning up your beauty act, I highly recommend ordering this box before they run out!