Our December Birchboxes are out in the world, which means your mailbox should be looking a bit more festive than usual. (And if you’re not a member, you still have time to join!) Now that the samples are out of the proverbial bag, it’s safe to share some deets on some of this month’s featured products. You might not know it but the Birchbox editors try each and every product that we sample—here’s what we learned while smearing, scrubbing, and sudsing this month’s lineup.
Within minutes of trying Camille Beckman’s Midnight Monarch body butter, two things happened. First, Editorial Director Mollie made everyone around her feel the back of her hand (“You guys—my skin is so soft!”). Second, our co-founder Hayley chimed in with some National Geographic-style trivia about monarch butterflies: as the only insect that migrates, they travel up to 2,500 miles every autumn to find warm weather. Awesome product, even awesomer cocktail party fodder.
In the city that never sleeps, we expect our moisturizer to be working overtime, too. Enter Phenomé’s 24-HOUR moisturizing system. The plant-based cream helps skin stay healthy and hydrated for—you guessed it—a full 24 hours (a.k.a. the time it takes counterterrorism expert Jack Bauer to avert a global crisis). And while our jobs at Birchbox may have slightly lower stakes, this cream ensured that our skin stayed happy through a marathon-length editing session for our December magazine.
Confession: When we heard we’d be sampling a brand created by actress-turned-mom Jessica Alba, we were already biased in her favor. But The Honest Company’s all-natural, non-toxic ethos would have won us over anyway (even if we weren’t embarrassingly starstruck). This Winter Wellness Exclusive Kit includes the brand’s top skin-savers. And the rigorously non-toxic ingredient list is safe enough for defenseless babies (which means your skin will appreciate it, too).
After test-driving this eco-friendly moisturizer, we’re even more appreciative of honey bees. A bug’s life is a hard one—and thanks to mysteriously declining honeybee populations, things aren’t getting any easier for our winged friends. But we digress: BeeKind’s lovely scented moisturizer is chockfull of natural emollients like honey and chamomile—while somehow managing not to feel greasy at all. And every purchase helps support sustainable honey bee farming—a win-win!
At the end of a long day at Birchbox HQ there comes a familiar sound: The low rumble of a stampede as dozens of staffers rush to the ladies’ room to freshen up. We’re basically shameless about applying lipstick, dry shampoo, deodorant—you name it—in each other’s presence, but Grand Central Beauty’s all-in-one skin treatment takes the cake. You don’t even need water to rinse it off (so if someone’s hogging the sink, you’re in the clear.) Just massage into skin for the full S.M.A.R.T. experience—aka instant skin renewal.
Benefit’s Sugar Bomb Ultra Plush Lip Gloss has it all: adorable packaging, a flattering hue that somehow looks good on everyone, and a feels-great-looks-better texture. We’re fans of the slick, extraglossy finish—makes us look a bit like ScarJo, dontcha think?
Might we add: Born to radiate? Nothing’s easier to create a festive vibe than shellacking our nails with a sparkly hue, and Color Club’s new Cocktail Hour Collection is the perfect resource.
Yes, we’re used to a rich ‘n’ foamy lather when washing our hair. But unfortunately, those same detergents that create the bubbles can leave strands stripped and damaged. This fun-to-use Daily Cleansing Cream from Hair Rules can be gently worked through damp strands, purifying with lemongrass and honey while deeply moisturizing. You might just get to skip the conditioner (we did).
We editors lead a tough, tough life, especially on days when we’re required to taste-test Fatty Sundays’ delicious pretzels dipped in delicious chocolate. Really, cue the tiny violins. Favorite flavor? It’s a toss-up between Toffee Crunch and (um, obvi) Sprinkle.