The specialness that is Birchbox + Gap

Birchbox GAP

Birchbox + GAP

One of the most unusual things about Birchbox is their collaborations. They’ve been working with different stores to create subscription boxes that are unique to the store. A great example of this is BIRCHBOX + GAP which is available in 7 locations. Both the Birchbox Gap for women and for men were sent so we could share these with you and explain the process of obtaining them.

Birchbox Gap for Women

Birchbox Gap for Women

The Birchbox + Gap box for women is one of the best I’ve seen from them. I have many Birchbox boxes and rarely did I get one that I’d use and love everything in it. Inside is a Gloss Gloss Nail Polish, Supergoop Sunscreen, Amika Dry Shampoo, Whish Body Lotion and Eyeko FAT Eye Stick. Three deluxe sample sizes and two full size are the makeup of this box.

Supergoop, Whish, Amika in Birchbox Gap

Supergoop, Whish, Amika in Birchbox Gap

SUPERGOOP Everyday SPF 50 is one of my very favorite sunscreens. This SPF 50 sunscreen is a lightweight cream that’s oil free and fragrance free. I love this deluxe sample size for my purse.

WHISH Three Wishes Body Butter in Lavender is an anti-oxidant rich formula that’s a terrific body butter. This one is in Lavender but Whish also has other yummy fragrances like my favorite Almond.

AMIKA Perk Up Dry Shampoo is one of the better dry shampoos out there. Everyone loves this weightless spray that refreshes your hair by absorbing oil without leaving any residue. The full size is $21 but you can buy this travel size for $9 on Birchbox’s site.

FLOSS GLOSS Nail polish in Wavepool

FLOSS GLOSS Nail polish in Wavepool

FLOSS GLOSS NAIL POLISH in Wavepool is so summer! What a beautiful shade to wear when having fun in the sun. This is a full size bottle that can be purchased for $8 on Birchbox.

Eyeko FAT Eye Stick in Satin Taupe

Eyeko FAT Eye Stick in Satin Taupe

EYEKO FAT EYE STICK in Satin Taupe seems to be exclusive to this box. This full size ($15) eye crayon is such a beautiful color. There’s nothing easier than applying the creamy eye crayon and adding some water resistant mascara to look great in the summer. This is my favorite item in the box and I hope they start selling it soon.

A Women’s Birchbox costs $10 per month. This is part of a set of three for $30. You’ll pay the $30, get this box immediately at the Gap stores that are part of the program and sign up to receive the other 2 Gap Birchboxes delivered directly to you.

Birchbox Gap for Men

Birchbox Gap for Men

Gap and Birchbox didn’t forget about the guys. The men’s boxes sell for $20 so the Gap collection is 3 months for $60. Here are the contents of the first box you/he will receive and the value is excellent. There are 4 deluxe sample sizes and one amazing full size.

Gap Birchbox for men

Gap Birchbox for men

PLANT Get It On Body Wash is the perfect size to try out or put in a travel kit. This is an all natural cleanser with essential oils of cedar, ginger and sandalwood.

BILLY JEALOUSY HYDROPLANE Super Slick Shave Cream is a latherless shave cream that uses silicone beads and essential oils to buffer skin against the harshness of a razor.

BAXTER Clay Mask is for the man who really takes care of himself. It’s a purifying blend of kaolin and bentonite clay for exfoliation and absorbing excess oil.

PARLOR Reworkable Hold Paste will make men’s hair soft, pliable but easy to style. This contains sweet almond and extract and fortifying Vitamin B5.

Brichbox Gap with LSTN Bowery Earbuds

Brichbox Gap with LSTN Bowery Earbuds

LSTN Bowery Earbuds is the item in the box that my husband wanted instantly. I had to grab them away to photograph them before he absconded with them. These are a $50 value so that makes the price of the box totally worth it. The earbuds are made from reclaimed wood (they are a cherry wood and browner than my pictures) and come with three sizes of earplugs so he’s sure to get a size to fit him. Plus you can “borrow” them and have a size to fit you. These are sold on Birchbox’s site too. “Made from reclaimed wood, the 100% electro-acoustic tested headphones pair superior sound quality with one-of-a-kind good looks. And, because each pair of headphones benefits a charity for the deaf, this is an accessory you can feel good about.”

There are 7 GAP Stores that are part of the Birchbox Gap Summer Beauty Shop. Some of these not only have this special subscription but even have a Build Your Own Box. Are you lucky enough to be near San Francisco Market Street, Houston Galleria, Los Angeles The Grove, Chicago State Street, NYC 34th & Broadway, NYC Lincoln Square or NYC 17th St & 5th Ave.? If so go there through June 23rd for these specials. There are even 4 stores with events that the first 150 people can win a free box.

Even if you are not a subscriber to Birchbox, you can still purchase items there so that makes the rest of you who are interested in some of these able to purchase without commitment. What’s your favorite product in these boxes? — Marcia

*sent by Birchbox for this article

Makeup Wars tackles black eyeliners

Makeup Wars has decided to do a very basic, one might say boring, topic this week – black eyeliners. As a blogger with limited photography skills as well as no photoshop program, I can’t even make it pretty. But I can tell you about my favorites and it’s more than possible that you’ll learn about a liner or two that you’d want to try.

6 favorite black liquid eyeliners

6 favorite black liquid eyeliners

I live for eyeliner (in a cosmetic way that is). I feel dull and unfinished without it. It is an obsession of mine. This past year I’ve been on a quest for the perfect brown liquid eyeliner. In that quest though I found a lot of black liquid eyeliners, many more than brown.  Just about every brand makes a black liquid. But they are not created equal. Read about my experience with an Essence liner for proof of that.

6 favorite black liquid liners - it's the point of it all

6 favorite black liquid liners – it’s the point of it all

I want a liquid eyeliner with a firm point, one that is dark black, one that I can make a thin line with and one that doesn’t make my eyes water. I want a liner that lasts the entire day but that removes easily with eye makeup remover. I want one that doesn’t crack or disappear if my eyes tear up. Not too much to ask, is it? Let’s see which ones can meet my criteria.

EDDIE FUNKHOUSER Ultra Definition Eye Lining Stylus is the one that started it all for me. It wasn’t my first black liquid eyeliner. I’d tried many. But it made me stand up and take notice. Here’s what I said before and it stands to this day: “This doesn’t fade or smudge, it lasts through even my major hot flashes, it doesn’t migrate, and it’s so black that it’s blacker than black. It practically applies itself, it’s that easy to use.” I first got it as a PR sample and I’ve since bought it so I won’t be without. ($10.99)

Eddie Funkhouser Ultra Definition Eye Lining Stylus

Eddie Funkhouser Ultra Definition Eye Lining Stylus

FACE STOCKHOLM PRECISION LIQUID EYELINER is the first black liquid liner I reviewed on Beauty Info Zone. I remember when I received it from the company and how excited I was. I use this often still and it’s as precise as the day the first day. The nib of the pen hasn’t broken down at all. It’s still as perfect as in its early life. ($36)

Face Stockholm Precision Eyeliner

Face Stockholm Precision Eyeliner

YOUNGBLOOD EYE-MAZING LIQUID LINER IN NOIR is the newest addition to my collection. I am blown away by the Youngblood Eye Liquid Liner Pens. They come in 5 shades which are all great. Marron, the brown, is holy grail for me – the best brown liquid eyeliner I’ve found. Noir, the black, isn’t far behind. These liners are good for the entire day, no matter the circumstances. Noir glides on without skipping and I get the thin line that I prefer. ($26)

Youngblood Eye-Mazing Liquid Liner Pen

Youngblood Eye-Mazing Liquid Liner Pen

SENNA PINPOINT MICRO TIP LIQUID EYELINER is especially great if you feel you have unsteady hands for liquid liners. At the top where you hold it the plastic is somewhat indented and the material is more matte making it easier to hold onto. There’s no sliding of your fingertips. This liner is wonderful if you want to create a cat eye and Senna has some great tips on how to do that. ($20)

Senna Pinpoint Liquid Liner

Senna Pinpoint Liquid Liner

CAILYN IDEFINE LIQUID EYELINER is my new favorite product from Cailyn. I’ve got a slew of eyeliners from Cailyn but this is the one that I’m using the most. The brush is the thinnest of the 6 I’m sharing today. It’s a very flexible yet firm felt tip that applies easily plus it’s a super dark black. ($18)

Cailyn Idefine liquid eyeliner

Cailyn Idefine liquid eyeliner

EYEKO SKINNY MINI LIQUID EYELINER was in one of my many subscription boxes and it’s a treasure. The full size is available at Sephora for $16. I find this to be more of a blackened charcoal. It’s not super black, it’s not a harsh shade, so it’s a great addition when I don’t feel like my liner looking too dark. It’s made me want to try the waterproof Eyeko Eye Do Liquid Liner next.

Eyeko Skinny Liquid Eyeliner

Eyeko Skinny Liquid Eyeliner

So there’s my sea of black. The only thing that could make me happier (eyeliner wise that is) would be if these wonderful liners also came in a dark brown. Then I’d be doing a happy dance. In the meantime, I’m loving these black liquid eyeliners. I hope some of my blogger buddies have some suggestions in their posts. Have you tried any of these? Do you have an idea for a black liquid I should try? — Marcia


*some items received from PR

Is it the cat’s pajamas? Alexa Chung for Eyeko review

Alexa Chung has joined forces with Eyeko to create an eyeliner/mascara set, Alexa for Eyeko ($45), that brings an easily doable cat eye and massive lashes to everyone.

So who is Alexa Chung? She is a British global style icon, a contributing editor to British Vogue, and a Style Ambassador for the British Fashion Council. Alexa is an artist and a photographer and, believe me, she knows her eye makeup.

Cool tube packaging

Cool tube packaging

inside the tube

inside the tube

The packaging is beyond cute. I adore the retro-cool vibe. It perfectly matches the throwback ’60’s look for which the eyeliner and mascara are perfect.

love the addition of the guitar pick for easy eyelining

love the addition of the guitar pick for easy eyelining

The guitar pick that is also included works great as a guide for the elongated line of the cat eye look.

eyeliner

eye do liquid liner

an easy cat eye

an easy cat eye

Alexa says, “Liquid liner is my savior. Other people like other things to feel like they look normal, but for me, I’m pretty much naked without my eyeliner on. It’s my comfort blanket.” WWD

The eye do liquid liner is deep, dark, extremely black felt tip pen. I find the nib is a little bit smaller than other similar eyeliners, which makes for excellent control and easy thin or thick lines.  And if you miss a spot, it’s simple to go back over it to fill in perfectly. This liquid liner is perfect for beginners and those who are veteran liquid eyeliners will think they have died and gone to liquid lining heaven. You can even use this on the waterline and the color really stays.

the fabulous brush

the fabulous brush

I am already a HUGE fan of Eyeko Skinny Brush Mascara, so I was really excited to try the eye do mascara. The eye do mascara is, like the eye do liquid liner, black black blackest black. I adore the brush. This baby grabs every single lash and makes it thicker, fanning lashes out into a gorgeous fringe. It’s not super easy to wash off because the formula is quite tenacious. The upside is this mascara doesn’t smudge or smear at all. Ingredients include Ginkgo Biloba, Shea Butter, Vitamins, antioxidants and botanical proteins to condition and promote lash growth.

lined with mascara

lined with eye do liquid liner and topped with eye do mascara

My Alexa Chung Eyeko FOD

My Alexa Chung Eyeko FOD

The Alexa for Eyeko set really is the cat’s pajamas.  You are going to love it just as much as you love those furry little friends.  – Lisa

*pr sample

Meow!

Meow!

Side by Side: Eyeko Skinny Brush Mascara

Not much gets us more excited at Beauty Info Zone than a new mascara to test drive.  There are so many different types of mascara wands, so many different formulas that can lengthen, thicken, or curl the lashes.  And since mascaras only last for so long, there’s always a reason to buy a new one!  So we were thrilled to try out Eyeko Mascara, which you can find at Harvey Nichols in the UK and at Sephora in the U.S. and Canada.

Eyeko Shield Logo

Max and Nina Leykind, both veterans of the beauty industry, created Eyeko in 1999.  Their goal was to create the perfect mascara.  What they came up with was the perfect ‘mascara wardrobe’ – three different formulas that fulfill every mascara need – length, volume, curl and hold.

Eyeko Mascara Shield

Every mascara also comes with the Eyeko Shield.  Eyeko says, “We invented the Eyeko Shield  – a unique beauty tool created for enhanced application to help you obtain the perfect lash look. Pop it behind your lashes and never ruin your look with smudged lids again.”

The Eyeko brand was inspired by rock & roll looks, as well as Twiggy’s mod ’60’s look.   Let’s see what Lisa and Marcia think of the additions to their mascara wardrobes:

Lisa’s Side: 

I tried the Eyeko Skinny Brush Mascara Long and Tall ($19).  Is it the perfect mascara?  Well, do you want super long lashes?  Check.  Do you want a conditioning formula that helps keep lashes soft and healthy?  Check.  Do you want a skinny brush that reaches every single lash and gives great definition?  Check!!   This really is a great mascara.

Eyeko Skinny Brush Mascara

The Skinny formula is a very black, glossy mascara that will not budge once it’s on.  Seriously, I have trouble washing it off because it’s so tenacious.  I have problems with most eye products smudging so I rarely use mascara on my bottom lashes.  With the Skinny formula, I know I can pile on as much as I want and I won’t get a single smudge.

Eyeko Skinny Brush Mascara on

This has become a favorite of mine – my only gripe is that it’s difficult to remove.  I am totally intrigued with Eyeko now, and I definitely want to expand my ‘mascara wardrobe’ to include all three formulas!

Marcia’s Side: 

When I saw the name Skinny Lashes I was afraid that this wouldn’t be very exciting. I already have skinny (read as puny) lashes – actually it’s the only skinny thing on me. What I learned though is that it’s matching with the rest of me – voluptuous!! What a wonderful mascara this is.  I actually get volume and I get terrific definition with Eyeko.

The formula is terrific – like Lisa said no smudging, no clumping and every lash covered. I use Mary Kay eye makeup remover most of the time and don’t have a problem with removal but you do need a separate eye makeup remover with Skinny Brush Mascara Long and Tall. Wearing this mascara has made friends ask me if I’m using Latisse since my lashes look so much longer with it on.  It’s a winner in my book.

Eyeko skinny lashes

*pr samples