I laid out big plans for this year. 2014 was full of life-changing new experiences: getting married, giving birth, wiping someone else’s butt. I wanted 2015 to be just as full of surprises and lessons, so I looked for something that would give me exactly what I wanted. After much deliberation, I decided to sign up for the BDJ Box.
The Belle De Jour beauty subscription boxes have been in the Philippines since October of 2012. Yes, my good readers, two years before I ever found out about it. Obviously, ‘trendsetter’ is not part of my résumé.
No matter though, it’s still win-win for me: I get to learn about new brands, test out new products and be surprised every month. Who doesn’t love surprises? Plus, the Bellas-in-charge promise a curated box that’s worth three times the paying price. So, last year, I put aside a small part of my commission so I could indulge in something not baby-related. This, I hope, won’t be just another whimsy of mine but a fun and guilt-free girly experience.
So guess what arrived yesterday?
Honest admission: I ripped the packaging off this baby like it was hiding chocolates. My first box! And when I saw the theme this month was ‘Kawaii‘, it just amped up my giddiness. For those who haven’t been lost in the fun world of Japanese animation
yet, ‘kawaii‘ is usually translated as ‘cute‘. According to my wiki-fu, other translations (depending on how it’s spelled) are ‘a radiant face‘ or ‘able to be loved‘. My initial expectations of this box were either a) that it would explode into a fountain of squishy teddy bears and cupcakes upon opening, or b) whatever products therein would lead to a more ‘kawaii‘ me.
“Do you want to guess what’s in here?” I cooed to my daughter as I figured out how to open the box.
She doesn’t care; she’s too busy gumming her rattle. Silly mommy.
Here’s my first look at what’s inside the box, minus the explanatory magazine
A little rearrangement and the contents are displayed for all to see!
Alright, so there’s no fountain of teddy bears. Doesn’t matter, the high of essentially getting a present in the mail still makes me squeak at the shiny new boxes and containers. I’ve never owned any of these brands before, so I’m looking forward to trying them out. Also noteworthy is the fact that all of these products are full-sized so I can really get the feel of any potential effects.
Here’s a list of what’s in the box, written in the order of the helpful little card that was included:
- Bifesta Cleansing Lotion Bright Up (Php419 for 300ml)
- Lucido-L Styling Milk Curl (Php295 for 70ml)
- Lucido-L Treatment Oil Straight (Php295 for 70ml)
- Pixy Eye Shadow (Php315)
- Pixy Blush On (Php345)
- Pixy Two Way Cake Fit (Php275)
- Pixy Coverlast (Php325)
- Sunkiller Perfect Strong A (Php495 for 30ml)
*squeaks* So many new things to try!
First in line are the makeup products.
Pixy Eye Shadow in Romantic Poem and Pixy Blush On in Carnation Bloom
Time for another honest admission: I do not know how to use these two items ‘properly’, which apparently is with a brush or a q-tip or Draco Malfoy’s wand. I mostly use my fingers, sort of like a kid finger-painting their own face. Sounds gross, I know (but I wash my hands quite well with my beloved soaps so it’s not that disgusting, right? Right?).
I don’t really use eyeshadow that often because my few attempts at blending have always led to me looking like an awkward macaw-toucan crossbreed. From my months of perusing numerous beauty blogs, I now realize that this is because I was experimenting with colors that were bought by my beautiful Spanish-blooded pink-toned mother for her use. I, on the other hand, am either yellow-toned or olive. No wonder her makeup looked garish on me.
The powers that be from BDJ sent me an eyeshadow duo in purple, shades that Pixy dubs Romantic Poem. I was apprehensive at first , but I took my time studying and swatching and what not. Both photos below are taken under fluorescent lighting but in different angles. The camera picked out the glitter a bit more but the colors are true to form – the base color is a shimmer-laden pale pink while the contour shade is similar to palatinate (hex triplet #682860).
Squeak-worthiness: 4 out of 6 (I love purple, but I’ve got the feeling it’ll look more like a smack in the eye instead of a smoulder)
In a pinch, I’m sure the eyeshadow’s base color can be used as a highlighter. Above, you can see my amateur attempt at blending. Note to self: need to learn moar about blending.
The blush (the patch on the left) is a nicely pigmented peach called Carnation Bloom, quite silky to the touch and easy to overblend (for a n00b like me, at least). It’s a very sunny shade and I’m actually quite eager to try it out.
Squeak-worthiness: 4 out of 6 ( With our tropical weather, I usually have no need for blush. However, it seems versatile enough to be used for both me and my mom, so I get twice as much practice.)
Pixy Two Way Cake Fit – Foundation with sunscreen is always a win!
Prior to the start of this year, I completed gutted my makeup kit. I did away with everything except the eyeliner pencils, wanting to start from scratch. Now I’ve got a new foundation to try and in a shade that was completely unexpected: Tropical Beige. It’s much darker than the foundation I had and I have to admit to some hesitation before trying it out because I assumed I was at least two shades lighter. Apparently, I was in some denial since the pregnancy, because it blended in beautifully even while dry.
Squeak-worthiness: 5 out of 6 (I love foundation. The only reason this doesn’t get full marks is because I want to put it through its paces first.)
Pixy Coverlast – Is it a cosmetics faux pas to use your foundation as your touch-up powder? Well, even if it was, I’ve got compact powder now!
Not that I’m complaining about having two cosmetic products, but I don’t really see the difference between foundation and compact powder. Perhaps I’ll learn more about it as time goes on. Is it typical though to get a foundation and a powder in two different shades? The shade I got for the compact powder is Natural. I don’t know how many shades there are but I’m sure there’s something closer to Tropical Beige. I’m worried that it might give me a greyish cast, but that’s what experimentation is for.
Squeak-worthiness: 3.5 out of 6 (I don’t much notice if my makeup’s faded, and my face is well-behaved in that it doesn’t get noticeably oily again after my foundation is in place. I wouldn’t mind toting this around though, with its fairly-sized mirror and sneaky powder puff placement)
Alright, now that the makeup is done, on with the other items in the box!
Bifesta Cleansing Lotion Bright Up
According to the literature that came with the box, ‘Bi‘ is Japanese for beauty and ‘festa‘ is short for festival. A grand fiesta of beauty on my face? Why, yes please! I love that they sent over an entire bottle of cleanser, because if there’s one part of the make up routine that I’m fanatic about, it’s cleaning my face first thing in the morning and before I go to bed. Cleansing Lotion is a bit misleading though. I was expecting it to have a gel-like texture, but it’s watery instead. I’ll be using it at night, though I haven’t had a chance to wear makeup at all since the pregnancy, and we’ll see how (or if) it’ll work on giving me ‘brighter, even-toned skin by removing dead skin cells’.
Squeak-worthiness: 5.5 out of 6 ( A giant bottle! Plus points for it not being overly scented or harsh.)
Lucido-L Styling Milk Curl
There are four kinds of Styling Milk: Airy, Wave, Curl and Straight. To my consternation, I received Curl. My hair is wavy at best, and stubborn at its worst. It laughs in defiance against curlers, irons and digi-perms. My head is a no-curl zone. I may not be able to use this for its intended purpose, but at least I can use it to smooth down flyaways.
Squeak-worthiness: 5 out of 6 (I’m initially sold on anything to do with hair. I love that it isn’t sticky before or after application, and the scent isn’t overpowering either.)
Lucido-L Treatment Oil Straight
When it comes to night treatments, I haven’t had any luck finding one that works for me. I diligently looked for one while my hair rebelled against a perm, all to no avail. I had to chop most of it off to save the rest. There’s still a lot of damage to be cared for though, so this Treatment Oil will come in handy.
Squeak-worthiness: 5 out of 6 (Having tried it out as soon as I opened the container, I can attest that this lovely concoction isn’t greasy at all. My hair just soaks it up, so I might just have this chucked in the Empties by the end of the month.)
As you can see, I am absolutely terrible at taking pictures. I took so long, the oil ran down my hand, hahaha. Curiously, I noticed that it was quite warming. Does that mean it can be used for homemade hot oil treatments?
Hmm, I may ask my mom to try these treatments as well while she’s home. Her hair’s been ravaged by the boiling hot tap waters of the Emirates, so giving her locks a little TLC is overdue.
Sunkiller Perfect Strong A
Now that’s an attention-grabbing name! Who doesn’t want a bit of Sunkiller in their pocket? Yes, I may have diapers in my bag, and all the shoulders of my shirts may smell like spit up, and I may spend most of my time either crocheting or memorizing Sesame Street songs, but by golly I’ve got a pocket full of Sunkiller and I’m not afraid to use it!
Despite the awesome moniker though, I’m afraid I don’t know much about the product or the company that makes it. All I know is what’s typed up on the info card: an ultra-light sunblock which is highly resistant to sweat and water, and dries to a matte finish. It also claims to have a special menthol blend that leaves a cooling sensation instead of a heavy, sticky one.
Squeak-worthiness: 3.5 out of 6 (A minty sunblock? I’ll try it, but Houdini and I rarely leave the house.)
That’s it for my first box! Overall squeak-worthiness would have to be at 5.5 because, hey, it’s my first time! As someone trying to find their feet in the oft-confusing world of cosmetics and other beauty-related products, I have to say that this particular box really helped by pointing me in a solid direction. Plus, value-wise, BDJ delivered on their promise. This box is more than four times the subscription price (Php 2,764 for Php 580), and I didn’t even have to go to the mall.
Well done BDJ, and thank you for the delivery!