December Boxwalla Beauty – winter essentials feat. BLÜH ALCHEMY & LIVE BOTANICAL

I’m back this week to shower you all with MORE Boxwalla goodness! In my last post & review on the October box, I mentioned that there is a lot going on in the Boxwalla universe with the numerous limited edition gift offerings that were launched alongside their monthly boxes in time for the holidays. I went over that month’s box (which is currently still available on the store as a One-Time Box), the Fine Cosmetics limited edition skin + body box, and I gave a brief overview on the three limited edition haircare boxes that they have on offer. Since that post, I’ve had some time to get acquainted with the December box products and to my surprise, Boxwalla also sent along with it one of their haircare boxes which I have gotten to know and love – and am obsessed with it as you may be able to tell if you follow me on Instagram. We’ll be going over these two boxes today – all the details and my product experiences thus far.

Themed “The Textures of Winter“, the December Beauty Box* showcases three products that allow us to experience the gorgeous textures of Winter magic. It features three full-size products from two luxury brands, including: BLUH Alchemy’s Multi C Serum & freshly launched Active Relief Body Oil, and Live Botanical’s Sanctuary Barrier Balm. I’m thrilled to share that there’s still plenty of time to sign up for this box as of this posting – subscriptions are open until December 15th for last-minute holiday shopping. This box runs for $49.95 and has a whopping retail value of $250.

I’ll also be going over the limited edition Antonin B. haircare boxes that feature hair styling products including an oil serum, hairspray, and liquid hair gel – offered in two different sets which you can select depending on your hair type and product preferences.

What is Boxwalla all about? To put it simply, they like to fill boxes with things that MUST be experienced. Boxwalla is a bi-monthly subscription box service that showcases artists and artisans from around the world giving the subscriber a choice of three different interests to choose from: The Beauty Box, The Film Box, and The Book Box. Each box is curated with context in mind and with a story to be told, each one delivering a beautiful sensory experience. Green beauty lovers will appreciate that they have high standards when it comes to ingredients and that they actually use, love, and enjoy the products they feature. Boxwalla typically features between 1-4 products including both full and generous deluxe travel-sizes. Their beauty box rings in at just $49.95 every other month, with each box valuing well over the price tag. If supply is available, they will offer one-time boxes after subscriptions close and they also offer non-renewing gift cycles.

BLÜH ALCHEMY MULTI C SERUM

» creamy gel format; citrus scent
» plumps, firms, brightens, protects
» contains peptides and two sources of vitamin C: wild harvested Kakadu plum & tetrahexyldecyl ascorbate
» rich in antioxidants (kangaroo paw flower & quandong) and ferulic acid which boosts vitamin C power
» retail value of $140

I want to my preface my thoughts on this serum by mentioning that vitamin C serums aren’t really my jam. I’m somewhat intimidated by them (because of how the word “active” gets attached to these kinds of products, a la retinols) and some of the few that I’ve tried aren’t user friendly in the way that they don’t mesh well with other products and the application doesn’t feel good to the skin, or smell good at that. The combination of these view points keeps me from feeling drawn to these kinds of serums, even though I would definitely love to have brightened and even-toned skin.

With that said, Bluh Alchemy’s Multi C Serum has me realizing it’s possible to create a vitamin C serum that’s actually NICE – it smells so pleasant like a floral citrus, it feels refreshingly great on the skin because of its smooth creamy consistency, and it completely meshes well with a whole routine of other products as it doesn’t interfere or cause any pilling. At night after cleansing, I like to apply one and a half pumps of Naturallogic’s red wine essence, then one pump of Multi C, and I follow it with either a tiny scoop of the Live Botanical balm (featured in this box) or my favorite Max Green Alchemy Elemeni Radiance Face Cream. The combination of the essence and Multi C feels particularly hydrating and refreshing. I also love how lightweight this serum is, as I prefer to layer light to medium weight products to achieve a certain finish, rather than slather on a lot of product – my skin just doesn’t thrive that way.

I’ll need more time to report any results that I see with this serum as it takes time with any vitamin C product and I’ve only been using it for ~1 week so far, but it feels promising and in the short term I’m enamored over how lovely this serum feels in its application and user experience.

BLÜH ALCHEMY ACTIVE RELIEF BODY OIL

» newly launched!
» rich, silky formula
» made in a base of cold pressed rice bran, camellia, tamanu, and sesame oils
» anti-inflammatory and soothes overworked muscles
» contains nourishing fatty acids, phytoceramides, & antioxidants for happy skin
» scent notes of copaiba oleoresin, hinoki wood, peru balsam, vanilla, holy basil & patchouli
» retail value of $68

To my delight, I was so pleased to discover that Bluh Alchemy’s new Active Relief Body Oil is one gorgeous, gorgeous oil. I have a small and growing collection of body oils that I cherish because they are pure luxury to me and not at all needed or necessary – it’s like having dessert at the end of a meal. It sounds corny but I’ve come to feel like I’m somewhat of a body oil connoisseur – I love to pick them apart and discern what makes them different from others. My time with Bluh Alchemy’s new body oil is limited, but I can already say that this is an exceptional body oil when compared to the handful that I’ve tried.

Firstly, I’ll say that it looks and smells differently than what I was expecting. I didn’t have the full ingredients list of it when I received my bottle, but I was expecting it to look, feel, and smell like a warming body oil. The phrase “active relief” invokes a warming sensation in my mind, when thinking of what kind of treatment overworked muscles need. I also thought it would have a more woodsy, earthy scent. I appreciate this kind of body oil in scent and image, but it’s not what I crave at the moment. To my delight I discovered that this body oil is clear, incredibly silky, and it has a more sweet resin-y scent of vanilla and patchouli that lasts for hours. It’s highly addictive and I haven’t been able to stop slathering my skin with this stuff every night after a hot shower.

Before I go in with this body oil I do apply my usual body cream (my skin is as dry as a desert, I need the hydration) and then I follow up with one pump for each of my legs, and then one pump for my chest and arms, and if there’s any remainder on my hands I sort of tap it around on any other areas where I didn’t directly apply oil. I like to focus it on the driest areas, and more so on my upper half where I can reap the aromatherapy benefits better. It’s hard to accurately describe how healthy and alive my skin looks with this cream + oil combo and I already know it’ll be my go-to for dry skin this Winter. I’m beside myself that I have another incredible body oil to add to my growing collection!

LIVE BOTANICAL SANCTUARY BARRIER BALM

» soft and creamy consistency
» free of essential oils
» forms an occlusive protective barrier for dry, sensitive skin types & conditions
» contains raw butters and oils, plant-based waxes, sterols, & phospholipids to strengthen barrier & promote barrier health
» rich in antioxidants and ceramides
» retail value of $42

I don’t have particularly sensitive skin, but I’ve damaged my skin’s barrier a number of times through ignorance and because of this I have always been drawn towards products that promote barrier health. The Live Botanical Sanctuary Barrier Balm contains gorgeous ingredients including amazonian butters murumuru, tucuma, ucuuba, and bacuri, as well as ceramide-rich rice bran wax, pomegranate sterols, and oils of buriti, graviola, and carrot seed. A number of ingredients in this list are new to me and it really piques my interest when a brand incorporates lesser known ingredients into their products – it signals extensive plant knowledge and a deeper understanding of how our skin actually works.

When applied, this face balm’s application feels akin to a facial oil because of how light it is, yet simultaneously it feels like a wash of nourishing silk that seeks to strengthen and protect the outer barrier. If one word could describe this balm, it is definitely protective – the occlusive layer it forms feels comforting and impenetrable at the same time. I like to use it as the last step in my PM skincare routine, applied on top of hydrators and serums to seal everything in and protect skin against dryness.

A note about the consistency: a freshly made pot of this balm is intended to be light and airy and resembles an opaque & light yellow-colored whipped cream. I believe mine melted and solidified during transit, changing its color and texture to something that is more golden and transparent with a melted soft consistency. However, I’ve been assured by the founder that it performs the same!

Antonin B. Ceramides Enriched Desert Serum

ANTONIN B. LIMITED EDITION HAIR CARE BOXES

» Paris-based, inspired by Caribbean culture
» two sets to choose from, based on hair type
» $44.95 each; retail value $90

In my October review I briefly overviewed the haircare offerings Boxwalla currently has and to my delight they sent over a few of the products from the boxes containing hair styling products. I’m head over heels for these Antonin B. items and couldn’t wait to share the details with you guys!

What’s in the Antonin B. LE boxes:

» Set 1 includes Ceramides Enriched Desert Serum and Backstage Cocktail Streetfix Hairspray – for all hair types, including fine.
» Set 2 includes Ceramides Enriched Desert Serum and Backstage Cocktail Editorial Fix Liquid Hair Gel – best for curly and wavy hair types.

  • Ceramides Enriched Desert Serum is a lightweight oil-based hair serum that reads like a product meant for your skin, containing a mix of gorgeous plant oils and ceramides. In it you’ll find desert date, kukui nut, hazelnut, borage, Brazil nut, broccoli seed and abysinnian oils, the latter two of which act as natural silicones that help penetrate gaps in the hair shaft to make it smooth and shiny. This one is my favorite product of this trio – it makes my hair look healthy and effortless!
  • Backstage Cocktail – Street Fix is Antonin B’s answer to a natural hairspray, made with nettle & bamboo hydrosols, brown sugar, plant extracts, and rum from the Guadeloupe to reduce frizz while providing lift and volume. I like the light hold it gives while leaving the hair “touchable” and not crunchy – it’s the exact type of product I have been needing to smooth fly-aways that stick up where my hair parts.
  • Backstage Cocktail – Editorial Fix is an interesting liquid hair gel that’s formulated to remineralize and texturize hair. It’s also based in nettle and bamboo hydrosols, rum, brown sugar, and sea salt which helps to provide texture. Gives a medium to strong hold.

That does it for all the latest Boxwalla releases for the month – there has been a LOT to unpack! If you’re in need of gift ideas for the upcoming holidays, these boxes make ideal gifts for the beauty lovers in your life given the luxury labels you’re getting at a hefty discount. The variety currently on offer give a wide range to shop from and there is certainly something for everyone with the current selection they have.

Subscribe to the December Beauty Box for $49.95 – deadline is December 15th!
Shop the One-Time October Beauty Box
Shop all One-Time and Limited Edition Boxes, including Fine Cosmetics, Abhati Suisse, and Antonin B.
*PR/GIFTED COURTESY OF BOXWALLA
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