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birstufYou may have heard of Birchbox’s first cosmetics line called LOC (Love of Color) which launched in 2015. They partnered with Tati the GlamLifeGuru in their initial release of lip crayons and eyeshadow sticks. This year, Birchbox created their second brand called Arrow, which has nothing to do with the CW Television show or DC comics.

arrowmemeWhat makes this one so special is that all the products in the line are vegan, paraben-free, cruelty-free, and gluten-free.

I purchased the starter kit as soon as it was available on the Birchbox website. Everyone received a $10 off promo code from their December Birchbox and I had 100 points on my account. That means I received this kit plus the mystery pack for only $16!

 ARROW BOOST Color Enhancing Lip Balm

lip1Price: $14

In my early high school years, I was obsessed with mark Glossblossom Ripening Lip Tint. A clear gloss came out of the tube but turned pink on contact with the lips. The ARROW balm brings me the same joy but is prettier and has much better ingredients. To quote the product page, “Formulated to adjust to your unique pH, it enhances each wearer’s natural lip color to create the perfect, just-for-you hue. Nourishing ingredients like mango seed butter hydrate and protect lips, and the lightweight, subtle formulation allows it to go wherever you do…”

I put this on and went about my day, which involved eating, drinking, and licking my lips (the lippie isn’t flavored). The actual balm wore away after a few hours but the color stayed put for the rest of the night! And since my lips weren’t dried out, I didn’t feel the need to reapply. I was very impressed by the performance of this balm and it has become a new favorite! It brings out the natural pink in my lips!

drylip

ARROW REVIVE Cooling Cheek Tint

cheek3Price: $18

This line caters to people on the go, and this is why the creators decided to put this cheek stain in a clickable pen with a brush. The concept is smart but the packaging…

Pros: The actual cheek stain is fantastic quality. It glides over the skin, is buildable, and long lasting. The formula isn’t sticky. It comes in two colors: Pink Punch and Berry Flush. The one I bought is Berry Flush. It can be used under the ARROW lip balm for a bolder lip shade. It does feel comfortably cool on the skin. When it comes to the actual stain, I love it!

Cons: On the first day I used this, I only clicked until a tiny dot was visible on the brush.

noclickclickThat tiny dot grew to the size of a nickel which is way more product than necessary. Part of my Instagram photo (pictured above where I listed the price) shows how much came out from holding it upside down for just a few seconds. I chalked it up to first time use, wiped the tip of the brush until it was clean, then put it in my blush drawer.

The next day I opened the cap to find this.

insideAgain, I thought it was a fluke and wiped the top but I noticed it continued to pump out gel without any clicks at all. I put it on the counter in the upright position and it continued to come out. That’s when I realized there must be a problem with the inner mechanism of my product. I don’t know if it happens to be just my pen, or if all the cheek tints are like this.

I continued wiping until the pen went a solid ten minutes without leaking. That’s when I tried my last test. Whereas my other pen products only require 2-3 clicks, this one needs at least 6 before it starts to drip. And it drips at a snail’s pace. The drip is far too slow to be practical. So then it takes an additional 3 or more to get a tiny dot. By that point, the same overflow issue happened again. I took a five minute video to show the progression of the leak. Some stills are below.

zoom1zoom2zoom3zoom4zoom5This is a very big issue for someone on-the-go to deal with a cap full of blush stain. Where should they put the excess product? That style of brush is good for packing on color, which isn’t what most would want to do with a stain. So the packaging is a fail but the actual gel was worth saving for me. So I took one of my sample jars and clicked out all the remaining product.

fullstainI don’t know how long my little jar will last me before it potentially dries out but if I kept it in the pen, I wouldn’t use it anyway. Now, it’s exclusively a lip brush!

endARROW PROTECT Aluminum-Free Deodorant

deo2 Price: $9

Finding the right deodorant is a very individual experience. Some sweat more than others. Some produce stronger odors. Unfortunately, I require heavy duty deodorant. So when I say that I went two hours with solid protection but needed to reapply after 3-4 hours, that happens to be my personal experience with it.

Less subjective comments about this deodorant is that it looks clear in the tube and applies clear as well under the arms. It’s made without alcohol and aluminum. It does have a fragrance which reminds me of an Arnold Palmer beverage, which I love. The actual notes are pink grapefruit, mint leaf, ginger flower, and sea spray.

I should also note that it’s the same size as the $8 travel size of LAVANILA. I like the scent of the ARROW deodorant better, although the actual performance is nearly identical.

deoARROW Makeup Bag

bagPrice: $12

My bag smelled like a mix of chemicals and gasoline. I’m accustomed to Ipsy’s bags occasionally smelling like this, so I immediately put it in a corner to air out. It should take several days before the smell dissipates. I believe it comprises of a vinyl water-resistant material. One could easily find a larger, cuter, and cheaper makeup pouch but the water-resistance is what this bag really has going for it.

There are additional products coming to the Arrow line. The one I’m most excited about is the facial mist, since I’m looking for something which can replace my beloved Aloe Water Mist from The Skin House. Overall, I am still happy with my purchase. The Arrow lip balm is a sample choice option for February’s Birchbox, so you could potentially try it for yourself if you’re a Birchbox subscriber!

❤ Lili

Note: The link provided is a referral link, not an affiliate link. This is not a sponsored review.

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