Birchbox: April 2016

For April, I couldn’t resist grabbing Birchbox’s curated offering that was packed in the most adorable box from the Rifle Paper Co.  I swear if the Rifle Paper Co made more home décor products they’d be all over my house.

Our Adorable Box:
Box
Open Box 1Open Box 2

Marcelle
Marcelle 3-in-1 Micellar Solution
(Full Size $21)
Description: “Removes makeup, cleanses skin, and soothers irritation with natural ingredients like aloe and cucumber.
Verdict: Hit!
I tried out one of these types of cleansing waters from another brand and really liked it.  This is perfectly sized for travel so I think I’m going to reserve this for my next weekend getaway.

Liftra
Dr. Jart+ Liftra™ Contour Cream
(Full Size: $60.00)
Description: This high-tech, first-of-its-kind, collagen producing crema visibly firms, lifts and plumps skin.”
Verdict: Hit!
Dr Jart+ is a fabulous brand and this product doesn’t sound like anything I’ve tried before.  It’s also a bit spendy, so I really love getting a sample before committing to such a huge investment.

BlushOpen BlushBlush Swatch
Laura Geller New York Baked Blush-n-Brighten
(Full Size: $28.00)
Description: ”Baked from liquid pigments, this blush-highligher combo delivers a natural-looking flush.”
Verdict: Love!
This product was the one in the box I was most looking forward to trying out.  I was worried it would be too warm for my complexion and make me look like an Oompa Loompa (or Michael Kors).  Even though the swatch seems a bit warm, this worked beautifully on my skin.  It really does look natural and applies easily.  A little bit gives you a sun-kissed glow.  I’ve never tried Laura Geller’s blushes before, but I was suitably impressed.

Parlor
PARLOR® by Jeff Chastain Volumizing Lifting Spray
(Full Size: $24.00)
Description: ”This innovative body-enhancing spray uses marshmallow root to give locks instant volume and lift.
Verdict: A bit burnt out
I’ve got so many hair styling products that are specifically for volume and so many from this particular brand.  I’d really love it if I got a break from the Parlor products for the rest of the year.  I think I’ve tried enough of them to know if I want to buy the full size or not.

Hand Cream
TOCCA Crema da Mano – Giulietta
(2 oz Size: $10.00)
Description: “Loaded with natural botanicals, this green apple and pink tulip lotion absorbs in a flash.”
Verdict:  Hit!
This is a really elegant little hand cream and it will be perfect to keep tucked in my commuter bag.  It has a lovely spring time vibe.

OVERALL
April 2016 Birchbox
Verdict:
Love!
I paid $10.70 for this box and after reviewing the products received $5.00 in Birchbox points.  I chose this box and (except for being burnt out on Parlor hair products), am really thrilled with it.  I like the variety in types of products, the interesting brands, and the generous product sizes.  This was a well curated box and I hope Birchbox can start making the non-curated options as compelling.

For the Birchbox subscribers – Do you find that the curated boxes have a better overall balance than the regular boxes?

THE BACKSTORY
Birchbox subscriptions cost $10 per month or $110 per year (Women’s Sub)
$20 per month or $195 per year (Men’s Sub)

Points System:
Whenever you buy something at Birchbox they give you Birchbox points. $1.00 = 1 Birchbox Point.
Each 100 Birchbox reward points can be redeemed for $10.00.
You can also earn points by reviewing the samples they send you (10 points per sample) and referring/subscribing friends.

Walmart Beauty Box: Spring 2015

Thanks to crazy work deadlines and dental surgery it’s time for me to play catch up with all the boxes I have stockpiled. Among the bunch is my seasonal Walmart beauty box.
Box
In the past, Walmart has sent out at least two versions, broken up by your birthdate with the line of demarcation being 35. If you’ve read my past Walmart reviews then you’ll know that I affectionately refer to these boxes as “young sluts” and “old heifers”. I subscribed when I was 34 and turned 35 while subscribed, so I never have any idea which version might pop up for me.

So into the box:
Open Box

Mascara
Rimmel Lash Accelerator Endless in Black
(Full Size)

(Retail: $7.97)
Description: Rimmel London Lash Accelerator Endless Mascara stretches your lashes beyond the limits with its unique micro-fibers formula. With a Grow-Lash Complex of Procapil, keratin and antioxidants. lashes are conditioned day after day. After 30 days, lashes appear longer, stronger and more numerous.”
Verdict: Hit!
I don’t expect much from a $5.00 beauty box, so a full size mascara was a great addition. Mascara is probably the beauty product I use the most and I’m always up for trying out different brands. I don’t know what “Grow-Lash Complex” is but it sounds like it will give me magic lashes. I don’t know about you but I want magically long lashes, so I’ll give this a shot.

 Cleanser
Neutrogena Healthy Skin Boosters Facial Cleanser
white tea & vitamin
(Deluxe Sample)
(9 fl oz Retail: $7.36)
Description: Neutrogena Healthy Skin Boosters Facial Cleanser’s rich, cushioning formula cleanses skin without over-drying and gently washes away dull surface skin cells. Infused with antioxidant white tea and moisturizing vitamin E, the formula boosts three signs of healthy-looking skin: softness, evenness, and radiance. For skin that looks and feels healthy every day.”
Verdict: Gift
In general I like the Neutrogena brand and normally I wouldn’t mind a cleanser but I have giant stockpile thanks to my lovely Subscription Box addiction. I’m going to pass this one along to my Mom who I’m sure will appreciate it.


Dove
Dove Go Fresh Revitalize Body Wash in Mandarin and tiare flower (Deluxe Sample)
(22 oz Retail: $5.47)
Description: “Dove Go Fresh Revitalize Body Wash has the moisture you love and a luxurious citrus scent. Now you can experience the caring freshness for yourself. It is specially formulated to leave you feeling revitalized. This Dove body wash features the vibrant and juicy scent of mandarin oranges. It is accented with tiare flower, a Tahitian gardenia. It has a creamy, sweet perfume that combines with the mandarin to create a lasting fragrance. Use the moisturizing body wash to feel refreshed and hydrated. The exclusive Dove NutriumMoisture blend is a natural and effective way to nourish the skin. Over time, you will feel softer and smoother.”
Verdict: Love!
Body washes are one of my favorite items to get in sub boxes. I go through them quickly and love trying new scents and brands. Citrus scents are my absolute favorite and Dove is a brand my dermatologist is always recommending so I was happy to see this included.

Shampoo & Conditioner
Schwarzkopf essence ULTIME Omega Repair & Moisture Shampoo & Conditioner (Deluxe Travel Size)
(13.5 oz Retail: $6.97 each)
Description: Especially developed for damaged, depleted hair. Deeply nourishes hair fibers. Repairs damaged hair within the cells to prevent split ends up to 90%. Provides gentle cleansing for damaged, depleted hair. With lavishly rich omega oil. Improves compatibility and touch of both wet and dry hair. Provides volume, shine and silky-smooth hair without weighing it down.”
Verdict: Like
I like to use different shampoos and conditioners and I try to intersperse my higher end splurges with more economical finds. Because of this I like deluxe drugstore samples. This brand is unfamiliar to me (although I’ve seen a few commercials for it since getting the box) so it will be fun to try out.

Perfume
Lady Gaga Fame Eau de Parfum Natural Spray
(sample)
(.5 Oz Retail: $18.77)
Description: “Lady Gaga Fame Eau de Parfum Natural Spray is a fruity floral scent. It features tears of belladonna, crushed heart of tiger orchidea, with a black veil of incense, pulverized apricot, and the combinative essences of saffron and honey drops. The Lady Gaga Fame bottle is a symbol of raw elegance that juxtaposes the sleek and sensual with an unexpected edge. The gold cap represents “the paw,” the iconic symbol of Gaga while the clear glass showcases the black juice, an innovation in fluid technology. Don’t be afraid to embrace your fame and make it bigger than life. From the Haus Laboratories in Paris, here’s the first-ever black eau de parfum compounded by Lady Gaga. It’s black like the soul of fame, but invisible once airborne.”
Verdict: Gift/Miss
Just go ahead and read that description…“it features tears of belladonna…it’s black like the soul of fame, but invisible once airborne..”  I spent an entire semester taking “Modern Poetry” with a beatnik professor and I have no idea what that description means. Not even a little bit. Perfume descriptions are always absurd, but this one takes itself ridiculously seriously.  It’s perfume, not the holy grail. In any case, I’m super picky about scents so I’ll pass this along to a friend.

Also included in the box were some assorted magazine style samples:
Samples

And of course, some coupons:
Coupons

 

OVERALL
Full Box
Verdict:
Hit!

Based solely on the box I can’t really tell if I’m a “young slut” or an “old heifer” this time. I don’t see a plethora of anti-aging products, and most of the products included are basic beauty items that women of all ages could use. This is definitely an improvement over the past Walmart boxes where it was pretty much get a box of anti-aging moisturizers or a box with lip gloss and perfume that smells like candy.

This box costs only $5, so the mascara alone was enough for me to get a good value. I loved the body wash and I’ll use the shampoo and conditioner. I really hope that Walmart continues with this more “ageless” box style.

Did you order one of these boxes? If so, did you get this one or something different?

THE BACKSTORY

Walmart subscriptions cost $5 per quarter and you receive a box seasonally (four times a year.)

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