Birchbox: December 2015 & a new Limited Edition Box Spoiler!

For the last Birchbox of 2015, the theme was “All Wrapped Up” and I opted once again to splurge on a Birchbox plus item, cue the giant box with lots of wrapped goodies inside.
Big Box Open Big Box
Birchbox Plus Wrapped Birchbox

BIRCHBOX PLUS
Tool Box Toolbox 2
Umbra® Toto Storage Box
(Retail Cost: $30.00)
Description: “Just because you’ve decided to take a grown-up approach to storage doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice your vibrant, contemporary style. Enter this cute, convenient catchall by Umbra. Featuring a slide-out tray, it easily organizes odds and ends in any room (from Q-tips to lipstick, earrings, or art supplies).”
I’m a sucker for the color mint and organizing so I snatched this one up right away. Unfortunately it’s a bit smaller than I had anticipated – it’s more like desk organizer size rather than say, toolbox size. I think I’m going to use it to organize some crafting items. I paid $26.75 for this so I got a bit of a discount. Plus the mint shade is not available on the Birchbox site anymore, but you can still get it in Eggplant.

FREEBIE!
Baggu
BAGGU® Big BAGGU
(Retail Cost: $12.00)
Description: “There are certain shopping events—back-to-school, holiday gift binges, Whole Foods trips for your inevitably epic housewarming—that demand serious attention. For those times, we turn to this trusty BAGGU Big Tote, which is not only incredibly durable and eco-friendly, but ultrachic too.”
I don’t know why but I got this awesome Freebie with my order. (I think there was some promotion going on that apparently I was totally unaware of).  I actually own two Baggu items in this print, but I just have so many reusable totes like this so I ended up adding to someone’s Christmas gift.

Another pretty box & a coupon:
White Birchbox Open Birchbox Open Birchbox 2 Coupon


Style Eyes 1ShadowssocialEYES swatches
Coastal Scents® styleEYES Palette in socialEYES
(Full Size $12)
Description: A bold, beautiful eye shadow palette in alluring smoky tones.”
Verdict: Love!
I chose this item so it’s no surprise that I love it, but I didn’t anticipate how pretty and pigmented these colors would be. The whole palette only costs $12 so if you’re in the market for one and like these shades you may want to give it a shot.

Coola
COOLA® Classic SPF 30 Cucumber Moisturizer for Face
(Full Size: $32.00)
Description: Hydrator that blocks UV rays, protects against future signs of aging, and has a fresh cucumber scent.”
Verdict: Not for gingers
I wish there was an option to request no products with anything below SPF 45. Seriously it’s just useless for me. I’d need to reapply this thing every 5 minutes. I’ll pass this along to a friend who could use it.

Juara
JUARA Coconut Illipe Hand & Nail Balm
(Retail Value: $20.00)
Description: ”This fast-absorbing, long-lasting moisturizing balm hydrates, firms and plumps hands and improves nails and cuticles.”
Verdict: Miss
I’ve received Juara products in Birchboxes before and I just don’t care for the brand. I’m also a bit particular about the hand and nail products I like, so this one is a miss.

Perfume
Oscar De La Renta Signature Eau de Toilette
(Retail Value: $26.00)
Description: ”Inspired by scents from lush gardens in the Dominican Republic, this perfume is feminine and floral, with woodsy notes.
Verdict: and to Grandma’s House we go.
STOP WITH THE PERFUME. Seriously. Please do us all a favor and let us just opt out of perfumes entirely. I chose the least possible amount of perfumes and still I get these fuckers like every month. This is another heavy old lady floral. How about you try some fresher cleaner scents? Or even a fruit one? Why do they all have to smell like your Grandma’s canasta game?

Balm 2Balm 1Balm Swatch
theBalm® cosmetics Frat Boy® Blush/Shadow
(Full Size: $21.00)
Description: “This talc-free, finely ground blush and shadow formula gives skin a fresh radiance that makes you look, and feel, young.”
Verdict: Like
theBalm is a fun brand and this blush has a very natural look on me. I keep hoping I’ll get one of their cream blushes to try out but so far no luck. Besides the eyeshadow this is the only other item I actually like in this box.

OVERALL
Birchbox 12.2015
Verdict:
Cue Sad Trombone
Outside of the sample I picked for myself, I can only really use one item. And not only do I keep getting perfumes, they continue to smell awful. I paid $10.70 for this box and after reviewing the products received $5.00 in Birchbox points. Because the eyeshadow and blush are so small, I don’t really think I got my money’s worth this month. I’m hoping 2016 will bring more makeup samples, less perfumes and some Korean skincare.

What do you hope to see in your 2016 Birchboxes?

BIRCHBOX NEWS!
A new limited Edition, box called Strong Start box is soon to be released!
Here’s a spoiler:
birchbox-strong-start-spoilers-400x600
If you’re interested just keep checking back to the Birchbox LE Box page to see when it drops.

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.

Birchbox: November 2015

It’s time to get caught up on my backlog of Birchboxes, so today I’ve got my review of the November 2015 box including my Birchbox plus item.

Every month Birchbox includes items you can add on to your box for an additional fee. In November, I opted to grab a pair of Baublebar earrings to go with my regular subscription.

Check out the box I received:
Big BoxOpen Big Box
I know they have standard boxes, but really couldn’t we have cut this one down a bit?
Anyway here’s what my gigantic box contained:
with Plus

BB Plus
Baublebar Ear Jackets

(Cost: $26.75)
I loved the vintage deco feel to these so I nabbed them as a little gift to myself.

Another pretty box reveals:
Birchbox Open Birchbox 1 Open BB 2

Cartier
Cartier Eau De Cartier Goutte de Rose Eau de Toilette spray

(1.7 oz.: $67.00)
Description: As delightful as dew on a freshly picked bloom, this xscent blends rose, vanilla nd amber notes.”
Verdict: Enough with the old lady perfumes
I’m not much of a perfume person and I really wish Birchbox would stop sending them to me – or at the very least let me put in a preference that I could get fresh or fruity scents instead of these heavy florals.


LOC First Kiss First Kiss Swatch
LOC Vibrant Matte Lipstick in First Kiss
(LOC Complete Collection for Lips: $18.00)
Description: From Birchbox’s new brand: A soft, flexible lipstick with shades curated by YouTube beauty star Tati Westbrook.”
Verdict: A little too Oompa Loompa for me
I chose this as my sample because it was supposed to be a nude and I am desperately searching for a good one. Not sure if you can tell in this swatch but it goes awfully orange on me. I really hate these “neutral sets that look great on everyone” crap. Makeup is rarely ever truly neutral. How about you just make a cool/blue undertoned set and a warm/yellow undertoned set and let us choose the crap that actually works for us? Sorry for the rant but sometimes it’s hard to be a cool undertoned girl in a warm undertoned world. 😉

MAKE
MAKE Skin Illuminator

(Retail Value: $34.00)
Description: ”Park skin-correcting base and part highlighter, this illuminator has the perfect amount of sheer, pearlescent glimmer.”
Verdict: Hit!
Finally a product I want to use. I didn’t get a chance to swatch this one, but I did try it out later and I liked that it had a more subtle shimmer to it.

Hair Oil
Number 4™ Fluoro5 Elixer Restore & Repair Oil

(Retail Value: $26.00)
Description: ”This strand –saving elixir gives drab, dull hair a coveted movie star shine.
Verdict: Wow, Hair Oil I’ve never gotten this before
I really don’t believe there is a single women’s subscription box that hasn’t sent me hair oil at some point. It’s sort of be some “it” product for haircare the past year and a half or so. Since this comes in a plastic bottle (instead of a little glass tube) I’m going to set aside this sample for travel. But seriously how much hair oil can a person use? I don’t think I’m going to need to buy any for at least a few years.

Curl Creme
PARLOR® by Jeff Chastain Touchable Curl Cream

(Full Size: $26.00)
Description: “This innovative formula combines the silky texture of a serum with the light hold of a cream.”
Verdict: Like
Despite listing my hair as “wavy” on my Birchbox profile I rarely get items specifically for curly/wavy hair so I’m happy try out this cream. This is also a generous size for a sample.

OVERALL
Birchbox November 2015 & Plus

Verdict:  A bit disappointing
I liked the earrings of course, since I picked them out, but I’m super disappointed to get another perfume and that the LOC lipstick leans so warm. I paid $10.70 for the box and I received $5.00 of Birchbox credit after reviewing the items, so it’s a decent value when you consider that I liked two of the products. I really want Birchbox to step up their customization of profiles so they can send us products that we are more likely to use and enjoy. If you insist on sending us scents, let us indicate which types of scents we like. If you’re going to send us makeup, let us tell you if we are cool or warm toned, and if we have any favorite or hated colors. You have a profile area, start using it to your advantage and ours.

How do your Birchboxes measure up against your actual preferences?


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.

Birchbox: October 2015

Between the holidays and the plethora of new boxes that have shown up over the past few weeks, I’ve gotten behind on some of my old favorites, so prepare yourself for some quality time with good old Birchbox, the subscription that really started the whole beauty box craze.

Today I’ve got my review of their October box.

As usual another pretty box that I’ll be hoarding.
Box Open Box

Avene
Avène Thermal Spring Water

(5.29 oz.: $12.00)
Description: This hydrating mist is your best bet for curing dryness and irritation in a snap.”.
Verdict: Like
This isn’t something I’d ever buy for myself but it came right in time for my trip to San Diego so I packed it with my toiletries and used it after walking in the sun on some hot days. It was nice, although not something I’d purchase myself.


Mask
BioRepublic Cucumber Breeze Soothing Mask
(Set: $14.50)
Description: Fiber face mask that calms stressed skin and minimizes the look of pores and fine lines.”
Verdict: Love!
I love trying out sheet masks and this one was really soothing. My skin had been really temperamental and this did a great job of calming it down. If you’re looking for a sheet mask, I’d definitely recommend this one.

Manna
Manna Kadar Lip Locked in Lucky

(Full Size: $32.00)
Description: ”All-in-one primer, stain, and gloss that’s loaded with nourishing vitamins A and E.”
Verdict: Gift
I feel like I have so many lip products close to this shade that I’ll probably pass this along to a friend.

Oribe
Oribe Dry Texturizing Spray

(8.5 oz: $42.00)
Description: ”This cult-favorite multi-tasker soaks up oil and gives hair body and bounce.
Verdict: The Holy Grail Product for Hair
I’ve got a giant bottle of this from another sub box and like all Oribe products it is amazing (and super expensive). These little bottles are great for travel or keeping in your work or gym bag. This was another item that went along with me on my San Diego trip and it was great for keeping my hair looking good during some hot days.

Stila
Stila huge extreme lash mascara

(Full Size: $23.00)
Description: “One coat of this jet-black mascara gives you a major boost in volume, curl and length.”
Verdict: Like
This was the sample I chose and it was mostly because I’d tried all the other mascaras they were offering. I liked this one a lot – I felt that it had staying power and did give my lashes a noticeable boost. I wasn’t crazy about the applicator so that’s why it’s not a “hit”.

OVERALL
Birchbox 10.2015

Verdict: Love!

This box actually arrived at the perfect time and with the exception of the lip product, all the items came along with me on my trip. I enjoyed using them and this box was definitely worth the $10.70 I paid. After reviewing the products, (except the Stila which didn’t have a link), I received $4.00 of Birchbox credit, so really great value overall.

Have you ever tried an Oribe products? If so, what did you think? Are they worth the high price tag?

BIRCHBOX NEWS!
Birchbox is now offering new Limited Edition Boxes!

LE Charmed Life
Limited Edition: The Charmed Life

(Retail: $40.00)
Description: This collection is filled with chic treasures that keep your space organized in style, while adding modern design touches. From gilded accents to luxurious body potions, these treats will make your happy place that much happier. Welcome home! A $120 value!”

Everday Glamour
Limited Edition: Everyday Glamour
(Retail: $48.00)
Description: A Wednesday night out. A work meeting. A weekend brunch. Not everything can be quite as exciting as a black-tie affair, but doesn’t your day-to-day still deserve a touch of glam? This Limited Edition Box is packed with with gorgeous, timeless products that will elevate your everyday beauty routine to new (gorgeous) heights. From a big-and-bold mascara and cult-favorite lip lacquer to strand-nourishing hair oil and an antioxidant-rich mask, this collection will keep you feeling fabulous and looking glamorous—even on a Monday. A $197 value!

 

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.

Birchbox: September 2015

Time again to get through some of my Birchbox backlog with a review of my September box.

Let’s jump in.

Another gorgeous Birchbox that I will be upcying or recycling or whatever hipsters call reusing stuff.
Box
Open Box Open Box 2

Malin + goetz
Malin + Goetz Grapefruit Face Cleanser

(Full Size: $32.00)
Description: This citrusy cleanser dissovles dirt and oil clears up breakouts, and balances skins natural pH.
Malin + Goetz vitamin e face moisturizer
(Full Size: $46.00)
Description: “BONUS – We added in this oil-free formula that nourishes all skin types with hyaluronic acid and vitamin E.
Verdict: Eh
I like Malin + Goetz but I have a lot of cleansers and I’m not a fan of foil packets since most of the time you can’t really tell if the product is working or not.

DaVines
Davines LOVE Smoothing Shampoo
(Full Size: $25.00)
Description: Enriched with olive oil and rice protein, this formula smooths frizzed out and tangle-proned hair.”
Davines LOVE Smoothing Conditioner
(Full Size: $29.00)
Description: “BONUS – We’ve thrown in this conditioner whtat caljms frizz thank sto Minuta Oliveit’s rich with fatty acids, providing moisture and shine.
Verdict: Hit!
I know I usually complain about shampoo and conditioner, but I actually chose the Davines shampoo as my sample. I’ve really liked all the Davines products I’ve tried and they are pricey so I love to try samples of their different lines. I also don’t mind having the larger shampoo versus the bonus foil packet since I can pair this with a lot of my hair masks and deep conditioners.

Perfume
English Laundry Eau de Parfum Signature for Her

(Full Size: $32.00)
Description: ”Quince mingles, white chocolate, jasmine, rose, and orris root make up this classic country-inspired scent.
Verdict: Miss
Perfumes are tough business for me as most give me headaches. This one is a bit too floral  for my taste.

Juice Beauty
Juice Beauty® GREEN APPLE™ Peel Sensitive

(Full Size: $39.00)
Description: ”An amazingly effective (and gentle!) peel with fruit-derived acids to exfoliate dead skin.
Verdict: Like
Juice Beauty is a great brand and I love trying out these small sizes of peels that are designed for sensitive skin. I find they are a great addition to my skincare routine.

Pop BeautyPop Beauty 2
Pop Beauty Swatches
POP Beauty POP Portfolio Eyeshadow Palette in Sugar Plum

(Full Size: $26.00)
Description: “A trifecta of long-wearing blendable eyesahdows in bold, pigmented purples.”
Verdict: Love!
They weren’t lying when they said pigmented. These shadows are absolutely lovely and the shades are spot on for Fall. Honestly, I hadn’t expected much since the palette is such a great value, but I was super impressed with the quality and will happily try more POP Beauty eyeshadows in the future.

OVERALL
Birchbox 9.2015

Verdict: Hit!
Except for the perfume, I will use all the items in this box. The eyeshadow trio really made the box for me and that along with the DAvines shampoo was more than worth the price of admission. I paid $10.70 and after reviewing the products received $5.00 of Birchbox credit, so I’m quite pleased with what I received.

Have you ever tried Pop Beauty eyeshadows before? If so, what did you think? And what are your favorite beauty bargains?

BIRCHBOX NEWS!
Birchbox is now offering new Limited Edition Boxes!

LE Charmed Life
Limited Edition: The Charmed Life

(Retail: $40.00)
Description: This collection is filled with chic treasures that keep your space organized in style, while adding modern design touches. From gilded accents to luxurious body potions, these treats will make your happy place that much happier. Welcome home! A $120 value!”

Everday Glamour
Limited Edition: Everyday Glamour

(Retail: $48.00)
Description: A Wednesday night out. A work meeting. A weekend brunch. Not everything can be quite as exciting as a black-tie affair, but doesn’t your day-to-day still deserve a touch of glam? This Limited Edition Box is packed with with gorgeous, timeless products that will elevate your everyday beauty routine to new (gorgeous) heights. From a big-and-bold mascara and cult-favorite lip lacquer to strand-nourishing hair oil and an antioxidant-rich mask, this collection will keep you feeling fabulous and looking glamorous—even on a Monday. A $197 value!

 

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.

Birchbox: August 2015

As I was going through my box backlog I realized that I am way behind with my Birchbox reviews, so as a homage to the unseasonably warm November we are having, I’m going to review my August Birchbox featuring guest curator, Nicole Richie.

Another really pretty Birchbox that will be transformed into a gift box or some kind of storage.
Box
Open Box Card

Dr. Brandt
dr. brandt® microdermabrasion skin exfoliant

(Full Size: $78.00)
Description: Breakthrough at-home treatment for a glowing complexion—no pricey derm appointment required.
Verdict: Hit!
Dr. brandt is a fabulous brand and this is a pricey item, so I’m happy to have a sample to try out. I exfoliate regularly so this product will get used.


LAQA LAQA Swatch
LAQA & Co. Charm School Kit
(Full Size: $20.00)
Description: This creamy crayon (in Humble Brag) delivers an easy-to-apply deep rose color for both lips and cheeks..”
Verdict: Hit!
This is a great size and a cheerful saturated pink. I’m not sure if it will work with my coloring but I’ll play around with it and try some combos with gloss over it.

OPIOPI Swatch
OPI Venice Collection

(Full Size: $9.50)
Description: ”Top-notch polish from the beloved brand’s fall/winter 2015 collection (we’re in amore!)
Verdict: Sad Panda
So we all know I have a slight (okay, giant) obsession with polish so the lovely OPI red that was shown with this box was a huge motivator as to why I chose it. Instead of pretty red, I get an odd sort of shimmery brown. It’s not a bad color, but it’s really not my speed and doesn’t work so great with my complexion. Cue sad face.

LISSEA
Rene Furterer LISSEA Leave-in Smoothing Fluid

(Full Size: $31.00)
Description: ”Nourishing formula that protects hair during theat sytling, plus tames flaway and frizz..
Verdict: Eh
After this year’s giant box of hair products from Nina Garcia, it’s hard for me to get too excited over a new styling product. And unfortunately I don’t heat style my hair very often and that seems to be the big selling point on this item. I’ll add it to my hair stockpile but I’m not sure if I’ll really use it.

St. Tropez
St. Tropez Gradual In-Shower Tan

(Full Size: $25.00)
Description: ”This convenient, innovative self-tanner delivers buildable color for a natural-looking glow.
Verdict: Gift
There is no such thing as a “natural glow” for a ginger. We are white or bright lobster red. This product is a nice size and it sounds like a really cool way to self tan, so I’m passing it along to a friend.

OVERALL
8.2015 Birchbox

Verdict: Lackluster

I chose this box because of the pretty red polish shown and it came out with a really uninspiring baby poop brown, so I was uber disappointed. There were some nice size products in here, but I won’t use the tanner at all, and will rarely use the leave in fluid. I paid $10.70 and after reviewing the products received $5.00 of Birchbox credit. That turns out to $5.70 for the exfoliator and the LAQA lipstick, so not a bad deal after all.

What did you get your last couple Birchboxes? Any fabulous hits or really awful misses?

BIRCHBOX NEWS!
Birchbox is now offering a luxe new Special Edition Box:

Limited Edition: Everyday Glamour
(Retail: $48.00)
Description: A Wednesday night out. A work meeting. A weekend brunch. Not everything can be quite as exciting as a black-tie affair, but doesn’t your day-to-day still deserve a touch of glam? This Limited Edition Box is packed with with gorgeous, timeless products that will elevate your everyday beauty routine to new (gorgeous) heights. From a big-and-bold mascara and cult-favorite lip lacquer to strand-nourishing hair oil and an antioxidant-rich mask, this collection will keep you feeling fabulous and looking glamorous—even on a Monday. A $197 value!

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.

NYC Beauty & Fashion: The Birchbox Flagship Store

In July, Birchbox had a great promotion for longtime subscribers. If you went down to their store in Soho you could build your own Birchbox for free. I knew I had to take advantage of that fabulous offer so I took my camera down there and snapped some pictures for all you folks who don’t live close enough to visit.

I snapped a lot of pics so you could feel like you came along with me.

First the outside:
Outside
When you step in, the first floor has makeup and lots of specialty displays.
Makeup Makeup 2 Tata Harper The Balm
Kbeauty Skincare
Tata Harper The Balm
Library of FlowersBalm Display
It also has this cool interactive computer that can help you pick products that will work best for you.
Product Matchmaker
In the back we have the infamous Build your own Birchbox.
Sign Build Your Box
Stacks of Birchboxes, including the super pretty ones!
Boxes
They have samples in different categories, and while you can’t get two of the same exact item you can pick two from the same category. The normal cost is $15, but with the special promotion I snagged one for free!
Bins 1 Bins 2
Build your own bins
The downstairs has a salon area, nails, fragrance and body products along with the Men’s area.
Nails Polishes
Perfume 1 Perfume 2
Skincare Bumble & Bumble

MY HAUL
Build a Birchbox
Box 2 Box
They had some awesome full sizes in the build a box section and I grabbed a couple items for me and to add to some gift boxes for friends.

I decided I’d treat myself to one new item during this trip and what do I choose? Polish of course!

Smith & Cult Nailed Lacquer – Lovers Creep (Retail $18.00)
Smith & Cult Open Bottle
Lovers Creep Swatch
Description: “Created by the beauty icon who launched Hard Candy (and sparked our polish obsession in the 90’s), Smith & Cult strikes that perfect balance between gorgeous and edgy (just look at their shade names to see what we mean). Each shade of this covetable polish is vibrant, chip-resistant, and 5-free.”
How amazing is the packaging on Smith & Cult polish? It’s my favorite bottle in this pricepoint. I fell in love with their topcoat and I knew I had to try out one of their polish colors. Dark red is my favorite color and I love the 90s vibe of Lovers Creep. It applies like a dream and the color is amazing. It’s a great Fall red. I want *all* their polishes but I’m poor so I’ll have to settle for the occasional treat.

BB Haul
Overall, I really enjoyed my trip to the Birchbox store, although it is a bit of a hike from the subway stop, it’s a fun place to try out products and get yourself a treat.  I recommend all beauty junkies visiting NYC stop by.

THE BACKSTORY
Birchbox NYC Flagship Store
Location:
SoHo
433 West Broadway
New York, NY 10012
646-589-8500

Hours: Monday – Saturday: 10am – 8pm
Sunday: 11am – 6pm

Birchbox: July 2015

Along with the sample options for July, Birchbox offered their Beachy & Bright curated box. “…this collection is full of products perfect for a weekend at the shore—or for achieving that back-from-the-beach look.”
Box

“Beach look” works for me, so let’s get to the goods.
Open Box

Juara
JUARA Radiance Enzyme Scrub

(Full Size: $38.00)
Description: Gentle exfoliator that minimizes imperfections and leaves skin glowingly smooth..”
Verdict: Okay
I like scrubs but I’ve tried the Juara brand before and found that it’s not particularly impressive. It’s not terrible or anything, but it just doesn’t do much for me. I use exfoliators regularly so I will definitely give this one a try even if I’m not wowed by the brand.

Oribe
Oribe Aprés Beach Wave and Shine Spray
(Full Size: $39.00)
Description: This spritz delivers beachy, texturized waves—plus , it hydrates summer-dry hair and boosts shine.”
Verdict: I think I love you too much
Oribe is an awesome brand and every product of theirs that I’ve tried has been amazing. They have somehow managed to combine beachy waves and shine in one adorable little spray. This has made it onto my Birchbox list and I think I’ll be hoarding some points in order to pick up a full size.

Supergoop
Supergoop!® Anti-Aging City Sunscreen Serum SPF 30

(Full Size: $42.00)
Description: ”This antiaging serum blocks UV rays while hydrating skin and preventing future sun damage.
Verdict: Is anyone besides me super annoyed with the ! Is it really necessary?
What would happen if sub boxes just stopped including Supergoop!? Would the entire industry collapse? I am so damn tired of this brand. SPF 30 is too low for a ginger like me so I’m just going to set this aside and give it to someone else who doesn’t hate Supergoop(!) as much as I do.

The Balm
theBalm® cosmetics Balm Desert® Bronzer/Blush
(Full Size: $21.00)
Description: ”A blush and bronzer in one, this velvety powder gives a long-wearing fresh-from-the-beach glow.
Verdict: Hit!
This shade was easy to apply and worked well with my complexion. I also used it as an eyeshadow and it gave this great bronzey summer vibe.

Stila
Stila Stay all day liquid lipstick

(Trio Set: $20.00)
Description: This creamy, matte formula glides on like a gloss and yet lasts (and lasts and lasts) like a stain…”
Verdict: Miss
I love Stila so I wanted to like this, but the consistency just doesn’t work for me. I swatched it on my hand and found it to be drying so I tried it with a moisturizing primer. Unfortunately the primer takes away from the staying power and I had hot pink lipstick all over my water glass after an hour of wearing it. It did leave behind a stain on my lips, but not the rich saturated color that you would expect. I also think the red shade probably would have been more appropriate for my skin tone. It’s definitely a bright, saturated fun color for summer and if you use it without primer it should have more staying power.

Swatches of the bronzer and the lipstick:
Swatches

OVERALL
Birchbox 7.2015

Verdict: Hit!

I chose this box (despite the Supergoop!) so I knew what I was getting. I love the Oribe and the bronzer and those two products alone make the box worth the $10.70 I paid for it. After reviewing my products, I received $5.00 worth of credit so the cost to me comes out to only $5.70. This box for that price is really amazing.

Have you tried any liquid lipsticks?
What do you think of the texture? Do you find them drying?

BIRCHBOX NEWS!
Birchbox is offering two new specialty curated boxes for sale:

cew_massbox_press_04_900x900
Mass Appeal Beauty Collection – Birchbox for CEW

(Retail: $15.00)
Description: “This exclusive Birchbox collection features drugstore-available honorees from the 2015 awards—you’ll get a luxurious overnight mask, a lip pencil that packs a wallop of creamy color, and more. A $68 value!”

cew_prestigebox_04_900x900
Prestige Headliners Beauty Collection – Birchbox for CEW
(Retail: $18.00)
Description: “This exclusive Birchbox collection features honorees from the 2015 awards—you’ll get an indulgent glow-ifying face mask, a legendary liquid liner, and much more.”

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.

Birchbox: June 2015

My bout with the plague (otherwise known as an upper respiratory infection) has really taken a toll on my blogging and so I find myself with lots of boxes and products to tell you about. I’ve still got a few June boxes left amidst all the new July hoopla so I’m going to start this week with my June Birchbox.

Adventure was the theme of the June box, so let’s dive in and see what “adventurous” products are included.
Box
Open Box 1 Open Box 2

Caudalie
Caudalie Vinoperfect Day Perfecting Fluid SPF 15

(Full Size: $49.00)
Description: This ultra light weight moisturizer preps skin for makeup, minimizes pores, and blocks UV rays.”
Verdict: Miss/Gift
Caudalie is a great brand, but no way is SPF 15 enough for me. I’ll have to pass this along to someone who isn’t a soulless ginger.

Perfume
CLEAN Fresh Laundry

(Full Size 2.14 oz: $69.00)
Description: Citrus, floral and wood notes make this fragrance as crisp as your just-folded linens..”
Verdict: Miss/Gift
Perfume is typically a miss for me as many scents can give me headaches. This one was a bit strong for my taste, but I can definitely see the appeal of it so I’ll  pass it along to someone else who’ll appreciate it.

Microwater
Dr. Jart+ Dermaclear™ Micro Water

(Full Size: $32.00)
Description: ”Made with active hydrogen mineral water, this cleansing water removes makeup and brightens skin.
Verdict: Love!
I chose this sample for my box because cleansing water has been such a huge trend and I wanted to see what the hype was about. I honestly didn’t expect much but this is a really refreshing cleanser that does a great job of removing makeup while still being gentle on the skin. I think this would be a perfect cleanser to throw in your weekender for a summer getaway.

Shampoo & Cond.
Klorane Shampoo with Mango Butter

(Full Size 13.4 oz: $20.00)
Description: Made with rich mango butter, this creamy formula nourishes, smooths and hydrates parched strands.”
Klorane Shampoo with Mango Butter
(Full Size 5.07 oz: $16.00)
Verdict: Like
I know, I know, I usually complain about getting tons of shampoo and conditioner from Birchbox and I’m always talking about my hatred of foil packets, but since Nina Garcia blew my entire haircare budget on fancy hair masks, I need to get some basics wherever I can. In this case the foil packet is just an extra and since it’s for the conditioner, I can just use the excess shampoo with one of my oh so numerous conditioning treatments and masks. I like Klorane and fruity scented things so this one is a win for me.

Eyeliner
Marcelle Waterproof Eyeliner

(Full Size: $11.00)
Description: ”This blendable waterproof eyeliner goes on smoothly and stays put all day.
Verdict: Like/Gift
I love blue liners, but I currently have a plethora of them so I’m going to pass this along to a friend. It’s still a nice item to receive and a great size for a sample box.

BONUS ITEM

Hair Tie
Erickson Grab & Go Pony Tube

(Full Size: $18.00)
Description: ”We’ve added in this ponytail holder from L. Erickson for a chic pop of color.
Verdict: Hit!
This is a bonus item and I’m really happy with it. I have long hair and am constantly looking for hair ties to use around the house. The ubiquitous elastic ribbon style we get in so many sub boxes stretches out in no time at all, so I’m hoping this type will be more durable.

OVERALL
Full Box
Verdict:
Like

Okay you caught me, I’m giving this a “like” just because it had no Supergoop. But really, although a lot of the items weren’t a fit for me, I think they made sense in the overall box and were good picks for summer. I’ll use the shampoo and ponytail holder and I really enjoyed trying out the Dermaclear.   My box cost me $10.70, and I received $6.00 worth of Birchbox credits after my reviews, bringing the total down to $4.70. I think that’s a fair price for the samples I’ll use.

Have you tried any “cleansing water” yet? If so, I’d love to hear your thoughts on it!

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.

Birchbox: May 2015

As I was selecting my Birchbox sample for July, I realized I am way behind in my Birchbox posts! I still need to tell you all about my May box, so let’s dive in before it gets any later…

Box
This month our theme is “cupcake and cashmere” highlighting the blog of the same name and blogger, Emily Schuman’s new book “Cupcakes and Cashmere at Home”.

Domino Coupon Recipe
We start out with a great coupon for Domino magazine and a fun recipe on the back.

 RevealSwatch
Coastal Scents Revealed 3 Eyeshadow Quad

(Full Size: $20.00)
Description: Versatile range of satiny-smooth shadows in wear-with-anything hues.”
Verdict: Love!
I love trying out eyeshadows and this quad is full of fun colors that I think will work well with my complexion.


Salt Spray
Harvey Prince Sea Salt Texturizing Mist
(Full Size: $22.00)
Description: This styling spray delivers beachy texture, big volume , and a summery scent.”
Verdict: Hit!
This was the sample I chose and I grabbed it because I use sea salt sprays almost daily so I always like to try out new brands. This is a really, really (did I say really?) small size but it’s perfect to keep in my work bag for touch-ups.

Shisheido
Shiseido Ultimune Power Infusing Concentrate
(Full Size 90mL: $95.00)
Description: Enhances skin’s defensive power against signs of aging for a radiant complexion.”
Verdict: Houston, we have a problem.
This is a super pricey product so I was excited to get a sample to try out, but I could not get the cap off. I tried and tried and nada. Finally, I summoned all my hulk strength and managed to pull the red outercap off the top and leave the actual cap still on there. I’m going to see if I can pry that off. I really hope the $95 version has better packaging.

Soap
Sumbody Body Soap

(Full Size Set of 3: $17.85)
Description: ”Natural cleanser infused with botanical oils that leave skin sily—you guessed it—smooth.
Verdict: Why does my soap look like it needs soap?
So I’m not generally a fan of soaps so small they look like hotel soap, but putting that aside this soap is still…well..offputting. I have used many natural soaps and none of them had quite this particular aesthetic. Maybe I’m a girly girl but I like my soaps to look clean.

Tokyo Milk Tokyo Milk 2
TokyoMilk by Margot Elena Bon Bon Shea Butter Rich Lotion
(Full Size: $20.00)
Description: ”A lush yet lightweight hydrator that leaves skin soft, moisturized and subtly scented.
Verdict: Love!
I love TokyoMilk and I have one of their awesome jars of body butter sitting on my dresser. Not only are their creams amazing, but the packaging is great too. This is a generous size and totally made this box for me.

OVERALL
BB 5.2015 Box
Verdict:
Hit!

No Shampoo! No Supergoop! And I had makeup! It’s like a Birchbox dream! I really loved the palette, the Harvey Prince sea salt mist, and the TokyoMilk lotion. My only issue with the Shiseido is the packaging so hopefully I can pry it open and try the uber expensive magic potion inside. The only real miss is the body soap, but I can always pawn that off, give that to a friend.   My box cost me $10.70, and I received $5.00 worth of Birchbox credits after my reviews, bringing the total down to $5.70. This was a great box and with the exception of the soap, a perfect fit for my taste.

What did you get in your May Birchbox? Was it a miss or a hit?

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.

Birchbox: April 2015

For April, Birchbox featured one of my favorite companies: the Rifle Paper Co. They have gorgeous stationary and the moment I saw they were offering an exclusive tote as a Birchbox plus item, I knew I had to grab it. (Every month Birchbox offers a few additional items you can add to your box. The items vary each month and are offered at a special discount.)

My fancy square box…
Box

which held my plus item and my regular Birchbox.
Little Box

BIRCHBOX PLUS
Tote
Rifle Paper Co. x Birchbox Floral Printed Tote

(Retail: $35.00)
Description: “Lovely” doesn’t begin to describe this floral canvas tote. Created in partnership with Rifle Paper Co., this roomy bag can fit all of your essentials for a quick trip to the market or a weekend jaunt to the beach. The pattern was illustrated by designer Anna Bond exclusively for Birchbox.”
Verdict: Love!
I paid $29.96 for this (with tax) and I absolutely love it. It’s generously sized and the canvas is durable. It’s perfect for spring and I’m using it for those days when I’m heading to work with way too much stuff to fit into my regular purse. It’s lovely and cheerful and I’m happy to have it in my wardrobe.

BIRCHBOX
Rifle Box

How gorgeous is this box? Seriously. I am going to find some super awesome use for this so I can display it. The Rifle Paper Co needs to make more home décor items because I would probably spend enough there to put their kids through college.
Open Box Open Box 2

Body Butter
Harvey Prince Hello Body Butter

(Full Size: $20.00)
Description: Made with shea butter, this nourishing cream is infused with the best-selling scent..”
Verdict: Like
Harvey Prince is a brand that shows up a ton in Birchboxes but most of the products I’ve received from this brand I’ve enjoyed. I’m going to set this aside for that awesome travel kit I’m building.


Oil
Ojon rare blend™ oil Moisture Therapy
(Full Size: $35.00)
Description: Fried hair, meet your match: This luxe oil blend deeply hydrates for sleek, shiny locks
Verdict: Over it.
I like hair oils as much as the next girl, but I have a ridiculous amount of them from sub boxes. It seems like we either get hair oil or dry shampoo in every box. I’m also not crazy about the packaging on this. It seems more likely to make a mess than to be useful.

Eye Cream
Supergoop!® Advanced SPF 37 Anti-Aging Eye Cream

(Full Size: $45.00)
Description: This treatment reduces dark circles, depuffs, blocks UV rays and minimizes fine lines..”
Verdict: Wow..it’s been a whole month since I got a Supergoop! Product
What would my Birchbox be without something from Supergoop? Last month, I got a Supergoop! CC cream and my opinion on the brand hasn’t changed. It’s not for me Birchbox..can you hear me? Please send me a damn box without something from Supergoop! I actually love getting eye creams because I use them religiously and they tend to be pricey so getting to try them out is super helpful, but I’m not going to purchase from this brand so it’s a waste.

 

lip & Cheek
jane iredale Just Kissed Lip and Cheek Stain

(Full Size: $25.00)
Description: ”This multitasking, long-lasting color adjust to your skin for a natural, customized shade..
Verdict: Disappointing.
This was the sample I chose for my box. I’ve tried Jane Iredale products before and I was super excited about this. Unfortunately the “color adjusting” is non-existent. It didn’t work on my lips or my cheeks. It just comes out sheer. (Which is why I have no swatch for you.) I was really hoping it would work since the formula feels lovely and the packaging is adorable.

Bodywash
Not Soap, Radio Body Wash – Bathing With Sharks

(Full Size: $16.00)
Description: ”This richly foaming cleanser has an energizing, beachy scent.
Verdict: Hit!
I love getting bodywashes in boxes because they are an item I regularly use. Ocean scented bath products are my favorite (along with citrus scents) so I was psyched to get this sample. The scent is not overpowering and is appealing for men or women.  I would definitely consider grabbing a full size of this.

OVERALL
April 2015 - Birchbox
Verdict:
A mixed bag

I loved my plus item and the bodywash, and I’ll use the body butter, but the lip stain was a huge disappointment and this is my billionth (approximately) Supergoop! Product. I really wish Birchbox would vary some of the brands we get in boxes.  At the very least don’t include the same brand in back to back boxes. I paid $10.70 for this box (excluding the plus item that was paid for separately) and received $5.00 worth of credit in the Birchbox store so my total came out to $5.70. The only item I was really thrilled with was the bodywash, and even my selected item was sort of a bust. I’m hoping next month will be an improvement.

How was your last Birchbox? Did your sample choice wow or disappoint?

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.