Birchbox: July 2014

So it’s almost time for the August Birchboxes to ship, so that means it’s time to get my July Birchbox review posted. This month’s theme was “Power up” and featured a free Women’s Health magazine subscription (or rebate) and some “Power up Challenges” that are supposed to inspire us to “maximize your workouts, sleep, and everything in between.”

Box

So the usual cute Birchbox has been spruced up with a cute theme.
Box#2

Now for what’s inside.
Box3 Box4

The offer card and little booklet of challenges. I appreciate that if you don’t want the magazine, Birchbox will send you a rebate instead. I opted for the latter since I already get some great magazines that I never get around to reading.
Offer

Let’s move onto the products…

Juice
Juice Beauty® Stem Cellular™ Repair Moisturizer
(1 oz. Retail: $65.00)
Description: This organic hydrator uses fruit stem cells to firm as it smooths fine lines and wrinkles…”
Verdict: Like
I thought this moisturizer went on nicely, but I found it to be slightly heavy for this time of year. I think it will work better for fall as we’re heading into cooler weather. But I did find that it hydrated my skin and the scent was pleasant.

Shave Cream
Whish Shave Crave Shaving Cream in Acai Grapefrui
(150 mL Retail: $20.00)
Description: A shea butter packed shaving cream in a pick-me up grapefruit scent..”
Verdict: Like
Lately I seem to be getting a lot of shaving cream in my sub boxes. I actually love the size of this since it will fit in my shower without taking up too much space. I’m still working my way through a giant container of Eos, so I haven’t given this a shot yet but I’m doubtful it will wow me enough to go from my under $4 purchase to $20. But hey, it could end up being the bestest shave cream ever and then I’ll have to fork over the dough.

Marcelle
Marcelle New Age 8 in 1 Power Serum
(1 oz Retail: $34.00)
Description: “This peptide-packed antiaging gel hydrates, irms, lifts a, and plumps fine lines.”
Verdict: On the Fence
I don’t know, do I really want my fine lines “plumped”? I’d rather just have them go away, thank you very much. I generally like getting serums since you can change them up in your beauty routine and it’s nice to have a variety for different purposes (like when you need extra moisture or brightening or targeted anti-aging). I didn’t really notice much of a change when I used this one, but I may just have to use it a bit longer.

PolishPolish Swatch
RUFFIAN Nail Lacquer – Rosary

(Retail: $11.00)
Description: “”Streak-free metallic polish in a trendy, summer-perfect shade.”
Verdict: Like
I got to try Ruffian for the first time with my Birchbox LE Mermaid box and I liked the formula. I actually got to choose this shade, since Birchbox sent me an email with a couple options. I really like the rose-gold color and I think it’s actually a nice transitional shade for fall. I enjoy getting these polishes in my box, but I probably won’t purchase them on my own at the $11 pricetag. I feel like Zoya has a better formula and so many more interesting color options and their polish retails at only $10.

Polish Wipe
RUFFIAN Dressing Room Nail Lacquer Remover Towelettes
(Set of 10 – Retail: $12.00)
Description: These black wipes will brighten up your next polish change. Free of acetone, they have a subtle lily scent that’s fresh and elegantly floral. Bonus: They’re infused with vitamin E to strengthen nails.”
Verdict: Hit!
I keep a ton of different types of polish remover and I love wipes. I try to keep a few in my work bag so when I end up chipping my nails horrifically I can run to the bathroom and remove my polish, so I don’t spend the day with a hot mess on my nails. I love that these don’t have acetone and they contain vitamin E. I haven’t had a chance to try them, but if they work well I could easily see myself picking up a set.

Coastal Coastal Swatch
Coastal Scents® Revealed 2 Palette Set
(Retail: $34.00)
Description: “From the just-launched palette, these matte and shimmery shades will have you tickled pink.”
Verdict: Love!
I’ve seen a lot of bloggers review different Coastal Scents palettes (particularly as dupes for the ubiquitous and pricey Urban Decay “Naked” palettes) so I was psyched to try this out. This little quad was ballerina inspired and I actually loved the shades. They applied easily although the lightest shade blended right into my skin. I found the shades not to be super pigmented, but nicely blendable. I have a ton of palettes I am working my way through so I won’t be buying the full size of this, but if I had space I would definitely consider it.

 

Full Box
OVERALL
Verdict:
Hit!

Everything in this box was an item I could use and most were new brands for me. I’m quite happy with the selections and can’t wait to see what August includes.

With tax I paid $10.70 and after reviewing each item, my points earned me the equivalent of $6.00 which I think is a steal for the items I received.  And that’s not counting the $10.00 rebate from the magazine offer, which means I made some money this month.

What did you get in your July Birchbox? Did you opt for the magazine sub or the rebate?

THE BACKSTORY

Birchbox subscriptions cost $10 per month or $110 per year.

Your options: Women’s Box or Men’s Box

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. If your review all the items you receive in your box each month, you’ll receive 50 Birchbox rewards points!
If you purchase a full size of one of the sample items they sent you in that same month, you receive free shipping on them and often extra points.

Birchbox Limited Edition Modern Mermaid Box: Summer 2014

Here’s another little secret about me. If you slap the name mermaid on a product, I’ll probably buy it. So when Birchbox introduced their Limited Edition “Modern Mermaid Box” I jumped right on it and ordered it at the beginning of June. I was going on a work trip to Baltimore and was excited to get the travel sized items. After a few weeks I realized I hadn’t received my box yet (although I got another item from the same order). I contacted Birchbox and it turns out there was a mixup and my box should have been sent but wasn’t. They apologized, gave me 100 points on my account and rushed the box to me. Unfortunately they couldn’t guarantee it would come in time for my trip. Luckily it arrived right before I had to leave, so it all worked out.  Birchbox’s customer service was very nice and quite helpful so if you run into any problems with an order, be sure to give them a call.

Now enough about the shipping saga, let’s get into the box.

Box 1 Box #3 Box #2
First the packaging is even cuter than the regular Birchboxes. I am totally recycling these for my OCD organization projects.

Mascara
Anastasia Beverly Hills Lash Genius Waterproof Topcoat
(Full Size Retail: $21.00)
Description: This waterproof topcoat makes any mascara water resistant…The clear lightweight gel eradicates flakes, drying, and clumping, while the high-tech formula adds a glossy finish to lashes.”
Verdict: Love!
This waterproof topcoat does exactly what it says it will. I have the worst time with mascara and eyeliner smudging on me—even waterproof brands. This one turned my regular old mascaras into fabulous waterproof products. I will be buying this in a full-size when it runs out. If you have a tough time finding waterproof mascaras that work for you, I can’t recommend this enough.

Cologne
Atelier Cologne Cédrat Enivrant Cologne Absolue
(30 mL Retail: $65.00)
Description: his fragrance celebrates citrus in all its forms, from the sour sweetness of lime to the sharp, rindy smell of Calabrian bergamot. If your favorite things in life come with a dash of citrus—like the twist of lime in a gin and tonic—this scent will strike a chord..”
Verdict: Like
I am in love with the Orange Sanguine cologne from this brand, but it’s a little out of my budget. (Although I’m probably going to break down and buy the travel size spray from Sephora). This scent isn’t sweet despite the citrus. It’s kind of got a bracing lime scent with a touch of something almost musky. It reminds me a lot of a cocktail and I think the gin and tonic comparison they use as a descriptor is apropos. I like this scent but don’t love it. It definitely feels summery and is very different than most perfumes and doesn’t give me a headache, so I’m happy to have it in my collection. I do wish that Birchbox would sell the Atelier colognes in individual travel spray sizes, since the full size bottles are a bit on the pricey side.

 Salt Spray
Captain Blankenship Mermaid Mane Sea Salt Spray

(Full Size Retail 4 oz: $24.00)
Description: “This all-natural mist gives you sexy beach hair—minus the sand in your swimsuit. Use it year-round for the perfect combination of body, natural movement, and a touch of grit, plus a lovely beachy rose scent.”
Verdict: Love!
If this is my year of hair product exploration, this is my summer of sea salt sprays. I loved this spray and thought it did a great job of making my wavy hair more defined.  The scent was light, airy and not intrusive. When I work my way through my sea salt spray collection, I think this is the brand I’ll be repurchasing.

Coola Lip
COOLA Liplux SPF 30 Original Formula
(Retail: $12.00)
Description: “…SPF 30 balm…comes in a travel-friendly tube and provides broad spectrum protection against both UVA and UVB rays. Made with 70 percent organic ingredients, the food-grade (read: practically edible) formula is enriched with vitamins and antioxidants to moisturize lips and combat fine lines.”
Verdict: Like
While I have lip balms and products with SPF none are this high. I’m happy to have this for days when I’ll be out in the sun for a while.

Liner Swatch
Vasanti Kajal Extreme Eye Pencil in Electric Navy
(Retail: $22.00)
Description: This kohl pencil glides on easily, adding instant drama to your look, while the waterproof formula stays put for up to eight hours. Plus, each pencil has a handy built-in smudger and sharpener, so you can create well-defined or sultry looks.”
Verdict: Hit!
I’m in love with blue liners this season and am building up quite a collection. I was so enamored with this color I featured it in my July Blog Hop Post. It goes on smoothly and lasts for quite some time before smudging.  The shade is just a bit different than the usual navy.

Mirror
Stephanie Johnson Mermaid Round Snap Mirror
(Retail: $22.00)
Description: With this mermaid-inspired iridescent compact, we landlubbers can capture a bit of that shimmering allure. This colorful compact has a slim silhouette, and its mirror is large enough to show your entire face. The case snaps shut to keep the mirror scuff-free.”
Verdict: Hit!
Did I need another compact mirror? No. But is this super adorable? Yes. It definitely screams out summer and mermaid and I just love it. I’ll definitely be tucking it in my bag this summer.

Trio Box Trio Trio Swatches
RUFFIAN The Endless Summer Collection
(Retail: $26.50)
Description: With hues like glistening sand, glimmering water, and a shimmering sunset, all the best parts of summer (and, thankfully, none of the hair-wilting humidity) make an appearance in Ruffian’s new polish collection, available exclusively through Birchbox. The collection includes three beach-inspired shades: Blue Lagoon, a metallic blue; Endless Love, a metallic pink; and Sahara, a metallic nude.”
Verdict: Like!
We know that I need more polish like a fish needs a bicycle, but I actually haven’t tried the Ruffian brand before so it was nice to get this sampler. My favorite of the three, turned out to be Sahara. I think it will be a great base for fun topcoats like Julep’s Max or Tania. The formula went on smoothly and was pretty opaque with one coat, although I’d probably use two when doing my manicure.

 Full Box
OVERALL
Verdict:
Love!

Everything in this box was something I loved or liked. The travel sizes were quite generous and will last me for some time. I paid $44.00 and feel like I got a great value. This box is still available and I highly recommend picking it up. I love the balance of practical products (like the lip balm and mascara topcoat) with the more whimsical fun items (like the compact and the eyeliner). If you’ve got Birchbox points saved up, this is a great pick.

What did you think of this Limited Edition box? Are you also a sucker for Mermaid/Ocean inspired beauty products?

THE BACKSTORY

Birchbox subscriptions cost $10 per month or $110 per year.

Your options: Women’s Box or Men’s Box

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. If your review all the items you receive in your box each month, you’ll receive 50 Birchbox rewards points!
If you purchase a full size of one of the sample items they sent you in that same month, you receive free shipping on them and often extra points.