Birchbox: March 2015

For March, I opted to try out one of the special Birchbox plus items. 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. I’ve never splurged on a Birchbox plus item before so I wasn’t sure what to expect with the packaging.

A much larger box…
Plus Box
which held my plus item and my regular Birchbox.
Open Box 1

BIRCHBOX PLUS
Earbuds Earbuds Close up
Triple C Designs smartBUDZ 2

(Retail: $24.99)
Description: Tangled earbuds are the daily bane of our existence. No matter how carefully we wrap them up, they’re always a hot tangled mess when we retrieve them from our bags. The solution: This next generation earbud-tamer. Like its predecessor, it has a retractable mechanism that stores wires neatly and compactly—and it comes in jazzy patterns like Peacock and Marrakech.”
Verdict: Love!
These were available for 19.99 (I paid $21.10 with tax) and in different prints during the selection process. I have a hardcore commute and my earbuds take a beating. They are constantly being taken off and on, being wrapped and unwrapped and the cables usually end up frayed where they connect to the earbud. The moment I saw the design on these I knew they were a must have. I’m giving my commuter bag a Spring overhaul and these little guys are going to help with keeping my bag neat and tidy and hopefully keeping me from having to replace my earphones as frequently.

None of the March samples piqued my interest so I went into this box as a full surprise.
You know what that translates to: a guarantee of shampoo and/or conditioner.
Let’s see if I’m wrong.
Small Box
Colorful Box Open Box 2
Open Box 3

Amika
amika Bombshell Blowout Spray

(Full Size: $24.00)
Description: Lightweight styler that volumizes, smooths and protects for a sleek yet bouncy ‘do.”
Verdict: Not for me
I rarely blowdry my hair. I have thicker wavy hair and typically air dry and finish with a sea salt spray or leave in conditioner. Now that we are moving toward warmer weather I’m even less likely to blow out my hair. I did indicate that I “air dry” on my profile, so if Birchbox paid attention to our preferences this shouldn’t have been in my box. Amika is a nice brand, but I’m probably not going to get much use out of this.

BlushBlush Swatch
Cargo Swimmables™ Water Resistant Blush in Los Cabos

(Full Size: $26.00)
Description: This water-resistant pigment stays put and gives skin an effortless glow.”
Verdict: I’m not sure you could have found a worse blush for me..
It’s like Cargo took everything I hate in a blush and put it into this one. This is orange on me. Very orange. Like the color of Michael Kors’ fake tan or oompa loompas. I’m not sure the picture adequately captures it. It also has quite a lot of glitter which is not what I look for in a blush. Lastly, there is no way on earth this thing would stay on my skin in the water. It didn’t even last 5 minutes after I swatched it. I know some folks adore this blush, but it just didn’t work for my coloring or skin. Super disappointed. On the bright side this was a good size sample and a warmer toned person who likes glittery blushes would probably enjoy it.

Shampoo
Number 4™ Clarifying Shampoo

(Retail 8.5 oz: $32.00)
Description: Vitamin-rich botanicals gently purify hair while restoring lost moisture and shine.”
Verdict: Boom goes the dynamite!
See I told you there’d be shampoo. You have to be some super special extra insider to avoid shampoo and conditioner in your Birchboxes. That being said, this is probably the item in the box I’ll get the most use out of. I normally don’t like shampoos without conditioners but a clarifying shampoo will pair really well with my deep conditioning masks and treatments. So for once I’m happy with the shampoo.

Supergoop
Supergoop!® Daily Correct CC Cream ​SPF 35+ in Fair/Light SPF 40

(Full Size: $32.00)
Description: ”Next-generation SPF 40 CC cream that triple protects against UVA, UVB, and infrared-A rays.
Verdict: Please stop sending me Supergoop stuff. Please. No quiero.
Birchbox really, really, REALLY loves Supergoop. I feel like Supergoop products are forever showing up in my boxes (including the limited edition ones). I just don’t care for the brand that much.  (I also hate the name Supergoop.  It makes me think of slime or Gwyneth Paltrow’s blog).  Their product feels a bit greasy to me and I don’t think it blends well with my skin. I’d really love to see less repeat of brands. I like trying out new brands I may not have heard of, not ones that are constantly in beauty boxes.

Whish 2
Whish Shave Savour Hair Inhibiting Gel

(Full Size: $26.00)
Description: ”All natural formula that slows hair growth while deeply hydrating skin.
Verdict: On the Fence
I’ve gotten Whish shave gel before and it was okay. I still preferred my cheapie Eos brand to it, but it was useful. I’m not sure how my skin will like a “hair inhibiting gel”. It just sounds like it would be harsh on my skin and I don’t see it as the type of product I would be interested in regularly buying.

RANDOM EXTRA??
This wasn’t listed on my card so I’m assuming it’s a random extra which is fine by me since it’s just a foil packet.

Masque
Number 4™ Reconstructing Masque

(Full Size: $58.00)
Description: Soy protein works to reconstruct and strengthen hair while natural conditioners like shea butter, jojoba seed oil, and sunflower oil nourish and moisturize. Don’t forget about the silkiness factor — for that, there’s silicone polymer, which smoothes and detangles.
Verdict: Like
Since this is just a freebie, I’m not going to get annoyed that it’s a foil packet. I’m happy to try this out since there is no way I’d spring $58 on a full size without a guarantee this will make my hair amazing.  And when I say amazing I mean full out Little Mermaid singing on a rock with flowing tresses or Julia Roberts in Pretty Woman awesome.  (So now I guess you know redhead hair idols).

OVERALL
March 2015 Birchbox

Verdict: Miss

Aside from my plus item, (which I selected) this box felt like it was made for someone else. We fill out profiles on Birchbox and I wish they’d use them more closely. A pale cool/pink toned redhead who air dries her hair does not need an orange blush and blow out spray. We also rate items and I don’t think I’ve rated any of my supergoop items too highly, so you’d think that might discourage them from continuing to send them to me. I’ll use the shampoo and mask, but those alone can’t really make this box a win. I paid 10.40 for the box and I received $6.00 worth of BB points after reviewing each one. $4.40 isn’t a ton to spend, so it’s not a huge loss, but I’m just a bit underwhelmed by the curations I’m receiving lately.

How was your last Birchbox? Did the items fit your profile?

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.

Jennifer Love Hewitt Fancy Box: April 2014

So when I said I’d caught up on all my April box reviews, I lied. My Jennifer Love Hewitt Fancy Box always comes so late in the month I forget which month it actually goes with.  Sorry–but I swear this is the last of my April boxes!

Now my original Fancy fox for April was a big old mess so I was hoping the Jennifer Love Hewitt would make up for it. Let’s check it out and see if it does.

Box
The JLove box came a little bumped and bruised, but it’s fine since 90% of the box is empty anyway.

Open Box Open Box #2

This time they sent a little booklet instead of the cards. I’m not sure why I’m partial to the cards, but regardless it’s nice to have some info on each item.
Booklet

Hair Pins
First Date Bobby Pins (Fancy Retail: $9.00)
Verdict: Hit!
After having my hair in a short bob for a couple years, I decided 2014 would be my year to grow my hair out and figure out how to style it, so I’m always happy to get hair accessories. I like the ballerina-inspired palette on these and they definitely feel like an item Jennifer Love Hewitt would use.

Dry Shampoo
Haze Styling Powder by EVO Hair (Fancy Retail: $28.00; Amazon Retail: $17.24)
Verdict: Hit!
Now if you read my other Fancy reviews, you’ll know that my April original Fancybox with a “one-of-a-kind, rustic” theme also had dry shampoo. While I hated it in that box, I like it in this one. I expect beauty products in women’s fashion/lifestyle boxes and this one is perfectly sized for travel or tucking in your everyday bag, plus it’s a brand I haven’t tried before. I’ve added this to my commuting bag since it will be perfect for summer touchups after I’ve been sweating to death waiting for my morning train.

Solemates
High Heel Protector by Solemates (Fancy Retail: $10.00)
Verdict: Gift
These seem like exactly the sort of fun, quirky, fashion-y item I’d expect to see from Jennifer Love Hewitt. Unfortunately my craptastically weak ankles mean that I cannot wear tall skinny heels, but this is the perfect for a friend of mine and I’ll be adding to her birthday gift.

Necklace Necklace closeup
Cast Crystal Necklace by Amano Studio (Fancy Retail: $34.00)
Verdict: Hit!
So April must be Fancy’s month for Amano Studio designs. My April Fancy box included those lightning bolt stud earrings and now I have this gold necklace. The description says, “Amano Studio took their favorite crystal point and cast it in metal and finished it with 24k gold.” While I found the stud earrings in the other box to be okay and generally inoffensive, I really like this necklace a lot. It is far more interesting and it lends itself to being mixed with other pieces. I think it will look awesome mixed with some real crystals  and I can’t wait to try it out with some of my other pendants.

Lipgloss
Tuscany Lip Gloss by Cargo Cosmetics (Fancy Retail: $16.00)
Verdict: Love!
So apparently Jennifer Love Hewitt really loves Cargo Cosmetics since we got their eye palette last month and a lip gloss from them in April. I love lip glosses, especially golden pink shades so this is great. It also pairs nicely with that aforementioned Cargo palette from the March JLove Box.

Full Box
OVERALL
Hit!

I paid full price for this box at $46.95 and the estimated Fancy value was $97.00 (while the regular retail value came out to $86.24.) I really thought the item selections fit Jennifer Love Hewitt’s aestheic and were perfect choices for the season. This box was well put together and I feel like I definitely received what I signed up for, which isn’t always the case with Fancy boxes.

After two months in a row of great boxes, I think my JLove box is no longer number one on my upredictability list. It has now been usurped by my original Fancy box subscription which seems to be fraught with riddles and drama. The funny part is this box contained two items very similar to those in the original fancy box – but this box had more interesting versions that were better suited to the box’s theme.

I’ll be updating you on my original fancy box adventures with the may review for that box so be sure to come back. (Just be warned that post will probably be filled with expletives.)

What did you think of this box? How do you think it compared to the original April Fancy Box? Did you like it more or less?

THE BACKSTORY

Fancy Box is a monthly subscription service that curates items that are popular on the Fancy website. There are a few different subscription options. They all cost $39 plus shipping (an additional $7.95).

#1 –Fancy box (Original)
This box features a collection of some of the most fancy’d items, curated by the fancy community. Each box includes $80.00+ of products in the categories of your choice.
The categories you can choose from include: Men’s, Women’s, Kid’s, Home, Gadgets & Media. It also lets you customize your Tshirt size and your cell phone type.

#2 Fancy Food Box
Each Fancy Food Box includes five or more food products – anything from cookies and chocolates to teas and sauces – along with a selection of tasty recipes and pairing suggestions.

#3 Celebrity Curated Fancy Box
There are five celebrity curated boxes to choose from. Each box includes $80.00+ of products. Most boxes are geared toward men or women though they do include unisex items.

They include:

 

COUPON CODE: FOLLOWUP10 to Save 10%

Jennifer Love Hewitt Fancy Box: March 2014

So once again it’s time for my most unpredictable box: the Jennifer Love Hewitt Fancy Box. I never have a clue what might show up and that certainly keeps things exciting.
Once again that familiar Fancy square.

 Box

Open 1 Open 2

Pallete
Color Eye Palette by Cargo Cosmetics (Fancy Retail: $30.00)
Verdict: Hit!
I am always looking for eye shadows that will work with my complexion and this palette has some nice neutral shades. I’ve never tried this brand before so it will be fun to experiment with them. My one issue with it was that the packaging was super dingy. The outside plastic cover was really dirty and the inside palette looked like it’d been in the bottom of a messy makeup drawer for a while. The palette is unused but I wouldn’t feel comfortable giving it as a gift or trading it, but since I’m using it I’ll just give it a wipe down before I add it to my beauty case.

SunglassesTitanic Sunglasses by AJ Morgan (Fancy Retail: $25.00)
Verdict: Love!
Fancy has sent me a lot of sunglasses, but these are my favorite so far. I love the shape and the color is whimsical. I’ll definitely be using these this season.

Bracelet
Heart On My Sleeve Bracelet (Fancy Retail: $29.00)
Verdict: Like!
This bracelet is 14K gold fill and delicate. It’s not something I would have chosen for myself because it reads a little ordinary for my taste, but it is a great layering piece for  the bracelets I’ve been receiving in all my boxes so I’m sure I’ll get a lot of use out of it.  According to the Fancy site it’s engraveable so if you order this you can fancy it up with the initial of your choice.

Bag
Waldo Pancake Washbag (Fancy Retail: $18.00)
Verdict: Hit!
Ah, I only wish my bathroom was big enough to dance in. Along with tote bags I tend to hoard makeup bags and I love this one. It’s just a great size and shape for fitting all kinds of odds and ends. Right now it’s become a fashionable little file folder for all the cards and info that come with these products I review. Next week maybe it will hold some hair products from my VIB Sephora haul.

CardsFull BoxOverall
Hit!

I paid full price for this box ($46.95 with shipping) and the estimated retail value is $102.00. I really liked all the times and I know I will use them.
A lot of the Jennifer Love Hewitt bags have felt like they didn’t suit her style, but this one totally feels like items that JLove would wear or use herself. I’m very happy with this box and I hope the next one is just as great.

What did you think of this box? Did it feel like Jennifer Love Hewitt’s style to you?

THE BACKSTORY
Fancy Box is a monthly subscription service that curates items that are popular on the Fancy website. There are a few different subscription options. They all cost $39 plus shipping (an additional $7.95).
#1 –Fancy box (Original)
This box features a collection of some of the most fancy’d items, curated by the fancy community. Each box includes $80.00+ of products in the categories of your choice.
The categories you can choose from include: Men’s, Women’s, Kid’s, Home, Gadgets & Media. It also lets you customize your Tshirt size and your cell phone type.
#2 Fancy Food Box
Each Fancy Food Box includes five or more food products – anything from cookies and chocolates to teas and sauces – along with a selection of tasty recipes and pairing suggestions.

#3 Celebrity Curated Fancy Box
There are five celebrity curated boxes to choose from. Each box includes $80.00+ of products. Most boxes are geared toward men or women though they do include unisex items.

They include:

COUPON CODE: FOLLOUP10 to Save 10%

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