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: 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.