Birchbox: June 2014

Since I haven’t gotten my July Birchbox yet, I’m not behind with this post of my June one. June’s theme was “away we go” and the idea was to include “travel-ready samples.”

Let’s bust into Birchbox’s super cute packaging and see what we got.

Box Box 2

Open BoxOpen Box 2

Egyptian
Egyptian Magic Skincream

(4 oz. Retail: $38.00)
Description: Celebs and health professionals alike swar by this all-natural, al-purpose salve. Use to moisturize, fight wrinkles and treat burns and bruises…”
Verdict: Gift
I actually already own a jar of this. I find it to be more of health product than a beauty one. I use it for heat rashes and to help with chaffing as well as a treatment for burns. It’s like a thicker type of Vaseline, but it doesn’t have much of a scent and just doesn’t have that luxury spa feel I go for in my beauty items. Since I have a big size of this, I’m going to add this little one to a travel kit I’m making for a friend.

Gloss
Cynthia Rowley Creamy Lip Stain in Sugar
(Retail: $20.00)
Description: A long-wearing stain from the NYC-based designer that gives unbeatable moisture and shine.”
Verdict: On the Fence
Well this is certainly sized for travel. I don’t care how tiny your bag is, you’ll be able to fit this little guy in there. This lip stain is a nice neutral shade of pink, but I’m not quite sold on the feel of it. For me it doesn’t feel moisturizing and the texture on my lips is a bit odd. I’ll have to try it out for a while and see.

Wash
Antica Farmacista Bergamot & Ocean Aria Body Wash
(Full Size: $25.00)
Description: “Made with sweet almond oil, this nourishing cleanser has a captivating seaside scent..”
Verdict: Love!
I love all scents and products that remind me of the ocean and this one is lovely. The size is large enough for me to get a few uses it of it as well.

Liz Earle
Liz Earle Cleanse & Polish Hot Cloth Cleanser Starter Kit
(Retail: $24.50)
Description: “British award-winner that uses a two-step ritual to gently purify all skin types.”
Verdict: Love!
I’ve heard a lot about the Liz Earle cleansing system but haven’t had a chance to try it so I’m super excited to use this. I’m setting it aside for a “spa day” where I can use this cleanser and then give myself a facial and a mani/pedi.

Curls
Miss Jessie’s Original MultiCultural Curls
(Retail: $16.00)
Description: “First formulated for multiethnic hair, this styler smoothes and shapes curls of all types.
Verdict: On the Fence
I’m of Italian descent, but I look Scottish, does that mean my wavy hair is multi-cultural? As you know I’m always happy to try hair products since I need all the help I can get but I’m not sure this will work for me. I’ll give it a try and see what happens.  I also hate these packages since it’s so hard to use just a bit of it and save the rest.

 Full Box
OVERALL
Verdict:
Hit!

Except for the Egyptian Magic, all these items were things I hadn’t tried before and I’ll have fun testing them all out.

With tax I paid $10.70 and after reviewing each item, my points got me the equivalent of $5.00. The Liz Earle Kit alone was worth the $5.70 I ended up paying.

What did you get in your June Birchbox?

THE BACKSTORY

Birchboxsubscriptions 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: April 2014

April’s Birchbox theme circles around “Rainy Days” and using them as an excuse to hole up inside trying out beauty samples. (Who are they kidding, I spent a sunny weekend swatching my nail polish collection so this girl does not need any excuse to spend quality time with beauty products.) Let’s jump in and see what Birchbox has sent me.
Box #1Box #2
Open Box #1 Open Box #2

Eyeliner Swatch
Cynthia Rowley Beauty Eyeliner in Silver

(Full Size Retail: $16.00)
Description: These creamy pencils glide on velvety-smooth, and the smudge-proof formula lasts all day.”
Verdict: Like
Birchbox actually sent me an email giving me a choice of black or silver. I opted for the silver because I rarely wear black liner since it tends to make my super pale skin look even paler. When I swatched it, this liner went on smooth and didn’t smudge at all. I prefer gel and liquid liners, but the consistency of this pencil was quite nice. I’m not sure how often I’ll use it, but it’s something fun to experiment with. I really would have loved this in a charcoal gray or dark green.

Colorclub
Color Club Polish in Aquamarine

(Full Set of 4 Polishes: $13.00)
Description: “…Gala Gonzalez…the Spanish-born blogger, stylist, and DJ teamed up with Color Club to launch this four-piece nail polish collection. Perfect for spring, these pastel hues are inspired by the retro lacquers of the 70s and 80s, complete with a luxe pearl finish. Paired with on-trend, opaque color, the results are both modern and sleek.”
Verdict: Like
I like the idea of a company pairing off with a blogger to create a collection as it  seems this could create a lot of unique, fun trends.  I liked the aquamarine shade I received and the application went on smoothly on the swatch. I will probably end up wearing this underneath some fun topcoats (like Julep’s Max.).

Shampoo
Keims Cleanshine Energizing Shampoo
(Full Size Retail $9.50)
Description: “This refreshing cleanser has peppermint leaf extract to boost circulation in the scalp, stimulating healthy hair growth. The formula causes a delightful cooling sensation on the scalp. Macadamia nut nourishes weak hair for touchable softness and shine, while silk protein works to strengthen strands and repair damage.”
Verdict: Hit!
Part of why I decided to subscribe to Birchbox was to try out lots of hair products. I have scalp issues so I’m happy to try out this product and see if it helps. I also appreciate that we got a generous size so we can get a few uses out of it.

Kind Bar
KIND Healthy Grain Bars – Maple Pumpkin Seeds w/ Sea Salt
(15 count: $11.88)
Description: “Sweet or salty? Don’t worry, KIND won’t make you pick a favorite. These wholesome snack bars are the ideal mix of both flavors (and, of course, they’re also nonGMO and gluten-free).”
Verdict: Hit!
I know a lot of folks don’t like getting food samples, but I enjoy them. This bar made a great work breakfast and was quite tasty. I have added them to my “snacks for work” shopping list although I’ll probably try one of the flavors that include fruit.

 Nyakio #2 Nyakio

Nyakio Trio
Kenyan Coffee Face Polish
(Full Size Retail $34.00)
Description: The coffee extract and jojoba oil in this scrub buff away dull skin. But unlike some exfoliators, this gentle formula isn’t drying: Neroli, lemongrass, and macadamia oils provide intense moisture for smooth, dewy skin.”

Kenyan Coffee Body Scrub(Full Size Retail $55.00)
Description:”The blend of Kenyan coffee beans and nourishing oils exfoliates and hydrates, leaving skin renewed and ready for the day ahead: Think of it as skincare’s version of espresso.”

Hydrating Face Oil With Kola Nut(Full Size Retail $49.00)
Description: Just a few drops of the lightweight formula, a blend of eight oils and the African kola nut, last a full 12 hours. Its powerful hydration keeps our skin looking more luminous, even, and youthful all day long.”
Verdict: Like
I enjoy trying out new scrubs and I’m completely intrigued with the face oil, but the size on this is just annoying to me. I really would prefer to get just one of the items with a sample size big enough for a few uses so we can really decide if we like the product – especially products with a price point as high as these.


Full Birchbox
OVERALL
Verdict:
Hit!

This box had a lot of interesting items in it and I will use all of them. My only real complaint was with the size of the nyakio samples, but the rest of the box still made up for it.

With tax I paid $10.70 and after reviewing each item, my points got me the equivalent of $7.00.

What did you get in your Birchbox? How do you feel about the food samples? Yeah or Nay?

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 extra points.

Birchbox: February 2014

This month Birchbox, paired up with editors at US Weekly to curate their box.  The theme is focused on the glitz and glamour of award season and being” red carpet ready”.
That’s a lot to pack into a tiny $10 box, so let’s see how they managed.
BoxBB Box

Open 1Open 2

Perfume
Harvey Prince Hello Perfume
(Full Size Retail: 50 ml for $55.00)
Description: Made with eco-friendly ingredients, this scent has all-day staying power. A top note of Meyer lemon captures the scent of fresh-squeezed lemonade, while Satsuma mandarin adds a double fruity note. Next up, summer forsythia and pink plumeria—traditionally found in Hawaiian leis—give the scent its heady floral layer.”
Verdict:  Hit!
As I mentioned in my last blog post, I’m super sensitive to fragrances so I selected to only get them “6 times or less per year” on my Birchbox profile.  At first I was bummed to see the sample, but once I tried it I actually liked it.  I favor fruity light scents and  love citrus notes so this covers both.  I’m not going to run out and buy a full size, but I’ll use up the sample when I want some variety.

 

Polish
Ruby Wing Color Changing Polish in Ride ‘Em Cowgirl
(Full Size Retail: $10.00)
Description: “Formulated with SolarActive® Technology, each polish transitions from one shade to another as soon as you step out into the sunlight and come into contact with UV rays. Walk back indoors, and your nails will return to the original color. Each Ruby Wing polish is non-toxic, vegan, and environmentally safe.”
Verdict:  On the Fence
I also selected to only get nail polish products minimally from Birchbox (since I have a Julep subscription) yet this is my second month in a row with polish. On the bright side, I’ve never tried this brand before and the gold looks fun.  On the down side, I’m not exactly enthralled with the color change aspect because if I go to the time and effort to paint my nails a color, I really want to actually see that color.  It’s something new to try, but I’m doubtful it will make it into my regular polish rotation.

Liner
Cynthia Rowley Beauty Liquid Liner in Black
(Full Size Retail: $18.00)

Description: “…fashion designer Cynthia Rowley…the style whiz has created…this smudgeproof liquid liner. The pen-style tip makes for ultraprecise application, whether you’re stippling your bottom lash line or flicking to create the perfect cat eye.”
Verdict:  Love!
All these subscription boxes seem determined to get me into using black eyeliner and so far their conspiracy is working.  This is a wonderful pen.  Its tip comes to an extremely fine point so it’s perfect for tightlining.  When I sampled it on the back of my hand it stayed all day with no smudging.  It’s great for subtly defining the eye and it came in what appears to be a full size.  This one item was already worth more than the cost of this box.

Cream
Juara Candlenut Body Creme
(Full Size Retail: $35.00)
Description: “Traditional healers of Indonesia weren’t messing around when they pinpointed candlenut oil as a cure for severely dry skin. The centuries-old balm is rich in fatty acids, which makes it a great natural hydrator and all-around skin-smoother. It’s velvety formula, inspired by venerable Balinese recipes, penetrates deep into dry, rough skin for instant, nongreasy softness that lasts and lasts..”
Verdict:  Miss
This had a nice scent to it, like a hint of cinnamon, but there was nothing about the product that wowed me.  The sample was so small that I really couldn’t get quite enough for even a full body application.  At a $35 retail price, I can’t imagine purchasing this.  I infinitely prefer the Tokyo Dark body butter that came in my Popsugar Holiday box.  At only $5.00 more and with gorgeous packaging it’s a much better splurge in the body cream department.

Oil
Beauty Protector Protect & Oil
(Full Size Retail: $25.95)
Description: “This nourishing formula uses star ingredient argan oil to protect, strengthen, and add a pretty gloss to strands—all without heaviness. Armed with UV and heat protection, it stands up to two of our favorite past times: heat styling and spending hours in the sun. The paraben-free formula is also cruelty-free.”
Verdict:  On the Fence
I’m always excited to try hair products, but this one might need to be put aside until summer.  I typically let my hair air dry and don’t heat style much.  I’m not spending much time outdoors right now so the UV protectant is also wasted.  My hair tends to be combination with oily roots so I’m not sure I really need to add more oil.  I’m going to set this one aside for summer.

 

Full Box
OVERALL
Verdict:
  Hit!

With tax I paid $10.70 and after reviewing each item, my points got me the equivalent of $5.00.  I am thrilled with the Cynthia Rowley eyeliner and excited that I found a perfume sample I didn’t instantly hate.  I’ve got some new products to try out when I finally venture outside during daylight hours.

I’m not sure that these items all scream out “red carpet ready!” to me, but I really did enjoy the box and found it to be a lot of fun.

Would you be intrigued by a color changing polish or do you prefer to have the polish you chose be the polish you see all day?

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 extra points.