Birchbox: December 2014

So I’m still catching up on some 2014 boxes so today I’ll be reviewing my December Birchbox.  Along with the ability to choose one of our samples, Birchbox has been giving us the option of specially curated boxes. For December I opted for box of “party-ready products” curated by Lo Bosworth in conjunction with Birchbox. This box is supposed to bring us a “..box of party-ready products, so you can get glammed up and out the door to your next event (and the one after that) in record time.” Truth be told, once I saw this box had red polish that I didn’t already own I grabbed it. I am sadly, very predictable.
Box
Box 2 Box 3

Slightly bummed that I got the usually brown birchbox that just had a different wrapper (other folks got some pretty festive boxes).

But like all things in life (or so Disney tells me) what really matters is what’s on the inside, so let’s take a look.
Open Box 1 Open Box 2

Cream
Embryolisse Lait-Crème Concentré (24-Hour Miracle Cream)

(75 mL Retail: $28.00)
Description: A makeup artist fave, this French moisturizer moonlights as a primer and makeup remover.”
Verdict: Hit!
I only tried this as a moisturizer, but I found it really helpful after some of the brutally cold days we’ve had this winter. My commute has me outdoors for quite a bit so my face can end up raw and sensitive. I found this moisturizer really helped in evening out those rough spots. It’s a bit on the heavier side so you may want to skip it (or use it only as a remover) if you have oily skin.


Perfume
Folle de Joie eau de parfum
(3.4 oz Retail: $98.00)
Description: A Birchbox customer fave, this fresh scent blends mandarin, rose, and sandalwood”
Verdict: Miss
As is typical for perfume samples, I found this to be too strong for me. I’m super picky about scents (and many give me headaches) so it’s a lot more unusual for me to find one I like.  I do think the floral notes would appeal to a lot of folks so I understand why this was included.

PolishSwatch
RUFFIAN Nail Lacquer – RUFFIAN Red

(Retail: $10.00)
Description: “This universally flattering scarlet polish dries to a glossy, streak-free finish..”
Verdict: Who can resist a classic red polish?
This product was really the reason I went with this box. It’s like I must have all the red polishes in the world (along with any of the polishes that reference mermaids, opals or my name). It’s a sickness I tell you.

Lip Stain
Cynthia Rowley Beauty Creamy Lip Stain in Heartthrob

(Retail: $20.00)
Description: ”A long-wearing stain from the NYC-based designer that gives unbeatable moisture and shine.”
Verdict: Gift
I didn’t open this because I knew I’d be giving it away. My lip product stash is enormous at the moment and I knew I just wouldn’t use it. Plus I’ve gotten this stain in another shade and I don’t really care for how it feels on my lips. (Plus I also found it to be drying). I’m passing it along to a friend who I think will get more use out of it.

Shampoo & Conditioner
Davines Replumping Shampoo
& Davines Replumping Conditioner
(Retail: $25.50 each)
Description: This plumping shampoo from the brand’s innovative Naturaltech line works to boost moisture and elasticity with the help of natural active ingredients, which breathes new life into limp, flat hair. This hydrating conditioner from the haircare brand’s innovative Naturaltech line works to detangle strands while it helps boost moisture and volume with a myriad of natural active ingredients. ”
Verdict: Miss
If you want this girl to purchase a shampoo for $25.50 then you’re gonna need to give me a larger sample size to judge it. I know this is a sample sub, and this is an extra, but I just don’t think foil packets should be included. If I can get it in a magazine, then I don’t think it should be in a box. The contents were enough for one shampoo and condition and I honestly wasn’t wowed. From what I can tell it’s not special enough to be worth that high a price tag, but maybe if you use it regularly you will see a better result.


Hair Filler
Davines Replumping Superactive

(Retail: $39.50)
Description: This leave-in treatment fortifies strands’ structure to leae them looking thick and shiny.”
Verdict: Like!
To start, this product was a great size and when I tried it I did feel like it gave my hair  more volume. Because of the high pricetag and the fact that my hair is already on the thicker side, I don’t think I’ll be purchasing this, but it does seem to do what it says it will.

OVERALL
Full box
Verdict:
Like!

While I didn’t love all the products, I feel like they all fit in with the box’s theme. The nail polish and the hair filler were more than worth the $10.70 I paid for the box. After my review, I received $7.00 in Birchbox points so this bad boy only set me back $3.70. Not bad at all.

For January, I decided to go all in with the surprise and didn’t choose a sample or curated box. So come back to see what I get.

Have you tried out any of the curated monthly Birchboxes? What did you think?

BIRCHBOX NEWS!

Birchbox has a couple new LE boxes with a fitness theme:

Limited Edition: Fresh Start
(Retail: $42.00)
Description: With a new year comes a whole new set of adventures, and you’re gearing up to tackle them head-on. This box is here to help. It’s filled with natural beauty finds to refresh your skin, body, and hair, plus chic upgrades to your gym bag (think: comfy socks and the perfect water bottle) to keep you motivated while you cross those resolutions off your list. Whether your goal is to pump yourself up or calm yourself down, these picks will help you do a little bit of both. A $107 Value!”

Limited Edition: Sweat the Small Stuff
(Retail: $54.00)
Description: After a long, balmy summer, a cold-weather workout can feel like a daunting challenge. To do our part in the fight against inertia, we assembled this box of active essentials, designed to serve as the Apollo Creed to your run-down Rocky Balboa. Every item was picked to give your workout an edge, from easy-access hydration to high-tech foot support. Just add water, and the will to succeed. A $110 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. 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

Walmart Beauty Box: Winter 2014

I usually don’t purchase much drugstore makeup but when Walmart introduced their own seasonal beauty box at an affordable $5 a quarter, I knew I needed to try it out for you guys.
Box

After the first box, subscribers soon realized that Walmart had created two categories for boxes which pretty much broke down into the following: young sluts and old heifers (isn’t that just some social commentary for ya). It was soon determined that the line of delineation was the birthdate you entered when you signed up. Under 35, you’re a young slut, 35 and over – you’re an old heifer. (Because 2014 wasn’t a hard enough year for me, Walmart felt the need to make my 35th birthday seem that much more traumatic, I truly cannot thank them enough.)

So when I signed up I was 34 so I got the young slut box. Now I’m 35 and the big question seemed to be if they’d adjust the boxes and I’d graduate to an old heifer, or if it’d be “once a young slut always a young slut.” Thank god I have Walmart to tell me what beauty products are age appropriate.
Open Box

So into the box:

Jergens
Jergens BB Body Perfecting Skin Cream, Light Skin Tones
(Deluxe Sample)

(7.5 fl oz Retail: $11.97)
Description: Jergens BB Body Perfecting Skin Cream instantly visibly improves skin and gradually perfects skin over five days of use. Specially formulated with self-adjusting tone technology, each application provides a customized solution for your skin tone, giving you long-lasting, beautiful results. See visibly improved skin after just one day and experience five visible benefits after just five days. 1. Hydrates and smoothes. 2. Brightens and illuminates. 3. Evens skin tone. 4. Visibly firms skin. 5. Minimizes the appearance of imperfections. Jergens BB Body Perfecting Skin Cream makes skin visibly more beautiful..”
Verdict: Hit!
This sounds like an interesting product and it’s not one I would have picked up on my own. Thankfully I got the “light” shade but it would suck if you got a shade completely opposite of your complexion.

Nivea
NIVEA Cocoa Butter Body Lotion
(Sample w/ coupon)
(16.9 fl oz Retail: $4.97)
Description: NIVEA Cocoa Butter Body Lotion intensively hydrates and provides long-lasting moisture. Its nourishing formula absorbs quickly and instantly moisturizes, and leaves skin soft, smooth, and healthy looking. With vitamin E and cocoa butter, NIVEA Cocoa Butter Body Lotion also features Hydra IQ Technology to support skin’s own hydration network to unleash deep, non-stop moisture that lasts more than 24 hours.”
Verdict: Miss
To begin I hate foil packets in boxes. If I can get it for free in a magazine, I don’t think it belongs in a sub box. Putting that aside, I don’t really care for the smell of cocoa butter so this isn’t a lotion I’d use.


Maybelline
Maybelline Dream Wonder Powder (Sample Card w/ coupon)
(0.28 oz Retail: $6.94)
Description: Maybelline Dream Wonder powder feels like powderless powder. Creamy glide, smooth flawless finish, and perfect skin for 100% second-skin perfection.”
Verdict: Miss
Again, this sample really isn’t worth it. You can get it from any magazine and I don’t think it’s really enough to decide if you like the powder.


Shampoo & Conditioner
L’Oreal Paris Hair Expertise OleoTherapy Oil Infused Shampoo & Conditioner (Deluxe Travel Size)
(8.5 oz Retail: $5.79/$5.59)
Description: L’Oreal Paris Hair Expertise OleoTherapy Oil Infused Shampoo: 6 flower oils, Intense nutrition, Silky feel, For dull, dry or damaged hair, Sulfate-free system & Gently conditions dull, dry or damaged hair while providing intense nutrition and shine.”
Verdict: Like
Oddly I couldn’t find the Conditioner on Walmart’s site. With winter in full swing, I can always use some extra moisture in my beauty products .  I do splurge on expensive shampoos and conditioners but I intersperse my use with more economical brands. I find switching it up regularly keeps my hair healthier and helps me get more out of my pricier products.

Wipes
Olay Fresh Effects Everything Off! Deluxe Make-Up Removal Wet Cloths

(25 sheets Retail: $3.97)
Description: “Get make-up off without all the fuss. Olay Fresh Effects Everything Off! Deluxe Make-Up Removal Wet Cloths do the dirty work for you, easily lifting away dirt, oil, and stubborn make-up–even waterproof mascara. They come in a resealable packet of 25 cloths that’s perfect for on-the-go.”
Verdict: Hit!
This is the most useful item in the bag for me. I try not to use makeup wipes too much because they can be drying, but I always keep some on hand for times when I just need to get my makeup off asap. They are also great for traveling when you don’t want to lug around a ton of products.

LipstickLipstick Name
Swatch
Maybelline Color Sensational The Buffs Lip Color
in Maple Kiss

(0.15 oz Full size: $4.97)
Description: Nude lipstick color comes alive with Maybelline Color Sensational The Buffs Lip Color. True nude lip color pigments for honest flesh tone color. Uniquely sensuous feel from precious oils. Raw. Real. Pigments explode with sensuous impact–sensational.”
Verdict: Gift
Unfortunately, this color on me just leans too orange, so I’m passing it along to my Mom. It did feel nice going on and seemed hydrating. I wouldn’t hesitate to buy one of the other nude shades that might be more complimentary for me.

 OVERALL
Full Box
Verdict:
Like

From my internet searches it appears I am still a young slut as the old heifer boxes seemed to contain a plethora of moisturizers and not much else. I mostly get this box for the sake of reviewing it, so anytime my $5 buys me items I might use for myself I’m happy. If the lipstick had been in a better shade for my skintone I would have labeled this box a hit.

Now I’m going to go ahead and state the obvious.  Walmart really, really REALLY needs to change this whole young/old thing. It ends up being offensive and it’s not actually succeeding at getting the products people are interested in to them because plenty of folks under 35 use anti-wrinkle products and plenty of ladies over 35 love lip gloss. How about instead of a birthdate you ask the following: “Are you interested in anti-aging products?” If the person answers yes, then throw in some of those old heifer items. If the person says no, then leave them out of the box. I know, I know, such a radical, off the wall solution. With such innovative problem solving skills it’s shocking I don’t have a job in the beauty industry.

Did you order one of these boxes? If so, were you a young slut or an old heifer?

THE BACKSTORY

Walmart subscriptions cost $5 per quarter and you receive a box seasonally (four times a year.)