Birchbox: May 2015

As I was selecting my Birchbox sample for July, I realized I am way behind in my Birchbox posts! I still need to tell you all about my May box, so let’s dive in before it gets any later…

Box
This month our theme is “cupcake and cashmere” highlighting the blog of the same name and blogger, Emily Schuman’s new book “Cupcakes and Cashmere at Home”.

Domino Coupon Recipe
We start out with a great coupon for Domino magazine and a fun recipe on the back.

 RevealSwatch
Coastal Scents Revealed 3 Eyeshadow Quad

(Full Size: $20.00)
Description: Versatile range of satiny-smooth shadows in wear-with-anything hues.”
Verdict: Love!
I love trying out eyeshadows and this quad is full of fun colors that I think will work well with my complexion.


Salt Spray
Harvey Prince Sea Salt Texturizing Mist
(Full Size: $22.00)
Description: This styling spray delivers beachy texture, big volume , and a summery scent.”
Verdict: Hit!
This was the sample I chose and I grabbed it because I use sea salt sprays almost daily so I always like to try out new brands. This is a really, really (did I say really?) small size but it’s perfect to keep in my work bag for touch-ups.

Shisheido
Shiseido Ultimune Power Infusing Concentrate
(Full Size 90mL: $95.00)
Description: Enhances skin’s defensive power against signs of aging for a radiant complexion.”
Verdict: Houston, we have a problem.
This is a super pricey product so I was excited to get a sample to try out, but I could not get the cap off. I tried and tried and nada. Finally, I summoned all my hulk strength and managed to pull the red outercap off the top and leave the actual cap still on there. I’m going to see if I can pry that off. I really hope the $95 version has better packaging.

Soap
Sumbody Body Soap

(Full Size Set of 3: $17.85)
Description: ”Natural cleanser infused with botanical oils that leave skin sily—you guessed it—smooth.
Verdict: Why does my soap look like it needs soap?
So I’m not generally a fan of soaps so small they look like hotel soap, but putting that aside this soap is still…well..offputting. I have used many natural soaps and none of them had quite this particular aesthetic. Maybe I’m a girly girl but I like my soaps to look clean.

Tokyo Milk Tokyo Milk 2
TokyoMilk by Margot Elena Bon Bon Shea Butter Rich Lotion
(Full Size: $20.00)
Description: ”A lush yet lightweight hydrator that leaves skin soft, moisturized and subtly scented.
Verdict: Love!
I love TokyoMilk and I have one of their awesome jars of body butter sitting on my dresser. Not only are their creams amazing, but the packaging is great too. This is a generous size and totally made this box for me.

OVERALL
BB 5.2015 Box
Verdict:
Hit!

No Shampoo! No Supergoop! And I had makeup! It’s like a Birchbox dream! I really loved the palette, the Harvey Prince sea salt mist, and the TokyoMilk lotion. My only issue with the Shiseido is the packaging so hopefully I can pry it open and try the uber expensive magic potion inside. The only real miss is the body soap, but I can always pawn that off, give that to a friend.   My box cost me $10.70, and I received $5.00 worth of Birchbox credits after my reviews, bringing the total down to $5.70. This was a great box and with the exception of the soap, a perfect fit for my taste.

What did you get in your May Birchbox? Was it a miss or a hit?

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: April 2015

For April, Birchbox featured one of my favorite companies: the Rifle Paper Co. They have gorgeous stationary and the moment I saw they were offering an exclusive tote as a Birchbox plus item, I knew I had to grab it. (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.)

My fancy square box…
Box

which held my plus item and my regular Birchbox.
Little Box

BIRCHBOX PLUS
Tote
Rifle Paper Co. x Birchbox Floral Printed Tote

(Retail: $35.00)
Description: “Lovely” doesn’t begin to describe this floral canvas tote. Created in partnership with Rifle Paper Co., this roomy bag can fit all of your essentials for a quick trip to the market or a weekend jaunt to the beach. The pattern was illustrated by designer Anna Bond exclusively for Birchbox.”
Verdict: Love!
I paid $29.96 for this (with tax) and I absolutely love it. It’s generously sized and the canvas is durable. It’s perfect for spring and I’m using it for those days when I’m heading to work with way too much stuff to fit into my regular purse. It’s lovely and cheerful and I’m happy to have it in my wardrobe.

BIRCHBOX
Rifle Box

How gorgeous is this box? Seriously. I am going to find some super awesome use for this so I can display it. The Rifle Paper Co needs to make more home décor items because I would probably spend enough there to put their kids through college.
Open Box Open Box 2

Body Butter
Harvey Prince Hello Body Butter

(Full Size: $20.00)
Description: Made with shea butter, this nourishing cream is infused with the best-selling scent..”
Verdict: Like
Harvey Prince is a brand that shows up a ton in Birchboxes but most of the products I’ve received from this brand I’ve enjoyed. I’m going to set this aside for that awesome travel kit I’m building.


Oil
Ojon rare blend™ oil Moisture Therapy
(Full Size: $35.00)
Description: Fried hair, meet your match: This luxe oil blend deeply hydrates for sleek, shiny locks
Verdict: Over it.
I like hair oils as much as the next girl, but I have a ridiculous amount of them from sub boxes. It seems like we either get hair oil or dry shampoo in every box. I’m also not crazy about the packaging on this. It seems more likely to make a mess than to be useful.

Eye Cream
Supergoop!® Advanced SPF 37 Anti-Aging Eye Cream

(Full Size: $45.00)
Description: This treatment reduces dark circles, depuffs, blocks UV rays and minimizes fine lines..”
Verdict: Wow..it’s been a whole month since I got a Supergoop! Product
What would my Birchbox be without something from Supergoop? Last month, I got a Supergoop! CC cream and my opinion on the brand hasn’t changed. It’s not for me Birchbox..can you hear me? Please send me a damn box without something from Supergoop! I actually love getting eye creams because I use them religiously and they tend to be pricey so getting to try them out is super helpful, but I’m not going to purchase from this brand so it’s a waste.

 

lip & Cheek
jane iredale Just Kissed Lip and Cheek Stain

(Full Size: $25.00)
Description: ”This multitasking, long-lasting color adjust to your skin for a natural, customized shade..
Verdict: Disappointing.
This was the sample I chose for my box. I’ve tried Jane Iredale products before and I was super excited about this. Unfortunately the “color adjusting” is non-existent. It didn’t work on my lips or my cheeks. It just comes out sheer. (Which is why I have no swatch for you.) I was really hoping it would work since the formula feels lovely and the packaging is adorable.

Bodywash
Not Soap, Radio Body Wash – Bathing With Sharks

(Full Size: $16.00)
Description: ”This richly foaming cleanser has an energizing, beachy scent.
Verdict: Hit!
I love getting bodywashes in boxes because they are an item I regularly use. Ocean scented bath products are my favorite (along with citrus scents) so I was psyched to get this sample. The scent is not overpowering and is appealing for men or women.  I would definitely consider grabbing a full size of this.

OVERALL
April 2015 - Birchbox
Verdict:
A mixed bag

I loved my plus item and the bodywash, and I’ll use the body butter, but the lip stain was a huge disappointment and this is my billionth (approximately) Supergoop! Product. I really wish Birchbox would vary some of the brands we get in boxes.  At the very least don’t include the same brand in back to back boxes. I paid $10.70 for this box (excluding the plus item that was paid for separately) and received $5.00 worth of credit in the Birchbox store so my total came out to $5.70. The only item I was really thrilled with was the bodywash, and even my selected item was sort of a bust. I’m hoping next month will be an improvement.

How was your last Birchbox? Did your sample choice wow or disappoint?

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: September 2014

This month’s Birchbox theme is “Fresh Paint”, and tells us that “September means turning the page on summer, and diving into fall’s colors, textures, and inspiration”. That’s funny, I thought September meant we pumpkin-all-the-things and try to ignore that stores have Christmas trees up already. In any case let’s dive in and see what Fall stuff Birchbox has brought us.

Box

Because it’s Birchbox’s anniversary we get one of the super cute printed boxes. I love this and it will go into my ever growing box pile.
Box 2

Now for what’s inside.
Open Box 1 Card Open Box 2

Cream
Acure Organics Day Cream
(Retail 1.75 oz: $18.99)
Description: Made with gotu kola stem cells this anti-aging moisturizer firms and protects skin”
Verdict: Miss
I tend to prefer day time moisturizers that are multi-taskers like CC/BB creams and those that have SPF. It’s nice that this is an organic product, but it’s just not particularly interesting or useful for me.

Shower GelHarvey Prince Ageless Liquid Loofah
(12 oz Retail: $21.00)
Description: Infused with a grapefruit-vanilla fragrance, this wash hydrates and softens skin.”
Verdict: Hit!
I love getting body washes because they are something I will always use up. I adore citrus scents and this one was wonderful. Grapefruit can sometimes read a little bitter to me, but this was one fresh and fruity. I didn’t notice any discernible difference in my skin after using it, but it had a nice lather and the smell wasn’t overpowering. I probably won’t buy this since my subscription box habit keeps me well stocked with shower gel, but it’s a nice splurge if you’re in the mood for a high end bodywash.

OilMacadamia Professional™ Healing Oil Spray
(2 oz Retail: $14.50)
Description: “Lightweight, quick-absorbing formula that combats frizz, boosts shine, and blocks UV rays”.
Verdict: Hit!
This was the sample I chose from the selections and I really like the product. It doesn’t weigh your hair down like some oils and I did feel that it helped contain my frizz. I’m not crazy about the scent, but it fades away rather quickly so it’s not a problem. This was a really generous sample (it’s 2 oz size!) so it should last me awhile. This item alone more than paid for the box.

PeelReal Chemistry Luminous 3 Minute Peel
(1.7 oz Retail: $48.00)
Description: “”This acid-free peel gently exfoliates for instantly softer, smoother, brighter skin.”
Verdict: Hit!
I’ve always wanted to try one of these at home peels, but my skin can be pretty sensitive so I’ve generally avoided them. I haven’t had a chance to use this yet but I’m excited that it’s acid-free and gentle. This is the type of item I’d probably never purchase unless I tried it first so I’m psyched to get a sample of this. (Cross your fingers it doesn’t make my face look like a tomato).

HighlighterTemptu S/B Highlighter in Champagne Shimmer
(1 oz – Retail: $27.50)
Description: Liquid shimmer that illuminates and contours your complexion or gives an allover glow.”
Verdict: On the Fence
First, this is the teeny weeniest bottle to ever teeny. Seriously this thing is almost Barbie sized. Putting aside the packaging, I just can’t figure this product out. I am super pale and the color looks really dark in the bottle so I was worried it would make me look weirdly orange.  Once I applied it, the liquid totally disappeared into my skin. I didn’t see a shimmer or a contour, or a shimmer of a contour. Maybe I’m using it wrong? I’d love to hear what you other Birchbox ladies thought of this one.


BIRCHBOX FIND

Chapstick
ChapStick® Dual-Ended Hydration Lock Moisturize & Renew
(2.2 g.   – Retail: $2.99)
Description: For instantly smoother, younger-looking lips, use the “moisturize” side of the stick, which has antioxidants CoQ10 and vitamin E. Flip to the “renew” side for an infusion of replenishing plant butters (think: shea and mango).”
Verdict: Like
I know this isn’t high end, and it’s sort of like Chapstick is playing dress up as fancy skin care, but it’s a full size product and now that cold weather is heading our way, it will be useful. I haven’t opened this yet since I have about eleventybillion balms already being used. I may pass this along to someone else, or it may find it’s way into my commuter bag during the winter. In any case it’s a practical little guy that will definitely get used.

 

OVERALL
Full Box
Verdict:
Hit!

The healing oil spray alone made the $10.70 I paid for this box totally worth it. I loved the scent of the bodywash and I’m psyched to try out the peel. While the day cream wasn’t a hit, and the Temptu is a bit challenging, overall the items were a win.

After reviewing all the products, I got $6 worth of Birchbox points so my great deal at $10.70 turns into an even better deal at $4.70.

I have plans to head out soon to the Birchbox store in Soho, so if you want to get a peek at the Brick and Mortar Birchbox, be sure to stop back.

What did you receive in your September Birchbox? Did you also get the Temptu Highlighter and did it work with your skintone?

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: 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.