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

Popsugar Limited Edition Fall Box: September 2014

So it’s time for one of my favorite reviews – a Popsugar Limited Edition box. If you are a frequent reader, you know these boxes are like crack to me. As soon as they come out, I must grab them, so when Popsugar introduced the Limited Edition Fall box I just couldn’t help myself.
Package
Box
Now one of the things I love about Popsugar LE boxes is the actual box it comes in. They are sturdy and full of win. I use the giant Neiman Marcus box to house my polish collection, while the others like this one, hold my gift stashes from boxes.

Now enough of my love and adoration for the box and let’s see what’s inside.
Open Box

Scarf
Marchesa Voyage for Shopstyle Printed Scarf
(Suggested Retail: $140)
Category: Must Have Fashion
Description: “Impulse makes a great accessory. Inspired by designer Georgina Chapman’s own scarf collection, this printed scarf details an all-over floral pattern that encircles the Marchesa’s logo. A vibrant accent, it instantly wraps a flash of luxe to any look.”
Verdict: Ambivalent
I love Marchesa, (or better said I have loved Marchesa from afar because I am mostly poor), so I should be psyched to get this, but I just can’t muster up to much feeling for it. It’s soft and excellent quality but the print feels very ho hum to me. I also don’t understand why Popsugar would put a scarf in the September box and a scarf in this box when they come out at about the same time? The ombre scarf from the September box was more my type of vibe. This scarf is also being given as a free gift if you purchase the knit zip dress or moto jacket if you use the code SCARF at checkout. The fact that it’s a free gift and not all that interesting sort of lowers the value to me. Don’t get me wrong it’s a nice scarf and I’m going to keep it because I want a Marchesa piece in my collection, but I’m just not as thrilled with it as I expected.

Lipstick
Make Silk Cream Lipstick in Radicchio
(Suggested Retail: $25)
Category: Must Have Beauty
Description: “When it comes to lipstick, long –lasting color and hydration should go hand in hand. Using a unique blend of waxes and oils, this creamy lipstick delivers both intense color and luxurious nourishment for pigmented perfection.”
Verdict:
Like
Red lips are huge for fall and I really like this brick red shade. I am unfamiliar with the Make brand so I’m excited to try it out. The packaging on this was a bit unique as well which made it a little more interesting than the usual lip product. I currently have a ton of lipsticks and glosses in use, so I didn’t swatch this one and am setting it aside until I finish up a few more products.

Gummies
Sugarpova Chic Gummy Candy
(Suggested Retail: $5.99)
Category: Must Have Food
Description:
Verdict: Hit!
I have a weakness for gummies. As you can imagine this low carb diet crap has been very very sad news for my gummy addiction. Good news is that I am going on a carb bender for my birthday so I am reserving this bag for my little birthday trip. I probably wouldn’t have grabbed this on my own as I am partial to Swedish Fish and Twizzlers, but it’s a fun, cute treat.

Perfume 1Perfume 2
Capsule Parfums Byway Eau de Parfum
(Suggested Retail: $38.00)
Category: Must Have Beauty
Description: “Influenced by fashion, beauty, and street culture, this boutique fragrance might just become your new signature scent. With notes of crystal spun sugar, vanilla essence, amber petals and twilight jasmine, this sweet and playful blend is a guaranteed crowd-pleaser.”
Verdict: !#$#$@$
Damn it Popsugar!  How many times have we had this conversation? Stop sending large perfumes in these boxes!!! I don’t care if you think a scent is a “guaranteed crowd pleaser”, the odds are a lot of your subscribers won’t like it or just won’t be able to use it. I don’t mind small parfum sprays, but it’s always a bummer when I see a perfume as a large item. It’s doubly sad when it shows up in a LE box. We had this same problem with that awful Coconut perfume in the May Must Have Box. Setting aside my inherent dislike of perfumes, this one is super sweet and to me reads a bit young. I don’t hate it, but I don’t like it either.  It also seems much more like a summery scent than a fall one.

Hat
Joie Zorina Knit Hat
(Retail: $98.00)
Category: Must Have Fashion
Description: “As the cooler months approach, this knit hat will keep you warm in style. With a wool-cashmere blend, this chic cream-colored hat will prepare you for the chilly days ahead.
Verdict: Hit!
I love that we finally got an item that totally screams out Fall. My current go-to Fall/Winter hat is a slouchy knit cream, so this is write up my alley. This one is a bit more fitted, but I think it will look great with my hair and complexion. I’m psyched to try out the Joie brand and I think this is a nice classic piece that a lot of ladies could use.

Cleanser
Indie Lee Brightening Cleanser
(Suggested Retail: $32.00)
Category: Must Have Beauty
Description: “…this cult-favorite brightening cleanser is your one-stop shop for flawless skin. The all-natural pink formula oxidizes into a buttercream hue to exfoliate, tighten, and soothe your skin to perfection.”
Verdict: Hit!
As you know I love trying out new beauty products and this one sounds particularly intriguing with its whole “oxidizes” spiel. It’s also fun to try out “cult-favorites” and see what all the fuss is about.

OVERALL:
Full Box
Verdict:
Like, but with some reservations…

This box cost me $107 and according to my math skills (aka Excel spreadsheet) we received $344.99 worth of product. So from a strictly technically standpoint I got plenty of retail value out of this box. So what’s the problem?

Well, this box really felt like it was missing a lot despite the high retail value. There was no home item included at all, and as much as I love the Marchesa brand I think a piece of jewelry would have been a much better choice given that a hat is already in this box and loyal subscribers already snagged a scarf with the September Must Have. Not only is the perfume a frustrating item to receive for so many of us, but the scent had nothing to do with Fall and neither did the food item. For me, the two “Fall” items were the hat and the lipstick. The others could have been in any box at any time. Fall has so many visceral connotations that this box just doesn’t work in that context.

What did you think of your LE Fall Popsugar Box? Did you love the contents or  were you missing the “Fall” part of the box?

THE BACKSTORY

Popsugar is a women’s lifestyle subscription that delivers a monthly box of fun, full-size products hand-selected by Popsugar editors.

In addition to Popsugar’s monthly must have boxes, they have some seasonal special edition boxes that contain uber luxe items.  The price tag on these boxes is higher, but the products you receive are high end.

Popsugar Pricing:
Monthly – $39.95
3 Months – $109.85
6 Months – $214.70
12 Months – $404.40

Coupon Codes:  REFER5 = $5 off site wide
POPSUGAR10 = $10 off a 3 month subscription