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 2015

Along with the sample options for July, Birchbox offered their Beachy & Bright curated box. “…this collection is full of products perfect for a weekend at the shore—or for achieving that back-from-the-beach look.”
Box

“Beach look” works for me, so let’s get to the goods.
Open Box

Juara
JUARA Radiance Enzyme Scrub

(Full Size: $38.00)
Description: Gentle exfoliator that minimizes imperfections and leaves skin glowingly smooth..”
Verdict: Okay
I like scrubs but I’ve tried the Juara brand before and found that it’s not particularly impressive. It’s not terrible or anything, but it just doesn’t do much for me. I use exfoliators regularly so I will definitely give this one a try even if I’m not wowed by the brand.

Oribe
Oribe Aprés Beach Wave and Shine Spray
(Full Size: $39.00)
Description: This spritz delivers beachy, texturized waves—plus , it hydrates summer-dry hair and boosts shine.”
Verdict: I think I love you too much
Oribe is an awesome brand and every product of theirs that I’ve tried has been amazing. They have somehow managed to combine beachy waves and shine in one adorable little spray. This has made it onto my Birchbox list and I think I’ll be hoarding some points in order to pick up a full size.

Supergoop
Supergoop!® Anti-Aging City Sunscreen Serum SPF 30

(Full Size: $42.00)
Description: ”This antiaging serum blocks UV rays while hydrating skin and preventing future sun damage.
Verdict: Is anyone besides me super annoyed with the ! Is it really necessary?
What would happen if sub boxes just stopped including Supergoop!? Would the entire industry collapse? I am so damn tired of this brand. SPF 30 is too low for a ginger like me so I’m just going to set this aside and give it to someone else who doesn’t hate Supergoop(!) as much as I do.

The Balm
theBalm® cosmetics Balm Desert® Bronzer/Blush
(Full Size: $21.00)
Description: ”A blush and bronzer in one, this velvety powder gives a long-wearing fresh-from-the-beach glow.
Verdict: Hit!
This shade was easy to apply and worked well with my complexion. I also used it as an eyeshadow and it gave this great bronzey summer vibe.

Stila
Stila Stay all day liquid lipstick

(Trio Set: $20.00)
Description: This creamy, matte formula glides on like a gloss and yet lasts (and lasts and lasts) like a stain…”
Verdict: Miss
I love Stila so I wanted to like this, but the consistency just doesn’t work for me. I swatched it on my hand and found it to be drying so I tried it with a moisturizing primer. Unfortunately the primer takes away from the staying power and I had hot pink lipstick all over my water glass after an hour of wearing it. It did leave behind a stain on my lips, but not the rich saturated color that you would expect. I also think the red shade probably would have been more appropriate for my skin tone. It’s definitely a bright, saturated fun color for summer and if you use it without primer it should have more staying power.

Swatches of the bronzer and the lipstick:
Swatches

OVERALL
Birchbox 7.2015

Verdict: Hit!

I chose this box (despite the Supergoop!) so I knew what I was getting. I love the Oribe and the bronzer and those two products alone make the box worth the $10.70 I paid for it. After reviewing my products, I received $5.00 worth of credit so the cost to me comes out to only $5.70. This box for that price is really amazing.

Have you tried any liquid lipsticks?
What do you think of the texture? Do you find them drying?

BIRCHBOX NEWS!
Birchbox is offering two new specialty curated boxes for sale:

cew_massbox_press_04_900x900
Mass Appeal Beauty Collection – Birchbox for CEW

(Retail: $15.00)
Description: “This exclusive Birchbox collection features drugstore-available honorees from the 2015 awards—you’ll get a luxurious overnight mask, a lip pencil that packs a wallop of creamy color, and more. A $68 value!”

cew_prestigebox_04_900x900
Prestige Headliners Beauty Collection – Birchbox for CEW
(Retail: $18.00)
Description: “This exclusive Birchbox collection features honorees from the 2015 awards—you’ll get an indulgent glow-ifying face mask, a legendary liquid liner, and much more.”

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.

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