Birchbox: January 2016 & a new Limited Edition Box!

So the first Birchbox of the year came in this adorable fill in the blank style box.
Box
Inside were a bunch of stickers you could use to customize it. Since I want a year full of all.the.things I opted not to choose one.
Open Box Box & Stickers

Open Box 2

Amika
amika Nourishing Mask
(Full Size $28)
Description: Paraben-free treatment that conditions and repairs with superfruit sea buckthorn berry.”
Verdict: Miss
I’ve liked amika products in the past so I expected this would be great but it left my hair pretty dry. If you’re looking for an amazing hair mask, the best I’ve ever tried is by Sabon, it’s only a dollar more than the amika and so much better.

Acne Pad
Cane + Austin 2%/5% Acne Retexture Pads
(Full Size: $60.00)
Description: These treatment pads contain 5% glycolic acid to fight the effects of aging, plus 2% salicylic acid to help clear acne.”
Verdict: Why?
I don’t understand why I received this. Outside of an occasional pimple around that time of the month, I don’t have any acne issues and I indicated that on my profile. And even if I did have an acne situation, would *one* “retexture” pad really give me an idea of this product’s effectiveness? This was a big miss.

EyekoEyeko TipEyeko Swatch
Eyeko Fat Liquid Liner
(Retail Value: $16.00)
Description: ”This eyeliner delivers the same smudgeproof, rich color in a thicker, bolder line than the original skinny liner.”
Verdict: Like
This was my sample choice and I regularly wear winged liner and am always on the hunt for awesome liquid liners that won’t smudge on my oily, hooded lids. This one is certainly a very saturated black, but I think I’m going to need to get used to the thickness of it. It isn’t quite smudgeproof on me, but it does a decent job. I still however, prefer my Kat Von D Tattoo liner in ink black.

Klorane
Klorane Gentle Dry Shampoo with Oat Milk
(Retail Value: $20.00)
Description: ”Award-winning fan fave that absorbs grease and puts the bounce back into second-day hair.
Verdict: Like
I’ve received this product before and I really like it. It does exactly what it says it will and I highly recommend it. I’m putting this one aside for my next trip.

Whish
Whish Three Whishes Body Butter
(Full Size: $24.00)
Description: “Lucsious, anti0xidant-rich formula that firms, softens and soothes.”
Verdict: I “wish” they’d stop it with this brand already
Forgive my pun, but am I the only one sick of getting Whish products? I don’t really care for them and I’ve gotten them over and over again. Birchbox, if I haven’t bought full sizes by now, I’m not going to do it so just send me something new to try.

OVERALL
January 2016 Birchbox
Verdict:
Okay
I paid $10.70 for this box and after reviewing the products received $5.00 in Birchbox points. Thankfully the sample I chose (the eyeliner) is more than worth the cost of this box and the Klorane is just a nice extra. I am really disappointed in some of the other choices and I’m just not quite feeling like Birchbox is really looking at my profile or the items I like and purchase.

How have your Birchboxes been measuring up?

BIRCHBOX NEWS!
LE Box

Birchbox released a new Limited Edition box called
Limited Edition: Why Not…Stay In
It’s priced at $45 and features some great items for a home spa day including masks, nail polish and even cozy socks. I am sorely tempted to grab one for myself, so we’ll see if my heart or my budget win out.

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: June 2015

My bout with the plague (otherwise known as an upper respiratory infection) has really taken a toll on my blogging and so I find myself with lots of boxes and products to tell you about. I’ve still got a few June boxes left amidst all the new July hoopla so I’m going to start this week with my June Birchbox.

Adventure was the theme of the June box, so let’s dive in and see what “adventurous” products are included.
Box
Open Box 1 Open Box 2

Caudalie
Caudalie Vinoperfect Day Perfecting Fluid SPF 15

(Full Size: $49.00)
Description: This ultra light weight moisturizer preps skin for makeup, minimizes pores, and blocks UV rays.”
Verdict: Miss/Gift
Caudalie is a great brand, but no way is SPF 15 enough for me. I’ll have to pass this along to someone who isn’t a soulless ginger.

Perfume
CLEAN Fresh Laundry

(Full Size 2.14 oz: $69.00)
Description: Citrus, floral and wood notes make this fragrance as crisp as your just-folded linens..”
Verdict: Miss/Gift
Perfume is typically a miss for me as many scents can give me headaches. This one was a bit strong for my taste, but I can definitely see the appeal of it so I’ll  pass it along to someone else who’ll appreciate it.

Microwater
Dr. Jart+ Dermaclear™ Micro Water

(Full Size: $32.00)
Description: ”Made with active hydrogen mineral water, this cleansing water removes makeup and brightens skin.
Verdict: Love!
I chose this sample for my box because cleansing water has been such a huge trend and I wanted to see what the hype was about. I honestly didn’t expect much but this is a really refreshing cleanser that does a great job of removing makeup while still being gentle on the skin. I think this would be a perfect cleanser to throw in your weekender for a summer getaway.

Shampoo & Cond.
Klorane Shampoo with Mango Butter

(Full Size 13.4 oz: $20.00)
Description: Made with rich mango butter, this creamy formula nourishes, smooths and hydrates parched strands.”
Klorane Shampoo with Mango Butter
(Full Size 5.07 oz: $16.00)
Verdict: Like
I know, I know, I usually complain about getting tons of shampoo and conditioner from Birchbox and I’m always talking about my hatred of foil packets, but since Nina Garcia blew my entire haircare budget on fancy hair masks, I need to get some basics wherever I can. In this case the foil packet is just an extra and since it’s for the conditioner, I can just use the excess shampoo with one of my oh so numerous conditioning treatments and masks. I like Klorane and fruity scented things so this one is a win for me.

Eyeliner
Marcelle Waterproof Eyeliner

(Full Size: $11.00)
Description: ”This blendable waterproof eyeliner goes on smoothly and stays put all day.
Verdict: Like/Gift
I love blue liners, but I currently have a plethora of them so I’m going to pass this along to a friend. It’s still a nice item to receive and a great size for a sample box.

BONUS ITEM

Hair Tie
Erickson Grab & Go Pony Tube

(Full Size: $18.00)
Description: ”We’ve added in this ponytail holder from L. Erickson for a chic pop of color.
Verdict: Hit!
This is a bonus item and I’m really happy with it. I have long hair and am constantly looking for hair ties to use around the house. The ubiquitous elastic ribbon style we get in so many sub boxes stretches out in no time at all, so I’m hoping this type will be more durable.

OVERALL
Full Box
Verdict:
Like

Okay you caught me, I’m giving this a “like” just because it had no Supergoop. But really, although a lot of the items weren’t a fit for me, I think they made sense in the overall box and were good picks for summer. I’ll use the shampoo and ponytail holder and I really enjoyed trying out the Dermaclear.   My box cost me $10.70, and I received $6.00 worth of Birchbox credits after my reviews, bringing the total down to $4.70. I think that’s a fair price for the samples I’ll use.

Have you tried any “cleansing water” yet? If so, I’d love to hear your thoughts on it!

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.

New Beauty Test Tube: January 2015 & 30% off!

I know that February has been a slow month here at Subscription Therapy. I’ve been dealing with work deadlines, a few illnesses and a wonky digital camera. But I have tons of new boxes to share with you so March should get us right back into our groove. The first new box is from New Beauty Test Tube who graciously sent me a box to review. (Follow my link for 30% off your subscription.)

I’d seen a lot of other bloggers talk about this box so I was very excited to try it out for myself.
“TestTube is an exclusive, one-of-a-kind sampling program enabling members the opportunity to try a variety of the latest breakthrough beauty products before investing in them, and then share their feedback about the products. Six times a year, for just $29.95 (plus shipping and handling), subscribers receive a TestTube filled with deluxe and full-size products from the hottest beauty brands. Members will also receive a subscription to NewBeauty magazine, delivered quarterly.”
Box

So inside the cheerful pink box is an actual tube and a product insert.
Open Box 1 Open Box 2
Insert Tube

Tell me I’m not alone in being a sucker for packaging?  I love the pretty design on this and I know the colorful cardboard tube is going to be turned into something crafty.
Side Open Tube
But enough with my toddler like fascination for actual cardboard boxes, let’s see what’s inside this bad boy.

Dermalogica
Dermalogica Daily Microfoliant (.45 oz)

(Deluxe Sample Value: approx.: $8.97 Full Size 2.6 fl oz: $52.00)
Description: Rejuvenate your complexion with this gentle exfoliating powder that activates the second it touches water. Thanks to salicylic acid and rice enzymes, this top-selling microfoliant rids skin of dead cells and perfectly polishes any and all skin conditions.
Verdict: Like
Dermalogica is a high end skin care brand that I’ve actually tried out in a spa before. I know a ton of people that swear by it, especially those with skin allergies. I exfoliate regularly so this will definitely get used.

Dry ShampooKlorane Dry Shampoo with Oat Milk (1 oz)
(Deluxe Sample Value: approx.: $5.94; Full Size 3.2 oz: $19.50)
Description: Whether you have superthick or ultrafine hair, extend and refresh the life of your blowouts with this instant dry shampoo that revives lifeless, oil locks in less than two minutes.”
Verdict: Hit!
I have oily roots and when you couple that with constantly wearing knit hats (thank you Old Man Winter) my scalp is an oil slick. Klorane is one of the few dry shampoo brands that I have yet to try so I’m happy to find this item in the box.

eraclea
Eraclea Ever-Moist Lip Balm (.35 fl oz)

(Full Size 4 oz: $16.00)
Description: Thanks to a high concentration of emollient ingredients, dry, distressed lips don’t stand a chance against this moisturizing lip treatment.”
Verdict: Like
This winter you really can’t hoard enough lip balms. This brand is completely new to me so I’m interested to see how it stacks up against the other balms I’ve tried. This is listed as a full size product on the New Beauty insert, but a full size is listed as 4 oz while my tube says 3.5 oz. It does appear to be a quite large for a balm so I’ll consider this one as “full size”. The scent is sweet, almost like a fruity cotton candy and it goes on easily. It’s not at all goopy or sticky and the consistency was near perfect. I found that it hydrated my lips quite well. The only thing I don’t really like about this product is the look of the packaging. It feels a bit too clinical for my taste (which made the sweet fun scent all the more surprising). I’m not sure I’d pay $16 for this, but I really do like it.

Chi
Chi Argan Oil Plus Moringa Oil (3 oz)

(Full Size 3 oz: $22.00)
Description: Create healthier hair with this lightweight moisturizing oil that also doubles as a protectant against thermal styling and UV rays.”
Verdict: Like
Hair oils have been on trend for a while now and they are a great way to combat dry hair due to things like heat styling. Chi is a well known brand for hair tools and products and this is a full size so the value is there. I don’t heat style my hair too frequently but I’ve been growing my hair out so I’ll use this on the tips to keep split ends at bay.

Oil
Balanced Guru No Frizz Oil (.5 oz)

(Deluxe Sample Value: approx.: $13.00; Full Size 1 oz: $25.00)
Description: Reduce frizz and add shine for more manageable hair with just a couple of drops of this silicone-free oil. No matter the climate, you can finally fight frizz—for good.”
Verdict: Hmm, why another oil?
So this is an new brand for me, and according to their company blurb they are certified organic, cruelty-free and environmentally sustainable. Now this hair oil is used to fight frizz. The New Beauty folks must think we all have super dry hair, because this is our 2nd hair oil in the same box.   The Chi is full sized and this product is actually pretty generously sized as well and sells for $13 on its own. The item is nice, but I think it would have been better to include something different and perhaps move one of the oils to another mailing.

Nail Dryer
Color Club Dry Ice Drops (.5 oz)

(Full Size .5 oz: $11.00)
Description: These fast-drying formulas dry your polish faster than ever before for your shiniest nails yet. Whether used together or applied separately, your fingernails will thank you.”
Verdict: Love!
This is another full size item and while I’ve tried Color Club polish before I’ve never tried any of their standard manicure products like topcoats or drying drops. I think drying drops are a great addition to the box since I know a lot of women who aren’t familiar with them, but are amazed at how much easier their manicures go once they finally do try them.

Now these next two products weren’t listed on the insert, so I’m guessing they vary from subscriber to subscriber.

LinerSharpener
Liner TipSwatch
YBF Plum Noir Eye Liner

(Full Size: ???)
Description: Your plum noir eye liner is the perfect deep plum hue! You will love the built in sharpener cap too!
Verdict: Miss
To start I couldn’t find this eyeliner available for sale on its own, so I have no idea how to estimate the value. The only place I could find it was inside YBF’s “sultry eyes & lips collection”. I have a highlighter from YBF that I use regularly so I’m familiar with the brand and I do like their products. The good points for this eyeliner were that it went on smoothly and didn’t smear. Unfortunately the color is not plum noir, this color is purplish red. As a pale redhead this will make me look like I’m possessed by a demon, or at the very least like I have pink eye. The only folks that I think could potentially pull off this shade would be those with a darker complexion, and even then I’m not convinced. I’m going to try to pass this along to a friend because it’s a nice formula with a built in sharpener, but I’m not sure anyone could pull off this color.

Algenist
Algenist Firming & Lifting Cream (.5 oz)

(Deluxe Sample Value: approx.: $23.50; Full Size 2 oz: $94.00)
Description: An ultra-firming and restructuring cream that tightens and lifts while reinforcing skin structure.”
Verdict: Love!
Algenist is a brand I’ve seen around and never tried because it’s pretty pricey. I can always use a little extra “firming and lifting” so I’m excited to try this one out. The deluxe sample is quite generous and I think there is definitely enough product for me to get an accurate idea of how it will work for my skin.

OVERALL
Full Box
Verdict:
Hit!

So I got this box for free, but it would normally cost $29.95 plus shipping. Not including the YBF liner that I couldn’t find a price for, we received $100.41 worth of product. The box included four full size items and four generously sized deluxe samples. Except for the liner in the crazy shade, all the items were super practical and something I think most women could use in their beauty regimes. This box feels a bit more mature and I think it will appeal to a lot of ladies in the 30+ group that maybe aren’t so keen on getting items like body glitter and neon polish in their beauty boxes. Beauty Test Tube seems to be focused more on the practical beauty finds rather then the uber trendy.

Besides the color of the liner and the fact that this one box included two hair oils, I had no other problems with it. Because I have so much volume in beauty products, I probably won’t subscribe to this regularly, however it’s definitely on my list if I opt to cancel some of my other beauty subs.

If you like Birchbox but maybe aren’t interested in super small samples or are overwhelmed with a monthly box, this might be a good option for you. While the cost is a bit higher than Birchbox or Ipsy, you are getting a lot more product and it’s arriving every 2 months, instead of monthly.

Have you ever tried New Beauty Test Tube? If so, what did you think?

NEWS!
I just got the scoop from New Test Tube Beauty that they are offering new subscribers 30% off! Just use my link to pay only $20.95 per tube!

THE BACKSTORY

Six times a year, subscribers receive a TestTube filled with deluxe and full-size products from the hottest beauty brands. Members will also receive a subscription to NewBeauty magazine, delivered quarterly. TestTube subscribers receive video emails, demonstrating how to achieve optimal results with the products. With 25,000 subscribers, TestTube has built an unprecedented community of beauty enthusiasts and informed women who sample and share their product favorites.

Cost: 29.95 plus shipping and handling per box
Special Deal! For a limited time use my link to pay only $20.95 per tube!