Birchbox: August 2015

As I was going through my box backlog I realized that I am way behind with my Birchbox reviews, so as a homage to the unseasonably warm November we are having, I’m going to review my August Birchbox featuring guest curator, Nicole Richie.

Another really pretty Birchbox that will be transformed into a gift box or some kind of storage.
Box
Open Box Card

Dr. Brandt
dr. brandt® microdermabrasion skin exfoliant

(Full Size: $78.00)
Description: Breakthrough at-home treatment for a glowing complexion—no pricey derm appointment required.
Verdict: Hit!
Dr. brandt is a fabulous brand and this is a pricey item, so I’m happy to have a sample to try out. I exfoliate regularly so this product will get used.


LAQA LAQA Swatch
LAQA & Co. Charm School Kit
(Full Size: $20.00)
Description: This creamy crayon (in Humble Brag) delivers an easy-to-apply deep rose color for both lips and cheeks..”
Verdict: Hit!
This is a great size and a cheerful saturated pink. I’m not sure if it will work with my coloring but I’ll play around with it and try some combos with gloss over it.

OPIOPI Swatch
OPI Venice Collection

(Full Size: $9.50)
Description: ”Top-notch polish from the beloved brand’s fall/winter 2015 collection (we’re in amore!)
Verdict: Sad Panda
So we all know I have a slight (okay, giant) obsession with polish so the lovely OPI red that was shown with this box was a huge motivator as to why I chose it. Instead of pretty red, I get an odd sort of shimmery brown. It’s not a bad color, but it’s really not my speed and doesn’t work so great with my complexion. Cue sad face.

LISSEA
Rene Furterer LISSEA Leave-in Smoothing Fluid

(Full Size: $31.00)
Description: ”Nourishing formula that protects hair during theat sytling, plus tames flaway and frizz..
Verdict: Eh
After this year’s giant box of hair products from Nina Garcia, it’s hard for me to get too excited over a new styling product. And unfortunately I don’t heat style my hair very often and that seems to be the big selling point on this item. I’ll add it to my hair stockpile but I’m not sure if I’ll really use it.

St. Tropez
St. Tropez Gradual In-Shower Tan

(Full Size: $25.00)
Description: ”This convenient, innovative self-tanner delivers buildable color for a natural-looking glow.
Verdict: Gift
There is no such thing as a “natural glow” for a ginger. We are white or bright lobster red. This product is a nice size and it sounds like a really cool way to self tan, so I’m passing it along to a friend.

OVERALL
8.2015 Birchbox

Verdict: Lackluster

I chose this box because of the pretty red polish shown and it came out with a really uninspiring baby poop brown, so I was uber disappointed. There were some nice size products in here, but I won’t use the tanner at all, and will rarely use the leave in fluid. I paid $10.70 and after reviewing the products received $5.00 of Birchbox credit. That turns out to $5.70 for the exfoliator and the LAQA lipstick, so not a bad deal after all.

What did you get your last couple Birchboxes? Any fabulous hits or really awful misses?

BIRCHBOX NEWS!
Birchbox is now offering a luxe new Special Edition Box:

Limited Edition: Everyday Glamour
(Retail: $48.00)
Description: A Wednesday night out. A work meeting. A weekend brunch. Not everything can be quite as exciting as a black-tie affair, but doesn’t your day-to-day still deserve a touch of glam? This Limited Edition Box is packed with with gorgeous, timeless products that will elevate your everyday beauty routine to new (gorgeous) heights. From a big-and-bold mascara and cult-favorite lip lacquer to strand-nourishing hair oil and an antioxidant-rich mask, this collection will keep you feeling fabulous and looking glamorous—even on a Monday. A $197 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.

Birchbox: May 2014

May’s Birchbox’s theme was “freewheeling” and featured a coupon offer from Kate Spade Saturday. I loved the cheerful yellow. It screamed out springtime.
BB#1

I hoard the cardboard birchboxes. They have a million uses. Seriously.
BB#2

Now let’s get inside.
Open

Shampoo & Conditioner
Beauty Protector Protect & Shampoo
(8 oz. Retail: $21.95)
Description: In addition to honey pearl powder, Protect & Shampoo is packed with rich vitamins and a gentle mix of sulfate-free cleaning agents. This powerhouse lineup cleanses and nourishes your strands.”
Verdict: Miss
While I love getting hair products, when I tried this one out I felt like it stripped my hair a bit. I’ve tried so many other great shampoos and this one just doesn’t measure up for me.

Beauty Protector Protect & Condition
(8 oz. Retail: $21.95)
Description: In addition to honey pearl powder, Protect & Condition is formulated with natural ingredients like shea butter and apple, lemon, and orange extracts. Together, they hydrate and nourish hair with vitamins and minerals.”
Verdict: Okay
While I liked this better than the corresponding shampoo, I just didn’t find it particularly compelling. This brand is known for its beauty oil, (which I received and then promptly broke) so if you’re going to give something a shot from this line, I’d probably opt for that.

 LAQUA
LAQA & Co. Sheer Lip Lube Pencil
in Bees Knees (Coral)
(Full Size: $18.00)
Description: “Unlike some glosses that simply provide a nice shine, this lip lube channels softening shea butter, which moisturizes and fills in any unsightly lines, and is infused with refreshing mint. Available in an array of wearable, softly pigmented shades.”
Verdict: Hit!
This item made the entire box for me. These lip pens go on really smoothly and feel very moisturizing. It gives a soft pigment and while this shade was a little pale for me, it was perfect when I topped it with a gold glitter gloss. I think these would be great for summer when you want a hint of color and something hydrating for your lips.

Breath Crystals
32 Oral Care Effervescent Breath Crystals with IsoVoxy
(30 Count Retail: $14.75)
Description: “Unlike gum and breath mints, which only mask bad breath, these teeth-cleaning crystals pack zinc and IsoVoxy to kill odor-causing bacteria. Once dissolved, they leave a fresh scent courtesy of natural peppermint flavors.”
Verdict: Miss
Cause breath mints are so 2000? I have no idea why anyone really needs this. I don’t like that crystal texture and a regular old Altoid has never failed me in my quest for minty fresh breath. Although this is just the sort of thing MacGiver could turn into a bomb, so if you frequently need to escape Columbian drug traffickers add this and some dental floss to your bag as an escape plan.

Sunblock
Supergoop!® Everyday SPF 30 with Cellular Response Technology
(18 oz Retail: $48.00)
Description: “This lightweight sunscreen quickly soaks into skin—but since it’s noncomedogenic, it doesn’t clog pores. It’s loaded with beta-glucan for moisture and free radical-fighting antioxidants to keep skin looking young. And its scent—a subtle botanical fragrance with hints of citrus and basil—beats the typical sweet, pseudo-tropical sunscreen smell any day.”
Verdict: Miss
Listen Birchbox, we need to have a talk. I told you I was a ginger. A pale, soulless, burn at the idea of sun, ginger. Sunblock is wonderful, sunblock products with an SPF of 30 are a joke for me. If I walk outside with this stuff on, the sun will fall out of the sky from laughing at me and will say something like “You finally just gave up and decided to get skin cancer, right? I WIN.” The moral of my little fable is STOP SENDING ME LOW SPF SUNBLOCK. If it ain’t at least 50 I don’t want to see it. And I don’t care if they claim anything above 35 is bullshit—any redhead will tell you that’s a lie that the non-melanin challenged tell themselves so they don’t have to go to the part of the aisle where the 70+ sunblock lives.

 Full Box
OVERALL
Verdict:
Hit!

Although this box had very little I liked, the LAQA lip pencil made it worth it for me.  Without it, this box would have been a big miss. I’m also very tired of the low SPF sunblock products (if you hadn’t noticed). I’d really love to see things that are available in higher SPFs since those are the products I am always on the lookout for.

With tax I paid $10.70 and after reviewing each item, my points got me the equivalent of $5.00.

What did you get in your Birchbox?
How do you feel about “breath crystals”? Useless or the enlightened way to freshen breath?

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.

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