Birchbox: November 2015

It’s time to get caught up on my backlog of Birchboxes, so today I’ve got my review of the November 2015 box including my Birchbox plus item.

Every month Birchbox includes items you can add on to your box for an additional fee. In November, I opted to grab a pair of Baublebar earrings to go with my regular subscription.

Check out the box I received:
Big BoxOpen Big Box
I know they have standard boxes, but really couldn’t we have cut this one down a bit?
Anyway here’s what my gigantic box contained:
with Plus

BB Plus
Baublebar Ear Jackets

(Cost: $26.75)
I loved the vintage deco feel to these so I nabbed them as a little gift to myself.

Another pretty box reveals:
Birchbox Open Birchbox 1 Open BB 2

Cartier
Cartier Eau De Cartier Goutte de Rose Eau de Toilette spray

(1.7 oz.: $67.00)
Description: As delightful as dew on a freshly picked bloom, this xscent blends rose, vanilla nd amber notes.”
Verdict: Enough with the old lady perfumes
I’m not much of a perfume person and I really wish Birchbox would stop sending them to me – or at the very least let me put in a preference that I could get fresh or fruity scents instead of these heavy florals.


LOC First Kiss First Kiss Swatch
LOC Vibrant Matte Lipstick in First Kiss
(LOC Complete Collection for Lips: $18.00)
Description: From Birchbox’s new brand: A soft, flexible lipstick with shades curated by YouTube beauty star Tati Westbrook.”
Verdict: A little too Oompa Loompa for me
I chose this as my sample because it was supposed to be a nude and I am desperately searching for a good one. Not sure if you can tell in this swatch but it goes awfully orange on me. I really hate these “neutral sets that look great on everyone” crap. Makeup is rarely ever truly neutral. How about you just make a cool/blue undertoned set and a warm/yellow undertoned set and let us choose the crap that actually works for us? Sorry for the rant but sometimes it’s hard to be a cool undertoned girl in a warm undertoned world. 😉

MAKE
MAKE Skin Illuminator

(Retail Value: $34.00)
Description: ”Park skin-correcting base and part highlighter, this illuminator has the perfect amount of sheer, pearlescent glimmer.”
Verdict: Hit!
Finally a product I want to use. I didn’t get a chance to swatch this one, but I did try it out later and I liked that it had a more subtle shimmer to it.

Hair Oil
Number 4™ Fluoro5 Elixer Restore & Repair Oil

(Retail Value: $26.00)
Description: ”This strand –saving elixir gives drab, dull hair a coveted movie star shine.
Verdict: Wow, Hair Oil I’ve never gotten this before
I really don’t believe there is a single women’s subscription box that hasn’t sent me hair oil at some point. It’s sort of be some “it” product for haircare the past year and a half or so. Since this comes in a plastic bottle (instead of a little glass tube) I’m going to set aside this sample for travel. But seriously how much hair oil can a person use? I don’t think I’m going to need to buy any for at least a few years.

Curl Creme
PARLOR® by Jeff Chastain Touchable Curl Cream

(Full Size: $26.00)
Description: “This innovative formula combines the silky texture of a serum with the light hold of a cream.”
Verdict: Like
Despite listing my hair as “wavy” on my Birchbox profile I rarely get items specifically for curly/wavy hair so I’m happy try out this cream. This is also a generous size for a sample.

OVERALL
Birchbox November 2015 & Plus

Verdict:  A bit disappointing
I liked the earrings of course, since I picked them out, but I’m super disappointed to get another perfume and that the LOC lipstick leans so warm. I paid $10.70 for the box and I received $5.00 of Birchbox credit after reviewing the items, so it’s a decent value when you consider that I liked two of the products. I really want Birchbox to step up their customization of profiles so they can send us products that we are more likely to use and enjoy. If you insist on sending us scents, let us indicate which types of scents we like. If you’re going to send us makeup, let us tell you if we are cool or warm toned, and if we have any favorite or hated colors. You have a profile area, start using it to your advantage and ours.

How do your Birchboxes measure up against your actual preferences?


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: March 2015

For March, I opted to try out one of the special Birchbox plus items. 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. I’ve never splurged on a Birchbox plus item before so I wasn’t sure what to expect with the packaging.

A much larger box…
Plus Box
which held my plus item and my regular Birchbox.
Open Box 1

BIRCHBOX PLUS
Earbuds Earbuds Close up
Triple C Designs smartBUDZ 2

(Retail: $24.99)
Description: Tangled earbuds are the daily bane of our existence. No matter how carefully we wrap them up, they’re always a hot tangled mess when we retrieve them from our bags. The solution: This next generation earbud-tamer. Like its predecessor, it has a retractable mechanism that stores wires neatly and compactly—and it comes in jazzy patterns like Peacock and Marrakech.”
Verdict: Love!
These were available for 19.99 (I paid $21.10 with tax) and in different prints during the selection process. I have a hardcore commute and my earbuds take a beating. They are constantly being taken off and on, being wrapped and unwrapped and the cables usually end up frayed where they connect to the earbud. The moment I saw the design on these I knew they were a must have. I’m giving my commuter bag a Spring overhaul and these little guys are going to help with keeping my bag neat and tidy and hopefully keeping me from having to replace my earphones as frequently.

None of the March samples piqued my interest so I went into this box as a full surprise.
You know what that translates to: a guarantee of shampoo and/or conditioner.
Let’s see if I’m wrong.
Small Box
Colorful Box Open Box 2
Open Box 3

Amika
amika Bombshell Blowout Spray

(Full Size: $24.00)
Description: Lightweight styler that volumizes, smooths and protects for a sleek yet bouncy ‘do.”
Verdict: Not for me
I rarely blowdry my hair. I have thicker wavy hair and typically air dry and finish with a sea salt spray or leave in conditioner. Now that we are moving toward warmer weather I’m even less likely to blow out my hair. I did indicate that I “air dry” on my profile, so if Birchbox paid attention to our preferences this shouldn’t have been in my box. Amika is a nice brand, but I’m probably not going to get much use out of this.

BlushBlush Swatch
Cargo Swimmables™ Water Resistant Blush in Los Cabos

(Full Size: $26.00)
Description: This water-resistant pigment stays put and gives skin an effortless glow.”
Verdict: I’m not sure you could have found a worse blush for me..
It’s like Cargo took everything I hate in a blush and put it into this one. This is orange on me. Very orange. Like the color of Michael Kors’ fake tan or oompa loompas. I’m not sure the picture adequately captures it. It also has quite a lot of glitter which is not what I look for in a blush. Lastly, there is no way on earth this thing would stay on my skin in the water. It didn’t even last 5 minutes after I swatched it. I know some folks adore this blush, but it just didn’t work for my coloring or skin. Super disappointed. On the bright side this was a good size sample and a warmer toned person who likes glittery blushes would probably enjoy it.

Shampoo
Number 4™ Clarifying Shampoo

(Retail 8.5 oz: $32.00)
Description: Vitamin-rich botanicals gently purify hair while restoring lost moisture and shine.”
Verdict: Boom goes the dynamite!
See I told you there’d be shampoo. You have to be some super special extra insider to avoid shampoo and conditioner in your Birchboxes. That being said, this is probably the item in the box I’ll get the most use out of. I normally don’t like shampoos without conditioners but a clarifying shampoo will pair really well with my deep conditioning masks and treatments. So for once I’m happy with the shampoo.

Supergoop
Supergoop!® Daily Correct CC Cream ​SPF 35+ in Fair/Light SPF 40

(Full Size: $32.00)
Description: ”Next-generation SPF 40 CC cream that triple protects against UVA, UVB, and infrared-A rays.
Verdict: Please stop sending me Supergoop stuff. Please. No quiero.
Birchbox really, really, REALLY loves Supergoop. I feel like Supergoop products are forever showing up in my boxes (including the limited edition ones). I just don’t care for the brand that much.  (I also hate the name Supergoop.  It makes me think of slime or Gwyneth Paltrow’s blog).  Their product feels a bit greasy to me and I don’t think it blends well with my skin. I’d really love to see less repeat of brands. I like trying out new brands I may not have heard of, not ones that are constantly in beauty boxes.

Whish 2
Whish Shave Savour Hair Inhibiting Gel

(Full Size: $26.00)
Description: ”All natural formula that slows hair growth while deeply hydrating skin.
Verdict: On the Fence
I’ve gotten Whish shave gel before and it was okay. I still preferred my cheapie Eos brand to it, but it was useful. I’m not sure how my skin will like a “hair inhibiting gel”. It just sounds like it would be harsh on my skin and I don’t see it as the type of product I would be interested in regularly buying.

RANDOM EXTRA??
This wasn’t listed on my card so I’m assuming it’s a random extra which is fine by me since it’s just a foil packet.

Masque
Number 4™ Reconstructing Masque

(Full Size: $58.00)
Description: Soy protein works to reconstruct and strengthen hair while natural conditioners like shea butter, jojoba seed oil, and sunflower oil nourish and moisturize. Don’t forget about the silkiness factor — for that, there’s silicone polymer, which smoothes and detangles.
Verdict: Like
Since this is just a freebie, I’m not going to get annoyed that it’s a foil packet. I’m happy to try this out since there is no way I’d spring $58 on a full size without a guarantee this will make my hair amazing.  And when I say amazing I mean full out Little Mermaid singing on a rock with flowing tresses or Julia Roberts in Pretty Woman awesome.  (So now I guess you know redhead hair idols).

OVERALL
March 2015 Birchbox

Verdict: Miss

Aside from my plus item, (which I selected) this box felt like it was made for someone else. We fill out profiles on Birchbox and I wish they’d use them more closely. A pale cool/pink toned redhead who air dries her hair does not need an orange blush and blow out spray. We also rate items and I don’t think I’ve rated any of my supergoop items too highly, so you’d think that might discourage them from continuing to send them to me. I’ll use the shampoo and mask, but those alone can’t really make this box a win. I paid 10.40 for the box and I received $6.00 worth of BB points after reviewing each one. $4.40 isn’t a ton to spend, so it’s not a huge loss, but I’m just a bit underwhelmed by the curations I’m receiving lately.

How was your last Birchbox? Did the items fit your profile?

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.