Birchbox: June 2016 Review

Today I’m back from my brief hiatus to review one of my last Birchboxes.  Because of the very controversial changes to the Birchbox subscription that I discussed in my last BB review, I opted to cancel my subscription after July.
Box
So let’ see what June brought inside my very cute box.
Gimme BrowGimme Brow Swatch
Benefit Gimme Brow Volumizing Fiber Gel
(Full Size $24.00)
Description: “This innovative, water-resistant fiber gel has a precision tip for shaping and buildable formula for thick, lush brows.
Verdict: Like
This was the sample I chose and I got the medium shade.  The product seems to work decently but I actually really prefer Julep’s eyebrow product.  I think it’s easier to apply.  I also hate that redheads never get our own shade.  Yes, I know eyebrows are typically darker than the hair on your head, but I’d love to see an option that gives a more reddish tone.

Coola Sun
COOLA® Environmental Repair Plus® Radical Recovery™ After-Sun Lotion
(Full Size: $32.00)
Description: This soothing lotion uses agave to moisturize protect and calm any post-sun woes.”
Verdict: Déjà vu all over again
Is it a Birchbox if we don’t get anything from Coola?  Since the sun and I are mortal enemies, I do not need “after sun” recovery, because I load myself up enough sunblock and protective clothing/products.  I really hate these “recovery” products.  Just use enough damn sunblock the first time and save yourself $32 extra dollars and those wrinkles.

Evologie
Evologie® Intensive Blemish Serum
(Full Size: $35.00)
Description: ”Aside from obliterating blemishes (as if that weren’t enough), the serum also tackles scars and hyperpigmentation.”
Verdict: Not the best fit
I don’t really have much of a problem with acne and I’ve indicated that on my profile. This says it tackles scars and hyperpigmentation too, but those aren’t problems for me either.  I do get the occasional pimple so I’ll set this aside, but it really wasn’t a good choice for me.

Oribe
Oribe Côte d’Azur Eau de Parfum
(Full Size: $95.00)
Description: ”Enjoy the scent you love form Oribe, now in a perfume that lasts all day.
Verdict: You know they give these away for free at makeup counters?
Oribe makes fabulous hair products, the only problem with them is they have a very strong perfume scent.  I don’t use a lot of the Oribe products I own just because the scent gets to me.  Now, this product right here is a perfect example of why I canceled Birchbox.  Fragrances should not be included in the 5 products.  Every makeup counter will give these to you for free, plus so many people cannot handle strong scents.  Birchbox lets you select a “least” option for getting perfumes.  Out of 6 months of boxes, I chose a curated boxes twice.  Out of the remaining 4 months, I received a perfume sample 3 times.  Is it really worth me paying $10.70 a month to consistently receive a product I can’t use or opt out of?  When I got points for reviews it offset the cost, but now?  No way.  You can keep your tiny little vials of headaches, Birchbox.

Parlor Shampoo
PARLOR® by Jeff Chastain Moisturizing & Repairing Shampoo

(Full Size: $22.00)
Description: “A lightweight, sulfate-free cleanser infused with softening and strengthening ingredients.”
Verdict:  Again?
I don’t know how many products are in the Parlor line but I feel like I’ve gotten them all 10 times already.  For the love of god, try a new brand.

OVERALL
Birchbox June 2016
Verdict:
I’m a Sad Panda
This box came while Birchbox’s old review policy was in place so I paid $10.70 for this box and received $5.00 in Birchbox points with my reviews.  Even with the discount, this one was a stinker.  The only item I really liked was the Benefit product I chose and that product is super tiny.  The products don’t match my profile and it’s the same brands over and over again.  Where are the cool fun finds?  Hello, Birchbox if we haven’t bought Coola or Parlor by now, WE ARE NEVER GOING TO DO IT.  Birchbox is never going to last if they want folks to pay full price for such badly curated boxes.  They have a lot of great brands and unique products, they can do better.  At this point the only thing I’ll really miss about this sub are the cute cardboard boxes.

How do you feel about fragrances in beauty subs?  Are they appropriate as key items or should they only be used as “extras”?

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.
You can redeem reward points for money toward your Birchbox purchases.
You can also earn points by referring/subscribing friends.

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.