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: 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.