September 2012 Birchbox Review

 

 

Is it just me or does it seem like Birchboxes come out later and later each month?! Then again, when you’re excitedly awaiting something it does tend to take awhile to arrive, so that could be a secondary explanation. In any case, the September 2012 Birchbox was not too bad! It was filled with great samples and…wait for it…not a perfume sample in sight!

In case you aren’t familiar with Birchbox, I’ll give you a little rundown. Each month a package arrives at your door. It contains about 4-5 samples of deluxe beauty products (skin care and make up) and a little something extra. The samples are usually generous and last for a few applications. If you love an item you can get onto Birchbox’s website and buy it. Each item you buy earns you some points, similar to how the Sephora rewards card works, and you can use them toward later purchases. I love samples, especially of beauty products that are on the pricier side, so if you do actually purchase something you have a good idea of whether or not you will be happy with it. Birchbox costs $10 a month or you can subscribe for the year for $110.

21 drops Focus Aromatherapy Blend
Sample Size: 2 mL, $8
Full size: 7.5 mL, $29

Birchbox says: Stay sharp with this mind-clearing blend of rosemary and peppermint essential oils. Apply to pulse points and breathe deep.

My thoughts: Aromatherapy has always been something I’ve been on the fence about…mostly due to my ridiculous allergies to the outside world. I was excited to see this sample in my Birchbox, though, because it’s the first time I’ve ever gotten something of the sort in a subscription box. Plus, I got the ‘Focus’ kind..how perfect! I really did like the scent, although I did not see a difference in my focusing. Perhaps my condition just surpasses the help aromatherapy can provide.  I doubt I would ever buy the full size product here,  but I still felt the item deserved a worthy review.

Rating: B+


Color Club in Status Update
Sample size: 7 mL, $4
Full size: 15 mL, $15

Birchbox says: We teamed up with Color Club to create this custom shade, inspired by the Fall 2012 collections.

My thoughts: When I saw that this month’s Birchbox would include a custom-made Color Club nail polish shade, I was super excited. I actually really love black nail polish (or dark gray, or whatever this shade actually is), but I am still on the fence with Color Club products themselves. Granted, I am not the most graceful individual, and have a hard time waiting for my nails to fully dry, but within 24 hours of using this nail polish I had a few nails chip. Plus, I was kind of hoping the color would be more on the gray side, like it appears to be from the bottle, but it dries as black. Eh, we’ll see.

RatingB

Nexxus Pro-Mend Split End Treatment System
Sample size: 0.33 oz./0.1 oz., $0.20-$0.30
Full size: 13.5 oz/4.8 oz., $9.99-$14.99

Birchbox says: The fragrance equivalent to a wink, this fanciful scent layers fresh citrus and jasmine notes over a base of lavender and pumpkin.

My thoughts: I love Nexxus products. They’ve always done a good job for me, even if Birchbox sent out the smallest quality sample of all time with this product. 20 cents for a packet of shampoo? I’m sorry, but unless a shampoo costs $100 a full-size product, I don’t think a ‘deluxe sample’ translates to a one-application-packet of product. However, I can’t dock the actual product because the sample size was shitty.

Rating: A

twistband Birchbox Custom Lace Hair Tie
Sample size: 1 twistband, $2.25 
Full size: 6-12 twistbands, $14-$22

Birchbox says: Designers went gaga for lace this season and we don’t blame them. Get on board with these ouch-free hair ties.

My thoughts: I think these hair ties are cute, but every time I get one they start fraying after just a few uses! I really loved the lace ones that Birchbox sent out and kind of considered using some Birchbox points on ordering a pack of them, but I’m afraid they will just fall apart on me.

Rating: B
Vasanti Brighten Up! Enzymatic Face Rejuvenator
Sample size: 20 mL, $5.75
Full size: 120 mL, $34

Birchbox says: This exfoliating cleanser uses professional-grade (read: effective) microderm crystals and papaya enzymes to brighten dull skin.

My thoughts: I’m always on a personal mission to find the best ‘brightening’ facial skin products, so I was super excited to see this cleanser/exfoliator in my Birchbox. It smells awesome and the sample size was impressive! I’ll definitely be able to use this for a week or more. So far, I think it has given my face a ‘brighter’ look, but I will have a better idea in a few days.

Rating: A

Lifestyle Extra
Mighty Leaf Tea Company Teas
Sample size: 3 teabags, $2
Full size: Pack of 15, $9.95

Birchbox says: Swap your afternoon latte for these yummy tea blends, made from natural, ethically sourced ingredients.

My thoughts: Food is not something I get overly excited about when I see it in my Birchbox, unless it has some kind of beautifying properties. I’m not going to lie, I haven’t even tried these yet, so I won’t say anything more about the product!

 

Overall, September’s Birchbox wasn’t my favorite, but not a total disappointment either. The total value of the box was $26.75, so value-wise it definitely surpasses the $10 monthly subscription fee, which is always a plus!

Want your own Birchbox? Go to http://www.birchbox.com?raf=s6h6z to sign up!

Note: I do not work for Birchbox or am affiliated with them in any way. By clicking on the link above, it works as a referral from me. My thoughts are entirely my own and do not necessarily reflect those of Birchbox.

August 2012 Birchbox Review

August 2012 Birchbox: Beauty School Supply Kit

Anything ‘back to school’ themed will always remind me of Billy Madison, because I am mature like that.

Back to school. Back to school, to prove to Dad that I’m not a fool. I got my lunch packed up, my boots tied tight, I hope I don’t get in a fight. Ohhhh, back to school. Back to school. Back to school.

But the best part about getting a ‘back to school’ themed Birchbox this month? The fact that I, will in fact, not be going back to school because I am donedonedone!

I did like the contents of this month’s box, but it would still be hard to beat the love I had for July’s box. Read ahead to see what I got and what I thought!

In case you aren’t familiar with Birchbox, I’ll give you a little rundown. Each month a package arrives at your door. It contains about 4-5 samples of deluxe beauty products (skin care and make up) and a little something extra. The samples are usually generous and last for a few applications. If you love an item you can get onto Birchbox’s website and buy it. Each item you buy earns you some points, similar to how the Sephora rewards card works, and you can use them toward later purchases. I love samples, especially of beauty products that are on the pricier side, so if you do actually purchase something you have a good idea of whether or not you will be happy with it. Birchbox costs $10 a month or you can subscribe for the year for $110.

Juicy Couture Viva la Juicy La Fleur Perfume
Sample Size: .05 fl. oz., $8.75
Full size: 2.5 oz., $70

Birchbox says: This modern scent is a feminine blend of wild berries, mandarin, and waterlily.

My thoughts: I’m a big fan of Juicy scents. Their original formula has long been in my rotating arsenal of perfumes. While I did enjoy their Viva la Juicy La Fleur, I rarely love the ‘sequel’ more than the original. I have no doubt it’ll get used though, although by now I have so many perfume samples from Birchbox I don’t know what to do with myself.

Rating: A-

Miss Jessie’s Original Stretch Silkening Creme
Sample size: 2 fl. oz., $5.50
Full size: 8 fl. oz., $22

Birchbox says: Apply to soaking wet hair to loosen tight curls and add tons of shine.

My thoughts: Is there a spot on the Birchbox questionnaire where they ask you about your hair texture? I don’t know, but if there isn’t there should be! I know I’ve waxed on about my straight to curly to straight hair texture life, so until my hair inevitably goes curly again, I have little need for a curly hair product. I’ve still used it a few times and have noticed it has helped reduced weather-related frizzies and added some shine. So, even though I can’t attest to whether or not it helps loosen tight curls, I still think it is a quality product. Maybe I’ll have my mom take a try while I’m home and see if it works on her curls!
P.S.: When I initially snooped on the Birchbox website to see what I would be getting in this month’s box, I definitely thought this product was for stretch marks, based off the name. Hopefully I’m not the only one, because now I feel like a moron.

Rating: B

Pixi Beauty Lip & Line
Full size sample!
Full size: 0.051 oz., $18

Birchbox says: A double-sided wand featuring a waterproof liner and a creamy lipstick.

My thoughts: I would never dare argue about receiving a full-sized product, considering it substantially added to the value of the box. I’ve only tried this out once; I haven’t really had an opportunity to wear a lipstick of this shade yet this week. I’m not exactly sure how convinced I am that the lipstick portion of the product should be considered ‘creamy,’ but maybe my lips were just dry when I put it on? Who knows. Either way, yay for full-sizes!

Rating: B+

Yu-Be Moisturizing Skin Cream
Sample size: 0.1 oz., $2
Full size: 1.25 oz., $16

Birchbox says:Bestselling Japanese cream that hydrates chapped lips, rough heels, and cracked hands.

My thoughts: This was a teeny, tiny sample for a body cream. Typically the body cream samples come in a size that last for more than one application. This was more of the size of an eye cream sample, womp womp. Therefore, it is difficult to accurately evaluate it. The cream is quite thick. It also smells like Bengay…so I wouldn’t want to put this on for daytime wear.

Rating: C+

Schick Hydro Silk Razor
Full size: 1 razor, $9.99

My thoughts: Razors are such a pain in the butt, but since I hate having prickly legs, I am forced to deal with them until I am rich enough to get them laser hair removed. I thought this was a great extra for the box! Razors are pricey, so a quality non-disposable razor was a nice treat. Additionally, I find myself buying men’s razors a lot because most ladies razors only have 2 or 3 blades…and a 4 blade razor gives a much closer shave. No complaints here!

Birchbox Total Value: $44.25!

This month’s box had a great variety of products and worth quite a lot more than 10 dollars! Here’s my only thing, this month’s box came with a little brochure of ‘tips and tricks.’ Is it weird that I don’t like change and missed the simple card? Minor quips.

Want your own Birchbox? Go to http://www.birchbox.com?raf=s6h6z to sign up!

Note: I do not work for Birchbox or am affiliated with them in any way. By clicking on the link above, it works as a referral from me. My thoughts are entirely my own and do not necessarily reflect those of Birchbox.

July 2012 Birchbox Review

July 2012 Birchbox

I know I teased about this awhile ago, but I finally got around to completing my Birchbox review for the July 2012 box. I apologize if it seems a little haphazard! I am nearing graduation from grad school, so between all the coursework, internship, and work wrapups, plus job hunting and moving out of my apartment, it has made for several hectic weeks! Read ahead to find out what I thought about this month’s products!

In case you aren’t familiar with Birchbox, I’ll give you a little rundown. Each month a package arrives at your door. It contains about 4-5 samples of deluxe beauty products (skin care and make up) and a little something extra. The samples are usually generous and last for a few applications. If you love an item you can get onto Birchbox’s website and buy it. Each item you buy earns you some points, similar to how the Sephora rewards card works, and you can use them toward later purchases. I love samples, especially of beauty products that are on the pricier side, so if you do actually purchase something you have a good idea of whether or not you will be happy with it. Birchbox costs $10 a month or you can subscribe for the year for $110.

Color Club Polish in Blue-Ming
Sample Size: 0.25 fl. oz.
Full size: 0.5 fl. oz., $8

Birchbox says: Use this green-turquoise polish on fingers and toes all summer long.

My thoughts: I love getting nail polishes in my Birchbox, they can do no wrong. However, this is the third time that I got a shade of green, and while green is my favorite color, I like a little variety too! In any case, I love Color Club polishes and the size of their samples, so I can’t complain too much.

Rating: A


Gloss Moderne High-Gloss Masque
Sample size: 0.5 oz.
Full size: 4 oz., $39

Birchbox says: Sun, heat, and pollution all strip our hair—happily, this vitamin-rich conditioning complex restores bounce and shine.

My thoughts: This deep conditioner is very thick and goes on so smooth. It wasn’t a bad size either, I could definitely get another go out of it. I left it in my hair for about 30 minutes while I was doing other stuff (i.e. painting my nails and drinking wine), then rinsed it out. My hair felt great! And I was very pleased until I dried my hair and it left it looking very greasy. Historically, my hair has been fickle, for years it was straight, then curly, now straight again…oscillating between being dry and normal. But I wouldn’t say I have oily hair and I know I washed it all out, so, who knows. Maybe I’ll try it again once more before I make too many assumptions.

Rating: C

Harvey Prince Eau Flirt
Sample size:
Full size: 1.7 fl. oz., $55-$98

Birchbox says: The fragrance equivalent to a wink, this fanciful scent layers fresh citrus and jasmine notes over a base of lavender and pumpkin.

My thoughts: Oh Birchbox and your never ending perfume samples. I have learned not to care too much when I get yet another one in my box. Plus, this Harvey Prince Eau Flirt smelled wonderful! It was subtle and left just enough scent. My only complaint is the sample’s vile packaging…I hate when they don’t have a little spray top because it becomes all too easy for the top to pop off and perfume to go everywhere when there isn’t one.

Rating: A

Manna Kadar Sheer Glo Shimmer Lotion
Sample size: 0.1 fl. oz.,
Full size: 1 fl. oz., $29

Birchbox says:This cult luminizing liquid adds a supermodel-like sheen to skin. Mix it with your foundation, or apply as a highlighter to cheeks and browbones.

My thoughts: I prefer more of a matte look on myself, but every couple days I do use Laura Mercier’s Foundation Primer underneath my foundation. This reminded me a lot like that, except it had more of a tan tint. I doubt I would ever buy it, since I am not keen on being shimmery, but it was fine to try out anyway.

Rating: B


Suki Balancing Kit
Sample size: 5 packets (4 at 0.13 fl. oz., 1 at 0.07 fl. oz.)
Full size: $40

Birchbox says: This all-in-one set calms and purifies troubled skin, leaving it smooth and hydrated.

My thoughts: I was intrigued by all these packets when I first opened my box. I could have benefited from a little more instruction when I went to use them, but there’s a pretty logical order. I actually really, really loved this little set, and I’m pretty sure that this is what you get in actual trial kit from Suki, which their website (and others, such as Amazon) list as being $18. My skin looked glowing, smooth, and healthy after I used the scrub, toner, masque, and oil. It felt a little weird putting oil on my face, but it didn’t cause me to break out or look overly greasy. You can get more than one use out of the packets, but the only downfall is the trickiness of keeping opened packets from spilling. Small bottles of each would have been nice, but I understand the economics of that one. Overall, I would highly recommend using this system.

Birchbox Extras
LÄRABAR über
Sample size: 0.82 oz.
Full size: Pack of 16, $27.95

Birchbox says: The latest addition to our snack drawer, these healthy and satisfying bars are packed with dried nuts and fruits.

My thoughts: Food, not so exciting. But what was exciting was that I opened my box right when I got to work and had forgotten to bring a snack along and was starving. So, there were no complaints from me pertaining to getting a food item.

Birchbox Exclusive Earbuds
$10

Birchbox says: We designed these neon headphones just for you. Pair them with your best playlist.

My thoughts: What a fun extra this month! I really loved getting this in my box, the colors are so bright, and I constantly lose earbuds and needed an extra pair. Plus, the actual earbuds are not the hard plastic, uncomfortable sort, so they fit nicely in my ears.
Overall, I would say this is one of my favorite boxes to date. It was certainly the most stuffed and I enjoyed the variety of items, although I was wondering where the make-up products were?! I miss them, Birchbox!

Want your own Birchbox? Go to http://www.birchbox.com?raf=s6h6z to sign up!

Note: I do not work for Birchbox or am affiliated with them in any way. By clicking on the link above, it works as a referral from me. My thoughts are entirely my own and do not necessarily reflect those of Birchbox.

Sample Society by Beauty Bar & Allure: June 2012 Review and Beauty Tips

  Sample Society is a relatively new to the sample box subscription arena. It is a creation from BeautyBar.com and Allure. Some time ago I must have signed up to be notified when they were accepting new members and I … Continue reading