Monday, September 23, 2013

Birchbox: September 2013 Review

Hey, friends! Today I wanted to share with you my very first Birchbox. I'm very excited. And I didn't even have to miss a month of beauty subscriptions! If you're curious as to why I cancelled Ipsy, please click here

Birchbox? What's that? - Birchbox is a monthly beauty and lifestyle subscription service. It sends 4-5 sample size and full-sized products that are curated to your beauty profile. It is $10 a month, and has a wonderful rewards program, in which you can earn points for reviewing products and making purchases in the Birchbox Shop. You can then redeem those points for full-sized products in the Birchbox Shop! It's probably the best rewards program out there, in my opinion, which was one of the big draws in me signing up. If you're interested in subscribing to Birchbox, I would love it if you used my referral link. Thank you! 

Each Birchbox comes in a little cardboard box. A lot of people do really fun crafts with them. I'm excited to find a cute way to jazz up my box for storing beauty products! 

My box actually came two days early than the intended shipping date. I love Birchbox already. What a refreshing change from Ipsy

This month's Birchbox theme was "Heritage." The card briefly talks about icons and history in the fashion world, and talks about Ruffians' first-ever nail polish line. The product that everyone received in their box this month was a full-sized Ruffian Nail Lacquer. The products themselves don't really resonate a "heritage" feeling with me, but a full-sized nail polish that's the cost of the box is perfectly fine with me. 

And it includes an information card! I went on about this in my Sample Society review how useful this little guy is (and how Ipsy should do it--it makes identifying the products so much easier). Like Sample Society, this includes not only what the product is, but how to use it. Love it!

When I opened my box, this was what I saw. It's very cute, with the pink tissue paper, and I appreciate the extra precaution they took of putting my two smallest items in a separate container (especially the Ruffian nail polish, since that is glass, and there was empty space in the box for it to move around otherwise). 

Anyway, on to the products:

Beauty Protector Duo: Protect & Shampoo and Protect & Condition 
(Sample-size: $2.25 each ~ 1oz)
(Full-size: $21.95 each for 8oz)

I love receiving shampoo in beauty subscription boxes! It ensures that I'll never run out. Once again, this one is sulfate-free. Awesome! I've heard great things about the Beauty Protector Detangler, so I'm excited to try their shampoo. As for the conditioner, I'm still very content with my Wen, but since these are only 1oz bottles, I'm sure it'll be gone in a few uses anyway, so I might as well try it out. I'm still using my Ecru Shampoo from my Sample Society box back in July, but after I finish it up I'll switch to this duo! 

Dr. Jart+ Premium Beauty Balm SPF 45+ (Sample-size: about $1 ~ 5mL)
(Full-size: $39 ~ fl 1.5oz)

I've received a Dr. Jart BB Cream sample before, and I imagine I will have the same problem with this one: not being filled all the way. Most of my sample tube was filled with empty air, and I only got about 1.5 uses out of it before I had to cut the top open. Granted, there's quite a bit of product along the sides (probably about 4 more uses worth), but I hate how companies do this! If I unscrew the top, I can feel that it's going to be the same scenario as my previous tube. I could be more disappointed about it, but you still get enough to test it out and see if you like it. 

I already know I really like this BB Cream--it's more like the Asian BB Creams in that it only comes in one shade and then adjusts to your skin. I love the coverage it gives, and although at first I was worried about it being too pink-toned for my warm complexion, it eventually sunk into my skin and blended out nicely. I would repurchase this in the future, but I'm still using my Maybelline BB Cream and I have a Pacfica BB Cream sample I haven't even opened yet from Ipsy's August bag, so it'll be awhile from now if I do. 

Dr. Lipp Original Nipple Balm for Lips (Sample-size: $3 ~ 3mL)
(Full-size: $14.50 ~ 15mL)

I laughed when I saw this in my box! This is actually a lip balm originally for breast feeding mothers on their, well, nipples. It's very moisturizing and feels very smooth. This picture might distort the size of this product, but it is tiny. Like the Dr. Jart sample, this tube was nearly empty when squeezed. I'm sure I'll find plenty more once I cut it open, but I've been able to get a few uses out so far, so I think it'll last me at least a little while. It's very hard in texture when it comes out of the tube (think Carmex, if you've used it), but then smooths out into something more soft when you rub it on your lips. I've deemed this my nighttime lip balm, and I really like it so far. It feels very moisturizing and smooth when I put it on. When I wake up the next morning, my lips feel dry, but it is fall now, so my lips would probably be dry no matter what I put on them. I've heard this is an overpriced product and that there are better alternatives for way cheaper, so I don't think I'll be repurchasing this. Still, it's a fun product (and my roommates had quite a few laughs about it).

Ruffian Nail Lacquer in Fox Hunt (FULL-SIZE: $10 ~ 5mL)

I adore this nail polish! I don't quite know the term for the Birchbox equivalent of Ipsy's "Glam Room," but when I originally looked online, it said I would be getting Delirium (the purple one) instead. I'm really happy I got the orange one, though! It's perfect for fall, and I think it'll especially be fun for Halloween. It's a sort of dark, metallic orange, and I really like it. The formulation is smooth and so pigmented; I only needed one coat for full opacity! This started chipping on me after three days or so, but I also use my nails as tools and work with my hands a lot. If you go a bit easier on your nails, you might make it to five. Also, the top of the bottle/brush is really comfortable to hold, with the giant ball on top, and I think it makes it a bit easier to hold it steady. This is a tinier bottle for a higher price (OPI polishes are .5oz [about 15mL] for $8), so I don't know if I'll be repurchasing, but I am definitely happy I got this! 

The Stats:
  • Beauty Protector Shampoo: $2.25
  • Beauty Protector Conditioner: $2.25
  • Dr. Jart BB Cream: $1
  • Dr. Lipp Lip Balm: $3
  • Ruffian Nail Lacquer: $10
  • Total box value: $19.50
The total value of Birchboxes is usually somewhere between $15 and $40 (I know, that's a big range). While Ipsy typically reaches the higher end of that range, Birchbox tends to stay in the lower part about this. I'm not disappointed about this, because I know I'm going to use all of the products I received (unlike in Ipsy--I'm looking at you, body glitter). I'm very happy with my first Birchbox and I'm very excited for October's!

Did you get this month's Birchbox? What did you think?

Disclaimer: I purchased this Birchbox myself. I am not affiliated with, nor sponsored by, Birchbox (but it'd be cool if I was, just FYI). 

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