Friday, November 15, 2013

Birchbox: November 2013 Review

Hey, friends! Today I wanted to share with you what I received in this month's Birchbox!

Birchbox? What's that? - Birchbox is a monthly beauty and lifestyle subscription service. It sends 4-5 deluxe samples 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!

It arrived in the usual brown cardboard box. I kind of liked the convenience of Ipsy's makeup bags better as far as storage (they took up less space), but overall it's a non-issue.

This month's theme was "More Good," for the Thanksgiving joy of giving. All of the brands featured in this month's box are charitable in some way, and "give back" in one way or another. Also, a portion (they don't say how big or small) of the money spent in the Birchbox Shop this month will be donated to the No Kid Hungry organization. Every little bit helps, sure, but I do wish they would specify the percentage of how much they're really donating.

This month's box also included a holiday shopping guide for the Birchbox Shop. It's too early to be thinking about Christmas! Let's get through Thanksgiving first, eh?

On to this month's box! 

(Sample-size [.25 oz]: $4)

This color is part of Color Club's Harlem Lights collection. My online preview showed their Apollo Lights polish, so I was a little disappointed to receive this one instead. Still, it's a pretty color, and I'm sure I'll get plenty of use out of it. I've actually never used up a bottle of nail polish (base and top coat, yes, but not a color), so I don't mind the mini bottle at all. I've heard so-so things about the formulation of Color Club polishes, but we'll see! 

DDF Amplifying Elixir (Full-size [1.7 oz]: $70)  
(Sample-size [.5 oz]: $20.58)

At first I was excited to be receiving a new serum, since I'm almost done with my Seventh Generation one (which I love). This is supposed to help your skin keep in moisture, which is something dry-skinned gals like myself can always use help with. However, once I looked at the ingredients list, my excitement dulled down a bit. It does contain three parabens (Methylparaben, Propylparaben, Ethylparaben)--you can read more about why I try to stay away from them here). It also contains a silicone, Dimenthicone, as the fifth ingredient. I don't like to use silicones on my skin or my hair for multiple reasons, mainly because many are not water soluble (so they cannot be fully removed without using ingredients such as sulfates, which are very drying). Plus, as a Props Master, I've worked with actual silicone, and it's disgusting to think about using it on your skin or hair. You can read more about my hatred of silicones here. I might just trade this and repurchase my Seventh Generation serum, which is full of goodies and antioxidants. To be continued...

Joie Folle de Joie eau de parfum (Full-size [3.4 fl oz]: $98)
(Sample-size [2mL]: $1.70)

I've heard people raving about this perfume, but it's just not for me. I'm pretty "meh" about the subtle scent, since I prefer things more flowery or fruity. This is more of a "clean" scent, which is fine, but I just like my fragrances more fun. I don't really like to receive perfume in my subscription boxes for this reason. In my Birchbox beauty profile, I mentioned that I dislike receiving them, so I won't be receiving more than a few a year. I think I'll use this up, since it's a tiny sample, and then move on with my life. 

(Sample-size [1.2mL]: $2.31)

theBalm is highly raved about for a number of their products, including their Nude 'Tude Eyeshadow Palette, Mary-Lou-Manizer (highlighter), and this product. I'm excited to try it out, since I love lip products, but I'll show some self-control and keep this unopened until I finish up my Benefit Benetint sample from my July Ipsy bag.

Tiossan Body Cream in Flamboyant (Full-size [8oz]: $38)
(Sample-size [.25oz]: $1.19)

The texture and consistency of this lotion reminded me of The Body Shop Body Butters I love so much. However, I wasn't as crazy as the scent. It was subtle, and I couldn't really detect exactly what it smelled like. Plus, as stated earlier, I prefer more girly/flowery/fruity scents, so this was pretty "meh" in my book. Plus, I don't typically spent $38 on my lotions (yowza!). I can always use more lotion, though! Only, I really don't need more. I have a basket of lotion at home; it's pretty bad, actually. 

Lifestyle Extra: Ahmad Tea London Assorted Teas (Full-size [40 tea bags]: $7)
(Sample-size [3 tea bags]: $0.53)

I'm more of a coffee person than a tea person, but I always like freebies. This is a Birchbox Extra, meaning it doesn't affect how my items I receive in my box (so it's like a free, sixth item). I also won't be including this in my total value calculations. However, I'm pretty sensitive to caffeine, so if I drink coffee any later than 3 o'clock, I won't be able to sleep that night. I guess I'll keep these when I feel like having a hot beverage and we're all out of hot cocoa. Thanks, Birchbox! 

The stats:
  • Color Club Nail Polish - $4
  • DDF Serum - $20.58
  • Joie Folle de Joie Perfume - $1.70
  • theBalm Stainiac - $2.31
  • Tiossan Body Cream - $1.19
  • Total Box Value: $29.78 
This box was worth almost triple what I paid for it! However, the majority of the box value comes from the DDF Serum, which I am less than excited about it. Lame. Isn't that how it always goes, though? Oh well. 

What did you get in your Birchbox this month? Are you procrastinating doing your homework like I am right now?