Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Birchbox: February 2014 Review

Hey, friends! Today I'd like to share with you my February Birchbox. When I saw that it weighed only .0385 lbs, I was a little disheartened, but now I see that I had no reason to worry. Sometimes the best things come in small packages. Plus, it came a day earlier than the tracking said it would (which never happened with Ipsy). Woohoo!

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. If you do, we each get 50 free points ($5) to use in the Birchbox shop! Everybody wins!

This month's shipping box is red instead of the usual pink, since Birchbox partnered with US Weekly this time around. New members got a free three month subscription to US Weekly when they signed up, which is great, but continuing members didn't get shit so for most of us this didn't matter. But on a positive note: the mailroom finally spelled my last name right!

It arrived in the usual cardboard box. When I gather enough of them, and when I'm feeling creative enough, I plan on doing some sort of craft to recycle them. Possibly something with storing my free samples, because my mother yelled at me last month for taking up too much room in our bathroom drawers. Oops. Anyway...

This month's theme was "Step and Repeat." I always laugh at the themes, because they never really make any sense or correspond to the products in the box. In fact, I actually completely forgot about the theme card until I was writing this post, so I just took a quick picture (which is why it looks slightly worse than the others). But good try, Birchbox, good try.

Let's get on to the good stuff! 

Beauty Protector Protect & Oil (Sample-size: about $2.50 for about .4 oz)
(Full-size: $25.95 for 4oz)

So many Birchbox subscribers are obsessed with this brand, so I was excited to get this oil in my box to test out. This contains silicones in it, but since I'm currently using a sulfate shampoo, I'm okay with that. [Note: Someday I will actually do a full post on silicones and sulfates so that I won't have to link to miscellaneous posts, but alas, today is not that day]. I've only used it once so far, so I can't give accurate results, but I think I might like it. My only complain about this sample is the packaging. The full-  size comes in a spray bottle, but this just comes in a glass vial, which makes it harder to apply. Another strange thing: my info card says this retails for $21.95, but the Birchbox website lists the price as $25.95. Hm... I wonder if it was a typo, if the price changed after the launch...

Miracle Skin Transformer Face Spotlight (Sample-size: $3.20 for 3 mL)
(Full-size: $48 for 1.5 oz)

This product was in the Birchbox Sneak Peak this month, so I was curious to try it. Miracle Skin Transformer sells it in seven different shades on their website, but Birchbox only sells one. I don't quite understand this, because Birchbox subscribers don't only come in one skin tone. There is no label telling me which shade I got, but I found it to be a little dark for me. If MST wanted to give out samples, they could have given out more than one shade. This is an illuminating product that you can mix with your foundation or use as a highlighter. It's slightly darker than my skintone, so I can't use it as a highlighter. It's not like Birchbox doesn't have my skin tone in my Beauty Profile. Oh well. I'll play around with it.

OPI Sheer Tints in I Can Teal You Like Me (Sample-size: $2.25 for 3.75 mL)
(Full-size: $9 for .5 oz)

I don't quite understand this product. It comes in amber, pink, purple, and (shown) teal. OPI advertises that it can be used as a top coat for your polish, help you get a gradated look, or used alone on bare nails. I'm not sure how it fares as a top coat (to avoid chipping and such), but what I do know is that I would never use this on bare nails. This blue-green polish will tint your pink nails yellow without a doubt. The pink is probably not so bad, but why did OPI make this in blue to be used on bare nails? It really is quite sheer, so tinting my nails yellow is just not on my to-do list. Seriously, do they want people to look like they have jaundice? Maybe if it is a really good top coat, it can protect blue manicures from chips, but I would just use a clear top coat like the rest of the world. I DON'T UNDERSTAND. Oh well. I am trading this to a friend who will enjoy it a lot more than I will, so everybody wins.

Skin&Co Roma Truffle Therapy Serum (Sample-size: $12.50 for 5mL)
(Full-Size: $75 for 30mL)

I've heard of this brand, but never got a chance to try any of their products, so this is an exciting day. This is supposed to be good for all skin types, which is awesome. I know some beauty bloggers have had good experiences with this serum, so after I finish up my Seventh Generation Serum (which is on its last days and I'm quite upset about it), I'll move on to this.

Lifestyle Extra: 32 Oral Care Effervescent Breath Crystals
(Sample-size: $1.33 for 2 packets) (Full-size: $10 for 15 packets)

These are supposed to be kind of like dental Pop Rocks to make your breath smell minty and fresh. I don't like Pop Rocks (the tickling sensation freaks out me) or mint (it tends to burn my mouth) so I'll pass on these. Even though it was only an extra, I was still able to review them for 10 Birchbox points, which is nice.

The Stats:

  • Beauty Protector Oil: $2.50
  • Miracle Skin Transformer Face Spotlight: $3.20
  • OPI Sheer Tint in Teal: $2.25
  • Skin&Co Truffle Serum: $12.50
  • Dental Pop Rocks: $1.33
  • Total Box Value: $21.88 (double the cost of the box, thanks to Skin&Co)

The Best: I'm excited to use the Beauty Protector Oil and Skin&Co Serum!

The Worst: I'm torn between Dental Pop Rocks and Jaundice Nails Sheer Tint.

The Verdict: This box was so-so for me. I've had much better boxes in the past, and have discovered some products I've truly loved. Still, I'm not going to cancel my subscription over one average month when I've had so many great ones. Until next time, Birchbox!

What did you get in your Birchbox this month?

Disclaimer: I purchased this box myself. I am not sponsored by, nor affiliated with, Birchbox in any way. I was not compensated to write this post. But if anyone wants to give me money for writing it, I wouldn't be opposed.

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