Sunday, April 13, 2014

Birchbox: April 2014 Review

Hi, friends! It's that time again: Birchbox unboxing time! Birchbox is still in the middle of moving their warehouse from New Jersey to Tennessee, but my box arrived here earlier than it has in a long time. It got here before the 10th, so I didn't even get to peek online to see what I was getting. It was a fun surprise on multiple levels. 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. Thank you!

As usual, it came in a pink shipping box. I like that Birchbox takes the extra precaution to wrap their brown cardboard box in another box. Otherwise, they would get a lot more complaints about damaged products!

And once again, Birchbox has taken the effort to remind their subscribers that, "in case you didn't know, you can review your products to get points!" I find this hilarious, since if it's one thing people subscribe for, it's the points. That'll do, pig. That'll do.

I am so proud of Birchbox, because they actually created a theme and them incorporated it into the box this month! It's a miracle! Alert the media! Also, I think this theme fits the month of April quite nicely (it's been overcast in Boston almost constantly). I mean, obviously you can only do so much with beauty products if you're doing themes rather than trends ("Rainy Day" is a lot harder to work with than "Pastels" for example), but I think Birchbox did a better job with that whole aspect overall this month. Hooray!

As part of their monthly theme (that is actually a theme), Birchbox included little tips to making your rainy day less of a drag. I got #17 out of 52 (that's a lot of tips!), which reads "Try a new fitness class over at your gym or a boutique studio. Drag a friend along for moral support." I won't be following this advice because of my injured ankle right now (I won't bother disclosing whether or not I would go if I didn't have the excuse of an injury), but I really appreciate the effort. And I'm sure someone more athletic than I am will put this advice to use.

In addition, Birchbox has started a new VIP program called "Birchbox Aces." If you rack up 500 points (which is 10 months of solely reviewing your boxes, or achievable in a much shorter time period with referrals), you can join Birchbox Aces and get some cool perks. My particular favorite is free shipping on any order, meaning I don't have to wait to earn 500 points so I can not pay $5 for shipping, but there will be some other ones coming out in the near future. I have achieved Ace status this month, and a big part of that is because of you fellow beauty buffs signing up with my referral link, so thank you! You have made this beauty junkie a very happy VIP. :)

But enough about that. Let's get on to the good stuff~

Even the little pink container is "Rainy Day" themed! I'm so proud!

Beauty Protector Protect & Detangle
(Full-size [8 oz]: $21.95) (Sample-size [1.25 oz]: $5)

Birchbox subscribers have been shitting themselves with joy for over a year about this little guy. It's supposed to smell great and be fantastic at detangling hair. I got a Wet Brush recently (don't let me go on a tangent, omg, it'll be in my monthly favorites for sure) so I don't think I'll be needing this right now, but I'll stash it away for a rainy day. (OH HO HO). This is a generous sample size, and I've had pretty good success with Beauty Protector products in the past, so this will be nice to try out.

Color Club Aquamarine Azulino 
(Gala's Gems Collection 4-pack: $13) (Sample-size [.25 fl oz]: $3.50)

The formulation of Color Club nail polishes leaves a little to be desired, but this color is cute, so I'll probably still wear it. When I painted a nail on the Nail Swatch Wheel (bottom right), the texture was really think and almost a little clumpy. It was very strange. Nail polish thinner might help, but I don't like the idea of having to thin my polish when I literally just opened it.

Sumita Color Contrast Eyeliner in Jamun (Deep Purple)
(Full-size: $11) (Travel-size: $7)

I did a little research on this eyeliner and was both delighted and saddened at what I found. The good news: it's supposedly a soft, rich eyeliner, so no tugging is required. The bad news: the swatches showed that this is basically a dark brown eyeliner with a hint of plum. I was really hoping for a deep purple, as this was listed, so I'm kind of disappointed. This will be a nice alternative for brown, and anyone looking for a less harsh eyeliner would enjoy this. Those looking for a fun pop of color (like me) will just have to look elsewhere. I would swatch this for you, but I would rather not open it when I have so many other eyeliners open at the moment. I'll be keeping this stashed away until I use up some of my current liners (one of them being actually being purple).

Supergoop! Daily Correct SPF 35 CC Cream in Light/Medium
(Full-size [1.6 fl oz]: $32)  (Sample-size [.1 fl oz]: $2)

Yes, Supergoop! I received a sample of their eye cream in a Sample Society box months ago, and really enjoyed it! It took me a little time to use it up, since it was an eye cream, but I find it interesting that I received just as much CC cream as I did eye cream. I'm hoping I'll at least get a full use or two out of this bottle, since there was quite a bit of air in the eye cream bottle. At least they got the shade right! I've been solely wearing BB cream lately, so I'm happy to try this out! BB and CC creams are marketed differently, but they're basically the same to me. In theory, BB and CC creams target different issues (BB creams usually have added benefits, like SPF and antioxidants while CC creams are for Color Correcting, such as redness). Let me know in the comments if you would like me to do a whole post on them!

Lifestyle Extra: KIND Snacks Healthy Grains Bar
(15 pack: $11.88) (Sample-size: 1 bar: $1)

The flavor I received was "Maple Pumpkin Seeds with Sea Salt." I'm always up for getting food in my boxes, because I am a glutton (but hey, I think out of all the deadly sins, that one is the least harmful). I'm not super thrilled about this counting as my fifth item, but as long as I can review it for points I'm not too bummed. Plus, I've had Kind bars in the past and they're pretty good. I like to have something small in the morning with my coffee, since I'm not hungry as soon as I get up, so this will serve as my breakfast some day this week.

The Stats:
  • Beauty Protector Detangler: $5
  • Color Club Nail Polish: $3.50 
  • Sumita Eyeliner: $7
  • Supergoop! CC Cream: $2
  • Kind Bar: $1
  • TOTAL: $18.50
The Best: The Supergoop! CC Cream, because I love trying light coverage foundation-like products. Maybe I'll discover a new favorite.  Who knows? 

The Worst: Nothing in this box was particularly bad per se, but I guess the Sumita eyeliner since it's not as purple as I had hoped. 

The Verdict: I'm really happy with this box! There's a wonderful variety of nails, hair, makeup, and even food. Also, for all of the people out there complaining that Birchbox gives out too many skincare items, I didn't get ANY in my box. So, there. Don't be hatin'. I love getting samples and trying new things--it's like the buffet of the beauty world (and I love buffets, especially sushi buffets, mmm...). 

What did you get in your Birchbox this month?

Disclaimer: I am not sponsored or affiliated with any of the brands featured in this post, nor am I in any way associated with Birchbox. I just like getting goodies in the mail. 

Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Pinterest | Bloglovin' | Google + | Email Newsletter