Monday, May 19, 2014

Birchbox: May 2014 Review

Hi, friends! I am reporting to you from my couch, because after two and a half weeks, I am still sick with the flu. And I can't even say this with a PSA to get your flu shots, because I did that! Ugh. Anyway. today is Birchbox unboxing day, and nothing can stop me from that! I love goodies, especially in adorable mini sizes, and I want to share what I got with all of you!

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!

This month, the Birchboxes were shipped out in yellow boxes. It's pretty cute for spring. 

This month's theme is "Freewheeling." As per usual, the theme doesn't really correlate to any items in the box, but hey, they get points for trying. 

And the beloved information card, bringing joy to beauty bloggers everywhere. 

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

(Full-size [1.5 oz]: $20) (Sample-size [.07 fl oz]: $1)

I've never heard of this brand, but this is a tinted sunscreen. I didn't want to open it just yet, since I already have enough products open at the moment, but it looks rather dark in the swatches online. I find it hilarious that this product is called "Skin Tone," as if there is only one skin tone that exists. Ho hum. I hope there's enough in this tiny tube for at least one full application. I like that it has SPF 40, and that it's a physical sunscreen (it contains titanium dioxide) as opposed to a chemical one. The ingredients list is pretty short, which I like. This does contain dimenthicone, so to those of you with a silicone allergy, you might want to steer clear of this one. Overall, I'm excited to try this promising product, especially since it's something brand new to me. 

LAQA & CO. Sheer Lube Lip Pencil in Minotaur (Purple)
(Full-size [.07 oz]: $18)

I've heard amazing things about Laqa & Co. from Birchbox subscribers, and I'm so happy I finally got to sample one! This is a crayon lip product, much like Pop Beauty, Revlon, CoverGirl, and others. This isn't completely opaque, and the smooth feel and sheer coverage remind me a lot of a tinted lip balm. This is perfect for those of you like me who want to rock a fun summer color without going too far out of your comfort zone. It creates a sheer wash of purple across the lips, without making it look like you're wearing straight-up purple lipstick. I'm not quite sure whose bright idea it was to call this "lip lube," but the product itself is nice so I can't complain. I'm really excited to be adding this to my collection, and I'll be sure to get use out of it this summer. 

(Full-size [8.5 oz]: $34) (Sample-size [1 oz]: $4)

Ah, the wonderful world of beauty subscription boxes. I never have to go out and buy a full-sized bottle of shampoo, thanks to all of the samples they send out! I'm not too terribly picky about my shampoos, especially right now since I'm off of my sulfate-free kick, so I'll be sure to use it when I get around to it. I've tried their Detangler in the past, but couldn't stand the strong smell of it, so I can't be sure how well it actually works. For now, this goes into the stash. 

(Full-size [8.5 oz]: $36) (Sample-size [.25 fl oz]: $1.06)

As a bonus, I got a little sample packet of the matching conditioner! My hair is pretty long (mid-back), so I don't think this will be enough for my hair, but it's still a nice surprise! Subscribers also got to review this for monthly 10 points, as you would with a normal sample you receive, so that was exciting. I'm thinking of cutting my hair off (maybe going for shoulder-length) so I'll use this then.

WHISH Shaving Cream in Acai Grapefruit
(Full-size [5 oz]: $20) (Sample-size [.75 fl oz]: $2.93)

I haven't tried this yet, but I can guarantee I would never shell out $20 for shaving cream. I didn't even know luxury shave cream existed, but alas, I am proven wrong. Grapefruit is a favorite summer scent of mine, though I know Whish makes a lot of other scents. I don't plan on going au natural anytime soon (it's summer--nowhere to hide), so I'll get use out of this. I'm perfectly happy using my $3 Skintimate shave gel, so unless this magically gets rid of my hair forever, I'll probably just stick with the drugstore shaving cream us peons usually use.

Lifestyle extra: SMARTYPANTS All-in-One Gummy Vitamins for Adults
(Full-size [180 vitamins]: $30) (Sample-size [2 vitamins): $.33) 

I was pretty surprised to get vitamins in my beauty box, but it's not like I have anything against physical health. I already take a multi-vitamin (although it is boring, and not a gummy), so I really have no reason to spend $30 on these. I've tried these already, and they're not very tasty. I've had better. I think I'll just buy a pack of gummy bears and call it a day. Still, I technically got to review them for 10 Birchbox points anyway, so I have nothing to complain about.

The Stats: 
  • Cotz Sunscreen: $1
  • Laqa & Co. Lip Crayon: $18
  • Number 4 Shampoo: $4
  • Number 4 Conditioner: $1.06
  • Whish Shave Cream: $2.93
  • Gummy Vitamins: $0.33
  • Total Box Value: $27.32
The Best: The Laqa & Co! Even though I find the term "lip lube" unappealing, it's a great product! I wish I could share the swatches with you, but my camera decided not to focus on anything that day. They're just sad. 

The Worst: I'm not too zazzed (is that a word? zazzed? Pizazzed?) about the gummy vitamins. Really, I'm not too excited about anything. Hmm...

The Verdict: I found myself saying "I have nothing to complain about" often in this post, which isn't quite the reaction I usually want when I'm spending my hard-earned $10. This box wasn't necessarily bad, but since I was only excited about 1 of the 6 products, perhaps that's a sign that I should cancel. Except for the lip product, I'm pretty bored. Or maybe I'm just a snob. Who knows? Maybe my time with Birchbox is up, and you'll find a "Why I Cancelled My Birchbox Subscription" on this blog (like I did for Ipsy) soon. Only time will tell...

What did you get in your Birchbox this month?

Disclaimer: I am not sponsored nor affiliated with Birchbox or any mentioned brands. I paid for this Birchbox myself, as I always do, because I am an independent woman. BAM. 

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