Sunday, November 23, 2014

Birchbox: November 2014 Review

Hello, friends! My Birchbox actually arrived last week, but I've been buried in the usual pre-finals workload, so my schedule has been packed to say the least. But I'm really happy to be sharing my box with you today, so let's dive into everything! 

Rather than the usual pink box, this month's Birchbox came packed in a red box due to their collaboration with the organization (RED). This was their way of being thoughtful and giving back for the month of Thanksgiving. In case you don't know, (RED) is an organization that was founded to help fight against AIDS and HIV. The box is covered with HIV statistics on it. One phrase on my box says that "in 2002, 1,500 babies were born with HIV each day. Today, that number is down to 650." Thanks, (RED)!

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! 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 came in its usual brown cardboard box. After over a year's worth of reviews, I don't have much to say about it. It's a brown box. 

The theme card goes into more detail about their collaboration with (RED). If you share a photo of the facts on your box and tag it #shaRED, Birchbox donates $1 to them. I did it on Instagram, but I think I just might have shared the picture of my open box instead, so I hope that still counts! I used the hashtag! 

Yikes, a holiday gift guide already? To some, mid-November might seem "late," (I saw them setting up for Christmas in many stores right after Halloween), but anything before Thanksgiving just seems unfair to me. I mean, when it's gonna be Thanksgiving's time to shine? It's just not fair! There is a national holiday between Halloween and Christmas, and although its coming to be isn't something I want to celebrate (American history is a dark and crazy thing), I do love the family values it brings. So, Christmas needs to just shut up and wait its turn! Christmas isn't about the presents, anyway. Darn you, capitalism! 

Ah, yes, Angels rejoice at the information card that subscription boxes provide. It makes things so much easier! Unlike Ipsy, which gives you a bag full of products and essentially says "LOL good luck." 

But enough about that--let's get to the good stuff~ 

(Sample-size [.7oz]: $4) (Full-size [8.5oz]: $28)

I raved about Amika in my Currently Coveting post two summers ago, and even mentioned their dry shampoo in my Back to School Beauty Essentials. Amika is one of my favorite hair care brands, so when I saw that this hair mask was an option on this month's sample choice, I snatched it up. My hair is a little short right now (barely reaching my shoulders) so I'm going to save this for when my strands grow out a bit more. But I can't wait until my hair gets longer so I can try it! 

(Sample-size [1.35fl oz]: $2.54) (Full-size [8oz]: $15)

I wasn't a fan of their shampoo and conditioner that I received in my August Birchbox (it was a September 2014 Unfavorite) but this seems harmless enough. I'll be sure to use it up, because why buy body wash when I can get clean with something I already own? Plus, I'm not as picky with my body wash as I am about my hair products. 

PERLIER Absolute Comfort Body Butter in White Almond
(Sample-size [1oz]: $5.14) (Full-size [6.7oz]: $34.46)

I am a HUGE fan of Perlier (their products have made an appearance in posts such as my May 2013 Favorites and August 2014 Empties). For some reason I can't find this exact product in the Birchbox shop, which is unusual because even if this product was out of stock, its product page wouldn't disappear completely. Odd, to say the least. Other than that, I'm totally stoked to have received this in my box. It's thinner in texture than their shea body balms, kind of a thinner formula of a hand cream. I still find this to be quite moisturizing, and the scent is pleasant without being overpowering. This is a perfect handbag/backpack size, and if I wasn't completely out of hand cream when I received this, it would totally find its way in mine. Right now, this is sitting on my bedside table and I use it every night before bed. 

(Sample-size [two 3ml packets]: $17.20) (Full-size [30ml]: $86)

I don't generally mind receiving little packets in my box, especially not these. I'll probably get at least a few uses out of each packet since you only need a little bit of serum per use. Also, have you seen the full price? $86?! Yikes! I hope I don't like it too much, because I can't ever see myself forking over that much money.  

(Sample-size [.57g]: $1.50) (Full-size [8.5g]: $24)

I've never tried a product from theBalm that I didn't like (see my October 2014 Favorites). This is not the first time we've sampled them in our Birchboxes (I've gotten them two other times: March 2014 and November 2013). However, this is one brand that I don't mind receiving often! The Cindy-Lou Manizer is theBalm's newest addition to their Lou-Manizer highlighter line. This color is a beautiful rose gold that would look gorgeous on any high points of the face (cheekbones, cupid's bow, wherever), as well as on the eyes as a shadow. So excited! This is a generous sample, too--I don't see myself using this up any time soon.

(Sample-size [1.15oz]: $1.25) (Full-size [10 packets]: $12.99)

I had this with some Ritz crackers as my breakfast the morning after I got my box! This reminded me a lot of Nutella, with less hazelnut flavor and more chocolate. It tasted good, but apparently they only sell them in the Birchbox shop as squeeze packets, which is just weird. The info cards lists these are being $1 more expensive than the Birchbox shop, so perhaps they've lowered the price since our boxes were sent out (it also doesn't say how many packets you get--I had to do some research). I enjoyed this and all, but I'll probably just stick to big jars of Nutella from the supermarket. It's been real, though! 

The Stats:
  • Amika Hair Mask: $4
  • Swanky Hotel Body Wash: $2.54
  • Perlier Body Butter: $5.14
  • Red Flower Serum: $17.20
  • TheBalm Cindy Lou-manizer: $1.50
  • Expensive Nutella: $1.25
  • Total Box Value: $31.63 (That's three times what I paid)
The Best: I'm really excited about the highlighter from theBalm. And the Perlier. 

The Worst: I'm not too crazy about Gilchrist & Soames products, but I'll use it up. 

The Verdict: This month's Birchbox was worth over $30, though about $20 of that is due to the serum samples. Still, I'm really happy with this month's box, and I'll get use out of everything I've received. Thanks for a great month! 

What did you get in your Birchbox this month?

Can't get enough sassy Birchbox reviews? Click here to view my past unboxings!

Interested in signing up for Birchbox? Do so with this link for extra points!

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Disclaimer: I paid for this Birchbox myself. Not affiliated or sponsored by any mentioned brands. I included my Birchbox referral link, but I mean who wouldn't? Basically "Independent Woman Part I" is about me.