Thursday, December 18, 2014

Birchbox: December 2014 Review

Birchbox: December 2014 Review

Hi, friends! The holiday season is upon us, as I'm sure you know (stores started carrying Christmas stuff in OCTOBER--gross). To show some holiday spirit and not be Sammi Scrooge, I'm photographing my December Birchbox on a green background. And who said I'm not festive? :)

Birchbox: December 2014 Review

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!

Birchbox: December 2014 Review

"The Radiant Samantha Penninipede" - Why, thank you! ;) 

Birchbox: December 2014 Review

I'm really liking the special holiday packaging this month! Rather than the typical boring brown, the blue with gold stars really makes me think of Christmas and New Year's. Very cute! 

Birchbox: December 2014 Review

Usually I whine about how the Birchbox theme doesn't correlate with the products inside, and although that's still partially true, I think they tried. Between the blue and gold box, the free Gap gift card, and the rose gold eyeliner I received, I think that's as theme-y as Birchbox is going to get. 

Birchbox: December 2014 Review

Good news: We all received a $10 Gap gift card just for being a Birchbox subscriber. There's no special code--just go to the website on the card and enter the email address that you subscribe to Birchbox with! (If you don't subscribe to Birchbox, your email won't work.)

Bad news: Nothing at The Gap is $10 or less, so you have to spend actual money to redeem the gift card. :( 

Birchbox: December 2014 Review

I love these info cards. #blessed

Birchbox: December 2014 Review

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

(SAMPLE-SIZE [.17oz]: $2) (Full-size [2.5oz]: $28)

EMBRYOLISSE Lait-Crème Concentré

I'm always looking to try new moisturizers, and I love receiving them in subscription boxes because those are the skincare items I run out of most often. I'll be trying this one at night since it doesn't have an SPF. I'll keep you updated and let you know what I think! 

ROYAL APOTHIC Cuppa Cuppa Firming Tea Treatment Mask
(SAMPLE-SIZE [one .33oz tube]: $9.67) (Full-size [six .33oz tubes]: $58)

ROYAL APOTHIC Cuppa Cuppa Firming Tea Treatment Mask

This was a "choose-your-sample" last month, but I guess they still had extras lying around. I was actually curious about this mask, so it's cool that I get to try it even though I didn't pick it in November!

RUSK Texture Spray
(SAMPLE-SIZE [1.5oz]: $3.40) (Full-size [8oz]: $18)

RUSK Texture Spray

This sounded like a cool product, but it arrived damaged. The cap was totally cracked and there was a huge dent in the bottle. Since it's an aerosol can, I'm kind of afraid to use it. I'm sure if I email Birchbox, they'll do the best they can to replace it, but it's still a major bummer.

MANNA KADAR Lip Locked in Lucky
(SAMPLE-SIZE [.01oz]: $2) (Full-size [1.2oz]: $24) 

MANNA KADAR Lip Locked in Lucky

This was one of this month's "choose your sample" options, but even though I didn't pick it, I guess Birchbox decided I wanted it anyway. It's a pretty natural rose color, which is right up my alley. They call this a lip primer, lip gloss, and lip stain. This is a little longer lasting than a regular lip gloss, but I wouldn't say it's revolutionary or anything. One gripe I have about this is after you take off the label so you can open it, you can't see any of the information! I hate when companies do that! Plus it doesn't make any sense--why not just print it on the tube so consumers don't forget what brand they're using? Just me. See the swatch below.

VASANTI COSMETICS Kajal Extreme Intense Eye Pencil in Rose Gold
(SAMPLE-SIZE [.03oz]: $13.50) (Full-size [.04oz]: $18) 

VASANTI COSMETICS Kajal Extreme Intense Eye Pencil in Rose Gold

This was the sample I picked this month! I swatched this on my wrist (below) and it lasted all day. I was super impressed. It didn't even smudge or fade until I took a shower, where I washed it away completely. I'm not sure if it'll perform as well on my eyes, but I like it so far. The color is beautiful, so I'm excited to use it. I really want to try using it on my waterline to brighten the eyes like all the cool kids are doing these days, but my eyes can be sensitive, so anything I put there usually irritates my eyes or makes them water like crazy. We shall see. Swatched below. 

LEFT: Manna Kadar Lip Locked.  RIGHT: Vasanti Rose Gold Eyeliner
LEFT: Manna Kadar Lip Locked.  RIGHT: Vasanti Rose Gold Eyeliner
I really like both of these products! I think they would even make a nice look if used together. Hmm.... I'm feeling inspiration for a Face of the Day!

The Stats:
  • Embryolisse Moisturizer: $2
  • Cuppa Cuppa Mask: $9.67
  • Damaged Rusk Spray: $3.40
  • Manna Kadar Lipgloss/stain/primer: $2
  • Vasanti Eyeliner: $13.50
  • Total: $30.57 (that's three times what I paid!)
The Best: I think I'm most excited to incorporate the Vasanti eyeliner and the Embryolisse moisturizer into my regular routine. 

The Worst: The fact that the Rusk spray came damaged just makes me a sad panda.

The Verdict: I have the urge to say, "If I wanted to get those sample options, I would have picked them," since 3/5 of my items were made up of this and last month's choose-your-samples. But, I'm actually pretty happy with my box. If it wasn't for the damaged product, I'd say I'll use everything in this box. But we all have our bad days, and I swear the people at the post office play catch with all of our boxes and drop them from 10-story buildings so it might not even be their fault. But overall, this was a great box and I'll probably stay subscribed to Birchbox forever. 

What did you get in your Birchbox this month?

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Disclaimer: All photographs taken by me. I purchased this Birchbox with my own money. Not sponsored. No affiliate links. Just me livin' my life.