Thursday, April 10, 2014

April 2014 Birchbox Review

It's that time again!  My Birchbox arrived today!  It was kind of a surprise as when I checked this morning, the tracking info said it was just leaving Georgia.  When I got home from work, I saw this beauty in my mailbox!

In case you're unfamiliar with Birchbox (referral link) it's a monthly beauty subscription service.  It costs $10/month and each month they send you samples of different products to try.  The samples range from cosmetics to skincare to haircare to lifestyle items.  Usually there's 4-5 items in your box plus one lifestyle item.  One of the best things about Birchbox is that when you review your items every month you earn points (1 review = 10 points) and every 100 points you earn gets you $10 to spend in the Birchbox shop - a great way to buy your new discoveries or try something new!

Box #7 for anyone who is interested
This month was much heavier on cosmetics than most months.  In general, everything I received matched up with my profile, so I was really pleased with the curation this month, even if I wasn't thrilled with the specific products.

In each month's box is a listing of all the items you received.  One of the things that I specifically like about this is that they include how to use the item.  All of these items are pretty straight forward, but if you've never tried a type of product before, you can quickly see how it's used.  The values given are also for the full-sized products (available in the Birchbox store, all brands used in that month's boxes also ship free - even if they weren't in your box!)

This month's box had a theme of "rainy days." Each box included one of their 52 "tips" for things to do on a rainy day.  I got tip 2.  I kid you not, the tip says to binge-watch a TV show.

Alright, I can see how this was probably a cute idea that was brought up in a meeting at some point, but it's really silly.  I probably wouldn't give it a second thought except that they're selling the set of 52 in their shop for $10.  I mean, really?  I can't give a monetary value to this - there's no way I would spend money on that.

This nail polish is part of a set of 4, Color Club Gala's Gems Collection.  I would have loved any of the other colors.  I was really hoping for green.  Instead I got white... It's not that bad for a white polish, I've seen worse.  But it's not something I'll really wear.  I'm debating swapping this, I can't see myself ever wearing it.  I was fairly disappointed when I opened my box today and saw the white polish instead of one of the other pretty colors!  This is definitely one of those items where the pick of this item I was happy with, but not the actual product.  Oh well.  The set of 4 sells for $13, which means the value for this is $3.25.

The shampoo is Fekkai Technician Color Care shampoo.  Another item I was pretty excited about.  Since I dyed my hair red at the end of February, I've tried really hard to use color-care shampoos so that it doesn't fade too much.  I hate the one I bought at Ulta, so I was excited to have something to replace it.  Until I saw that the second ingredient was Sodium Laureth Sulfate.  Boo.  Sulfates are bad for your hair and really bad for colored hair.  I was like a balloon deflating when I saw that.  I can excuse cheap-o shampoo and conditioner that has sulfates, but not something that runs $20 for 8oz.  Again, happy that Birchbox put a product like this in my box, but not happy with the actual product.  Value for the sample is about $5.

This is a lip balm/cheek cream from theBalm, in "Pie."  The packaging on this is adorable.  It opens like a little book.  Definitely perfect to keep in your purse.

So there's a lot of hype about theBalm cosmetics and a lot of people on the Interwebs seemed to be really excited when this item started hitting boxes last month.  ...I don't really understand the hype.  I think it's cute, but it's the kind of thing I used when I was 13.  It's a nice lip balm as far as the way it feels on your lips, but there's no real pigmentation to it.  I'm so pale that I need a lip product with good pigmentation.  So I'm kind of on the fence on this product.  Full size is $32 and comes in a palette with 3.  Estimated sample value is about $5-6.

ETA: I've tried this a few times and like it a lot more than I thought I would.  It's definitely a light color, but it lasts for a few hours and is good when I'm not wearing that much make-up.

Hopefully you're not too bummed out!  Ironically, the item I was most worried about was the eyeliner by Cynthia Rowley.  To my knowledge they sent it out in black and silver.  I was really hoping I wouldn't get black.  I don't wear black liner that often because it's a little harsh of a look for me.  PLUS I should be getting black liner with my Ipsy bag.  Luckily, I got it in silver and I totally love it.  I tried it quickly on my hand and it had a great color, just the right amount of shimmer, and went on very smoothly.  The full size goes for $16 and the sample is probably half-size, so I'd estimate the value around $8.

I didn't take an individual photo of the Kind bar, but I was also pretty excited about that.  I was really excited that I got the maple & pumpkin seed flavor as I've bought the other two before.  I'm anxious to try it!  The value for that is probably $1-2.

Overall, the value I got in the box was about $23-24, and I paid $10.  Not too bad, though most of the value came from the eyeliner!  I was fairly "meh" about this box, but not enough to be too disappointed, especially after how much I loved last month's box.  This one was so close to being an awesome box and I think that bums me out more than anything!

Hope you all enjoyed this month's review!  Stay tuned for Ipsy!

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