Birchbox: May 2013 Review

05.25.13 — I was pretty surprised when I got an email this week telling me my very first Birchbox was on its way to my doorstep. Birchbox usually mails out their monthly subscription boxes between the 1st and 10th of every month. So when I ordered my subscription a little over a week ago, I didn’t think I’d get my first box until June.

In addition to the good news in the email, I also received tracking information and a link to a fun sneak peek video. Check it out for yourself here. I couldn’t resist watching to get a sense of what I’d find inside my package. Next time I might try to resist watching the sneek peek or reading other reviews. I kind of want to try being purely surprised! But since this is my first go at things, this time I just couldn’t wait.

BIRCHBOX beauty diaries

BIRCHBOX beauty diaries

This month’s theme is “Beauty Diaries.” Basically, it’s all about sharing your beauty routine with Birchbox online to enter to win full sizes of the products inside your box. I’m always up for a good online contest, so I had no problem sharing some info online to win the cool included products:

  • Sumita | Color Contrast Eyeliner
  • COOLA | Classic SPF 30 Cucumber Moisturizer for Face
  • Beauty Protector | Protect & Detangle
  • Joie | Folle de Joie eau de parfum 
  • BEAUTY EXTRA: Yes To™ Grapefruit | Daily Facial Scrub & Dark Spot Correcting Serum

Sumita | Color Contrast Eyeliner

Sumita | Color Contrast Eyeliner
Sample Value: $5.28
Full Size Purchase Price: $11
Purchase at Birchbox

I probably have more eyeliners in my beauty bag than any other item. But, I’m always looking for a new one to experiment with and try out.

Now, while I experiment with brands, something I don’t experiment with is color. When I saw this was a potential item for this month’s box, I was a little worried about getting something really crazy. Luckily, I got a basic black eyeliner.

The packaging is nice and the product certainly looks quality. Even my hubby commented that it looked nice. What he knows about makeup, I have no idea. But that’s gotta be worth something!

Now, I love me a smoky eye. So, when I put this sucker on I was pleased with the smooth application and finish. But what really makes this product stand out is it’s long-lasting quality. This thing really sticks!


COOLA | Classic SPF 30 Cucumber Moisturizer for Face

COOLA | Classic SPF 30 Cucumber Moisturizer for Face
Sample Value: $4.33
Full Size Purchase Price: $32.00
Purchase at Birchbox

I just got back from Florida this week, and let me tell you… I wish I had this guy with me! It would have even fit in my carry-on! While it won’t help my sun-kissed cheeks now… I am excited to try out this product for the spring and summer!

I’m super fair, so any and all sunscreen is a welcome surprise in my Birchbox. But, what stands out about this product is the smell! It seriously smells like cucumber. It’s also really lightweight. I put it on in the morning after I wash my face and before I put on any makeup. My face isn’t really sensitive or prone to breakouts, so I haven’t had any problems in that area.

As far as it being organic goes, I have to say I haven’t really ventured into the whole organic realm. But, I figure, if it does the trick and is good for the environment, that’s cool with me!

My only pet peeve about this sample is that it’s pretty tiny. When I saw it popping up in other Birchboxes, I was excited and looking forward to the sample. And, well… it was just smaller than I expected. Still a good value considering how much the full size costs, but it was kind of a first-impression let down.

Beauty Protector2

Beauty Protector | Protect & Detangle

Beauty Protector | Protect & Detangle
Sample Value: $3.42 (estimated)
Full Size Purchase Price: $21.95

Purchase at Birchbox

This was one of the products I was looking forward to the least. I guess I was a little underwhelmed by the packaging, and when I got it, I expected the leave-in conditioner to be a liquid. Instead it’s actually a creamier consistency, which I was surprised by.

Now, while I wasn’t looking forward to this product, it is one that I know I could definitely use. It lists a ton of benefits on the bottle, including thermal protection which I need on a daily basis. I tried it out after towel drying my hair and before I hit it up with a blow dryer.

I had a terrible time getting it to spray. I think it’s because it has that thicker consistency. But shaking it up before hand definitely helped. The main difference I noticed is the shine! I could tell right away that my hair was smoother, softer and shinier. So, let me tell you! Sometimes, first impressions aren’t always right!


Joie | Folle de Joie eau de parfum

Joie | Folle de Joie eau de parfum
Sample Value: $1.72
Full Size Purchase Price: $98.00
Purchase at Birchbox

Now, I know some folks don’t like getting perfumes in their Birchbox, but I’m not your average lady. You see, I’m not really picky when it comes to perfumes. And, as soon as I got this one, I opened it up and tried it on. The information card says it uses a carefree mix of mandarian, rose and sandalwood. I definitely smell the the rose and sandalwood, and there’s something springy about it.

I plan on using it all month long until this sucker runs out, which as far as standard perfume sample sizes go… won’t be very long.

Yes To™ Grapefruit

Yes To™ Grapefruit | Daily Facial Scrub & Dark Spot Correcting Serum

BEAUTY EXTRA: Yes To™ Grapefruit | Daily Facial Scrub & Dark Spot Correcting Serum
Sample Value: $2.00 (estimated)
Full Size Purchase Price: $9.99 & $19.99
Purchase Facial Scrub at Birchbox
Purchase Dark Spot Correcting Serum at Birchbox

Coincientally… I came home from the store with a  facial scrub the day I got my Birchbox in the mail. Granted… it’s not a high-quality brand like this one, so I was excited to try it out.

The Facial Scrub’s exfoliating beeds are super gentle and not real rough like other scrubs. It also smells amazing. I actually didn’t want to stop washing my face when I used it because it went on so smoothly. And, afterward I had the feeling that my face was really clean. For $9.99, this is something I’d definitely purchase.

I don’t have a dark spot problem, but I went ahead and used the sample serum, because I figure… it can’t hurt, right? It kind of left my face feeling tight. But, I think that’s pretty normal for serums. Hard to say what kind of impact it has or if it really works. The sample size really only has enough for one, maybe two, applications.

Birchbox Verdict
Value: $16.75
Cost: $10.00/month

My first Birchbox absolutely stood up to my expectations. I received a collection of products that would peek my interest in store, but maybe wouldn’t have splurged the money to try. I’m happy I got to try all these different products, and I am absolutely thrilled with the value I received.

I can’t really pick out which of these products is the weakest link, because I actually really enjoyed trying all of them. Even the Beauty Protector – Protect & Detangle! I know it was probably the one I was looking forward to the least, but it’s a product I know I definitely needed to try! And, when I did… I was impressed with the product!

The product I don’t know how I lived without is actually the Yes To™ Grapefruit – Daily Facial Scrub. This is something I’d use every day and love using every time!

Sound good to you? Try it for yourself and do a girl a favor and tell them I sent you! Subscribe to Birchbox now!

Disclosure: This product was not received in exchange for a review. All views in this review
are the opinion of the author. Just Louise Please will not accept payment in exchange for a
review, but will accept a box at no cost to provide honest opinions on the box. This post
may contain referral links. Complete Disclosure Policy.

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7 thoughts on “Birchbox: May 2013 Review

  1. I got the Coola sunscreen in my box too. I really liked that it wasn’t greasy and it has a really fresh scent.

  2. avonleabelle says:

    Looks like you got a good box. I’m interested in trying the sunscreen out. I’m always looking for a sunscreen that doesn’t have a sunscreen smell so hopefully they sample it again.

  3. Danielle says:

    I signed up for Birchbox based on your glowing review last week only to find out that I now have to wait at least a month for an available subscription. Can’t wait until I can actually be eligible to sign up. I am a beauty product junkie.

    • Oh, I’m a beauty product junkie too! I had to wait for my subscription also… but I think I was actually on the wait list for only a day. So, not too bad. Hopefully you won’t have to wait too long!

  4. Must Have Boxes says:

    Great box!

    – KW

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