Category Archives: Birchbox

Birchbox: December 2013

Birchbox | December 2013So, I hate to say it, but this is likely my last review of Birchbox. Need to move on to another genre of boxes for a while. I’m going to stick with my Ipsy glam bag, because a girl has to have a monthly makeup fix, but I think it’s time we try something new! What do you think?

I was really excited when I saw the beautiful gold box in the mail. It was perfect for the holiday season! In addition to a handy little cell phone screen cleaner, I found the following inside my December Birchbox:

  • Number 4 | Non-Aerosol Hairspray
  • Chuao Chocolatier | Chocolate Bars
  • Camille Beckman | Glycerine Hand Therapy™
  • Wild Honey Apothecary | Buttermilk Sandalwood Honey Mud
  • Jouer | Moisturizing Lip Gloss

Number 4 | Non-Aerosol HairsprayNumber 4 | Non-Aerosol Hairspray
Sample Value: $4.50 (30 ml)
Full Size Cost: $30.00 (200 ml)
Buy at Birchbox

The first thing I noticed about this hairspray is the smell. It’s got that strong, classic hair spray smell that brings be back to the 80s or our community theater’s dressing room before a show. It’s not my favorite, but for real holding strength, I’m willing to compromise. I was kind of surprised it had such a strong odor, because it is a non-aerosol mist that’s supposed to be good for the environment. It’s full of natural botanicals that nourish strands, and I think you can see that right away. When sprayed on, hair looks super shiny afterward. Just don’t spray too much or else you’ll be left in greasy town.

Chuao Chocolatier | Chocolate BarsChuao Chocolatier | Chocolate Bars
Sample Value: $0.84 (0.39 oz)
Full Size Cost: $6.00 (2.8 oz)
Buy at Birchbox

I’m not one to pass up chocolate, and with it being the holidays, seemed appropriate in this month’s box! The packaging said the chocolate was intended to taste like popcorn, and it sure did! To a point that I found it kind of odd, like something out of Willy Wonka’s factory. They have a bunch of flavors to choose from on Birchbox’s website, so maybe if popcorn isn’t your cup of tea, there’s something else you might enjoy more!

Camille Beckman | Glycerine Hand Therapy™Camille Beckman | Glycerine Hand Therapy™
Sample Value: $0.58 (0.25 oz)
Full Size Cost: $14.00 (6 oz)
Buy at Birchbox

This cream is super rich and with it being so cold outside was more than welcome! It feels super luxurious on and I can see why its Camille Bechman’s best-selling product! The sample size is great for tossing in your bag, or leaving at your desk for when you need some midday nourishment.

Wild Honey Apothecary | Buttermilk Sandalwood Honey MudWild Honey Apothecary | Buttermilk Sandalwood Honey Mud
Sample Value: $3.50 (0.35 oz)
Full Size Cost: $20.00 (2 oz)
Buy at Birchbox

I’m always up for a good mud mask! And this one keeps it simple with organic, locally sourced honey, aloe vera and grapeseed and argan oils.  The mask exfoliates, nourishes and brightens the skin.

Jouer | Moisturizing Lip GlossJouer | Moisturizing Lip Gloss
Sample Value: $9.41 (0.08 oz)
Full Size Cost: $20.00 (0.17 oz)
Buy at Birchbox

This is probably my favorite product in this month’s box. I may cash in on my Birchbox points and buy the full size, I am THAT in love. And, that’s saying a lot from a girl with a purse full of lip glosses. It just has a beautiful shimmery finish, and it turns dry lips into something beautiful in one swoop!

The Verdict
Cost: $10.00/month
Value: $18.83

Birchbox knows their stuff when it comes to putting together samples that are worth the $10.00/month subscription fee. I always appreciate their beautiful packaging and high-end selection, I just wish the sample sizes were bigger. What can I say, I wan MORE!

What did you guys think of December’s products? Would love to hear your thoughts!

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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Makeup Sunday: 2 for 1 Subscription Box Reviews (Part 1)

So, the holidays got me all thrown off! So, I’m super late on my November 2013 Birchbox and Ipsy reviews. So, I thought I’d make a day of it with two posts about two of everyone’s favorite cosmetic subscription boxes.

Birchbox | December 2013Since I got Birchbox first, I think it’s only fair we start with them. Want to know how Birchbox works? Check out my page here. November was all about “MORE GOOD.” With Thanksgiving being the major holiday, Birchbox wanted to help you live a life of abundance with more thanks, more giving, more thoughtfulness, and ofcourse, more samples.

So, what did we find in November’s box?

  • Ghirardelli® | Chocolate Bar
  • Dr. Jart+ | Water Fuse Beauty Balm SPF 25+
  • Beauty Protector | Protect & Shampoo
  • Beauty Protector | Protect & Condition
  • Color Club® | Cocktail Hour Collection (Dark and Stormy)
  • Juicy Couture | Viva La Juicy Noir – 3.4 oz.

Ghirardelli® | Chocolate BarGhirardelli® | Chocolate Bar
Full Size Value: $3.00 (estimate)
Buy in store at Walgreens

Now, what girl can resist some chocolate! And when you combine toffee crunch with chocolate, you’ve got one very happy girl here! This is one of Birchbox’s “Finds.” That’s their word for the little extra non-cosmetic related items  they throw into their boxes every month. You can find this treat at any Walgreens or grocery store. Ghiradelli always uses the best cocoa beans and has their own way of doing things so evert bite is full of velvety smoothness and intense taste. With the holidays around the corner, I always thing Ghiradelli makes a nice addition to any holiday present. Go ahead and throw one into your next gift bag!

Dr. Jart+ | Water Fuse Beauty Balm SPF 25+

Dr. Jart+ | Water Fuse Beauty Balm SPF 25+
Sample Value: $3.2
Full Size Cost: $32.00 (1.7 fl oz)
Buy at Birchbox

This tinted moisturizer is great if you’re on the go and don’t want to put a ton of makeup on. Not only does it give you just enough color to get you through running errands, but it’s also a sunscreen and treatment serum. There’s a combination of glacier water, deep ocean water,  hyaluronic acid and aloe vera to deeply hydrate skin.  There’s also some extra ingredients in there to stop your complexion from becoming overly greasy.

Now, I’m usually not one for tinted moisturizers. Mainly because, if I’m going to put makeup on, I’m going all out. But, this guy seemed to do the trick in a pinch, even though it’s not a product I’d normally purchase.

Beauty Protector | Protect & Shampoo and Conditioner

Beauty Protector | Protect & Shampoo
Sample Value: $2.75
Full Size Cost: $21.95 (8 oz)
Buy at Birchbox

Beauty Protector | Protect & Condition
Sample Value: $2.75
Full Size Cost: $21.95 (8 oz)
Buy at Birchbox

Now, one of my all-time favorite samples from Birchbox was the Beauty Protector | Protect & Detangle, so when I saw this shampoo and conditioner combo from the same brand, I was super excited! But, let me tell you… this product was kind of a let down for me. I just wasn’t impressed! Not only did I find that the amount of product in these sample bottles to be underwhelming, I didn’t think the shampoo and conditioner was anything special either.

Color Club® | Cocktail Hour Collection (Dark and Stormy)

Color Club® | Cocktail Hour Collection (Dark and Stormy)
Full Size Value: $8.00 (.5 oz)
Buy at Birchbox

I’m always up for a good nail polish, but unfortunately, the ones I find from Birchbox’s Color Club® are always a major letdown. The quality just isn’t that great, and I’d much rather have a sample of something else than one of these guys. I did get a compliment on the color though by the mechanics who do my oil change. While being blatantly hit on… they commented on my “diamond” nails and “million dollar smile.” So, I guess the color is eye-catching! Ha! The color does look  gold in this picture, but it’s actually a shiny silver.

Juicy Couture | Viva La Juicy Noir - 3.4 oz.

Juicy Couture | Viva La Juicy Noir – 3.4 oz.
Sample Value: $1.32 (0.05 oz)
Full Size Cost: $90.00 (3.4 oz)
Buy at Birchbox

This perfume has a great glamorous scent, and I used it up pretty quickly. If you know me, you know I’m not really good at picking up all those different scents, but Birchbox’s website has this to add about that one.

Ripe berries pair with a touch of honeysuckle and undertones of sultry sandalwood.

For me, the only down side was the sample bottle! Usually I love this kind of perfume sample bottle, because it actually lets you spray it on. But, mine didn’t really work. I had a terrible time getting the perfume out, so that was kind of frustrating.

The Verdict
Cost: $10.00/month
Full Size Cost: $21.02

As always, Birchbox provided a great value for their $10.00/month subscription fee, but overall I was kind of let down by the box. The chocolate made a great first impression, but the products didn’t really stack up. I’m actually starting to think about canceling my Birchbox subscription and trying something new. It might be time to cash in on those Birchbox points… What do you guys think? Should I stick it out or move on? Leave your thoughts below and wait for part 2 of my Makeup Sunday!

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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Birchbox: October 2013 Review

Birchbox | October 2013I was immediately impressed with the weight of this month’s Birchbox. I picked it up and immediately thought, “Hello!” I couldn’t wait to dive inside to see what I’d find.

Birchbox is a monthly cosmetic and hair care subscription box that sends you a variety of sample size products for $10.00/month. All of the products are also available for purchase from Birchbox’s website. This is one of my staple boxes that I’m absolutely addicted to and love getting every month.

So, what did I find in this month’s box?

  • DDF® | Wrinkle Resist Plus Pore Minimizer Moisturizing Serum
  • Atelier Cologne | Orange Sanguine Cologne Absolue – 200ml
  • theBalm® cosmetics | Stainiac
  • SARAHPOTEMPA | The HALF-UP™
  • ChapStick® | Hydration Lock

DDF® | Wrinkle Resist Plus Pore Minimizer Moisturizing SerumDDF® | Wrinkle Resist Plus Pore Minimizer Moisturizing Serum
Sample Value: $25.00 (0.5 fl oz)
Full Size Cost: $85.00 (1.7 fl oz)
Buy at Birchbox

Now, I may only be 27, but I am all about ANYTHING that is anti-aging. My theory has always been, it’s never to early to start! So, I was excited to try out this Wrinkle Resist Serum. Now, whether or not it works, is kind of hard for me to determine. But, it goes on smoothly, is gentle on my skin and is something I could totally see myself using every day.

Birchbox tells me this thing uses dual-phase technology, what that is… I have no clue. But, apparently, it’s supposed to work like a top-notch primer, while hydrating skin, shrinking pores and masking flaws. These are all good things in my book. The product certainly seems to be worth the $85.00 price tag, but unfortunately, I just don’t have that kind of skin care budget! Either way, I’m likely to use this thing to the max and enjoy it while I got it!

Atelier Cologne | Orange Sanguine Cologne Absolue - 200mlAtelier Cologne | Orange Sanguine Cologne Absolue
Sample Value: $1.16 (1.5 ml)
Full Size Cost: $155 (200 ml)
Buy at Birchbox

This is probably one of my more loved perfume samples lately. It’s the one I reach for first, and I’m really enjoying its sweet citrus scent! It’s fresh, highly concentrated (so it sticks around for hours) and offers a burst of sweet blood orange, combined with jasmine and rich sandalwood.  Really, I only smell the orange, but that’s good enough for me!

theBalm® cosmetics | StainiactheBalm® cosmetics | Stainiac
Sample Value: $2.26 (0.04 fl oz)
Full Size Cost: $17.00 (0.3 fl oz)
Buy at Birchbox

I’m not a huge fan of lip stains, but I thought I’d give this one a go. It builds as you put it on, so if you just want a light rosy color, one swipe does the trick. As you put more and more layers on, the color becomes a rich red. I didn’t try this as a cheek stain, mainly because I’m a little intimidated by the thought of putting a stain on my cheek. However, my Grandma’s #1 beauty tip involves using lipstick as a blush, so there has to be some merit to it.

SARAHPOTEMPA | The HALF-UP™SARAHPOTEMPA | The HALF-UP™
Full Size Value: $9.00
Buy at Birchbox

I was super excited when I saw this full size product in this month’s box. I’m always looking for a quick and easy way to throw my hair in a bun, without the hassle of bobby pins. But, I have to say, I was pretty disappointed with this product. I couldn’t get it to sit or stick right. I’ve basically resorted from using this as it was intended, and instead use it as a glorified hair tie when washing my face. It’s a sad, sad day for The Half Up™ in my world.

ChapStick® | Hydration LockChapStick® | Hydration Lock
Full Size Value: $2.99
Buy at Birchbox

Everyone needs ChapStick! And, this is certianly a winner, especially in the fall and winter months! This thing packs a ton of hydration and lasts up to eight hours. My hubby was pretty jealous of this product, which doesn’t happen too often with my Birchboxes, so I got some sweet satisfaction out of that! Birchbox tells me Hydration Lock also features antioxidant CoQ10 and healing vitamin E, two mainstays of healthy skin and soft, silky pouts.

Right now this thing is sold out on Birchbox. But, I’d imagine you can also find it at your favorite drug store or in the check-out aisle.

The Verdict
Cost: $10.00/month
Value: $40.01

This month’s Birchbox had one of the best values to date thanks to the DDF® | Wrinkle Resist Plus Pore Minimizer Moisturizing Serum, and I am perfectly fine with that! Other than the SARAHPOTEMPA | The HALF-UP™, this month’s box was a total winner! Opening it up, there were a ton of products to enjoy and I was super pleased with the variety! 

What did you get in your Birchbox this month? What was your stand-out product? Would love to hear your comments below!

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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September 2013: Birchbox Review

photo-2Happy anniversary Birchbox! The September 2013 box marks this beauty product subscription service’s third year of providing awesome beauty samples, and this month’s products are appropriately themed around Heritage.

For $10 a month, beauty and lifestyle samples will come to your doorstep hand-selected by the Birchbox team. Each box also contains a great information card with details on the products inside, including how much they cost to purchase.

My September 2013 Birchbox included:

  • Ruffian | Nail Lacquer (Delirium)
  • Serge Normant | Meta Luxe Hair Spray
  • Grand Central Beauty S.M.A.R.T. | Skin Perfecting™ Polisher
  • BCBGMAXAZRIA | Bon Genre
  • Eyeko | Black Magic Mascara

photo-4Ruffian | Nail Lacquer (Delirium)
Full Size Sample Value: $10.00 (0.17 fl oz)
Buy at Birchbox

This nail polish was a little bright for my taste, but I’ll keep it around for a summer toe color. I immediately put it on my fingers, and when I went into a meeting the next morning at work, I couldn’t stop looking at my nails. The color was pretty distracting! But, the quality seems decent enough.

It started peeling/flaking a couple of days later, which is kind of surprising since Birchbox says it’s formulated to hold up without doing that… But, it also says you’re supposed to use a base coat and topcoat, neither of which I did.

photo-5Serge Normant | Meta Luxe Hair Spray
Sample Size Value: $0.66 (2.0 oz)
Full Size Cost: $25.00
(75.0 oz)
Buy at Birchbox

I was really not pleased with this hairspray. For one thing, when I opened up the sample, the cap was broken. I had to kind of jimmy-rig it in order to get it to work. Secondly, it smelled like nail polisher remover. Seriously, the smell of this hair spray is offensive.

Birchbox says this hair spray is supposed to work great in humidity, but I definitely didn’t experience that. I didn’t think it left my hair smooth or shiny. Instead, I actually had to use a frizz control serum to get the look I needed. It does keep hair in place, but the smell alone makes it not worth it. 

photo (9)Grand Central Beauty S.M.A.R.T. | Skin Perfecting™ Polisher
Sample Size Value: $7.49 (.2 fl oz)
Full Size Cost: $38.00 (30 ml)
Buy at Birchbox

I’ll be honest, I haven’t used this one yet. Mainly because I’m unclear on how I’m supposed to use it. It says it’s rinse-optional, which freaks me out a bit. Do I rinse it off or do I leave it on? What are the benefits of doing it one way or the other?

Anyway, once I figure out how I want to use this thing, it’s supposed to exfoliate, peel, tone and hydrate skin. These all sound like good things. I just need to take the plunge and try it out.

photo (8)BCBGMAXAZRIA | Bon Genre Perfume
Sample Size Value: $0.69 (0.03 oz)
Full Size Cost: $75.00 (3.4 oz)
Buy at Birchbox

I’m always for a good perfume, and this one came in one of my favorite perfume sample bottles. I much prefer the ones you can spray, versus the ones you have to dab on.

The scent is nice and helped me battle the remnants of that bad-smelling hair spray. It’s super feminine without being overly complicated. There’s hints of lychee, red berries, tiger lily and jasmine noir. I personally can’t identify any of those scents, but it doesn’t matter to me… I like it!

photo (7)Eyeko | Black Magic Mascara
Sample Size Value: $10.76 (0.13 oz)
Full Size Cost: $24.00(0.29 oz)
Buy at Birchbox

I’ve gotten a lot of mascara samples lately! Not that I mind, I definitely like trying them all out. My favorite part of this mascara was the curved brush. It made it easy to apply and get a nice full look. Birchbox says it’s “sickle-shaped,” which I got to say, I’ve never heard of a mascara wand being described quite that way before. The formula is waterproof and definitely stands up for 12 hours.

The Verdict
Cost: $15.00
Total Value: $29.60

My favorite item this month was definitely the BCBGMAXAZRIA | Bon Genre Perfume. Sometimes I wonder if I’m getting tired of receiving perfume samples in my Birchbox, but then one like this comes along and it all seems worth it! And, I’m never short of perfume, which is nice! My least favorite item has to be Serge Normant | Meta Luxe Hair SprayI mean, the smell is seriously out of control! Kind of funny my favorite and least favorite items both have to deal with smell… ah well!

Have you tried Birchbox yet? What was your favorite item. Comment below!

Disclosure: This product was not received in exchange for a review. All views in this post 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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August 2013: Birchbox Review

August 2013 BirchboxWe’re taking a trip to Finishing School folks, so grab your tube socks and sharpen your pencils. The theme for this month’s Birchbox is all about giving you the finishing touches you need for your beauty routine.

This month’s Birchbox included:

  • Coastal Scents® | Eye Shadow
  • Harvey Prince | Eau Flirt
  • Juice Beauty | Oil-free Moisturizer
  • Number 4™ | Super Comb Prep & Protect
  • TanTowl® | Classic Formula Self-Tan Towelettes

Coastal Scents® | Eye ShadowCoastal Scents® | Eye Shadow
Sample Size Value: $1.54
Full Size Cost: $34-39.00
Buy at Birchbox

Not sure I’d call this a finishing touch item, but anything that claims to give you the perfect smoky eye is okay in my book! These colors are definitely up my alley and they offer some really beautiful pigments. I’ve used the colors independently and in combination and find them to be very versatile! I wasn’t uber impressed with how long they last, but I thought the sample size was really nice!

Harvey Prince | Eau FlirtHarvey Prince | Eau Flirt
Sample Size Value: $0.98
Full Size Cost: $55-98.00
Buy at Birchbox

Now, I really liked this scent! And, as far as the theme goes, perfume is a perfect “finishing touch.” It’s really floral and very girly. Usually I’m more of a subtle perfume kind of girl, but I’ve really enjoyed trying this out and have been wearing it almost every day.

Juice Beauty | Oil-free MoisturizerJuice Beauty | Oil-free Moisturizer
Sample Size Value: $7.00
Full Size Cost: $28.00
Buy at Birchbox

Now, I don’t know if it’s this moisturizer or what, but since using this… I have started to break out a bit, even though it is oil free and claims to not clog pores. I don’t really have sensitive skin, so I am pretty surprised with my skin’s reaction. I’d say the primary downside for me is the scent. I don’t know how to describe it, but it’s kind of earthy… but, not really in a pleasant way. It almost smells like oatmeal, maybe?

Number 4™ | Super Comb Prep & ProtectNumber 4™ | Super Comb Prep & Protect
Sample Size Value: $4.80
Full Size Cost: $32.00
Buy at Birchbox

When I opened up this month’s Birchbox and saw this hair protectant, I was super stoked! I loved the Beauty Protector | Protect & Detangle I got in my May 2013 box, so I was excited to try out a similar product. And, while I don’t think it’s as fabulous as the Beauty Protector, I definitely noticed some improvements! My hair was certainly softer and it definitely took care of some tangles. It also smells pretty good!

TanTowl® | Classic Formula Self-Tan TowelettesTanTowl® | Classic Formula Self-Tan Towelettes
Sample Size Value: $2.40
Full Size Cost: $24.00
Buy at Birchbox

As a committed member of the pale-person club, you’d think I’d be pretty excited about a self-tan towelette. But here’s the thing about being pale, and I mean… really pale… tan towelettes become kind of intimidating. There’s only one of these in the sample and I’m not sure where I could sufficiently use this, and it not end up looking like an uneven tan streak somewhere. So, yeah… I didn’t use this.

The Verdict
Cost: $15.00
Total Value: $16.72

Overall, I was pretty happy with this month’s Birchbox. The Number 4™ | Super Comb Prep & Protect, Harvey Prince | Eau Flirt and Coastal Scents® | Eye Shadow were definitely my favorites.  I’ve used all three products almost every day since getting them in the mail. It’s probably pretty obvious that I was less excited about the TanTowl® | Classic Formula Self-Tan Towelettes and Juice Beauty | Oil-free MoisturizerNot sure how much longer I’ll continue using the moisturizer… and maybe someone out there will want my Tan Towelettes? Any takers?

What’d you think of this month’s Birchbox? Did you get something different you think I’d like? A penny for your thoughts. Not really, I don’t have that many pennies. 😛

Disclosure: This product was not received in exchange for a review. All views in this post 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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Birchbox: July 2013 Reivew

Birchbox July 2013This month’s theme was “Power Play,” with the idea being that Birchbox wants to help you take control of every situation and make the most of every minute.

Looking at this month’s samples, I’m struggling to see the connection, but you gotta at least give Birchbox an A for effort on that one. I mean it can’t be easy figuring out these themes every month and connecting them to beauty products.

Birchbox is a monthly cosmetic subscription service that brings beauty samples to your doorstep for $10.00/month. Want to read about past boxes? Feel free to check out my previous posts in the review section.

So, what did we find inside this beautiful July box?

  • Juliette Has a Gun | Juliette Has a GunNot a Perfume 
  • Birchbox | Bobby Pins
  • theBalm® cosmetics | InStain® Long-Wearing Powder Staining Blush
  • Vivant® Skin Care | Green Tea Antioxidant Cleanser
  • ModelCo | Party Proof Lipstick

Not a PerfumeJuliette Has a Gun | Juliette Has a Gun Not a Perfume 
Approximate Sample Value: $2.40
Full Size Cost: $120.00 (100 ml)
Buy at Birchbox

Let’s start things off with the perfume, because you know how I’m a sucker for perfume samples!

Not a Perfume features an elegant and unmistakable scent that Birchbox says is totally addictive. I’m not so sure about the addictive part, because I can’t figure out if I like this scent or not. In some ways it’s almost too strong for me. And, I have a terrible time putting it on. For whatever reason, these little perfume bottles are just so hard for me to navigate!

Birchbox Bobby PinsBirchbox | Bobby Pins
Sample Value: $1.66
Full Size Cost: $5.00 (set of 6)
Buy at Birchbox

Of all the items, I feel like these little bobby pins probably connect to the whole “keep things under control” theme the most. They’re definitely cute, and I love the design, but I don’t typically wear bobby pins like these. I tried pairing them with a navy blue dress I was wearing and chickened out. I don’t know if it’s just not my style or what. I used them as regular old bobby pins and I found them difficult to use. What is with me this month? I guess I’m struggling in using the samples!

InstaintheBalm® cosmetics | InStain® Long-Wearing Powder Staining Blush
Sample Value: $4.44 (0.018 oz)
Full Size Cost: $22.00 (0.09 oz)
Buy at Birchbox

Now this little guy impressed me! Birchbox says the pigment lasts from sunup to sundown, and while I didn’t notice any long-lasting qualities, I couldn’t believe the vibrance of the color! This sample is small, so I didn’t expect it to make a big impact. But, my brush just soaks up the color and it goes on bright. So, I was very impressed with this little sample!

Vibrant Skin CareVivant® Skin Care | Green Tea Antioxidant Cleanser
Sample Value: $0.56
Full Size Cost: $29.50 (8 oz)
Buy at Birchbox

This is perhaps my favorite sample in this month’s box. Probably because I’m a sucker for a good old fashion face wash. Birchbox says it can also be used as a body cleanser, and while I haven’t used it for that yet, I imagine it’s pretty awesome on that front as well. It is packed with antioxidant-rich green tea and grape seed extract and leaves my skin feeling super clean! It also really does smell like green tea!

Model Co LipstickModelCo | Party Proof Lipstick Trio 
Sample Value: $8.00
Full Size Cost: $24.00

Buy at Birchbox

Now, I know some folks who weren’t happy with this palest of pale lipstick hues, but I really didn’t mind “Get Naked.” I find the trick is not putting it on too thick. When I just use one coat, it adds just a little bit of shimmer. If I put on anything more than that, it looks like I’m wearing a pretty sad lipstick. Birchbox says this lipstick doesn’t come off when you take a drink or give a smooch, and let me just say… that’s a bit of an over statement. It definitely came off on my coffee cup this morning when I put it to the test.

The Verdict
Total Cost: $10.00/month
Total Value: $17.06

Birchbox always does a really great job of giving you an exceptional value. For $10.00/month, it always seems worth it to me to keep this subscription. Especially when you’re a makeup feen like myself.

As far as the products this month, there wasn’t anything I really fell in love with. I don’t know if it’s because I’m getting jaded in my box ways or what. But, there just wasn’t anything that really set the box over the top for me. My favorite item is probably the Vivant® Skin Care | Green Tea Antioxidant Cleanser. If I had gotten a different color of the ModelCo | Party Proof Lipstick Trio, it definitely could have taken the lead.

My least favorite item was probably the Birchbox | Bobby Pins, mainly because they aren’t the kind I normally use. If I was thinking, I should have not opened these and instead gifted them to someone. Woops!

What did you guys think of Birchbox this week? What  all did you get? Would love to hear your thoughts! Want to try it for yourself, check them out here!

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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Birchbox: June 2013 Review

Birchbox: June 201306.18.13 – Here we have it folks, my second Birchbox! Complete with the brand new logo! This time around I avoided any and all other reviews in anticipation of being surprised by what I’d find inside! And, let me just say… I was stoked! In so many ways, it’s like Birchbox read my mind and brought me exactly what I was hoping for!

For those who don’t know… Birchbox is a cosmetic subscription service that delivers makeup samples to your doorstep for $10.00 a month. Birchbox rewards subscribers with points for referring friends and for writing reviews on their site. These points can be used toward the purchase of your favorite products.

This month’s theme is “Wanderlust” and the whole idea that when you’re ready to shake things up, you can’t be stopped! That’s been especially true for me lately. I don’t know what it is, but I’ve had crazy motivation to get things done! So, it seems this month’s theme is fitting the bill!

This month’s Birchbox came with:

  • 29 Cosmetics | 29 Preserves Skin Care Collection
  • Birchbox + Color Club | Wanderlust Collection
  • Twistband | Birchbox Nautical Hair Tie Collection
  • Klorane | Gentle Dry Shampoo with Oak Milk
  • Youngblood Mineral Cosmetics | Hi-Definition Hydrating Mineral Perfecting Powder
  • Birchbox | Postcards
29 Cosmetics

29 Cosmetics | 29 Preserves Skin Care Collection

29 Cosmetics | 29 Preserves Skin Care Collection
Full Size Cost: $68.00-175.00
Sample Value: $4.00 (estimate)
Buy at Birchbox

29 Cosmetics offers an antioxidant-rich and eco-chic quartet to protect and firm skin. This month’s sample includes a Cream Cleanser, Serum Extract, Eye Emulsion and Night Moisture.

I don’t really have a wrinkle problem. I guess you could say I’m still young, though the gray hairs making an appearance on my head are quietly disagreeing. But, I still listed it on my beauty profile for Birchbox because I’ve always been of the mindset that it’s never too early to use anti-aging stuff! It can’t hurt right? I immediately used the Cream Cleanser and the Night Moisture, because I was getting ready for bed. I noticed in the morning that my skin felt super soft, and the Eye Emulsion was really great. But, the sample sizes are only big enough for one application, and it’s hard to tell with this anti-aging stuff what effect it has after one use.

29 Cosmetics seems like it’s got some cool things going on though. They’re based in Napa, California and make their products with all natural and organic, sustainable ingredients. Their products even come in eco-friendly, recyclable packaging, which I think is pretty cool!

Color Club & Twist

Birchbox + Color Club | Wanderlust Collection
Twistband | Birchbox Nautical Hair Tie Collection

Birchbox + Color Club | Wanderlust Collection
Full Size Cost: $8.00
Sample Value: $2.00
Buy at Birchbox

My nail polish was chipping, so I was totally ready to take off what I had on and try something summery! And boy, this stuff is bright! When I first saw the bottle it looked like a mint color to me. Which… I was thrilled about, because I’m loving the mint trend. But, I don’t know if it was the lighting or what, but the next morning I realized the polish is actually like a BRIGHT neon green. Which, if I had read the information card, I would have known. But alas, I wasn’t patient enough for that. It’s not really my style, but it’s something I could see myself putting on my toes later this summer.

The Wanderlust Collection comes in four different colors inspired by Birchbox’s favorite cities. I got “London Calling.” I’m not totally sure of the color connection, but I can roll with it.

Twistband | Birchbox Nautical Hair Tie Collection
Full Size Cost: $14.00
Sample Value: $2.33
Buy at Birchbox

The Twistband was this month’s lifestyle extra from Birchbox. I’ve seen these before in a whole bunch of different boxes. They even have their own monthly subscription service (here you go). As far as hair ties go, they’re pretty cool. They go on really smoothly and definitely helped me out when I washed may face with the 29 Cosmetics Cream Cleanser. But, here’s my thing about hair ties. I never buy them. I don’t know how I end up with them. But, I have like one or two around the house and they get me through. I’m just not a pony tail girl, so I don’t use them often.

Klorane

Klorane | Gentle Dry Shampoo with Oak Milk

Klorane | Gentle Dry Shampoo with Oak Milk
Full Size Cost: $18.00
Sample Value: $5.96
Buy at Birchbox

Now this is the type of product I hoped to get from Birchbox. I’ve always wanted to try a dry shampoo, but never took the plunge. This morning was the perfect opportunity for me to try it out. I’ve been using the leave-in conditioner from my last Birchbox (review here) and my hair has been looking greasy on day two, so I thought this dry shampoo would help me out.

Klorane is a favorite of celebs and is known for reviving second-day strands. And, I think it did the trick? I didn’t notice anything too outstanding. I think it helped out some, but I felt like I had to use a lot of it to get the effect I wanted.

Youngblood Mineral Cosmetics | Hi-Definition Hydrating Mineral Perfecting Powder

Youngblood Mineral Cosmetics | Hi-Definition Hydrating Mineral Perfecting Powder

Youngblood Mineral Cosmetics | Hi-Definition Hydrating Mineral Perfecting Powder
Full Size Cost: $40.00
Sample Value: $1.94
Buy at Birchbox

When I saw this product, I thought YES! Want to know why? It’s because my powder fell on the floor and shattered this week. Leaving me living a life sans powder. And that’s not a life I enjoy.

Now… Houston, we have powder! And, HD powder at that! I’ve used HD powder before, primarily for weddings and other special occasions, and I love the finish they leave. The sample size is pretty small though, and I was confused about how I could get a brush into the small container. But, after I got past that, I was impressed with how it kept shine under control for hours. As far as quality goes, this might be my favorite item in this month’s box.

Postcards

Birchbox | Postcards

Birchbox | Postcards
Full Size Value: $2.50 (estimate)
Not available online 

These cute post cards were a little extra item in this month’s box. They coincide with Birchbox’s Wanderlust Collection and feature some really cute illustrations. I have a picture frame that I’ve been meaning to put something inside, and I feel like this could be really cute in my bathroom… hmmm… Look at you Birchbox! Inspiring me to be crafty!

The Verdict
Cost: $10.00/month
Value: $18.73

As before, I am impressed with Birchbox’s value and ability to predict what sort of items I want to try. While I was happy to experiment with these brands, I didn’t really get anything that I felt like I couldn’t live with out. Don’t be fooled, I’m not disappointed. That’s the fun in trying different products. Can’t fall in love with everything every time!

My favorite item this month has to be the sample from Youngblood Mineral Cosmetics. Just because I’m a sucker for some shine-control HD powder. I just wish there was more in the sample size!

Does this all sound good to you? Are you ready to try Birchbox out? Do a girl a favor and use this link. Who else got Birchboxes this month? Are you feeling wanderlust?

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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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

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

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

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.

Tagged , , , , , ,
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