Friday, November 21, 2014
November 2014 Birchbox
My favorite time of the month is when my Birchbox arrives, it's like a mini Christmas every month but only pretty things for my face. For those who don't know, Birchbox is a monthly subscription service that send you customized boxes of makeup and skin care goodies for only $10 a month. I love Birchbox and my last box was super perfect for me, so I was due for a crappy box. My November box was not a great one for me, I'm a little bummed. But I got $6 to spend in the Birchbox shop from reviewing the items, so it wasn't a complete loss.
This month Birchbox teamed up with Red in the fight against AIDS. The mailer box is red and covered in AIDS/HIV facts and every time you share it with the hashtag #shaRED they'll donate $1 to AIDS research. The facts are really fascinating and I am going to be sharing them as much as I can on Instagram to help raise moneys. The actual box theme was giving but I apparently threw the cards out so I don't remember what all was on them. Oops.
I'd like to apologize for the horrible pictures, my camera freaked out and it took a bit to get it fixed and I never went back and retook the photos for some reason. My first look was good, I love seeing a nice and full box. I was originally excited by what I was receiving, they just ended up being not so great in person. I'll go through the box piece by piece and as always include prices for my samples and a full sized.
The only full sized item I received was this Eyeko eyeshadow crayon in the shade Satin. I had never heard of this brand and was really excited to try it out. I love eyeshadow and the idea of a quick swipe with this thing made me super excited.
The color is a neutral metallic color, not super pigmented but enough that it'd be nice to keep in my makeup bag. The problems arose when I tried to wear it. First, this thing creased badly. Like, before I had even finished the rest of my makeup it had creased up enough it looked terrible. And the crayon is hard, I had to press pretty hard to make it show up on my eyes. I could probably apply it over primer and set it with powder but that's a lot of work for an eye crayon. I'm just going to use it for a pop of color at the corners of my eyes, so not a total waste but not what it was suppose to do. This comes in a three pack for $15, making this $5. That's half the value of the box right there, a pretty big let down.
I always keep a small lotion in my desk so I can apply it throughout the day. Getting a fancy lotion for my desk was a double win. Until I saw the size. I should have taken a picture next to my hand for scale, this is a tiny tube. Like the size of the Dr Brandt sample tubes or a third the size of a travel sized tube of lotion. Now it does smell amazing, lemongrass vert and sparking grapefruit, and it is a really nice lotion, but damn is it tiny. A full sized of the Camille Beckman Platinume Gold Imperial Repair Hand Therapy cream (told you it was fancy) is 6 oz and retails for $20, making my baby sample worth a whopping 83 cents.
The Jouer Tinted Moisturizer was one of items I was pretty excited to try, it is a pretty popular item and has really good ratings. The tube is pretty small, about the size of the lotion but not as full, which was yet another disappointment. And while it is very sheer I've learned you don't need very much of it so I've managed to get quite a few uses out of my little tube.
The shade I received was Golden and it actually blended out much nicer on my face than on my hand. It gives you this really pretty sheen/glow, like an expert put highlighter on you. I really liked it and I will probably pick a full sized tube up this summer when I like to wear lighter makeup. It also has SPF 20 in it, so perfect for the summer. The only real downside is it is expensive! A full sized tube is 1.7 oz and retails for a heart attack inducing $38! This is a Birchbox points plus a good coupon code sort of item for me, my budget is so not $38 for one small tube friendly. But I've received so many complements of how great I look when I wear it that I'm just going to suck it up and buy a tube later. My sample has a value of $3.80.
This is the item I was most excited for, the Number 4 Super Comb Prep and Protect spray. I have super long hair so any hair care stuff is more than welcome. And I know Number 4 is a REALLY high end brand so I couldn't wait to try it. It smelled great in the bottle, smells fancy and expensive to be blunt, but when I sprayed it in my hair something went horrible wrong. It made my hair, and I am not exaggerating here, smell like a hamster cage. A legit hamster cage. Not something I ever want to smell like on purpose. After about an hour the scent evaporates and my hair just smells like my conditioner, but this is a no buy more me. The Beauty Protector spray (which I received last month in my box and loved so much I bought a full sized one) does the exact same thing, smells like cupcake heaven, AND costs quite a bit less. A full sized bottle of the Number 4 is 200 mL and retails for $32, making my sample worth $4.80. This was my second most valuable item, so not a great box for me.
Everybody got a bonus goodie this month of the chocolate variety and mine was the Chuao Chocolatier Pop Corn Pop bar. This thing was yummy you guys. There were actual pop rocks in it, which was super fun, as well as I think puffed rice cereal and the actual chocolate was sooooo good. They make lots of different types and I was actually going to buy the combo pack so I could try them all but Birchbox is sold out right now so I'll have to pout and wait. I may check some of my local fancy stores and see if they carry this brand, I would buy another one of these in a heart beat. My little bar retails for $1.24 and is only sold in an 8 pack with the other flavors but a full sized bar is $6 and can be bought by itself.
My last item was the new (?) Harvey Price scent, called Petaly Noir. This is a musky, heavily floral scent and was not my cup of tea at all. It wasn't a bad scent at all, just to heavy for me. I'm very picky about perfume so I doubt any perfume I receive from Birchbox will end up a favorite. I'll be passing my sample onto a friend. This also didn't have a cap, which I thought was weird since it's a spray vial. A full sized bottle is 50 mL and retails for $55, making my sample $1.10.
All total, including the bonus chocolate, my box came to a value of $16.77. I received 60 points for reviewing each item, which equals $6 I can spend in their shop. Of the items I received I only loved 2, so really not a great box for me. My last two boxes were almost perfect so I was due for a crappy box but I really hope next month is better. I won't cancel if it's not, the points system is just to good to pass up and I have found several new favorites through them. The sample sneak peak I've seen for December looks promising so far, so fingers crossed for a great box!