Sunday, February 15, 2015

February 2015 Birchbox Review

Ah Birchbox, my favorite package I get each month. For those who don't know, Birchbox is a monthly beauty and skin care subscription service. For $10 a month you get 4-5 deluxe sample and full sized products based on the preference quiz you took. This is my 6th month, and so far I've only had one bad month. Some months are better than others, and even if you don't super love your box you still get points to spend on full size products in the Birchbox shop. Let's see what I thought of this month's box shall we?

This is the second month of the cute new colored boxes, and I have to say this one is adorable! I love the bright neon colors, so fun and vibrant. Birchbox suggests keeping all of your boxes this year, I think there's going to be some sort of contest or something at the end of the year with them. That is just my idea, they haven't officially said anything. The theme this month is friendship I think, though I don't ever feel like the theme really effects the items in the box.

My first look was a big stack of cards, which is unusual for my Birchboxes. Normally there is only the info card, but this time there was an ingredient card, and info card, my Rent the Runway coupon code card, and a code for a free Benefit Porefessionals Primer deluxe mini with the purchase of a full sized Benefit item. I probably won't use any of the codes, but I'll save them anyways just in case. I do like that Birchbox is partnering up with different companies and giving us codes, that's been a fun little perk. I got a $10 gift card to Gap in my December box, which I used to get an adorable sweater for my son.

Here is the actual first look at my box once all the packaging and cards are removed. I only got one full sized item, which happens to be my only makeup item in the box. I have a TON of makeup I'm trying to finish right now so I'm ok with only the one makeup item. The breakdown this month is one makeup, two skin care, one hair care, and a perfume. I did not pick a sample this month, they were all totally sold out by time I got my turn, so this whole box was picked by Birchbox. I'm actually happy with the first look, so let's see how everything stacks up.

First up is the perfume sample, Hollywood Royal by Juicy Couture. It smells a lot like that perfume Brittany Spears put out quite a few years ago to be truthful with you, very teenager to me. I'm pretty picky about scents so I knew there was a 90% chance I'd not like this one. It doesn't smell bad, it just isn't my style at all. I have a friend who loves perfume so I'll probably pass this onto her. Did I mention this is an expensive bottle of perfume? A 2.5 fluid oz bottle retails for $75, which is crazy. I'm not paying that much to smell like a girl's locker room. My little sample comes out to only $1.50, so not a high value item at all.

I love when Birchbox sends me hair stuff, it saves me from having to buy some on my own. I'm actually using only samples right now because I haven't had time to run to the store and buy more shampoo/conditioner so I'm super happy to see a hair mask this month. Amika is a nicer brand that has been on my list of things to try but I've never gotten around to it. This is their Nourishing Mask, which has sea buckthorn Berry in it. It smells pretty good and did make my hair soft though not as much as the OGX Moroccan Oil Mask does. This is also a smaller tube than I'd have liked to receive. I'll get two uses total out of it, which is kind of a let down. Would I purchase a full sized one? Probably not, but I wouldn't turn away some if Birchbox gave me more. A full sized tub is $28 (250 mL), which makes my 20 mL tube worth $2.24, so not a high value sample either. So far this is a low value box, hopefully the next few items will raise it up quite a bit.

Caudalie is a French brand that I've tried and loved in the past, so I was super excited to see it in my box. This is a moisturizing sorbet made from grapes (and is paraben free, whoohoo!). While the tube is tiny it does pack quite a punch. The super thick cream melts into your skin and spreads easily without leaving and greasy residue and made my skin so soft I could not quite touching it. By the end of the day even my toddler was petting my cheek. A full sized tube is a little pricey, $39 for a 40 mL tube (ok, more than a little pricey) so I may wait till I cash in on all of my hoarded points to get this. My little tube is worth $2.93, so still a low value box though I loved this item so that's a plus.

Next up we have a blemish serum by Evologie, which is unfortunately a product I still very much need. This is basically a tea tree oil spot treatment for all those wonderful bits of acne that never seem to go away. This is almost a full sized tube, just 5 mL smaller than normal. I like this so far, I think it's doing a decent job drying out the few random pimples that decided to ruin my good skin week. It smells very strongly of tea tree oil, so keep that in mind if you decide to buy some for yourself. And it is quite expensive, a full sized tube is 15 mL (1/2 fluid oz) and retails for $35, which makes my 10 mL tube worth $23.33. I won't be buying a full sized one, the ELF zit zapper works just as well for only $3, but I've enjoyed trying this out. And I'm glad I finally got a high value sample in this box, I was beginning to worry.

Lastly we have the only full sized item, a liquid eyeliner pen my Eyeko. I've tried a different item from this brand and was SUPER not impressed so I will fully admit to thinking this pen would seriously blow. I was very much wrong, for which I am so grateful.

I wear a lot of winged eyeliner, so a good liquid eyeliner has been on my list to find forever. The pen tip on this is really interesting, it's half felt tip pen half brush, so you can do either very thin or nice and thick just depending on how much pressure you used.

It was a nice solid black, not as matte as I typically like but not shiny like other liquid liners I've tried in the past. The lasting power was decent, I have pretty oily eyelids so by the end of the day it had smeared a bit, but that was a few hours after I came home for the night. I found it easy to apply, though I have not tried it over eyeshadow yet, which may very well change my opinion on it. But as of right now I'm pretty happy with it and will think about buying another when this runs out. These retail for $16 each and seem to only be available in black though I could have sworn I saw more colors somewhere else.

Overall I'm pretty happy with the box, though it isn't my favorite box ever. I liked two of the items quite a bit and honestly didn't hate anything, though I didn't like the perfume at all. My total value came to $46 dollars, so a pretty high value box in the end! Granted, the bulk of the value came from two items, but I think I more than got my $10 worth PLUS I'll get $5 to spend in the shop from reviewing all of the items. Can't wait until next month, hopefully the pick your samples and curated boxes won't sell out so fast next time and I can actually pick something.

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