Saturday, May 23, 2015

A Box Full of Huh? May 2015 Birchbox

I've been a subscriber to Birchbox since September, and while I love and adore it every once in a while I get a box that has me scratching my head. Theoretically your box should always be tailored to your specific likes and wants based off of both your beauty profile and the reviews you have done of previous boxes. But sometimes I'm pretty sure they ignore all those wonderful points of data and just throw random things into your box. My May box if definitely one of those types of boxes, and while it isn't a horrible box it just wasn't a good fit for me or my profile.

For those who don't know, Birchbox is a subscription service that sends you 4-5 deluxe (with the occasional full sized) beauty products each month for the amazing price of only $10 a month. Some months I have received boxes worth quadruple what I paid, so they are a great value. You also get points for reviewing items (and for buying items from their shop) that translate into gift cards you can use in their shop. So if you really loved an item in your box you can easily and quickly purchase it without having to track it down like some companies make you (like Ipsy). I love the points system and actually just cashed in $70 worth of points and a 20% off coupon to get a large order of goodies for me for less than a lunch out would cost me. Birchbox tends to lean towards the higher end items, so for someone like me who is on a serious budget its my only chance to try and use some of those $80 skin creams.

Each month has a theme, though I don't think the stuff in my box actually matches the theme. This month Birchbox was doing a collaboration with Emily of Cupcakes and Cashmere, so she picked out some of the products we received this month I believe. I'm actually not familiar with that blog at all, but I guess it's super popular and most people were pretty excited about it. As you can see, the box was pretty this month, though I still like the Rifle and Co box the best. Birchbox has yet to announce why we need to save our boxes, but I save and use mine anyways so it doesn't bug me.

This month I did not receive a full sized item, which is always a bit of a bummer. I did get two makeup items, a skin care item, a hair care item, and a fragrance, so a decent variety of stuff this month. But to be truthful I was really only excited for two of them, which quickly became one when I actually tried things out. I think this is some one's ideal box but for me it just really hit flat. I HATE Dr Jart+, don't like perfume, and a lotion is kind of boring.

Let's start with one of the items I was excited for, the Lollibalm by Benefit Cosmetics. I've tried the Lollitint before, and really hated the color as a blush (I'm to warm toned to pull off orchid colored blush) but as a tinted lip balm I can totally rock that. Benefit is a big name (aka expensive and out of my budget range) in the makeup world so I'm excited to receive something of theirs to try out. The packaging on this is pretty cute, though it is pretty small, with only 0.05 oz of product in it. I feel like Benefit always does itsy bitsy "deluxe" samples.

Once I swatched it on my hand my excitement quickly vanished. There is almost no color payoff at all, which would be fine for a $5 product but a full size (0.10 oz) is $18! For that price I expect a lot more than that. And can we talk about the scent for a minute? Do you remember that awful little girl perfume from the early 90's? That is exactly what this smells like. And the actual product sweats, which you may be able to see in the photo above. Sweating lip products that haven't been in a hot pocket for a few hours is a pretty good sign of a sub-par product. I'm actually really disappointed in this product, I expected a heck of a lot more from Benefit than something I'd expect to find in a play makeup set. My little sample came to a value of $9, which is ridiculous.

The second item I was excited for is actually brand new (as of last month) to Birchbox and the world if I remember correctly. Parlor is a hair care line by Jeff Chastain, a NYC Stylist, and is currently exclusive to Birchbox. I'm a big fan of sea salt sprays, so this was actually a great pick for me. This gives you softer beachy hair than your typical sea salt sprays, and leaves your hair hydrated and looking great. While it didn't give me as defined beach waves as other sprays I've tried my hair didn't feel like I had dumped a bunch of hair spray in it so I'll call that a win. And did I mention it smells AMAZING? Because it does. Like a fruity cocktail you'd sip at the beach. A full sized bottle is 4.9 fluid oz and retails for $24, making my 1 fluid oz sample about $4.90.

Some people love getting lotion in their box, but I find it pretty boring to be truthful. I own so much lotion I could probably fill my bath tub, so getting even more to slug through really doesn't appeal to me. This is a candlenut body creme by Juara, and it's suppose to seriously rehydrate your skin and repair any damage while smelling like Bali. It's nice and thick, soaked it well, and did moisturize my hands, so I don't hate it. The smell is kind of spicy and floral, perfect for the summer without being overbearing. I like it and will use it, but I won't be buying a full sized tube at $38 for 7.5 oz, that's way outside of my budget. My cute little tube is 0.34 oz, so a value of $1.72.

I've said it before and I'll say it again, I really don't like getting perfume in my Birchbox. I'm crazy picky about the scents that I wear, so I'm never going to be happy with anything they send me. And who wants a tiny little spray vial that is barely halfway filled anyways? I could get this for free pretty much anywhere. In case you can't read the tiny print on the bottle, this is Harvey Price Sincerely, which is described as being a musky floral scent. This is the second Harvey Prince perfume I've received from Birchbox, the first was Noir or something like that. All I remember is it smelled awful. This doesn't smell terrible and I'll actually wear and use it up, but I just don't like it enough to want a full sized bottle. This is a bit strong for my taste, and much to floral for my preferences. I wish they'd send me the Hello perfume instead, citrus is much more my style than these flower power scents. A full sized bottle is 50 mL and retails for $55, making my little vial worth about a buck, the actual size is to faded and tiny to actually read and calculate out.

And last we have the item that convinces me nobody bothered to read my profile while making my box. If you've been reading my blog for a while, you know I HATE Dr Jart+. I've tried two other foundations/BB Creams from him and they were awful. I may have eyerolled and then said some rather rude things once I saw I was receiving yet another Dr Jart+ product. This is a tinted moisturizer specifically formulated for people with dry skin (aka not me) who have a yellow undertone (also not me). I've worn it once, so I can't really tell you a whole lot about the wearability other than it make my powder look really cakey and it smells like a medicine cabinet.

The spot on the left is it straight out of the tube, to the right is it blended out. Way to yellow for me, you could really tell I was wearing it before I put my powder on. It did actually set into a non-greasy mess, which puts it above anything else I've tried from the line, and it seemed to hold up pretty well. So if you are a dry skinned, yellow undertones individual with no sense of smell this would be perfect for you. I kind of wish I hadn't even tried it so I could trade it away, my mistake there. I'll use it up just because I hate waste, but I will not be buying a full sized one obviously. Speaking of a full sized, they are $48 (ouch) for 50 mL, making my 5 mL tube worth $4.80.

I'll use everything in this box just because I hate to waste stuff I paid for, but it was an almost complete miss for me this month. Really hoping June will be a spectacular box to make up for this one, and from the sneak peeks I've seen it probably will be. My total value for this box came to $21.42, so a little over double what I paid. And I received 60 points (50 for reviewing, 10 for sharing on Twitter) from it, so that takes some of the sting out of it. Not every box can be a winner, but to be this far off makes me wonder who is actually designing the boxes.


  1. You sound like me. I didn't like my box either, and I don't like fragrance-but they send fragrance samples. Maybe it's time for a new box subscription.

    1. I've thought about it, but I generally love BB more than it annoys me right now. And the point system is awesome, which makes up more a bad box.

  2. So sorry that you didn't enjoy your Cupcakes and Cashmere box!! I am currently sitting on my points because i prob do a Big Haul in July!! Feel free to check out my May Edition box which I posted Thursday!

    Ursula aka Blueridge Beauty

    1. I just used my points for a giant haul, best feeling ever! Can't wait to see what you get!