May 2016 Birchbox Review

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After a lackluster (but pretty) April box, I had hopes that May would look a little bit better. At the very least, I got to pick one of my samples– a COOLA sunscreen.

Birchbox always includes an insert that tells you about each sample. 

So here’s what I got…

I have to stop and comment on this month’s box. Isn’t it super cute? One of the things I like about Birchbox is the collectible boxes. I’ve reused them as gift boxes and to organize my products in my bathroom closet and drawers. This one isn’t as pretty as last month’s, but it’s definitely one of their prettier designs.

 

Davines
OI / All in One Milk
Full size: $30 for 135 ml
Sample size: 50 ml
Value: $11.11

I don’t hate hair products in my sub boxes quite as much as I do perfume, but it’s a close second. That said, this looks like something I can use, and I’m impressed by how large the sample size was. It also smells really nice, so I’m looking forward to trying this out a lot more than I thought I’d be. Plus, the value of this sample pays for my subscription by itself, so I’m happy.

Davines
Absolute Beautifying Shampoo for All Hair Types
Full size: $28 for 280 ml
Sample Size: 12 ml
Value: $1.20

Birchbox sent a bonus foil packet of shampoo and conditioner to go with the leave in above, so I won’t pitch my usual bitch fit over receiving shampoo (again) even though I don’t use it. I’m definitely passing this on to my sister-in-law or my daughter, but at least I get an extra $1 in points this month.

Davines
Absolute Beautifying Conditioner for All Hair Types
Full size: $34 for 250 ml
Sample Size: 12 ml
Value: $1.63

This is just a foil packet of the matching conditioner for the above, but at least I can use conditioner.

CLEAN
Blossom Eau de Parfum
Full Size: $72 for 2.14 oz
Sample Size: 0.05 oz
Value: $1.68

I’m SO not a perfume girl. I hate perfume. I hate perfume samples. I’ve got enough perfume in samples to last me until this time next year. That said, this is at least a nice, powdery scent that isn’t too heavy and is nice and wearable for warmer months, so I’ll keep it.

Eyeko
Skinny Liquid Eyeliner
Full size:  $16 for 0.07 oz
Sample size: 0.04 oz
Value: $9.14

It’s hard for me to get excited about liquid/pen eyeliners. I can’t do a cat eye on myself to save my life. Plus, this is black, and I have a ton of black eyeliners. This will be donated or passed on to someone else in need of black liquid eyeliner.

COOLA®
Classic Face Sport SPF 50 White Tea
Full size: $32 for 1.7 oz
Sample size: 0.17
Value: $3.20

This was my sample choice, and since it’s a product I already own a full size of, I knew I’d love it. This is a great sunscreen. It’s nice and light and moisturizing, and it absorbs quickly into the skin. I’m not a fan of the scent, but it does fade pretty quick.

Burt’s Bees
Tinted Lip Balm
Full size: $7 for 0.15 oz
Sample size: Full Size
Value: $7

Burt’s Bees always makes me happy, and tinted lip balms are my go-to spring/summer lippie, so I’m incredibly happy to snag one in a sub box.

My bag this month has a total value of $34.97, not including the $7 in Birchbox points I get for reviewing each item. With the points included, this box has a value of $41.97. I also ended up liking the items sent to me much better than I expected to. After months of less than thrilling Birchboxes, I’m happy to see an improvement.

If you’d like to sign up for Birchbox, click here.

What did you get this month?

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April 2016 Birchbox

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Okay, I caved. I cancelled in March and now they’ve hooked me again for April. In my defense, this box is just too darn pretty! I’m a sucker for all things Rifle Paper Co. They make really nice gifts.

As always, Birchbox includes an insert that tells you about each item you got. I also got a unique code that gives me 20% off my next purchase from Rifle Paper Co. Continue reading “April 2016 Birchbox”

February 2016 Birchbox & Ipsy Review

This post contains referral links.

Boxes have been opened. Numbers have been calculated. Some stuff has been tried. Here’s what I thought of this month’s Birchbox and Ipsy subscriptions.

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As I’ve mentioned, I didn’t go with the curated box this month, mostly because I didn’t want perfume. And of course… BAM! Birchbox gave me perfume anyway. (It’s also one of the reasons I didn’t get this month’s Target Beauty Box. I’m not a big perfume gal.)
Continue reading “February 2016 Birchbox & Ipsy Review”

Whish Revitalizing Cleansing Oil

For those of you who haven’t jumped on the cleansing oil bandwagon, let me implore you… Try out a cleansing oil. They’re amazing. You don’t need a separate makeup remover. You just smear a little bit onto your dry face and massage it in and then rinse it off. Your face if left feeling clean and soft and not zapped dry. Easy peasy! Continue reading “Whish Revitalizing Cleansing Oil”

February 2016 Birchbox & Ipsy Reveal

This post contains referral links.

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The curated box this month didn’t really appeal to me, so I decided to go with a sample choice. Continue reading “February 2016 Birchbox & Ipsy Reveal”

January 2016 Birchbox & Ipsy Review

This post contains referral and affiliate links.

I’ve got to say… Even though I was slightly underwhelmed this month, I’ve been pleasantly surprised by a few things, and there’s only one thing that I can say I probably won’t use, so this month is still a win for me with both subscriptions. I still might dump one of them if Sephora and Macy’s decide to let me play with them, but we’ll cross that bridge when we come to it.

Continue reading “January 2016 Birchbox & Ipsy Review”

January 2016 Birchbox & Ipsy Reveal

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Is it already time for another Birchbox and Ipsy? Yes it is, and here’s what I’m getting!

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The curated box was no longer available by the time I got to make my selection, and I didn’t feel like plopping down $15 on purchasing the curated box separately after last month’s disappointment, so I went with the lip tint sample and left the rest to chance. I don’t have a great feeling about this. All of my products are in the $20-30 range, so unless there are some wonderfully-sized samples, I have a feeling I’m going to be disappointed by Birchbox again this month, but we’ll see… Continue reading “January 2016 Birchbox & Ipsy Reveal”

December Birchbox & Ipsy Review

Now that I’ve had a chance to try out the items in my December Birchbox and Ipsy, I thought I’d let you guys know what I thought of the items included. Continue reading “December Birchbox & Ipsy Review”

Thoughts on November Birchbox and Ipsy

Now that I’ve gotten both boxes and had a chance to try out the stuff in them, I figured I’d share my thoughts on the products inside.

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I stated before that I opted for the curated box this month. Here’s what I got along with the value of the sample sizes:

Avène Hydrance Optimale Hydrating Serum, 0.1 oz – $3.56
I stated before that I’ve used products from this brand in the past. Considering my previous experience, I was a little surprised to find that the full size of this was only $36. As I’d expect from a serum, this is lightweight and very moisturizing, but I had to use a lot of it, and I imagine I’ll only get about three uses out of the tube I was sent. I doubt I’ll buy the full size. I just wasn’t that impressed.

Jouer Lip Enhancer, 0.15 oz – $7.27
This is nearly half the size of the full size tube. Not bad. Tati suggests having this next to my bed and putting it on before I go to sleep. I’ll admit it’s great for preventing chapped lips. It feels a bit like thin Vaseline, but I haven’t noticed any enhancement.

Shiseido ULTIMUNE EYE Power Infusing Eye Concentrate, 0.18 oz – $21.66
This stuff is expensive, but I have to admit that I was impressed with how well this stuff hydrates. I’ll definitely use up what I’ve got. The first time I used it, I dispensed about the same amount I usually do of my regular eye gel, and it was WAY too much, so I’ve been more sparing with it since. A little really goes a long way. Am I impressed enough to spend $65 on the full size? Probably not, but it’s on my Christmas wish list now.

Living proof. Perfect hair Day (PhD) dry shampoo, 1.8 oz – $9.90
I go through a lot of dry shampoo since I don’t wash my hair every day. This stuff goes on clear. There’s no annoying white powder in my hair when I use it. I already had another product under my cabinet from this same brand– the No Frizz styling cream— which I also love. The styling cream has a fresh grapefruit scent to it. The dry shampoo doesn’t smell exactly the same, and I can’t quite place it, but I’m just as in love with it. I might end up purchasing this again if I can ever get through my current stockpile of dry shampoos.

LOC One & Done Shadow Stick, 0.05 oz – $10
This was a full size shadow stick. I have so many eyeshadows and lipsticks and yet I keep buying more because some part of me is that child who wants that gigantic box of crayons. This was really nice. It glides on true to color, and it really does stay put and wears comfortably. I’ve had rotten luck in the past with similar products that would crease or smudge easily. I like that this stays in place without even needing a primer. It also paired well with my beloved Naked 2 palette. I’m VERY tempted to run on over to the Birchbox store and use my points getting the full lip and eye collection. I’m that impressed. If anyone got a sample of the lip color, let me know in the comments what you thought of it. Is it budge-free? Does it transfer a little too easily? Is the finish a true matte? How does it feel? I need to know these things.

The color I got was Day Trip, which is a great color for fall. Here’s a swatch:

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The total value of my November box was $52.39— not bad for a $10 box, and I’ll use everything. If you’d like to try Birchbox, click here for my referral link. You can also get 50 points added to your account with a new subscription when you use the code SUBSCRIBENOW50 at check out.

Ipsy

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SLMissGlam Boutique Blusher Brush – $14.50
This item alone paid for the bag, so that’s nice to have right out of the box. The bristles are synthetic and super soft. I still lean toward my Sonia Kashuk goat hair brush as my absolute favorite for blush and bronzer, but this will make a nice backup.

Smashbox Cosmetics Full Exposure Mascara, 3 ml – $5.33
I’m not super picky about mascara as long as it doesn’t flake or smudge easily. This doesn’t, and I love the brush. Would I purchase it again? Probably not. I just can’t justify the price considering there are other, much cheaper mascaras that also work for me, and I toss mine after about a month or two. Not to mention, I usually have 2-3 mascaras on hand due to my subscription boxes and gift sets. It’s a nice mascara, though, if you’re willing to spend $20 for a full size tube. Mascara just isn’t one of those things I tend to splurge on.

Hey Honey Come Clean: Propolis & Minerals Facial Scrub, 0.5 oz – $5.22
I was running low on scrub, and I didn’t care for the sample I got in my Target box, so this was nice to find in my bag. It’s REALLY THICK, and at first I thought maybe it had dried up in the tube, but persistence paid off. (I’d hope that the full size is a little easier to dispense.) It has a pleasant, sweet smell and feels great on the skin.

Demeter Fragrance Library Twilight Orchid Roll On Perfume Oil, .33 oz – $6.60
This has such a gorgeous, floral fragrance. Right now, I can’t stop sniffing my wrist where I applied it, and I’m sure I look like a total weirdo. It’s not overwhelming at all, and if I didn’t have a huge stash of fragrance samples (see also, the reason I have a mascara stash) I’d consider buying a full bottle. The only issue I have with the roller ball is that it might be a bit too subtle. I felt like I had to use a lot of it for it to be noticeable, particularly compared to the vanilla roller ball ipsy sent me last month, but if you don’t like overly heavy perfume, this is could be a good thing. It was also long lasting, and I think it’ll combine well with the vanilla. Unfortunately, all I see on their site is the cologne spray, and I don’t know if that’ll last as long as the perfume oil, but it has a very reasonable price point for the full size spray.

J. Cat Beauty Skinny & Long Eye Pencil, .08 oz – $2.99
According to ipsy, those who got this will get it in either Dark Grey or Ash Silver. Mine was in Ash Silver, which I’m thankful for because I don’t actually have a silver eye pencil. I have two dark grey pencils. This is a gorgeous shade (see swatch below) with just a hint of shimmer. I can see myself using it on upper or lower lashes, and it’s a great color heading into the holidays. It’s not smudge-proof, which I prefer in an eye pencil, but the product doesn’t claim to be, and I can always use another eye pencil. Plus it’s only a $3 pencil.

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The total value of my November bag was $34.64, not counting the cute makeup bags I get every month, and I’ll use everything here. If you would like to try Ipsy, click here for my referral link. As far as I know, there aren’t any coupon codes to use right now, but I’ll keep you posted. One of the things I’m not too fond of with Ipsy… When you first sign up, they’ll place you on a waitlist. You can skip the waitlist by sharing on social media (and you can later either remove those posts or set them so that only you can view them), but I find it annoying that you’re forced into viral marketing in that way. Still, it’s a wonderful way to try out new products, and it’s absolutely a great value.