Guess what? This is my 4th Birchbox! That's right. It passed the three strikes and you're out litmus test. Sure the box with the laundry detergent was almost a deal killer, and the box with the baby poop green thank you note stationery was bordering on gross, I still kept my subscription. Why?
I know that, from past history, and seeing other reviews, that Birchbox, out of all the monthly subscription boxes in the $10-$15 dollar range would provide me with the most useful items, the best customer service, and the easiest on line shopping experience out of all the boxes I have used. I am now officially ready to say, YES. Birchbox is a decent monthly subscription service and I'm willing to share my referral link for this service.
Now you all might be thinking; "Big deal. Sharing your referral link will just get you free stuff from the company" And you would be almost correct. Sharing my referral link will earn me points if people click on that link and decide to subscribe. Yes. That is true. With those points I can get up to $10 off any order I place at Birchbox, I could even use it toward a free box for a month. But if I hated the service I wouldn't really benefit from giving out my referral link because, what's the point of getting referral points to a service I think that sucks?! Seriously. You might notice that this is the only beauty subscription service in which I have shared my referral code. I'll also provide regular links to Birchbox in this review should you choose not to sign up though my referral code. I'm totally cool if you go that route. My referral code will be listed only once. The rest of the Birchbox links in this post are neutral and will not garner me any points or special favors from the company.
OK. Moving ON.
This month I was pleasantly surprised by the box that showed up in the mail. This months theme was travel, and the Birchbox team included products that cater to your "inner jetsetter" Multi use products, full size cosmetics and even a little extra to get you through TSA inspections.
Let us start with the box. You'll notice that this month only 4 samples were included. The Birchbox website states that you should expect 4 to 5 same sized products every month. Well, this is one of those months where toy get nay 4. However, Birchbox never has made the promise that you would receive full size items, so receiving a full sized Stila One Step Bronze is quite nice treat. The retail for this its is $36. That's pretty awesome since I spent only $10 on the entree box.
The Stila One step Bronze is a three in one bronzer. It's a bronzer, primer and serum. I love the light gel texture of this bronzer. I love that I can apply it o my skin BEFORE a light foundation or in lieu of a foundation and I like the way it feels on my skin. Now in the swatch above I'm sure you are all horrified, but that is one and a half pumps on only part of my forearm. If applied properly, the brown mud oompa loompa look fades away and you are left with the sheer very light bronze color that looks very natural.
The box also included a Sunscreen. This one is from Coola. It's called the Cucumber matte Mineral Face SPF 30. I haven't opened it yet because it looks like a one time use sachet, but it sounds interesting. I personally have issues with physical sunscreens making me break out, but I'll try it once in the interest if science to see how it works. I like anything that can deliver a matte finish.
The Juicy Couture perfume sample is just not my cuppa cuppa, so that will go in the giveaway box. I do kind of wish they wouldn't include perfume samples, but every now and then they include one that is really nice and I end up finding anew scent I really like.
The next and last item is theBalm Cosmetics Staniac in Beauty Queen. I had a full size tube in the past that I liked a lot, but just lost it along the way. This is a sample see but a little goes a long way. A full size tube retails for $17 so it's not over the top expensive. Staniac has a nice gel like formula that gives a blueish red color that is easily blendable into the cheeks. It provides a nice natural flush for most skin tones., although fair skin will benefit from this the most and as a lip stain it is decent.
The flavor isn't great but it's not awful. It fades about as well as other lip stains do, but I will say, apply this before a long flight and when you land you'll look just as pretty as when you boarded the plane.
The "Lifestyle Extra" this month was not a tea bag, laundry detergent or hideous note card. This month is was a plastic "ziploc style" bag from a company named Tili. They are sold in packs of 9 or 12 and retail for $8.49-$9.49. This bag is the exact size allowed by the TSA for carry on of liquids (one quart). The bag has a cute pink and blue leopard print design and a place to write your name, should you be traveling with multiple people and need to keep track of your stuff. There are a few things that I can see as potential issues with this bag. a) It is opaque. I was under the impression that the TSA wanted to be able to see what was IN the bag. The only way to see IN this bag would be by opening it. Not cool, if you packed it a specific way and some ham handed TSA agent is pawing through it. b) The bag is expensive. 9 bags for $8.49 is 94 cents a bag…or you could spend $4.39 on 38 ziploc brand bags that have no design, but are clear and those will run you about 11 cents a bag. Your choice….but I think I'll stick with the no frills version. I have no desire to make anything prettier for the TSA. Just my 2 cents.
OK. DO I recommend Birchbox? Well. I'll say that ONLY if you are a sample junkie and ONLY if you have $10 extra bucks to spare each month then YES! Go for it. If you love me that much you'll sign up though my referral link HERE. If you still love me but don't want to give me referral credit you can sign up for birchbox by clicking above on any of the other birchbox links in this post. They are referral link free.
I still maintain that putting $10-$15 a month aside and using it at the end of the year or every 6 months to buy one super luxe item is better than all the sample boxes in the world, but hey, to each her own.