Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Birchbox July Box - Review, Pictures, Swatches



This is my 5th Birchbox!  It was a theme box this month.  The people at Glamour Magazine teamed up with Birchbox to bring you a box to stimulate all the senses. Sight, Sound, Taste, Touch, and Smell.  I'm allllmost with them on the items they included and how they relate to these 5 senses but I'm not entirely there.  Let me explain.


As I open the box I'm greeted with the standard Birchbox card that explains this month's picks.  It rambles on about summer and focusing on your beauty routine and all that stuff, but what I really want to know is what is in the darn box.


Cue the back side of the card which tells you all about the products included this month.  As  soon as I look at that I toss it and peel back the blue tissue paper to reveal the box' contents.

Sorry for forgetting to turn the  LÄRABAR right side up when photographing. It makes the whole picture look like it's upside down.  Nicely presented though, Standard Birchbox packaging.  So far so good.

 
I open up the green pouch, lay out all the products and decide if I got my $10 worth this month.

Let's see


Sight: Stila Lip Glaze - Lights: From the Lights, Camera Action trio of glosses. It retails for $12 for 3 glosses. I wasn't a fan of this product before I got it and I'm still not, but I know a lot of people like these...so I guess it is a nice "sample" The color is a bronzey sparkly shade and it is heavily scented. It has no flavor that I can detect but it is super sticky. I just don't like sticky glosses.  Nice color tho! 



Sound: Birchbox Exclusive Earbuds:  Neon colored headphones. Kinda cheap looking. Haven't tried them out, but I'll bring them to the office for when I wan to listen to videos at work and don't want to disturb my office mates. (read: Watch youtube on my lunch break)
image from birchbox.com

Taste: LÄRABAR - über: YUM. FOOD. The  LÄRABAR looks good...unless you are deathly allergic to nuts...which I am not, but some people are. I'm not sure if I would have included that in the package, but hey. It's tasty so I'm happy. I think it's the extra umlauts that make it so tasty! (Box of 5 bars retails for $12.69 USD)

image from birchbox.com

Touch: Alterna Bamboo UV+ Color Protection Fade Proof Fluid:  Touch? Really? I guess the feel of your hair after using it?  I would have gone with a body scrub or something.  But I actually need this product so I'm happy.  It's a finishing gloss that is supposed to help with color retention in the sun. Since I color my hair one of the shades that fades the fastest (red) I can totally use this stuff. I haven't tested it yet, but Alterna products always seem to work well with my hair so I have high hopes. (Full size 2.5 oz retails for $24 USD)

image from birchbox.com

Smell: Oscar de la Renta - live in love fragrance: Meh. I think I got a much larger sample last month in my June Sample Society box. It's an interesting scent, but I just can't get past the Oscar de la Renta of the 19070/80's and the stodgy older woman person it projects.  Perhaps if I were to do a blind scent sniff test I might like it better. I think perfume samples are a dime a dozen so not the most original idea for "Scent". (Full size, 50 ml retails for $78 USD 0.2 oz rollerball retails for $25)

image from birchbox.com

So that's it.  Oh Wait....  Look at the card!


Where is my Jouer tinted moisturizer?  That's right. They forgot to include it.  

image from birchbox.com

Bummer!  I went and looked on the Birchbox website and it said to contact customer service is anything was missing or damaged in the box.  I sent them an e-mail explaining the issue.  That was late Friday afternoon.  I get an auto response that says they will respond within 3 business days.  Tuesday morning I receive an e-mail back that apologizes for the mistake, and while they don't have any more Jouer samples to send me they credit my account with 100 points that I can use toward a future purchase.  100 points = $10 USD.  I have purchased from Birchbox in the past and that $10 comes in handy!

Am I satisfied wit this month's box?  Well. Sort of- I'm more than satisfied with the customer service from Birchbox. I'm happy with the Alterna product, that I never would have known about if not for them and hey, free food is always good.  While I'm not a huge fan of Stila lip glaze I can see that a lot of people would like it and I could probably make it work for me on the rare occasion that I go out for an evening.  The missing Jouer Tinted Moisturizer kills me tho.  Because I found out that this sample was the 2nd lightest shade and not the 2nd darkest shade as provided to me in my Sample Society box from this month.  I'm never gonna get to try the Jouer TM out, am I!  Oh well.  Such is life.

DO I recommend Birchbox?  Yes!  However, it's better for people that are sample junkies and have $10 extra bucks to spare each month. Go for it.  I have provided my referral link HERE.  Before you all start to think: "Big deal. Sharing your referral link will just get you free stuff from the company". a) You are correct, it will give me points, which I can use for discounts on products I purchase from Birchbox.  BUT also b)  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?! And c)This is the only beauty subscription service in which I have shared my referral code so far.  I have only provided my referral code once.  (Located above with the "HERE" designation) I have provided regular non referral 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.  The non-referral Birchbox links in this post are neutral and will not garner me any points or special favors from the company.

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. That's just my opinion. Yours could be different.

27 comments:

  1. I was pretty meh about this month's box, but the day I got it, I trashed my earbuds. All of a sudden, this month's box looked much better!

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    Replies
    1. Well whaddyaknow! Look how that worked out. Although I think you still might want to get a quality pair as a backup.

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  2. I really appreciate your completely honest opinion. I've been SO on the fence about trying out a sample box subscription, but I think I'm in the camp that would feel a little underwhelmed by it.
    Your comment about YouTube during lunch break- me too!

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    Replies
    1. I totally understand. Like I said I say save your money, buy yourself something nice every few months.

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  3. The earbuds are very low quality, mine sounded awful. I was pretty disappointed this month but I'm a but mire hopeful after reading this. I haven't tried the jouer yet maybe it will be a saving grace.

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    Replies
    1. I figured this might be the case. Hopefully they will do for short videos at work though, but yeah, I wouldn't want to listen to music with them. Thanks for the feedback about them. Let me know how the Jouer works for you!

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  4. I love your sample box reviews! After your last birchbox one, I decided to sign up. I tried to use your referral link, hopefully it work - I love the way you disclose your referral links :)

    I've been pretty happy so far - great customer service (my first box was delayed, but they gave me extra points to make up for it), and some nice samples - including a beautyblender. I already own one, but this is a nice backup.

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    Replies
    1. I'm glad you have had good Customer Service from Birchbox so far. And about the referral link disclosure. I just don't want anyone to feel like that have to use it, you know. Maybe they don't like using referral links or maybe they don't like me getting credit or maybe they just don't care...I want people to have options. But all that being said. Thanks for signing up using my link. :-)

      Delete
  5. This box ALMOST saved my subscription, but I also just decided to go on a product fast and work my way through some stuff before I buy more since I did just purchase a few expensive things. It was a nice box, but I didn't really want anything in it. I'm a bronzer junkie and I got the Ada bronzer so that's nice.

    I'm going to wait until after next months box to cancel for the lame reason that I've got 190 points, and I just want that box to put me over 200 before I unsubscribe. Then I'm going to take your advice and save up for a nice holiday collection in a few months.

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    Replies
    1. I totally understand. If this had been my 3rd box I probably would have unsubscribed and told people not to bother....Smart move witing until you have 200 points. Then you can buy a $20 item for nada!! Of course you don't have to wait until next month. You can always write a review on birchbox for one of the products you received this month and they will give you 10 points for doing so!

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    2. Unfortunately, it's this box that brings me up to 190. So close!

      On the pus side though, no hair styling tools this month. Celebrate!

      Delete
  6. That was the same box I got...pretty meh in my opinion. Then I realized that it wasn't even the box I was supposed to get - my Birchbox account shows a completely different box and different products to review. I emailed customer service but still haven't heard a word back on it.

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  7. I really liked my box this month. I got the "action" stila gloss. I don't like these and don't buy them anymore because of their stickyness, but it isn't a bad thing to have around for (not really, but feels like) free. I think birchbox has the best customer service because they give you discounts on orders when they mess up :)

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  8. I got the exact same box! Except that I did receive the Jouer sample: but the tube was apparently cracked before they put it in the box, so it had leaked out into my box :( They did, however, give me 100 points, since they couldn't replace the sample, very pleased with the speedy customer service. What I do find interesting is that I am sure our profiles are very different(dry light olive skin, 46 years old, dark fine hair,polish/fragrance junkie, etc.), yet we got the exact same box. Leading me to speculate that the selection of products/boxes is a bit of a crap shoot :)

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  9. You know how big the Joure sample is? It is about the width of my middle fingernail and not much longer. Possibly an inch long. A teeny, tiny, itsybitsy sample tube. I received mine in the color Pearl which is palest shade they offer, but it was super yellow. I mean, I put it on and it just looked like I was going through liver failure, far too yellow to be considered anything else. And typically yellow-toned face products do nice things to brighten up my overly-red-scarred face. But this is nothing but jaundice type of shimmery.
    The earbuds are complete trash. I threw mine away two seconds before I saw your link pop-up on FB. I love the color. But they are horrible. Muffled everything and really not even good enough for short bursts of youtube for me.
    I got a color club polish in an aqua pastel-ish color, which is strangely similar to the last polish I got from them. Meh.
    I got a full-size Eyeko liquid eyeliner pen, in purple, and it is nice enough except that I never wear bright purple (I can, now!) and have not ever used a liquid marker-pen on my eyeliner so I am not quite handy with it, but after I figure it out, I will probably like it. It seems to stay on and not smudge once It dries. The purple is pretty, too, its actually purple and not a maroon purple that looks like bloodshot eyes on me... so I guess it will get me out of my 'black-grey-taupe-brown' eyeliner stage.

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    Replies
    1. I got the Eyeko in Black last month and it has become my FAVORITE eyeliner. It's super easy to use, doesn't tug and stays put. I love it.

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  10. I think I like the waiting rather than the samples I get. So far, I've been *really* happy with two items (TheBalm's Stainiac and Eyeko Skinny Eyeliner). I did receive the Jouer thingy in my July box and honestly, it was the smallest sample I've ever seen! It sure was cute. The product itself looks nice on the skin, but doesn't cover anything at all. Guess it would be great to wear under powder in Summer.

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  11. I don't subscribe to any of these beauty box services...and maybe I'm the only one that feels this way--but I would feel SO gipped if I got a.) non-makeup items in my box (what's up with all the variations of granola bars they seem favor giving out??), and b.) those little sample vials of perfumes. You can walk into ANY department store and get that for free, so why would you want to pay money for it?? I think the LEAST they should do is give you a deluxe sample-size (like the Sephora 100 point perks). But again, maybe that's just me....oh, and that sucks about your Jouer Tinted Moisturizer! :/

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    Replies
    1. I agree about the perfumes. These samples are ridiculous. I don't raise hell here just because I'm not interested in trying out new fragrances at the moment. They are nowhere near "deluxe size" tho.

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  12. I got the black Eyeko liquid liner and am currently obsessed with it. The headphones are good backup headphones for my iPad. This was my 3rd box and I'm pretty happy about it! I definitely feel that I get my $10 worth and I can't wait to see what's in my box every month!!

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  13. Hiya! I love your blog and your funny reviews! Even though I'm not in the US (so can't use Birchbox) still love to read your thoughts. Anyway, I have loads (actually about 3 or 4) sample sachets of the Jouer tinted moisturiser. I have some in Pearl which would probably suit you.

    So, in the interest of supporting a blog I love if you are interested email me. Click through my profile there's links to my email (don't want to leave it here for fear of spam bots hehehe). If you want I can pop them in the mail.

    Ana xx

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  14. I really enjoyed this months box, I thought mine was pretty awesome. If I received what you received I'd be annoyed. I'm not surprised that they've been slipping up: In April they accidentally sent expired sunscreen(and credited people 100 points to the Birchbox store) and my May box was poorly packaged, but I seem to be a sample junkie and still love getting it. Although, the e-mail they sent out with the link to their tumblr page explaining that the whole point of the service was to encourage people to purchase Birchbox products through the store and that they were redesigning the site to promote this function more sort of put me off as well. As usual, great review!

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  15. thank the freaking heavens I got a nail polish over the larabar... I can't deal with those things lol

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  16. I got theBalm Stainiac instead of the Stila lip glaze, and Jouer Lip Conditioner instead of the TM, and also the Ada Bronzer in Peach, as well as the earbuds and Larabar. It's my first box, and it's all stuff I think I will actually use, so I'm happy about that. Oh, and I got a different frag sample, one called Hello by Harvey Prince, which actually smells really good!

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  17. I've been with Birchbox over a year. I was tempted to upgrade for an annual subscription sinse they offer me a 100 bonus points on top of the 110 you get for the upgrade. That was before I found out about ALL the beauty subscriptions that are being offered (Apparently I have been working to much lately :-S).

    Birchbox started great and then I started receiving too many perfume and nail polishes (which sucks because I use acrilyc in my nails so I ended up giving them to my salon) Although I have discovered many good products with them I am considering unsubscribing for a while. Lately I've only using 2 of the 4 or 5 samples that I received. I did signed up for beauty army because I thing I will be able to try all the products. Thanks for all the usefull information I just discovered your blog and I just bookmarked it so I won't miss the lately in beauty!

    ReplyDelete
  18. This was my first box and I really loved it, but except for the earbuds and nut bar I got different samples. I agree the ear buds are cheap but since I just toss them in a purse I don't mind and my hamster like the nuts way more than I did. Lol
    I also got a lip stain, body scrub, and bronzer all of which I really enjoy. My only issue was the body scrub was way over powering with the lemon smell. My skin felt great but I smelled like industrial chemicals (though I'm pretty sure it said all natural)

    ReplyDelete

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