Monday, December 17, 2012

Birchbox December Box - Review, Pictures


♪ ♫ "Jingle bells
Birchbox Smells
Cuz I got cologne
Got a coupon to rent a dress
And they don't even have my size." ♪ ♫

OK. That may not rhyme very well, but that's about how I feel about my December Birchbox.

I guess I was on Santa's "Naughty List" when they were doling out Birchboxes this month. There are maaaaybe 2 items I might be interested in this time around.


As you can see there is the standard nice note from Birchbox telling me to be of good cheer and whatnot.


Then I open it up to reveal a shampoo (decent size), a mascara sample, a coupon to Rent the Runway and some eye gel patches. What awaits me in the neatly tied up package inside?

*cue sad trombone* A MEN'S cologne sample and face cream for DRY skin.  *cue sad trombone again*


Shampoo.  Sigh. I consider Nick Chavez a drugstore level brand/QVC/Wanting to be mid level, but at $22 for a full size bottle I'm not going to bite.  Sorry. Even Birchbox doesn't list all the ingredients and I'm trying to remain sulfate free as far as hair products goes these days.  It will be good for the guest bathroom, should I ever have a guest visit that needs shampoo.


The mascara sample is so incredibly small I'm wondering if I can get more than three uses out of it.  I have yet to try it, but it sounds like an interesting product. According to Birchbox, the "...gel formula combines a flattering black pigment with a nourishing cocktail of ingredients to prime, condition, darken, and lengthen your lashes." "Plus, the non-allergenic formula is made without sulfates, parabens, or artificial fragrances."  That sounds good for me.  However the $28.50 price tag means that this stuff better rock my world before I plunk down the change to buy it.


I have actually tried the Frownies line reducer product in the past. I had a sample sent to me but they were so awful and so ineffective I couldn't bear to write a review about them.  Seriously. If I didn't know better I would think I was being punked by using those silly cardboard things.  Let's hope the eye gel patches work better than the original Frownies product.At $29.50 for a set of 3 patches (They are re-useable 2-4 times) they better be!


The package inside the package contained a face cream from Nuxe.  I really like their products, but sadly I cannot use this face cream at all. Sure I have sensitive skin, but I have oily skin and this is for dry, sensitive skin.  The sample size is a decent size so if one were testing this out they would have enough to see if they wanted to spend the $40 for a full size jar...which isn't bad for skincare.


Another perfume/cologne sample. This time it's one for MEN. Hi. I might be married, but that doesn't mean I want to get samples of men's cologne...EVER. I have already seen feedback from you all when you get men's cologne samples. I know how crappy that it.  I agree. The ONLY good thing I can say about this sample is that it doesn't smell like Drakkar Noir and a full size bottle (2.5 oz) is only $62 which isn't bad as far as cologne goes....I guess.


Last and certainly least is a coupon for Rent The Runway.  This service allows you to pick designer dresses and rent them for a few days.  Say you're going to a fancy party and want a Badgley Mischka dress to impress, RTR can send you one in your size and another in a different size, just in case.  Sounds' awesome right!?  Well As long as you are a size 16 and smaller you should have no issues.  Oh and BTW I'm not a size 16. I'm larger than that.  The selection for size 16 is limited, obviously, but the  sizes 4, 6 & 8 have a much better selection. For example. If a customer wanted to rent a dress for New Year's Eve a size 16 would have 13 dresses to choose from, but a size 4 would have 1,265 dresses to choose from.  (The dresses range from $100 to $175 and up to rent) See what I'm talking about? Now I'm not going to go into a whole size/fat/skinny/whatever issue here, but this kind of "coupon" might as well be a another piece of paper I throw away.  It's worthless to me.

So that's my December Birchbox.  Very disappointing. I'll try the lash gel (Don't call it mascara!) and the Frownies eye patches, but other than that, everything else goes into the sample bag with all the other junk I would never use.  I should have a giveaway of that entire bag, don't you think? That would be fun.

I am still keeping my subscription for now. However, should the quality of the boxes continue to decline (November was better than December, (by comparison) but not awesome) I will have to seriously re-consider my subscription. I just signed up for ipsy (Glam Bag) again, after hearing how nice the bags have become I decided to give them another go. I still believe that saving $10-$15 a month and using those savings at the end of the year or every 6 months in order to buy one super, ultra, mega awesome item is better than all the sample boxes in the world. That's just my opinion.

I have provided my referral link HERE.  As I have said in the past, signing up for Birchbox through my referral link will get me referral points which I can use toward purchases from the Birchbox store. So far, this is the only beauty subscription service where I have shared my referral code.  I have provided my referral code only once in his post.  (Located above with the "HERE" designation) Throughout the rest of this post I have used non referral links to Birchbox.  If you choose not to sign up though my referral code, I'm totally OK with that. The non-referral Birchbox links in the post will not give me any points or special favors from the company if you decide to click on them.

41 comments:

  1. I don't subscribe to Birchbox, but can I just say - I LOVED the "sad trombone" sound!

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    1. The sad trombone sound is my favorite thing ever!

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  2. I somehow also ended up with a tube of Nuxe cream for dry skin and since I didn't have a trombone handy - I used it as an overnight foot treatment and man did it soften up the puppies (not to be confused with "the girls", although I expect it would work on them too)! There is something super decandent about slathering your feet in $50 face cream...!

    Best, Lisamarie

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    1. You're right! I might have to slather these on my tootsies! Thanks for the tip!

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  3. I wasn't happy with mine either...my Ipsy bag is going up this Thursday & I'm happy with that though!

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    1. It's Thursday and I'm off to read your post, which I will link to your comment on My ipsy post!

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  4. I tried to sign up for Birchbox after reading a few of your reviews (the good ones) but was put on a waiting list. I guess I'm glad I didn't get the box. I probably would use the shampoo and the lash gel but I don't think i would use the rest of it.

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    1. A waiting list? Wow. You know, the BB point system is really good and that's pretty much why I have kept my subscription for so long....but if I had nothing invested in BB points I wouldn't have any hesitation dropping the subscription. I think it might be a good thing that you were wait listed. Check out my ipsy post from Wednesday! It might make you want to sign up for that.

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  5. Ha, the sad trombone scared my cat :) Your box is actually BETTER than all but one of the boxes they sent me when I subscribed (I cancelled!!) But we have really enjoyed ipsy the last few months.

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    1. You convinced me! I signed up and reviewed the bag on Wednesday. Yeah. I am really close to calling it quits with Birchbox.

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  6. I got that mascara in an earlier box and the sample was so small that I couldn't even get on use out of it. There are things I like about Birchbox - like the points really bring the "per month" cost down to about $5. And I do like trying new products. But, I resent getting foil packet and others that are really giveaway size not deluxe size.

    I wonder if they put women's samples in the men's Birchbox? I want *MY* samples in my box, TYVM. The good in my box was the Hot Mama blush which is about the size of an eye shadow and useful. The bad to "meh" was the No. 4 shampoo (smells yucky to me), the eye patches (too expensive to even consider buying and I question their effectiveness), perfume (one for me and one for "him" - whoever that might be). And that stupid Rent a Runway card which went right into the trash - yes, I can wear their sizes but I think the whole idea of spending $150 to rent a $400 dress is stupid. AND I had to register on their site to even see what they have - and then unregister to stop their emails.

    On the happy side I had $40 in points and a $10 coupon and got some nice goodies for myself. So, *shrug* once again. I do look forward to the box each month. It is my only subscription box and money is tight so I don't get many treats. I get a little excited when I see that my box is shipped and happy when it appears in my mailbox.

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    1. I see your point, and agree. It's not a "goldmine" of samples but the point system is pretty awesome for buying your own stuff for free. And the RTR prices are crazy. I guess if you really like a designer it's worth it but I'd rather spend $150 on a no name dress that I get to OWN!

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  7. OH yeah - and I wanted CHOCOLATE as my "extra"! They sent me men's perfume instead of CANDY. WTH!

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  8. I got an almost identical box and had almost identical reactions. The only difference is that my November box was, if anything, worse, so it was a relief to get at least 1 or 2 things I'll actually use. Hopefully next month will be better.

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    1. You know what, in retrospect, my November box looks like a treasure trove compared to my December box. LOL. There is always next month. We sound like Chicago Cubs Fans "There's always next year"

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  9. My box had a VERY tiny theBalm blush in Hot Mama, Miss Jessie Pillow Curls (2 packages of a product I don't like - hooray?), the per-fekt mascara, NUXE melting cleansing gel, and the Varvatos cologne.

    I was honestly really disappointed with the blush and had tried and hated the pillow curls. I gave the cologne to my hubby, and I haven't tried the gel yet. I do, however, have to say I really liked the per-fekt mascara/gel. It really darkens my lashes and provides length. It also doesn't bother my sensitive contact-wearing eyes.

    Overall, I think I'll give BB one more month and see how I feel then. :(

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    1. I'm excited to try the gel, but why does the sample have to be so dang small!? Come on per-fekt. Don't be so stingy!

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  10. I just don't see the need to bother with these boxes; if I want samples, I'll just go to a counter/store and ask for one (I've never been turned down for any, so...). As for the Rent-A-Dress card, I fit in the "average" sizes, but I would never "rent" one, as I would rather just invest in a nice, classic dress I can wear many times, but I kind of see that as something they just sort of threw in, therefore, it doesn't count. Besides, they do (in theory) offer an array of sizes. The cologne isn't a "bad" thing, either, and I know alot of women who often prefer wearing men's cologne themselves, myself included (alot of perfumes smell too "sweet" on me, and some colognes are actually very effeminate). However, I would imagine they ask for some sort of profile when you sign up (ie, skin type/coloring), so getting a skincare sample in something that is the *complete* opposite of what I need would just be downright insulting, as if they don't even bother to read said profile.

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    1. I appreciate your thoughtful comment!

      Yes. they do have you fill out a profile, but I seriously think they don't pay attention to them some months. Not everyone has a counter or store near them so getting samples mailed to you is understandable, but these are supposed to be deluxe sized, this month, not so much. I understand about the colognes and how some women prefer some men's colognes, but honestly, this is a common complaint from subscribers, you think BB would listen, we don't want men's products.

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  11. you could use your rent the runway card to rent jewelry or a cute purse :)

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    1. Humm. I'll have to see about that. Trouble is, if I find a purse I really like, will I want to send it back? LOL!

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  12. I'm pretty sure I'm going to cancel my Birchbox subscription. I got the same useless Rent the Runway coupon, and I've gotten similar RTR coupons in the past. I'm definitely not in their targeted customer base, simply because of my size. It's aggravating, as I'm sure you know, Ms. Pink Sith.
    I also got a coupon for a free mini Porefessional with any "full size order" of $25+. I assume that means an order of a full-sized item, no kits or mini-sets. I have three unopened porefessional minis listed on eBay. Those things are already everywhere.
    As for actual items, I got that Benefit sampler everyone else got months ago, an Aerie perfume (florally boring, to me), some L'oreal hair deep treatment packes (hate L'oreal), a gift tag, and one of those ModelCo glosses in Showgirl Red. It seems like I get things 1-3 months after most people get them, which I find aggravating as hell.

    So yeah, cancelling. I gave you five months, Birchbox, and your 'profiles' just aren't specific enough. I've had Ipsy for two months and LOVE IT. I'm excited for you to get your first Ipsy bag, Sith! I'm thrilled with mine.

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    1. See?! You traded a dud for a stud! Good move!

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  13. Thank you for reviewing individual birchboxes, you have saved me a lot of money! Are there ever any fab products in there? :(

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    1. You know I LOVE hearing that I saved someone money? Thank you!

      Yes. once in a while there are some good products...but lately they have not been as frequent as the bad products. :-(

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  14. I got the coupon and yeah, I'm larger than a 16 too. Maybe I'd try out the accessories...eh. About the only useful things that I got are the Benefit eye cream (I'm always looking for a good one) & the chocolate covered fortune cookie (yes, it took the edge off a craving). I got the Modelco ultra shine lipgloss but it's pretty much sheer on me and not all that exciting. Ah and the requisite Juicy perfume. I wish they'd stop sending me Juicy perfumes, I will not buy them ever. Last month's perfume though is top on my list to buy.

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    1. Chocolate covered fortune cookie? I want one too! What perfume did you get last month that you liked so much?

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  15. My box had a tiny theBalm Hot Mama, a couple samples of Miss Jessie's Pillow Soft Curls (and I have curly hair, so that's worth a try), the Perfekt lash gel, a face wash for normal to combo sensitive skin (which is what I have) and men's cologne. So not a total waste for me. I have yet to figure out why my boxes are always so different than yours, though. I'm tempted to drop this and get ipsy instead. I think four sampler boxes a month is excessive, right?

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    1. 4 boxes a month is excessive. Yes. Drop at least 2. Your box sounds pretty awesome actually.

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  16. My Birchbox also sucked this month - 2nd month in a row that it was absolutely sub par. It contained: a sample of CC cream with an eye-watering old-lady smell, 2 conditioner packets, a miscellaneous lip gloss, and a little bottle of lotion. My bonus this month -- A packet of the same lotion!!!

    In comparison my ipsy bag (signed up last month - this is my first bag) absolutely rocked. Inside there was a full sized tube of eye/ face primer, an Urban Decay Eyeliner pencil in black (not some random color you'll never use), a NYX loose metallic pigment metallic, and these really cool highlighter papers - kind of like blotting papers in reverse -- the bag also included a lip gloss but this one was in a pretty sheer red.

    Ipsy -- I'm totally besotted. Birchbox --I'm putting you on notice another crappy month and it may be time for a break-up.

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    1. OMG. A packet of the same freakin lotion? LAME! I know I know ipsy is a much better bag this month. We got the exact same stuff in the ipsy bag. I agree. much better!

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  17. I used to hear the sad trombone sound every month I got my Birchbox, which is why after 10 months I cancelled. The final nail in the Birchbox coffin was the Goop curated box. I got a tiny lip gloss, candle, 1 packet of sunscreen and that was pretty much it. Seeing that they are sending the same products month after month makes me not sad I cancelled!

    Thanks for having a subsciption and posting what you get!

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    1. That Goop box sounds terrible. That would totally be a sad trombone sound. Glad you cancelled and glad I can reassure you that you are missing out on nothing! :-)

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  18. Still loving my Birchbox! Perhaps my expectations are different, but I consistently find products every month that work for me. Not all, of course, but enough to make it worthwhile.

    Using my points and a 30% discount, I just received an Atelier cologne gift set today from Birchbox that I got for $26 (originally $80). I know of no other subscription service where that would happen.

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  19. Sorry you were disappointed : ( Maybe if you provide feedback, they could try to send products you can actually use!

    I am sure Santa will make this up to you!

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  20. This sounds like a pretty terrible box all round. That's a shame, especially as it was the December one! I keep using the face creams I get in my boxes as hand creams which is working quite nicely aha. I get glossybox (uk) and they seem to be doing quite well for me luckily :) xo

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  21. Aww, what a bummer of a box! I agree--getting $50-$100 "coupons" in a subscription box aren't helpful.

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  22. You wouldn't try the nuxe cream as a night cream? Just because it's for dry skin doesn't mean it will make you greasy. When I receive samples that are outside my skin type I use them at night, since I'll be showering in the morning anyways.

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  23. I am giving it one more month - if the January box is as dismal as December, I am gone! Mine was worse than yours!

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  24. My Birchbox was nice. I got a big sample of a Sampar moisturizer (smells wonderful), the small the Balm sample, a 12 Benefits hair treatment and a small fragrance sample I love from Fresh, also a fortune cookie and the useless Rent the Runway coupon. I like my box, it is one of the best boxes from Birchbox I got this year.

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