Monday, January 14, 2013

Birchbox January Box - Review, Pictures

 
 
It's a new year, and I have decided to take a new look at the sample subscription services I belong to.  There are pros and cons to all of them, but each service I belong to, of which there are currently only 2, has its merits.  For example. Birchbox.  This month's box is lacking a little.  I'll show you what I received, and then I'll explain why, despite the lackluster contents, I am still keeping the subscription.

Let's start with the note that is included in all boxes.  This sets the "theme" of the box and on the flip side is a list of all the samples included in your box.


They mention making 2013 the best year ever and offer 25 helpful tips on how to do that with a fold out poster giving helpful hints, tips, and motivating words.  Meh.  If I was 16, I might put it up in my room and look at it from time to time, but sadly, I am closer to 60 than I am to 16 so I'll just skip it.  The note goes on to talk about having a fresh start and all that jazz. Typical New Years let's start anew type talk.  I'm not bashing it, I've just heard it all before.

So upon closer inspection let's see what I received.

*crickets*


Yup. Skin care, skin care, hair care, shadow primer and a perfume sample. Yawn.  OK. I'll go through it all.


Amika Color pHerfection Shampoo - Full size 14.37 oz  Retails for $22
Allegedly a great shampoo for fixing the pH levels of your hair and "locking in color" in your colored hair.  Since I color my hair red I am always on the look out for a shampoo that will help maintain my color longer. (Red fades really fast, especially reds from a drugstore or Box Reds, versus Salon Reds)  UNFORTUNATELY, there is only enough shampoo in this teeny tiny sample for maybe one wash. My hair is pretty long I need a lot of shampoo.  Oh well. I'll give it a try, but I'm not promising I'll purchase it.  However, Birchbox is currently having a promotion where you can score amika's Birchbox Mini Ceramic Styler in Pink Peacock with any full-size product order $75+. "To redeem the gift with purchase offer, add the styler to your cart, then enter the code 'amikacustom' at checkout. Available only while supplies last."  So that sounds kinda cool.


Embryolisse Lait-Crème Concentrè (24-Hour Miracle Cream) - Full size 75ml Retails for $28, 30ml Retails for $16.
I have heard so much about this creme from other bloggers, but I have never had a chance to try it. I personally am excited to try it out...however it will have to wait until I'm done testing another cream from another company, so if I do ever review it, it won't be for a few months.  But hey, now I have a sample!
image from birchbox.com

theBalm cosmetics Put a Lid On It - Retails for $18
In my haste to photograph the contents I inadvertantly forgot to take a picture of the sample size.  It's tiny, but I think I can get 5 to 7 uses out of it.  An eye primer. OK. I'm already in love with my LORAC Eye Primer, but I'll give this one a go. I'm a fan of theBalm cosmetics and so far I have liked most everything they make.  This one's a keeper for sure.


Juice Beauty Daily Essentials Organics To Go - Retails for $29
In the full size,  you receive a 2 oz Cleansing Milk, 0.25 oz Green Apple Peel Sensitive, 0.17 oz. Antioxidant Serum, 1 oz Hydrating Mist, 0.5 oz. Nutrient Moisturizer
The sample I received was foil packets.  Not much to go on if you have never used Juice Beauty before...that's for sure.  
 
image from birchbox.com
Fortunately I have used Juice Beauty before, and their products are actually very nice and somewhat effective.  However. I do not want or need additional skin care in a Birchbox that already provided a tube of face cream. I cannot make an informed decision about the "Daily Essentials to Go" based on a few foil packets. I might need travel sizes of skin care one day, but I'm not sure if Juice Beauty is going to be the brand I turn to, albeit convenient that they do have a "to go" kit available.

Oh yeah. I also received a Juicy Perfume sample.  *snore*

OK. Here is the part where I tell you why I'm keeping my subscription.  Birchbox has a point system. One receives a various number points for leaving reviews, buying items from the Birchbox store and for keeping their subscription.  I have a good number of points that I have used to purchase, for free or for a discount (using my points), some neat beauty items that I really enjoy.  Until the points are used up I will continue to keep my subscription.  It's that simple.  I have points that give me discounted/free items. I'm keeping the service.  I will admit that this January box is far more disappointing than the December box, and I thought the December box was bad.  I also 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,  mega, ultra awesome beauty 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.

So what do you think of this month's box?  Did you fall asleep while looking over the contents? I know I did.

24 comments:

  1. Embryolisse is a secret HG, because it's still hard to find outside of France and usually twice as expensive (a 75ml size in France costs around 9 Euro). I got a tube very recently thanks to a travelling friend, and was very much surprised. This is a very simple cream but it's incredibly moisturizing and calming, and it sinks in really fast for something so rich. My skin is oily but sensitive, and I only use it at night, but this really makes a different when my skin acts up because of the winter harsh weather and cold outside / hot inside combo. Looking forward to read your opinion!

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    1. YAY!! Like I said I can't wait to try this once I'm finished testing some other skin care! :-)

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  2. I wasn't all that excited when I saw my box, I got the Amika but all the rest was different. I got the Deborah Lipmann stripper which is supposed to take the polish off 10 nails...it didn't. Harvey Prince perfume, meh. I did get theBalm's blush/shadow which kind of reminds me of Orgasm, not my favorite but I like theBalm so it's gets a pass from me. oh and I got the My Mattifying moisturizer. Let's see if that works. All in all, it was a boring box.

    I'm going to keep it for the time being because I do have points and I did get introduced to a perfume I really like, yes, perfume, not makeup. lol I got the smaller bottle but I'm saving those points for the big one!

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    1. Oh that My Mattifying moisturizer sounds good. Yeah. the points really keep you "hooked"

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  3. You think that is lackluster, but I think that is an awesome box! I'm hoping to get the Embyolisse cream and the amika shampoo. My box comes tomorrow. I don't have an eyeshadow primer myself because I haven't had good luck with any. It's far too expensive to purchase without trying first to see if I have an allergic reaction. I think you got a great box, but I felt the same about my first box, then grew to love it. I think we expect more pizzazz, but, really, these are items that are worthwhile for everyday. Perfume, though, in my opinion is a bust. Thumbs down. I hate perfume samples!!!

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    1. Actually, I posted this too early. I just received my Birchbox and got the same freaking perfume sample. Boo! Perfume samples are free! What a bummer...

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    2. I like your perspective. You're right. It could have been worse, I guess. But yeah. that perfume sample is so lame.

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  4. I think the stuff you got in the box is OK and I just saw someone else's box and that is definitely a bit lackluster for me. I'm still not so sure about Birchbox, so I'll wait and see if I want to jump into getting it.

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    1. The only reason I'm keeping it is because of the points I have accumulated. Perhaps I just need to spend them all and be done with it...but I think you all find these reviews entertaining so...you know. I'll do anything for you guys!

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  5. That Juicy perfume is nasty. I keep getting samples of it from various places and I'm so over it.

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    1. I agree. I didn't want to say it outright in my review in case someone reading this wears it and loves it...but it's really not for me.

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  6. I have super long hair, I only really use shampoo close to my scalp-using hair dryers and curling irons means I need as much moisture as I can keep in there to make my hair look healthy. I also dye mine red, and try to stay away from sulphates.

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    1. I stay away from sulphates as well. I have to use the shampoo all over because of the styling products I put in my hair. I need to wash them out, KWIM? I do look forward to trying the amika shampoo tho!

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  7. As always, it seems, my box is totally different than yours. I got a Harvey Prince Ageless perfume sample, an Eyeko liquid eyeliner in black, a My Prime mattifying moisturizer which I'm interested in, Oscar Blandi thickening & strengthening mousse which looks like it could work for my very fine hair, and my extra was a packet of Oscar Blandi shine rinse, which I will probably use because my hair has a tendency to be dull. I still have no idea how I get such different products from you, but I'm actually pretty pleased with this month's box if you forget the perfume sample.

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    1. Oooh. You did get a good box! It's interesting how they can be so different. It's actually good, because that means that Birchbox is paying attention to those profile surveys we fill out.

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  8. I got the same box as you and while I hate foil packets and the Juicy perfume sample was just.. UGH... I was excited about the rest. I've seen a lot of people say the primer sample is "tiny" but honestly, I have a bare minerals mini primer that's maybe 1/3 of the sample (the one that came with the Star Treatment palette) and I've been using it for a month and it's still half full. How much primer does one need to apply??? But anyway, I think this just shows how different folks like different stuff. :) Hope your next box will be more to your liking!

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    1. You're right. the primer sample is small but I really don't need that much. I am looking forward to trying it. The box wasn't horrible, the worst I'm going to cancel my subscription, but it could have been better. :-)

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  9. Mine hasn't come but if I'm disappointed it's going bye-bye. I do hope I get theBalm eye primer since I love trying every eye primer out there. I like Embryollise a lot so I wouldn't mind having a sample. But I just wish they'd get rid of all the perfume samples. Yuck!

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    1. That's right! I remember you saying this was their last chance to impress you. The perfume samples just suck. Are you going to sign up for another service?

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  10. I'm upset with their CS for lying to me. I'm not going to re-sign unless somehow the boxes get a lot better. I hate perfume samples. I can't use them and I can get 20x the perfume samples on a quick breeze thru Nordstrom. It bugs me to pay for perfume samples that are free in any store and that I can't use anyway. Why don't they give the perfume people the option to sign up for perfume only boxes?

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    1. Whoa! I'm sorry you're so upset. Yeah. Perfume samples totally suck. I wish they wouldn't include them any more, or only include ones from niche fragrances.

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  11. I thought the Birch Box this month was rather light weight. I would have loved some or at least one of the assortment received by others. DDF pore minimizer0.23 fl.oz., Viva La Juicy sample, meh, Kerastase,in foil packet, Beauty extra Nutritive in full size? 0.16 fl.oz. $42. Hard to believe, I must say. I did like the Hot Mama blush. I hope the boxes improve this is only my second one. I signed up for the full year because of Birch Box contents I viewed previous months on various blogs .

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  12. *more crickets chirping* I hate to be mean, but from all of the unboxing posts and videos I've seen, Birchbox sucks. Every box I see seems to get worse! I would rather save my money and buy full-sized products that I actually need and will use. And, um, perfume samples? Please. That hardly counts toward the value of the box!

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  13. I like this month's box, even though I got a different one. I wish I got that primer, though...but I've gotten tons of thebalm so I figure I'll get it in a future month! I'm so sad Embryolisse has mineral oil, an ingredient I detest! I got it too and was so excited, until I saw the ingredients.

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