Birchbox December 2014 Review!

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I love the Birchbox box this month! They have a way of branding themselves that makes them seem very upscale, classic and trendy all at the same time and I love it. This carries over to their boxes. I think their classic brown boxes are great and I also look forward to the fun box designs they release every so often.

For this of you who may not know, Birchbox is a monthly subscription service where, for $10 a month, you receive a box of beauty samples curated for you based on your beauty profile. You can review each product in your box for ten Birchbox (BB) points. 100 points=$10 off products in the BB store. Their rewards system is amazing!

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This month’s theme is Decked Out. As has been the case the past few months, subscribers were given a sample choice. We were able to choose one of our samples and although I don’t always choose, this month there were quite a few that I wanted to try. Not to mention that this is the second time I have taken advantage of the sample choice and both times I have been completely wowed by my box. I think I should choose start choosing a sample every month!

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Vasanti Cosmetics Kajal Extreme Intense Eye Pencil, full size $18

This was my sample choice this month. I had a difficult time choosing, but rose gold is so in right now that I had to go for this one. I really love the color and although I wore it on my entire lid, I think I will use it more to highlight my tear ducts. I need more time to play around with it.

I was able to find full dimensions for this eyeliner on Amazon. According to that info, this sample has a value of $1. I find that hard to believe because it is a great size!

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Laura Mercier Loose Setting Powder and Mini Fan Brush, full size $37 and $30.

These two items really made this box a home run for me. I love Laura Mercier and that fan brush is so cute! I am so excited to use them as I have lived everything from this brand that I have tried.

A bonus sample of the Laura Mercier tinted moisturizer was included as well. When I saw it was in my box, I had hoped for a bigger sample but wasn’t surprised that it was a little foil packet. I didn’t include the value if this in my box total but it was nice of them to include it!

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Embryolisse Lait-Creme Concentre, full size $16.

This is a moisturizer that is apparently a makeup artist favorite that goes well under foundation. I am overloaded on facial creams right now so I am going to save this for a few months in the hopes that I will need it at some point. It felt nice on my hand–moisturizing without being greasy or thick.

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Whish Shave Cream in Acai Grapefruit, full size $20.

The scent if this isn’t completely awful to me, but I don’t love it either. Synthetic fruit scents are typically a huge no no for me. I did like the lather of this but my legs are very sensitive to razor burn, especially this time if year, and so far LUSH’s Ambrosia is the only shaving cream that soothes them. I think I will save this for my travel bag.

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Beauty Protector Protect & Oil, full size $25.95

This hair oil protects against UV rays, heat and breakage. It smells just like the brand’s de tangling spray, which isn’t my favorite. It smells like fake brown sugar and butter. This is a nice enough hair oil but I got a Davines hair oil in my September box that already has my heart!

I was so thrilled with my box this month. Not everything was a hit but there were some amazing products included. I had a hard time calculating the value of the box. Two samples didn’t have a weight on them (the hair oil and the fan brush), so I pretty much guessed on the values for those two items. I value the box to be right around $22.37. It doesn’t sound that high but factor in the 70 points I will get for reviewing these products and I essentially paid only $3 for the box.

What did you think of your December Birchbox?

-s

November Birchbox Review

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Sigh. I always wait with such impatience to unbox my monthly Birchbox on the 10th of every month. It is one of the first things I do when I wake up! This month, I was met with such disappointment. This was my least my favorite box to date and for once I actually liked my ipsy bag better!

I went through my beauty profile to see where I had gone wrong but I had said I would prefer no perfume samples (this is the second month in a row I have gotten one!!) and I would prefer no shower gel. I tweaked my preferences a little but to hopefully avoid another month like this one.

For those of you that are new to Birchbox, it is a monthly subscription service. For $10 a month, you get a box full of deluxe size beauty products. You can review these products on the BB site to receive BB points, which can be redeemed in their store for product. The point system is amazing and the reason I would never chance my subscription.

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Joie Folle de Joie Eau de parfum, value of sample $2.06.

I am super picky about perfumes, so I prefer not to get them in my subscription boxes. When I told a coworker I was getting this in my November box, she told me she bought the full size after getting this in a box. She said she gets complimented on it all the time and she won’t even tell her best friend what it is because he friend loves the scent so much. So I was like ok, maybe I will like this after all. Unfortunately, I didn’t see the appeal when I wore it. It smelled like any department store perfume to me. Even my husband agreed it was nothing special. Oh well, now I don’t need to shell out $98 for the full size!!

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Not Soap, Radio Joy Inducing Body Wash, sample value $1.76.

This is a lemon scented shower gel with a nice muskiness that elevates it and makes it more dynamic. It still can’t compete with my LUSH shower gels though, especially because citrus is not my thing. I find most citrus scents to be boring and less complex.

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Bain de Terre Argan Oil and Passion Flower Color Therapy Styling Oil, sample value $2.06.

I told Birchbox that I color treat my hair and that I love haircare products, so I can’t fault them for including this. I got the Davines hair oil in my September box though and fell in love with it, so I really don’t need another hair oil. Plus it smells like a generic shampoo you would get at the drugstore. The scent alone ruined it for me.

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Eslor Firming Collagen Day Cream, sample value $17.

I just changed my profile to exclude anti aging products. I am open to anti aging products but the branding and scent of this just screams old lady to me, so if those are the types of products I will get I would prefer to stay away from anti aging products.

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The Balm Cosmetics Cindy-Lou Manizer, sample value $.30.

I have wanted to try The Balm Cosmetics for awhile so this was the one thing in my box that I was actually excited about. The packaging is just adorable! The sample is very small, so it is difficult to use with my makeup brush. It doesn’t apply easily because of that, so I wish the sample were wider to allow for easier application.

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Dang Coconut Chips, sample value $1.47.

This was a bonus item. I wasn’t excited about it, especially when I saw some lucky people got chocolate! These were surprisingly good though. Even my two year old approved, and she is picky! They are very expensive, but if I saw a box for less at Costco I would definitely buy them!

Overall, I was disappointed in this month’s Birchbox. I feel that my beauty profile wasn’t really followed. I am sick of the perfume samples especially! I would never quit Birchbox because of their amazing point system, but I am hoping next month is better!

What did you think if your November Birchbox?

-s

Review: November ipsy

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I have been pretty vocal recently about my disappointment in ipsy. My bags just seemed to contain obscure products that I wouldn’t use and wasn’t interested in. I had planned on retaking my beauty quiz and giving it one last shot to see whether I wanted to cancel or not. Unfortunately, their mobile site wasn’t allowing me to change my quiz answers a few weeks ago when I tried, so I was afraid this month was doomed to suck like the previous ones. Luckily, I was wrong!! This month was a hit for me, despite the fact that not all of the products were a win for me. Also despite the fact that I didn’t get GlamGlow yet again!

For those of you that are new to ipsy, it is a subscription service. For $10 a month, you get a glambag full of deluxe samples and full sized products based on your beauty profile. The products tend to be more low end but it is still a very good value.

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Nicole by OPI nail polish, value $6.99.

I can’t find this among me huge basket of nail polish at the moment, so I forget the name. It is a really pretty glitter topper with two different sizes of silver glitter. It is great for the holidays and although I don’t see myself wearing it very often, I was so glad to have finally received a polish in one of my sub boxes! It is pretty much a guarantee that I will appreciate a polish in any box.

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Demeter Roll On Perfume in Pixie Dust, value $10.

This smells amazing!! Like cotton candy and glitter and bubblegum, bit not in an overpowering, cloying way. I was disappointed that the scent seemed to fade quickly, but the scent was a total win for me.

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Temptu Highlighter, value $2.75?

I received a different Temptu highlighter in my September Birchbox and I really like it. It gives a nice glow. I have no doubt this shade is gorgeous too.

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Elizabeth Mott You’re so Fine eyeliner in Glitterati, value $17.99.

I believe the eyeliner in the glam bags is full size, so correct me if I am wrong! This would seemingly be a huge miss for me. I don’t usually go for glitter eyeliners, or liquid eyeliners for that matter. It applied so easily though and the glitter was the perfect amount so that I didn’t look ridiculous while still being noticeable. Unfortunately, I only lasted for about four hours at work before it started flaking off. I am going to try it a few more times and hopefully will not have the same results!

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LA Colors Chunky Lip Color in Wine, value $3.50.

I love lip crayons like this and it is also the perfect color, so this was a complete win for me. Great price too, so if I like it I will definitely buy multiple colors!!

Overall, I was much happier with my ipsy this month. I surprisingly liked the glitter theme and thought the bag was cute as well. I calculated the overall value of my November bag at $41.23, which is pretty good! Ipsy lives to see another month!