Birchbox was the first subscription box I ever subscribed to and I have been receiving Birchboxes for a few years now (I think about three years). It’s one of the cheapest subscription boxes at just $10 per month, so I really think that it’s worth it even if I don’t love every single product every single month. I do find a lot of great products and brands through Birchbox that I probably wouldn’t know about if I wasn’t a subscriber, so that’s what really stands out the most for me when it comes to this particular beauty subscription.
I’ve been getting pretty awesome Birchboxes lately so I was kind of surprised to find this month’s was kinda meh … Also, this is my third February as a Birchbox subscriber and I remember liking the last two February boxes a lot better. Birchbox sends out products each month based on the Birchbox beauty profile that you fill out when you first subscribe to the service, so not all of the boxes are exactly the same.
My Birchboxes have really been getting better and better recently. For a few months there I was actually super close to unsubscribing because I was so unhappy with the boxes I was getting — I loved them when I first subscribed and they were good for awhile, but then I kinda felt like they were going downhill. So I switched up my Birchbox beauty profile a bunch of times and then, about three months ago, my boxes started getting great again. I really liked this month’s box a lot – especially the deluxe Laura Mercier eyeliner (this one is half the size of the regular pencil but there’s definitely a great amount of product here).
Not Soap, Radio Awash in a field of four leaf clovers Body Wash ($16 for 13.61 oz.; birchbox.com): I am loving this super green clover-scented body wash. It is actually infused with real four leaf clover extract and green tea — how awesome is that? I think I’m going to pick up the full-size version of this, or choose one of the other aromatherapeutic scents — there are eight to choose from and they each come in a big 13.61-oz. bottle.
Gilchrist & Soames Spa Therapy Body Lotion ($15 for 8 oz.; birchbox.com): I’m loving the super fresh aqualeaf and citrus scent of this luxe body lotion. It is infused with extracts of Japanese sea fennel to calm irritation and soothe skin, plus other sea-based vitamins and minerals that absorb into skin to moisturize it and reverse environmental damage.
Laura Mercier Longwear Crème Eye Pencil ($24 for 0.04 oz.; birchbox.com): This one was definitely my favorite item this month. This is actually the first time I am using Laura Mercier’s Longwear Crème Eye Pencil and I love it! I have only tested it out so far, but I plan on using it this week. I received this beautiful violet color that’s not too bright — you can definitely do some more “toned-down” makeup looks with this pencil … or you can go all out and do a dramatic look! It’s great for both.
Fekka PrX Reparatives Intense Fortifying Masque ($25 for 7 oz.; birchbox.com): Birchbox sent out a great deluxe sample size of this hair masque. I used it the other day in the shower and my hair came out looking great! This treatment repairs, protects and smoothes damaged and tired hair.
Dr. Lipp Original Nipple Balm for Lips ($14.50 for 0.51 oz.; birchbox.com): I have been meaning to try this stuff out for awhile, so I was so happy to see this mini tube in my November Birchbox! It’s kind of like a thicker Vaseline and it can be used on parched lips, cuticles, elbows and any other dry area on the skin.
Justin’s Chocolate Almond Butter Squeeze Pack ($12.99 for ten 1.15 oz.-packs; birchbox.com): I haven’t tried this out yet, but I thought it was a cool extra to include in my Birchbox this month. I love almond butter and chocolate so I know I’ll like this a lot. You can eat it straight from the pack, or spread it on toast, fruit, crackers, sandwiches, etc.
Subscription Box Breakdown:
I loved my Birchbox this month and I think it was one of the better ones that I have received in recent months. I am so happy that I’m getting better boxes now after hitting a bit of a slump for a few months there. I love the Laura Mercier eyeliner, I definitely want to order a full-sized Not Soap, Radio body wash and the Fekkai hair mask worked great in my hair. Loved all the products pretty much!
Pricing & Availability:
This month Birchbox teamed up with Women’s Health magazine to feature beauty samples that will “energize your routine,” plus a little booklet of 12 “Power Up Challenges” to inspire you to “maximize your workouts, sleep and everything in-between.”
I liked the box packaging (the blue polka dots) better than the actual Women’s Health-design box. I probably would have saved it if the actual box was in the same cute polka dot pattern. But, either way, it’s nice to see a change because the actual Birchbox box is usually the same plain design each month.
This month’s Birchbox also featured a full-year subscription to Women’s Health magazine (valued at $9.99). Birchbox teamed up with Women’s Health last year too, and I sent in the card for a free year-long subscription and it’s pretty sweet that I get another one since my subscription pretty much just ran out. They also give you the option of actually getting the $9.99 back as a rebate, but that seems like too much work and I’d just rather get a free magazine subscription.
I haven’t really used any of the samples in my July Birchbox yet, but most of them seem pretty good. I’m excited to use this leave-in conditioner/detangling spray from Number 4 Haircare; a lot of people have really good things to say about this brand and I never really got to try out any of their products except for a hairspray in a past Birchbox — which was okay, but I don’t really use hairsprays and I’d much rather get a product like this detangler to use instead.
Number 4 Super Comb & Protect ($32 for 6.8 oz.; birchbox.com) is described as a “sulfate-free leave-in conditioner” that “safeguards color, strengthens, and nourishes.” It contains natural conditioners, including black currant, soy yogurt, algae and yerba mate, that work together to restore hydration to dry hair, and a “unique UV/Color Polar Shield” to protect dyed and/or sun-exposed locks. It also smells really pretty.
I just tried this peel last night since it sounds sooo promising, but I don’t think I used it right. You’re supposed to use it on clean, dry skin, and my hands were still just the teeeeeniest bit wet when I used it so I wasn’t really able to properly rub it around my face to exfoliate. I’m going to try it again in a couple of days. I also thought that there would be a lot more product in this tube (it came in its own box!), but it seems as though I will only get about one or two more uses out of it.
Real Chemistry Luminous 3-Minute Peel ($48 for 1.7 oz.; birchbox.com) is described as an “acid-free peel” that “gently exfoliates for instantly softer, smoother, brighter skin.” It is a pH-neutral protein peel with a unique gel that binds to dead skin cells, which form solids that are washed away to reveal luminous, younger-looking skin underneath.
These little shower gel packets were a “Beauty Extra” in this month’s Birchbox. I haven’t used them yet but I always love receiving shower gels in subscription boxes since it’s the kind of product I use all the time.
100% Pure Gingerade Shower Gel ($15 for 13 oz.; birchbox.com) is described as an “all-natural, richly foaming cleanser” that contains aloe to hydrate and green tea to nourish the skin. It is free of sulfates, detergents, artificial fragrances, dyes, chemical preservatives, and other harmful compounds.
Now THIS is a great eyeshadow sample. I can’t stand receiving shadow “samples” that are on those stupid sample cards where you can’t even actually try the shadow. I suppose the cards are good for testing out the color and texture of the eyeshadow on your hand or something, but you can hardly get a real feel for how the shadow looks or its durability. So this is a super cute eyeshadow sample and I am loving the colors, too. I can’t wait to use it.
Coastal Scents Revealed 2 Eye Shadow Palette ($34 for palette + three eyeshadow brushes; birchbox.com) contains 20 “rosy” eyeshadow shades, from “barely-there pastel pink” to “rich violet, dusty rose to pink champagne.” It includes both matte and shimmering shadows for both daytime and nighttime looks and it includes three specialized brushes to “help you perfect your look.”
The last product this month was this (also super promising) eye cream from Balance Me. I’m kind of in the market for a new eye cream, so this one is coming in handy. I’m going to try it out over the next week or so to see if I like it better than the one from Korres that I’m currently using.
Balance Me Wonder Eye Cream ($38 for 0.51 oz.; birchbox.com) is described as an “anti-aging multitasker” that “conquers wrinkles and dark circles at the first signs of aging.” It contains “99% natural ingredients” and includes virgin coconut, rosehip and carrot oil, which work together to soften dry skin, as well as a “soothing blend” of chamomile, cucumber and witch hazel to instantly brighten dark circles. It is also formulated with antioxidant-rich spruce knot and skin-plumping hyaluronic acid to provide anti-aging benefits.
SUBSCRIPTION BOX BREAKDOWN:
This was one of the better Birchboxes for me over the last few months and, even though I didn’t get to try out most of the items so far, I’m liking every single one of them and I will definitely be putting them all to use. For a few months there I was getting products that I didn’t really like/wouldn’t even use, but for the last 2-3 months my Birchboxes have been getting better and better and I feel like I did when I first subscribed over two years ago — finding products that I actually really like, and then buying the full-sized versions of them (which is really the point, isn’t it?).
Birchbox is a monthly beauty and lifestyle subscription service that costs a flat fee of $10 per month. To subscribe, click here, or visit Birchbox.com for more information!
I received my June Birchbox over a week ago now, and I waited so long to review it because I wanted to take photos of the pretty silver eyeliner that came with the box and do a mini silver eyeliner tutorial in this review post. I waited a little too long and I just wanted to get this post up, so what I’m going to do instead is write a whole new post with a silver liner tutorial using this liner from Cynthia Rowley and then also highlight some more of my favorite silver eyeliners (and maybe some other silver makeup).
My Birchboxes have definitely been getting better each month — I was a little disappointed for like eight months straight because I just wasn’t getting products that I would use, and many of them were products that I didn’t even like. I was also getting a lot of small, single-use sample packets, and (as I say all the time), I really cringe when I see those because I sign up for a subscription service to discover new products and be able to try them out — and I really can’t get the feel of a product by just using it once (especially skincare products, which most of these single-use packets are).
If I wanted to just get sample packets I could go to Sephora or any other makeup retailer, and I was actually considering unsubscribing to Birchbox for awhile. I know it’s only $10/month, but there are other subscriptions that are the same price that send out boxes with a lot more value. But, anyway, I’m glad I stuck with it because my Birchboxes have definitely been getting better.
The first item is the aforementioned mini silver eyeliner from Cynthia Rowley Beauty. I haven’t really been using any silver colors around my eyes lately so I was happy to see this one. Silver is such a great, versatile color for your eyes and it really doesn’t have to be an over-the-top super makeup-y look at all; you can use a little silver liner to amp up a natural shadow look during the day, or your can mix it with vibrant colors and (my favorite) use it over black liquid or gel liner for a nighttime look.
Cynthia Rowley Beauty Eyeliner ($16 for 0.04 oz.; birchbox.com) is a creamy pencil liner that glides on “velvety-smooth” with a “smudge-proof formula” that lasts all day long. Birchbox offers these liners in five different “on-trend” shades and they are Vegan, cruelty-free, and paraben-free.
I was excited about this item because I love lemongrass-scented anything and this body wash has a unique creamy consistency that I really wanted to try out. So, I have to say, I was a little disappointed when I used it because I was hardly able to get one use out of the tube. I was able to wash my arms and like a little bit of my upper torso and then I had to add more of my regular shower gel to finish washing the rest of my body. I REALLY thought I would get more product out of this tube, and it’s actually quite misleading because it came in its own box and everything. So I really can’t say much about this body wash other than the fact that it smells good.
Dr. Hauschka Lemon Lemongrass Vitalising Body Wash ($22.95 for 6.7 oz.; birchbox.com) is described as a “refreshing foam” that gently cleanses the skin with a light “zingily-scented” lemongrass scent. This body wash is a creamy formula infused with lemon, ginger root, and lemongrass, that “firms and revitalizes skin.” It also includes plant oils that moisturize, and Quince seed and plant surfactants that create a light lather to wash away dirt and impurities without drying the skin.
As soon as I saw this lip “lube” I really wasn’t sure how I felt about it being that it’s a very loud purple color, a shade that I really didn’t think would look nice on my lips. I am very happy to say, however, that I was pleasantly surprised at how nice this came out and, even though the color is toned down slightly once you apply it, the purple still looks pretty and vibrant on my lips and the product itself is so smooth and moisturizing that I really can’t get enough of it. Awesome, awesome stuff. Bonus: Birchbox sent out a full-sized version of this product.
LAQA & Co. Sheer Lip Lube Pencil ($18 for 0.07 oz.; birchbox.com) is described as an “easy-to-use lip pencil” that provides high gloss and sheer color. This lip lube contains softening shea butter to moisturize lips and fill in any “unsightly lines,” and it is infused with refreshing mint that isn’t overpowering at all (sometimes I don’t like too much minty-feeling when I wear lip products). Even though the color is sheer, it still came out very vibrant and so pretty; and, for me, this color is fairly unique to my lip collection and I’m really, really loving it. Birchbox.com offers four different “wearable, softly pigmented” shades.
As I said before, I kind of cringe every time I see small sample packets in a subscription box, but I guess this one from Nyakio doesn’t really count because Birchbox included samples of three different products., and the oil sample, in particular, is definitely big enough for multiple uses. I’m a little disappointed that I was only able to get one use out of the cleanser and scrub because I really couldn’t get a feel for how well they worked, but all of these products got pretty high reviews on Birchbox.com, so I might order a full-size product to really test it out. I’m still on the fence about the face oil — it sounds like it would be perfect for my skin, but I have only used it a couple of times so far so I’m still trying to figure out whether I like it or not.
Nyakio Kenyan Coffee Face Polish ($34 for 3.4 oz.; birchbox.com) is described as an “invigorating scrub” made with Kenyan coffee and natural oils to exfoliate skin, leaving it feeling “smooth and rejuvenated.” It contains coffee extract and jojoba oil to buff away dull skin without drying it out, and Neroli, lemongrass, and macadamia oils that provide “intense moisture for smooth, dewy skin.”
Nyakio Kenyan Coffee Body Scrub ($55 for 10.5 oz.; birchbox.com) is described as a “java-loaded” body scrub that contains a blend of Kenyan coffee beans and nourishing oils to exfoliate and hydrate the skin. It is formulated with natural ingredients, including shea butter, sugar, jojoba seed oil, avocado oil, and Kenyan coffee beans to “slough off skin’s dull outer layer” and “infuse the freshly revealed skin with moisture.”
Nyakio Kenyan Coffee Hydrating Face Oil With Kola Nut ($49 for 1 oz.; birchbox.com) is a lightweight face oil that hydrates skin and keeps it looking “luminous, even, and youthful” for a full 12 hours. This oil is made with African kola nut, which is rich in caffeine, and a blend of natural oils, including ximenia, chamomile, and trichilia oil (all sourced from across Africa), to balance the complexion, reduce the appearance of lines and wrinkles, and soften skin.
The last product was this nicely-sized body “balm” from Italian skincare brand Perlier. I haven’t really used this product yet, but it’s a body cream so it’s the kind of product that I will always find useful.
Perlier Body Cream ($28.45 for 6.7 oz.; birchbox.com) is a botanical-based, fast-absorbing lotion that provides daily moisture and protection to skin. These lotions contain White Almond, which is “loaded with white almond oil and sweet almond milk” and infuses skin with fatty acids and vitamin E to help boost elasticity and improve skin tone. Birchbox offers these lotions in two different scents/formulations: Shea Almond (the one I received) and Shea Lavender. Shea Almond has a base of organic shea butter to deliver “intense hydration,” shield skin against damage, and soothe skin after sun exposure or waxing; Shea Lavender contains shea butter and lavender extract, which work together to soften and moisturize dry skin.
As I went over each product in my June Birchbox again for this post I realized how much I really liked it (the box, that is). I keep saying this — but it’s true — I was getting such crappy Birchboxes for months, and I was switching up my beauty profile every month to try to get better boxes. The last few months have been a LOT better and this month’s Birchbox was great — I love the eyeliner, I love the lip lube, I discovered a new skincare line (Nyakio), and the body cream is a great size for travel. The only thing I didn’t really like this month was the body wash; I just kinda thought it was a waste of packaging material and space in the Birchbox. BUT, overall, great month for Birchbox.
I still haven’t posted my review of the Julep Maven box from April yet, but for some reason I just can’t seem to get through the photos – I think I just don’t like how they came out — plus there’s a lot of them – so I decided to just do the Birchbox review first, and then I’m posting the Pop Sugar Must Have review for May right after this one. I might not even get around to doing the Julep review for this month (last month, really), and I honestly wasn’t too excited about the last Julep Maven box anyway.
I seriously have so many things to blog about but I always tie myself down with these long subscription box reviews (I say this all the time), so I try to get them out of the way first. I’m going to try to get these next two done quickly so I can finally get back into the swing of blogging about things that aren’t JUST subscription boxes.
SO, with that being said, I was actually quite happy with my Birchbox this month, and that’s really saying a lot because I’ve been pretty disappointed in my Birchboxes for, well, almost a year now, really. I mean, I haven’t DISLIKED every single one, but I just felt like the ones I have been receiving have had more products that I didn’t like than products that I did like and would actually use.
This month I am happy to say that I did like the majority of my products, and even though I received yet another shampoo/conditioner sample (I really don’t use anything but Wen Haircare products), these samples were okay because I got to try out the new Nexxus Color Assure products. I didn’t really like how they worked (definitely will be sticking with Wen), but it was nice to see the whole shampoo/conditioning/pre-wash primer collection all in one in the box.
This month, Birchbox also teamed up with Kate Spade’s new Kate Spade Saturday line and hooked subscribers up with a $25-off offer from the brand, and also packed up the boxes into a pretty bright yellow shipping box (doesn’t look too pretty in the pic ^^ because of “wear and tear,” but the color itself is one of my favorites).
A few times a year, Birchbox has been sending out a variety of different teas from different brands and I like the fact that when a tea is sent out, they usually include more than one flavor for you to try out. I haven’t tried out these teas yet but I definitely will over the next two days. These were a “Lifestyle Extra” item this month (Lifestyle Extras = non-beauty items that Birchbox occasionally sends out … there is an option in the Birchbox profile to receive Lifestyle Extras more often, too — I don’t have this option checked, but I still receive them from time to time, which I like).
Harney & Sons Fine Teas ($9.60 for box of 20; birchbox.com) are described as “rich and flavorful tea blends” from a family-owned craft tea brand. Harney & Sons started out with six original teas and has now grown to over 600. I received Pomegranate Oolong, a “tangy fruity brew,” and Caribe, a black and green tea blend with tropical flavors.
Okay, so I really wasn’t too thrilled about this shampoo/conditioner combo. First of all, I really thought that I would have been able to get more than one use out of the little sample packet “bottles” — I mean, I should have known that they were only single-use packets, but the little mini bottle shape kind of threw me off and made me think that they were like deluxe-sized samples for some reason. Then I opened up the package and realized that it was really just a fancy-looking sample packet.
So, I guess more important than the packaging, is that the shampoo totally dried my hair out (even though it’s sulfate-free), and the conditioner wasn’t conditioning enough to make up for the dryness of the shampoo. I’m not sure what I think/how I feel about this whole “pre-wash primer” deal — With this one, you can definitely get more than one use out of, and I only used about 1/4 of the sample packet so far. I think I put too much on though, because my hair was all greasy feeling, but that instantly went away when I shampooed.
I seriously feel like my hair was completely stripped of all of its nourishing nutrients. That might not be entirely fair, because maybe I’m just too used to the Wen line that I use (I have SEVERELY dry hair), but I will definitely not be using this stuff again.
Nexxus Color Assure Pre-Wash Primer, Shampoo & Conditioner ($11.99-17.99; birchbox.com) is described as an “oil-infused trio” that helps keep color vibrant for up to twice as long. The system is sulfate-free and it is supposed to provide extra nourishment and moisture that color-treated hair usually needs. Again, it didn’t work for me, but I have hair that’s drier than most, and shampoos in general tend to make my hair feel extra dry and stripped.
I was fidgeting with this photo for what seemed like hours and I just couldn’t get it to come out the way I wanted it to, and then I messed up a little bit on the editing part. So just excuse the photo quality and read on to the descriptions!
First, I wasn’t too thrilled to see yet another Coola product in a Birchbox (I have received at least four so far over the last year, year-and-a-half), and they have all been moisturizers or sunscreens that I really had no use for, and ended up either giving them away or throwing them out. So, when I read a little further about the actual product I realized that it wasn’t just another SPF sunscreen/lotion, and it is actually an after-sun lotion, a product that I will most certainly be needing over the next few months as the weather gets hotter and hotter.
Coola Environmental Repair Plus Radical Recovery After-Sun Lotion ($32 for 6 oz.; birchbox.com) is described as a “soothing lotion” that uses agave to “moisturize, protect and calm any post-sun woes.” Unlike other after-sun gel lotions, this one is lightweight and has a silky, smooth texture that “sinks into skin immediately.” The agave takes the sting out of sunburns, moisturizes the skin and “promotes collagen synthesis to help repair your skin and reverse sun damage.” Seventy percent of the ingredients in this lotion are harvested from organic farms, so there’s a sweet, all-natural bonus.
The next product, a serum from Marcelle, is a Birchbox exclusive. I was really excited as soon as I read about this product because I have been looking for a serum that would hydrate and plump my skin, the way this promises to do. I have only tried it out a couple of times so far, and it says that you will see results after one week of use, so I’m not sure how well it works yet, but I will definitely be using it over the next five days so I can find out, and if I like it I’m going to buy the full-size version (only available at Birchbox.com).
Marcelle New-Age 8 in 1 Power Serum ($34 for 1 oz.; birchbox.com) is described as a lightweight formula that “boasts five peptides, the amino acids that amp up collagen production and improve elasticity, plus xylitol, a natural sugar alcohol that helps retain moisture.” These potent ingredients work to smooth and fill fine lines and visibly reduce wrinkles. They also firm, lift, strengthen, boost radiance and “improve the texture of your complexion.” This serum is formulated without parabens or fragrance.
I’m really not sure how I feel about Pixi beauty products. I feel like I haven’t tried out enough of them to fully judge how well they work, but I do think a lot of the packaging is cute (like this lip balm). It’s obviously not super luxurious or anything like that, but it’s cute. I really like the colors. This balm has a great color payoff — it’s not too reddish (as I thought it might be), it’s a pretty true coral shade. I’m not sure about how well it moisturizes because my lips are still chapped from the winter (and biting them too much), so I used it over a moisturizing balm and I liked how that came out. I’m not sure about how long it stays on, either, but I plan to test it out more over the next few days.
Pixi Shea Butter Lip Balm ($8 for 0.141 oz.; birchbox.com) is described as a “dual-purpose balm that hydrates with shea butter while giving lips a pretty wash of color.” It comes in five different shades that can be worn alone or layered under or over lipstick (or gloss). These balms contain shea butter AND vitamin E to “soothe parched lips and prevent future dryness” and Birchbox sent out a full-size version of these balms, so that is always a plus.
I was a lot happier with this box than I have been with most of my recent Birchboxes. I know that Birchbox is one of the cheapest subscription boxes (at only $10/month), but I have been receiving so many products that I would either A). never use; or B). small sample packets that I could hardly even get one full use out of, so those just seemed like a waste.
I’m happy with all of the products this month, except for the Nexxus shampoo and conditioner (especially since the packaging is a little misleading and I hardly even got one full shampoo out of it) — but I think that people who don’t have super dry hair like me might find the Nexxus products useful. Overall, I really liked May’s Birchbox, especially when compared to other recent Birchboxes.
I’ve been so busy working and running around that I totally slacked off on posting this week, then this weekend I celebrated my birthday and Easter and I had zero time to do anything, so my review for this month’s Birchbox is a littleeee late (I actually received the box last week).
I was actually going through kind of a slump with my Birchbox boxes over the last, I would say, six months or so. I didn’t want to unsubscribe because it’s only $10/month and I do like surprises, but I felt like I was getting complete junk for a few months there — single-use samples, shampoos I will never use (one of these showed up again this month, but I’m just shrugging it off), and I just felt like I was getting the crappiest boxes, especially when I compared them to what other Birchbox subscribers were receiving each month.
With that being said, the last two months have been a bit of an improvement and I like the products I received these last two months way better than what I was getting. The only thing that annoys me is that I keep getting shampoos like every single month, and I definitely unchecked whatever hair product options there are in the Birchbox profile survey thing (which is what you fill out in order for Birchbox to personalize your monthly boxes as much as possible).
I don’t think I’ve used any of the shampoos that Birchbox has sent me. I might have tried them and then decided that they dried out my hair too much so I kicked myself for even trying (like I did with this one — read below). I a). cannot use shampoos with sulfates in them (although this one is sulfate-free); and b). I use Wen Cleansing Conditioner, which works amazing in my dry, damaged hair. So I really, really have no use for shampoos and for some reason Birchbox keeps sending them to me nearly every month.
So, that’s my little rant. Like I said, I really don’t have much room to complain since the subscription is only $10/month (and a flat fee at that — the 10 bucks includes shipping and tax fees), but there are other subscription boxes that cost the same or around the same for a much better selection of items each month.
Every month Birchbox sends out items based on a theme and this month’s theme was “Rainy Days.” The “crop of new and exciting products” featured this month are supposed to help you embrace the “rainy day mentality” and Birchbox also sent out cards with different “tips” on them that included “bright ideas for how to spend the next rainy day.”
I didn’t take a photo of the “tip” I got (there were a bunch of different ones sent out) because the one I got was pretty stupid, for lack of a better word. Or, well, maybe I should clarify — it was stupid for someone like ME because it was a “tip” on how to brew fresh coffee (I don’t know if that’s what it was exactly – I honestly just glanced at it quickly) — something I know very well, being a caffeine addict and all. I just think that little piece of cardboard could have been used better. I was expecting to see some fun or interesting arts and crafts/DIY tip or something. But I digress …
The aforementioned shampoo that I wasn’t too thrilled about came with a bonus packet of a conditioning reconstructing masque. I haven’t used the masque yet, but I usually like products like this, so I’ll definitely be using it.
Number 4 Hair Care Reconstructing Masque ($58 for 5.1 oz.; birchbox.com) is described as a “super-hydrating leave-in treatment,” infused with soy protein that works to reconstruct and strengthen hair, while natural conditioners like shea butter, jojoba seed oil, and sunflower oil work to nourish and moisturize strands. It also contains silicone polymer to smooth and detangle.
Number 4 Hair Care Clarifying Shampoo ($32 for 8.5 oz.; birchbox.com) is “subtly scented” with white freesia, golden amber, and warm musk to “gently cleanse without stripping moisture or color.” This shampoo is “rich in vitamins and antioxidants” to restore health and shine to overworked tresses. It contains black currant and soy to “restore vibrancy;” acai berry and vitamin C to “deliver youth-boosting antioxidants;” oolong tea and irish moss to “defend against environmental damage;” and lemongrass and oatmeal to gently cleanse and purify. It is vegan friendly and sulfate-, sodium chloride-, and paraben-free.
This shampoo sounds great in print and the ingredients sound amazing, but it really didn’t preserve the moisture in my hair at all and my hair felt like a big, dry desert mess even while I was still in the shower and my hair was still wet. I used my Wen Cleansing Conditioner and then some deep conditioner I had on top of that to balance everything out. My hair is definitely dryer than the average person’s hair so I’m not saying that this is how the shampoo will work for everyone, but if you opt for cleansing conditioner over regular shampoo and you have hair as dry as mine I would probably stay away from this product.
I haven’t used this serum yet and I honestly thought it was a face serum since the bottle is so small, but apparently it is a full-body serum and the full-sized version of this product is a whopping 10 oz., so that makes a lot more sense.
BijaBody Daily Body Serum ($34 for 10 oz.; birchbox.com) is a spray-on body serum that shields skin from the damaging elements, and moisturizes and enhances radiance while leaving behind a “lovely” scent. This serum contains “a host of protective and enriching ingredients” that includes antioxidant lycopene and rice bran oil to provide sun protection, white and green tea extracts to diminish the effects of sun exposure, a “highly absorbable” form of vitamin C that promotes cell growth and brightens skin tone, and organic honey to combat inflammation and bacteria as it hydrates. This serum can be layered under other SPF-containing products for the ultimate defense.
The next item was a nail art pen from Color Club (above). Pretty cool product as I have never really used anything like this before.
Color Club Art Duo Pen ($4 for 0.35 oz. or $10 for full-size; birchbox.com) is a dual-ended nail pen used to create intricate art. There are two tips you can use for different-sized designs, including stripes, swoops, chevrons, dots, flowers, animal prints, and more. This tool can be considered both a “palette and paintbrush” as it contains both high-quality lacquer and two ways to “put polish precisely where you want it.” The slender brus is for swiping on stripes and lines of color, while the pen-point tip is “ideal for dotting on more precise details.”
It’s always great to find a product that I use all the time in a subscription box, so I was definitely happy to see a mini clear brow gel from Anastasia in my April Birchbox.
Anastasia Beverly Hills Clear Brow Gel ($22 for 0.28 oz.; birchbox.com) is described as a “miracle-in-a-tube” that is fortified with botanical conditioners and oils to keep brows looking polished, without leaving behind any flaky, sticky residue. This brow gel can be used over an eyebrow pencil or alone for a more natural look, and it contains plant-based ingredients like chamomile extract to soothe skin, while essential oils prevents brows from flaking and a film-forming polymer helps keep them in place without looking stiff.
And the last product in the April Birchbox was a “Lifestyle Extra” – a crunchy/chewy grains bar from KIND Snacks. I thought this bar was definitely tasty (I love the whole sweet and salty thing), but the crunchy/chewy texture combined kind of made it almost seem like it had a stale consistency. I think it should have been either crunchy or chewy, but I’m no expert on healthy snack bars, and that is just my opinion 🙂
KIND Snacks Healthy Grains Bars ($11.88 for a pack of 15; birchbox.com) are wholesome, nonGMO and gluten-free snack bars made with five super grains “for maximum nutritional and taste bud benefits.” These bars are available in packs of 15 on Birchbox’s website in the following flavors: Maple Pumpkin Seeds with Sea Salt (the one I received), Dark Chocolate Chunk, Peanut Butter Dark Chocolate, or a variety pack of the three.
This month’s Birchbox was okay, but, again, at just $10/month I really can’t complain. I haven’t tried out the nail art polish just yet, but I have a feeling that will be fun; the shampoo wasn’t right for me, but the little conditioning masque packet will probably work well; the body oil is something I wouldn’t normally buy for myself so it’s always great to receive those types of products; the snack bar was yummy (although the texture was kind of meh …); and the Anastasia brow gel is one of my favorite products so I am more than happy to add a travel-sized version to my collection.
Birchbox is a monthly beauty and lifestyle subscription service that costs $10 per month (flat fee). Every month Birchbox features a few dozen products that make up a bunch of different box combinations and the box you receive is customized to contain what they think will suit you the best based off of the beauty profile you fill out when first subscribing (you can update this profile at any time). To subscribe click here, or head over to Birchbox.com for more information.