Thursday, June 13, 2013

Sample Subscriptions and My Birchbox for June 2013

In my recent exploration of the beauty world, I've finally be clued in on the concept of the sample subscription box. It seems that the craze has touched just about all areas of commercial goods, but somehow I managed to stay in the dark about beauty specific ones. For those of you who aren't familiar with the concept, companies are cropping up all over the web that allow you to purchase subscriptions where you are mailed a selection of deluxe samples of different beauty and lifestyle products. Subscribers are usually offered some kind of discount or reward to put toward buying full sized versions of the items they receive. Every company has it own unique range of offerings, and a price point to match. It's a really fun way to try out new types of products or learn about different or up and coming brands. After doing a little research I decided to sign up for two popular sites on the lower end of the price range: Birchbox and Ipsy.

So far I've received two Birchboxes and my first Ipsy Glambag is on its way. My May Birchbox has well gone to use, but since I just got my June Birchbox a few days ago I thought I'd share my goodies (and my first impressions on them) with you!

Birchbox describes itself as a subscription service that provides samples of beauty and lifestyle items. For $10 subscribers get 4-5 samples each month mailed to them in a cute little box. Boxes are tailored to each individual based on a profile they fill out when signing up. One of my favorite features of Birchbox is it's point system. 100 Birchbox points can be redeemed for $10 off an order of full sized products from the Birchbox shop. You earn 1 point for every $1 spent, and 10 points for reviews placed of the products you get in your box. That means that even without buying anything, every 2-3 months you can earn yourself $10!

So...on to my box!

This month's theme is Wanderlust. All of the products this month are geared towards summertime and travel. Also, all Birchboxers got a mini nail polish in one of 4 exclusive shades from Color Club's Wanderlust inspired collection.

What's in my box:

Birchbox + Color Club Wanderlust Collection Nail Lacquer in London Calling, Full-size $8

The nail polish is a decent sized mini. The color is an opaque, cream, neon-melon green. I definitely did not having something comparable in my embarrassingly large nail polish stash, which is nice, but that may also be because I don't usually wear neons (especially in blues and greens). I'll see if I get any comments tomorrow at work! As for the polish itself, I found that the texture is a little thin, which makes spreading each coat a little difficult (especially with the small brush). Two coats do provide opaque coverage (where I applied it evenly, anyway). I just painted my nails today, so we'll see how they hold up to chipping!

Coola Classic Face SPF 30 Cucumber Moisturizer for Face, Full-size $32

The Coola Facial Moisturizer definitely rocks! It has a fresh smell of cucumber and melons - nothing at all like the traditional smell of sunscreen you remember. It's very lightweight and absorbs quickly into the skin. As a human grease-trap, I always get worried about my moisturizers being a little to heavy for my complexion. This, however, was perfect. The only downside? This uses chemical sunscreens to get its SPF rating. Your skin won't be protected for at least an hour after applying. Chemical sunscreens have also been under a lot of scrutiny lately for a variety of reasons.

LAQA & Co Lil' Lip Duo, Full-size $16 for 2

The LAQA & Co Lip Pencil is a travel-friendly version of their Fat Lip Pencil in Lambchop (a neon fuchsia). A duo of this pencil and one in another color is available on Birchbox for $16, so just the one that I got in my box is almost worth the entire subscription fee! The color is bold, but pretty and very summer appropriate. It color seems to be pretty long lasting even after the creaminess has worn off. I'd recommending reapplying a sheer gloss over this throughout the day opposed to reapplying the product itself, unless you want the color to intensify.

Suki Exfoliate Foaming Cleanser, Full-size $32.95

I am mildly obsessed with the Suki Exfoliate Foaming Cleanser. You will quickly learn that I have a thing for lemons. I LOVE the smell of lemons and anything lemon scented. This cleanser has a delicious lemongrass fragrance that's reminiscent of lemon squares or an equally deliciously confection. The scrub starts out a bit intense, but quickly dissipates into a soft luxurious lather. I was afraid from the richness of the cleanser that my skin would end up feeling oily, but it rinses totally clean. My face was left feeling super soft, smooth, and lemony fresh. I really couldn't ask for more.

100% Nourishing Body Cream in Vanilla Bean and Coconut, Full-size $15

I love that this body cream is all natural. It's chock full of good for you ingredients instead of a bunch of difficult-to-pronounce chemicals. The scents were light, but pleasant and not at all artificial (which I appreciate). It's pretty moisturizing without being overly heavy, and absorbs well into your skin. At $15 the full sized tube is pretty on-par with your average higher-end body lotion. I would definitely consider buying one! The only difficult part would be choosing a scent, since I really liked both of these (and it's available in even more scents like Honey Almond that sound amazing!).

So that was my Birchbox! Overall I was pretty happy with what I got. I definitely want to invest in a full-sized version of the Suki cleanser. It really was just that awesome. If you're interested in learning more about Birchbox you can check them out here.

There is often a waitlist to receive a subscription. It took about four weeks for me to come off the wait list and purchase my first Birchbox. It was definitely worth it, though. For $10 you get to try a variety of fun products, and maybe discover some new favorites. Are you a Birchbox subscriber as well? I'd love to hear about your experiences and what you've received in your box lately!

Sidenote, my Ipsy Glambag is somewhere in transit, and I will definitely update you when it comes in. I just checked out the preview they posted of what is going to be in my bag and I am SO excited. Potentially receiving a full-sized royal purple gel liner. SO. EXCITED. I'll try to contain myself in the meantime. Until then!

Stay gorgeous,