Friday, September 25, 2015

September 2015 Birchbox

It's Birchbox's 5th Birthday, and there's serious cause to celebrate! This month Birchbox is all about saying thank you to its subscribers for being a part of their awesome journey. From creating a gorgeous box design inspired from the pinboards of three subscribers ('re beautiful too, Birchbox!), to a 20% off discount code for all subscribers to use in the shop, to the return of Customer Appreciation Day, Birchbox really knows how to treat its customers well. As much as the samples I get each month are great on their own, it's really the whole Birchbox philosophy that makes me glad I'm a subscriber (which I raved about here, in case you'd like to learn a little more). Speaking of samples, I'm absolutely in love with my box this month, both inside and out, and can't wait to share it with you!

The Skinny on Birchbox

Birchbox is a beauty and lifestyle subscription service that sends a personalized box of of 5 deluxe samples to your doorstep every month.

What it costs: $10 monthly

Why it's special: After completing your in-depth beauty profile, Birchbox will send you a specially curated box of samples that they think you might love to try. It's the perfect way to discover new brands, or products you might not have thought to try yourself! Birchbox will also occasionally throw in an extra lifestyle goodie like a granola bar, tea, or hair tie to your box as well.

What you get back: Birchbox gives you the opportunity to review each of the samples in your monthly box for 10 Birchbox points a piece. 100 points is worth $10 in the Birchbox shop, which is full of everything from makeup and skincare, to adorable stationary, to jewelry and more. Since each Birchbox has at least 5 samples, you can easily earn 100 points every two months you're subscribed!

Want to know more? You can read about all of the awesome perks of Birchbox here. You can also view all of my previous Birchbox reviews here.

Interested in becoming a subscriber? Use my referral link to join and let Birchbox know I sent you their way! I really appreciate it <3

With the addition of two foil packets, I ended up with 7 samples in this box! Not only is it awesome to get to try so many products, but that also means I'll end up with 70 more points that I can use towards my next purchase in the Birchbox shop. With the generous 20% off discount code they also sent in my box I'll definitely be splurging on some products I've had my eye on!

Can we also appreciate for a moment how giant my samples are this month? Even the perfume sample is a decent size! I think its so important that you get several uses out of a sample, because you can never truly judge whether or not something works for you on one use alone. Fortunately I'm not going to have that problem this month because all of these samples are huge. Here's a quick list of everything I got to try:

Notes of Italian lemon, Japanese lily, Moroccan jasmine, and Madagascar vanilla make up this scent.

Full Size, 1.7 oz ($55)
Sample Size, 0.05 fl oz ($1.62)

Everyone seems to hate on fragrance samples in their subscription boxes, but I personally don't mind trying out a new scent every now and again. This time around I've got another perfume from Birchbox regular, Harvey Prince. I was not a huge fan of the last fragrance of theirs I tried (Sincerely), although I'm totally in love with the scent of Hello. Happily I'm quite enjoying the scent of this one, which has a nice balance of fruity sweetness and fresh floral notes. I'm not sure that I'm in love with it enough to buy the full sized version, especially since its not incredibly long lasting, but I'll definitely keep this mini in my purse to use up.

This foolproof, blendable formula infused with coconut oil conceals dark spots and stays all day.

Full Size, 0.025 oz ($26)
Sample Size, 0.02 oz ($20.80)

All of a sudden tréStiQue is everywhere I turn. A few months ago I received one of their shadow crayons in my Ipsy bag, and this month it's made an appearance in both my Ipsy and Birchbox subscriptions. The packaging is cute, and the whole crayon format is definitely easy and travel friendly. However, I'm not crazy impressed with their formulas. This concealer crayon especially was a let down for me. First of all, they have a pretty limited shade range, and this color (Bisque) is just a hair too dark for my skin, even with whatever remains of my summer tan. I also found that the coverage wasn't fantastic, and over time it just sort of faded and melted into my skin. Considering how expensive the full size is I think I'm much happier with my drugstore concealers for now. Speaking of which, I'm really surprised that this crayon is so close to the full sized product. It very much feels like a deluxe sample, which makes me wonder if the packaging on the full size is a bit deceiving or not.

This nourishing leave-in treatment adds volume, shine, detangling, and heat protection.

Full Size, 135 ml ($30)
Sample Size, 50 ml ($9.80)

Oh Davines. I've been wanting to try this brand since I joined Birchbox over two years ago. It's one of their most sampled haircare brands, but somehow I've never gotten anything from them. However, this is apparently the month because I not only got this beautiful little bottle of styling milk, but I also got samples of the Davines OI Shampoo ($28 for 280 ml) and Davines OI Conditioner ($34 for 250 ml). This whole set is WONDERFUL. I haven't used something that makes my hair this silky in a while. The shampoo is sulfate free (hooray!) and leaves my hair feeling clean without being stripped of essential moisture. The conditioner is really thick and rich and definitely coats and nourishes your hair. The All in One Milk is a really beautiful, lightweight spray that detangles and makes your hair incredibly shiny without weighing it down. The whole OI range has a pretty strong scent to it. While I personally find it lovely, sensitive noses may want to steer clear. Also, I have to mention how gorgeous this sleek white-on-black apothecary styled packaging is. I typically try not to spend boat loads on hair products, but this set is definitely going on my wishlist!

Baked from liquid pigments, this powder illuminates the face where you sweep.

Full Size, 6.5g ($37)
Sample Size, 1.8g ($10.25)

I have to admit that with all this strobing business I am definitely appreciating highlighter more and more lately. As we move into the cooler months I think its nice to give your skin a healthy glow to keep it from looking too dull and matte. I haven't tried much from Laura Geller yet, so I was happy to see one of her products in my box. It looks like this shade is actually part of a highlighting duo that retails along side a dual ended brush. I believe the complimentary shade is a very metallic, sparkling champagne, which would certainly be pretty. This product, though, is quite nice by itself. For a baked product it's still quite soft and finely milled and you get a ton of color payoff. French Vanilla is a very pale yellow gold and has a very fine shimmer that adds radiance without looking chunky or glittery. I think this is a really generously sized sample, and I'll definitely get quite a lot of use out of it!

An instant pick-me-up that reduces the appearance of fine lines and dark circles.

Full Size, 1 oz ($25)
Sample Size, 0.3 oz ($7.50)

I don't know why I struggle so hard with getting into eye cream, but it's always been the one step of skincare that I tend to forget. However, I've found myself totally hooked on this one. First off, it smells AMAZING. It's not an in-your-face-cup-of-coffee kind of a scent, but is more soft and creamy and flippin' delicious. I'll dab this under my eyes in the morning and I can physically feel it sort of perk up my skin. It's got a slightly warming, slight tightening sensation that helps me to feel awake and a little more alert. I (fortunately) don't suffer from dark circles and bags under my eyes, so I can't speak much to the visible results this gives, but I certainly like how it feels. And it's an all natural formula, which totally rocks! I know the full size is kind of pricey, but this sample is really generously sized and will last me quite a while.

Holy moly, Birchbox. You've seriously delivered this month! The total value of all of my samples rings in at $52.80! That's double what most of my Birchboxes have been worth this year. I also generally enjoyed every single product that I received. The only sort of dud was the tréStiQue crayon, which I felt sort of underwhelmed by. Since the shade is going to become increasingly off for me as my skin gets paler and paler I'll probably pass it along to someone else who it works better for. Other than that, though, I'm kind of in love with everything I got. Now the only tricky thing is deciding what to use my 20% off discount code on!

Did you fall in love with any Birchbox products this month?