Sunday, February 28, 2016

February 2016 Birchbox

Friends, it's a miracle. I'm actually going to post my February Birchbox review IN FEBRUARY! I know, don't let the shock get to you too much. This month's theme was "What's the occasion?", giving an indirect nod to Valentine's Day. I can't say that the products I got were truly geared toward a date night or special occasion, but they are certainly perfect for everyday. Come take a look!

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

Can we talk about how cute this month's box is? I am definitely one of those people that hoards mine every month to use as storage for all of my makeup samples and other little trinkets. I'm not sure what I'll ultimately end up using this box for, but I'm sure it'll find a purpose! Anyway, let's get in to the samples.

This exfoliating clay mask treats oiliness and pesky blemishes all in less than 10 minutes a week.

Sample Size, 0.5 fl oz ($7.06)
Full Size, 3.4 fl oz ($48)

Malin + Goetz is one of those brands I feel like I love even though I really haven't had a chance to try all that many of their products. Maybe it's their aesthetic. Maybe it's their awesome range of products. Maybe it's my love affair with the Mojito Lip Balm. Either way, I was pretty happy to see this mask in my box. It also comes at a great time, as my skin as been a little cranky as per late and could really use a product like this to help decongest and degunk my pores. I've had a chance to use this mask once so far (last week), and I was pretty pleased with how it worked. It feels like a traditional clay mask, but also has very fine bits of ground pumice to add an extra level of exfoliation when you rinse off. It wasn't overly irritating to my skin, nor did I feel like it left it feeling particularly dried out. I think skincare really needs a good month or two of solid use before you can really judge it, so I'll definitely update you guys later if this ends up being a favorite!

Find your zen with this body wash of coconut milk, mango, and the calming benefits of St. Johns Wort.

Sample Size, 1.1 fl oz ($1.29)
Full Size, 13.61 fl oz ($16)

Coconut milk, mango, and vanilla are three scents that make my heart sing and my nose rejoice. The scent of this body wash ultimately reminds me a lot of the OGX Coconut Milk Shampoo - sweet, tropical, and generally yummy. I also have to say that I flippin' love the cheeky packaging on Not Soap, Radio products. Let me just quote you the back of this bottle. "When the road to emotional stability seems full of speedbumps and potholds, it's time to earn your own PhD in hydrotherapy. Forget singing inthe shower, try a little talk. For each of your "issues' ask yourself: How do I feel about that? What can I do to change it? At the end of your hour, emerge from the water clear-headed/focused." It's a little thing, but knowing that a brand has personality definitely makes me feel happier about using their products. That being said, this body wash was nothing life changing. It lathered up well, got me clean, and smelled lovely, which is pretty standard for most body washes I've tried. I'm definitely happy to use up this sample, but with everything I've already got in my beauty stash I don't think I'll be picking up the full size.

Hand-poured in Los Angeles, this fragrance has notes of blue spruce, black cardamom, forest pine, and French lavender.

Sample Size, ?
Full Size, 50 ml ($95)

I'm not gonna lie, I was a little bummed to see another fragrance sample in my box this month. Granted, I totally loved last month's Meet Your Destiny perfume, but that's all the more reason to not care to try another. Alas, it's what I got, so I tried to keep an open mind. Unfortunately, this fragrance is about as far from my personal preference for scent as you can possibly get. No lie, it smells straight up like a Christmas tree. If this exact scent was in a holiday candle, I would totally burn it in my house. But on my body? No thank you. The bottle it comes in is beautiful, and I think the whole "small batch, hand blended and poured" perfume thing is lovely, but I know I will totally never wear a scent like this.

Sweet almond extract detangles, delivers softness and sleekness, and adds volume without adding weight.

Sample Size, 30 ml ($4.90)
Full Size, 147 ml ($24)

The staff at Birchbox seem to be BFFs with Jeff Chastain and are always raving about his products. I've gotten quite a few different ones to sample throughout the last year from Birchbox, and while I think they're nice, I can't say that they totally blow me out of the water. Detangling spray is something that I use pretty much every day, and I think this is a nice, lightweight formula. However, Birchbox keeps sending me samples similar to this, so I kind of feel like I'm experiencing leave-in conditioner overload. Ultimately I think I might pass this sample on to someone else who'll get more use out of it, instead of letting it collect dust in my cabinet.

This superhydrating formula adjusts to your pH, enhancing each wearers natural lip color to create the perfect hue.

Full Size, $14

For those of you who aren't on the up-and-up with Birchbox, they recently released their own brand new line of products called ARROW. The line is geared toward the busy woman on-the-go, and has everything from an aluminum-free deodorant, to a cooling cheek tint, to this handy little lip balm. When I saw that something from ARROW was available as a sample choice, I knew I had to give it a shot. It's also pretty awesome that Birchbox gave us all the full-sized product, which is worth more than the entire box itself. In addition to locking in moisture, this balm also has agents that react to the pH in your skin, giving your lips a pretty pink flush. I definitely love the finish of this balm, and think it gives some serious long lasting hydration. The only thing I noticed is that after a few hours it seems to make my lips feel a little bit sore. I noticed this exact same thing with Jane Iredale's pH adjusting lip balm, so I'm wondering if whatever ingredient cosmetic companies use to get this effect is something that my body doesn't agree with. If that's the case it'd be a total bummer, cause I love the way this looks and feels otherwise. It's very soft and buttery (almost like a Fresh Sugar Lip Tint) and lasts for several hours.

And there you have it, another Birchbox down! This month's box value totals up to around $30 (I couldn't get an exact amount on the perfume), half of which was due to the full sized lip balm. It's safe to say that this is a pretty average value for a Birchbox, which when you consider you can earn back $5 in points is pretty darn excellent. If your curious about what March's box has in store, check out this little sneak peek video from Birchbox revealing the different sample choice and add-on options you can pick from.

What was your favorite product from your February Birchbox?