Birchbox November 2014

Welcome to my first Birchbox review.

I’ve become a subscription box junkie; not sure when it happened but there’s no denying it! Birchbox is most often compared to ipsy because both boxes are $10 a month. Like ipsy, Birchbox has you take a style quiz before sending out five sample size products with the occasional extra.

This month, Birchbox partnered with RED, a charity that supports the awareness and wellness for AIDS patients. So for every picture of the RED shipper on social media using #shaRED, Birchbox will donate $1.  You can check out my Instagram photo here. I appreciated this as a theme for the box and of Birchbox as a company since November should be a month associated with giving (and not just of the subscription box variety).

November Samples

November Samples

Folle de Joie perfume (sample value $28.82)

A full size bottle of this perfume is 3.4 fl oz and is worth $98. Wow! This sample is about a third of the full size at 1.06 fl oz and has a little spray top.  At first, I wasn’t too impressed with this perfume but as it melded with the oils and chemistry of my skin, I was won over. The brand describes this perfume as a union of Southern California beaches with Parisian streets. I typically don’t care for citrusy scents which is why I wasn’t initially drawn to the perfume, but the notes that slowly come forth–the woodsy florals and hints of leather are more my speed. I couldn’t stop smelling my wrists so I probably looked like a nutcase.

The price of this perfume is a little extreme. So I would really have to save up but I think if I was really determined in the budgeting department, I would actually buy this perfume.

Dr. Brandt Pores No More Vacuum Cleaner (sample value $11.25)

My most consistent skin problem is blackheads. So I was excited about this product. The Dr. Brandt website says that this mask will take out dirt and oil, exfoliate and tighten, as well unclogging pores. You pop this mask on for 5-10 minutes until it turns ice blue and then you wash the product off. After a handful of uses, this mask is alright. It’s hard to say what the long-term effects of this mask would be since it’s a small sample. But the short-term effects are OK, not mind-blowing. The mask cleans out excess dirt well enough but it doesn’t eliminate blackheads all together. I feel as though I get the same effect from pore strips, which are cheaper.

A 1 oz., full size, Vacuum Cleaner mask costs $45, so I don’t think I will be buying a bigger version of this mask.

Fekkai Technician Color Care Luxe Color Masque (sample value $3.95)

I do color my hair, so the repairing qualities of this hair mask are extremely appreciated. Colored hair can go dry and brittle quickly, but this mask’s key ingredient is grapeseed oil which is very nourishing. Grapeseed is the overwhelming scent as well, but it lightly lingers in the hair for a few days, which is nice. I use this masque once a week and massage a dollop through my hair from my ears to the ends. My hair feels revitalized and soft. Very important for those of us who color our hair! A full size, 7 oz. masque will run you $26, which isn’t bad. This sample size is a little over 1.5 oz. so it ends up being a great size sample for a hair product.

I’m not sure if I would buy this but I’ve been happy with it as a sample.

Cynthia Rowley’s Lip Stain in Heartthrob(sample value $3.40)

I love a good red lip, so I was excited to see this in my box. In the tube Heartthrob is a vibrant red, but on the lips it comes off as a reddish pink. It’s still a lovely color, just not what I was expecting. The sample has a doe-foot applicator and the stain goes on evenly. In terms of staying power, this product needs a lip liner and will last for a few hours at full power. It fades gracefully though, which is important. Equally important, is that this product did not dry out my lips. Hurrah! A full size lip stain is valued at $20.

There are other, truer reds out there that I love more, so I don’t think I’ll be buying this lip stain anytime soon.

Mirenesse Secret Weapon iCurl 24Hr Mascara ($4.06)

I had to try this mascara out several times before I knew how to feel about it as a product. The first time it smudged under my eyes after running errands. But every time since, I haven’t had that problem. The curled shape of the wand is nice and helps me coat every lash. The formula dries on the lashes very quickly, but doesn’t clump up if you wanted to add an extra coat. A full size is worth $29: that is a luxury priced mascara, ladies and gents.

If I’m honest, I think I have drugstore mascaras that do the same or better as this Mirenesse, so I don’t think I’ll be buying this one.

Here's a better look at one of the shipper facts.

Here’s a better look at one of the shipper facts.

There was also a bonus product–a sample of Blood Orange Caramel Chocolate–and while it wasn’t for me taste wise I passed it on to my roommate, who said it was delicious.

Total box value $51.48. The high value of the perfume is what pushed this box over the edge. The perfume is also the product I’d be most likely to purchase myself, though it is going to take some saving! Overall, I’m pleased with this month’s Birchbox!

If you’d like to check out Birchbox, click my referral link here or on my referral links page.

Thanks for popping in!

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