October 18, 2012

BirchBox Mega Review Update (Boxes 3-6)

Oops! I haven't blogged much and I definitely haven't done as many Birchbox reviews as I thought. Let me try to highlights instead of detailed reviews (though, I think we all know I tend to be wordy).

Birchbox #3 - July 2012
From BirchBox website
  • Ada Cosmetics Bronzer sample, which I mistook for a full-sized eyeshadow pot at first. Heck, I used it as eyeshadow the first time. Oops! Pigmentation is light but the color is nice. On my skin tone, it'll best for winter when I'm not very tan.
  • I haven't tried the GLOSS Moderne High Gloss Masque for my hair yet, but I'm looking forward to it. It's got all sorts of yummy sounding ingredients and smells like coconut. It should be enough for at least 3 uses, if not 4-5. If I really like it, and it works well for my hair, I might splurge $39 for the full size.
  • Harvey Prince Hello perfume sample was light and summery and nice. I recommend it for people who like the not-overly-sickly-sweet floral perfume, but still like it light and sweet.
  • Larabar uber Bananas Foster was yum.
  • Stila It's Go Time Lip Glaze - I got a lovely, brownish shade which is in my comfort zone. I have decided I adore Stila products. If I ever splurge on makeup, it will definitely be either a Stila product or a BareEscentuals product.
  • Birchbox Extra Birchbox Exclusive Earbuds...always good to have an extra pair of buds hanging around and these come in fun, bright colors. That said, the buds are cheapy and the sound quality isn't brilliant. These will be the emergency pair for desperate times.
  • Overall, money's worth and more for sure. I'd be willing to pay full price for some of these products. Definitely a good "we're sorry" box..enough so that I went ahead and got the August box.

Birchbox #4 - August 2012

  • DDF Brightening Cleanser works well, but wasn't "wow" different enough to justify shelling out $38 for a facewash
  • Foil packets are a waste and that's basically what Stilla All Day Foundation, Concealer & Brush kit was. Too dark for my skin tone and not enough for me to judge fairly
  • A free razor is awesome and a free $10 Schick Hydro Silk Razor is an awesome deal. Plus a coupon. 
  • Unfortunately, I was missing 2/5 samples: Juicy Couture Viva la Juicy La Fleur, which I would have been meh about and ShowStoppers Designer Fashion Tape, which would have been cool and useful.
  • I notified Birchbox and received a very prompt, apologetic and helpful email. They gave me bonus points and comp'd my September box, which is good because I was planning to skip September after missing items in 2/3 boxes.
  • Overall, got my money's worth. The products were nice, but I'd only get the Schich which was a Birchbox find, not a typical sample.
Birchbox #5 - September 2012
From BirchBox website
  • Have I mentioned my dislike for foil packets? I got a two-fer in this box. The first was a Benefit foamingly clean facial wash and refined finish facial polish duo. Haven't tried it yet. I'll get around to it when I run out of my regular face wash. The reviews have been meh, nothing spectacular ish.
  • The second foil was a Nexxus Pro-Mend Split End Treatment Trio. Absolutely useless for me because I actually don't have a split end problem. Just because I have dry, frizzy hair doesn't mean I have split ends. And my hair isn't even all that dry. Just not that silky or anything either.
  • Youngblood Mineral Primer is something I got a little excited about. I've been wanting to try out primers and I finally got a sample. I've used it a few times but haven't noticed any difference in my makeup application. Meh. At least I got to try it.
  • Ooh tea! Ok, I'm not that much into teas, but hey, tropical green teas (Mighty Leaf Tea) are interesting. I'll try it soon.
  • Color Club Custom Collection "Status Update" nail polish is out of my comfort zone since it's a grey. BUT I've been wanting to deviate from my normal pinks, pearls & maroons, so the timing was perfect. It's a nice slate grey kind of color and one coat is opaque enough for my taste.
  • I did not receive the twistband that I was supposed to. Come on Birchbox! Not that I cared for an overpriced piece of knotted elastic, but I should get what you promise me.
  • Overall, $10 was more than covered, but I wasn't impressed with the products at all. Half the stuff wasn't usable and the rest was meh.
Birchbox #6 - October 2012

  • This box was a week late in getting sent out (usually ships out on the 10th of the month). It shipped from Edison, NJ and took a week to get to me .. could've gone and picked it up myself in one day haha
  • LA FRESH acetone-free nail polish remover ... 2 sachets. Ok, cool. I'll use it on the go... or give it to my mum when she's travelling.
  • LUNA Fiber Chocolate Raspberry bar. It's a hefty size for a bar, so that's good. But Birchbox, please stop sending me food! I signed up for makeup/beauty stuff!!!
  • Naked Princess Naked Shine Luscious Lip Gloss. 0.008oz sample size. That's like 4 drops of water. Ok, enough for 10ish uses. Would I pay $26 for a full size (0.1oz)? Hell no! I can get better formula & variety of colors from CVS.
  • willa Clear Face Moisturizer is a nice travel size item. I'm not particular about products being natural but it's an added bonus. I'll see how good it is after a few uses. Thankfully it's not a foil sample ;)
  • theBalm cosmetics Mary-Lou Manizer .. the name makes me feel like it will turn me into a man! LOL It's supposed to be a highlighter-eyeshado-allover shimmer in one. It's a light yellow-golden color that will work best as a highlighter. Cute packaging and I'll get a decent number of uses out of it. But I wouldn't buy it because I adore my Stila all-in-one way more (I'll blog about that later).
  • Overall, utterly disappointing box. The samples almost didn't total $10. The products aren't things I would invest in; they don't seem tailored to my needs/wants. I've given it the 6 months I promised I would and have been disappointed more times than not. So because of that, and I can't afford throwing away $10/month right now, I'm cancelling my monthly subscription.
Caveat: I do like the concept and BB has introduced me to a lot of products I've liked or would like to try. I will come back to it eventually, but only after they've worked their way through these growing pains (terrible twos) and up their standards a bit. I'm not the only one complaining so they clearly have to change things. They can't afford not to, especially with Ipsy as competition.

I'm actually quite sad leaving BB. It was fun getting a box of goodies in the mail every month.

If you're not deterred by my somewhat bad experience, and you want to sign up for BirchBox, you can head this-a-way to sign up.