Well, I wrote this post with the best intentions of actually posting it before December ended… but was thwarted by my hosting company dropping the ball and going dark for several hours, and then my post scheduler inexplicably failed to publish! Oh well. Here it is without further fanfare!
I was once again pretty happy with what I received in my Birchbox this month and wanted to brag on the products I liked best a little bit. They put a fun little design on the lid of the box to celebrate the holiday season which was nice
Once again I was really pleased with my box – I’m not sure if it is just that the survey has changed and produces better results – or that I have an idea of what different answers will result in in terms of product types in the box, but I have been really happy with my boxes the last several months.
How it Works
Birchboxes are $10 a month (for women – for men it’s double.. sorry dudes) and as is usual I received 4 items (you normally get 4-5) plus what they are calling a “Lifestyle Extra” (that would be the chocolate). From what I understand the Lifestyle Extras and the “Finds” are non-beauty products which are in addition to, never in replace of, your 4-5 beauty samples every month. Finds are mass-market stuff which doesn’t fit with the high-end beauty brand concept, but Birchbox staff thought they were so great they wanted you to have them, and Lifestyle Extras are similar but not necessarily a mass-market brand. Last month I got a FABULOUS chapstick – the Hydration Lock, which I promptly bought for all my family members and gave as stocking stuffers.
I have always been very happy with the shipping, tracking, and customer service of Birchbox, and cannot recommend them enough for introducing me to new products. In addition to sending me great samples every month, they also have a great points system. For every sample from your box you review on their site you receive 10 points, and for every person you refer you receive
50 points 100 points (this changed recently)! 100 points is worth $10 in the Birchbox shop, and I have used points combo-ed with coupons (for example a 9 month membership coupon) to get the Liz Earle Starter Kit, Miracle Skin Transformer Concealer, Dr. Jart+ Premium BB Cream, and a sample pack for $38.40 ($109.50 retail value) – quite a good deal if you ask me! Every box is worth between 50 and 60 points typically, so if you complete all the reviews and get someone to sign up every month (give or take) you have recouped your $10 investment!
The Box Breakdown.
Hayadi Pure Happy Smooth – Full Size (4 oz) $17.50 [sample (1 oz) $4.38]
This is a lightweight keratin-infused styling lotion that you can use on wet hair or to freshen up dry hair. It smells FANTASTIC. Keratin, by the way, is the main protein component of your hair – and this lotion functions as a heat shield for when you are styling your hair and will keep the frizzies at bay. Also it’s paraben- and gluten-free so you don’t need to worry about those nasty buggers.
Chella Ivory Lace Highlighter Pencil – Full Size (1.4 g) $18 [sample was full size]
I LOVE this product. I will certainly be purchasing another when this one runs out. My only beef is that this one requires sharpening – I wish it were a roll up pencil instead because sharpening is a pain and when it gets low the wood scratches! I use this to highlight (as in Highlight and Contour – check out this fabulous tutorial from MaskCara to learn how), it goes on super smooth and blends great. It is a perfect color for me, but only comes in two shades so if you are darker skinned they may not have a color that works for you, unfortunately.
They also have an eyebrow pencil which I am strongly considering trying, and Birchbox sells their sharpener ($5) if you don’t have one for a chubby pencil.
Benta Berry G-1 Exfoliating Facial Cleanser (30 mL) $16 [sample (3 mL) $1.60]
I wasn’t super pumped about this product. If I’m going to use an exfoliator I want to feel it! This had very little grit and felt more like a cleanser. But I’ve heard this line is good for anti-aging. Maybe I’m biased because I loved the Liz Earle Cleanse & Polish from a couple boxes back so much that I have a hard time considering something new just yet.
Secret Agent Beauty Foreign Intelligence Flirt Gloss (4.5 g) $18 [sample (2.1 g) $8.40]
This color is really nice – it’s a pretty good natural lip color, goes on just sheer enough to be a gloss but still give you a little color boost. It’s also plumping which means it has a bit slight menthol tingle. I like to wear it over a lipstick, but could wear it alone as well. It’s not sticky, either so that is a big PLUS. The sample came with a squeeze applicator kind of like you would find on an superglue tube or something, instead of a wand or something, but the full size product has a wand.
Chuao Chocopod in Honeycomb (8 pods) $9.95 [sample (1 pod) $1.24]
These things are seriously delicious. I shared it with my husband – the chocolates look like supersized cocoa beans, but taste like heaven. I think they are trying to market them as a healthy alternative since they are only 50-60 calories a pop, but seriously “Don’t Kurrr” because 1) I love chocolate and 2) I don’t diet that way. It had little crunchy bits – the honeycomb I guess – but it was so good. I wish I had more of them. I also wish they weren’t so damn expensive.
Total Value: $33.62 <– WHOA!
Well there you have it – the December box was pretty awesome. I really enjoyed the majority of the products I received and love getting this monthly box of goodies.
Do you already get Birchbox? What were your favorites this month?
If you haven’t joined already, what are you waiting for? Let me know what you think!