Birchbox, October 2015

This month I have two boxes to share with you. For my regular monthly box, I selected the Game Face curated option. Then I used $10 worth of points to order Power Pose, the other curated option. Both of these boxes contain products from brands that have supported breast cancer awareness in some way or another.
Birchbox Game Face

Game Face Box
Prescriptives False Eyelashes Plush Mascara ($5.90)
Adding this on to the stash. I haven’t tried it yet, so I don’t have anything specific to say.
Origins Checks And Balances Frothy Face Wash ($4.40)
I’ve already tried this. It smells great and seems to be pretty gentle. I love a good frothy face wash, but avoid them as them tend to dry me out. This might be a good option for me moving forward.
Smashbox Photo Finish Foundation Primer ($9)
I wear Smashbox primer every single day (well, assuming I bother to put makeup on). I love the stuff. I usually wear the green, but I love having these small tubes around. They are great for travel and great to extend the times between purchases.
Clinique Dramatically Different Moisturizing Lotion+ ($3.09)
Eh, nice to have, but nothing to write home about (or blog about).
Estée Lauder Revitalizing Supreme Global Anti-Aging Crème ($8.50)
I don’t think I’ve purchased a moisturizer outside of sample boxes all year. Love getting these.

Total Cost: $10
Total Value: $30.89

Birchbox Power Pose

Power Pose Box
Estée Lauder Advanced Night Repair Eye Serum Synchronized Complex II ($18.20)
Clinique Chubby Stick Moisturizing Lip Colour Balm – Mega Melon ($8.50)
Pretty color. I have too many lip products, so I’ll probably put this one in the daughter’s stocking. Or I’ll put it up for swap.
Clinique Moisture Surge Extended Thirst Relief ($5.46)
Darphin Stimulskin Plus Multi-Corrective Divine Cream ($29.50)

So. . . the full size version of this is apparently $295 for 1.7 ounces. I highly doubt it is worth that much. I’ve tried enough skin products – high-end and otherwise – to know that there is very little to make a $300 skin cream worth it. That being said, I’ll use every drop of this. Not going to snub a high-end sample too much or I might not get one again.
Smashbox Photo Finish Foundation Primer ($9)
Tube #2, no complaints here!

Total Cost: $15 or $10 for subscribers, paid for with points = $0
Total Value: $70.66

Both Boxes, Cost: $10
Both Boxes, Value: $101.55

Holy samples, Batman! I’ve got a lot to sort through this month. I’m absolutely glad to have used points to purchase the Power Pose box. Yes, I ended up with three Clinique products, two Estee Lauder products, and two identical Smashbox products, but all are high-quality samples I’m happy to have in my stash.

As always, if you want to sign up for your own Birchbox please be a dear and use my referral link. Use the coupon code SUBSCRIBENOW50 to get an extra 50 points ($5) to spend in the shop.

Birchbox, September 2015

It is that time again! Let’s see what arrived on my doorstep this month.
Birchbox September 2015
Acure Organics Facial Cleansing Gel Superfruit + CGF ($2.50)
I’m always happy to have extra cleansers to put in my stash. I don’t think I’ve purchased one outside of beauty boxes in at least a year. I’m not in love with the way this smells, but it isn’t bad.

Anastasia Beverly Hills Perfect Brow Pencil ($2.99)
So. . this is tiny. I really can’t imagine doing my brows more than one of two times before it just feels too tiny to use. Any shorter and I’m bound to end up poking myself in the eye. I already have a brow pencil I absolutely love and don’t expect this one to replace it. The color looks okay though, so I’ll keep it to toss in a travel bag or my emergency purse bag.

trèStiQue Correct & Cover Concealer Crayon ($2.08)
I actually don’t own any concealer, so I was happy to see this in the box. It goes on smooth and is the perfect sample size. I’m a little iffy about the color on me, but plan to experiment.

NER:D Skincare Super Hydrating Mask ($18.67)
Love, love, love sheet masks. I have at least 50 – don’t judge! – and this one will fit in just fine.

RUSK Hair Care Elixir Mist ($11.20)
I’m very unsure about this one; I’ve never used a product like this that hasn’t left my hair looking greasy. I’ll probably pass it on to my daughter or put it up for trade.

Total Cost: $10
Total Value: $37.44

As always, if you want to sign up for your own Birchbox please be a dear and use my referral link.

Birchbox, August 2015


Multi-purpose Crayon from LAQA & Co. Charm School Kit ($6.70)
Benefit Air Patrol BB Cream Eyelid Primer ($10.85)
RUSK Volumizing Mousse ($3.40)
St. Tropez Gradual Tan In Shower Lotion ($6.25)
Scalisi Skincare Anti-Aging Moisturizer Broad Spectrum SPF 30 ($7.65)

And I ended up with an extra, sort of.

I picked R+Co DEATH VALLEY Dry Shampoo ($7.35) when the sample choice came around and my selection was verified. Then when I checked my box spoilers online (couldn’t wait!) I noticed that it wasn’t included. I have been in desperate need of dry shampoo for a couple of weeks, but refused to by any since I knew I had some coming. So I was pretty disappointed that it wasn’t listed. When the box actually arrived on my doorstep however, the regular Birchbox was in an even larger box with my sample. I don’t get to review it for points, but looks like Birchbox noticed and fixed their mistake automatically.

Total cost: $10
Total value: $34.85 + $7.35 = $42.20

This is a great box for me. I needed the dry shampoo, always need mousse to add to my collection, love high-end skincare products, enjoy Benefit, and will even try the tan lotion. The lip crayon is a miss, but my daughter will appreciate it for sure. Overall? Winning.

As always, if you want to sign up for your own Birchbox please be a dear and use my referral link.

Birchbox, July 2015

My box came later than usual this month (and took nine days to travel the last 350 miles), but it was worth the wait! Love the box design this month too – my daughter claimed it as soon as I took it out of the package.

stila Look at Me Liquid Lipstick ($11 or $6.67)
I was the least excited about this sample. Usually I would put something like this up for trade because I just have too many lip products, but the pigment looked so insanely bright I just had to try it. Whoa, not my color. Crazy bright pigment though. A note on the value of this one: If you consider full retail price the price for the discount three-piece set with bag on Birchbox.com, the value is $6.67. If you consider full retail price the price for a full size lipstick, the value is $11. I’m going to go with $11 here, as I think that makes more sense.

COOLA SPF 30 Organic Makeup Setting Spray ($7.20)
Setting spray is a must-have for this lady in this sticky summer climate. I’m always happy to add stuff like this to my stash. I haven’t tried this one yet though, as I’m still in the middle of my regular spray (super inexpensive e.l.f.). This sample especially appeals to me because of the SPF; I’m a fan of extra sun protection.

dr. brandt Microdermabrasion Skin Exfoliant ($9.75)
I have another tube of this waiting to be tried out. If I like it, I already have another waiting. If not, I have a spare for trading. Can’t go wrong!

Oribe Dry Texturizing Spray ($4.94)
Another winner for me! Texturizing sprays work extremely well with my short cut. When I finish the sample bottle of Oscar Blandi I’m working through right now (pretty good, smells fantastic!), I’ll move on to this one.

theBalm cosmetics Balm Desert Bronzer/Blush ($2.60)
I’ll never use this, but theBalm samples are always tiny and therefore not prime candidates for swapping. I’ll probably pass this on to my daughter for her next round of sleepover makeovers.

Total cost: $10
Total value: $35.49

Overall, I’m really thrilled with this month’s box. I ended up with a couple of products I know I will use and a couple I’m happy to try. Value isn’t bad either. As always, if you want to sign up for your own Birchbox please be a dear and use my referral link. Use coupon code SUBSCRIBENOW50 when you subscribe to get $5 (50 points) to spend in the shop.

Saturday Review: YSL Volume Effet Faux Cils Mascara


Yves Saint Laurent Volume Effet Faux Cils Mascara
Retail: $32

I received this mascara for free through Influenster and have been using it for a couple of months now.

Pro: Great black color and very long-lasting. The sparkly gold tube doesn’t hurt either – I love that prestige cosmetics like to take the packaging up a non-tacky notch.

Neutral: The brush appears clumpy. Although I haven’t had this translate to my eyelashes, I have accidentally touched a hidden clump to my eyelid and had to perform spur-of-the-moment makeup reconstructive surgery. And it tends to get clumps around the top that will stick out the sides when you put the lid on if not careful. This isn’t really a big deal, but is disappointing when you are talking about $32 mascara.

Here is a photo of the clumps at their worst. I don’t know about you, but I’m not thrilled with a mascara that requires extra maintenance.
Con: It takes way too long to dry. Now, it isn’t unusual for high-end brands to take longer to dry than your typical drugstore variety, but this one just takes a really long time. I feel like I have to walk around not blinking for an eternity and I’ve often arrived at work and found a bit of a mess. One time in particular, I forgot about the mascara and used my setting spray a couple of minutes after putting the mascara on. Whoa. Raccoon disaster.

Verdict: No, not at this price point.

Birchbox, June 2015

JPEG image-3BC534E7797F-1

Marcelle Waterproof Eyeliner in Blue Lagoon ($7.30)
Yeah, it’s blue. Now, I like color and I’ve worn blue eyeliner before, but I can’t really say that I need more than one. I’ll add it to the stash or pass it on to someone who needs a little more blue in their life.

TOCCA Eau de Parfum, Bianca ($0)
You know I’m not thrilled with perfume samples in my boxes. Didn’t like the smell of this one either, so I tossed it.

Dr. Jart+ Dermaclear Micro Water ($2.55)
This is the sample I picked. If you’ve read any of my past beauty-related posts, you know I love Dr. Jart+. I’ve never used a water-based cleanser, so I’m excited to try this one out.

Pura Vida Lace Headband ($2.25)
This doesn’t work with my pixie cut, so it went straight to my daughter’s stash. It is really high quality though and can double as a ponytail holder. The price might turn some people off – I would not have purchased them when I had longer hair – but if you have super thick and long hair (like my kid), the quality if really important.

Temple Spa Good Hair Day Shampoo ($1.75)
Temple Spa In Good Condition Conditioner ($1.75)
Always good to have travel-sized hair products in the stash. I haven’t used these yet, but the don’t seen to be anything special.


Very low-value this month, but I’m not disappointed in the products. As always, if you want to sign up for your own Birchbox please be a dear and use my referral link. Use coupon code SUBSCRIBENOW50 when you subscribe to get $5 (50 points) to spend in the shop.

Saturday Review: Birchbox, May 2015

Benefit Total Moisture Facial Cream ($7.50)
This one has been showing up in Birchboxes for a while now and I guess it was my turn. I’m always happy to see moisturizers and always happy to see Benefit products, so this in a win-win for me. Plus, the little jar is cute. I like my skincare to be cute.

Jurlique Herbal Recovery Advanced Serum ($9)
I do not like the way this smells. It is that grandma-rose-kind-of-scent that only works well in small doses in a hand cream. Not on my face, for sure. So, I would never buy this, but I do intend to finish the sample. It goes on smooth and I like the texture.

Macadamia Professional Nourishing Moisture Oil Treatment ($10)
This is the sample I picked. I don’t think I’ve ever received a Macadamia product in any of my boxes before and I am a fan of the brand.

Coastal Scents Revealed 3 Palette ($1.50)
These little Coastal Scents sample palettes are just so-so for me. I don’t really get excited about them, but they are great to travel with. The four colors can make all sorts of looks and cut down on what I have to pack. This particular sample is actually with me in Dallas right now.

Harvey Prince Sea Salt Texturizing Mist ($1.50)
This was another one of the products you could pick this month. Unfortunately, my hair + sea salt texturizing anything = disaster. This will be going up for trade. I was thrilled that this wasn’t another Harvey Prince perfume though. So there is that.

Total Cost: $10
Total Worth: $29.50

Overall – a solid box, but nothing to brag about. As always, if you want to sign up for your own Birchbox please be a dear and use my referral link. Signing up for the first time? Subscribe today with the coupon code BB50OFF and save 50% (Hurry! This one expires May 24).

Saturday Review: Birchbox, March 2015

IMG_0648Eh, the box value is good, but the products are a miss for me this month.

I can’t complain too much though; I got a BeautyBlender last month and traded it for a full-size bottle of the Redken conditioner my daughter uses (must protect the natural blonde!).

And I still argue that a huge portion of Birchbox’s worth is the fun of getting a box of goodies in the mail and trading with other box-enthusiasts.
Embryolisse Lait-Crème Concentré ($1.87)
The reviews on this product are pretty good and it does feel pretty nice when it goes on your face. I’ll gladly add it to my moisturizer stash for use when my Dear by Enprani Bounce Cheese Cream (morning) and Benton Snail Bee High Content Steam Cream (night) run out. [You’ll have to pry my Korean skincare products out of my cold, dead hands.]

It’s a 10 Miracle Leave-In Product ($9)
I’m happy to see this product, but not surprised as I picked it during the sample choice time. It’s a 10 is great and usually pretty easy to come by free. This is my third free bottle from somewhere-or-other, I think. I recommend trying this one if you can get your hands on a sample.

Fekkai PrX Reparatives Shampoo ($5)
I was happy to try Fekkai, but the damn thing has sulfates. I’m still undecided about the actual effect of sulfates on my hair, but I’d rather just cut them out to be safe. Bummer.

Jelly Pong Pong GLOW GETTER Highlighter ($12.75)
While I will occasionally break out a highlighter (usually Benefit’s Watt’s Up), this one looks like a glitter bomb and won’t be coming anywhere near my face. It’s a shame though, as it is a full-size product. No, it is not unusual for highlighters to come that small. I didn’t even swatch this product as I know it will be added to my trade board, so I can’t comment on the color.

Temple Spa Peace Be Still Calming Face & Body Balm ($4.83)
Two lotions in one box, really? Okay, the Embryolisse is a moisturizer . . . but I’d still rather not see two cream-type products in one box. This does smell wonderful, so I’ll add it to our travel supply. Still a bit of a let-down though.

Total Cost: $10
Total Value: $33.45

A good, solid box; I’m pleased. As always, if you want to sign up for your own Birchbox please be a dear and use my referral link. Signing up for the first time? Use the coupon code JILLIAN to get 100 points when you subscribe (that is equal to $10 in the shop!)

**Whoa. I need a photo editor intervention. Too much, Stephanie. Too much.

Birchbox! February 2015

IMG_0028Juice Beauty Blemish Clearing Cleanser ($1.60)
Love, love, love Juice Beauty. Their green apple sensitive peel is one of my favorite products. I will try this one for sure.

theBalm Cosmetics Read My Lips Lip Gloss ($4)
Another gloss. Nice size, nice color. Nothing special.

Gilchrist & Soames Spa Therapy Body Wash ($2.50)
Between recent awesome hotel stays and beauty boxes, I have way too many tubes of body wash, shampoo, conditioner, and lotion. This smells nice, but it will be probably be included in a batch headed to the local shelter. I need to clear things out.

Beautyblender and Mini Solid Cleanser ($20)
A very nice item to find in a monthly box. I have a Beauty Blend and I like it. I so rarely use foundation though and it doesn’t get much use (it seems a little overkill for my bb cream). I might put this one up for trade.

BeeKind Conditioner ($2)
This sample didn’t list the ounces it contains, so I’m guessing on the value.

Total Cost: ($10)
Total Value: $30.10

A good, solid box; I’m pleased. As always, if you want to sign up for your own Birchbox please be a dear and use my referral link. Signing up for the first time? Use the coupon code RUNWAY15 to get the Rent the Runway “Its All In The Details” guest editor box as your first month.

Birchbox is in the House!

You know I love my Birchbox. Let’s jump right into this and take a lot at what I got this month.
Essentiel Elements Wake Up Rosemary Body Lotion ($3.80)
I do not need anymore lotion. This one is going in the stash, I have so many lotion samples that I’m going to have to start traveling more just to use them all up. A lot of my samples like this end up going to my daughter’s friends during sleepovers. They love this kind of stuff.

Sweet Science Invisible Daily Tint SPF 35 ($4.50)
This is a tiny sample, but the product gets good reviews so I’m not going to complain too much until I try it. Still, I can’t promise I won’t just completely lose this little disc in my sample collection.

Katherine Cosmetics Everyday Eyeliner ($26)
Brown, full-size. I was very happy to see this in the box even if it just a regular old beauty project. I was especially thrilled to see it in brown – I rarely get anything other than black in these kinds of sample services. It’s also one of the roll-up, non-sharpening deals; those are my favorite liners. I haven’t tired it yet however, so I can’t comment on quality.

Key West Aloe Gentle Aloe Facial Cleanser ($2.75)
Always good to add a cleanser to my stash. I just opened a new bottle though, so it will be a while before I try this one out. Good sample size.

REN Glycol Lactic Radiance Renewal Mask ($11)
I tried this and I’m not quite sold. It was fine, but I didn’t get the refreshing feeling I get some some of my favorite masks (like the inexpensive cult favorite Queen Helene) or the clean and renewed feeling I get from some of my other favorites. I’ll use the rest of the sample, but that is about it.

TOCCA Crema da Mano – Hand Cream in Cleopatra ($5)
This is the sample I picked from the January choice. Interestingly, it wasn’t actually included in my box and isn’t available to review for points (actually, my birchbox came in a larger box this month with the Tocca wrapped separately. Was this sample choice always an add-on or did this happen because I’ve already received this sample. I got it in one of my early boxes and love it so much I eventually bought a full-size bottle. I don’t carry that one around with me though and when this popped up in the sample choice, I gladly selected it. So, I received six products, but can only review five. Anyone else end up with something like this happening?

Total Cost: $10
Total Value: $53.05

Awesome value this month, even though the products are sort of run-of-the-mill.

As always, if you want to sign up for your own Birchbox please be a dear and use my referral link. Use coupon code bbstore100 to get 100 points when you subscribe. (That is worth $10 in the shop. Expires 1/31.)