Birchbox Review, January 2016

Birchbox, $10 for month, $4.95 extra to ship to Canada

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My adorable 7-week-old Holland Lop bunny had to investigate the Birchbox when it came in.

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Birchbox is one of the most popular beauty boxes out there.  At $10 a month, it's one of the more affordable subscriptions.  Birchbox personalizes boxes for subscribers based off a profile each subscriber fills out.  The samples in Birchbox tend to be higher end than ipsy samples, but the trade-off is that Birchbox samples are usually smaller.  Also, Birchbox is heavier on skincare than makeup, generally speaking.

I got the following items in my January Birchbox:

My January Birchbox was worth $40.05.  This month's value is a lot higher than most Birchboxes I've gotten!  As you can see in the first picture, the January box had "2016: The Year of _____" printed on the top.  They also included a sheet of stickers, also shown in the first picture, that you could use to fill in the blank.  I thought that was a little silly, but they meant well.

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The second derma e product I've gotten this month!  As I mentioned in this month's Allure box review, derma e is not my favorite company.  This hydrating scrub has the same plumeria scent as the derma e Hydrating Night Crème, but, fortunately, the scent is not nearly as strong as it was in the crème.  This is an exfoliating scrub that is also hydrating, a rare find.  This scrub does not use microbeads, so no need to throw it out or feel guilty for using it.  Instead, it uses ground walnut shells.  The shells are very fine, so it is gently exfoliating.  It also contains vitamin A and hyaluronic acid for moisturizing.  I really liked this scrub!  This might be the first derma e product I've liked.  If you're in the market for an affordable facial scrub, I recommend giving this one a try.

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I was looking forward to trying the Cartier La Panthère perfume.  I've never tried a Cartier perfume before, so I wasn't sure quite what to expect.  I don't enjoy getting tons of perfume samples, but the occasional vial is fun.  The scent, which has notes of gardenia and musk, is not my style.  It just didn't work for me.  It did work for Emily, though -- she loved it and I loved it on her.  

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Paula's Choice Resist Serum is an anti-aging serum containing retinol, to fight wrinkles and amp up the production of collagen, and vitamin C, for brightening effects.  I've heard nothing but wonderful things about Paula's Choice, so I was excited to get this in my Birchbox.  It's supposed to be used before bedtime.  Start out with just one pump!  That should be more than enough.  I tried two or three pumps the first time and it was way too much.  It felt a little sticky, but absorbed quickly.  I've only had the chance to try this serum a few times, so I can't speak to the efficacy of it yet.  

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I've been getting more and more into eyeliner lately, so I actually selected this for my sample choice this month.  While I dread seeing yet another black pencil eyeliner in a subscription box, the fat liquid pen is way less common and, in my opinion, a way better product.  I've tried a number of liquid pen eyeliners and found the Eyeko to be similar to others I've tried.  It gave me a dark black, smooth line that lasted all day.  Although it is called fat, it can do a very thin line just as easily as a thick line.  This looked as good at the end of the day as it did at the beginning and it was a little difficult to remove, so this can really go the distance.  I highly recommend an oil-based makeup remover to get this liner off your lids.  I wouldn't suggest someone make this their very first eyeliner.  While I think liquid pens are superior, kohl pencils are easier to control if you are new to eyeliner.  If you have experience with liquid eyeliner or feel ready to try something new, this is a good eyeliner to choose.

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The Number 4 Prep and Protect is a leave-in conditioner that serves as a heat protectant and a detangler.  I don't blowdry or heat style, so I don't need heat protection in a hair product.  My hair is getting a little too long, which means I've been getting some tangles at the back of my neck.  This product wasn't perfect, but it did help a little with getting my rat's nest untangled.  I personally wouldn't buy this because I don't need a detangler enough to spend money on one and I definitely don't need heat protection.  

I loved the derma e Hydrating Scrub, the Eyeko liner, and the Paula's Choice serum!  This was a great month for Birchbox!  Three out of five is really good for them.  I don't feel the need for the Number 4 Prep and Protect, so that was a definite pass for me.  While the Cartier perfume didn't work for me, it was beautiful on my lovely girlfriend.  Sometimes I think about canceling Birchbox, then they have a month like this and I remember why I like it.  I hope they give me an equally good box in February.