Birchbox Review, November 2016

Birchbox, $10 per month (US only)


This little baby bun keeps hoping to find some carrots in a box.  No luck this time!

Birchbox is one of the most popular beauty boxes.  At $10 a month, it's very affordable, and it's a good box to start out with if you are new to beauty boxes.  The sample sizes tend to be on the small side, but they are generally higher end products.  Birchbox is heavier on skincare than makeup, but there is always a mix of both.  Subscribers fill out a profile upon signing up and Birchbox supposedly customizes boxes based on that profile.  Each subscriber gets five, sometimes six, products per month.  Birchbox used to have an amazing points program, but they did a serious overhaul of the system over the summer and subscribers no longer receive points for each product they review.  Each month, subscribers can choose one product (out of a selection of three to five) that will be in the following month's box or they can choose to go with the curated box.  They tell you everything that is in the curated box, so, if you like most everything in it, it can be a good choice.  If you don't want to choose, Birchbox will put your box together for you, but keep in mind that at least one of the product choice items will probably show up in your box, even if you didn't choose it, so if you have any sort of preference at all, I recommend making the choice.


I got the following items in my November Birchbox:

My November Birchbox was worth about $41.16.  That's a little higher than usual for Birchbox, so the value is great this month.  This month, I got two makeup items, two skincare products, a hair care product, and a perfume, so I really like the product mix.  They gave me six samples this month, probably because one of them is a perfume sample.  


First up is a set of samples from the Iles Formula 3-step System.  I like when I'm sent both the shampoo and conditioner from the same line of products, and they threw in a serum sample, too.  These have a light floral scent to them that I loved.  While these made my hair softer and shinier, they also gave me some added volume, so these won't work for me.  It wasn't an extreme amount of extra volume, but it was more than I wanted.

Swatches of Coastal Scents Blush and Bronzer Palette (blush left, bronzer right)

Swatches of Coastal Scents Blush and Bronzer Palette (blush left, bronzer right)

I'm not a big Coastal Scents fan.  If you're not familiar with Coastal Scents, it's a company that primarily makes cheaper dupes of high end makeup, most notably the Urban Decay Naked palettes.  Their samples are teeny!  This was so small that it was very hard to get a blush brush in there.  The blush had pretty good pigment, but it didn't hold up all day on me.  The bronzer wasn't the right color for me at all.  I would recommend passing on this palette.  This was one of the sample choices for November.  None of the sample choices did anything for me, so I left it to chance.

Swatch of Ardency Inn Modster Supercharged Eyeliner in Black

Swatch of Ardency Inn Modster Supercharged Eyeliner in Black

I've gotten the Ardency Inn Modster Supercharged Eyeliner in Black before and I have more black eyeliner than I could ever possibly use, so I wasn't all that excited to find this in my Birchbox.  This has serious pigment, goes on smoothly, and lasts all day without running, so it's good as far as black eyeliner goes.  I really wish beauty box companies would send out other colors of eyeliner more often.  There's only so much black eyeliner one person can use.


I wasn't expecting to like the Raw Spirit Wild Fire Eau de Parfum as it is described as a "dry, woodsy, sensual scent."  Woodsy perfumes usually aren't my thing, but I ended up loving this perfume.  Raw Spirit says this has notes of sandalwood, amber, ylang ylang, jasmine, cedar, and musk.  This lasted all day on me and smelled better and better as the day wore on.  This perfume won't be for everyone, so I recommend trying it before buying it, but I loved it. 


The Liz Earle Cleanse and Polish Hot Cloth Cleanser Starter Kit sample I got came with a deluxe size sample of the face wash plus a muslin cloth.  To use this, you apply the cleanser to your dry face, rub it in a bit, then wet your cloth with warm water and remove the cleanser from your face.  It says it will remove makeup, but I still like to use makeup remover first and then let this take off whatever is left.  It has a eucalyptus scent to it, which I don't love, but it did make my face feel extra clean.  You'd have to wash the cloths a lot, so I doubt this is something I would ever use regularly, but, if you don't mind washing the cloths all the time, this is worth checking out.


The last product I got was the Kiehl's Midnight Recovery Concentrate.  You apply this face oil before bed and it's supposed to repair your skin overnight.  This gave me some added moisture, but I didn't notice any anti-aging benefits in the short time I've used it.  You'd have to use it for a longer period of time to see how well it worked at fighting signs of aging.  This was just okay for me.  Maybe it would work better over a longer period of time, but it's hard to tell with this small sample.

This was just an okay month for Birchbox.  Strangely enough, the product I liked the most was the perfume.  Perfume samples aren't usually my favorite things to get, but it worked out this month. The blush and the Iles hair set weren't for me, sadly, and the Kiehl's concentrate, Liz Earle cleanser, and the Ardency Inn eyeliner were okay, but not amazing.  I've had some good Birchboxes lately, so this was a bit of a disappointment.

What did you think of the November Birchbox?  Did you get anything good?