Birchbox Review, May 2016

Birchbox, $10 per month US; Birchbox also has boxes in France for 13€ per month , the UK for £10 + £2.95 shipping per month, and Spain for 10,95€ per month

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This baby bun is so cute!  It's the runt of one of the litters.  I have a soft spot for runts.  Emmett was a runt.

Birchbox is one of the most popular beauty boxes out there.  At $10, it's a great introductory box.  It was my first and it got me hooked!  The samples in Birchbox tend to be from higher end brands, but they also tend to be on the small side.  Birchbox often is heavier on skincare than makeup.  Subscribers fill out a profile when they sign up, so Birchbox can customize boxes based on an individual subscriber's preferences.  

One of the best parts of Birchbox is the points system.  Subscribers can review the products in their boxes each month and refer friends to earn points to spend in the Birchbox shop.  Each product you review gets you ten points and, once you earn 100 points, you get $10 in credit.  With the monthly boxes containing five to six items, you can earn $5 or $6 worth of credit a month.  When you combine that with one of Birchbox's many promo codes, you can get a lot of stuff for very little money.  While Birchbox's values are often lower than ipsy's because the samples are smaller, their points system is much better than ipsy's.  Birchbox usually isn't my favorite box, but I still like it and have discovered some great products in it.

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My May Birchbox contained the following:

My May Birchbox was worth $40.33.  Most Birchboxes seem to be worth $20-$30, so $40 is a great value! 

Each month, subscribers are allowed a sample choice.  Birchbox gives you a small selection of products, often with a theme (e.g., body lotion, mascara, lipstick, etc.), and you get to choose one of those items for the next month's box.  You have to act quickly when you get the e-mail telling you it's time to choose because sometimes the products go quickly.  They also offer a special curated box each month.  Instead of getting a box that was customized for you, you can opt for a themed box curated by a special guest or by the Birchbox editors.  You get to see what all the products will be, so you won't be surprised, but if it's full of stuff you like, I recommend going for it.  Sometimes I choose the curated box, sometimes I make a sample choice, and sometimes I leave it all to chance; it just depends on what Birchbox is offering that month.  If you like getting your boxes early in the month, then you might want to consider the curated box -- it seems to usually ship before the other boxes.  This month, I chose the curated box, which was called Naturally Radiant.

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Bronzer isn't something I use often, but I'll use it when I'm going all out with my makeup.  I've heard good things about Benefit's Hoola before, but this was the first time I've actually tried it.  I've swatched it below.  In the swatch, I built it up some so it would be more visible, but it can look a lot more subtle if you need it to.  It looked a little dark for my skin when I first applied it to my face, but I was able to blend it out and make it look natural.  The Hoola bronzer looked good and stayed on all day, so it's definitely worth checking out if you are in the market for a bronzer.  I won't be using this all the time, but, when I'm dressing up, I'll break it out.

Benefit Cosmetics Hoola Matte Bronzer

Benefit Cosmetics Hoola Matte Bronzer

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I've tried Model Co Lip Lacquer before and I just don't like it.  It's sticky and I hate how it feels on my lips.  I didn't like this color at all when I saw it in the tube, but I tried it out and it actually was a nice nude color for me.  The color, Créme Brûleè, would be good for when I wanted to play up my eyes more and not draw so much attention to my lips.  I like bright, bold lip color, though, and didn't like the stickiness, so I don't see myself using this in the near future.  The lip lacquer is swatched below.

Model Co Lip Lacquer in Créme Brûleè 

Model Co Lip Lacquer in Créme Brûleè 

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Setting spray is a great thing to have in the summer, so part of the reason I chose the curated box was because I wanted the Coola Makeup Setting Spray.  Besides helping set your makeup and prevent it from melting off, this spray also contains sunscreen, hyaluronic acid, green tea, cucumber, and aloe.  Most setting sprays I've had just set my makeup and don't provide me with protection from the sun and added hydration.  It didn't smell good when I sprayed it on my face, but the smell was gone within seconds.  I liked that it had a mattifying effect.  My makeup looked great at the end of the day, so I would say this spray works really well and is a great choice for the summer.

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I've heard a million good things about Davines, but the only product I've ever gotten from them was a sea salt spray.  I don't use sea salt sprays (Emily was the guinea pig for that), so I don't think I've ever used one of their products myself.  Davines Love Shampoo and Conditioner are meant for coarse and frizzy hair.  I don't have frizzy hair, but my hair is a little on the coarse side, so I figured it was worth a try.  This stuff smells soooo good.  I can't quite figure out what it smells like -- does anyone know?  It made my hair feel really soft, so I was happy with it when I got out of the shower.  Once it dried, though, I noticed my hair had some extra volume, which is the last thing I need.  Sadly, I won't be using the shampoo and conditioner again because of that.  If you have coarse or frizzy hair and don't mind a little extra volume, I highly recommend the Davines Love Shampoo and Conditioner. 

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The CLEAN Blossom Eau de Parfum is the main reason I wanted the curated box.  I absolutely love CLEAN Skin, so I wanted to try CLEAN's newest fragrance.  While I have tons of perfume and like to change it up a bit from day to day, CLEAN Skin, Chloe, and Elizabeth and James Nirvana White are my go-to fragrances and are the only ones I will buy full size bottles of.  CLEAN Blossom is a beautiful perfume.  I don't love it quite as much as Skin, but it's almost ago good.  It has top notes of neroli, seringa, and freesia, mid notes of orange blossom, dianthus, lily, and magnolia, and base notes of musk, cottonwood, and sandalwood.  The scent held up all day.  I might use my Birchbox points to buy a full size bottle of this.

I'm happy that I chose the Naturally Radiant curated box.  I loved the CLEAN perfume and the Coola setting spray!  The Benefit Hoola worked well as a bronzer, but I don't use bronzer often.  I would have absolutely loved the Davines shampoo and conditioner because it smelled so good and made my hair extra soft, but the added volume it gave my hair makes it a pass for me.  The Model Co Lip Lacquer was too sticky and I was not a fan of the color.  Overall, I'd say Birchbox put together a great box.

What did you get in your Birchbox?  Did anyone else choose the curated box?  What did you think?