Birchbox, $10 per month (US only)
These three little ones are week-old Holland Lops! Don't worry, they were away from their nest for only a minute. I can't wait for them to open their eyes in three days. Eye open day is always my favorite day with baby bunnies. They're the babies of Ninja, a bunny I helped raise last fall. You'll be seeing these guys a lot in the coming months!
Birchbox is one of the most popular beauty boxes out there. While ipsy has more makeup and a mix of high end and drugstore brands, Birchbox is heavier on skincare and doesn't generally have lower end brands. Birchbox's samples are usually a lot smaller than ipsy's and the overall value of the box is generally lower. One of Birchbox's perks, though, is that they have a great points system. You review the products in your box and get 10 points per review. With 5 to 6 items per box, that's 50 to 60 points you can earn each month. For every 100 points, you get $10 credit to use in the Birchbox shop. Their shop sells tons of beauty products, jewelry, and home decor, so you'll be able to easily find something to spend your points on. Birchbox can be a little boring sometimes, but it's a great introductory beauty box. I've found a number of products that I love through Birchbox.
I received the following items in my June Birchbox:
- PARLOR by Jeff Chastain Moisturizing and Repairing Shampoo (small sample, worth $2.75; full size costs $22)
- Oribe Côte d'Azur Eau de Parfum (teeny sample, worth $2.79; full size costs $95)
- Evologie Intensive Blemish Serum (deluxe sample, worth $23.33; full size costs $35)
- COOLA Environmental Repair Plus Radical Recovery After-Sun Lotion (teeny sample, worth $1.78; full size costs $32)
- Benefit Cosmetics Gimme Brow Volumizing Fiber Gel in 03 Medium (deluxe sample, worth $8; full size costs $24)
My June Birchbox was worth $38.65. That's higher than usual — my Birchboxes are usually worth $20-$30. Birchbox customizes boxes based on profiles you fill out upon joining, so your box may be different.
Each month, Birchbox offers subscribers a choice between a surprise box or a box that was curated by a special guest or by the Birchbox editors. This month, I chose to skip the curated box because it didn't have much I was interested in. If you don't go for the curated box, you have the option to choose a sample. You'll have a selection of three to five products and you can pick one of those items for your box, leaving the other four items in your box to chance. With sample choice, sometimes there are several products in one beauty category (e.g., moisturizer, mascara, lipstick), sometimes there is one product but you get to choose the color or scent, and sometimes there are a few random items that aren't related to each other. You don't have to choose a product if you don't want to. For June, subscribers could select Benefit Gimme Brow in 01 Light, 03 Medium, or 05 Dark.
It seems like I've gotten a lot of shampoo samples lately! I can always use shampoo, though, so I don't mind. I've tried a few PARLOR by Jeff Chastain products in the past and have always been impressed by the quality of them. This shampoo is no exception. PARLOR products are sold exclusively by Birchbox. I've had issues with my hair being dry recently, so this moisturizing shampoo was just what I needed. My one complaint is that they didn't include the conditioner so I could see how the set works together. This is lightly scented and left my hair soft and shiny. At $22, this isn't a cheap shampoo, but you can always save up your Birchbox points to buy it.
Did you know Oribe made perfume? I didn't. I thought they made only hair products, so this was a surprise. Côte d'Azur's fragrance is based on the scent of their hair care products. According to Oribe's website, the top notes are lemon, plum, black currant, bergamot, and orange; the mid notes are tuberose, cyclamen, and jasmine; the base notes are amber, vetiver, and sandalwood. I loved how this smelled when I first put it on! After maybe 30 minutes, though, I could barely smell it. I wish it lasted a little longer.
Birchbox sent a deluxe sample of the Evologie serum! This sample was worth $23.33, which is a very high value for a Birchbox sample. This product alone was worth more than half of my Birchbox's total value. Surprisingly, this doesn't contain benzoyl peroxide, so it isn't drying as so many acne products are. This contains tea tree oil to kill off pimples, plus other plant-based ingredients to moisturize your skin, fight aging, and even out your skin tone. You can use this as a spot treatment or you can apply it to your entire face. The smell of this wasn't my favorite, but it goes away quickly once it's absorbed into your skin. I loved how this hydrated my skin instead of leaving it dry and flaky as other acne treatments tend to do!
Last month, Birchbox gave me a COOLA setting mist that contained sunblock. This month, they sent me COOLA's Radical Recovery After-Sun Lotion for when I forget to use my setting mist or other sunblock. This lotion uses a mix of agave, aloe, lavender, rosemary, and sunflower to heal your skin after a burn. It can be used on your face or body. I don't have a sunburn right now, so I'm not sure how well it works, but I rubbed a little on my skin and it felt cool and soothing. I think the herbal scent is just okay, but I know a lot of people would love how it smells. COOLA makes great suncare products, but they are very expensive. A 6-ounce bottle of this costs $32; you can get a much bigger bottle of regular aloe gel for $5. If this works considerably better than regular aloe, it might be worth it, but, admittedly, I'm a little skeptical. Has anyone used this on a sunburn before? How did it work? Is it worth the money?
Finally, there's my sample choice for the month of June, Benefit's Gimme Brow in 03 Medium. I often skip doing my eyebrows because my bangs cover them and I can be a little lazy. After using Gimme Brow, though, I might have to start doing my brows every day. I was really impressed how well this filled in my brows and made them look just about perfect. This is my favorite out of the many eyebrow products I've tried over the years. It might earn Holy Grail status from me. The color was very natural and blended into my eyebrows perfectly, filling in every little gap and making my eyebrows look fabulous! This has microfibers to volumize your eyebrow hairs, which is something I don't remember seeing in a brow product before. The gel formula is even waterproof, perfect for when you want to go to the beach but still want your brows to look flawless. I almost skipped choosing a sample this month because I usually don't find brow products to be very exciting, but I'm so glad I chose this! The 03 Medium was a little darker than I expected it to be, but it was almost an exact match to my natural eyebrow color. I almost went with 05 Dark and I'm glad I didn't. This is a new product and won't be available until June 24th, but you can pre-order it through Birchbox or Benefit. If you're looking for a high quality, easy-to-use brow product, Gimme Brow is the product for you.
I loved my Birchbox this month! This is one of my favorite boxes from Birchbox. I absolutely love the Benefit Gimme Brow and I liked all the other products. The COOLA lotion is a little expensive for what it is, in my opinion, but the it was of good quality.
What did you think of your Birchbox? Did you try the Gimme Brow? If so, what did you think? I'd love to read what you got in your June Birchbox in the comments!