Birchbox Review, September 2016

Birchbox, $10 per month (US only)

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This baby bun is a little on the shy side, but she's very sweet!  She liked that the bottom of the Birchbox matched her.

Birchbox is one of the biggest beauty subscriptions out there.  At $10 per month, it's very affordable and it's a great introductory beauty box.  Birchbox's samples are on the small side, especially in comparison to ipsy's, but Birchbox also generally sends out higher end samples than ipsy, so it's a trade-off.  Birchbox is heavier on skincare than makeup, while ipsy is the opposite.  Subscribers fill out profiles upon joining and Birchbox supposedly uses those profiles and product reviews to customize boxes for subscribers.  I used to recommend Birchbox because of their fabulous points system, but they recently overhauled it and made it much harder to earn points.  Birchbox isn't generally my favorite beauty box, but it's fun and I like seeing what they've chosen for me each month.

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Here's what came in my September Birchbox:

My September Birchbox was worth $51.56, which is quite high for a Birchbox!  I didn't go with the curated box this month, but I did choose one of my samples.  I only got one skincare product this month, which is strange for Birchbox.  The product mix was still pretty good -- two makeup products, a skincare product, a perfume, and then a hair product plus two bonus hair product samples.  The box design this month was for Birchbox's sixth birthday.  It's pretty cute.

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Swatch of LOC Ultra-Gloss Lip Pencil in Cherry Bomb

Swatch of LOC Ultra-Gloss Lip Pencil in Cherry Bomb

The first product this month was LOC Ultra-Gloss Lip Pencil in Cherry Bomb.  LOC is Birchbox's own line of makeup that they started last year.  I got an LOC Ultra-Gloss Lip Pencil in my July box, so I was surprised to see another one already.  The pencil I got two months ago was in the color Punch Line and this one is Cherry Bomb, so at least they are different colors.  That said, I can't believe this is the same product!  This is nothing like the pencil I got in July.  The pigment in Punch Line was horrible and it was all shine, no color on my lips.  It also felt really sticky.  Cherry Bomb wasn't sticky at all and had absolutely amazing pigment that wouldn't budge.  I loved the bright, bold red and was incredibly impressed by the product.  It was a great color on me and it lasted all day.  My only complaint about this is that it is very unforgiving.  You better apply it perfectly because it is hard to correct an error.  I don't know if they changed their formula or if Punch Line is a lot worse than all the other colors in the line or if Cherry Bomb is a lot better than other colors in the line, so I would recommend being a little cautious before going out and buying every LOC Ultra-Gloss Lip Pencil.  I do see that Punch Line is in the sheer trio of pencils and Cherry Bomb is not, so perhaps just steer clear of the sheer shades.  Has anyone tried other colors of the Ultra-Gloss Lip Pencil?  If so, how were they?  I can't believe that Punch Line and Cherry Bomb are from the same line.

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I got an Erno Laszlo bar in another beauty box over a year ago and haven't gotten another until this month, so it's strange both Birchbox and BeautyFix sent me one this month!  At least they sent me different kinds.  Isn't this little kit adorable?  The Erno Laszlo Detoxifying Bespoke Cleansing Set contains a Detoxifying Cleansing Oil and a Sea Mud Deep Cleansing Bar.  The oil, which doesn't feel oily at all and is more like a gel, removes makeup and exfoliates.  You apply the cleansing oil when your skin is still dry, then you lather up the bar and use the suds to wash off the oil and moisturize your face.  I liked this little kit a lot more than I thought I would.  It made my skin feel very clean, but it made my skin feel neither too dry nor too oily.  Birchbox sells the full size kit for $28, which is actually not all that expensive for Erno Laszlo. 

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For sample choice this month, Birchbox allowed subscribers to choose from one of three Milk Makeup products -- Lip and Cheek, Ubame Mascara, and Highlighter.  All subscribers were going to get a Milk Makeup product, whether they made a sample choice or not, so I figured I better choose one and went with the mascara.  I've gotten Milk Makeup lipstick samples before that were just about microscopic, so I was surprised by the size of the mascara sample!  It's 2/3 the size of the full size!  Milk uses ubame oak charcoal for the deep black color.  I liked this mascara more than I thought I would.  It gave me both length and volume and didn't clump.  I used this over the Grande Cosmetics Primer I got in my Allure Beauty Box and my lashes looked amazing.  I was never a Milk Makeup fan before, but now I am.  I'd love to try more of their products (besides the lipstick).

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In addition to the Davines OI All in One Milk, Birchbox threw in two extra foil packet samples of the Davines OI Shampoo and Conditioner.  While no one likes seeing foil packets in their beauty boxes, I'm fine with them when they are thrown in as bonuses!  The shampoo is very thin, but it was easy to work through my hair and rinse out.  The shampoo and conditioner together made my hair shiny and didn't give me added volume, so I'm a fan.  I don't like that the full size conditioner comes in a jar instead of a bottle, though.  I know I would get lots of water in the jar when I used it and would probably drop the jar and spill the contents all over my shower.  I'm clumsy like that.  The oil gave my hair even more shine and made it very manageable.  All three products have the same light, clean fragrance, but the fragrance goes away once your hair is dry.  I like the products, but they're a little on the expensive side, so I doubt I would ever buy them. 

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I've always wanted to try Juliette Has a Gun perfume, and now I finally had my chance!  Unfortunately, I hated this perfume and had to remove it with rubbing alcohol a few minutes after I put it on.  This perfume, Lady Vengeance, is supposed to be very feminine and contains a mix of rose, patchouli, lavender, and vanilla.  I love rose, but patchouli, lavender, and vanilla aren't for me most of the time.  I was willing to give this a try, though.  When I put this on, all I could smell was man sweat.  It was horrible.  Man sweat is the last thing I want to smell like.  Okay, maybe not the last as there are a couple of worse smells out there, but very close to the last.  Perfume smells different on everyone, so I can only assume that this does not smell like man sweat on most people as it probably wouldn't be a popular women's fragrance if it did.  Has anyone else had better luck with this perfume than I did?

With the exception of the perfume, I loved my Birchbox this month!  It's one of the best months I've had with Birchbox.  The LOC pencil was amazing.  I just couldn't believe how much better it was than the other pencil from the same line that I tried.  The Erno Laszlo set was cute and worked well for my skin.  I liked being able to try the Davines milk, shampoo, and conditioner together and found that they made my hair look shiny and healthy and feel extra soft.  I wouldn't go out and buy them, but I'll use them while I have them.  The Milk mascara was fabulous.  It's hard to choose a favorite, but I think the LOC pencil and the Milk mascara would be tied for first this month in my Birchbox.  Overall, I'm exceptionally happy with my September Birchbox.  If Birchbox keeps sending me boxes this good, then I might be able to forgive them for the points system overhaul.

What did you think of the September Birchbox?  Did anyone get the curated box?  If so, how was it?  I'd love to hear how the other Milk products worked.  Tell me all about your Birchbox in the comments!