Saturday, April 28, 2012

April 2012 Birchbox - A Review

This month I received my very first Birchbox!


Here's a peek inside the box that I received:


Here is the description of what I received:















As I mentioned, I had not heard of any of these products, but I was willing to try!

The day after I received the box, I decided to try the Befine Skincare Sampler.  It consisted of a Gentle Cleanser and Moisturizer.  I tried it out with my evening routine.  I rinsed my face with warm water and then opened up the 10ml packet of the cleanser.  I was expecting it to be thicker or more "gel"-like.  Not sure why - perhaps because that's more in line with what I'm used to using.  Not so.  My word of advice if you received this sample and haven't tried it yet - be very careful when you tear into that packet.  I lost probably a whole use worth of product because it's very liquid!!  These packets say that they are single use, but seriously, you can get a whole lot more than one use out of these.  The cleanser did not lather up a whole lot, which is fine - I've used cleansers that don't and they work just fine.  It smelled minty, but not overpoweringly so.  I felt refreshed after using it.  I opened the moisturizer packet {more carefully this time} and squeezed out enough for my face.  There are plenty more uses left in that one little packet!  The moisturizer is nice and light.  I hate cleaning and moisturizing and having this "heavy" feeling on my face.  I felt clean and refreshed after using these.  I told my husband that next time it is time to purchase cleanser and moisturizer, I would like to buy this - if I continue to like it like I do right now.

* Side Note - A few days after breaking open the moisturizer, Birchbox sent out an email stating that a small number of these packets were past their expiration date and they advised that we no longer use; additionally, they asked that if yours were expired, to fill in a survey and they would reward you with 100 Birchbox points {remember 100 points is a $10 credit...one month of Birchbox is $10!}; after using and liking this product, I have discovered mine expired in February 2010!!  Guess who filled in the survey.  So that's a bit of a bummer, but I did like the moisturizer, so I still stick with my rating.  And kudos to Birchbox for fessing up to this issue, investigating, and offering a 'reward' to those subscribers affected by this!

Rating: A+ {would definitely buy}
Full Price: $24 each {cleanser & moisturizer}

Next, I tried Dirt Luxe Salt Scrub in Lemon Leaf.  Now, I said before that I'd never tried a scrub like this, so I'm not entirely sure what to expect.  I tried this and, first off, it smells wonderful.  It also left my skin feeling very soft, although just a tiny bit greasy.  Maybe it's not "greasy" per se - maybe just ultra smooth and I'm not used to that!  I gave it a B+ stating that I may or may not buy it, but the $45 price tag makes it pretty much cost-prohibitive for me.  Although, I wouldn't turn it down if someone, say, bought it for me as a gift!

Rating: B+ {like it but may or may not buy}
Full Price: $45

Then I tried the  Vapour Organic Beauty Siren Lipstick.  Lipsticks are a tricky business for me.  I find a lot of shades tend to go orange on me.  Or they just look gaudy.  So, I was a little nervous about seeing the word "Siren" in the product title!  Contrary to what I thought, it was not fire engine red.  The second the lipstick touched my lip, I knew it was a match made in heaven.  The color was absolutely the perfect shade and definitely a color I would wear all the time.  It isn't too "heavy" feeling of a lipstick {if that makes sense} and it didn't feather or bleed.  It is a really nice product.  I'd definitely buy this - even with the hefty price tag!

Rating: A+ {would definitely buy}
Full Price: $22

Next to try was the Amika Obliphica Nourishing Mask.  You put it in your hair like any conditioner and let sit for 2-5 minutes.  You can use it as a weekly treatment or conditioner.  When I rinse my hair after conditioning, I like for my hair to feel smooth and I like to be able to run my fingers through the length of my hair without getting caught up in a snag.  That didn't happen.  It was smooth, but not without some tangles.  Perhaps I just didn't use enough?  When I combed out my hair, I hit some snags as well.  Not something I like to happen after using conditioner.  The hair mask had a pleasant scent and did not leave my hair feeling weighted down or greasy.  As for it's claim that it repairs split ends, well that would have to be seen over multiple uses, I'm sure because I still had a few.  At $40 for the full sized product, I think I'm just going to stick with my normal conditioner...but it was nice to try!

Rating: B- {product was ok but definitely not buying}
Full Price: $40

Last, I tried the two teas which were the "Lifestyle Extra" in my Birchbox.  I received one The du Hammam tea bag and one The des Alizes tea bag by Le Palais des Thes.  I'm not generally inclined to try green teas, but I tried them.  As the Birchbox site says the "The du Hammam" is "a rich blend of Chinese green tea, rose petals, and green dates with a faint overlay of orange flower water."  The "The des Alizes" is "a delicate green blend laced with white peach, watermelon, and kiwi."  Both of these teas can be served hot or cold.  I made mine hot.  The flavor of each tea was very light and each had a delicate fruity flavor.  Honestly, though, I cannot personally tell that there was an appreciable difference between the two flavors.  I tried them on two separate days back to back.  The flavors were nice, but I'm not sure I could tell the difference in a blind taste test.  I think I will stick with my Tazo Awake tea.

Rating: B {product was ok but not likely to buy}
Full Price: $40



There you have it!  That was my April Birchbox!  Overall, I was really pleased with the content.  At $10 for a "grab bag" of sorts, you have to expect that not everything in it is going to be something you're just going to fall in love with.  Even with the glitch over that moisturizer, I'm still happy with the way things went because Birchbox did in fact put 100 points into my account.  That's $10 store credit people!  

And did you know you can rate your products online to earn even more points?

I can't wait to get my May Birchbox!!

If you are interested in Birchbox, it's $10 a month for the subscription.  You earn 10 points for every $10 spent.  When you've spent $100, you earn $10 to use in their shop!  You can also earn points shopping in their shop, referring friends, and rating your products!

Click HERE if you'd like more information!
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