Tuesday, July 17, 2012

July 2012 Birchbox - A Review

It's time for the July Birchbox!!  After the flop that was the June Birchbox, I have been eagerly anticipating the arrival of this month's box. Unfortunately I had to wait the longest yet for this piece of mail to arrive.  It arrived on June 9th last time and this time it was July 16th.  But, it was part of an amazing haul I took in yesterday, so all is well!

I opened the outer packaging to reveal the contents.  The theme for July was "Glamour Picks: The Five Senses".  The Birchbox itself was wrapped in a sleeve that displayed this theme.  It was definitely colorful and attention-grabbing!  I was most curious to see what would be inside.

The card inside the box does a great job of explaining the concept behind the theme.  The items in the box would be reflecting each of the five senses.  I will say this, if you didn't catch the theme before opening the box and just looked at the contents alone, you might wind up questioning a couple of the items.  However, knowing that each item would complement one of the five senses, it all makes perfect sense!  I thought the packaging of the box was really good!

Are you curious to see what I received this month?  Well, let's get to it then!  I opened up the box and, as usual, all of the items were packaged very nicely in tissue paper.  You've got to like that touch.  The contents aren't just thrown into a box and shipped.  I also like that there's always a smaller little package wrapped in tissue with a ribbon around it.  I peeled back the tissue and found these products:

Are you noticing what I noticed at first??  Ear buds and a fruit and nut bar??  At first glance, you might be wondering what on earth those have to do with a box that is supposed to feature beauty products.  I'll accept that.  I wondered in that first moment, but then remembered the theme was about the five senses!  So, yes, the ear buds represent "sound" and the fruit and nut bar "taste".  It all makes sense!

I thought that it was a pretty interesting assortment of products in the box this month.  As usual, the back side of the card gives a description of each of the items in the box.  It also gives the retail price if you were to order the full-sized product from them.

Want to know what I thought of it all?

First out of the box is the Alterna BAMBOO UV+ Color Protection Fade-Proof Fluide.  This product is geared towards protecting your color-treated hair from the harmful effects of the sun, allowing your color to stay true and last longer between colorings.  All I can say is this: I have not ever colored my hair, nor do I plan to.  This product is completely irrelevant to me and I won't even try it.

Rating: C+ {I'm sure the product is fine but definitely not buying} 
Full Price: $24

Next up is the Jouer Luminizing Moisture Tint.  The shade that was sent was "Bronzed".  Right off the bat, I thought there wasn't any way that shade would work for me.  Still, for the purposes of this review, I did actually test it.  It felt really nice going on.  It's very light in terms of how it feels.  It's oil-free, which is a plus.  It also has an SPF 20 built in.  The down side is that this particular shade was, in fact, too dark for me.  Initially, though, I wasn't sure, but the further along I got with it, the more I realized it was just too dark.  Now I realize that this tint is probably supposed to help to give you a nice sun-kissed glow, but with my very light complexion, "Bronzed" is just a shade dark.  If it were offered, the next lighter shade "Glow" probably would have been perfect.  Then I might have considered this something worth purchasing.  My rating is based on the shade sent and the fact that buying the next lighter shade would still be taking a risk since I truly wouldn't know what it would look like until I received it and tried it.

Rating: B+ {like it but may or may not buy}
Full Price: $38
The "smell it" portion of the box came in the form of a sample of Oscar de la Renta's live in love perfume.  I do not wear a lot of perfume, but this is nice!  I like it.  Straight from the Birchbox site, this perfume has "lovely notes like jasmine sambac, rose, ginger orchid, and amber, this modern-meets-classic scent features a bounty of botanical aromas that tug at our romantic side."

Rating: A {would buy it if it weren't so expensive}
Full Price: $78 {50 ml} or $25 {6 ml rollerball version}

Stila lip glaze was also included in the box.  What was in the box is actually part of a trio of lip glazes that you can buy together. The trio consists of the following colors per the Birchbox site: "Lights is a warm golden caramel infused with microscopic bits of golden sparkle, Camera is a pearly gold-red, and Action is a lovely berry shade infused with golden pearl pigments."  The sample itself does not tell me which shade mine is, nor does the card included in the box.  However, I'm going to guess that it is "Lights".  I could be wrong.  The lip glaze is a "click pen" so you actually twist the glaze and it fills the end of the pen with just enough glaze to use.  I had to twist it several times before the glaze appeared in the bristles, but I'm sure that's typical for the first time use.  It went on very nicely and, truly, you do not need much at all.  If you are looking for something that feels light with just a hint of color, then this is really good!  As the full-sized product comes in a set of three, it's actually a really good value, in my opinion.

Rating: A+ {would definitely buy}
Full Price: $12 {color trio}

The last two items on the card are the "Lifestyle Extras".

First is the LARABAR Uber roasted nut roll.  The full-sized version is a 5 count package of these bars.  They come in a variety of flavors: "Roasted Nut Roll is a decadent blend of crunchy nuts, while the dessert-inspired Apple Turnover, Bananas Foster, and Cherry Cobbler flavors evoke Grandma’s recipes."  It is gluten free, non-GMO {That's non-"genetically modified organisms" if you didn't know.  You can find out more here.}, and kosher.  Honestly, I wasn't expecting anything good.  I truly expected this to taste like cardboard.  I was wrong.  The roasted nut roll is actually quite flavorful!  I would consider buying this...if it weren't so expensive.

Rating: A {would buy it if it weren't so expensive}
Full Price: $12.69

And last, but not least, the Birchbox Exclusive Earbuds.  This "hear it" portion of the box was interesting.  Definitely not "beauty" related, but it was an interesting addition to the box.  I know I keep losing my earbuds, so it's nice to have a spare.  As these cannot be purchased on their own, I can't give a true rating in terms of whether or not I would buy this item in it's full-sized form {after all, they already are full-sized!}.  However, it was a great way to keep with the sensory theme of the box.

Rating: A+ {for being in keeping with the theme}
Full Price: $0.00

I have to say, overall, that Birchbox did a really good job keeping with the Glamour sensory theme.  It was a fun box and most of the box was pretty good.  The one thing I will say is that when I go online and click on the "Box" tab where it shows my box contents so I can easily order the items from my box, the items shown online as being in the box I received are not the same as what I actually received!!  The lip glaze and the earbuds were the only common items.  I would have preferred the one online as it didn't have an item specifically geared towards color-treated hair.  I think I'll contact customer service to see what's up.

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 earn points shopping in their shop as well.  Also, you can earn points by referring friends! Last month I used 300 of my points to buy Ahava Mineral Body Lotion.  It was free.  I love this lotion anyway, so I knew I'd love a free one!

If you are interested in subscribing for yourself, click HERE to receive more information!

If you already subscribe to Birchbox, what was in your box this month??

{note: the opinions in this post are strictly my own and I have in no way been compensated for this review}
Previous reviews:
June 2012
May 2012
April 2012

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