March 2013 Birchbox Review

March 2013 Birchbox

As a woman, I can’t say enough nice things about Birchbox. As a woman on a budget who has given up many of the things she loves in life (including the freedom to shop when I want), I can’t say enough about the happiness factor brought out by my monthly Birchbox shipments. Why? Because I’m a girl and I love surprises. Birchbox does an excellent job of delivering on both the girly factor and the surprise factor.

If you aren’t familiar with the service, it’s basically a personal care company that sells a monthly subscription to a sample box. For $10 a month, I get a small box filled with 4-5 high end make up and personal care items to sample and review. The contents are based on a survey you fill out at the site sharing your likes and preferences and based on the other Birchbox pictures I see online have quite a bit of variety each month depending on who is receiving them.

For the most part, every single box I’ve received has had more than $10 worth of goodies inside. In fact, on more than one occasion my box has included a full size item valued at nearly double the $10 I paid for that month’s subscription. In addition, you receive 10 points at Birchbox for each item you review. Earn 100 points and you can cash it in for a $10 Birchbox credit. With five items shipping per month, that means you can earn $5 in credit from each $10 box. Not a bad deal on that one.

Especially when you consider the fun factor of receiving a box full of surprises each month. If you are like me and travel a lot, there’s also no denying the value of having really wonderful travel size/sample items to pack for your trips. Whether it’s lotion, shampoo, eye shadow, perfume or lipsticks… my Birchbox gives me a little slice of girly spoiling in a world where I’ve had to put those things on the backburner for awhile.

(Want to join the fun? Just head over to Birchbox and sign up for the waiting list. It usually only takes a month or so to get your invitation and to start receiving boxes.)

Nick Chavez Beverly Hills Color-Saver Sulfate-Free Shampoo

Nick Chavez Beverly Hills Color-Saver Sulfate-Free Shampoo

The timing on this sample was excellent as I’ve only just given up on pretending my grey doesn’t exist and have made the switch to fully coloring my hair instead of simply throwing highlights in there now and then. I’ve tested my fair share of color protecting shampoos and while I like many of them, a lot of them tend to leave my hair either too dry or too greasy.

This one actually does a very nice job. It has a nice lather and a little bit went a long way. That’s saying something when you have hair as thick as mine. I haven’t been able to use it long enough to be able to testify how well it helps me hold my color, but I do know the texture of my hair was shiny and soft and that even on the third day it was neither greasy nor dry. At $22 for a full size 8oz bottle, it’s not cheap, but it’s also not outrageous given the fact that a penny size dollop seemed to be enough to get a good lather going.

Will I buy it? Perhaps. If I was in a salon and saw it on sale, I’d probably be happy to pick some up. At full sticker price though, it’s still on the higher end of what I’d consider buying. Interested in checking it out? You’ll find Nick Chavez Color-Saver Shampoo over at Birchbox.

Make Face Primer and Eye Shadow

Make Primer and Eye Shadow

There’s no denying it, Birchbox LOVES to send out primers and face creams. There’s barely been a month that’s gone by that hasn’t included at least one of these products. Personally, this makes me happy as it’s a great chance to try out some different brands and it gives me a never ending supply of travel size items to take when I’m on the road for work.

I both like and dislike this product all at the same time. I like it because there is simply no denying how soft and smooth my skin feels when I use it. It is truely impressive. On the other hand, there’s also no denying how fast the bottle empties. This is not a thick and lustrous cream that goes far. It’s thin and it does NOT spread. Based on how fast I have used the sample, I anticipate I’d need to buy a bottle a month and at $30 a pop, that’s just not something that fits into my budget.

I don’t generally use a full face primer anyway as I go pretty minimalist on the foundation side of things, but I do LOVE a good eye makeup primer. This one fits the bill, but doesn’t perform nearly as well as the Put a Lid on it eye shadow primer from the Balm.

Want to check out it out for yourself? You can order Make Face Primer for $30 for a 1 oz bottle at the Birchbox site.

Eye shadow wise, I’m a fan. Everything from the teeny tiny, purse friendly size to the shade to the application, this was a GREAT eye shadow.  The Birchbox team sent me the color “Bentonite Clay,” which works as a wonderful base color for mixing with some of my other pallets. Taking a look at what’s available on Birchbox, I also see some potential in the “Granite” and “Great Lakes” shades.  (There are also some other colors available in the matte finish option.)

The shadow went on smooth and had a nice sheen to it with a tiny bit of sparkle. It lasted the entire day and blended very nicely with the Lancome shades I ended up mixing it with. My only complaint would be the lack of a pallet option. I love it when I can buy a set of several shades in one container as I’m simply not the best at naturally knowing which colors go well together. That said, I would most definitely consider purchasing the full size version of the Make Satin Eye Shadow down the road.

Whish Blueberry Shave Cream

Whish Shaving Creme

I’m actually very impressed with this shave cream! That’s not something I thought I would say. I’m a hard core fan of Coochie…it doesn’t leave bumps, it lasts forever and it’s very moisturizing. This is the first product I’ve ever used that rivals it on each of those three fronts. The only down side I’ve found with it is that because it’s foam based, it simply doesn’t go as far. That means that ultimately, it’s going to cost more to use it. In my opinion, that’s balanced out by the fact that it’s paraben and sulfate free.

I’m still in a quandry over whether or not I’d buy it over Coochie. The fact is, I still have two bottles of Coochie in my stock pile, so it’s going to be nearly a year before I need to buy anything anyway. If I had run out though? There’s a very good chance I’d be using my Birchbox dollars to buy this product.

Check out Whish Shave Cream at Birchbox, it’s $20 for a 5oz bottle.

Madewell for Birchbox Emery Board

Madewell Emery Board

I’m not sure what to say here…it’s an emery board. It’s pretty and all and it works well…but it’s your standard issue semi-pliable emery board. I can pick one up at the drug store for $1. I didn’t mind receiving it, but I can’t figure why I’d spend $5 for one.

That said, if you’re simply dying for a pretty emery board, you can pick up the Madewell Emery Board at Birchbox for $5.


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