Thursday, January 31, 2013

Inaugural Birchbox: January

Yep, I finally took the plunge and signed up for Birchbox. I did it because I was feeling pretty content with my cosmetics collection, but still wanted to experiment some. Plus, I love getting packages! I've since found about 50 things I want to add to my stash (working on yet another Polyvore post about it, ha!), but I figure Birchbox will, at the very least, give me something to post about every month.
Clockwise from left: poster, Harvey Prince Skinny Chic, Number 4 Clarifying Shampoo, Lashem Measurable Difference Lash Gel Serum, Fresh Lotus Youth Preserve Face Cream, theBalm Hot Mama

And this first box is pretty much an "at the very least" type situation, because...well, it's pretty underwhelming. The packaging was nice, wrapped up in pink paper inside a Birchbox box. They include a card in it with information about all the products, which I guess is handy, though it's all marketing-speak. My box included:

A mini theBalm Hot Mama blush. This is cute, though the size is such that it's much more suited to being used as an eyeshadow than a blush, and since I already have a larger size (part of the Balmbini palette), I obviously don't need this. Stuck it in my giveaway drawer. $20/0.25 oz, 0.035 oz sample = $2.80
A mini Lashem Measurable Difference Lash Gel Serum. I have long, dark, thick lashes, lacking only in curl (I'm not bragging, this is actually relevant!), so I have no need for a lash serum. Plus, they freak me out––blurry eyesight, discolored eyelids, DEATH: who knows what could go wrong?! So, yes, into the giveaway drawer it goes. $69.99/0.12 oz, sample size is unknown but let's guess it's 1/15 that = $4.67
A vial of Harvey Prince Skinny Chic perfume. UGH, the name of this pisses me off. Don't try and make perfume into a weight thing, guys, jesus. It's described as being a "fresh and fruity blend of apple, mint, and grapefruit" that "is specially formulated to keep us energized––and curb cravings to boot". It smells like intensely synthetic bright apple, which does curb my appetite, at least, though not in the way they intend, I assume: it's hard to feel hungry when you've got a headache. I didn't even bother spraying this on me, just on a piece of paper, so it could be better on skin, but I'm not willing to try and find out. Also, it's quite strong and long-lasting (it radiated from that piece of paper for a good 48 hours), which could be a good or bad thing, depending on how you feel about synthetic fruit. $55/1.7 oz, sample size not specified but seems like 2ml = $2.20
A deluxe sample of Number 4 Lumiere d'Hiver Clarifying Shampoo. This "unique formula doesn't strip moisture or color but does strip absurd faux pas", and if you can figure out what that's supposed to mean, congratulations, please explain it to me. Supposed to be low-lather and get rid of product build-up, but I do not like low-lather shampoos, because I have to use about 50x more to get my hair thoroughly washed. I used it to wash my brushes, with mixed results; on the one hand, it did get them clean (though I didn't use it on my foundation brush, it effectively cleaned my concealer brush), but on the other, it was really hard to wash out. I thought that it was perhaps just conditioning, but in the process of wiping down a "clean" brush, I found that I could squeeze out some foam. It worked as long as I dipped my brushes back into water before rinsing them clean, but it was a lot of effort, and the smell was really unpleasant, very chemical and hair dye-ish, definitely not the fruity floral described. It did leave the bristles nice and soft, though I'm not about to pay $32 for a freakin' brush shampoo. $32/8.5 oz, 1.75 oz sample = $6.59
2 sample packets of Fresh Lotus Youth Preserve Face Cream. I am 23 years old: I really don't need anything to "preserve my youth", but I guess there's no harm in getting started early? (Though I have my retinoid for that...) I gave one of the sample packets to my mother and kept the other for myself; we both found it to be a nice, lightweight moisturizer that soaks in quickly with no greasiness, smells pleasant (like cucumber and grass, very subtle), and moisturizes pretty well. She applied it around her eyes and said it didn't burn at all (score!), and I wore it under makeup and found it to be great for that purpose––soaked in quickly, provided a moisturized canvas, soothed some mild dry spots. Unfortunately, it also broke me out (surprise!). However, my mother had no such issue, so don't let my experience sway you! $42/1.7 oz, 2 x .07 oz samples = $3.46
A poster: That has 25 ways to invigorate the new year, aka a pretty layout advertising things you can buy from the Birchbox website. Lamesauce. $0
Total estimated value: $19.72

Successes: theBalm Hot Mama
Mehs: Number 4 Lumiere d'Hiver Clarifying Shampoo, Fresh Lotus Youth Preserve Face Cream
Fails: Lashem Measurable Difference Lash Gel Serum, Harvey Prince Skinny Chic
Value to me: $12.85

So, my first box is pretty much a wash. It's not the fault of Fresh that my skin hates everything, and brush shampoo is...blah, but the Hot Mama is cute, and if the perfume had been something I'd heard of and wanted to try, I'd be less annoyed with it. I'll stay subscribed for now, but unless the boxes get more interesting, I'll try another subscription box after a couple months.

Have you tried Birchbox? What do you think of subscription beauty boxes?
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...