Tuesday, February 19, 2013

February Birchbox

This took foreverrr to get to me, because I guess Birchbox doesn't love those of us on the West Coast? Sigh. Contained within:
Um, whee?
Ghirardelli Milk Chocolate with Caramel: I would be more enthused with this if a) this weren't a beauty box, because as much as I love chocolate, it's not exactly beauty-related (if this were dark chocolate, there would be more of an argument for that thanks to antioxidants, etc., but it's not), not to mention I have to take friggin' lactase to eat it, and b) I hadn't recently eaten a bunch of the Dark Chocolate Sea Salt Caramels from Ghirardelli, which are way better and have much less dairy. $4.25/10 squares, 1 square = $.43
Color Club Wild Cactus mini: Cute, but it's a cream finish, which are not my favorite. It is nicely spot-on for the Pantone Color of the Year, though, a nice bluey emerald. Can't say it's a color I'll reach for often, but it's nice to actually have something "color of the year". $8/0.5 oz, 0.25 oz mini = $4

Dr. Jart+ Black Label Detox on my face, Becca Sand as
halfhearted concealer (MUFE Full Cover was in my bag
downstairs, and I was too lazy to get it)
Dr. Jart+ Black Label Detox BB Beauty Balm: One of the first brands to bring BB creams to the US, Dr. Jart tends to get pretty good reviews from people, though the price is a bit high. I liked the texture, very creamy and blendable, and it reminded me why BB creams are popular: it does meld really nicely with the skin. Unfortunately, it was too dark (surprise!). Also, the sample was tiny, at least for the pigmentation level (which was more than a tinted moisturizer, but less than a foundation, and nowhere near as much as BB creams should be). I got a little more than 2 applications out of it, which is unfortunate, since it means the full size would last little more than a month. Under powder, it lasted less than 6 hours before being really faded, but it was nice and gentle on my dry spots––unfortunately, it may have broken me out (though after only 2 wearings, I can't say for sure). $36/1.5 oz, 0.10 oz mini = $2.40
Beauty Protector Protect & Detangle: Some people got Miss Jessie's Pillow Soft Curls lotion, which, hello, would have been perfect for me (though you can get 2 free 1 oz samples from the Miss Jessie's website, which is exactly the same as the packet that Birchbox sent out, so I'm just gonna do that). I even said I have curly hair on my profile! Damnit, Birchbox, so much for customization. I'm trying to cut out 'cones and sulfates out of my haircare, and this has both, but I used it anyways because I don't yet have sulfate and 'cone-free shampoo/conditioner/mousse, so adding one more siliconey product wouldn't hurt. Smells like coconut, but fades after a few minutes, and left my hair crunchy. May have put too much in, but I don't care enough to try it again. $21.95/8 oz, estimated 1 oz sample = $2.74
Juicy Couture Couture La La: Remember what I said last month, about how I didn't want perfume samples? So much for that. I've tried this before, found it uninspiring, shall be passing it on. $90/3.4 oz, 0.05 oz sample = $1.32
Total value: $10.89

Wow, Birchbox, your beauty box is worth barely more than the price I paid. Half the reason I signed up for a beauty box is because of the whole "getting more than you paid for", even if, sure, the Birchbox folks get those samples for free. I like the feeling of getting a deal, and this box doesn't give that to me at all. The only things in the box I appreciated were the Color Club polish and the Dr. Jart+ BB cream, the former because hey, nail polish is nice, and the latter because I was curious about the product. So a whole $6.40! Other boxes seemed to have superior samples (Lancome Bi-Facil, Lancome  La Base Pro primer, Vasanti Enzymatic exfoliator, Jouer Matte Moisture Tint), but...sigh. At least I didn't get one of the Twistband hair ties.

The only good thing about Birchbox is that you get $10 to spend in the Birchbox shop for every 100 points you earn, and you get 10 points for every product you review (it's a pretty simple form, you don't have to write anything, though they don't actually provide a place to give written feedback just to the Birchbox folks––you have to post it publicly if there's anything in particular you want to mention about it). With 5 products per box, after 2 boxes, I have $10 to spend on anything in the Birchbox shop. They have a nice variety of stuff, and things from brands featured in the month's box ship for free, so I'm looking forward to browsing and seeing what I can snag. And then I'm unsubscribing to the box, because I just don't think it's for me. Not just because my two boxes have been lackluster, but also because I'm going to try going more "natural" with my products, so anything skincare or haircare related isn't likely to be something I'll want to use. And perfume vials are not exciting; you can get those for free with any Sephora order.

For some levity, more pictures of me wearing Dr. Jart+ stuff––it looked darker in real life than it does in these photos. Taken by the boy on a veeeery cold day when I had blush swatches on my arm so I didn't want to wear a sweater. The arm swatches didn't even come out decently! Freezing for nothing, sigh. Except these pictures, I guess.
HAHA! Quite possibly the least flattering picture I have. Please don't use this to blackmail me.

"Look proper!" (looks at this photo) "No, smile, don't look like you want to kill me."
"But I'm COLD!"

I'm glad I gave it a try, since I've been curious about it for years, and now I can safely say it's not my cup of tea. Many people have more success than me, though, and if you're someone who doesn't have much experience with beauty products, or isn't as insanely picky as me, Birchbox may be worth a shot.
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