The deets: I think you all are somewhat familiar with Birchbox by now, as it is the most popular of the beauty subscription boxes, and I reviewed May here. You fill out a beauty profile, which Birchbox does appear to at least somewhat pay attention to when selecting your products. For $10 a month, you get 4-5 deluxe samples and one beauty extra. You can earn points to use in the Birchbox store by buying full size products from their store (you get free shipping), referring friends, or reviewing the products that came in your box. Every 100 points gets you $10 in the Birchbox store.
Date of arrival: June 11, 2012.
Packaging: This month wasn't a special partnership, so it was the standard bright pink outer box and brown cardboard inner box. The outer tissue paper was hot pink, and the breakables were secured in purpley gray tissue with a darker purpley gray bow (I always forget to take pictures of the inner package). Something in the box leaked a bit anyway, which hasn't happened since February's amika oil treatment. B
In addition to the little card describing the products, this month's box contained Dr. Jart+ Water Fuse BB Cream, Joya Ames Soeurs Parfum, Kelly Van Gogh Color Protecting Caviar Shampoo and Conditioner, Melvita Rose Floral Water, theBalm Staniac in Beauty Queen, and Cynthia Rowley Dress Up Band-Aids. You can see what the other boxes this month looked like here; mine is box 3.
I have tried out three of the products so far...
Joya's Ames Soeurs Parfum (the scent of soulmates) is something I might have picked out in high school or early college, but isn't really something I'd wear today. Not because it's a particularly young scent, more because it's all incensey and kind of reminds me of this store in my college town called Hemptations. I feel like I should wear it to Lilith Fair and then make out with my bongo drum beating long haired boyfriend. I can smell the musk, incense, ginger, and orange blossom, but you can click on the Joya link to see the other notes. Even though I wouldn't buy it again, I do find myself stopping frequently to smell my wrists. It's a very intriguing scent. B
I was really excited to see something from theBalm in here. They were recently on Hautelook (more on that later), but I waited too long to order the Nude 'Tude palette and the Frat Boy blush, so they ran out and I was sad. To be honest, I'm scared of lip and cheek stains and wish it was pretty much any other product in my box. Keep in mind, I have rosacea so I spend a lot of time trying to take color OUT of my cheeks. I'm just now getting comfortable with powder blush, so I struggled with application of the stain. I am not going to rate it for this reason - theBalm shouldn't suffer just because I'm too inept to properly evaluate their product. I look like a giant dork in this picture because people kept walking into the bathroom while I was trying to take a quick picture and I was super embarrassed.
|Before on the left; after on the right. I might redo this if I learn to apply cheek stain properly.|
Value: I think Birchbox thinks this box was worth way more than it actually was. You can get the Kelly Van Gogh shampoo AND conditioner for $30 if you order it from HSN (vs. $48 from Birchbox), and the Cynthia Rowley Band-Aids are $2.99 from Amazon (not $15). My box this month was worth a sad $14.86. D
Overall opinion of the box: If I had no idea how little the box was worth, I'd be pretty happy. There was a good variety of products, the Band-Aids are super cute, I have been dying to try out theBalm and to try a BB cream. I do wish there was MORE of what they gave me - if they had made the stainiac a full size, this box would have been amazing. Also, the Dr. Jart feels like it has almost no product in it, so even if that had been full this would have been a win. But I've been doing this Birchbox thing a while, and I know that between last month's Gossip Girl and next month's Glamour partnership, this was a good month to not be one of the people to get a full size product. I wouldn't have used the full size stila bronzer other people got anyway. Hmmmmmmm I guess I'd give this box a B- overall. Value matters.
Overall opinion of the service: Most of the products are by legitimate, well known, higher end brands, but not necessarily luxury brands. It always comes during the second week of the month, and I don't recall hearing about many problems with the customer service. I love that they have so many different boxes each month, it makes reading / watching reviews more fun and exposes me to more products I wouldn't know about otherwise. I always feel like I am trying new things, it's not just a few packets of the same 5 samples that have shown up in every other subscription service lately. It's also pretty consistent - great box, good box, great box, good box. A-
Here is my referral link, should you choose to use it. Thanks!
Also - I have to know - do you use rose water or a BB cream? What kind, how do you use it, do you like it? I really want to try out a Japanese BB cream, not an American one. Superfreaky1RU has a really good video on it, and I'm intrigued.