Sunday, October 16, 2011

October Birchbox + Review

I was almost about to cancel my Birchbox subscription after my disappointing first box, but decided to wait it out one more month. I'm glad that I did!

Last month, I received a noxious mini bottle of hand sanitizer, a barbie-sized lip treatment, a vial of perfume I couldn't smell, and nail strips that chipped in less than a week--two deluxe samples and two free samples. This box has four deluxe-size sample products, along with an extra (the "minteas"). Although I didn't fall in love with all the products, I was at least able to test them out--after all, isn't that what Birchbox is for?

Befine Lip Exfoliator
(for comparison, last month's Jouer lip treatment--that was one of only four tiny products in the September box)

My biggest complaint with this product is the unclear directions--it simply says to "wash, resurface, and plump daily". Do I wash my lips before applying the product, or wash the exfoliator off? How do I "resurface" my lips? The cream has a smooth texture and smells like ground oats--it dries quickly on the lips, but I don't see how it can exfoliate. 
Results: my lips do feel smoother, but I think this is due to the product coating my lips rather than exfoliating.

Blinc Mascara 

Blinc mascara promises an innovative formula which "tubes" each individual lash. According to their instructions, "the tubes that blinc mascara forms around your lashes will act as a cast, holding your curl longer, as opposed to weighing down your lashes like conventional mascaras". The packaging is nice, but the product just didn't deliver.
Results: It does tube your lashes--if you tug gently with warm water, the mascara slides off. Other than that, it performs like any other mediocre mascara--awful at holding a curl, not voluminizing. If your lashes are gloriously long and perfectly curled, you might like this better than I did.

(pretty standard mascara wand, nothing special--same goes for the formula)

Pangea Organics Facial Scrub 

I was surprised by how "organic" this product was! When I think of face washes/scrubs, I think of some amorphous translucent liquid full of chemicals you could never pronounce. This product looked like someone literally ground up some plants and berries into a lumpy brown mush. I didn't really like the ginger smell, but I'm pleased with the results.
Results: I've never had acne, but I have sensitive skin. The only thing I look for in a face scrub is something that won't irritate or dry my skin. This did the job!

 (mmm, organic brown mush)

Redken No. 2 Glistening Mist 

This product is a little mysterious; it's not a hair spray or a glitter spray, it just.. Makes your hair shiny? I have long, straight hair--I don't need any extra "shine", and I generally don't like to weigh it down with products.
Results: This product surprised me! I didn't notice a difference in sheen, but it didn't make my hair stiff or noticeably greasy. I think it actually added a little texture! Didn't do what it says it does, but I liked the results enough that I'll probably use it on a regular basis with my second-day hair.

Tea Forte Minteas

I love tea, so I was excited to try this product. I was disappointed as soon as I read the label. SO cheesy--this actually advertises itself as a fitness mint! "If fitness is your cup of tea, Minteas are the perfect personal trainer. Slimming matcha, with a tingle of cinnamon to aid in keeping you fit and feeling fab".
The incredients are: sorbitol, xylitol, matcha tea, green tea, white tea, natural flavors, and calcium stearate. Since half the ingredients are tea, I'm going to take a wild guess and say that their amazing "slimming" capabilities comes from caffeine. These are tiny caffeine pills, ladies.
Results: Tastes like a cinnamon caffeine pill with a mild tingle. Not really minty, and not at all like any tea--a bit of a misnomer. If you like cinnamon, you'll love these.

(at the very least, the packaging is adorable!)

Bottom Line about Birchbox
Not sure if you want to subscribe to Birchbox? I'd say give it two months, and if you're not pleased, move on. The thing about Birchbox is that the quality of samples varies not only from month to month, but subscriber to subscriber. Each month, they have different boxes that are supposedly selected based on the subscriber's "beauty profile". So far, none of the products I've received fit my profile.
It's a gamble. You could get lucky and end up with amazing products, or you could get something awful. There are other sample services that seem to deliver more promising results--I'll stick with Birchbox another month, and if it's anywhere as disappointing as the September box, I'll cancel.

Here's my September Birchbox--was October's enough to make up for my last? I don't know..

If you subscribe to Birchbox, what did you get this month?

  1. Beauty Tips said... October 19, 2011 at 7:29 PM

    We did have the same October birchbox. I just looked through and followed your blog. It is fab. Keep it up !

  2. Butakimu's Profile said... October 22, 2011 at 1:40 PM

    Oh gosh, I'm so on the fence with birch box. The skin79 oriental bb cream is prolly a gd match for Mac nc20. It has a bit of a pink cast that's noticeable in daylight.

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