Sunday, May 24, 2015

May 2015 Birchbox - Cupcakes & Cashmere - Unboxing and Review!

Hello! Hope you're having a great weekend! It's been sprinkling off and on here, but the weather is pretty nice; not too cold, not too warm, not too gloomy - I'm pretty happy with it!

For this post I wanted to share with you my May 2015 Birchbox! This month's box was curated by Emily from the blog Cupcakes & Cashmere. I remember a long time ago reading the blog, but it didn't really catch my attention. The motto of the blog is "Elevate Everyday Life" which is a good motto, but sometimes, I'm just too dang lazy!
Birchbox is a $10 a month subscription service where you get about five beauty and lifestyle samples to try. Unlike Ipsy, 90% of the samples you receive will be deluxe sized samples; very rarely will you get a full sized item (though I don't think you'll ever get a foil packet as one of your five samples; you may get them for your bonus samples, though). While the value of the samples you receive tends to be lower than with Ipsy (I've always gotten at least what I paid for, though), Birchbox has a much better rewards system. For every product you receive, including any bonus samples, you can earn 10 Birchbox points for a review. Once you hit 100 points, you get $10 off anything in the Birchbox store. Basically, you're paying $5 for Birchbox to mail you some samples and then you're putting $5 away to spend in the store. On top of your points, Birchbox always has coupon codes for 20% off your order over $35 and if a brand is featured in that month's box, you get free shipping. Awesome. If you're interested in signing up for Birchbox, you can either use my referral link here (which I would appreciate greatly!) or you can just go to the Birchbox website (which is linked at the top of this paragraph).
Mmm, creamsicle orange.
I'm not sure what I like more; a box with a theme that the products loosely, if at all, adhere to, or a box curated by a specific person/company. I almost like the latter more since it feels a little more personal, especially if you know/like the person/company who is doing the curating!
Another cute box this month! I love collecting these, and I'm very curious to see what Birchbox is going to have us do with them at the end of the year. Probably some kind of social media thing with, hopefully, a chance to win some cool stuff.
As I said above, this month's box was curated by Emily from the blog Cupcakes & Cashmere. I haven't watched too many unboxings, so I'm kind of curious if everyone got the two products that my info card said were Emily's faves or if there was a variety of items.
Birchbox has one of the most informative information cards and the only thing I would add to make it perfect would be the actual size/weight of the full sized items. I have to go online to do my reviews and earn my points anyways, but it would be nice to have everything on one card. This month I got five products, plus two bonus samples that I was able to review for points!
 We got an extra card this month inviting us to subscribe to Domino, which is Emily's magazine, along with a code: BIRCHBOX15 for 15% off all purchases at Domino.com and a recipe for Linguini Al'Arrabiata. Neat!
I'm going out of order (at least out of the order the items are on my info card) because I wrote them down in my notes differently. A silly reason, but hopefully a valid one. Which means I'm starting with my Living Proof Restore Instant Repair sample. This is one of Emily's "All-Time Faves" and it is a hair cream that's supposed to smooth split ends, prevent frizz, and make your hair 15x stronger. You can also use it on either dry or damp hair. I personally don't like Living Proof; I don't think the products do much for my hair (especially for how expensive they are), I don't like how they smell (it's a weird, tangy kind of citrus), nor do I particularly like Jennifer Aniston (which is another silly reason). Living Proof seems to be everywhere this month; Ulta is having their Love Your Hair event (or something like that) and Living Proof is heavily advertised. The full size of this product is 4oz for $29, making this 1oz sample worth about $7.25.
Along with my deluxe Restore Instant Repair, I got foil packet samples of the Restore Shampoo and Conditioner. Again, not a fan of Living Proof, so these will be going to my mom. These products contain OFPMA, a patented "healthy hair" molecule and they're supposed to repair damaged cuticles, reduce frizz, restore moisture, and repel dirt. I didn't calculate the value of this sample since it's just a bonus, but I did get to review both the shampoo and conditioner individually, so I earned 20 Birchbox points!
I know I said that you rarely get full sized products in Birchbox, but I got one this month! This is the Mally Beauty Evercolor Automatic Eyeliner in the color Navy.
Yes, navy. I'm not sure if other people who got this product got different colors, but I'm very happy getting a navy liner since I have 1001 black eyeliners already.
The tip of my poor liner got smooshed somehow, but otherwise it was in perfect condition (as it should be!). I'm not sure if this is an older product or what since I can't seem to find this exact color for sale. Which is odd because why wouldn't a brand have a navy eyeliner? These liners are supposed to be waterproof and smudgeproof and the color will set after 30 seconds.
It's not as creamy as some other eyeliners I have, but I find that a lot of automatic eyeliners are less creamy than other kinds. Again, this is a full sized product at 0.01oz and it is worth $18.
Next is a teeny sample of the Benefit POREfessional, another one of Emily's "All-Time Favorites". Unfortunately, this is another product that I've used before and that I'm not a big fan of. It just doesn't work well with my skin and it tends to leave me blotchy and irritated. This is a pretty common product, and Benefit seems to give it away all the time. It is an oil-free primer that you can use either under your makeup or you can use it over your makeup for touch-ups throughout the day. The full size is 0.75oz for $31, making this 0.1oz sample worth about $4.10.
This is the sample I picked this month! I was so sad that I missed being able to choose a sample last month that I made sure I would get to pick this month. This is the Real Chemistry Luminous 3-Minute Peel. It is an acid-free pH-neutral protein-based (hyyyyyyphens) peel that is suitable for all skin types that you can use once a week. I'm slowly getting more into peels (especially after how awesome my skin looked and felt after I got a professional peel from an esthetician) so I thought this would be a nice one to try! It seems like it's a good peel for people who are a little afraid of them since it's acid-free and, when I reviewed it, Birchbox asked me a ton of questions about peels and how I felt about them. The full size of this product is 1.7oz for $48, making this 0.17oz sample worth about $4.80.
Finally, I got a sample of the Marcell Hydra-C 24H Energizing Hydrating Gel. This is a Canadian (I think) brand that was featured in a box a few months back (at least, it made one of the samples that you could choose from). This product is a lightweight gel moisturizer that has green tea, cucumber extract, and vitamins C and E. It provides a cooling sensation when it is applied, which will be nice when it gets super hot and humid here (...if it ever does). The full size of this product is 1.7oz for $24, making this 0.24oz sample worth about $3.40.

Overall, I got one full sized product, four deluxe sized samples, and two bonus foil packet samples. My total box value was $37.55, plus I earned 70 Birchbox points! I almost think I'm more excited about the Birchbox points; I want to get more Smith & Cult nail polishes!

Thanks for reading! <3

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