Thursday, September 17, 2015

August 2015 Birchbox - Soak It Up! - Unboxing and Review

Hello! Hope you're having a great day! We're going to go through a bit of a time warp here and I'm going to try and finally get everything ancient posted and off my desk. It's getting quite cluttered (as usual) and I don't find myself using products until I move them into my actual makeup collection so I'm basically wasting money by not posting about them! Not sure how much I'm going to get through today, but we'll see! I still want to stick with my plan of trying to do shorter, more individual reviews instead of big hauls, but it might be tricky since I have to go back and take some more detailed photos of a lot of things.

For starters, let's take a peek at my August 2015 Birchbox!
Incidentally, I have already received my September 2015 Birchbox so...yeah. I'm super late. Hopefully you still find this somewhat relevant and perhaps even entertaining (I know one of my favorite things is to go back and look up reviews/unboxings of past subscription boxes when I'm bored).
As always, a quick rundown of what Birchbox is: it is a $10 a month beauty/lifestyle-ish subscription service that seems to focus a little more on hair/skincare than color cosmetics. Every month you receive five deluxe sized to full sized samples (getting a full size is very, very rare), along with the occasional special extra. The value of Birchboxes tend to be on the lower end (you always get at least what you paid for, though often not more than twice that), but it has, in my opinion, the best reward system of any box. Every month, you can review the samples you received and earn 10 points per review to spend in the Birchbox store. 100 points equals $10, so it's kind of like paying $5 a box and then promising them you'll spend $5 in the store. Along with store promos, including free items with your purchase or the very common "20% off a $35+ purchase", you can get a lot of nice things for very cheap! I actually just ordered a little over $40 worth of products and only paid about $5. And I got free shipping!
The box this month looked like a swimming pool, which was not only cute, but it also went along with the theme of Soak It Up. Unfortunately, like most subscription boxes, the theme is loosely adhered to, if it is at all, by the products you get. It's not the biggest deal, and it would be kind of weird if there was never any theme, but it's something to just be aware of.
Along with our info card (which is one of the most informative that I've seen in subscription boxes), we got a little card with a special offer; I actually debated taking advantage of this, but missed out on it. I ended up purchasing the Marcelle item I was going to buy to get this freebie, but I used a different coupon to get 20% off my purchase instead (that's the only downside to these offers; you can only use one at a time. You can always use your points, though!).
 On the front of the info card you get a little blurb about that month's theme and on the back you get a list of the products you got, along with a little more information and the price of the full size. It's nice that Birchbox includes the prices, though it would be a lot more helpful if they also included the size of the full size item. Since Birchbox sells all the items it samples in the store, it's not hard to go online and figure out the value of your box (unlike with Ipsy where sometimes you can't find a product you received anywhere).
Going in the order of my info card, the first product I'm going to talk about is the Air Repair Complexion Boosting Moisturizer. This is the product I picked this month, mostly since all the other options were pretty dull (Birchbox reveals 3ish samples a month that you can pick from, along with a special curated box that you know what everything in it is, but you have to be quick to get the one you want. If they all "sell out" (I have yet to see the curated box sell out, though), you just get your normal, unknown samples.). This moisturizer has hylauronic acid and you can use it as a mask to help with jet lagged skin (hence the name Air Repair). It's a pretty basic moisturizer, honestly. The full size is $20 for 2oz, so this 0.24oz sample is worth about $2.40.
When I get products like this, it makes me hopeful that my subscription services are paying attention to my beauty profile! This is, at least according to my info card, the Curly Hair Solutions Silk Leave-In Conditioner. The package itself says it's Curl Keeper Leave-In Conditioner so I don't know which is right (according to the Birchbox website it's Curl Keeper by Curly Hair Solutions, so I suppose both are correct). This is, as it says, a leave-in conditioner for curly hair. You apply it to wet hair (I apply mine before any other styling products) and it helps to smooth your cuticles and keep your hair frizz-free. The second ingredient is panthenol, so that's pretty cool. It has a lot of fragrance and parabens, though, so take note of that if those bother you. The full size is 8fl oz for $18, so this 1fl oz samples is worth $2.25.
I swear I will never, ever have to buy dry shampoo. Ever. I get so much of it in my subscription boxes and I don't use it very often, so I have a ton of travel size bottles of pretty much every single brand imaginable. But here's another one, and one I haven't tried before! This the R+Co (no idea how to say their name; R plus Co? R and Co?) Death Valley Dry Shampoo. It's, well, a dry shampoo! It gets rid of oil near your roots and helps add texture to limp hair. I do like that it's cruelty and gluten-free, so that's a bonus. The full size is $29 for 6.3oz (so it's kind of on the expensive side), so this 1.6oz sample is worth $7.37.
As with every both, there's one product that stands out as the most disappointing, and this one is it. This is the Supergoop! Advanced Anti-Aging Eye Cream SPF 37. It's not a bad product, but it's one I've tried before and the sample size is super itty bitty! Like. Mega itty bitty. Tiny whiney. Now I'm just being silly, but yeah. It's small. I do like that it's a mineral-based sunscreen and it's always good to have eye cream with SPF since people don't often use sunscreen in their eye area. This product also says it will reduce dark circles and puffiness and it will improve elasticity and soften the look of fine lines. The full size is 0.5fl oz for $45, so this 2mL sample (I converted the measurements using Google) is worth about $6.
My final sample is actually the one I'm most happy with! This is an LAQA&Co (this is another company I have no idea how to pronounce. LAQA and co? Lah-kah and co?) Cheeky Lip crayon in the color Cray-Cray from the Charm School set.
The name itself is enough for me to like this. I got another LAQA&Co lip product in a previous Birchbox and really liked it (I continue to use it, which says a lot since I have a ton of lip products), so I have high hopes for this one as well. This crayon comes in a set of three and I'm not sure if you can purchase it individually. This is a coral peach color and you can use it on both your lips and cheeks.
It's very creamy and I really like the color, though I think it might be more suited to cheeks than lips (at least on me). I do get a little weird about lip/cheek products and I don't like to use them for both since I don't like the idea of cross-contamination (yay, germaphobia!), so I will likely just use this as a cream blush stick. The Charm School set of three is $20, so this individual crayon is worth about $6.67.

Overall, in my August 2015 Birchbox, I received five deluxe sized samples (no full sizes this time, sadly). The total value of my box was my $24.69, along with 50 Birchbox points. I'm pretty happy with this box, both product-wise and value-wise and will happily continue to be subscribed to Birchbox!

Thanks for reading! <3

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