Tuesday, February 9, 2016

January 2016 Birchbox - The Year Of... - Unboxing & Review!

Hello! Hope you're having a great day! For this post, I want to share with you my January 2016 Birchbox!
This is my "actual" Birchbox for January; I also received the curated K-Beauty box from January, but I purchased that separately. I wanted to get the K-Beauty box, but I also really wanted one of the sample choice products for January, which is why I ended up getting both! Because this was my actual box, these are the products that I was able to review and earn Birchbox points for (I was not able to review the products in the K-Beauty box since they counted as a "purchase" and not part of my subscription).
Quick run-down of the Birchbox subscription service: $10 a month for five deluxe makeup/beauty samples; very rarely get full sized products, but it does happen; less color cosmetics, more skin care/hair care than other less expensive subscription services (specifically when compared to Ipsy); one of the best rewards programs (10 points for every review you do of the products in your box, you get at least 50 points a box, sometimes more if you get more/bonus samples, 100 points equals $10 to spend in the Birchbox shop, all products sampled are available to purchase in full size in the shop).
...I forgot what the actual theme this month was (not that it matters, at least product-wise), but the box says "2016: The Year Of ____" and Birchbox included stickers so you can customize it!
I went with "creativity" because that's what I really want this year to be about, at least from the selection of words we were provided with. Also, I love stickers and I am totally keeping the rest of the unused stickers for a currently unknown purpose.
The info card this month is kind of an "Intro to Birchbox", which makes sense for a New Year's box (new year, new start, new subscribers), though kind of dull for those of us who have been around for a while now (I think this was my 16th box; not as long as some people, but a long time for me to stay subscribed to a beauty service).
Unlike my K-Beauty box where I got five deluxe samples and two bonus samples, I only got the standard five (which is kind of a let down after the other box, but totally normal and expected so it's no fault of Birchbox).
First up is the amika Bombshell Blowout Spray. I'm a little burnt-out on amika hair care products; I feel like I get one in every other box or so. It's not a bad brand or anything; granted, I haven't really tried any products more than once or twice so I can't say for sure, but the packaging kind of gets to me (the graphic design specifically) and I have so many samples that I still need to get through that I really don't need anymore. This is a pretty standard spray-in heat protectant with Sea Buckthorn Berry. The full size is 8oz for $24, so this 1.7oz sample is worth $5.10.
This is the sample I chose, and the whole reason why I went with this box instead of the K-Beauty one. This is the Eyeko Fat Liquid Liner. I'm trying to step up my eye liner game, and my other liquid liner from Urban Decay had sadly dried out.
This is a felt-tip liner with a thicker nib. I'm starting to think that I actually prefer brush nibs for pigmentation and precision, but I do like the idea of basically drawing on my face with a marker. Eyeko makes a skinnier version as well (the skinnier version is the original).
The pigmentation is actually quite good, but I think I need a more gel-like liner to stop it from feathering (all liquid liners feather like this on my hand and on my eyes). I'm happy I got this sample, but I'm not sure if it's truly the eye liner I've been looking for. Bad joke, I apologize. This sample is also apparently the full size of this product at 3.5g and it's worth $16 (so...especially happy I picked this sample!).
For a long time, I've thought about getting a Foreo Luna; I used to have a Clarisonic but ended up not liking it. I wasn't a fan of having to replace the brushes (and the gunk that built up underneath them if you weren't careful about keeping them clean) and no matter what brush I used, it always seemed a little too harsh for my skin. The Foreo Luna, however, is a solid hunk of silicone, so no brushes to replace and a more gentle clean. I haven't purchased one yet because they are expensive, but Birchbox carries them now, which means coupons and points! Foreo also apparently makes cleansers, which makes sense since Clarisonic makes them, too. This one has Moringa extract (yay!), sweet almond, and meteorite powder (...what?) to really clean your face (and you can use it with the Luna). A full size is $35.95 for 3.3oz, making this 0.5oz sample worth around $5.45.
Onto the first pillow pack of the year! Sometimes these have nice surprises, sometimes they can be a little disappointing...
One of the samples in my pillow pack is the Jouer Matte Moisture Tint in Beige Natural. This is a pricier product, so the sample is pretty small (it also seems to be half-full, but as long as I get the amount of product that the label says I do, I'm good). The is an oil-free and fragrance-free slightly tinted matte SPF15 sunscreen. This would be a nice layering product, but I wouldn't use it on its own for sun protection. The info card says it also gives you a "glowy complexion", which kind of seems like the opposite of a matte tint, but maybe they mean because it warms your skin tone up. Maybe. I was concerned that this product would be too dark for me, but it's really sheer so I think I can make it work, especially in the summer. The full size is 1.7oz for $40, so this 0.17oz sample is worth $4.
The other sample in my pillow pack, and the last sample in this box, is a sample of the Always Loved perfume from My Daughter Fragrances.
Fragrance samples are generally disappointing for me (I have it where I'm only supposed to receive four a year in my Birchboxes; one down, three to go!), and this is especially so. It's not a spray sample, so it's a little more finicky to use (these type of samples don't bother me, unless I hate the scent and don't want to run the risk of spilling it all over myself), and I really, really don't like it. At all.
I hate rose-scented anything, including roses, and this perfume is heavy on the rose. If you like rose scents, you might really like this, but it's really not for me. The full size is 50mL for $85; I couldn't find the size of the sample anywhere, but it's probably not worth more than a dollar or two.

Overall I got four deluxe sized samples and one full size product with a total value of about $30.55 (minus the perfume). This is a good box, especially since the eyeliner ended up full size (I will admit though, that it doesn't feel full size. I had to check at least three times to make sure I was reading things correctly), but I found the products to be pretty boring, especially compared to the K-Beauty box (which was about half the value, but had way more interesting products). I also earned by 50 Birchbox points, so this box was definitely worth the money, but it still feels like a slow start to the new year.

Thanks for reading! <3

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