Saturday, May 21, 2016

May 2016 Birchbox - Out Of Doors - Unboxing & Review!

I'm starting to get the feeling that May boxes from most subscription services are a little...blah. There are exceptions to this rule (the May Allure box was really great, though it had some serious customer service issues), but looking back, it seems like May boxes are almost always disappointing. Unfortunately, my May 2016 Birchbox adheres to this trend.
Out of all my Birchboxes this year, the May box is probably the most disappointing; it does have some redeeming factors, like the sample I picked and the fact that I got 60 Birchbox points instead of the regular 50 since I got a bonus sample, so it won't cause me to unsubscribe or anything, but I guess I just wanted something with a little more 'oomph'...
Quick Run-Down: $10 a month beauty subscription service; five deluxe samples a month, can get full sizes but it's rare, sometimes also includes a foil packet or other small item as a bonus sample; best reward program of any subscription box I've been subscribed to, you get 10 points for each review of the products you got to sample that month, every box gives you the opportunity to earn 50 points, can earn even more if you get bonus samples, 100 points equals $10 off a purchase from the Birchbox store, you can build up points to get even more off (200 points = $20, 300 points = $30, and so on).
The box itself this month is quite pretty; I like the pastel colors and the abstract design. I like the aesthetic of spring/summer and the month of May (if that makes sense; it's warm and light, but it's not Eastery like March/April can be), which is one of the reasons why I think I find May boxes to be so disappointing. I'm expecting more from them.
The theme this month is "Out Of Doors", with a focus on sunscreen and sun protection. I actually really like this theme since wearing sun protection is one of the biggest and best things you can do for your skin (besides staying hydrated and washing your face). I think all the sample choices this month were sunscreen-based, and Birchbox also included another sunscreen as one of my samples. I know some people might be annoyed by that, but I go through sunscreen so quickly that the less I have to buy myself, the better.
The back of the card includes the same info as always: name of product and brand, price of the full size, and a little information blurb.
On to the samples! First up is a Cargo blush and bronzer duo. If this looks familiar...
That's because I've gotten this exact same sample in a different box (I think it was from my Allure Beauty Box). This duo from Birchbox  has the Catalina blush and Medium bronzer, same as the other one.
This is not a bad product; I actually quite like it. The pigmentation is nice and the colors are flattering, but it's annoying to get a duplicate sample of something that I likely will not ever go through even once (this is the sample I previously had; I didn't want to unseal my dupe since I'm going to give it to my mom).
The duo of these products is a Birchbox exclusive, but you can buy these shades individually from other retailers that stock Cargo (the duo for $35 is the exclusive part). The full size of these products are 0.31oz each for $35 (a $55 value), making this 0.105oz sample worth about $5.93.
I want to love this sample, I really do. Cotz is a great brand for sun protection and I love their other products, and this is a pretty good sunscreen, but it's way too dark. I know that I do get a little more bronze in the summer, which is probably why Cotz tinted it this way, but even then, this is still dark and pretty orangey. It's such a common complaint with this sunscreen that they actually released a 'light' version of this product. If Birchbox had included that version, I would be very pleased with this sample; as it is, I can't use it and am thus disappointed. The full size is 1.5oz for $20, so this 0.18oz sample is worth about $2.40.
Based on past experiences with  the brand Davines, I'm not sure how I feel about these samples of the LOVE Shampoo and Conditioner. It says it's for frizzy hair, which is what I have, but the last Davines product I used made my hair feel super dry and straw-like. I have...difficult hair; it's already dry, frizzy, and curly, plus I get it bleached to platinum blonde, which adds even more dryness and damage, so I am super picky about my shampoo and conditioner. Most products that I've tried haven't been moisturizing enough (the only products I've found that work well with my hair are from Ouidad, DevaCurl, and AG), so unless a shampoo/conditioner says it's hydrating, I am a bit leery of it. I do like that this shampoo is SLS-free and it does have a bunch of hydrating ingredients and no silicone in the first ten ingredients (there is some, but it's near the bottom of the list), so I will give it a try, but I don't have high expectations. The foil packet of matching conditioner is a bonus sample and does not count towards my sample total (though I did get to review it for 10 points). The full size of the shampoo is 8.45fl oz for $25, so this 2.5fl oz sample is worth about $7.40. I didn't calculate the value of the foil packet.
This is the sample I picked, and the one product I'm really excited about in this box. This is the Supergoop! Sun Defying Sunscreen Oil with Meadowfoam SPF 50. I know, I know, it's a Supergoop! product, but brand-issues aside, I think this is a good sunscreen. It's oil-based product that comes in a spray bottle; the spray is more of ease of dispensing than an actual way to apply the product. It sprays out pretty heavily and it needs to be rubbed in (which you should be doing anyways), but it absorbs quickly and doesn't leave my skin feeling oily. It also has a nice, light citrus scent, with just a hint of sunscreen; it smells fresh and summery. Meadowfoam is very hydrating and good for the skin and the SPF 50 is broad spectrum and the amount I look for in a sunscreen (the recommended SPF for sun protection products is 30). The full size is $34 for 5fl oz, so this 0.34fl oz sample is worth about $2.31.
The last sample is my May box is, unfortunately, the least. Least enjoyable, that is. This is a sample of the Vera Bradley Macaroon Rose fragrance.
Not only is this a fragrance sample, which is disappointing in and of itself, but it's a rose-based perfume. If you've read my posts before, you'll know how much I hate rose-scents. I don't know why, but the scent of roses is so off-putting for me that it can give me a migraine and make me nauseous if I smell it long enough. This fragrance isn't heavy or cloying, but it is strong and it almost smells plasticky. It's really hard to explain; but to me it smells like chewing on big, squishy, plastic capsules. Weird, I know, but that's the visual and sensation I get when I smell it. The full size is 50mL for $48, making this 1.5mL sample worth about $1.44.

Overall, I got five deluxe size samples and one bonus foil packet sample for a total value of about $19.48 and 60 Birchbox points. This wasn't a particularly good box--as I said before, this is this most disappointing Birchbox this year--but I do still enjoy the Birchbox subscription service as a whole. I'm curious to see what June will bring.

Thanks for reading! <3

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