Sunday, June 26, 2016

June 2016 Birchbox - Everyday Magic - Unboxing & Review!

Hello! I hope you guys had a great start to summer! For this post, I want to share with you my June 2016 Birchbox.
The theme for June is Everyday Magic, which goes along with the fact that Birchbox seems to have partnered with Benefit for this box (the theme of the new brow collection is 'magic' and the extra literature this month is all about the collection). They also included a newly repackaged and re-released Gimme Brow Volumizing Fiber Gel sample in the color of your choice in every box (though I did see an unboxing where they did not get a Gimme Brow, so I wonder if you only got it if you picked a color during Sample Choice...).
Quick Run-Down: Birchbox is a $10 a month makeup/beauty subscription service; generally you get five deluxe to full size samples per month, though Birchbox does include extras now and then; more likely to get deluxe samples instead of full size products; overall box value is generally two to three times what you paid for the box, which puts on the lower end of box values when compared with similar services; Birchbox used to have the best points/reward system, but they are changing it in July so you won't get points for reviewing your samples anymore (think you get five more reviews for points and then that's it) and will only earn them from referring friends, gifting subscriptions, or making purchases from the Birchbox store.
Birchbox is still going strong with the unique monthly boxes, and I think this one is especially pretty. These aren't the sturdiest of boxes, but they are reusable and I like to store odds and ends in them. They're also really handy for nail polish organization.
Along with the info card, we got a little booklet all about the new Benefit brow collection. You can use the window to frame your own brows for an Instagram pic, tag it with some special hashtags, and enter into a giveaway for a year's worth of Benefit brow products.
The back of the booklet shows off the whole new brow collection. I don't really understand the revamp of this collection; a lot of the products aren't new, only repackaged, and a lot of the packaging is extra fluff that actually makes the products more difficult to store, use, and/or travel with. Personally, I'm not a big fan of Benefit; they seem to focus more on style rather than substance. I think a lot of their product designs are super cute and I like the idea of Benefit, but I haven't had the best of luck with the actual products.
The front of the info card matches the design on the box, and it subtly references the Benefit brow collection connection.
As always, the back of the info card lists all the samples I got, along with the price of the full size product and a little blurb about it.
The first product in my box (at least alphabetically) is a deluxe sample size Ardency Inn MODSTER Smooth Ride Supercharged Eyeliner in the color Black. Kind of sad it came in the color black since I have plenty of other black eyeliners, but Ardency Inn is a brand I've been curious about trying (Sephora carries it), so I'm pretty happy I got this!
It's a regular, sharpenable pencil, which I find work better for covering large areas or for tightlining than doing anything requiring precision, like drawing a wing. This pencil is also waterproof and creamy, which makes it especially well suited for the waterline.
It's quite pigmented; not the strongest I've seen (nothing can beat Urban Decay's Perversion), but again, it will work well in the waterline. The full size of this product is $20 for 0.04oz, so this 0.028oz sample is worth about $14.
Next is the product (almost) everyone got in their box; the repackaged Benefit Gimme Brow Volumizing Fiber Gel. For the Sample Choice for June, you could pick which color you wanted out of 01 Light, 03 Medium, or 05 Deep. I believe this product only came in Light/Medium and Medium/Deep before the revamp, so the addition of a third color is an improvement.
Benefit's really gone all out promoting this collection and, while there are improvements and new products, I just don't feel like it was necessary. The packaging seems kind of excessive and over-designed with all the silver and angles.
This sample came in a mini booklet which has a lot of the same graphics as the bigger booklet we also got in this box.
I'm just not sure how I feel about this redesign; I own the older version of Gimme Brow and I think I prefer the simpler, less shiny packaging.
Packaging aside, this is one of the few Benefit products that I actually really, really like and actually recommend to people, so I'm curious to see if Benefit changed anything with the formula, for better or worse. You get a super teeny spoolie, which is great for detail work; some brow gels have really big spoolies that make application difficult. Also, please ignore my messed up polish...
Light is a light, taupe brown and I believe it's the same color as the original Light/Medium shade that I own. It's almost a little too dark for me, but I think it matches pretty well, even with my platinum hair (it'd probably be perfect with my natural hair color). Again, this is an excellent product (at least, the older version is) and one I would highly recommend if you're looking for a brow gel to help fill in and build up your brows, or even just a brow gel to hold things in place (I have pretty thick, natural brows and I really like the effect this gel gives). The full size is 0.1oz for $24, so this 0.03oz sample is worth about $7.20.
Out of all the products from Laura Geller, the most iconic is probably their Baked Gelato Swirl Illuminator in Gilded Honey, which is exactly what I got in this box! I've tried a few Laura Geller products before, but never an illuminator, so I'm really excited to give this a try.
These illuminators come in four different colors, but the most popular by far is Gilded Honey, a warm, shimmery gold.
I've only swatched this product, but I really like the  texture of it. It is a little powdery, but it feels smooth and it blends out really well on the skin. This highlight has a lot of shimmer, but no big chunks of glitter, so it gives you a nice glow without looking like a glitter explosion. The full size is $26 for 0.16oz, but I couldn't find a size/weight for my sample size, so I have no idea what it's approximate value is.
Out of all my samples this month, the most disappointing was the Real Chemistry Luminous 3-Minute Peel for Body. A chemical peel made for the body for home use is pretty unique and intriguing, but it's not a product I'm really interested in trying. The skin on my body is generally pretty clear and smooth (unlike the skin on my face...), so the only exfoliation I really do is the physical kind with a loofa or one of my exfoliating mitts. Plus, the body lotion I use (C. Booth 4-in-1 Vanilla Butter Body Lotion) already has a mild chemical exfoliant in it as well. I will say, though, I like the packaging of this peel, especially since it's supposed to be used in the shower; it's easy to open/close and way easier to get all the product out of than if it was in a tube or bottle. The full size is 5.4fl oz for $34, so this 0.5fl oz sample is worth about $3.15.
Lastly, I got another Supergoop! Defense Refresh Setting Mist SPF 50. This is the same size sample that comes in the Complete SPF Kit from Birchbox, but I don't mind getting multiple samples of SPF products (unless it's the Cotz Natural Face SPF 40...). Now I can keep one of these in my purse/at work and one at home! I like the idea of a setting mist with sunscreen since it makes reapplication  throughout the day super easy, even over makeup! I'm not a fan of the idea of Supergoop! as a brand, but they do make some pretty good SPF products. The rosemary scent is refreshing, but there's a lot of sweet mint in it as well, so it kind of smells like  mint gum. Not the best scent, but it seems to fade pretty quickly, so hopefully it will be tolerable when it's on my face. The full size is $28 for 3.4fl oz, so this 0.5fl oz sample is worth about $4.12.

Overall, in my June 2016 Birchbox, I got five deluxe size samples worth about $28.47, which doesn't include the value of the Swirl Illuminator since I couldn't calculate it. I like the variety of products I got this month, and the value is about three times what I paid, so I'm quite pleased with my June Birchbox! If you're interested in a beauty/makeup subscription box, I do recommend giving Birchbox a try, but keep in mind that one of the things I love most about Birchbox, the reward system, is basically going away after July 11th. Since that was one of the reasons why I've stayed subscribed so long, we'll have to see what the next few months bring.

Thanks for reading! <3

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