Saturday, October 29, 2016

October 2016 Birchbox - Revive & Restore - Unboxing & Review!

One of my favorite things about subscription boxes is the mystery; the idea that you might get something worth a lot more than you paid is very appealing! While I now appreciate both mystery and non-mystery boxes (I always spoil the Allure Beauty Box for myself, but I never look to see what I'm getting in my Birchbox nor Ipsy Glam Bag), I still love the little thrill I get when opening a mystery box.
...which makes it especially weird when I go with the non-mystery curated Birchbox! I really liked the items in this box, which is why I went with it instead if my regular mystery box, but I kind of regret it since Birchbox tends to sell these boxes in the store for $10, so I could have gotten this box and a normal Birchbox for only $20. Hmm.

Birchbox is a $10 a month makeup and beauty subscription service; you get about five deluxe samples a month, though I have gotten both less and more. All the items are available through the Birchbox shop, and Birchbox does offer quite a few promos and coupons, though they're nowhere near as good as they used to be. You can still earn reward points for purchases and referrals (which you can use to get money off your orders), but you unfortunately don't earn them from reviews anymore.
I like that Birchbox comes out with a differently designed box each month, but they're starting to feel kind of generic. Admittedly, there's not much you can do with a box besides change the color, unlike the Ipsy bags, which can change shape along with color, so appreciate the effort.
For October, I went with the curated box. The samples in the sample choice didn't really appeal to me, and there were a couple products I wanted to try in the curated box, so I figured it would be a better use of my money to pick it over my regular box. Like I said before, I kind of regret doing that since I could have purchased this box separately, and there was a promo where you could get a free past Birchbox with any order, so I ended up spending more money at Birchbox anyways (if that makes sense...).
The theme this month--at least for the curated box, I don't know if this was the theme for the regular boxes--was Revive & Restore. There are some items in this box that fit the theme quite well, which is always a plus (more often than not, subscription boxes play fast and loose when it comes to themes and adhere loosely to them, if at all).
First up is a deluxe sample of the GlamGlow PowerMud Dualcleanse Treatment (GlamGlow really likes to combine words...). This is the sample that encouraged most people to go with the curated box for October; it's a fairly valuable sample and GlamGlow has quite a cult following. This is a mask and deep cleanser in one, though you have to apply it to a clean face to begin with. It starts off like a regular mud mask, but it turns into an oil after you add water. It's a very interesting product and, besides the eye masks (which I don't think they even make anymore), one of my favorites from the line. The full size is $69 for 1.7 oz, making this 0.5 oz sample worth about $16.24.
Another Eau Thermale Avene product! I'm surprised by how many samples I've gotten from them this month, though what's even more surprising is that they've all been samples of different products. I really like the Eau Thermale Avene water mist, but I haven't been quite so impressed with their other skin care products. This is a rich face cream and has shea butter and the magical thermal water that's in all of Avene's products, but it also has mineral oil--as the second ingredient no less. The full size is 1.35 fl oz for $32, which makes this 0.5 fl oz sample worth about $11.85.
As odd as it sounds, this was one of the products that caused me to pick this box: this is the This Works Deep Sleep Pillow Spray. While this technically isn't a makeup item, I do consider it a beauty-related product since sleep, and lack there of, can really affect how we look and feel. Like everyone else, I have issues falling asleep/staying asleep sometimes; I used to take melatonin-based sleep aids, but I prefer to use more 'natural' methods (this isn't really natural, but it's not a supplement/drug). This mist is mixture of essential oils, including lavender, chamomile, patchouli, and vetivert, though for some reason, it also includes a mysterious ingredient only labelled as 'parfum'. I think I would like this more if it was only the essential oils, but I did find it helpful when I was having trouble falling asleep. The full size is $29 for 75mL, making this 5mL sample worth about $1.93.
This was the other product that made me opt for the curated box: the Oribe Gold Lust Dry Shampoo. Oribe makes great products, but they are on the expensive side, so I like to try and get as many samples as I can. I have a love/hate relationship with dry shampoos and am very picky, so I'm hoping that this Oribe one will work well for me. I was kind of hoping that this dry shampoo had a little bit of shimmer to it, but it doesn't (so why call it 'Gold Lust' then?). What really attracted me to this product is that it promised to make hair feel clean and refreshed, but without adding any texture. I know I've been all about the texture sprays recently, and while they make my hair look nice, it doesn't feel nice, so I want to go back to non-texturizing products.
Did you ever notice that the little Oribe stamp thing on their caps is basically Lady Godiva holding a lily? I always thought it was some random fancy scroll work! The full size of this product is 6 oz for $44, making this 0.9 oz product worth about $6.60.
Lastly, I got a sample of the MAKE Silk Cream Lipstick in the color Magnolia. This is a very teeny sample, though I like that it's basically a miniature full size; the bullet retracts completely into the tube so you don't have to worry about dinging it when you put the cap back on, and it slides up instead of twisting.
This lipstick comes in six colors (at least in the Birchbox shop; they don't always carry the full line, so there could be more out there) and the color I got, Magnolia, is described as a medium violet with pink undertones.
I'm not sure how I feel about this color; it's nice, but it feels...wrong. I have no idea if that makes sense, but it's like when you buy children's makeup and the colors aren't really well curated and are unflattering. It's a bit sheer, though that will help it look more natural and flattering when worn since your lip color will peek through. The full size of this product is $25 for 0.12 oz, but since I couldn't find the size/weight of the sample, I'm not sure how much it's worth.

Overall I got five deluxe sized samples with a total value of $36.62, sans the lipstick. This was a pretty good box, especially from Birchbox; I'm sad that I missed out on the thrill of the mystery, but I'm happy that I got a box with three products that I'm going to use for and two products that I might use with a value that's over three times what I paid. Birchbox is one of the most variable subscription box in terms of quality and, while I am going to stay subscribed, it's not my favorite $10-$15 subscription box out there.

Thanks for reading! <3

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