Inspiration Recreation

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Birchbox - April 2015

I received my beautiful April Birchbox today.  Birchbox is a monthly beauty box that sends a mix of samples for makeup, hair, and skin care.  I've been a subscriber of Birchbox for four months now and honestly, it has been a bit of a love-hate relationship.  I love the box designs and their reward points program for reviews that earn you a dollar amount that you can use to buy full size products in the shop.  You earn 10 points or $1 for every product review you submit, so each month you can earn $5 reviewing the 5 samples that you received in your box.  You also earn 1 point for every $1 you spend in the online shop, so you can rack up a lot of points pretty quickly.  What I hate is that the samples you get are quite small and it does not seem like much consideration is given to your beauty profile preferences when they select samples for your box.  In four months, there has only been one sample that I liked enough to purchase a full size of, and that was only because I had enough bonus points saved up to pay for it.  It started to get frustrating last month to the point that I actually canceled my membership.  I only decided to resubscribe this month because I saw the spoilers for the Rifle Paper Co designs but I'm still on the fence about continuing my subscription any further.

Here are the samples I received in this month's box:
  Product info card:
Atelier Cologne Orange Sanguine Cologne Absolue  (unknown sample size or value)
Number 4 Super Comb Prep & Protect  30 ml ($4.80 value)
Not Soap, Radio Body Wash  1.2 oz ($1.40 value)

Birchbox Plus Items:   
Drink Tumbler and Notebook Set designed by Rifle Paper Co. ($20, Sold Out)
Cost of Box:  $10 (plus $20 discounted price for tumbler and notebook set)
Total Box Value:  Over $12.28 (plus $25 regular price for tumbler and notebook set)
Impressions:  First of all, I love that Birchbox collaborated with Rifle Paper Co this month to design the sample boxes and the Birchbox Plus items.  The designs are so pretty.  I've kept all of my Birchbox sample boxes because of the pretty designs and because they're sturdy enough to reuse for organizing my small samples. 

Now on to the samples.  I hate getting these tiny perfume samples in my Birchbox, and I've gotten one in every box so far, but I do like the citrus scent of this Atelier cologne.  It really does have a strong orange scent.  It is a bit overwhelming when you first put it on, so apply sparingly, but after a while it does mellow out a little to a softer citrus scent and eventually turns into a woodsy (cedar and sandalwood) scent in the end.  I received No. 4 shampoo and conditioner samples in last month's box and wasn't really impressed but I'll give the leave-in conditioner a try because it doesn't contain sulfates.  I rarely heat style my hair anymore but it may come in handy for detangling and for the de-frizzing benefit.   The body wash doesn't seem like anything special but I'll keep it on hand for when I travel.  The scent seems a little more masculine than feminine to me.  I received a sample of the Laura Geller foundation in my April Beauty Fix box but since this product has just recently been released, I imagine it's going to be popping up in a lot of beauty boxes.  Although I don't wear makeup, I do like the double-duty concept of the Jane Iredale lip and cheek stain.  However, I don't understand how something of this consistency can be applied to your cheeks and not look shiny or greasy.  The Forever Pink color is a very light shade and would probably act more like a lip balm or lip gloss than a lip stain.  I'm not sure yet if I'll try using it but the mini tube is adorable!  Overall, non of these samples really excited me but I can get some use out of at least 3 of the 5 samples.  I am unsure of the total value of this box because 2 of the samples were not labeled with size information but the value of the 3 items I could calculate a value for are worth more than the cost of the box, which is good.

This month is the first time I've ever purchased a Birchbox Plus item but when I saw the pretty Rifle Paper Co designs for the tumbler and notebook set I caved and bought them.  I don't really need another tumbler but this was too pretty to pass up.  And I'm a notebook junkie; I can never seem to have enough of those!

As I mentioned earlier, I'm not sure yet if I will continue my subscription with Birchbox.  If not for the rewards program for providing product reviews, I would have cancelled a long time ago.  The $10 monthly fee, although not that expensive, far outweighs the value of the samples that I've actually used.  And since I'm becoming more and more interested in natural skin care items, which Birchbox does not really cater to, this subscription is mostly going to be a waist of money for me personally.  I currently have a little under 200 rewards points (or a little under $20) to use in the online shop so I may continue my subscription at least through to May so I can reach over 200 points.  If my May box doesn't impress me, I'll use up my points in the shop and cancel my subscription.

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