Thursday, September 18, 2014

Birchbox September 2014

 I feel like I'm the last person on the planet to get their Birchbox this month, but after a ton of impatient waiting and staring at my mailbox, it's finally here! I have been subscribed to Birchbox for longer than any other subscription, and it's not because I need more samples, (you should see my hoard, It's terrifying) but because they have such a fantastic reward system and top notch customer service.

What's Birchbox?
If you're unfamiliar with Birchbox, they are one of the reasons why subscription boxes are such a huge deal! They weren't the first beauty box, but they were the first at such an affordable price to really hit the market. 

For $10 a month, 4-7 deluxe beauty and lifestyle samples are delivered to your door. You take a little beauty survey when you sign up that helps them choose samples they think you would most enjoy. Birchbox is always fantastic for trying new up-and-coming brands, as well as some higher-end. I still use this subscription as a way to "try before I buy" because it's truly set up to be exactly that.

What's the Points System?
Each box you get contains a random number of samples, however the average amount is usually 5. When you receive your box, you can try out the products, and then go on the Birchbox website and review them. Birchbox awards 10 points per review, which is equal to $1 to spend in their shop. So at the end of it all, you're spending $10 on a box, and getting $5 or more dollars back in credit on their site. This pays off big when you find a product you really love and want to buy a full size. More often then not, you can pick it up for free with the points you've earned over time. Most recently, I saved up my points and bought myself a Clarisonic Mia 2 and paid nothing!

 Each month has a different theme, and this month it was "Fresh Paint." This is Birchboxes 4 Year Anniversary month, and they celebrated by giving everyone special patterned boxes as keepsakes. Unfortunately, I didn't get one of these fancy boxes, just a plain brown one. I sent them an e-mail about it, so maybe they'll send me a replacement. I hoard Birchboxes to store all my many odds and ends, so having a pretty, decorated one would be great!

For some reason, when I saw the "Fresh Paint" theme this month, I couldn't help but think of one of Mama June's (from Here Comes Honey Boo Boo) famous quotes:
I'm not going to lie- I've totally adopted this phrase!

So let's dig into the box this month!
I received 7 different samples and one of them was a sample I was able to choose myself. The past few months or so, Birchbox has been allowing subscribers to choose one of the samples in their boxes, which is pretty fun!

1. Davines: Oi Conditioner
2. Oi Shampoo Foil Packet
3. Oi Oil Foil Packet
 While this was actually one of the "choose your own samples," choices, it's not the one I picked out. It popped up in my box anyway. It was actually kind of a bonus for me, because this counts as 3 separate products to review, or $3 in points. This is a de-tangling conditioner, and while I've heard a lot of people either love or despise the scent of this, I'm kind of in the middle on it. It smells a bit like baby powder and perfume. Not offensive, just not something I'm in love with. The conditioner and hair oil were a nice bonus, as I'll be able to use the whole line at the same time and see how I like it.

4. Yu-Be: Moisturizing Skin Cream
5. TEMPTU: S/B Highlighter in "Champagne Shimmer"
 I put these products together because they are the duds of the box for me. I cannot tell you how many times I've received this Yu-Be sample in subscription boxes. I must have given away at least 6 of these over the past year or two. It's an all-over body cream, and I'm sure it works great, but it just looks so cheap, and I'm such a sucker for good packaging...I just can't bring myself to even bother with it when I have so many other creams laying around. I'll be tossing this in the give away pile.

The TEMPTU Highlighter seemed promising, but it's such an odd color. It's supposed to be champagne, but it looks kind of brown on my skin tone, and doesn't really highlight well. In all honestly this would be better used as a bronzer for my pale skin, but even then it doesn't very blend out enough. Not feeling this one.

6. Shiseido: Ultimune Power Infusing Concentrate
7. Laura Mercier: Full Blown Lash Volume Building Supreme Mascara
The Shiseido concentrate is the product I chose to be in my box this month, and I'm so excited to try it. It's enhances skin's defensive power against signs of aging, and after only trying it once I really do feel a difference in my skin. It feels so soft! Can't wait to test this out a bit more.

I'm always kind of indifferent about getting mascara samples. They're useful, but I have SO MANY (like over 20 at the moment) that I never get around to using them all. I do love Laura Mercier cosmetics, so I will probably bump this one to the front of the line and use it soon. This is a water-resistant mascara that does the typical volumizing/lengthening/curling, and also promises no clumping or flaking. If this mascara does everything it claims, it'll be worth the hefty $24 price tag!

Overall Thoughts
I saw some pretty fantastic Birchboxes this month, and a few not-so-good ones. I think mine is right in the middle. The Shiseido and Laura Mercier products are the highlight of this box, but I will also gladly try out the Davines haircare as well. The other two items will be given away. The size of the samples this month was also quite good. Even though there were foil packets which I usually hate, they were just bonuses that came along with the conditioner, so it's all good! All in all, it was a pretty solid month for Birchbox. Plus the $7 in points this month doesn't hurt, either!

If you want to sign up for Birchbox, you can do so HERE
You can also use any of the following codes at checkout to give you an extra 100 points ($10) at sign up!  

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All thoughts and opinions in this blog post are genuine and belong to Harlot Beauty. No monetary compensation was received, although goods and/or services may have been provided and accepted for purpose of review. Post may contain affiliate or referral links.


  1. I got the Temptu highlighter too, it looks best on your cheekbone blended into your blush, The color is to pigmented for highlighting things like your nose. I'm fairly tan though so that may be the difference.

    1. I may try blending it in with a slightly more bronzey blush, but I do think you're right that it works better for deeper skintones. I have pretty pale skin as in- sometimes the lightest shade in the store is too dark for me LOL, so I think that's why it didn't work so well. When i saw the "champagne" name I thought it would be more of a frosty pink, but no such luck! I think I'll pass it to a more tan/dark skinned friend because it sounds like it will work well for them!

  2. We are box twins, Rachel. I'll sample the Mercier and the Shiseido and that's it. I agree with everything you said about Yu-Be times 10. Horrid stuff.

    1. It seems like a lot of people got this box, I've noticed. It also seems like most people who got this box also didn't get the "decorative keepsake" box, but just a plain brown one. I'm glad you agree with me on the Yu-Be! I am SO SICK of seeing that crap in subscription boxes!

  3. Woah you got some pretty good stuff this month! I received the Temptu highlighter too - I think it works okay, I'm just not a huge fan of cream ones and prefer powder highlighter!

    1. I thought so too! I actually really like the Davines conditioner, and the Shiseido and Laura Mercier mascara are fantastic! I totally agree with you on the powder highlighter! I have a Laura Mercier one and it's perfect! I think I have more control over a powder highlight and it looks more natural, and less like I painted it on! haha :)

  4. You got a good box! I agree about the YuBe, too. I mean, it works. It does what it's supposed to. Good for ashy knees and elbows but it's just so... unappealing? in that packaging. I'd love the mascara and I hope I get that in a future box.
    Based on your experience I'm not going to use the highlighter. I'll just swapsies or something. I'm white as a ghost so if it's not working for you, it sure isn't going to for me.

  5. The Yu-Be cream works well but smells HORRIBLE. I got the Temptu in my box as well and was really disappointed at how small the sample was.

  6. I was tempted to get the Davines stuff for the extra points, but honestly there is NO WAY I need more conditioner right now. Though "need" is a relative term I guess ...