Friday, November 21, 2014

Birchbox November 2014 Review and Unboxing

 I cannot believe November is almost over. I feel like it was yesterday that I was writing my October Birchbox review! Fall comes and goes faster than I can even process, it seems. I'm still burning my Bath and Body Works "Trick or Treat" candle and pretending that it's still apple-picking season. I just cannot admit that it'll soon be December! 
Now that I've shed a tear for the end of Fall, let's get into what I got in my Birchbox this month!

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. 
 Each month has a different theme, and this month it was "Giving."
From Birchbox:
November isn't just about pumpkin pie and holiday shopping, though we support both traaditions (see the fun gift guide in this box!).
It's also about giving back. This month we're partnering with (RED) to raise money and awareness for the global fight against AIDS- and we need your help! We'll donate $1 every tie you share a photo of the facts on your box and tag it with #shaRED.
We can't wait to see what the power of the Birchbox community can do. 
I thought it was an awesome idea for Birchbox to team up with a worthy charity, and include the Birchbox subscribers. I of course, shared a photo of my box on Instagram and I hope you did the same this month! All those $1 donations add up! 
Let's dig into the November goodies! 
Harvey Prince: Petaly Noir Perfume
theBalm Cosmetics: Cindy-Lou Manizer Highlighter
 Petaly Noir- Harvey Prince and I have an on-again-off-again kind of relationship. Sometimes I get perfume samples (always in my Birchbox) that I fall in love with, and other times the scent is just completely the opposite of what I'm into. This one, to put it kindly, is horrid. It's a very heavy and intense floral scent with notes of jasmine, orchid, lily of the valley an vanilla. there is a musky dry-down to it, but just the thought of this perfume is giving me a headache. I can't imagine even someone who likes floral scents being into this perfume (truly no offense if you are!). Definitely not a winner for me.
Cindy-Lou Manizer- I love theBalm, and I actually own a full size Mary-Lou Manizer. While that one is a genuine highlight shade, (a pearly shimmer) Cindy-Lou is a gorgeous shade of shimmery, soft pink. This could definitely be used as a highlight, but I would say that this could be a gorgeous shadow or blush as well. Very happy to get this!

Amika: Nourshing Hair Mask
Derma E: Evenly Radiant Brightening Cleanser 
Nourishing Mask- I'm not usually into hair product samples, but for Amika, I will make an exception. I absolutely love the scent of Amika products. I wish I could bathe in it. This mask smells amazing (obviously!) and is paraben-free. It's a repairing deep conditioner that is used once a week. I already have this in my shower and it's almost gone. It's a small sample, but I could probably get about 3 uses out of it on my long hair. It works amazingly well on split ends, and of course, makes my hair smell like heaven. I might just have to splurge on a full size!
Brightening Cleanser- You know I love brightening products! This is a natural face wash that brightens and evens skin tone. This is a great product in theory, however I am so overloaded with cleansers that I can't imagine getting around to using this in my lifetime. For now, it's going to go in the "travel" pile just in case I need a small cleanser for a trip. 

Royal Apothic: Cuppa Cuppa Firming Tea Treatment Mask
BONUS ITEM: Vosges Pink Himalayan Crystal Salt Caramel 
Treatment Mask- This was the sample I chose this month (BB give you the option to chose a sample in each box) and I am super excited to try it out! It's made with antioxidant-rich teas and helps firm and brighten skin. I love skincare, I love masks and I love tea. So overall, awesome product. And the packaging is way too pretty!
Chocolate- Heaven. Seriously heaven. I love chocolate, and while I wasn't entirely sure how I would feel about this flavor, I can confidently say this is ridiculously amazing. The dark chocolate mixed with the slightly salted die for. This chocolate is pretty expensive, but I am seriously considering picking up a box with my Birchbox points so I can experience the glory of this chocolate again.

Overall Thoughts
I am thrilled with my Birchbox this month! Even though the perfume was a huge failure, and I probably won't get around to using the cleanser any time soon, I still think everything in this box was curated to my taste very well. I am also very happy that all the samples are deluxe sizes. I've got to admit- I don't get Birchbox every month and expect a crazy high value, because that's not what Birchbox is about. The entire idea is that they send you a box of samples so that you can test and try things, and then use your Birchbox points to buy full sizes of the items you love. It's the original idea of a beauty subscription: try before you buy. 
I've had Birchbox for a very long time, and while I don't always love the samples, I do love the points system (and think it's the best on the subscription circuit by far), the great customer service and the community they've built with their subscribers. It's more than worth the $10 a month for me!
If you want to sign up for Birchbox, you can do so HERE

Until Next Month, Birchbox!
post signature

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. Wow, this is a great box! Great review as always :)

    1. Thanks Victoria! I thought it was a great box this month too. Hoping for one just as nice next month!

  2. Harvey Prince is pretty hit-or-miss for me, too. I absolutely LOVE their Eau Flirt and Eau Fling perfumes, but the rest are either not my thing or just okay. I also have found that even their EDPs don't last very long.

    1. I agree completely. There are a few that I've really enjoyed, but some I absolutely despise, and this is one of them, unfortunately. I also agree that their staying power leaves something to be desired!

  3. All of the Harvey Prince samples I've tried have been pretty meh. Poor lasting power, boring scents. Oh well! I got Cindy Lou in my box and I actually have used it as an eyeshadow since then. It's nice for that!