Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Birchbox July 2015 Review and Unboxing

I can't believe it's already time for another Birchbox review! This summer is really flying by, and it's most likely because I'm sort of like a kid again and get Summer vacation now that I work at a school! Before you know it, it'll be September and I'll be back to work! But for now, a really bright and intensely patterned Birchbox showed up on my doorstep this week! I had completely forgotten to take a peek at what I was getting on the website this month, so it was a complete surprise for me!

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 one of the first, and definitely the original low-cost beauty box to hit the market.
For $10 a month, 4-7 (on average it's about 5) deluxe beauty and lifestyle samples are delivered to your door. You take a detailed 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. There are also many other ways to earn points that include: shopping on their site (1 point for every $1 you spend) as well as a variety of coupon codes that give you bonus points when they are used.
July's theme is "Go Bold."
 "Summer is not the time to hold back. It's the season of wearing brights on brights on brights, driving with the windows down, and eating popsicles for breakfast. Accordingly, what better time to dial up your beauty routine a notch (or three)? Don't worry, we'll be bringing you inspiration all month long.
 Dr. Brandt: Microdermabrasion Skin Exfoliant
While I'm a big fan of dr. brandt products, I'm not a huge fan of manual exfoliation on my face. While my skin isn't super sensitive, It does tend to get irritated and break out pretty badly whenever I use a "scrub" of any kind on my face unless it's insanely gentle. I'll have to do a bit more research on this product before I go ahead and try it, but if it's gentle enough I might give it a go. The full size is $78, so I don't want to use something that fancy on my body as a scrub- so if it's too rough to use I'll probably send it over to my mom to try out!

Oribe: Dry Texturizing Spray
Oribe is yet another brand I have had really good luck with. I've used the texturizing mousse as well as their hairspray and a few other assorted things with pretty good luck. This particular spray is a "cult favorite" thats soaks up oil and gives the hair volume, body and texture. I gave it a try today because I was super curious to see how well it worked, and I have to say I'm quite pleased with the results. I did notice my roots were less oily at the end of the day and my hair had a bit more volume that looked quite natural! While I don't think it's a magical product that I would buy again and again, I might pick up another if it's on sale at some point.
 Stila: Look at Me Liquid Lipstick
This was the sample choice this month, where Birchbox allowed subscribers to choose between this shade as well as a pink and a coral. I thought all 3 colors were quite bold, but I tend to look better in reds than I do in pinks or corals. This is a liquid lipstick that has a very creamy and pigmented formula. It applied like a lip gloss but appears like a lipstick when you apply it. This stuff is no joke, let me tell you. The swatch above is literally one quick swipe with the doe foot applicator. I tested this out today even though I wasn't going anywhere fancy- I figured I'd wear it around the house to test out the staying power. While I do think this lasts quite awhile, the intensity of the color wears away over the course of a few hours. What's awesome is that it stains your lips nice and evenly so you still have a perfect red pout. Nothing is worse than when I'm wearing red lipstick and it wears away but I still have that "ring" around the edges of my lips where it's still hanging on. I'm interested to continue using this and see how it works for me with multiple uses. I may have to pick up a full size!
Miracle Skin Transformer: Body SPF 20
 I have used the Miracle Skin Transformer for the face in the past (it's not that miraculous tbh) but this body lotion is new to me. It kind of looks like a more expensive version of the Jergens BB cream for the body. It's essentially a lotion that hides imperfections with a temporary "glow." Since I like my skin to be pale, I don't have an interest in using this, but I know my mom will love to try it out!

Supergoop!: Anti-Aging City Suscreen Serum SPF 30
I kind of feel bad for Supergoop, because I kind of despise their products for no good reason other than the fact that the pop up in every stinkin subscription box on the planet as soon as warmer weather hits. They're essentially a company that makes a wide variety of skincare products that all contain SPF. And since I mentioned earlier I do love my pale skin, I also love SPF. The more, the better. Unfortunately this serum only has SPF30, which is the bare minimum for me, personally. I also have a pretty strict skincare routine with more than enough serums to last me a lifetime, so nothing about this product is making me want to put it in the place of my current serum. I like that it's a small-sized tube though- I might hold onto it for traveling.
Overall Thoughts
This box was sort of middle-of-the-road for me. Honestly the sample sizes are all decent, and the variety is there (makeup, skincare, body and hair) but there are only 2 products here that I plan on using. I do sometimes wish that the beauty profile that Birchbox gives to their subscribers was more accurate in terms of how they choose the samples to be in the boxes- because there are times when I see other people's boxes and think, "Man I would have loved to get that!" Sometimes other subscribers get products that perfectly fit my beauty profile while I get things that are completely opposite from what I've said I wanted. I understand that having so many subscribers and being such a large company etc limits them to how accurate they can be when choosing samples for subscribers, however I wish that they just wouldn't offer the beauty survey at all if they weren't going to follow it. I've contacted Birchbox about this issue quite a few times but unfortunately they can only do so much. It's understandable, but it's a bummer when I seem to get boxes filled with things I can't use more often than not. I still really enjoy getting my Birchbox each month though, because I tend to find a really great product every now and then that makes it all worth it. Plus the point system is just too good to let go of!

If you're interested in signing up for Birchbox, you can do that here!
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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 actually like my box this month! I got two hair products that were designed for my fine, straight hair - can you believe it? I also got the coola setting spray, which is really nice + theBalm bronzer. The lipstick is just too bright for me and the colors too cool toned. But I had to endure a few horrible months before I got a good box this time.

    I do love the design on this month's box - very cool!

    1. That sounds like a great box! I'd love to try the Coola setting spray- since it's a sample choice for August I think I might just try it next month! You're right though- sometimes you have to endure some crappy months to get a really fantastic box at the end of it all! I hope you're good luck streak continues next month! :D

  2. I love that Oribe Texturizing Spray! I totally want a mini bottle like that! :D

    1. I am normally not about hair products at all- I can take them or leave them for the most part with the exception of a small handful of favorites...but I really love this stuff! I kind of want to buy a full size so I can keep the mini for traveling! haha :)