Friday, August 21, 2015

Birchbox August 2015 Review and Unboxing

Since I've been subscribed to Birchbox for longer than any other subscription (on and off through the years) I tend to take it for granted a little bit. I'm quick to judge the samples I get and occasionally easily disappointed. But what I have to keep reminding myself every now and then is that I'm paying $10 a month for a "discovery service." Birchbox's entire goal is to introduce their subscribers to new products that they might not normally use or take a second look at. That $10 includes shipping, all the samples you receive AND you get some of that returned in store credit when you review the products- so even if every sample isn't perfect for me, I still stay subscribed because it's such a great service that doesn't cost a lot of money. I've found some of my holy grail products through Birchbox- and finding something that works better than any other product you've used is pretty priceless!

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.
  
August's theme is "Soak it Up!"
As summer peaks (temp-wise ad watermelon-consumption-wise), we're taking advantage of every last minute. That means embracing air-dried hair, ensuring our skincare is SPF-heay and keeping our makeup minimal. We hope you love this month's samples and we can't wait to see how you use them!
 Rusk: Volumizing Mousse
This is one biiiig sample! While I actually really love volumizing hair products, I rarely use or have a need for mousse. This give hair long-lasting hold and volume- which is nice if I needed hold. I tend to let my hair air dry and be naturally wavy, although sometimes I curl it for a more finished look. If I need any hold, it'll come from a few spritzes of hairspray, so while this seems like a good product, I'll probably pass it on.

Beauty Protector: Protect & Oil
This product started popping up in boxes sometime last year, and it seemed like everyone was getting in their boxes except for me! I'm really happy to finally get to try it because I absolutely love the Beauty Protector hair products. This oil defends against UV rays and breakage, and smells as amazing as the rest of the line. It feels very light and doesn't seem like it would weigh down my thin hair, so I'll be using this right away!
 Air Repair: Complexon-Boosting Moisturizer
I believe I've received things from this brand before, although I can't seem to remember what I've already tried. This one in particular is a moisturizer that is packed with antioxidants and humectants that hydrate and revitalize dry and dull skin. It also contains hyaluronic acid, which is a powerhouse when it comes to moisturizing. It says "complexion boosting" on the bottle and the info card doesn't really say much about why it's called that- I can only assume that it evens out skintone and works a bit like a primer would? I suppose I'll have to test it to find out!

COOLA: SPF30 Organic Makeup Setting Spray
I recently received a Supergoop SPF setting spray in last month's PopSugar box that I haven't tried yet, but I think I might push this little COOLA spray ahead in the "next to try" line. I love the idea of a setting spray with SPF since it's the last thing you put on your face to "finish" everything off. This spray claims to be weightless, has a matte-fiish, and hydrates skin while blocking UV rays. I've heard really, really good things about this product. While I'm usually indifferent about the COOLA products I've received in the past, I'm especially excited for this one because of the positive things I've heard about it. It's a bonus that it's travel-sized too! Perfect for tossing in my purse!
 LAQA & Co: Cheeky Lip Crayon
These lip/cheek crayons seem to be the new trend with makeup lately! This is essentially a pretty pink wash of color that can be applied to the lips as well as the cheeks. Multi-tasking products are great for the Summer, because the weather makes you want admittedly a little lazy! No one wants to put on a full face of makeup when it's all going to sweat off! I really like the shade of this crayon:
While the swatch does come off a bit more "true pink" in the photo, it actually has a bit of a deeper tone to it and when it's blended out, it makes a really pretty cheek color. I'm not entirely sure I would use this on my lips as I tend to stay away from bright true pinks, but I might give it a try anyway! It seems like a really fun, bright Summer color!
Overall Thoughts
I really, really liked my box this month! I'm not always super excited about my Birchboxes, but I think this month had a nice variety of items, and all 5 items fit my profile preferences. Even though I don't use mousse, I do request things for volumizing thin hair. I'm really happy to finally have a sample of the Beauty Protector Oil, and even happier to get to try the much-raved-about COOLA setting spray! Overall a really great box that fits perfectly with their Summer theme!

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.

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