Sunday, September 20, 2015

Birchbox: September 2015 Review and Unboxing

Being the second half of the 2015, I start to think a lot of about the subscriptions that I've been receiving for a long time; which ones I value getting, which ones I almost forget about until they randomly show up, etc. I've been getting Birchbox for myself and my mom for quite a while now, and while it's the only subscription that has an incredibly worthwhile rewards program, it might also be the one I'm least excited about. It's truly not because it's a bad subscription- quite the contrary, as I think it's an affordable way for people to get a fun surprise in the mail, while trying out new products and saving points to buy full sizes of their faves. It's a fantastic business model, and Birchbox has continued to stay on top in terms of customer satisfaction and keeping things interesting in the boxes each month. However, I'm at a point in my life where I have so many samples and full size products that I barely have time to try what I have, never mind the new samples coming in each month's Birchbox. Unless they start carrying some seriously new and exciting samples, I might have to be brave and break up with Birchbox a the end of 2015. Why wait until then? Their Christmas sales are excellent and I always save up my Birchbox points to buy presents!

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. 
September is customer appreciation month at Birchbox. They not only included a 20% off coupon in every box, but they also recently did a great sale to celebrate their customers. This month's box was created using inspiration from "mood boards" created by Birchbox subscribers as well.
Raw Spirit Fragrances: Wild fire Eau de Parfum
 I'm usually not impressed with the perfumes I get in subscription boxes because I'm incredibly picky with the scents I like. This one was completely up my alley scent-wise with notes of wood, amber, jasmine, cedar, Australian sandalwood and musk. It smells mysterious and delicious. I was all ready to start researching where I could buy this and for what price- when I realized...the scent had almost completely disappeared in just a few minutes. Most perfumes I own last on my skin for a very long time, so I was really disappointed in this one. Considering a full size is $90, it should definitely last longer than a few minutes. Womp womp.

Salon Gioje: Protein Mask
While I don't have terribly dry or brittle hair, sometimes I can get a little too crazy with my heat styling and the ends of my tresses get a little fried. Protein masks like this are great for a deep conditioning treatment to get my hair back in good shape again. This is a really generous size, too!
Anastasia Beverly Hills: Perfect Brow Pencil
This was my sample choice this month, and while a brow pencil is not something I'd normally choose, I really love ABH as a brand in general. No one can beat their brow products, honestly! I have the brow powder and I use it on nights when I'm going out or when I want to look my absolute best. It's much easier to use a pencil though, so I was really curious to see how theirs worked. This one is a bit darker than what I normally use on my brows, but I definitely can make it work. I really love the formula of this as well!
Trestique: Correct & Cover Concealer Crayon
Another cosmetic item this month was this concealer crayon. Trestique is a newer brand that creates easy-to-use makeup in "crayon" form. This concealer is blendable and formulated with coconut oil. It claims to conceal dark spots with ease and stay in place all day. I did swatch this and give it a quick try and while I like the formula, the "bisque" shade is way, way too dark for my skin, so I wasn't able to try it out to see how well it worked. Ah well!
100% Pure: Organic Coffee Bean Caffeine Eye Cream
Honestly, I opened my Birchbox and was super excited to try this out (you know I love eye products) and I somehow lost it somewhere in the abyss of my apartment. I hadn't even taken pictures yet! Whoops. This eye cream reduces the appearance of fine lines and dark circles, and apparently smells just like coffee. Sounds like my dream product! It is/was also a very generous size since you only need a small amount of eye cream, usually. I am hoping I come across this soon so I can give it a shot. I'm willing to bet one of my silly cats batted it under my couch!
Overall Thoughts
I actually really enjoyed my Birchbox this month! There was nothing in here this month that I was absolutely against using, and I think everything fits my profile preferences well. Unfortunately the concealer was too dark for me, but I'm sure I know someone that can use and enjoy it! The perfume was also such a tease because the scent is amazing! I just wish it lasted longer. Overall, I was pleased with the selection of items in my box this month, and if the boxes continue to be like this one I will consider continuing my subscription into 2016. All I want from Birchbox are things that are geared toward my preferences that I haven't already tried a million times. The September box delivered on that, so I'm hopeful about October!

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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