On the fence about subscribing to Birchbox?

I stumbled across Birchbox’s promo code yesterday for new subscribers.  Usually, if you sign up for 1 year you get 1 box free ($110).  Right now, if you want to make the leap, head over to https://www.birchbox.com/invite/bc37s  and use the code it gives you – “BESTYEAR99”- and you get a year of boxes for $99.

If you don’t want to do the math, that’s $8.25 a box.  Not a bad deal!  (plus that link gets me some points or something on their website, I think!)

As a recap, here are the boxes I’ve gotten so far:



July Birchbox


This was a pretty good box, overall.

Let’s start with the bad:

Beautoniq Beauty Blush Serum-  This was not good.  Hard to apply, didn’t apply evenly, hard to remove (stained, really).  Pass.

Oribe Matte Waves-  Verdict:  Okay.

I was excited about this, but I found it didn’t have much effect or hold.  However, it didn’t make my hair stiff.

MAC Primer-  Verdict:  Fine

This is a pretty good primer.  Not my favorite, but not terrible.  I think a few other primers hold better, but this is just fine.  MAC makes good product so it’s not a bad choice but I am not sure it’s the best for my skin.

Juliette Has a Gun:  Anyway perfume-  Verdict:  Good

Not a huge scent person but I did like this one!

Kiehls rare earth deep daily cleanser- Verdict: Good

I liked this.  It didn’t seem to irritate my skin, or dry it out.

My Second Box- Birchbox June 2017

Not only were they the first and only May box, Birchbox was the first to get their June box to me.   So, what does June bring forth?



I like the polka dots but… seriously, what am I supposed to do with all these boxes?

Something different about this month- instead of 5 random samples, I chose one of three samples.  I decided to try the Smashbox primer.  Aside from that sample, the other four were sent by Birchbox.  I’ve had a week or so to try most of them out at least once, so… without further ado….  June.

[As soon as I typed that, I got the song June Hymn stuck in my head… so here’s my attempt to remove it.]


Now that the song is out of my head, my samples…

  • amika Perk Up Dry Shampoo
    • Like all dry shampoos, it seems fine.  I only used it once so far, because I don’t use them that often.  It’s not better nor worse than any others I’ve tried, and the fact that I am using a dry shampoo means I didn’t have time to wash my hair and I am grumpy, anyway…  Another great size for travel.
  • COOLA Mineral Face SPF 30 Rosilliance
    • Terrible.  Why?  There was literally one single drop in the container.  Who sends out an empty container?  I have no idea if I liked it because they didn’t send me an actual sample.  I am not happy about this.  I can see from their website from reviews of other similar products I am not the only person with this experience.  If I get another empty sample I am done with this subscription.
  • Mellow Cosmetics Liquid Lip Paint- Tehran
    • I did not care for this color at ALL.  I prefer natural or slightly pink or slightly red lipgloss/lipstick, so brown is not going to work for me.  I didn’t love the texture especially, but I hated how it looks so much I took it off immediately.  I therefore cannot vouch for whether it lasts long or not.
  • Smashbox Photo Finish Foundation Primer
    • I don’t wear a whole lot of foundation, but I did like this primer.  It felt light and was very smooth.  My foundation went on smoothly underneath.    The lack of SPF might make it a better winter primer.
  • Vasanti BrightenUp! Enzymatic Face Rejuvenator
    • I’m a bit nervous to try this as my skin is pretty sensitive.  I unfortunately got a lot of sun this week and didn’t feel like it was a good time to try it, so I’m going to wait a few days.  I will update this post once I try it out.


So… a mixed box.  I felt I liked the first box better, maybe just because I was really disappointed with two of the products here, including the product that didn’t exist.  We’ll see if they improve or if Birchbox isn’t for me…

Coming up soon, two new subscription boxes (bags), some new eyeshadow I bought recently, and more….

My First Box- Birchbox May 2017

So, in terms of quickly providing me a box, Birchbox definitely wins as the only one who sent one off for May. I signed up in mid-May and received it at the end of the month.  Observe below:




Important notes:

  • It came in box form.  The box is cute.  There is foam on the bottom, which does not seem environmentally sound.  Also, what am I going do with these boxes?
  • I received five items, which is, in fact, the allotted amount.  Four of them were interesting on their face and one was definitely not for me.
  • I could choose to see what items I was getting in advance, or wait and be surprised.
  • I could choose to follow the tracking, but it was way off for this box.
  • You can usually choose either a pre-arranged box, a single product out of a small pre-chosen selection, or just be surprised.  I did not have an option other than pure surprise for this box, since I chose so late.
  • They send a little card with descriptions and the price of every same in full size.


The items!  And, were they appropriate?  Any good?

1. Coola Mineral SPF 30 Daydream Makeup Primer

Am I interested in trying new primers?  Yes.  So this seemed like a good pick.  Also, nothing feels more like dumping money down the drain than buying a primer. This one was okay.  It only worked for me to use very very lightly- it made my face feel… well… a little sticky and if I wasn’t careful it didn’t spread well.  When used lightly with light foundation, it seemed fine.  I wore it one day when I was outside a lot and didn’t burn much, so that’s nice for us folks who are genetically prone to turn bright red.

2. Living Proof Perfect hair Day (PhD) In-Shower Styler

I have wavy hair, so I was excited about this one.  It took a little trial and error.  The first time it didn’t spread evenly, but it did keep my hair from becoming a frizzy mess, so that was cool.  I accidentally applied too much to the roots, so they were stiff, despite rinsing.  It lasted most of the work day, which is better than my usual half day.

The second time I put on too little and it didn’t keep my curls and waves as nice.

The third time was just right.

I really like this one.

3. R+Co DEATH VALLEY Dry Shampoo

I’ve never met a dry shampoo I really liked.  I hate having unwashed hair.  This seemed just as good/bad as other dry shampoos I’ve used.  It’s in a sample size, which is perfect for me.  I travel for work all the time, so it’s great to keep in my bag in case I need dry shampoo.

4. The Beauty Crop Fabulous Flocking Lashes Mascara

Mascara is one of my favorites.  My only good feature are my eyes, so if I choose one product, it’s mascara.  A second would be eyeshadow.  This mascara was sadly disappointing.  It didn’t really help my lashes at all and came off very oddly.  I tossed it.

5. Vita Liberata Fabulous Self Tanning Gradual Lotion

I have zero interest in self-tanning, so I didn’t even touch this one.

So, end verdict:

Good:  1

Meh:  2

Crappy product:  1

I will never use this:  1

I reviewed everything, which is supposed to help with future batches.  We shall see….

Subscription Boxes- The Great Box-off of 2017

So, as someone who does not really have much make-up skills beyond the basics, but likes to check out new things at times, I decided the most economical way to do so was to choose a subscription box. Of course, this was inspired by seeing a Facebook friend do a video review, and I thought it sounded fun. During my search into the world of subscriptions boxes, I discovered there are many. And they don’t all come in box form. And they are of widely varying prices and difficulties to subscribe to.

I decide to sign up for three $10 subscriptions and see how they fared over a few months. A trial period, if you will. At the end, I can decide which one is best for me. $10 a month seemed reasonable- $30 a month, less so.

My choices were:

Sephora Play

I signed up for all three in mid-May. Only one, Ipsy, claimed a ‘waitlist,’ but you could get off it by spamming the world through twitter and Facebook messages. Also, probably the one I am least likely to stick with- only chosen because a friend nagged me about them. Birchbox was the only one who sent me a box in May, so that will be my first review. Then we can delve into- when do the boxes ship? What order do they arrive? Are boxes even involved? (SPOILER ALERT: ONLY ONE COMES IN A BOX.) What am I supposed to do with the packaging? How does my feedback and reviews change future subscriptions? Will I even use any of the products? Am I just destroying the environment? And more…