It is that time of the month again – Birchbox time! I am pretty impressed by how quickly Birchbox has been shipping out their boxes lately. I seriously can’t believe it’s May – it seems like it was just yesterday that I was moving into my new apartment, and dealing with two feet of snow, but that was over three months ago now! Crazy. Also, as you may have noticed, I kind of dropped the ball when it came to my “100 Happy Days” challenge. It has been a busy, busy time as I work on my thesis, but what better way to restart the challenge and pick up where I left off than a beautiful Birchbox? Before we dig into May’s box, let’s look back at how April’s samples actually turned out.
Now, if you remember from my April unboxing, you’ll know I had some problems with my April box. Now, ultimately my issue was resolved. I was sent what I consider to be a duplicate sample (same product and formula, but different fragrance), and after talking to reps from Birchbox, I was told they consider this a completely new and different sample. They ultimately sent me two free samples (both of which I had also previously sampled), but it was a nice gesture on their part. Others had the same thing happen to them, and received no compensation, which frankly isn’t right. Birchbox should treat all it’s loyal subscribers equally. It certainly made me stop and think about the type of company Birchbox promotes itself to be, versus the kind of company it actually is. Anyways, of last month’s samples, I honestly don’t have a favorite. I used up both the Beaver Shampoo & Conditioner samples completely. I didn’t find them to be life altering products, but they were good quality and smelled nice (Mr. Man tried them and liked them too). I haven’t tried the WEI Manuka Bee Venom Mask, and I’m not sure I will. I rarely use face masks, and there is just something about the bee venom that is freaking me out. The Jouer Tintis nice, a good color, but again just not a product I ever use, and of course, I got rid of the Whish Shave Cream as I had already sampled it and knew that I was allergic to it.
To say I was disappointed with April would be an understatement. It was the worst box I have gotten from Birchbox in almost two years of subscribing, so I suppose that is actually a good thing that it took so long to get a real dud, but it came on the back of less than stellar boxes in February and March. The box itself is, however, the most beautiful box Birchbox has ever printed.
May’s box is also so beautiful. I love the soft, peachy diagonal checkerboard, and the rosy gold foil on the logo. I feel like the design is perfect for the May theme, which is ‘Elevate Everyday.’ It’s about taking the basics of your daily routine and punching them up a bit. This month, Birchbox teamed up with the blog Cupcakes + Cashmere and features samples curated by blog runner Emily Schuman. All the promotional material and sneak peeks for May’s box have been so cute and really springy – lots of pastels and soft colors, and lots of sweet treats.
The first sample in my box is Aruba Aloe Luxe Foot Creme. This is a pure aloe and shea butter foot creme that is supposed to hydrate and nourish dry, cracked feet. At first I was a little meh about this, but we are heading towards summer, which means flip flops and sandals, and also means really dry heels. I will likely get more use out of this than I first thought. It’s a really generous sample size, and the creme itself is very soft and moisturizing, but not sticky. It also has a very light, pleasant mint fragrance.
My next sample is the Coastal Scents Revealed 3 Eyeshadow Quad in Desert Bloom. This is a little four-pan sample from their new Revealed 3 palette, which is their third eyeshadow palette, all of which are lower cost alternatives to the Urban Decay Naked palettes. I received a sample of Coastal Scents eyeshadows in one of my very first Birchboxes nearly two years ago, and they are good quality. They do not have the staying power of an Urban Decay or MAC shadow, but they are good and pigmented.
The four colors in this quad are really pretty, and very wearable I think. Right to left in the above picture, there is a matte brown, a sparkly metallic gold, a matte red that has purple undertones, and a lavender / mauve color with gold sparkles. These are all good colors for me, so I’ll definitely be adding this to my eyeshadow routine.
My next sample is Dr. Jart+ BB Night Beauty Balm. This is a tinted BB cream that is safe to wear while you sleep that is supposed to hydrate and brighten skin. I’ve tried a BB cream from Dr. Jart+ before and I hated it. It was watery and way to dark. This product comes out of the tube as a clear gel with little silvery flecks, but when you rub it in to your skin, it changes color. I’m not sure if it’s supposed to be a product that changes to match your skin tone, but it definitely does mine no favors. It turned a very dark, almost red bronze color when I rubbed it in. It is also a bit sticky on the skin. I’m not entirely sure why you need tinted BB cream to sleep in, so I’m not sure how much I will use this.
The next sample is LA FRESH Eco-Beauty Waterproof Makeup Remover. These are two individually wrapped makeup remover wipes that are supposed to work well on stubborn, waterproof makeup. It says ‘for eyes and lips’ on the packaging, and says it removes makeup while nourishing the skin. I don’t wear waterproof makeup anymore, but I will definitely get some use out of these. Since they’re individually wrapped, they’d be great for throwing in my purse.
My final sample this month is Number 4 Thermal Styling Spray. I’ve sampled Number 4 shampoo, conditioner, and leave-in conditioner before, and it is definitely a good brand, but I’ve never found the products life changing, or worthy of their high price tag. This product is supposed to be sprayed on before using heat styling tools, and promises to protect your hair from heat and enhance hold. I never use heat on my hair. Ever. I don’t even blow dry it, so this is a bit of a miss for me. It also smells very chemical-y, so not sure I will get a ton of use out of this, but I’ll probably spritz it in my hair and just see what happens.
So that is my May 2014 Birchbox! I think it is going to be a really good box, actually. These are all products that I can see being ‘everyday’ items, like lotion and makeup remover, and I know I will at least try everything in the box. If you are interested in signing up for Birchbox, it is a $10/month subscription service. You can pay monthly or pay for a full year up front. Everyone gets 4-6 different samples each month, tailored to the beauty profile you fill out and you can review your samples to earn Birchbox points. Birchbox has the best points system, hands down. You get 10 points per review and 100 points = $10 to spend in the Birchbox shop on full size products they sample. It’s like they pay you $4-6 every month just for taking your box. If you’re interested in learning more or signing up, you can click here for more details.