Today the postman brought me my April Birchbox, so of course it’s a happy day around here. I’m just glad it made it here today, since I’m leaving tomorrow for a long Easter weekend with family in Georgia.
For those unfamiliar, Birchbox is a monthly beauty, makeup, and lifestyle subscription box that costs $10/month. You can do a monthly subscription, where you are billed the $10 each month or a yearly subscription where you pay $110 up front for a year. The yearly subscription is a bit cheaper and you basically get a box for free. In exchange for your monthly payment, Birchbox sends you 4-6 samples that are based on a beauty profile that you fill out about your likes, dislikes, skin tone, problem areas, etc. Do they always nail it and send you exactly what you want? No, of course not, but you do typically get several things that are at least worth trying. Plus, even if you hate everything in your box, if you take five minutes and review the products on the Birchbox website, you’ll get $4-6 to spend in the Birchbox shop on something you do love, in the form of Birchbox points. For every item in your box, Birchbox will give you 10 Birchbox points to review the item. 100 Birchbox points is $10 to spend in the shop on full-sized products. So even if your box is a dud, they’ll give you about half of what you paid for the box just for reviewing. How awesome is that?
So onto the box! Each box has a theme and this month’s theme is “Rainy Days.” Each box included a little card that is part of the “52 Bright Ideas for a Rainy Day” set you can buy in the shop. I got tip #30: “Grab a friend and get mani-pedis at your favorite salon. You have to catch up on all your US Weekly reading, after all.” The tips are cute and well designed, just a fun extra. I’m not sure it’s worth paying $10 for the whole 52 card set in the shop though.
My first true sample is Number 4 High Performance Hair Care Clarifying Shampoo. It says it gently purifies hair and restores moisture and shine. The back of the bottle also says it can be used as an all-over body wash. It smells good, kind of lemony and floral. I’m excited to try this because of the moisturizing factor. My curly hair gets really dry and frizzy, so I’m up for anything that will moisturize. Plus I guess if I don’t like it as a shampoo, it doubles as a body wash.
I also got Number 4 Reconstructing Masque. The little card that comes with each box says that this is a “bonus” they threw in with the shampoo. This is a product you’re supposed to put on your hair after shampooing, leave in for 5 minutes, and rinse off. Like the shampoo, it’s supposed to restore moisture and repair damaged hair. I’m a bit disappointed that it came in a foil packet because that means it’s really only good for one use. Even though I think there is enough product in the packet for 2 uses, once it’s open, foil packets are hard to keep closed and keep the product from drying out. Plus foil packets are messy.
Up next is Color Club Nail Polish. This mini polish is from the “Gala’s Gems Collection” and is the color “Breakfast at…” The color name is obviously a reference to Tiffany’s, though I always thought that color was Tiffany Blue? This color is a pearlescent minty green. This was the color I most wanted to try from the collection. I am so obsessed with minty, sea foam greens this Spring. I’ve gotten several other Color Club mini polishes from Birchbox and I’ve always been super satisfied with how well the go on, stay on, and with the vividness of the colors. I’m sure this will be no different.
Next I got a Sumita Color Intense Pencil in Suman, which is black. Birchbox sent out two colors this month, the black and a dark plum color. I was hoping for the plum, since I don’t use black liner and I already got a black liner this month in my Ipsy bag. Ah, well. This pencil is amazingly smooth and the color goes on nice and dark. I noticed in the Birchbox shop that the full-size pencil comes in a lime green color and I might consider getting that one for a fun Spring / Summer look because I really liked how smooth this product went on and how it felt on my eyes.
I also got theBalm How ‘Bout Them Apples Cheek and lip cream. How cute is this packaging? It’s a little book that flips open to reveal an apple shaped pan of product. Birchbox sampled the color “pie” this month, which is a bright, coraly red. I don’t use anything on my cheeks because I’ve got enough natural blush, but I could see myself using this on my lips. I swatched it on my hand the get an idea of the color and it’s pretty sheer, just providing some light pigment and shimmer, which I like. It really is creamy, which surprised me. I guess I can’t read because I was honestly expecting it to be a little powdery, since it’s primarily for cheeks. I am pleasantly surprised. If you buy the full palette, it comes with six different colors, “pie” included.
My final sample this month is a KIND Healthy Grains Bar in Maple Pumpkin Seed with Sea Salt. This is a “lifestyle extra” according to my card, so it doesn’t really count as a sample. I’ve had KIND bars before, so I know they’re good. I’ve never had this flavor before though, so I’m curious to try it (I usually go for chocolate in my bars!).
So that’s my April Birchbox! Overall, this is another great box and I’m excited to try all the products. If you read my post from earlier this month, you know I also got an Ipsy Glam Bag this month. Glam Bags are often compared to Birchboxes, since they cost the same amount of money. I’d say my Birchbox and Ipsy bag were pretty evenly matched this month because I got five samples in each (if you don’t count the KIND bar in my Birchbox). My general impression of Ipsy was that I wasn’t that impressed. I got two items in my bag that I got rid of, even though one was full sized and one was half sized. I tried the half sized one first and didn’t like it. I couldn’t try the full sized one because it was fake eyelashes and that is not my thing. Throwing out two generously sized products felt so wasteful. With my April Birchbox, there are two items that I’m less excited about than the others. The hair masque and the eyeliner aren’t exciting me, but I feel more OK with being unexcited about those products. I’m still going to try them, but I won’t feel as bad if I decide to get rid of them after a couple of uses because they are smaller products, true samples. Overall, I’d say I’m much more satisfied with my Birchbox this month because I feel like the samples I got from them are much truer to my beauty profile, my likes and my dislikes.