My Year with Birchbox

I realized this week, while using my empty Birchboxes to organize various odds and ends around my apartment, that my May Birchbox marked one year of being a subscriber.  Birchbox was my first foray into subscription boxes and I subscribed on a whim.  My sister sent me a subscription link last summer and I decided to try it out.  I had always heard about the service, but had no idea that it was so affordable at $10/month.  I have been super happy with my subscription.  Not every product is a win and some months are better than others, but I’ve tried so many new brands and products and have found some new staples in my makeup bag.  To celebrate my year with Birchbox, I put together my “best of” Birchbox, picking my favorite item from each month (and a couple of months with “surprise” items – things I thought I’d hate, but actually really like).

June 2013
This was my first Birchbox ever.  I don’t have a container of my most loved item from this box because I’ve been lazy and haven’t reordered.  Suki Exfoliate Foaming Cleanser is my favorite facial scrub.  It’s a super gentle sugar scrub and it smells  fresh and lemony.  My skin always feels so smooth after using it.  I also had a “surprise” item in this box – Color Club’s Wanderlust Collection in Mod in Manhattan.  I was so bummed to get a white nail polish.  I so rarely use neutral polishes, but I love this.  It’s an off-white and is super pretty, almost a neon white.  Plus it makes a great base coat for polishes that are sheer or stain.

July 2013
July brought me Dr. Jart+ Ceramidin Cream.  I am always looking for good, healing creams for my psoriasis, or crocodile skin as I call it.  This almost instantly made my skin look better and was great for patches that showed up on my face because it was super gentle.

August 2013
In August, I got Juice Beauty Oil Free Moisturizer and it is still my absolute favorite.  It’s sheer and light weight, but doesn’t clog my pores or make me break out.  Plus it smells citrusy.  Also another surprise this month: Jasmine Seven Wipes. These are minty wipes…for your feet.  I thought this was going to be so hokey, but I love these.  One is in my bag at all times during the summer.  They feel really refreshing after you’ve been walking around all day and get rid of the dreaded black flip flop foot.

September 2013
I had never used a dry shampoo until I was sent amika Perk Up Dry Shampoo.  The smell is out of this world amazing and it really does the trick.  My hair always looks refreshed after using this, and it doesn’t make my hair as white and powdery as some other dry shampoos.   Plus, this is a full size they sent me and it’s lasted over six months.

October 2013
This is my go-to lip gloss.  POP Beauty’s Aqua Laquer in Floating Rose is a perfect pink shade for everyday wear.  It’s sheer and glossy, but not super sticky and the applicator makes getting a precise lip line super easy.  I had never heard of this brand before, but I’m so glad Birchbox sent this to me.  It makes its way onto my lips almost everyday.

November 2013
In November, I got sent another Color Club mini polish, this time from their Cocktail Hour collection.  This is On The Rocks and it is a metallic silver.  It looks really shiny and dries super fast.  It functions well on it’s own, or as a neutral mixed in with brighter colors.  It was perfect for the holiday season.

December 2013
December brought me the best hand cream of life.  No joke, Camille Beckman Glycerine Hand Therapy in Midnight Monarch is the best hand cream I have ever used.  It’s great for my super dry skin and smells divine.  Plus a little goes a long way, so the full size (which is somewhere between $13-16 I believe) is really economical.  This goes on my hands every night before bed.

January 2014
Another dry shampoo.  Maybe Birchbox is trying to tell me something? In January I got Klorane Gentle Dry Shampoo with Oat Milk.  It doesn’t smell nearly as amazing as the amika dry shampoo, but this stuff seriously sucks all the oil off your scalp.  When I use this, you can’t really tell that I haven’t washed my hair.  It does go on really white, but it brushes through easily and gives me hair some life again.

February 2014
I had gotten other Beauty Protector products from Birchbox, so I knew going in I’d like this.  Still, Beauty Protector Protect & Oil was my first foray into hair oil.  I don’t use it a lot (you can see, I’ve still got some left in the tiny sample they sent me 3 months ago), but it’s great for trapping my frizz and making my hair manageable when I want to braid it or put it up.  Plus, all Beauty Protector products smell like warm coconut and amber.  Can you tell I’m really into how products smell?

March 2014
This was a hard month to pick from because March was a great box.  Skinfix’s Body Repair Balm has quickly become a staple in my morning routine.  It is specifically for extremely dry skin and eczema, so it’s worked wonders on my crocodile skin.  It immediately soothes it and smells like cinnamon oatmeal.  My surprise product for this month was COOLA’s Tinted Matte SPF 30 for Face.  This is a matte, tinted BB cream and sunscreen.  I thought I would hate it because of the tint, but it blends so smoothly and effortlessly into my skin.  It gives a nice glow and feels so light and silky.  It’s definitely one of my favorite face products now.

April 2014
I thought I would hate theBalm’s How ‘Bout Them Apples? Cream Cheek and Lip Tint.  I don’t wear blush at all, so I thought this would be useless, but it is a great lip stain.  Birchbox sampled the color Pie.  It’s a cool pink tone and the formula is super creamy and stays on the lips well.  It’s made me consider buying the whole palette, which has five other colors.

May 2014
mayAnother great box came this month, so again it was hard to choose.  Color Club’s Art Duo Pen in black is easily the most fun product I’ve gotten from Birchbox.  It’s a combination dotting and striping tool for nail art.  It’s so easy to use and I was happy to get black because it goes with pretty much everything.  My surprise product this month has definitely been Jouer Beauty Luminizing Moisture Tint in Opal.  Again, because this is a tinted product, I thought I would hate it, but Birchbox got my color spot on.  This goes on super smooth and a little goes a long way.  It’s very sheer, so it gives my face a nice glow, but you can build it up if you want a full coverage look.  Plus, it’s got SPF 20 which is important now that it’s summer and I’m going to be spending a lot of time out in the sun.

I’ve been so happy with my Birchbox subscription.  Now that I subscribe to five different services, Birchbox is the only one that I’ve never thought about canceling.  There is always at least one thing in each box that I find myself really enjoying and I’ve been exposed to so many new brands and products that I had never tried before or had never thought to try.  I really don’t think I would have found any of the brands in this post on my own or tried some of the products without being sent a sample.  That’s the whole point of Birchbox right? To experiment and try things and shake up your beauty routine.  Here’s to another great year of samples!


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