Birchbox January 2016 Review plus February 2016 Sample Options

I can’t believe my last Birchbox review was in October! I really need to work on getting more organized and focused so I can review all my boxes in a timely fashion. Up for review today is my January Birchbox!

Birchbox is $10/month (less if you sign up for a longer subscription), and it’s the original beauty subscription box. I think my favorite part about Birchbox is that they have an amazing point system. Every 100 points is worth $10 in the shop, and you get 10 points for each sample you review from your box. So you’re basically guaranteed to get at least $5 worth of store credit from each box, making the subscription an amazing deal.

Each month you get 5 samples based on your profile, and you can choose one of the samples from a short list that they released the previous month. It’s usually an option between 3 or 4 samples, and you can log into your account to add one to your box. You can also opt to be surprised for all 5 samples, or go for a curated box. Curated boxes will list all the contents so you won’t be surprised, and are usually curated by a guest or with a partnership around a theme. For January, I chose the box curated by Charlotte Cho because the theme is Korean beauty. I adore Asian skincare and beauty products, so it was a no brainer for me!

Birchbox January 2016 Review plus February 2016 Sample Options

Manefit Beauty Planner Cucumber Soothing + Moisturizing Mask | $2.00
I love using Asian sheet masks because you don’t rinse your face off afterwards (plus points for the lazy girl, like me!) and the serum absorbs so well. If you’re suffering from dry skin this winter. a sheet mask like this might be the answer. I washed my face, then put the mask on for 20 minutes and massaged the extra serum into my skin. I followed up with my usual moisturizer and woke up the next morning with perfect skin. Definitely repurchasing these masks. For the price, they’re a total steal!

Birchbox January 2016 Review plus February 2016 Sample Options

Goodal Waterest First Essence | $1.20
This is a really light gel moisturizer. It’s very watery, so you apply it by tapping it onto your skin. The formula should get absorbed quickly and leave you with a sort of dewy look. While it doesn’t provide enough moisture for my skin right now, I can see this being amazing for the humid summers in Houston! It’s refreshing and doesn’t feel greasy at all. I’ll have to try it again when May rolls around. It’s a shame the sample isn’t bigger, because then I would just save the rest for when it gets warmer. But since this tiny thing is only 6 mL, I’ve already used a good portion of it.

Birchbox January 2016 Review plus February 2016 Sample Options

Goodal Yerba Mate Bubble Peeling & Cleansing Foam | $3.96
Usually Birchbox doesn’t send out foil packets, but since this is a “bonus item” I don’t mind at all. The cleansing foam works beautifully. It takes off makeup without being too harsh. The bubble peeling cleanser sort of expands and forms bubbles as it works, and you can feel a light tingling as it works. You’re supposed to massage gently to get the exfoliating benefits, and it leaves skin feeling smooth and fresh.

Birchbox January 2016 Review plus February 2016 Sample Options

IPKN Flash Cream Radiant Primer | $4.90
I can never have enough SPF products in my life, and this is a brand I’ve never tried before so I was happy to receive it in my box. As a primer it feels kind of greasy. It’s moisturizing and gives you a luminous look, but I felt like my face was oily and shiny after using it. I ended up trying a quick layer of loose powder over it and thought that looked fantastic, but I imagine this would be much too heavy for my skin when it’s hot and humid outside (which is like, 90% of the time here). I think for a primer I prefer a matte finish, like with Benefit’s POREfessional.

Birchbox January 2016 Review plus February 2016 Sample Options

TonyMoly Delight Tony Tint in Red | $2.00 (?)
It’s funny how sometimes the product you weren’t excited about turns out to be your favorite in the entire box. Such is the case with this lip stain! I wasn’t thrilled about another lip product and I was worried the color would be too bold for me, but I was completely wrong. I don’t know if it’s because I’m Asian and TonyMoly is a Korean brand that probably caters to Asian skintones, but this red is absolutely perfect for me. I love how it looks and I can get a really bold and bright red without looking like a clown. This could be my new holy grail red lip! Also, the full sized product is only $6! What an amazing price!!

Birchbox January 2016 Review plus February 2016 Sample Options

It goes on like a gel and packs a ton of pigment. It has a pretty strong cherry syrup taste and smell, which is fine for me but could be a deal breaker. My friend said it reminded her too much of cough syrup and she wasn’t able to tolerate it.

Birchbox January 2016 Review plus February 2016 Sample Options

I washed my hand with soap right after application and the stain really did stay put. I was very impressed with the lasting power!

Birchbox January 2016 Review plus February 2016 Sample Options

RE:P Bio Fresh Mask with Real Calming Herb | $6.30
It seems very fitting for a Korean beauty box to have two masks in it–one sheet mask and one clay mask. While I liked this mask, it didn’t surpass GlamGlow for me, so I won’t be getting a full sized. I felt like it dried out my skin a little, so I’m going to try it again when the weather is less dry. Luckily this is a generously sized sample and I have plenty left over.

Birchbox January 2016 Review plus February 2016 Sample Options

I think it was a great box for me! The value comes out to $20.36, which is more than double the cost of the box but on the lower end compared to my other Birchboxes in the past. It’s interesting that some of my favorite boxes have been lower retail value ones. Overall I’m really pleased with the curation and the products. I found two products that I LOVE and am definitely going to purchase (lip stain and sheet mask), and had a lot of fun trying the others. Can’t wait to see what’s in store for February!

Speaking of February, here are the sample choices for next month:

  • ARROW BOOST Color Enhancing Lip Balm
  • Whish Cleansing Oil
  • Hey Honey Take It Off Exfoliating Honey Peel Off Mask
  • REN Glycol Lactic Radiance Renewal Mask

Or you can choose the curated box, with a theme of “Date Night”:

  • Amika Blowout Spray
  • Whish Renewing Mud Mask
  • Catherine Malandrino Romance de Provence Perfume
  • Cynthia Rowley Beauty Brightening Illuminator 
  • OCC Lip Tar in Strumpet

What do you think? For once, the curated box doesn’t entice me at all. I’m not interested in getting perfume in my box and I’ve already tried the Amika spray and Cynthia Rowley illuminator. I kind of want to try the ARROW product since it’s the new line that Birchbox just launched, and I’ve heard good things so far about the lip balm. But on the other hand, I have a lot of lip balm already and those two masks look very very tempting. I’ll probably end up getting either the Hey Honey mask or the REN mask!


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