Beauty DNA February 2016 Box Review

Happy Leap Year, everyone! With this extra day I can officially get all of my February reviews published in the month of February! I was running a little behind with this BeautyDNA review…

Anyways, I have been subscribed to Beauty DNA for about half a year now and it continues to impress me. I think out of all my subscriptions, this one is the most practical. I always use what I receive and because everything is full sized it does last me for a while. I’ve found staples that I love through this subscription that I continue to repurchase and it’s a great way for me to find new products that work for me.

Beauty DNA is a monthly subscription service that sends you one full sized beauty item based on your profile. When you first sign up, you fill out a detailed profile on your preferences, and the experts at Beauty DNA will match you with a product that they think works best for you. For $25/month, you’ll receive an item from one of three categories: skincare, hair products, and body. Usually they alternate what category you receive between months, so you won’t end up getting several products of the same type consecutively.

Beauty DNA February 2016 Box Review

Always a good sign when I see two products in my box!

Beauty DNA February 2016 Box Review

Elysee Scientific Cosmetics Bio-Skin Function Oil | $30.50
I’ve been wary of oil moisturizers and haven’t tried that many, but this one absorbs quickly and doesn’t feel greasy on my face. Since the weather has been pretty dry lately and rather windy, my skin is more dry than usual so this was a good choice for me. I imagine I wouldn’t want to use this in the summer time though! I haven’t noticed any difference in terms of firmness or wrinkles, but only time will tell.

Beauty DNA February 2016 Box Review

Like I always say in my Beauty DNA reviews, these personalized cards are really helpful. It lists the retail price, key ingredients, where to purchase more, benefits, how to use the product, and why it was matched to your profile. It’s a concise way to see what elements to change or keep in your profile. For me, this product was chosen because I asked for something anti-aging for my dry skin that was easy to absorb and lightweight.

Beauty DNA February 2016 Box Review

Briogeo Be Gentle, Be Kind Green Tea Shampoo | $19.00
Since my main item was at a lower price point than usual, Beauty DNA sent me a second item as well. I know of the Briogeo brand from Birchbox and I’m happy to get a full sized shampoo to use. I very rarely splurge on expensive shampoo and conditioner so it’s such a treat to use something like this. The scent is really soft and pleasant and it washes out well. The shampoo feels very gentle, and doesn’t strip and dry out my hair.

Beauty DNA February 2016 Box Review

Even the second items come with an information card.

Beauty DNA February 2016 Box Review

One thing I’ve forgotten to mention in my previous reviews is that all the products come with a Beauty DNA sticker over the bar code. I assume this is so people don’t try to sell it or return it to a store. It’s not a big sticker or anything, but good to know in case you want to gift the items and don’t want your friends to know it came from a subscription box.

Beauty DNA February 2016 Box Review

Overall I had a good month. My two items combined comes to a value of $49.50, which is low for Beauty DNA but still about double the price I paid. I appreciate that they will send you an extra item if your first match is at a lower retail price point. I feel like their customer service is trying to be very thoughtful about sending a good value for the cost.

Now that I’m used to getting full sized products, I feel totally spoiled! It makes going back to foil samples even more difficult. For things like skincare, I think the ability to sample an entire bottle of something is important. It takes a while for you to see results and using a product for just a few days won’t be able to give you an accurate idea about how it works with your skin and body chemistry. What did you receive this month? I’d love to hear about other people’s matches!

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Barkbox February 2016 Review plus Free Box

Each month I look forward to the adorable themes that BarkBox releases. For February, I was expecting Valentine’s Day or something to do with hearts. Imagine my surprise when I got a box full of Lunar New Year themed items! I don’t think I’ve ever seen a subscription box do a Lunar New Year theme before, so I was thrilled. Everything was over the top adorable, I loved it. I admit to buying a second box this month–the first time I’ve ever done so for BarkBox! I just couldn’t resist.

BarkBox is $29/month if you do the month-to-month plan, but it goes down to only $18/month if you sign up for the whole year! We’ve been subscribed for a year and recently renewed for a whole year since it was such a great deal. Before getting BarkBox we were probably dropping between $30 to $50 a month at pet stores, and now the box usually lasts us through the month. You can use my link to get a free Barkbox added to any subscription, or use my referral code HOARDING. And if you use my link/referral code, they’ll donate a free box to the Bark-N-Rest Retirement Center! It’s a great cause and I’m pleased that BarkBox gives back to the doggie community!

You can choose different sizes when you order, and we get the Large box (for dogs over 50 lbs). Even though Maddie is about 46 lbs, she has the energy and strength of a much larger dog so we always size up for toys.

Barkbox February 2016 Review plus Free Box

I thought this zodiac chart was hilarious! Maddie’s birth year is 2013 which makes her a “Snake”. Her fortune for this year reads “Worries of the future will cloud your judgement. Take a nap instead.”

Barkbox February 2016 Review plus Free Box

Benny’s Famous Noodles Rope Toy | $14.00
Okay, how cute is this? I almost didn’t want to give this to Maddie since it’s so cute and funny. The walls of the plush take out box are filled with crinkle material, and the interior holds a rope toy. So it’s really like getting two toys in one.

Barkbox February 2016 Review plus Free Box

The take out box opens up to reveal the rope toy, which look like noodles. They’re sturdy and have three large knots on it which are perfect for heavy chewers like my dog. Maddie loves rope toys. She adores playing tug, throwing it around by herself, gnawing at the ends; she’ll entertain herself for hours. We don’t get very many rope toys through BarkBox, so I’m so excited to see this. Hopefully it means more rope in the future!

Barkbox February 2016 Review plus Free Box

I love everything about this toy. It’s sturdy and practical for a dog like Maddie and it’s also funny and adorable. I think it really highlights what I love about BarkBox toys. They’re always designed really well, are very unique (I love having toys that I know I could never find at PetSmart or a big box store), and are high quality.

Barkbox February 2016 Review plus Free Box

PetProjekt Furchun Cookie | $14.00
Thrilled to get another toy for heavy chewers. Maddie is a big fan of rubber toys, especially ones that can hold treats inside! This one is made of 100% rubber and has a flexible opening that does a good job of keeping the treats in without being too easy for your dog. It’s cute and functional and holds up well. I couldn’t ask for any more from a toy!

Barkbox February 2016 Review plus Free Box

Healthy Dogma Chicken Kung Pow Barkers | $8.00
We’ve received products made through Healthy Dogma before, and love their simple recipes. The list of ingredients is impressively short: barley, chicken, oats, peas, peanut flour, canola oil (preserved with mixed tocopherols). The treats are made in the US and wheat and gluten free. Maddie loves the taste and they fit in the fortune cookie toy. Bonus points for the packaging!

Barkbox February 2016 Review plus Free Box

Nootie Chomp Sticks | $8.00
We don’t get dental treats from BarkBox very often, so this is a welcome change of pace. Maddie loves gnawing on these and the ingredients are better than the “Greenies” dental stuff you get from the grocery store. Chomp Sticks are made in the USA and grain free. There’s 6 treats in each bag and each one is of substantial size.

Barkbox February 2016 Review plus Free Box

Butcher’s Block Trachea | $7.00
The only item that isn’t within the theme of Lunar New Year is this trachea crunchy tube. Every box usually includes at least one chew, so I’ve come to expect that. These are a favorite of Maddie’s, so I’m always happy to get another one. They’re great distractions for her when I clip her nails or clean out her ears. It’s made in the USA out of 100% natural beef, and comes shrink wrapped for freshness.

Barkbox February 2016 Review plus Free Box

Sorry for the lack of dog pictures in this review! I’ll take more pictures next month, I promise! The value for February’s box comes out to $51.00, which is one of the highest I’ve seen from BarkBox in a long time. This is definitely one of the best boxes Maddie has ever received. I ordered a second box because both toys are perfect for my dog, which made it worth the $29.00 cost already (not to mention getting the awesome treats and chew as well!).

I think BarkBox has the best curation and custom items out there right now. Even though other pet box subscriptions sometimes have higher value, I never feel like I have to worry about expiration dates or quality when it comes to BarkBox. Everything is always new, safe, well made, and well designed. The earliest expiration date I’ve ever had from a treat I got from BarkBox was about 11 months away. Both treats from this box have late 2017 expiration dates. The brands that they partner with for treats and toys are always high end brands, not the stuff you’ll find in your grocery store’s pet aisle. Their customer service is amazing and their satisfaction guarantee fully backs all of the toys. I’m always excited to get the next box to see what fun theme (and cute toys!) they’ve come up with. Let’s see what’s in store for March!

Peaches and Petals February 2016 Box Review plus 50% Off Promo Code

I’ve been loving my Peaches and Petals boxes, so couldn’t resist the offer to review the February box as well. This is the first box at the new price point, so I was quite curious to see if the contents would be very different from the previous two boxes. Even with the new pricing, they are the most affordable box that sends out a combination of lifestyle, fashion, and beauty goods. The themes are always carried out with an interesting mix of items that are thoughtfully curated.

Peaches and Petals is a monthly subscription service that sends out vintage-modern items and beauty goods. For $19.99 a month (includes shipping), you’ll receive a mix of jewelry, fashion accessories, lifestyle goods, and beauty samples. They feature a different theme every month, and February is “How Sweet It Is”.

Peaches and Petals February 2016 Box Review plus 50% Off Promo Code

Signature Soy Sweet Spun Sugar Candle | $5.00
Even though I have a huge stash of candles, I can’t say no to another one! This is a line of candles by Target, so it’s nice that I can purchase more scents easily. I actually had no idea they made these candles at such a reasonable cost. I’ll be trying the other fragrances next time I’m shopping there!

Peaches and Petals February 2016 Box Review plus 50% Off Promo Code

Even though it’s a small candle, it has a burn time of 20 hours. The scent is a little too sweet for me (think cotton candy), but it definitely fits the theme!

Peaches and Petals February 2016 Box Review plus 50% Off Promo Code

Love Themed Throw Pillow Cover | $15.00 (?)
Not sure on the value of this pillow cover, just guessing based on pillow covers I’ve purchased in the past. This was the spoiler item from last month, so I knew to expect a heart design of some sort. I wish I had gotten the geometric pattern instead but this one is really cute too! It actually fits my decor better, since I have lots of black and gray in the living room with gold accents.

Peaches and Petals February 2016 Box Review plus 50% Off Promo Code

Love Birds Salt and Pepper Shaker | $4.00 (?)
These are designed to be wedding favors, and are usually ordered in bulk. It’s hard to find a specific value for one set, so I’m estimating here. The packaging is definitely super cute. It comes with a bow at the top and the front flap flips open to reveal the birds.

Peaches and Petals February 2016 Box Review plus 50% Off Promo Code

These little birds are super tiny, so they’re not practical for every day use, but I love them nonetheless. I have a small dining table so when I’m entertaining these will be perfect. I notice my guests never actually use the salt and pepper shakers anyways.

Peaches and Petals February 2016 Box Review plus 50% Off Promo Code

Look how cute they are! I can’t resist anything mini.

Peaches and Petals February 2016 Box Review plus 50% Off Promo Code

Lip Smackers Girl Scouts Thin Mints Lip Balm | $4.50 
I lucked out with getting my favorite cookie flavor! Lip Smackers makes me feel so nostalgic for the days when I would collect all the sparkly ones. Getting a Lip Smackers lip balm is kind of fun because it reminds me of my childhood, but also kind of an odd choice because it makes this box feel very young. I know these were released back in 2011 and have since been discontinued, so it feels like old inventory. Does lip balm expire? I couldn’t find any expiration dates on it.

Peaches and Petals February 2016 Box Review plus 50% Off Promo Code

Slightly Melted Shower Mochi | $3.90
Yay, an item from an Etsy shop! I love getting handmade items from small stores, so whenever I get something like this I consider it a real treat. I think it’s so clever that the flavors fit the theme, and the item itself is literally made of sugar. Double theme!

Peaches and Petals February 2016 Box Review plus 50% Off Promo Code

 

And look how adorable these shower mochi are! You’re supposed to break off a small piece (or cut it into 6 sections) and use the piece to exfoliate while in the shower. The sugar is a natural exfoliant and the coconut oil and cocoa butter in the mochi will moisturize your skin. I like the idea of having a solid body scrub that is easy for travel and hassle free. Lord knows I have too many little jars cluttering my shower right now. Oh and just fyi, the orange creamsicle scent is amazing.

Peaches and Petals February 2016 Box Review plus 50% Off Promo Code

Marshmallows 28 Delicious Recipes | $2.95
This last item is listed as a “sweet surprise” on the information card. Some people received canvas prints, heart shaped items, and I got a marshmallow recipe book. One really fun thing about this book is that it’s hardcover, but the cover is sort of puffy and has a softness to it. Just like a marshmallow!

Peaches and Petals February 2016 Box Review plus 50% Off Promo Code

The recipes sound delicious, but making marshmallows seems too advanced for me. Any time a recipe calls for the use of a candy thermometer, I get nervous! I know heating sugar is very precise and you have to be careful about the exact temperature, and that’s not something I’m very good at. Maybe I’ll pass this along to a more experienced friend and see if she’ll let me come over to sample the marshmallows 🙂

Peaches and Petals February 2016 Box Review plus 50% Off Promo Code

Total value for this box was difficult to calculate since I guessed on so many items, but based on my guesses it comes out to $35.35. That’s a little bit higher than last month, though I like this box much better! I think all the items were much more fitting for me this month. I loved those shower mochi scrubs and the salt and pepper shakers as well; candles and home decor items are always fun things for me to receive.

I think all the items fit the theme very well. It definitely felt like a well curated box that was put together thoughtfully. I just wish the Lip Smackers balm were a more current flavor or maybe even a sample size of those Fresh Sugar lip balms (so perfect for the sweetness theme!). I was also hoping the retail value of the box would have jumped more than a few dollars, considering the price did go up by about 33%. It would be nice to see more high quality products or handmade items for the new price.

Next month the theme is “Live Life In Color”.

Peaches and Petals February 2016 Box Review plus 50% Off Promo Code

I wonder what that means? It’s a broad enough theme that I’m curious what types of items they’ll be sending out. Any guesses?

If the March theme catches your eye or you just want an affordable little gift for yourself every month, get 50% off your first month with the code PEACHWENDY. (That’s only $10 for your first box!)

Glossybox February 2016 Review

February Glossybox got here a few days ago and I’ve finally gotten around to reviewing everything.

Glossybox is $21 a month, or less with a 3 month, 6 month, or annual subscription. Each month you get 5 deluxe sized beauty samples, and sometimes they’ll send out full sized products as well. They aim to send high end brands, but in the past I’ve seen some lower price point items as well. If you’re interested in signing up but not in a rush, I’ve been seeing their subscriptions at a deep discount at Gilt City and Rue La La these past few months. It might be worth waiting for another deal to come around if you don’t want to pay full price. That’s what I did, and I got my annual subscription for a steal!

Glossybox February 2016 Review

I really like the special Valentine’s Day packaging, but I received this box well after Valentine’s Day. Nonetheless, it’s beautiful as usual. I always reuse my Glossybox packaging to store stuff afterwards.

Glossybox February 2016 Review

GlamGlow ThirstyCleanse Daily Hydrating Cleanser | $7.80
I really like all of GlamGlow’s products, so I’m always pleased to see something from their line in a box. I’ve tried this before and think it’s a good cleanser, though I prefer the YouthCleanse (black packaging) more. You apply the cleanser to dry skin, then add water to create a lather. The clay takes a little work to completely rinse away, but has good results. Your face is left clean and fresh without feeling stripped.

Glossybox February 2016 Review

BioRepublic Skincare Cucumber Breeze Soothing Fiber Mask | $4.98
Yay, more sheet masks! I’ve been going through my collection rather quickly since winter has severely dried out my skin, so I’m happy to get a new addition. As many of you know by now, I love sheet masks since they appeal to my laziness. No rinsing afterwards! This one had lots of extra serum left in the package afterwards that I was able to tap onto my face. It absorbed well and I woke up the next morning with very soft skin.

Glossybox February 2016 Review

Teeez Cosmetics Oasis Gem Lipstick in Heat Wave Ruby | $22.00
I had never heard of this brand before, but I’m digging the graphics on the packaging. Every subscriber received the same color, which is a muted berry red that I think will work for a lot of skin tones. The finish is described as a “satin matte”, though it looks just like a regular matte to me.

Glossybox February 2016 Review

I found the shape of the lipstick a little hard to work with, since I’m used to a thinner tip. But in the end I got it to work with a Q-tip for the edges.

Glossybox February 2016 Review

Benefit The Porefessional Primer | $4.13
This is one of the staples in my beauty routine, so it’s nice to have little travel sized ones on hand. But it’s one of those products that we see so much of in subscription boxes that it isn’t exciting in the least bit. This is also a really tiny sample. I can usually get this sample size from a variety of stores that carry Benefit products for free.

Glossybox February 2016 Review

Etre Belle Cosmetics Golden Skin Roll On Caviar Eye Gel | $30.61
It’s always really exciting for me when I get products from a different country, and I don’t think I’ve ever sampled anything from Germany before. This gel is lightly perfumed which I usually really dislike for anything in the eye area, but it’s light enough that I can tolerate. I haven’t noticed much difference since using this, but I’ve only been at it for a few days. Plus it’s kind of fun to put on, so I don’t mind.

Glossybox February 2016 Review

The roller is cool and smooth, definitely feels very refreshing to put on! I like how the cap screws on because it’s much more secure than one that just snaps on. I feel like I can carry this around with me because of the cap design.

Glossybox February 2016 Review

Overall value comes to $69.52, which is more than triple the cost of the box. I’m pleased with the value and have been enjoying the products, but most of the items felt a little boring to me. Even though I use Benefit’s Porefessional and GlamGlow cleansers, I have received a lot of their samples in the past (usually larger as well). Both samples were very small, and easy to obtain for free from various stores or online. The Teeez lipstick and eye gel were definitely the highlights for me!

Like I said last month, I think Glossybox should start marketing themselves as more of an “international beauty” box instead of a luxury full sized one. I think with their existing marketing it’s making a lot of customers upset because we don’t receive that many full sized products and a lot of brands they feature certainly don’t qualify as luxury brands.

I know for a fact that if I had paid $21.00 a month for this (full price), I would be more disappointed. I don’t think what Glossybox offers for the full price point is a good value compared to other beauty boxes out there. BoxyCharm charges the same price but delivers full sized products and almost always tops $100 in value per box. Birchbox charges less than half what Glossybox does and usually manages to deliver $35.00+ value per box, and even has a great points system as well. Guess we’ll see how the rest of this year goes. At this point, I would not resubscribe without a hefty discount.

 

Birchbox February 2016 Review plus March 2016 Sample Options

Now that we’re approaching the end of the month, all my February boxes have arrived! Stay tuned for reviews 🙂 Up for review today is 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.

Birchbox February 2016 Review plus March 2016 Sample Options

Shoutout to the Birchbox design team! They always make such beautiful boxes each month. I’ve started collecting the boxes now and love to use them for storing knick knacks and craft supplies.

Birchbox February 2016 Review plus March 2016 Sample Options

Not Soap, Radio Body Wash in Liquid Freud | $1.29
I’ve sampled Not Soap, Radio body wash products before, and have liked all the scents. They’re usually not too strong and aren’t very “perfume-y”, so it can work for either gender. This coconut milk one has a very rich and tropical scent that reminds me of vacation. A little goes a long way, and the body wash lathers up really nicely. I use these little bottles for travel, it’s super convenient! Maybe I can bring this on a tropical vacation?

Birchbox February 2016 Review plus March 2016 Sample Options

REN Glycol Lactic Radiance Renewal Mask | $16.52
This was my sample choice for February. I wanted to try it because I know REN makes good products that work with my skin, and I’m going through a mask phase right now. Can’t get enough! I’m pleasantly surprised by the size of this sample: it’s actually a generous size. I can probably get at least 6 or so uses out of it. I have sensitive skin so applying fruit acid was kind of scary, but it paid off! My skin was smooth and soft afterwards, and felt great the next morning as well. Just don’t use this more often than once a week! It’s definitely a harsher mask than the moisturizing ones.

Birchbox February 2016 Review plus March 2016 Sample Options

Obliphica Professional Seaberry Serum | $8.78
I have so much hair serum I doubt I’ll ever get through it at this point, but I can’t say no to another travel sized one. I’ve had good luck with seaberry products in the past, but never used it for hair. I used this serum on wet hair before styling and it made my hair shiny, soft, and manageable. Plus it smells really good!

Birchbox February 2016 Review plus March 2016 Sample Options

TOCCA Eau de Parfum Emelia | $2.00
I don’t get excited about perfume samples anymore unless they come in really cute mini bottles. I’ve sampled numerous TOCCA fragrances in the past and like most of them. My favorite is Isabel, though Emelia is similar. It’s got warm floral notes with citrus and coconut water.

Birchbox February 2016 Review plus March 2016 Sample Options

ARROW Boost Color Enhancing Lip Balm | $14.00
I was so happy to get this in my box because I was debating between the REN mask and this lip balm for my sample choice. I’m extra thrilled to see this is a full sized item! Birchbox recently launched their own line of makeup products geared towards an active lifestyle, and this is one of the products from that line. It had such good reviews that I was really curious about trying it. It promises to enhance your existing lip color, sort of like what Dior LipGlow delivers.

Birchbox February 2016 Review plus March 2016 Sample Options

The balm applies smoothly and does add color to my lips. I found the color to be flattering and was perfect for that “no makeup” look. The problem I had was that it really didn’t last long at all. I had to constantly reapply, which I didn’t like. My LipGlow (one of my holy grail products!) lasts longer and gives me a richer color with one swipe. I personally still prefer Dior, but the price difference is very significant. I think if you’re looking for a more affordable version of the Dior LipGlow, this is a great one! I’m glad to have tried it!

Birchbox February 2016 Review plus March 2016 Sample Options

Overall value for February comes out to $42.59, which is fantastic! I really like the range of products I received and plus I got my 50 points for reviewing all my samples. I can only hope next month will be just as good!

Sample choices for March:

  • No. 4 Hydrating Shampoo and Conditioning Packet
  • PARLOR By Jeff Chastain Volumizing & Texturizing Shampoo + Conditioner
  • Amika Perk Up Dry Shampoo

Curated box:

  • PARLOR® by Jeff Chastain Smoothing Blowout Spray
  • MILK Makeup Lip Color in C.R.E.A.M.
  • Smashbox Photo Op Eyeshadow Trio in Filter
  • Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Cream
  • Wilma Schumann Skincare Hydrating Collagen Eye Pads

What do you think? I have a lot of Amika products already so I’m thinking I’ll get either the No. 4 shampoo + conditioner or the PARLOR by Jeff Chastain shampoo + conditioner. Usually the shampoo and conditioner are two separate products that you can both review, resulting in more points! What are you going to choose? I’d love to know!