Birchbox May 2016 Review plus June 2016 Sample Options

I actually got my Birchbox early this month, but one of my samples had leaked during shipment and gotten all over my other samples. It wasn’t a huge deal because I was able to rinse some of the items off, but I contacted customer service and was immediately sent a brand new box with all the samples! I didn’t even need everything to be replaced, but they were so apologetic and sent me a brand new box anyways. Just thought I would share that little tidbit about the customer service!

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.

Promo code alert: use coupon code PIXIPALETTE to get a free Pixi by Petra Palette ($12 Value) with your first month of Birchbox!

Birchbox May 2016 Review plus June 2016 Sample Options

I’ve been on a curated box binge lately! Usually I prefer to choose one sample and be surprised by the other 4, but recently the curated boxes have been great choices for me.

Birchbox May 2016 Review plus June 2016 Sample Options

Davines Love Smoothing Shampoo | $7.40
I’ve sampled this in the past and loved it, so seeing this in the curated box helped seal the deal for my choice. This shampoo smells amazing and leaves my hair feeling very soft without being harsh. It rinses out really clean and I’ve found my hair to be easier to style. I always love having travel sized containers of shampoo and conditioner on hand, and at 2.5 ounces this is a very generous size but still perfectly okay for TSA. Word of advice though: this is the sample that leaked during shipment. Keeping that in mind, I will probably transfer the contents to a more leak-proof travel container.

Birchbox May 2016 Review plus June 2016 Sample Options

Davines Love Smoothing Conditioner | $1.37
Whenever I get a little conditioner packet like this, I wish I could swap the sizes between the conditioner and the shampoo! I use more conditioner than shampoo, so that would have been more practical for me. Extra bummer because I really like this conditioner and would have loved a bigger sample. It’s gentle on my hair and keeps it really soft and shiny and easy to style. This conditioner bumps the number of samples in my box up to 6, which meant I got to review 6 items and get 60 points (worth $6.00 store credit) instead of the usual 50.

Birchbox May 2016 Review plus June 2016 Sample Options

COOLA SPF 30 Organic Makeup Setting Spray$7.20
I wear sunscreen religiously 365 days a year, so anything with SPF is a win in my book. I personally really like COOLA products and use their matte bb cream almost every day, so I had really high hopes for this spray. While I did like the way it felt on my skin (dried quickly and didn’t feel sticky), I’m not sure how well it works as sun protection. A light misting wouldn’t give you enough product to block UV rays but anything more than a few sprays would be way too much product sitting on your face. I put on a very generous layer and my face felt sort of greasy as the day wore on. All the rain and humidity we have here in Houston probably wasn’t helping, but I just felt like there’s no way you could get adequate SPF coverage without putting on too much.

Birchbox May 2016 Review plus June 2016 Sample Options

ModelCo Lip Lacquer in Creme Brulee | $5.33
When I got the curated box, I thought this would be more of a pink-toned nude. As it turns out, it’s really quite close to my skin tone and so I look sort of strange wearing it. I look like I tried to cover my lips with foundation or something, haha. But I think for someone who is paler this would be a really nice no-makeup nude! The texture was okay, nothing spectacular. It wasn’t bad, but I guess I’m just not that excited about ModelCo products anymore because I feel like they’ve become one of those “subscription box only” beauty companies. I’ve received so many of their products in various boxes and I’m feeling bored. The true sign of a subscription box addict…

Birchbox May 2016 Review plus June 2016 Sample Options

CLEAN Blossom Eau de Parfum | $1.68
I don’t think anyone is thrilled with getting these tiny perfume samples in their box, but at least I really like this scent! It definitely reminds me of spring and cheerful weather. Orange blossom is one of my favorites fragrances, and I can smell it pretty strongly in this perfume.

Birchbox May 2016 Review plus June 2016 Sample Options

Benefit Hoola Matte Bronzer | $10.36
The main reason I got this box was to get this bronzer! I’ve always heard so many great things about it and I love Benefit’s products. I’ve been wanting to try it for such a long time but since I have so much bronzer samples from various boxes, I never bit the bullet to buy one. Thrilled that I got it as a sample!  It’s a generous size too, at about a third of the full sized product.

Birchbox May 2016 Review plus June 2016 Sample Options

Totally love it! It blends so easily and goes on super smooth. It’s a great match for my complexion, since it’s not super dark but is buildable and looks amazing for light contouring. It doesn’t have any sparkle or shimmer, which is something that I see in a lot of bronzers and dislike. Paired with Benefit’s Dandelion blush, I can get a really great “barely there” natural look!

Birchbox May 2016 Review plus June 2016 Sample Options

Overall, I thought this was an amazing month! I know it sounds like I disliked several of my samples, but I’m actually really happy with what I got. Even though the COOLA didn’t work out for me, I love that I got to try it through Birchbox. The Benefit bronzer and Davines products are amazing and will get used up. Just the bronzer was worth the cost of the box! My total value comes out to $33.34, which is more than triple what I paid.

Next month’s sample option:

  • Benefit Gimme Brow Volumizing Fiber Gel in Light, Medium, or Dark

Or choose the curated box, which comes with

  • LOC One and Done Shadow Stick in Haute Cocoa OR Heavy Petal
  • Davines Authentic Cleansing Nectar Hair/Body Deluxe + Authentic Moisturizing Butter Packette
  • NUXE Reve de Miel Facial Cleansing and Make-Up Removing Gel
  • Air Repair Complexion Boosting Moisturizer
  • The Beauty Crop PBJ Smoothie Stick in Raisin the Roof

What do you think? More Davines in my life sounds like a good idea. I’m surprised that the sample choice is only one product, but I guess it’s good that they’re letting people choose which shade works best. I already have sufficiently thick brows so I think this fiber gel might make them comically dark.  I’ll probably go for the curated box!

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