Monday, October 12, 2015

Inside My September Birchbox!

Hello there! This is only a little late, considering my October Birchbox has now officially shipped and is on its way! But I wanted to spend some time with my August Birchbox so that I could give an honest review of each of the seven products included - as well as a sample value breakdown for you all. Full disclosure: Birchbox offers an option where you can peek at the samples you're getting before the box itself arrives, and for the past two months, I've done it. I can't help myself! But I'm hoping to get to a point where I'm fine just being surprised. Maybe I'll treat my November and December Birchboxes and Ipsy Glam Bags a bit more like presents to be unwrapped physically, vs digitally? Who knows!

Anyway, I was super impressed with this special Anniversary Birchbox, which came with a few extra samples as well as some fun balloons! It was like unwrapping a party. And many of the products were great! But for the first time I wasn't as keen on some of the others. For more on that, read the reviews below. And if you're interested in trying a Birchbox subscription, you can get the ball rolling here! Enjoy! xo Jenna

Davines LOVE Smoothing Shampoo
Full-size | $25.00 for 8.45 oz.
Sample value | $07.69
Right away this sample shampoo caught my eye because it was such a generously sized sample. I even brought it with me when I traveled to a wedding, along with the one-time-use conditioner packet. It smelled incredible, and really did smooth and tame my hair. It was definitely my favorite thing in this month's box and possibly the only thing I'd purchase in full-size.

Davines LOVE Smoothing Conditioner
Full-size | $29.00 for 8.45 oz.
Sample value | $01.37
Like I said, loved the combination of these two products, but I'm kind of bummed that this sample wasn't equally sized to the other...because I typically don't like to mix brands when it comes to shampoo and conditioner. Is that weird? Maybe. Plus I always run out of conditioner first, so I need extra shampoo like I need a hole in the head. It would still be great for travel, and I'm certainly not going to let it go to waste. But...that was my big complaint with this sample. Other than that, it was a beautiful conditioner, and the combination with the shampoo is definitely on my list of possible future purchases.

POP Beauty POP Portfolio Eyeshadow Palette
Full-size | $29.00 for 36 shadows
Sample value | $02.15 for 3 shadows
I am loving the formulation of these shadows by POP Beauty. The powder is fine and richly pigmented, and it swatched and wore like a dream. In terms of the colors, each is a shimmery shade and I do love each one in its own right, but definitely wouldn't wear them together the way I would wear the 3-shadow palette from my Ipsy bag (more on that in an additional post). But the light color is a beautiful inner-corner or brow bone highlight, and the shimmery gray is a great lid or crease color. the purple is gorgeous as well, with more of a fall browns/taupes eye look (my personal preference, since an overall "cool-toned" eye is not great for my personal coloring. My holy grail eye palettes work together to create one look, since my everyday makeup bag is a travel bag that lives in my purse at all times. But otherwise, love!

Full-size | $90.00 for 3.4 oz.
Sample value | ~$01.32
I'm going to say it. I am just not a fan of perfume samples! I have been on a lifelong journey to find a fragrance that both work with my body chemistry and don't give me an all-day case of the sneezes. #allergyproblems. This was a very floral, romantic scent that I actually got quite a few compliments on throughout the day...but it also made me sneeze like crazy and feel a constant headache. Pass, thanks. I just happen to like amber and woodsy scents. If you like florals, though, this is a nice option to try. 

Full-size | $32.00 for 8 oz.
Sample value | $02.00
This was a nice cleanser, and I really loved the fresh smell even though typically citrus is not my fave. But I have liked other cleansers much more, recently. So for the price, I would just never purchase the full-size. Last month's Dr. Brandt Pores No More Cleanser is definitely #1 on my current Birchbox wish list.

Full-size | $46.00 for 4 oz.
Sample value | $01.13
This was the biggest disappointment in my entire subscription box history, by far. The foil packet sample may have done something to alter the scent of the product, and I want to give them the benefit of the doubt, but it smelled terrible! Kind of like plastic or synthetic; just nothing you'd want to put on your face. And it just sat on top of my skin and never really absorbed, giving me an oily residue. I have naturally dry/combination skin, so I don't often feel oily or shiny, but with this I certainly did. I hate to be rude, and I love reporting back to you guys that I love everything I try, but this was so so bad. I can not imagine a world where I would ever pay $46.00 for this. Bye, Felicia. 

Full-size | $39.00 for 2 oz.
Sample value | $04.29
I really enjoyed trying this product, and while a peel isn't part of my typical beauty routine, it was fun to try. The sensitive formula was gentle, and the green apple scent was super refreshing and perfect for fall. Ultimately, I liked it and it's definitely worth a try. I'll certainly use up the full sample, but I probably wouldn't get the full-size because I just don't think I'd use it often enough. My routine already includes a weekly exfoliating scrub, and an every-other-day cleansing treatment with a vibrating cleansing brush, so a peel is just not really necessary. (I'd like to do an upcoming post on my sort of "skincare regime" soon, so look out for that.)

Money spent on my September Birchbox: $10.89 (including tax)
Value of my September Birchbox: $19.96

I am loving my subscription boxes (and bags) and definitely find that they are absolutely worth the monthly cost. Plus, if you're a Sephora junkie like me, with a store in walking distance and a burning desire to TRY ALL THE MAKEUP AND SKINCARE PRODUCTS EVER MADE, getting these boxes satisfies that urge to sample without spending a bazillion dollars on hit or miss full-size products. If you'd like to subscribe to Birchbox and see for yourself, you can do so at this link!