Monday, December 29, 2014

Birchbox Beauty Subscription Review, December 2014

Since I've done so many Birchbox reviews over the past few months, I wasn't planning to do one for December.  Then, along came their most beautiful box ever!  Not only is it full of great products but the box itself is the prettiest one they've ever sent.  I'm hoping this signals an end to the boring brown boxes.  

If you've just dropped in from another planet, Birchbox is probably the oldest of the beauty subscription boxes.  At just $10 a month, it's also one of the least expensive. If you commit for a year, they give you one month for free so the monthly cost is even less. Birchbox isn't going anywhere so this is one you can feel comfortable about with regard to longer term subscriptions. (Something you'll never hear me say about new sub box companies!)

The December box contains five luxury samples. They all come from high end brands that I'm more or less unfamiliar with...and that's the whole purpose of a good sub box in my opinion. There is not one repeat in this box; how often can we say that?

The information card provides the name of each item, its retail price, a description and how-to tips.  The theme for the month is "festive beauty samples".

This month, they included a card that is good for $10 off at a Gap store.  You have to be a current Birchbox subscriber to qualify and the purchase has to be made in store. Unfortunately, the expiration date is January 14th so there isn't much time to use this benefit. Since there isn't a Gap anywhere near me, I'll give my code to the first blog subscriber who asks. (Comment below or e-mail me.)

The first item in the box is a little spray bottle (about 2 oz.) of Davines Replumping Hair Filler Superactive.  This leave-in treatment contains hyaluronic acid and fortifies hair to leave it looking thick and shiny. The LAST thing my hair needs is more body but this is an interesting product so I'll gift it to someone who can benefit.  Full size retail is $39.50

Next is a small pot containing a sample of Bio Brightener Stick in the shade "Moonstone" from W3ll People.  That's not a misspelling; that's how they spell their name.  If anyone can explain, please comment below.  This is a high performance brightener that can be used on any area of your face to add a little shimmer. The color of this one is somewhere between taupe and a very light dusty rose which I think will be quite flattering on most skin tones.  Full size retail is $33

Acure Organics has provided a 1 oz. sample of their Sensitive Facial Cleanser which contains probiotics and nourishes your skin as it cleans.  There's enough product here for quite a few uses. Full size retail is $14.99

I have never seen a rose gold eyeliner before and I'm not at all sure I can pull it off, BUT...there's no denying how gorgeous this metallic shade is.  This is the Kajal Extreme Intense Eye Pencil from Vasanti Cosmetics. It is a creamy, no-budge liner that stays put for up to eight hours.  This is a sample but it's probably 1/2 to 2/3 of the full size, so there is plenty here.  Full size retail is $18

From what I've gathered on other blogs and vlogs, none of us like foil pack samples. In the long run, competition between the beauty boxes may drive these out of our boxes but in the meantime, I'm afraid they are here to stay.  It behooves us all to get VERY adept at squeezing out every last bit from these annoying little packs.  These two are from Davines, their Naturaltech Replumping Shampoo and Conditioner.  For some reason, these aren't shown on the information card but I assume they promote thicker more lustrous hair.  Maybe Birchbox is wise enough to just toss these in as bonus samples and not count them as regular luxury size samples.

The last item is a good size little container of Juara's Turmeric Antioxidant Radiance Mask.  I haven't tried this yet but it is a very smooth looking cream with a light beige color that is said to have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. The instructions say to apply it to your face once a week, wait 10-15 minutes, then rinse it off.  I'd say there is enough here for four or five applications.  Full size retail is $35

Even though everything in December's box is not necessarily suited to my skin and hair type, I am impressed with the quality and variety of products.  Birchbox is definitely introducing us to some higher end brands which most of us probably would not have encountered otherwise.

Discounts for Birchbox are few and far between since they are so cheap to begin with. Most of the discounts I've seen over the past year have been geared towards purchases in their on-line store rather than to subscriptions.  At the moment, you can get $10 off when you purchase one of their Limited Edition boxes (which range in price from $18 to $98) and subscribe.  The code "bbshop" will get you free shipping on a store order.

Don't forget to review the products in your monthly box on Birchbox's site each month.  Each review is basically worth $1 in their store so if you review all 5 samples each month, you get $5 credit, making the cost of the box effectively $5.  There are also other opportunities to add points during the month so they can add up fast. Having a few hundred points to burn in the Birchbox store is not a bad thing at all!

Happy Holidays,


Disclosure:  Views and opinions expressed in this blog are strictly my own.  Product discussed in this post was purchased with my own money. Post may contain referral or affiliate links.

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