I’ve been an on-again, off-again subscriber to Birchbox since around its inception in 2010. An early adapter, if you will. I was on an on-spree around 8 months ago when I ran out of room for texturizing hairsprays and small, useless samples, and had to yet again pull the subscription plug. After seeing several of the new changes they’ve implemented recently, I decided to swap a $10 lunch at Panera for a monthly subscription. I mean, there’s not much to lose.
NUMBER 4 LUMIERE DHIVER FLUORO5 ELIXER RESTORE & REPAIR OIL
A Birchbox sample if there ever was one: a doll-sized bottle of delicious smelling hair oil that not a single person in this world will ever fully utilize. As someone with non-Kardashian locks (thin and damaged as hell), I put some of this oil on and emerged smelling like the salon but looking like I hadn’t even seen shampoo since the 90’s. It’s my humble opinion that people who use hair oil should maybe just shower less and that hair oil probably just shouldn’t exist at all. All it does is sit there, smell pretty and make me feel bad about myself; basically the trophy wife of hair products.
Size: 2/10 – lol. Almost n/a.
Product: 6/10 – for those who like oils, this will do just the trick of leaving your hair slick af and smelling like a Beverly Hills blowout that cost one month’s rent.
Price: $26 – reasonable for a quality hair oil.
Overall: 3/10 – I dislike hair oils, so this is a difficult rating. The smell is enticing and makes me feel luxurious though, so it gets a 3.
MAKE SKIN ILLUMINATOR
I physically cringed when I saw the size of this sample, which is almost exactly the size of my dainty pinky. But then I saw that the .15oz size was only marginally smaller than the “full” .20 oz size that BB sells on their website for $34. This stuff illuminated my face, sure, but for that kind of price, I’d expect it to radiate some sort of bat signal that summons Ryan Gosling to my front door. Clearly that didn’t happen, so me and my useless glow are going to take a pass.
Size: I can’t even.
Product: 8/10 – provided a healthy, illuminating glow. Unlike some ghostly illuminators I’ve used in the past, I didn’t look like I’d come back from the dead, either. Perfectly pink.
Price: $34 – for .20 oz? Like I said, Ryan Gosling or bust. This product’s good, but it’s definitely not made with angel tears. The full size does come with a neat brush applicator though, which totally explains the premium. #not
Overall: 7/10 – I originally unsubscribed from BB because their sizes were a joke, and this is just a fun reminder of that. The product is good, but I’ve used better illuminators at significantly more reasonable prices.
LOC VIBRANT MATTE LIPSTICK IN WILDEST DREAMS
Vibrant? Check. Matte? Check. Anything extraordinary that would sway someone from their tried and true brand to prompt a purchase? Bzzzzzzt nope. This is just your straight up, run of the mill matte lipstick with absolutely zero exceptional qualities. Plus, I got snaggle tooth when I wore this in public, and that’s an offense that I don’t know if I’ll ever be able to forgive LOC for.
Size: 7/10 – full size, but pretty small. Seems highly prone to breaking. Also prone to causing snaggle tooth USERS BEWARE.
Product: 5/10 – looking for the most generic matte red lipstick on the market? You got it.
Price: $8 – reasonable and definitely in line with similar drugstore competitors.
Overall: 5/10 – admittedly, the snaggle was predominantly (all) user error, so I can’t truly say anything negative about this product. I can’t say anything overly positive about it either though, as it truly is just one of the most average lip products I’ve ever used.
SOAP & PAPER FACTORY SHEA BUTTER HAND CREAM – GREEN TEA
“Green tea” and “shea butter” are two things that I have never found I’ve liked, so this one seemed like a throw away before I even finished reading the description. Tea is bland and packs no punch, and for as long as I can remember, I’ve associated shea butter with stretch marks, one of the top 10 most unappealing things in all of existence. This lotion, however, is absolutely fantastic. It’s oh so thick, and they managed to fit the scents of one million angels into a Birchbox sized sample tube, which is a feat worthy of the $10 I paid for the box alone. It’s extremely hydrating and the scent isn’t overpowering; it lightly floats on top of the skin, like a light lotion halo. Luckily, Birchbox was generous enough this month to provide a sample that’ll last at least 36 hours.
Size: 3/10 – Birchbox, you’re killin me. This lotion is amaze, but there is literally only enough in the tube to last no more than 3 days.
Product: 9/10 – thought I would hate it, ended up loving it: extra points for that. Who knew that a green tea/shea butter love child could be so magical.
Price: $18 – an acceptable price to pay to smell and feel like a soft, hydrated angelic beauty.
Overall: 9/10 – I’m generally adverse to buying from the BB store because I dislike their business model, but I may actually break my strike and ~shocking twist~ buy from them.
BIOREPUBLIC SKINCARE ALOE RESCUE REVITALIZING FIBER SHEET MASK
I love Aloe Vera plants. I have a thriving one in my apartment, in fact. #greenthumb. I also love Aloe lotions, and most Aloe products. I generally love Aloe Vera ~all encompassing~. There’s something about putting Aloe on my face that is extremely off putting though, as is the fact that this is a “fiber” mask, and I have absolutely no idea what that means. This doesn’t feel like a ~luxury~ item, but more of a cheap extra you’d receive with a Bath & Body Works promo that would cause a horrible facial reaction. The package is oddly squish and highly suspicious, so I’m going to take a pass. KNOW YOUR BOUNDARIES, ALOE.
Size: 3.33/10 – 3.33/10 because the full size is listed as being in a pack of 3. This is the only logical rating.
Product: 2/10 – there’s something about this that screams “you’ll have a terrible reaction, stay the fuck away,” and I have to oblige.
Price: $14 for a pack of 3 – pretty cheap…suspiciously cheap.
Overall: n/a – seems to be the product equivalent of that piece of super sketchy halloween candy you always received as a kid; there was always that one piece. Maybe it was black licorice, maybe it was some sort of obscure candy from the 70’s that had a hidden razor blade in it. I don’t know, but this mask is like that.
Clearly, not much has changed in the Birchbox world of sample sizes or types of samples since my last subscription, and I’m not exactly surprised. Birchbox introduces consumers to new products and brands, sure, but what Birchbox really knows how to do is brand themselves. Ever since their beginnings, they’ve killed with their marketing materials and graphics: always on point. Just recently, they switched from the plain ol brown box to pretty, graphic boxes. Behold:
I’m not in it for the products. Asides from a little lotion and a touch of facial luminance, I didn’t get anything makeup-wise from it. But, for $10, I got a pretty box and an unboxing experience. For now, the sub stays.
What did you guys think of November’s Birchbox? What are your thoughts on the subscription itself – anyone feeling as torn as I am? Let me know!