December subscription boxes: Birchbox vs IPSY

I’d love to know which of these two subscription boxes you purchase. If you don’t buy any of these which would you pick after seeing what’s in the December boxes? I’m not going to comment until the end so you can form your own opinions (pretty unusual for me to keep my mouth shut!!)

BIRCHBOX DECEMBER 2013: Sparkle and Shine

Birchbox December 2013 Sparkle and Shine

Birchbox December 2013 Sparkle and Shine

December 2013 Birchbox

December 2013 Birchbox

Birchbox is $10 a month. Once you subscribe be sure you fill out the surveys to gain points that will help you get products they sell for free or for less money. The box is known to be a SAMPLE box though in the beginning I believe they’d have some full size items. December held 4 samples, a cookie and a Birchbox extra.

Birchbox goodies

Birchbox goodies

These are the deluxe samples: Number 4 Non Aerosol Hairspray, Secret Agent Beauty Nourishing & Plumping Lip Gloss in Foreign Intelligence Flirt, and Bee Kind Body Lotion.

Birchbox stuff

Birchbox stuff

This picture shows the Eslor Skincare System sample packet, Emily’s Chocolates Milk Chocolate Fortune Cookie, and a Birchbox Digimate that you stick on your phone when you want to purchase from Birchbox and get 20% off the purchase. birchbox december 13 cookie

Eslor packets

Eslor packets

IPSY DECEMBER 2013

Ipsy December 2013 products

Ipsy December 2013 products

Ipsy is also $10 a month and includes full size items although once in a while there will be a deluxe sample. There are variations to the subscription so you may not get the exact same cosmetic bag as your neighbor but they’ll be similar.
Every month the bright pink mailer brings you cosmetics in a makeup bag. This month’s bag is a black patent leather look textured one.

The products in my bag are Andrea false eyelashes, Pop Beauty eyeshadow trio in Naturally Bare, NYX Miracle Lipstick, Be A Bombshell “The One Stick” in Girl Crush, and Nikka K nail polish in a taupe shade (NY 112, I think).

Pop Beauty eyeshadow in Naturally Bare

Pop Beauty eyeshadow in Naturally Bare

Nikka K polish

Nikka K polish

NYX Lipstick in MIracle

NYX Lipstick in Miracle

ANDREA false lashes

ANDREA false lashes

Be A Bombshell The One Stick in Girl Crush

Be A Bombshell The One Stick in Girl Crush

Be A Bombshell The One Stick in Girl Crush

Be A Bombshell The One Stick in Girl Crush

Now that you’ve seen what’s in these subscriptions, do you have an opinion? I sure do. First thing you need to know is that I cancelled my Birchbox subscription in early November. I had removed my CC information and got a cancellation notice. Then voila, there’s the box in my mail and on my charge. I didn’t return it because the postage wouldn’t be worth it to me and I can use items in the BIZ giveaways. I will most likely use the BeeKind lotion on my legs though since my skin is so dry. There’s a chance I’ll use the Secret Agent Beauty gloss. The cookie will get eaten. Eslor and Number 4 hairspray will be given away.

IPSY on the other hand will get use. My sister’s next goodie bag will include the Andrea Falsies since she’s a makeup artist and someone may want these put on them. I have no skill at all when it comes to false lashes so I won’t even attempt them. Be A Bombshell’s color stick is a keeper. Not everyone can wear this light a color but I can and will. The Pop Beauty trio is very nice although I haven’t decided if it’s a keeper or giveaway but I’m glad it was in there. Nikka K isn’t a color I’d normally wear but it’s nice to have a shade I might just need in the stash. Last is the NYX Miracle lipstick which looks beautiful but isn’t my shade so someone will get this in a giveaway.

And the winner is... IPSY

And the winner is… IPSY

Even though you can see that I won’t use everything in my IPSY, you can also tell that this is the winner. IPSY has become a subscription I look forward to every month and a great value for my $10. — Marcia

Disclosure: I finally got a link for IPSY credits that can help purchase items so if you decide to become a subscriber, I’d love if you clicked through my link. Thanks

 

October Ipsy and Birchbox – which would you want?

As I’m sure many of you know, I love the surprise of subscription boxes. I think it’s a thrill to get mail that’s fun instead of those dratted bills. This oops last month two of the boxes I purchased were from Birchbox and Ipsy. Birchbox and I had a falling out but then I resubscribed a few months ago. Ipsy is fairly new in my life and for the most part has delighted me. I wanted to compare the two boxes and get your opinions. What would you want from these boxes and which would you keep if you had to choose? — Marcia

BIRCHBOX FOR OCTOBER

Birchbox for October 2013

Birchbox for October 2013

Birchbox theme: Beauty Buzz

Birchbox theme: Beauty Buzz

In general I find that most people get similar Birchboxes. There might be variations in color and sometimes a product but not that much unless you are brand new to the subscription. For October there were two full size products and “3” samples. This month their theme is devoted to award winners.

Liz Earle samples in Birchbox

Liz Earle samples in Birchbox

LIZ EARLE – this cute little box holds 2 of the samples. There is nice size of the Cleanse & Polish Hot Cloth Cleanser and 2 Pur Muslin cloths. Liz Earle is a favorite in the UK and these two products are big sellers for them. They cleanser is also an exfoliator. The muslin cloths are used for removal.

ALISON RAFFAELE – this very small sample of foundation could be good but it’s not my shade so I’ll never really know.

Pop Beauty Aqua Lacquer

Pop Beauty Aqua Lacquer

POP BEAUTY AQUA LACQUER  – yeah for full size ($14)! This is another British favorite. It’s a sheer gloss that plumps and hydrates with jojoba oil. I got Flowering Fuchsia which looks brighter in the tube than it applies. It looks like it would be a squeeze tube but it actually has a paddle style applicator making it easier to apply.

ChapStick Hydration Lock

ChapStick Hydration Lock

CHAPSTICK HYDRATION LOCK  – This is what Birchbox calls their Birchbox Find. Personally ChapStick doesn’t thrill me with all the great balms out there but in the winter especially we have lip balms everywhere in the house since you never know when you might need one. This is at least loaded with great ingredients like CoQ10 and Vitamin E so even though I’m not excited about it, it is useful.

Birchbox Oct. 13

Birchbox Oct. 13

You can read about other Birchbox boxes that I’ve reviewed HERE. I pay for my box but I am linking to my referral code if you decide you want to purchase their subscription. Referrals get points to purchase products in the Birchbox shop.

IPSY FOR OCTOBER

IPSY for October 2013

IPSY for October 2013

Ipsy is fun to receive mainly because it comes in a hot pink mailer so just seeing that in the mailbox brings a smile to my face.The theme this month is the Art of Beauty and I think they did quite well in keeping that promise.

Ipsy The Art of Beauty

Ipsy The Art of Beauty

Products are packed in a cosmetic bag which sometimes are great. This month’s bag is especially nice for me even though at this point I’m overloaded with cosmetic bags. I have to thank Pink Sith for being a better poet than I am and teaching me that this is from a poem by Ralph Waldo Emerson. If you read Pink Sith’s post (after you are done with mine of course!!) you’ll see that Ipsy’s bags are not identical – our contents aren’t even close.

Ipsy's October cosmetic bag

Ipsy’s October cosmetic bag

WET N’ WILD FERGIE EYESHADOW PALETTE IN DESERT FESTIVAL – This is the full size product and from a pretty recent collection. I didn’t have good luck with my last Fergie palette but this one looks beautiful so I hope the quality is good. The orange is a wild card for most but I enjoy a little splash of color when I’m in the mood.

Wet n'Wild Fergie, Desert Festival

Wet n’Wild Fergie, Desert Festival

COASTAL SCENTS MEDIUM SHADOW BRUSH – This is my first item from Coastal Scents and it’s a very nice product. It sells for $2.49. This would be an extra for me since I have a lot of brushes but I like to keep some around for swatching so that’s where this might be used.

Coastal Scents  Medium Shadow Brush

Coastal Scents Medium Shadow Brush

SEXY HAIR – SPRAY CLAY  This is so not me. It’s a nice size for testing or travel but it’s not a product I’ll ever use. I’ve yet to use any hair product from a subscription mainly because they don’t send what’s right for my particular style.

Sexy Hair Style Clay

Sexy Hair Style Clay

LA FRESH OIL FREE FACE CLEANSER – I already know I love this since I had samples of it from reviewing the line. I’m happy to have this 10 wipe size and it will get used.

La Fresh Oil Free Face Cleanser wipes

La Fresh Oil Free Face Cleanser wipes

ZOYA NEVE NAIL POLISH – totally gorgeous blue that I can’t wait to wear. There were 3 shades that were sent to different subscribers and I’d have picked this one in a hot minute. I can’t wait to have the time to wear it. This is from the Fall 2013 Cashmere & Satin collection and it’s the one I’d have bought if I saw it.

Zoya Neve Nail Polish

Zoya Neve Nail Polish

I didn’t realize I hadn’t written about Ipsy for the last few months, I’m not sure why but this month was worth writing about. You can see my other IPSY reviews here. I thought I had an IPSY referral code but I don’t seem to have signed up for it.

So now you’ve seen my two subscriptions. Which is the one you think you’d buy and what products in these boxes would you like having? — Marcia

September Subscription box fun with Birchbox and blush Mystery Beauty Box

It’s subscription box time again. Confession: I’m back to 4 a month, I’m weak I know. My current boxes are Ipsy, Wantable, blush.com Mystery Beauty Box and Birchbox. I had quit Birchbox but I went back for this month and probably next month. I’ll be doing a separate review for Wantable since it’s always the most unique of the boxes and combining blush.com and Birchbox in this review. Ipsy is basically the same for everyone so I’m not reviewing it but it was a good month for Ipsy.

 

Birchbox contents for September 2013

Birchbox contents for September 2013

Birchbox – I had quit this box because I was getting tired of sample after sample after sample. But I follow Birchbox on Facebook and they reeled me in with the cutest nail polish brand. Besides being addicted to subscription boxes, I’m addicted to nail polish. So back to Birchbox but I did upgrade my supposed profile. Here’s what I received which is probably similar to what everyone else received:

  • Yes to Blueberries travel set of cleansing towelettes; a good one for me since I use towelettes often though I’m not sure I’ll like the blueberry on my face so it might just be for hands.
  • A sample card of 2 shades of Yes to Grapefruit CC Cream in light and light-medium. I love CC and BB creams and these samples are generous enough to actually use.

    Yes To products in my Birchbox 9/13

    Yes To products in my Birchbox 9/13

  • Amika Bombshell Blowout Spray – I’m totally sick of hair products in these boxes and it doesn’t fit my hair type so it will be in a giveaway soon. I’m sure it’s nice, it’s just not Marcia style
  • Racinne Ultimate Youth Power Eye Serum – you’ll soon see why I got a laugh out of this. But eye serums are always welcome in my life
  • Ruffian Nail Lacquer – this is why I went back! The color is Fox Hunt and it’s a metallic looking orange with pink undertones. It’s not a color I’d choose but it’s so darn cute and I will use it. Some people got the coolest looking green which I wish I’d gotten.
    Ruffian polish in Fox Hunt - Birchbox 9/13

    Ruffian polish in Fox Hunt – Birchbox 9/13

    Ruffian polish in Fox Hunt - Birchbox 9/13

    Ruffian polish in Fox Hunt – Birchbox 9/13

    So that’s my $10 worth at Birchbox and I got my money’s worth. The polish costs $10 so everything else is a bonus. There’s no way to tell retail value of this unless I took out my math brains which I’m not willing to do but I’m happy and that’s what counts.  (Disclosure: I pay for my own Birchbox but I’ve linked to my referral code which would get me points towards possible products.)

Blush Mystery Beauty Box for Sept. 2013

Blush Mystery Beauty Box for Sept. 2013

Blush.com Mystery Beauty Box – if you remember I was pretty miserable last month. The funny thing is after I published I started finding other people’s posts about the same exact box and they were delighted. So you pay your money and take your chances with a subscription box. A lot of friends were happy with my castoffs last month but this month less will be given away.

  • Racinne Deluxe Travel Set – I’d never heard of Racinne and suddenly two of my boxes have it. I did have a laugh about that. This is a very nice kit in a travel bag that contains 4 products: Ultimate Power Mask, Ultimate Youth Power Serum, Ultimate Youth Power Cream, Ultimate Youth Power Neck Emulsion. So now I have a clear bag with 5 products to try eventually when I run out of other skincare! The kit isn’t sold separately so I don’t have a clue as to value but Racinne prices are in line with most other quality skincare lines.

    Racinne skincare set from Blush Mystery Beauty Box for Sept. 2013

    Racinne skincare set from Blush Mystery Beauty Box for Sept. 2013

  • AmLactin Triple Action Alpha-Hydroxy Therapy Foot Cream –  this is a good one. My feet get awful in the winter and AmLactin has a great reputation. This is a full size that costs $10.

    AmLacton from Blush Mystery Beauty Box for Sept. 2013

    AmLacton from Blush Mystery Beauty Box for Sept. 2013

  • LVX Nail Lacquer – as you possibly know I love polish so this was a happy find. It’s a non-toxic polish. There were 6 shades in the various boxes and I received Sanguine which is a nice burgundy cream. I’ve always wanted to try LVX too. This $16 polish was part of LVX’s winter 2012 collection.

    LVX Sanguine and Ruffian Fox Hunt

    LVX Sanguine and Ruffian Fox Hunt

  • Pop Beauty Pouty Pop Crayon in Fuchsia Flirt – this box was curated by Sara Strand who is the Creative Director for Pop Beauty. She picked this product since not only does it make a great pink lip color but you can use it as a blush too. It’s actually part of a set of 6 in a Crayon Kit that sells for $25.

    LVX Sanguine and Poppy Fuchsia Lip Crayon

    LVX Sanguine and Poppy Fuchsia Flirt Lip Crayon

  • The rest are sample sizes: Brad Biophotonic Skin Care Ultra Peel; Alterna Caviar Anti-Aging Dry Shampoo and Anastasia Beverly Hills Clear Brow Gel.

    Blush Mystery Beauty for Sept. - sample sizes

    Blush Mystery Beauty for Sept. – sample sizes

Blush.com says the box is worth over $100 but I find it very hard to consider samples as being worth what they say they are worth. I’m sure the Racinne skincare set counts highly in that total but like I said, it’s not sold on the site so who knows. I am not unhappy with the box and will continue with blush.com Mystery Makeup Bag for another month. A subscription is $24.95 a month but they very often sell the box for a discount once it’s out if you sign up for a subscription. The October box is being curated by The Makeup Blogger so I’m excited to see what she’s allowed to pick out for the box.

All in all some hits and misses. I spent $34.95 to write this post and I’ve got half a dozen products I’ll use, some that are possibilities and a few hair products that will be given away. Not bad. Not Wantable.com but not bad. Are you a subscription boxer yet? — Marcia

 

Bye bye Birchbox, bye bye

The May 2013 Birchbox is my last one. 31 months of buying it for $10 a month has come to an end. In reality, I haven’t gotten close to $310 worth of products that I like. I’d been mulling this over since December but they redeemed themselves only to fail (in my eyes again).

Birchbox May 2013 contents

Birchbox May 2013 contents

My biggest problem with this box and almost all subscription boxes is fragrance. I’m actually the wrong candidate for some of the boxes because they love fragrance and every fragrance company around seems to love loading the subscriptions up. It’s cheap advertising. May’s fragrance was so strong that my entire box smelled like it from the second I opened it. Everything in the box is permeated with Folle de Joie. It’s probably a lovely fragrance – it’s just not for me.

Folle de Joie

Folle de Joie

Folle de Joie

Folle de Joie

The box seemed very skimpy to me as well. Besides the fragrance there’s a Coola sunscreen sample, a Sumita eyeliner, Beauty Protector and a Pilot pen.

Contents of May Birchbox

Contents of May Birchbox

Beauty Protector: “great for all hair types; this nourishing elixir locks in color, adds shine, and instantly detangles.”

Beauty Protector

Beauty Protector

Coola Clasic Face SPF 30 Cucumber Moisturizer for Face: “this mineral sunblock is infused with organic antiaging ingredients like evening primrose extract and borage seed oil”. This will end up in my purse for emergency SPF coverage.

Coola Sunscreen SPF 30

Coola Sunscreen SPF 30

Sumita Color Contrast Eyeliner: mine is black. This comes in a set of 4 mini pencils of other shades. “inspired by traditional Indian formula, this velvety liner glides on easily and lasts for hours”. In trying to figure this out I read that Kim K’s makeup artist uses this liner on her so maybe it has possibility. A full size one is $11, the minis are a set of 4 for $21.

Sumita eyeliner

Sumita eyeliner

And for my favorite product in the box (if it ever airs out) is the bonus of a Pilot Pen Acroball. “Acroball PureWhite offers vibrant ink colors and all the smoothness of a gel ink liner with none of the smudging or smearing.”

Acroball Pure White pen

Acroball Pure White pen

I personally think that Birchbox is a good deal IF you like the items but the fragrance drove me away. I opened the box to finish my review and the aroma is carried through my room. Bye Bye Birchbox, Bye Bye. — Marcia

 

 

 

 

 

 

Birchbox for March and April 2013 brought some nice surprises

I’m back with two months of Birchbox. I totally forgot to report about the Birchbox March box so when I received the April box I decided to put them together. One thing I notice often is how much they mix up the boxes. One of my Makeup Wars’ blogger friends, Brooke from Blushing Noir, never seems to get what I get. Sometimes I envy her boxes, I wonder if she ever envies mine!

For March the box was called March Madness in honor of the basketball furor going on I’m sure. Since University of Michigan made it into the final game for the first time in over 20 years, I was all about March Madness. I am happy with this box for the $10 I spent and you’ll see why as you read on.

Birchbox March Madness 2013

Birchbox March Madness 2013

birchbox march card

My box contained a Blueberry Whish Shaving Cream, Nick Chavez shampoo, 2 products from MAKE (eyeshadow and primer) and as the Lifestyle Extra a floral Madewell nail file.

Contents of Birchbox for March

Contents of Birchbox for March

Opinions:

-Whish: one of my favorite brands, I discovered this long ago and especially like their shaving cream. We have several reviews for Whish up on Beauty Info Zone since it’s a brand we admire. The blueberry fragrance is a little strong for me but I put it in my “possibles” bag – the bag I scour through before packing.

Nick Chavez shampoo and Whish blueberry shaving cream

Nick Chavez shampoo and Whish blueberry shaving cream

-NICK CHAVEZ Color Saver sulfate-free shampoo: not excited. I get a ton of hair samples in these subscription boxes. (Maybe that’s a hint that I should drop some!) But it is good that it’s for color treated hair and it’s sulfate free.

-MAKE face primer: My picture makes this look a lot bigger than it is, it’s actually quite tiny but I’ve been very interested in MAKE products and have a review for other products coming up. This is a good way for me to test out this and I’ll report more in my MAKE review.

MAKE Concrete Eyeshadow and Face Primer

MAKE Concrete Eyeshadow and Face Primer

-MAKE eyeshadow: This is teeny weeny but that’s okay when you have 2 gazillion eyeshadows. The color is called Cement so you have a good idea of what it looks like!! Cement is a matte shadow. Unfortunately it doesn’t look quite right with my other MAKE eyeshadow so it’s going to have to “make” other friends.

Make Concrete

MAKE Concrete

-MADEWELL floral emery board: it’s pretty but I have my gorgeous Mont Bleu files that I prefer.

There was also a card for a free Benefit Bad Girl Lash mini if you spent $25 at benefit.com. That went in recycling.

Birchbox April 2013

Birchbox April 2013

Now for April’s Birchbox which is themed “Tiny Tweaks, Big Results”. Sometimes I need to remind myself that Birchbox is a “sample” box. Some of the samples are a decent size, but some are so small! For April there are two products I’m very happy about. The box contains Nexxus, Youngblood, Caudalie, Weleda and Strivectin.

Inside the April 2013 Birchbox

Inside the April 2013 Birchbox

OPINIONS:

NEXXUS Youth Renewal Rejuvenating Elixer: More hair goodies (but luckily no fragrance!!!!) This is a shine boosting serum that helps prevent breakage. It makes me feel bad since it’s for “aging” hair. Boo hoo, even my hair ages??

Caudalie Divine Oil, Nexxus

Caudalie Divine Oil, Nexxus Elixer

CAUDALIE Divine Oil: I’m probably one of the few people who isn’t a Caudalie follower. It’s usually too fragranced for me. This oil is meant to be used on skin, hair and nails. I might give it a chance since it gets amazing raves.

Youngblood Anti-Shine Mattifier

Youngblood Anti-Shine Mattifier

YOUNGBLOOD Anti-Shine Mattifier: Now this is a product I can give great reviews for. The only bad news is that I bought the full size one when I was in LA for the IMATS show. This is the size of a MAC eyeshadow so it might be a little hard to use but it’s a great way to see if this great product works for you and for me it can be put in my travel Z Palette.

Strivectin-SD Eye Concentrate

Strivectin-SD Eye Concentrate

STRIVECTIN-SD Eye Concentrate for Wrinkles: I always get excited about eye creams and this is one I haven’t tried so here’s the second winner in this box. Who knows when I’ll get around to it since I have a few eye creams to review but I’m really looking forward to trying this.

This month there’s also a postcard for a totally free one year subscription to Women’s Health. The value of that is $9.99 so that’s a nice extra that I’ll take advantage of.

Weleda body lotion packets

Weleda body lotion packets

For the Lifestyle Extras there are 3 packets of body lotion from WELEDA. These are great for that “possibles” bag I told you about. They are probably one use each but I like tossing things when I travel. The one fragrance going into my bag is the Pomegranate; the other two Wild Rose and Sea Buckthorn will probably be in a giveaway contest as a hidden extra.

So there you have two months of BIRCHBOX.  I like the March box a lot and I really like the April box so these were good months for me. This is my 30th month with them which means I’ve spent $300 on samples. Am I totally crazy? Shh – don’t answer that, I know that I am. Birchbox will continue for another month – which is what I say every month. Did you get any of these in your boxes? — Marcia

Disclosure: I pay for my own Birchbox but I’ve linked to my referral code which would get me points towards possible products.

For other boxes here are the ones that Blushing Noir received so you can see how different hers are: March and April.

 

 

What’s in the February Birchbox box? Let’s see

Birchbox for February 2013

Birchbox for February 2013

feb 13 birchbox cardEach month that I open my Birchbox I wonder if it’s worth the $10 I pay for it. It’s the least expensive of all the subscription boxes that I buy but I have to remind myself often that they only send samples. The boxes that you’ll see are different from person to person. What I notice is that people who’ve subscribed for less time than I have sometimes get the items a month or two after I receive them in my box. February’s box is called Red Carpet Ready since it was the month of award shows galore. With my particular box I guess I’ll be red carpet ready by having shiny moisturized hair, brightened skin, a soft tint to even my collection and a crimson manicure.

Here’s what February had to offer

Kerastase Chroma Riche Masque packets

Kerastase Chroma Riche Masque packets

feb 13 birchbox kerastase backI received two packets of Kerastase Chroma Riche Hair Masques. While I haven’t tried these I definitely will in a few months when my Brazilian Blowout has grown out more. Kerastase is a wonderful brand that I used to use exclusively so this will be good to try. Chroma Riche has a built-in UV filter that helps keep color from fading. A full size jar is $61.

Vasanti Brighten Up

Vasanti Brighten Up!

feb 13 birchbox vasanti infoVasanti is a Canadian brand that I’ve tried several times. Brighten Up! Enzymatic Face Rejuvenator is a microdermabrasian/exfoliation cream. This deluxe sample is a great way to try a respected brand like this. I do have at least a dozen exfoliators around but it doesn’t hurt to have another.

Jouer Matte Moisture Tint

Jouer Matte Moisture Tint

Unfortunately I’ve gotten several of these Jouer Moisture Tints in subscription boxes. Why don’t they send me something like a lip gloss or eyeshadow instead? Are you listening Birchbox and Jouer??? This one goes in the upcoming giveaway box since I already own it.

Color Club nail polish mini in Mamba

Color Club nail polish mini in Mamba

I’ve got a cute collection of minis from Color Club so this has friends to live with. Mamba is a saucy coral red.

Ghiradelli Square

Ghiradelli Square

See this? It’s gone!! But it was terrific when it popped itself into my mouth.

The February box is a little scant but everything in the box is useful and the most important part – they didn’t include a fragrance! I’m so sick of those mini fragrance samples so when I noticed there wasn’t one in the box I was happy for that alone.

If you subscribe to Birchbox, what did you get in February? — Marcia

Other Birchbox reviews can be seen HERE.

Disclosure: I pay for my own Birchbox but I’ve linked to my referral code which would get me points towards possible products.

January Birchbox review – why I’m glad I didn’t cancel yet

January Birchbox

January Birchbox

Last month I asked you for your opinions on my Birchbox subscriptions – I so enjoyed reading what you had to say. I didn’t drop it and now I have the January one in my possession. Each month Birchbox has a “theme” and for January it’s Best Year Ever. I’m not so sure that this box would constitute the best but I’m not unhappy with it.

January 2013 Birchbox contents

January 2013 Birchbox contents

As you can see by the pictures it contains 5 items though one is considered an extra. I’m listing them from best to worst (and there is a worst!).

theBalm Put A Lid On It sample eye primer

theBalm Put A Lid On It sample eye primer

theBalm cosmetics Put A Lid On It Eyelid Primer – this is just a small sample size but I love eyeshadow primers and when I saw on Facebook that theBalm was coming out with this I knew I’d buy it. Now I get to sample it first. A HIT

MY Multi-Purpose Mattifying Moisturizer

MY Multi-Purpose Mattifying Moisturizer

My Multi-Purpose Mattifying Moisturizer – My is a brand that’s terrific. My fellow blogger, Lola’s Secret Beauty Blog, has reviewed My products before and she is the expert on them. I’ve tried some of the line and this moisturizer is a great example of what they can do. This deluxe size sample (0.3 fl oz) will give a great idea if this works for you or not. A HIT

FROWNIES Eye Gels

FROWNIES Eye Gels

Frownies Eye Gels – this is another brand I’ve tried before and have had some success with although not all products work for me. There’s one set of the Eye Gels. They say you can get 2 to 4 treatments with these if you remove them within 30 minutes, place them back in the tray, rehydrate with Frownies Rose Water Hydrator and refrigerate in a sealed plastic bag. OK THOUGH IT’S REALLY JUST ONE SET OF GEL

Frownies Rose Water Hydrator Spray

Frownies Rose Water Hydrator Spray

Frownies Rose Water Hydrator Spray – they call this a beauty extra but it’s really a beauty necessity if you are going to get more than one use out of the Frownies Eye Gels. OK but not my cup of tea because of the strong rose fragrance this has.

Viva La Juicy sample vial

Viva La Juicy sample vial

 

Viva La Juicy fragrance sample – this is the worst thing in the box. Not only can you get this sample anywhere but I hate fragrance samples and this one isn’t special. A FAIL. I just wish they’d eliminate fragrance samples already. Let people buy a Birchbox box of all fragrance samples if they like them and leave the rest of us alone. Rant over.

January content descriptions

January content descriptions

All in all I’m actually pretty happy with this particular Birchbox. I’m excited about theBalm, already know I like My skincare, and it’s possible I’ll use the Frownies even though I already know I hate the smell of the Rose Water spray. I’ve seen a few boxes from different bloggers and almost everyone got different things. The two constants seem to be the fragrance and theBalm eye primer.

Another $10 spent and another month that I’m putting off my decision. What do you think of this January box?? — Marcia

Disclosure: I pay for my own Birchbox but I’ve linked to my referral code which would get me points towards possible products.