My First Birchbox Review — January 2016

JanuaryBirchbox1I have a new subscription box to review! Introducing Birchbox!

Last month I cancelled my Ipsy subscription after getting a bit bored with what they were sending me and after I felt what they were sending wasn’t as coordinated to my tastes as I’d like them to be. Birchbox is a competitor, one I’ve heard positive things about from people who have received both services. I’ve been excited to start!

This month offered a neon color scheme and stickers featuring positive words to start 2016 on a high note.

About Birchbox

Birchbox is a monthly subscription service featuring beauty products like makeup, skin care, fragrance, hair care, and more. Once you sign up, you’re asked to fill out a brief beauty survey for the company to know more about what you’d like to see in each box.

It’s $10 each month and the company provides five sample-size items to try along with an information card giving brief descriptions of the products. You get billed the first of each month and your box is sent in the middle of the month. Unlike Stitch Fix, where it allows you the option to schedule boxes at will, Birchbox automatically schedules one every month and you must cancel on your own when you want to stop receiving boxes. You get to keep everything that comes in the box.

If you like the products enough to order a full-size option, you have the opportunity to purchase them on the Birchbox website. Also, Birchbox gives you the option to select one of the items you’ll receive that particular month.

If you haven’t guessed already, Birchbox is extremely similar to Ipsy.

JanuaryBirchbox2I haven’t heard of any of the brand names in this box, but I looked forward to trying each one. Here’s what I received!

Real Chemistry — Luminous 3-Minute Peel


This protein peel by Real Chemistry intrigued me when I read the directions. Basically you rub a small amount on your face and keep gently rubbing until it starts to solidify under your fingers. Then you rinse it off. It’s supposed to remove dead skin without chemicals or abrasives. I tried this, and honestly… it didn’t do what the box said it would. I even added more product to my face and rubbed for longer than necessary. Nothing. I’ll try it again, but I can’t say I’m thrilled with this facial peel. A full-size tube will cost you a whopping $48.

TONYMOLY — Delight Tony Tint

JanuaryBirchbox5This is a tiny sample, but it packs a lot of punch! This lip tint by TONYMOLY is a really great matte red that I believe matches my skin tone quite well. It’s extremely watery and you have to be careful when applying it, but it lasts for a long time on my lips, so I was impressed with that. It also smells like strawberry and includes ingredients like aragan oil and rosehips. I hesitate to call it a tint. I feel it’s more of a stain. Either way, I’m happy with it! This is the cheapest product, at $6 for a full-size tube.


Number 4 — Super Comb Prep & Protect

JanuaryBirchbox7Number 4 is another newbie for me, and I tried this leave-in conditioner the day after receiving it. It’s meant to prevent heat damage, decrease fly-aways, protect color-treated hair and also provide UV protection. It smells really nice and I think did its job for the most part. This product costs $32 for a full-size bottle. However, as product does when you spray, some of it fell to my bathroom floor. It immediately made the area extremely slippery, so much so I almost fell! I tried using a cleaning product on the space, but it’s still slippery. So be careful of that if you purchase this in the future.

Cynthia Rowley Beauty — Eyeliner in Black

JanuaryBirchbox4Like I’ve said in the past, I don’t really like using pencil eyeliners because they never give me the desired effects and it’s annoying to have to sharpen them. I like my cream eyeliner. However, the Cynthia Rowley Beauty liner is actually a really nice option for those who prefer pencils. It applied very easily and took a lot of rubbing to smudge. I used it on my tight line and it actually stayed quite well, so that’s definitely a positive in my book. I’ll be happy to keep this around. If you want a full-size pencil, you’ll pay $16. It’s also vegan, cruelty free and paraben free.

Whish — Three Wishes Body Butter


This product by Whish is a pretty basic body lotion, and it smells like almond. Not my favorite scent. Either way, it feels nice on my skin and not greasy. It’s organic too, and the company said it’s full of antioxidants. It’s paraben free, sulfate free, not tested on animals, made in America, and a full-size bottle costs $24.

Overall Thoughts

I can’t really judge whether I like the products better from Birchbox or Ipsy yet, but I am liking Birchbox. I really like the boxes compared to the glambags; they’re cute, reusable, and I don’t feel bad about recycling them if I don’t care for them. The bags I need to find someone to take them or donate them somewhere, because it feels weird about tossing them. Birchbox just seems more put together, more adult.

I also like the informational card that comes with each box. It makes things a bit easier for me typing out the review!

I’ll see what the next month brings, and I’ll see if I choose to keep this subscription for as long as Ipsy.

Want to try Birchbox for yourself? Click this link.


About Karin

Journalist, singer, reader, movie fanatic, photography buff, GVSU alum, wanna-be-Brit, Crohn's fighter, Coca-Cola addict, animal lover, not a kid person, hater of winter, Michigander
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