This is a story about the latter scenario. Y'all are lucky you didn't get a blank page and a shrug.
Here's what I got:
FusionBeauty Lash Fusion XL (0.28 oz), approximate retail value $16.00
I was already giving this product a little of side-eye before I tried it, since it's not-exactly-stunning two out of five star average review is enough to raise a few eyebrows.
Sure enough, this mascara is a flop. Except, you know, flops have drama. The most hilarious part about this mascara, to me, is Birchbox's rather banal claim that "You’ll only need one coat for long, glamorous lashes." This is just blatantly false. A single coat of this mascara is invisible. If you reeeally coat on that dry-as-hell formula, you can get some very natural looking lashes. Whoever labeled this "XL" needs a new size chart.
The one thing I will say about this mascara is that it would be a good choice for anyone who goes head-over-heels for the "no makeup makeup" look. Unsubtle mascara and glossy lips are the two things that most easily ruin the makeup-free illusion. This product won't betray you there.
Benta Berry G1 Exfoliating Facial Cleanser (0.1 fl oz), approximate retail value $1.60
This... is... a facewash. You can wash your face with it. I have literally nothing of note to say about it. It's exfoliate-y. If you put it in drugstore packaging and told me it cost $3, I would believe you.
Dr. Lipp Original Nipple Balm for Lips (0.1 fl oz), approximate retail value $2.90
If you have ever pet a sheep, you are familiar with the feeling on lanolin, a secretion from wool-producing livestock comprised mostly of waxy esters. Dr. Lipp's Nipple Balm is just a big tube of lanolin.
As the product name suggests, lanolin is frequently used to soothe the sore nipples of breastfeeding mothers. (Dr. Lipp is really embracing the "nipple" theme by adorning their website with drawings of pin-up girls patting a small doctor-man on the head.) On your lips, it works as an emollient.
Even though the ingredients are different, I found it striking how similar this product felt to a tube of Carmex with the word "nipple" on the front. (Carmex usually includes lanolin as the fourth ingredient.)
Styled by Hayadi Pure Happy Smooth (1 fl oz), approximate retail value $4.38
I have no idea what this product is. Is it a heat protectant? Well, it doesn't have any of the ingredients that heat protectants have... (For more about the science of heat protectants, click here.) It's got keratin in it, but that means absolutely nothing. You might be able to use it for styling, but, given that I style my hair literally never, that's not very helpful. Birchbox is calling this a "hair lotion", but I have no idea what that even means.
It smells kinda nice, so I guess there's that...?
Emily's Chocolates Chocolate Covered Fortune Cookies (1), approximate retail value $1.00
This was definitely my favorite thing in this box (not that it had a shitload of competition). Although it's not an intuitive combination, the milk chocolate plus fortune cookie pairing is basically brilliant. I will probably throw in a few of these the next time I make an order from the Birchbox shop.
I seriously doubt they'll last very long, though.
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