Monday, April 21, 2014

Birchbox April 2014 Review

My Birchbox finally showed up my my doorstep, despite the grammatically incorrect tracking information and the unreasonably long, five-day pit stop in Indiana.

Wrong "its", Birchbox!
(I am a pedant.)

In addition to their samples, Birchbox also send out little cards with rainy day ideas. Unfortunately, 100% of the tips that I have seen so far have been TERRIBLE. Two of the tips were "sleep longer" (if it's a weekend, I'm doing that anyways; if it's a weekday, that's not an option) and "wear a sweatshirt". Weirdly, they are trying to sell these... for money.


This month, my samples included:

Anastasia Beverly Hills Clear Brow Gel (0.085 oz), approximate retail value $6.68


If I am being honest here, I have never found a clear brow gel that is noticeably different from any other clear brow gel. They are all exactly the same to me. This is a clear brow gel and it works exactly like every other clear brow gel in the world.


With that said, I'm not disappointed that I got this, as I throw away clear brow gels pretty quickly, since they always get easily clogged up by yucky brown product. It also let me know that Anastasia Beverly Hills is in the Birchbox store, which is awesome news. I'll definitely be picking something up with my points next time I make a purchase from Birchbox. (No sign of the new Dipbrow Pomade, though, which is a bummer.)

Davines Oi Absolute Beautifying Shampoo (0.4 fl oz), approximate retail value $1.10
Davines Oi Absolute Beautifying Shampoo (0.4 fl oz), approximate retail value $1.51


You've heard me say it before: I have a lot of hair. I have hair that needs quite a bit more than 0.4 fl oz to shampoo and conditioner. Getting little packets of shampoo and conditioner is worthless for me, since it is less than a single use; I never get a good chance to try it. For the same reason, I am not going to spend $32 for 8.45 fl oz of conditioner, which would only give me about ten uses.

With that said, I did think these smelled really fabulous. It was a sandalwood-y smell that reminded me of a sexy perfume.

GUYandGIRL Shower Gel (1.01 fl oz), approximate retail value $2.49


There's sort of a distinct, nondescript smell that hotel body washes exude. This product smells so strongly of "generic hotel body wash" that it's no surprise that they are typically featured in hotels.

I also don't really understand the premise of the brand. Birchbox says, "For anyone who’s ever swiped their significant other’s bath products [raises hand], there’s a new way to avoid a potentially uncomfortable confrontation down the line: going Dutch on a single bottle of GUYandGIRL’s Shower Gel." My boyfriend already uses 90% of my bath products even though they do not contain the word "guy" on the packaging (my bath bombs are MINE, though), and I'm not sure I want to encourage him to steal more of my things.

I tried to find out a little bit more about the company by googling "guyandgirl bath", but all I got was porn.

KIND Healthy Grain Bar in Maple Pumpkin Seeds with Sea Salt (1.2 oz), approximate retail value $0.79


I know that people get all grumpy about getting food in their Birchbox, but this granola bar is fucking delicious. It's not very maple-y, but it's really salty, and salt is my soulmate. I have already bought a 15 pack on Amazon and I'm going to throw a few in my desk at work for snacks.

Color Club Gala Gem Collection in Gold Struck (0.25 fl oz), approximate retail value $3.25


Gold Struck is more of a super shiny champagne. I actually found it was opaque in a single coat, although brushstrokes are pretty hard to camouflage due to the slightly streaky formula.



Total Box Value: $15.82

The Kind granola bar was the only product in my Birchbox that I was really over the moon about. The brow gel and the nail polish were enjoyable, and the bath products didn't work well for me. I wish there had been at least one other product where I thought, "fuck yeah, I'm so excited about this!", but I wouldn't say the box was disappointing.

If you are interested in joining Birchbox, you are always welcome to use my referral link by clicking here.

33 comments:

  1. Whoa! Almost didn't recognize the brand of polish since they re-did their label. Pretty colour even with the brush strokes. I'm always trying to stop myself from buying other clear brow-gels, even if I know they're basically the same thing. The packaging just looks so lovely...

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    1. Now that you mention it, I couldn't recognize it either... right until you said that, and I went back to look at it again.

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    2. I like the new labels, personally!

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  2. I can't believe they're actually trying to sell those rainy day cards. Mine suggested that I read a magazine - what a groundbreaking idea!

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    1. Yes, I find it very surprising that they have those cards for sale. Mine told me to do yoga. (It did provide a link to a site that presumably has yoga videos but I am too lazy to bother.)

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    2. OH MY GOD, A MAGAZINE.

      HOW COULD YOU HAVE THOUGHT OF THAT ON YOUR OWN.

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  3. I would have thought this box was pretty damn 'meh', but muesli bars are the food of the gods, so... ;-)

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    1. They have been making great on-the-go breakfasts.

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  4. That granola bar is delicious. Packets of shampoo/conditioner are the worst. Even nice shampoo/conditioner. Other than scent unless it's atrocious I never have much of an opinion after one use.

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    1. Yeah, send me a 12 ounce bottle and we'll talk.

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  5. Ohhhhh my god, Kind bars are AMAZING. They had samples of them at our local chocolate festival (at ghirardelli square) and my friend was swearing to me that they were totally worth spending one of my samples to get one. If that made any sense. I didn't totally believe her but there was a paucity of good stuff so I tried one. OMG SO GOOD. it was the sea salt and chocolate one I think. The one with dried cherries and chocolate is also amazing. So many amazing kind bars. /stares into space, reliving it/

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    1. I will have to try the other ones next. Maple isn't even something I like, and I love these.

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  6. I was so happy to get the Anastasia Clear Brow Gel because it's already part of my daily routine. (Yesssss) I also got some BeeKind Body Lotion, which ended up smelling ridiculously good and actually was great as a hand lotion. :)

    Those rainy day ideas were so silly. Mine was like, "Read a book." What a creative and thoughtful idea. :P I was surprised that they are selling them, too. Who would buy that?

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  7. Hey Robyn! Off topic, but I was wondering if you could possibly make a post concerning DIY makeup, specifically crayola lipstick. Like, will that stuff get moldy? Is it actually lip safe? You write my fav empirically supported beauty posts!

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    1. someone made a video about it
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wcfk0PFCcUI

      basically, they're not. and i hate when people say "oh kids eat it all the time and blah blah" yeah kids will also eat bugs and dirt but no one is trying that trend.

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  8. Wasn't that Kind bar insane?? I was my favorite thing in that box this month.

    Birchbox has been more miss than hit for me lately. They gave me a different shampoo/conditioner sample than your box, and it was all about repairing dry and damaged hair. My hair is oily. Like oily oily. I barely ever even blow dry it, so it's not damaged either. *shrug*

    I also have now rec'd 3 different Color Club nailpolishes, all in neutral colors. Considering that right now I'm wearing I Love Nail Polish's ultrachrome Cygnus Loop (the furthest thing from neutral colored) I'm kind of at a loss here.

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    1. Looked up swatches of that polish-- SO PRETTY!

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  9. You must not have particularly unruly eyebrows - I have a cluster of hairs in my left eyebrow that point straight down and leave a gap if left untamed, and Anastasia brow gel is the only one I've tried so far that can successfully tame it all day long! I agree with you about the rainy day tips though. I think it was a cute idea but poorly executed. Like, one of mine said "do a face mask," and it would have been cute if they had put instructions for some sort of DIY face mask instead of just informing me about a fairly mundane activity that I already do on a regular basis....Or if they had book recommendations or recipes or just something more specific, they would be a lot less stupid.

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    1. Ah, maybe that matters. I trim my brows to hell or they won't stay neat, so there's not a whole lot of length to tame.

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  10. Autocorrect on my iPad turns all of my "its"-es into "it's"-es so I have to watch it like a hawk. I am sure a few have slipped through, maybe that happened to some poor BirchBox employee.

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    1. (I still want them to fix it...)

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  11. Ugh, I love sandalwood, but not enough to pay that much for hair product.

    I've found the L'Oreal Evercream stuff reminds me of sandalwood a bit, and that's much more reasonable price. So I'd suggest giving it a sniff the next time you're at, like, Target, to see if that's your bag.

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    1. I'm pretty boring. I will probably use Tresemme until I die or they go out of business.

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  12. My box was the same except I got body lotion and face wash instead of nail polish and body wash. I suppose had I gotten the nail polish I probably wouldn't have been disappointed enough to cancel my box. The granola bar was definitely the only thing I got excited about, and that was just because I was super hungry.

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    1. That's too bad! The points system means Birchbox can get away with imperfect boxes from me and I won't be too mad, haha.

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  13. You know what I hate as much as those little packets of shampoo/conditioner? Those same little packets of body lotion. Granted I am a much larger girl than, say, you, but I still don't see those tiny packets going over more than half a shin on -anyone-. Plus you get one use out of them so really how do you know if it's working? *shakes fist at all tiny packets*

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    1. Yup yup, at least the tiny packets of shampoo make you feel like you have long hair. The tiny packets of body lotion make me feel like my body is bigger than average or, on more confident days, like I'm doing the lotion thing wrong and other girls can use less because they know good tricks.

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    2. Bobbie, you don't know the secret lotion tricks? Didn't you get the handbook?

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  14. omg the maple pumpkin granola bar thing sounds deeeelicious. We actually had that brand given out at a work meeting recently and I tried one..it was the vanilla blueberry kind and it was quite good. The texture was a little strange at first but I ended up liking it. I want to try this flavor now!

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    1. Yum! I will be trying new flavors, for sure.

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