Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Birchbox June 2014 Review

When I'm at work, I like to have a plan for dinner. I spend part of my day at work getting psyched up for the delicious food I'm going to eat when I get home. Daydreaming about miscellaneous food doesn't work for me, because I will get fixated on something random and I'll be disappointed when dinner rolls around and we're not having pasta/curry/waffles/whatever I've talked myself into craving.

It's the same with Birchboxes. As soon as my box goes up for the month, I check out what I'm getting and start to get excited. That's why it's been so frustrating that Birchbox has switched products on me at the last second for the past couple months!

Here's what I actually got (despite what the Birchbox website led me to believe):

Antica Farmacista Body Wash in Bergamot and Ocean Air (estimated 1 fl oz), estimated retail value $2.50

The lemon-y scent of this body wash is like a high class version of the lemon wipes I use to disinfect my kitchen countertops.

Evologie Stay Clear Cleanser (0.7 fl oz), approximate retail value $4.48

This is a bland cleanser by a brand that I have previously received a bland blemish serum from. I actually thought I had gotten a repeat product before I looked closer. I've already mentioned that I don't like their weird, science-free "patent pending" complex because they don't provide sufficient information to show that it does anything and that I don't like the fact that they don't include the percentage of salicylic acid in the product. This cleanser also touts some alleged antioxidant effects of lycopene, but there simply isn't data showing any topical benefit.

The cleanser feels exactly like every other cleanser on the planet.

The Aloe Source Vitamin C Antioxidant Creme (0.25 fl oz), approximate retail value $10

Given that this is called a Vitamin C cream, the ingredients list for this product is surprisingly lacking in Vitamin C. Sodium Ascorbyl Phosphate shows up, but it's pretty far down on the list. The ingredients have their fair share of "weird", though. 'DNA' and 'RNA' are both listed. What? Whose DNA? This is such a strange addition to the list that I wish I had more information to offer, if only for sheer what-the-fuckery.

The cream itself is pretty stinky, with the odor of an orange-colored Gatorade.

Phyto Phytolisse Ultra-Glossing Finishing Serum (0.16 fl oz), approximate retail value $2.82

I don't have particularly frizzy hair, so I can't give a very good review of this. It did not set my hair on fire when I used it. Frizz control efficacy unknown.

Cynthia Rowley Beauty Creamy Lip Stain in Valentine (0.079 oz), approximate retail value $9.29

Everything else in my box was pretty "meh", but I was definitely excited about this product. The Cynthia Rowley Beauty Line is exclusive to Birchbox. Although I am not an owner of any Cynthia Rowley clothing, I am a hoarder of the Cynthia Rowley Bandaids, which is almost the same thing. I strongly believe that she is good at making pretty things, and polka dot packaging on this lip stain only proves my point.

Despite the name, this product doesn't qualify as a lip stain. At our most generous, we could call this a lacquer. It doesn't stain my lips, though, and it doesn't even really dry.

Valentine is a lovely stawberry-esque pink. It's super wearable and the cute-as-a-button packaging doesn't hurt.

Here's how it looks on my face:

Total Box Value: $29.09

Overall, I feel okay about this box. The Cynthia Rowley lip-ma-bob was by far the standout product, and it did encourage me to try other products from the line. Everything else was really, really boring.

Image source: http://www.geekbinge.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/09/Ann_Arrested-Development.jpg

Thank goodness for Birchbox points, which can offset some of the less lovable months.

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


  1. "if only for sheer what-the-fuckery"

    I think its how you phrase things that makes me love the blog so much!

  2. I laughed so hard at the last image I had to switch tabs until I calmed down. Bland!

  3. Birchbox seems to be stepping away from the foil packet business. I guess they realized being the first big subscription box didn't mean they could coast by on sending people samples they could get free from sephora or a department store anymore. The more decent sample sizes I see the more I'm interested in considering subscribing.

  4. Why did you post a picture of an egg?

  5. I've heard pretty great things about Cynthia rowley line. Might need to check it out.

  6. ...DNA and RNA, eh? Sciency! The Cynthia Rowley looks absolutely lovely on you, though.

  7. The phytolisse is actually awesome, for people with frizz. Smells nice too. Phyto has been doing "natural organic plant based" since way before it was cool.
    If anyone cares ;)

  8. I have not understand it that why have you posted an egg picture. beauty, baby

  9. TJMaxx tends to carry Cynthia Rowley makeup (and even housewares).

  10. Not gonna lie, I would have been super disappointed with this box. But then I am all about the colour cosmetics, not so much the skincare, so Birchbox probably isn't the box for me. If any of these boxes came to NZ. And I felt motivated to set aside some of my income for one.

    What I'm trying to say is: the lip lacquer/stain/gloss/tubelet is pretty :-P

  11. It seems to me as though if I need a bit of a laugh and a good review included this is the place to come. Not one post didn't have a sarcastic comment that made me laugh. I've been reading your blog for a few months and I LOVE IT!

  12. My box was nothing like your box.

    That sounds filthy. I didn't mean it that way.

    Anyway, mine had body lotion (shea scented - who the fuck wants something shea SCENTED - use shea, then!) and eyeshadow (nice enough), perfume (beh)... in all, an underwhelming month. You're right, good thing we get points!

  13. I took all skin information out of my birchbox profile and then tended to get more makeup things I would enjoy rather than skincare products I would never buy.

  14. This is the best, the beeest!! And the comments are too.

    Have you heard of Memebox? It's also THE BEST. A Korean beauty box with themed boxes (like pore control, age defying, fermented products, snail slime products, stuff with honey in it....) that you get to pick. It's not a subscription box but it is a grab bag. And they have a line (the superboxes) that are all full-sized products, which I love. I sit before you with $40 honey and snail moisturizer slathered all over my face - actually literally slathered, because I'm trying the moisturizer as a mask because there were three $40ish products in my approximately $39 superbox, so why not go crazy with them?

    Everyone keeps saying that the reason it's so great is that the Korean skincare industry is the most advanced in the world and is all about the science. (And yet none of them talk about science in their reviews at all, so how do they know?)

    Ha, I just talked it up so much that I even remembered I have an affiliate link I've never used. I believe it currently gets you $3 off the regular memeboxes with the "from nature" and "skin care" themes (so $20 instead of $23 but there is shipping) and the superboxes #24, 30, 31, 33, 34, 35, "burst of color", and "free from oil and troubles". Sheesh. I'm totally going to go use my own affiliate link to buy my friend a birthday present. And maybe buy myself a "my friend's birthday" present.


  15. I got a completely different and possibly blander set of products: shampoo, tinted sunscreen, a brightening face cleaner, body lotion, and a perfume sample. YAAAAWN. Would have loved the lip thing you got!

  16. Just found you a week or so ago and have gone back to read every post. So yeah, total creeper, but your reviews are my favorites by a mile. Funny and smart. MORE, please!

  17. Hello! It could be that there's some magical method for contacting you that isn't just comments, but I haven't the ability to find it, so here goes: can you do a post of circle lenses?
    Because on one hand they're all, "Ooh, i"m a circle, I make your eyes pretty," and on the other they're like, "death to you and all you stand for" I've heard a lot of conflicting stuff about their safety, and while i'm a huge fan of large irises, I'd like to do a check before I go shoving shit into my eye.
    If you post on this, I will send you a turtle of love. if not, you may or may not be sent a turtle of destruction, which is not nearly as cute as a turtle of love. Probably because it doesn't wear circle lenses.

    1. You can use brightestbulbinthebox at gmail.com to reach Robyn!

  18. I'm curious as to your location because I receive the same box # as you maybe 4/5x - I live in southern central Michigan. I was reasonably satisfied with this one because I'm leaving for a festival tomorrow and they're good sizes for travel, but on the other hand all this skincare doesn't make for a very exciting box. Disappointing that the lip "stain" isn't much of a stain at all, but at least it's a good color I suppose.

  19. I just found your blog today and I love it. Whose DNA? Cracked me up and of course the Ann pic. You obviously put a lot of time and energy putting together in depth quality content. Keep up the great work!


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