Sunday, August 3, 2014

Birchbox July 2014 Review

What month is it again?

Here was my July Birchbox:

Cynthia Rowley Beauty Eyeliner in Black (0.03oz), approximate retail value $12.00

At some point, you kind of run out of things to say about nice, soft, well-done pencil eyeliners. Other than the adorable polka dots on the packaging, this liner is functionally identical to Urban Decay's Zero and to the hundreds of other eyeliners that are also exactly like Urban Decay's Zero.

Do you want a lovely, not-as-black-as-it-could-be-but-still-black eyeliner with polka dots on the lid?

Well, this is that.

It also goes on faces.

It works like pencil eyeliners do.

The end.

Real Chemistry Luminous Three Minute Peel (0.17 fl oz), approximate retail value $4.80

This would be a lot more exciting if it wasn't moderately deceptive. The implication is that something called a "peel" is going to peel off a layer of skin. Indeed, it appears to do so: clumping "skin" all over your face. However, the ingredients list is pretty snooze-worthy: some water, some moisturizing ingredients, some surfactants. Most importantly, though, is the polymer labeled a "carbomer", which is clumping once it hits the oil on the surface of your skin. This is fine if you want a mild physical exfoliant, but not so fine if you have been led to believe that this "peel" is going to, you know… peel.

The brand might be "Real Chemistry" but it sure isn't "Honest Chemistry".

Supergoop Daily Correct CC Cream SPF 35+ (0.1 fl oz), approximate retail value $2.04

I don't think there is anything I can tell you about this that isn't demonstrated effectively in this very orange swatch:

It didn't make it onto my face because that is not in the same genre as my skin color.

Naobay Body Radiance Lotion (1.01 fl oz), approximate retail value $2.88

Like almost all lotion, this lotion is adequate. It has a very light, sweet smell. It's not especially thick.

I'm not in love with it being labeled "organic" since the term "organic" is not regulated by the FDA. Although a cosmetic product can meet the USDA organic requirements by being made with 95% organic ingredients, the Birchbox website is claiming that only 19% of the ingredients in this lotion are organic. According to the USDA, products that contain less than 70% organic ingredients "cannot use the term 'organic' anywhere on the principal display panel."

Harvey Prince Imperial Gardenia (estimated 0.03 fl oz), estimated retail value $3.30

There is a beautiful, peppery, spicy layer to this gardenia-inspired fragrance. I actually like it a lot. The reason I wouldn't purchase this is because it is inexplicably only available in a 0.3 fl oz size.

One Year Subscription to Women's Health Magazine, retail value $9.99

I wouldn't normally count this, but you can send the card back for a $9.99 refund, which makes the entire Birchbox purchase $0.01 plus the points you get for reviewing the items in your bag.

Total Box Value: $35.01

I probably would have been pretty grumpy about this box… but it came out to near-free with the refund. If you count my points (10 points per item for a total of 50 points, worth $5 in the Birchbox store), I came out ahead. Hard to complain about that.

If you suddenly decide you want to join Birchbox, you are, as always, welcome to use my referral link by clicking here.


  1. What lipsick are you wearing? It's really pretty!

    1. I meant lipstick. (Naming a product "lipsick" probably wouldn't be the greatest marketing move, but I'm totally calling dibs on it.)

    2. LOL - argh, the mental images! :-D

  2. What a disappointing box. Good thing that you got a refund for it, because none of them blow the box out of the water.

    I didn't know where else to ask this, but do you think you could review The Masters Brush Cleaner and Preserver? I know it's for art brushes (as I use it for my own) and so many people have used it for their makeup brushes. I used it to get my stipple and my buffing brushes completely clean again, but I never found the ingredients that go into it, so I have to give it another wash to feel safer. I'm not sure if it's truly safe for makeup brushes or not...

  3. This real chemist just gave a real eyeroll ;-)

  4. I got very nearly this exact same box, except my CC cream is Fair to Light. Double check your profile and make sure your skin tone is set to "Fair" and not "Light." If it's Fair, email them to let them know they sent you the wrong shade.

  5. Gommage "peels" are fun but they don't really do a lot, in my opinion. I got the Real Chemistry thing recently too and I think it's sort of deceptive, because it looks like it should be some high-level exfoliant goodness .... but nope.

  6. Did you unsubscribe from Ipsy? I was hoping to get a rant on tanning lotion

  7. I've just stumbled across your blog after hearing about it on GG, and I'm hooked! Finally, someone who can talk about beauty with adjectives other than UH-mazing or GOR-geous.

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