Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Birchbox Unboxing - September 2014

Birchbox really stretched it this time. I got my September box on the very last day of the month, making its trek to my mailbox 22 days long. Jeez Louise that was a waiting game.

What: Birchbox contains 4-6 samples of high-end beauty and lifestyle products
When: Ships on the 10th of each month
Cost: $10/month or $110/year upfront
Fun fact: Birchbox has an awesome points system where you can review products or make purchases from the Birchbox shop to earn points. Every 100 points gets you $10 credit in the BB shop.

Birchbox is the mother of all subscription boxes in that it was the first of its kind. September marks their 4th anniversary so this box is themed Fresh Paint in honor of reflecting on past years and looking forward to many more to come. It's also beginning a new season and time to bust out the earthy fall tones and textures. We don't really have an autumn here and the leaves don't turn color (sad face) and it gets humid rather than crisp outside, but nonetheless I'll celebrate the season. Birchbox seems to be exceptionally thankful (and Dutch) this month:

The inner box was pretty. It reminded me of M.C. Escher drawings for some reason. There were three patterns. I wonder what the others look like?

I've been pleasantly happy with the last couple of boxes. Let's see how this month fares.

September Birchbox info card (click to enlarge)

Davines OI Conditioner (Sample value: $9.60) - Ooh, hefty sample! This conditioner has apricot butter and antioxidant-rich roucou oil to keep hair hydrated and protected from the elements. This container was actually 3/4 of the way unscrewed when I took it out of the box, but the conditioner is so thick that not a single dollop escaped. It smells a bit manly to me and wouldn't be my first choice of scent, but I welcome any shampoo or conditioner sample and look forward to finding out if something this thick can moisturize without making my hair greasy.
It's so thick it holds its shape
Davines OI Shampoo (Sample value: $1.10) - Birchbox threw this in as an extra to complement the conditioner. Good call, Birchbox! This is a sulfate- and paraben-free shampoo with roucou oil to protect hair and sunflower seed oil to add shine. I normally don't pay attention to shampoo ingredients, but I never noticed any hydrating oils in them before. Seems like this would be awesome for people with dry or damaged hair.

Davines OI Oil Absolute Beautifying Potion (Sample value: $1.00) - Here's another extra that was included to round out the Davines OI trio (though there's also a milk treatment in the set). This is a hair oil that fights frizz and protects hair with the help of silicone and roucou oil. I've only used argan and moroccan oil treatments on my hair before (and couldn't tell the difference between the two) so I'm expecting roucou oil to have similar effects, which is taming the frizz if you use a small amount but slick city if you use anything more than a dime size.

I appreciate the intent of trying to give me a feel of the OI line by including three of their products, but I think if I use all of these at once my hair will be completely bogged down. I'll probably end up only using one or two at a time.

Juliette Has A Gun Perfume - Anyway (Sample value: $2.40) - I think I figured out why I don't wear fragrances. I'm too cheap. Because I could never ever see myself giving up a Benjamin just to smell good. That being said, I haven't actually spritzed it yet but the atomizer itself smells pleasantly refreshing. It's not grossly overpowering or anything. But I already have several sample vials to go through and with the frequency that I wear perfumes some of those samples are from a year ago. So yeah, I'll be passing this along to someone who will get more use out of it.

Caudalie Vinoperfect Radiance Serum (Sample value: $5.25) - I should've put a quarter in the picture for comparison. This is a 2ml tube that's about the size of my pinky. But since it's a serum I can overlook the sample size since you only use a couple of drops at a time anyway. This is an oil-free serum that targets dark spots. There's no niacinamide but it contains grape viniferin, a resveratrol which is supposed to have anti-inflammatory effects and anti-aging benefits. Resveratrols are also thought to be effective against hyperpigmentation since they reduce tyrosinase production (the enzyme that controls melanin production).

TEMPTU S/B Highlighter - Champagne Shimmer (Sample value: $2.75) - Another itty bitty sample!This is a silicone-based buildable face/body shimmer that really stays put. I put a tiny bit on my fingertip and it WILL NOT come off no matter how much I rub it.

Avene Cleanance Soap-Free Gel Cleanser (Sample value: $5.00) - So this is a cleanser sans the soap (but it does have sulfates). It's made with French thermal spring waters that help to calm and soften skin. (But I'm preeetty sure you don't have to go to France to find soothing water) It's recommended for people with oily or acne prone skin. The more I look at this, the more I think it's actually a cleansing water in gel form. It says to lather it onto your face and pat dry, no rinsing needed. Hm. I guess I'll have to try it to find out.

So what did I think of September's box? Not bad. Not as great as last month's but I've had worse. Besides, it had a value of $25 not including the extras and I'll be able to review seven items to get SEVEN DOLLARS to spend in the shop! Plus I'll probably be keeping everything except for the Juliette perfume and the Temptu highlighter so it's not too bad at all.

Did you get a Birchbox this month? If you got the Avene cleanser did you try it yet? I'm curious to see if it's an actual facial cleanser or just something to remove makeup and stuff. If you'd like to sign up for a Birchbox, use my link and start discovering some awesome beauty products at the click of a mouse! They've also got some lifestyle and foodstuff too, so have a look around their shop - it's got (almost) everything!

One more thing. In celebration of their 4th anniversary, Birchbox is offering a FREE mystery bonus box with any $50+ order with code BONUSBOX. Supplies are limited to jump on it!

Note: Post contains referral links. All opinions contained within this post are my own.

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