Reviewing Birchbox: January & February Reveals

Well, my reentry into Birchbox world went so well in November and December (you can check the post out here) that I decided to stick with it. It can get a bit boring to review them every month though, so I’m thinking I’ll double-up and write about them every other month.

Here’s what I received in my January Birchbox:

Birchbox - January 2016

  • R+Co Death Valley Dry Shampoo, full-size $29
  • amika Bombshell Blowout Spray, full-size $24
  • Embryolisse Lait-Crème Concentre, full-size $28
  • Eyeko Fat Liquid Liner, full-size $16
  • Tonymoly Delight Tony Tint in Red, full-size $6

Initially the product I was most excited to try was the dry shampoo. I recently tried dry shampoo for the first time a few months ago (I bought this one and highly recommend it for anyone wanting to dip their toe into the world of dry shampoo), but was super confused on all the options out there. I was curious if the fancy version was any different than the cheapo version I use. Verdict: They perform about the same but the R+Co version scent sticks with you for much longer.

I have the amika spray from a previous Birchbox and like it for when I want my bangs to keep a slight curl all day long. I tried the Embroyolisse cream and it goes on really light but moisturizes all day, so that’s a win. I experimented with the liquid liner for my ‘trying a cat eye’ post and while it was fun to try, it didn’t end up being a very good match for me. As for the red lip tint, it was just kind of weird.

Now, let’s check out my February Birchbox:

Birchbox - February 2016

  • Color Club mini polish in That’s my Jam, full-size $8.50
  • Corioliss Argan Conditioning Mask, full-size $40
  • Naobay HydraPlus Cream, full-size $29.60
  • Hey Honey Take it Off! Exfoliating Honey Peel Off Mask, full-size $29
  • POP Beauty Matte Velvet Lipstix in Coxy Crimson, Full-size Trio $24

I was actually excited about every single item in this month’s box and it all seemed like a great fit for me. The nail polish is a really pretty shade of red, which I will certainly get plenty of wear out of (my toenails are pretty year-round). A conditioning hair mask is a great fit, especially with all the dry heat pumping out of my heat pump this time of year. I ended up taking it with us to Great Wolf Lodge and slathering my poor chlorine soaked hair with the mask two days in a row. The mask worked great and the smell was amazing!

I was pleasantly surprised at the large sample size for the Naobay cream and will definitely be spreading this face lotion on after any night-time showers, since it doesn’t have an SPF. As for the peel off mask, I can’t wait to try it! The POP lipstick is a really pretty shade of red, but I didn’t find it very moisturizing at all. I think I will save this one for special occasions or quick photo shoots for the blog.

I’m still really happy that I decided to give Birchbox another try and really feel like I’ve gotten a good value for my money over the past few months. I really loved the last couple boxes and can’t wait to see what they send me next!

Have you broken up with a subscription box only to return a few months later and love it?


Disclaimer: This post is not sponsored by Birchbox, I paid for the $10 fee with my own hard-earned money. If you enjoyed my review and decide to try Birchbox for yourself, the biggest compliment you can give me is by using my referral link. Thank you to anyone who chooses to click through and support my shopping addiction! Pocketful of Joules is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to

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Reviewing Birchbox: Let’s Try This Again!

I last blogged about Birchbox back in May. I had tried the monthly beauty subscription box for five months and was kind of disappointed because I didn’t feel like they were listening to me. So, I cancelled my account and never bothered replacing it with anything similar.

Well, I’m going to admit it… I missed getting my monthly Birchbox delivery. While it is quite true that I was annoyed that they KEPT SENDING ME perfume samples when I hated pretty much everything with a strong scent, they also sent me some pretty great stuff. In fact, I still use the three favorites that I talked about in my May Breaking up with Birchbox post.

So, for $10 a month I decided to give them another chance.

I re-subscribed just in time to receive their November and December boxes, but hadn’t had a chance to share them with you… so let’s take a look!

Here’s what I received in my November Birchbox:

November 2015 Birchbox

  • Temple Spa LaLa Lagoon Aromatic Bath & Shower Gel – full-size $18
  • The Balm cosmetics Hot Mama! Powder – full-size $20
  • Beenigma All in One Face Cream – full-size $69 – $129
  • LOC Vibrant Matte Lipstick in Wildest Dreams – full-size $8
  • PARLOR by Jeff Chastain Flexible Hold Hairspray – full-size $24

I was most excited about the Beenigma face cream, as it uses bee venom and Manuka honey to reduce lines and wrinkles. I’ve started using it around my eyes and I’m crossing my fingers that I will see a little bit of difference before the sample runs out! I also really love the color and shimmer of the Hot Mama powder and have been using it in place of my old blush. I only wish it came with a blush brush, because my super fluffy bronzer brush is a bit large for the tiny compact.

I’m conflicted on the LOC lipstick… it goes on so nice and creamy, but I’m not sure if the red is a bit too bold for me to pull off (you can see it here). I’m going to try and wear it a few times to see if I get used to the look.

Now, let’s check out my December Birchbox:

December 2015 Birchbox

  • Jane iredale Just Kissed Lip & Cheek Stain – Forever Peach – full-size $25
  • Coastal Scents Eye Shadow Duo – formalEYES – full-size $12
  • eSalon Perfect Ending Leave In Conditioner – full-size $25
  • Juara Coconut Illipe Hand and Nail Balm – full-size $20
  • Derma e Microdermabrasion Scrub – full-size $32.50
  • Bonus item: Chuao Chocolatier Cinnamon Cereal Smooch – Assortment of 8 is $9.95

For this month’s order, I decided to choose their “Winter Essentials” box instead of having them surprise me with one made up based on my preferences. I thought that by selecting the pre-made box, I’d be more likely to love everything, since it was based on community favorites.

Wow, what an awesome box! I’m so glad I decided to go with this one because I am excited to try out every single item – except the chocolate, I already ate that. Yum! The lip stain is supposed to adjust to your skin for a natural shade, so that was the first thing I tried. It goes on really lightly and smells like peaches, so it’s a winner. I’m also loving the large sized samples for both the leave-in conditioner and the microdermabrasion scrub. What a great deal for $10!

I am SO GLAD I decided to give Birchbox another try because I am really impressed with the November and December boxes. Now I can’t wait to go and have a mini-spa day at home so I can play with everything! Oh and I just noticed that they are having a special if you subscribe by January 9th with my special referral code you will get $5 off your first box. So if you’ve been on the fence on trying them out, it’s a super great deal for just $5!

Have you broken up with a subscription box only to return a few months later?


Disclaimer: This post is not sponsored by Birchbox, I paid for the $10 fee with my own hard-earned money. If you enjoyed my review and decide to try Birchbox for yourself, the biggest compliment you can give me is by using my referral link. Thank you to anyone who chooses to click through and support my shopping addiction!

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Reviewing Birchbox: My May Box & Time to Break Up

It is month number five of my Birchbox subscription and it looks like our love affair is over.

It’s not you, Birchbox… it’s me.
Actually, it IS you.

Much like a crappy boyfriend, you just DIDN’T listen to what I want…so I’m dumping you.

Here’s what I got in this month’s box:

May Birchbox - open

Dr. Jart+ Ceramidin Day Tint (Full-size, $48)
According to the little card that comes in the box, this is a ceramide-infused balm that hydrates, delivers sheer coverage and has SPF protection.

May Birchbox - tint

I don’t wear foundation or any all-over face color… I just feel like it kind of strangles my skin and makes me feel gross all day long. I even went and double-checked my account to make sure that I indicated that I don’t wear foundation, so I’m not sure why they keep sending this kind of stuff to me. I tried it on by putting a thin layer on with my fingers and even though the coverage was light it was still definitely there. Also, the product has a really stinky floral/medicine smell to it so within about 5 minutes of spreading it on my face I went and washed it back off.

ModelCo Party Proof Lipstick – Dusk Til Dawn (Set of 3, $20)
I like the packaging of this lipstick and the color looks pretty in the tube. On my lips it’s a little clay/orange looking though… and I’m not sure how I feel about it. What do you think?

May Birchbox - products

At the price point it really does seem like something I can easily pick up at the drugstore though, so I’m not sure it’s worth the cost of the monthly box.

Harvey Prince Sea Salt Texturizing Mist (Full-size $22)
This was the product I was able to choose for this month’s box, so I’m glad that it was included. I’ve tried a bunch of texture sprays and was happy to try another one. I was super disappointed at the size of the sample though, because in past boxes similar samples were double or triple the size. Actually, I guess I’m not that disappointed at the size of the sample, because it didn’t work at all. Check it out in the picture above with the lipstick – I used the mist to style my hair and it looks exactly the same as if I didn’t put any product in it at all. So disappointing.

Marcelle Hydra-C 24H Energizing Hydrating Gel (Full-size $24)
This gel is a “lightweight, vitamin-packed hydrator that brightens skin and goes on cucumber-cool.” You are supposed to smooth it on your face whenever it feels dry and it can be worn alone or under makeup. In the morning, I always put on a moisturizer with a SPF, so I used my sample after I washed my face at the end of the day. It goes on very lightly and soaks in almost immediately. I don’t really feel like it brightened my skin at all, but it felt okay and wasn’t sticky or anything.

English Laundry Notting Hill Femme (Full Size, $90)
Have I mentioned that I’m super picky about my perfumes? Oh yeah, I do on EVERY SINGLE REVIEW. I even emailed Birchbox after last month’s box and asked them to put a note on my account to not send me perfumes. They replied and said that they’d mark me as not receiving them often, because it wasn’t an option to fully opt-out. So, what do I get in this month’s box? Another perfume. That makes 4 perfumes in the last 5 boxes.

And with that, I’m out.

Instead of my boxes improving each month with my feedback and tweaks to my style profile, they just kept missing the mark. Even though it was only $10 a month, I just feel like it was a waste when they didn’t really seem to care what I wanted. Instead, I could take that $10 to Target and pick up a few products that I’m actually interested in trying out.

I closed my account and used up the rest of my points to order (yet another) beachy hair spray from their store. Once that arrives, I’ll be unsubscribing from all of their emails to make a clean break. It’s too bad, they seemed like a really cool concept, but I’d much rather spend my money with a company that actually listens to my feedback.

In my 5 months of boxes, I did find 3 products I ended up using regularly:

PARLOR by Jeff Chastain Moisterizing Sea Salt Spray (February Box) – This spray smells great and gives me super soft beachy waves when I spray it on damp hair. I use this on a daily basis and really like it a lot. The only reason I keep looking around for another one is that while this does a good job, it really doesn’t leave it SUPER wavy. However, if my choice is between kinda wavy and soft or super wavy and crunchy, I choose this one!

Vasanti Cosmetics BrightenUp! Enzymatic Face Rejuvenator (January Box) – I loved this facial scrub so much that it totally replaced my previous favorite (which I had been using forever). The sample lasted for well over a month and I bought the full-sized container ($34) which will probably last me for a whole year. It makes my skin super soft and I swear that it has reduced the appearance of some wrinkles that were starting on my forehead and around my eyes!

Pixi Shea Butter Lip Balm (January Box) – I was originally sent this lip color in “coral crush” but ordered both the “ripe raspberry” and “pixi pink” to try out when I accumulated a bunch of points to spend in the Birchbox store. I LOVE all of the colors and have been wearing the “ripe raspberry” to work most days. It is sheer, feels good on my lips and the color is really flattering!

So there you go, my very last Birchbox review. It was fun while it lasted, but now it’s time to move on.

Have you tried Birchbox? How long did you keep your subscription?


Disclaimer: This post is not sponsored by Birchbox, I paid for the $10 fee with my own hard-earned money.

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