Reviewing Birchbox: My January Box

Have you guys tried Birchbox yet? With all the random subscription boxes I’ve tried out, I never really bothered with a beauty box. It’s not that I don’t like makeup and beauty products – I love them – I’m just kind of set in my ways about what I use.

I’ve been using Origins products for years and faithfully use A Perfect World antioxidant cleanser, Modern Friction exfoliating scrub and A Perfect World SPF 25 face moisturizer. I think these products are fantastic and will probably continue using them forever.

When it comes to makeup products, I have two phases: eyeliner only or full face. My version of “full face” is: Cover Girl eye liner, Cover Girl Intense Eye Shadow Blast, Mary Kay lengthening primer and mascara, Origins Fill-in-the-Blanks eyebrow pencil and Neutrogena under-eye concealer and bronzer. Most of the products are right from the drugstore… so nothing is too fancy or expensive. Unfortunately, Cover Girl recently discontinued the intense eye shadow blast which goes on like gel, dries and stays put all day… {swoon}, so I had to be all shady and buy a few off of eBay (unopened) to hold me over until I find a replacement product.

Which brings us to the present. I like my current makeup products, but I’m kind of at the point where I’m open to trying some new things too.

Well, when I joined Hello Fresh (which I still love) they sent me an awesome promo code to try Birchbox and receive additional beauty samples in my first box. The extra samples and the low monthly price of $10 convinced me to go ahead try the subscription for a couple months.

I mean, it’s kind of my job as a blogger to try stuff out… right?!

Like a good little subscriber, I checked out their January Sneak Peek while waiting for my box to arrive:

That gets you kind of excited, right?! Let’s see what came in my January Birchbox:

January Birchbox review - inside - Pocketful of Joules

Dr. Jart+ Premium Beauty Balm SPF 45+ (Full-size is $39)
I’ve never tried a Beauty Balm, or a BB (as the cool kids call it) before… but it seems like a lightweight foundation with a SPF. I don’t typically use an all-over foundation, but tried this one out to see if I liked it. I actually didn’t really notice much of a difference at all, but it did feel light on my skin without feeling sticky. This isn’t a product that I will end up using because I don’t really need the coverage and my moisturizer already has a SPF in it that works for me.

Harvey Prince Sincerely (Full-size is $55)
I’m actually looking for a new perfume, so I was excited to get this sample in my Birchbox to try. The scent is described as being “sweetly spicy with Indonesian clove bud, Indian tuberose and Japanese orange flower. While it’s not a winner for my body chemistry or nose, I appreciate the chance to try it out for free.

Sumita Color Contrast Eyeliner (Full-size is $11 – $21)
This is the eyeliner shown in the Sneak Peek and I was happy that it was included because I’m an eyeliner addict. I literally slap it on every single day! I was sent the Jaipur Gold color which is like a pretty gold/brown/green hybrid. It goes on super smooth as an eyeliner and I can’t wait to try it out as a creamy eye shadow as described in the video. For a sample, it is a really good size! I did notice that it doesn’t come off as easily as my typical eyeliner and I had to switch to my more heavy duty makeup remover to get it off. I’m not sure if this is a positive or a negative though…

Vasanti Cosmetics BrightenUp! Enzymatic Face Rejuvenator (Full-size is $34)
This little bottle of cleanser is meant to mimic the effects of microdermabrasion to give you glowing, smooth skin. The first time I tried it I was shocked at how the tiny little beads of whatever-the-heck-they use was super fine and scratchy on my skin. After a quick scrub and rinse, my skin was so incredibly smooth to the touch and definitely had a glow to it. I’m definitely going to start using this the suggested 3 – 5 times a week. If it continues being just as awesome, I will definitely buy the full-sized product when I run out.

Whish Three Whishes Body Butter – Lavender (Full-size is $24)
This body butter is super hydrating and the lavender scent is pretty light and not overpowering at all. I like this a lot as a hand lotion and it’s the perfect size to throw in your purse. I might even bring this with me on my vacation to give me a bit of scent without having to pack perfume.

Pixi Shea Butter Lip Balm in Coral Crush (Extra item from promotion)
This is one of the extra items I received as part of the Hello Fresh promotion and I’m so glad it was included. The full-sized lip balm goes on like a hydrating gloss, but has just the right amount of color in it. The best part is that even though you’re getting the color of a light lipstick, it feels like chapstick… so I anticipate actually using this pretty regularly. Here’s what it looks like on:

Birchbox lipstick

Air Repair Rescue Balm (Extra item from promotion)
This teeny tiny little tube is labeled as an all-purpose skin salve and lip balm. It says that it can be used wherever skin is dry, including lips and hands. This is another one that will be going straight into my purse, because in the winter I have the worst time with dry hands and knuckles. It basically feels like a silkier alternative to Vaseline, so I’m curious how it will work long term on my dry spots.

The way Birchbox is set up is that if you fall in love with something after trying the samples, you can buy full-sized versions straight from their online store. They also have a cool loyalty program that rewards you with points when you shop, give feedback on items or refer friends. Well, I like to give feedback on everything anyways, so I’m happy to be rewarded for my opinions!

I will warn you that you do receive a TON of emails from Birchbox. I received over a dozen different emails within a week of signing up. Some were totally relevant like their welcome, order information, shipping tracking number, and more. However, I’ve also gotten a bunch of promotional emails, so if that kind of thing drives you nuts, be warned. They totally sucked me into upgrading my February subscription with an ‘add on’ box….oops. And yes, I’ll share what I get on the blog. See, it’s a totally worthwhile blog expense!

Have you tried Birchbox? Is it one of those subscription boxes that you keep for a while or did you feel like a few months of samples was plenty to play with?


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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