July Birchbox & Shop Purchases

July Birchbox & Shop Purchases

Hey guys! It’s time to review this month’s Birchbox! But this month I had 400 points to spend (and according to Birchbox’s changes to the points system, some would start expiring soon) so I treated myself to a couple extras.

First up is the box. This month, I chose the curated box, and I honestly have no idea why. I think it may have something to do with the mascara choice. If you’re new to Birchbox, every month you’re given the option to customize your box. You can choose one of the five samples (or do nothing to get a complete surprise) or opt for a curated box of products so there’s no surprise with your box. This month, Birchbox is giving a mascara in each box, and all of the sample choices were a mascara. None of them really interested me, and from experience it seems that even if you don’t choose a sample when there’s a theme like this, you’ll still usually get one of the samples.100_3926

The curated box had a few things in it that kind of interested me, and I did like the mascara choice over all of the others.

The theme: Rise and Shine. It’s pretty self-explanatory – things to help you look a bit more awake and put-together in the morning. It’s a pretty decent theme, but I will say that one of these products is something I’d use only at night.

The box: The box lid is pretty cute with little scribble-like strokes of watercolor in lavender, red, orange, and yellow. It’s fresh and fun. But the bottom of the box has wedges of either grapefruit or blood orange instead (in the same color scheme). I think the two patterns clash and don’t like the fruit as a pattern in the first place.

The goodies: dr. brandt PoreDermabrasion
Milk Makeup Sunshine Oil
Elizabeth Mott It’s So Big Volumizing Mascara
Klorane Smoothing and Relaxing Patches
Living Proof No Frizz Nourishing Styling Cream
Living Proof No Frizz Shampoo & Conditioner packets

The dr. brandt PoreDermabrasion: I got this a few months ago as an online Sephora sample. While it was nice and I know what to expect, I’ve been cutting back on exfoliation lately and have a million different face scrubs to go through. Into the hoarding drawer it goes. It’s a strong scrub and has chemical exfoliants as well.

The Milk Makeup Sunshine Oil: At first I was a bit confused by this. I didn’t know that this brand made skincare products, and wasn’t sure if this was supposed to be some sort of makeup oil like the Smashbox primer oil. I’m not big on face oils, but usually use a bit of one in the morning on the tip of my nose, which is dry and flaky. I like the rollerball application, as it lets me control the amount of product I use, and I may actually start to use this on the rest of my face, since it is such an easy-to-use, lightweight oil that does give you a nice, natural glow.

The Elizabeth Mott mascara: I’ve got five other unopened mascaras to get to before this, and don’t want to even open this in case the mascara dries out. From online images, it looks like the wand is kind of an hourglass shape, though not as dramatic as the Too Faced Better Than Sex. I’m pretty excited to try this in the future.

The Klorane patches: This was possibly the product I was least looking forward to. I wasn’t a fan of the Klorane dry shampoo I got a few months ago, and while I like eye patches and masks and things, they can irritate my skin.

The Living Proof cream: I got the Living Proof Split End Mender cream a couple months ago, and really like it. So while I don’t use a lot of styling products, I’m always on the lookout for a frizz fighter and am more than happy to try this brand’s.

The Living Proof shampoo and conditioner: Again, I wanted to try this. I just went looking for a new shampoo, and this brand was a bit more expensive than I was willing to spend. I haven’t had a chance to try this yet, as I keep forgetting to bring these into the shower every time I wash my hair.

The verdict: A decent box. I don’t think I was expecting to fall in love with a lot of these when I chose this box, but figured it would be a pretty safe bet. I do wish that Birchbox would change their sample choice back to how they had it before, with usually four or five different possibilities that didn’t have to fit in with whatever theme of the month it was. Now, it feels like there are only a few options (in June, the options were the three different colors of the Benefit Gimme Brow, which isn’t much of a choice). Back in October or November, I was able to choose an Anastasia brow pencil as one of the options, and it was treated as a single option  no matter which color was chosen. Coupled with Birchbox’s point system changing, I’m starting to get a bit disillusioned with the company.

The Birchbox shop purchases: I hit 400 points, and wanted the Benefit Cheekathon palette, which seems to have sold out about two days beforehand. So instead I decided on:100_3932100_3929

Embryolisse Lait-Creme Concentre: I heard good things about this cream, and wanted to try it when I got low on moisturizer and binge-bought a million kinds, as I normally do with skincare products. It’s really moisturizing and smells fresh. I haven’t used this a lot, and it seems to sink into the skin slowly enough that it probably is better at night.

Cargo Land Down Under Palette: I saw this on Ulta’s website a while ago and wanted to try it, but never got around to purchasing it. It looks even lovelier in real life than online, both with packaging and the actual eyeshadows. I’ll probably make a review post about this single palette because I could go on about this, but in the meantime, here are some swatches:

First row
Second row
Eyeliner, bronzer, and brush

Cargo trio: For my free code, I couldn’t find a 20% off coupon (which would turn my $50 purchase into a $40 purchase, meaning that I’d only spend points, not real dollars, since Pennsylvania doesn’t charge tax on online orders and I’d qualify for free shipping). So instead I got this makeup bag and a blush and bronzer duo. I don’t really need another makeup bag, but I like the blush color a lot and the tin is really cute.

Sample duo: For those who don’t know, Birchbox lets you add two free random samples to all shop  orders over $35. One will be deluxe-sized. The only annoying part is that Birchbox doesn’t record which samples you receive, meaning you have to hunt them down yourself and can’t earn points and review them.
Toni & Guy Shampoo for Damaged Hair: It has sulfates in it, and while I first couldn’t think of anyone to give this to because I don’t use sulfates, I figured I could just use it to clean my makeup brushes!

Laura Geller Lip Strip Smoothing Sugar Scrub: It smells very minty and has one of those annoying lip gloss tips where it’s shaped like a lipstick tube with the hole in the center. That may actually be pretty good for pressing the scrub against my lips, since I’m not a huge fan of using my fingers for any sort of lip product.

So, a pretty good haul in my opinion, especially for the price! And when I first purchased this, the tracking code said it was delivered at my house but I never received it. I called my post office to check if something happened to it (scanned but left in the truck or given to a neighbor or something), waited a week, and then contacted Birchbox. They reprocessed my order within a day and had great customer service!

-xo, Andi


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