January: Birchbox Review

mood board

noun
  1. an arrangement of images, materials, pieces of text, etc., intended to evoke or project a particular style or concept.
    “we put together a mood board with key images and words that best convey the essence of the brand”

That is this year’s January theme for Birchbox. Maybe my favorite thing about this subscription-based company is their ease of integrating the key concepts of each month into such a small package. It’s crazy to me that a little box can give such solace and inspiration. Mood boards can be digital or figurative, but they act in the same way as an inspiration board. They help you to focus on key concepts that you want to pursue or build you’re own mantra around. And they’re visual, so you’re constantly reminded. Just like you’ll be constantly reminded how much you love your Birchbox with each new one.

 

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While Birchbox gives you “adjective stickers” to decorate your box with the word that best describes you, I saved my stickers for my planner and wrote a word I can never change for the year. And yes… that’s a strawberry donut coaster. 

Each month Birchbox delivers a small package to your door. If you’re not familiar with it, you can learn more here, or check out my December review. Once you see that little pink box after getting home from a long day of class, or at the office, your night is transformed. I think the best way to revel in this little monthly gift is to sit down with a glass of wine, your favorite music or tv show in the background and just start sorting through it. I make an experience out of it instead of opening it at the kitchen counter still in my work clothes, like all of my other mail.

I particularly have to research the products I receive because I’m allergic to lavender and as far as I can tell, there’s no place to submit that allergy on your personal profile. But I do recommend just researching products before you use them. Birchbox does an amazing job of sending you what you request in your initial profile, but it’s nice to read a bit about the effectiveness of products before you try them out with high expectations or vise versa.

I had a few favorites out of this month’s box that I think of worthy of sharing (all samples are pictured above and my ten-of-ten rating will appear when you scroll over them).

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I was in love with the BB cream sample I got. I use BB cream in lieu of foundation and cover up and have for as long as I can remember. I think it makes your face look so natural and I love the idea of moisturizing and SPF protecting every day. What I loved about this particular sample is the way it leaves a certain dewiness on the skin that cannot be mistaken for oil. It has total coverage and does a great job at skin-tone matching once you massage it into your face and neck. I would 100% spend it’s retail price as I feel like you must get a good amount for your money. I am still using my Birchbox sample and I use it everyday.

I also loved the liquid liner. It drew on like a sharpie but a smooth, almost creamy texture on the eyelid. Not only did it go on flawlessly, but I was somehow able to easily correct the straightness of the line with my finger, while the eyeliner stayed on all night long, even after sleeping. I love products that last without being permanent. So many long-lasting eyewear products and lip stains don’t come off no matter what you use. This lasts when you need it to and leaves when you want it gone.

After a second application trial, I grew to love the 3-minute peel. I thought it left my skin looking clear, refreshed and glowing without any strange tingling feeling like some peels and cleansers can give. That being said, I think it’s retail price is extremely expensive for a clear gel and the size does not yield a lot of uses as you have to use a good amount to fully cover your face with a use.

I didn’t talk much about the detangler or dry shampoo because I wasn’t a fan. Besides practicality, smell is the most important thing to me about any product. I have a very strong sense of smell and like a lot of warmer smells like vanilla, or fruity scents like peach or apple spice. That being said, these two products had very strange, heavy smells that I found displeasing enough to stop using them. The detangler had a chemical-based smell that reminded me of hair color, while the dry shampoo smelt like roses and dust. Everyone has their own preference and maybe you’d like those smells enough to find these products effective. However, I’ve had detangler that works better from CVS for a whole lot cheaper and dry shampoo that does the trick without leaving a gray sheen on the hair.

With all of this information, I hope you can informatively make a decision on some of these products. If you’ve been looking for a new moisturizer, foundation or eyeliner, I can’t recommend the two that came in this Birchbox set enough. They are flawless and in my opinion, affordable for their quality.

If you’re looking for an awesome Valentine’s gift to get someone you love, or reward yourself for being great, I’d really suggest giving/getting the gift of Birhbox. It makes those mundane Monday’s and freaky Friday’s a little bit more exciting and endurable. Who doesn’t love new things?

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