After mulling over whether or not to get a beauty subscription box for way too long, I finally decided to bite the bullet and get one. Out of all the beauty subscriptions available, Birchbox seemed like the best choice for me. I already use Birchbox to make beauty purchases, and the subscription boxes come with a great perk: for every sample you receive in the monthly box (you get 5 samples, sometimes a bonus), you get 10 Birchbox points. That’s up to 50 (60 with a bonus) points per box, which amounts to $5 (or $6) worth to spend on more goodies on the Birchbox site. Pretty awesome, yeah?
I subscribed pretty late into the month, so I didn’t get the March box until just last week. Opening my mailbox to find it sitting there was like experiencing Christmas in March. The box itself was beautiful; I’m definitely keeping it to store whatever trinkets I have lying around.
This month’s box contained 6 items:
- Beautiful Nutrition Healthy Hair Diet Shampoo (Full-size: 13.9 fl oz, $16) The shampoo sample was very generous, around the same size as the typical travel-size shampoo. Unfortunately, this product was a miss for me. It claims to revitalize dry or damaged hair, but my hair didn’t feel nourished at all. And usually, one shampoo can last me at the very least 2 days before my hair starts to get gross, but by the afternoon the next day, my hair was already limp and starting to look really grimy – not a good look. The scent wasn’t pleasant either – it smelled like a manufactured citrus scent.
- Beautiful Nutrition Healthy Hair Diet Conditioner (Full-size: 13.9 fl oz, $16) The conditioner sample was the same size as the shampoo, and, like the shampoo, was a big miss for me. It’s supposed to revitalize dry, damaged or stressed hair, but it had no effect whatsoever on my hair. I could’ve skipped this conditioner completely and had the same result. The scent was the same as the shampoo.
- Benefit Cosmetics POREfessional Instant Wipeout Pore Cleaning Mask (Full-size: 8 masks, $32) The product comes in a little packet; you’re supposed to pop this button on the packet, which releases the serum into the mask, and then put the mask on your problem area for 10 minutes. I was pretty excited for this product, because although my skin has improved a lot over the last couple of years, my pores are still an issue. I’m not sure whether the product really cleaned my pores, but I definitely didn’t see any minimizing action going on. I was also too focused on the feeling that my face was getting burned off. To make things worse, my nose area, where I used the mask, stayed irritated and red for the rest of the night.
- Benefit Cosmetics The POREfessional: Matte Rescue Invisible Finish Mattifying Gel (Full-size: 1.6 fl oz, $28) The name of the product makes its purpose pretty self-explantory – it’s a mattifying primer. The sample comes in a one-time use packet, but I always find that I can get at least 2 uses out of these samples. I have to say that I prefer the original POREfessional; it’s a decent primer, but it didn’t really do any mattifying for me.
- Cargo Land Down Under Eye Shadow Palette (Full-size: 12 shades, $34) The full-size palette comes in a variety of nudes, with some blues and greens as pops of color. The sample is a nude eyeshadow duo in brown and a cool-toned beige, both matte finishes. This duo actually contains more product per shade than the palette; each shade in the palette is 0.03 oz, while in this duo, both shades are 0.05 oz. I’ve never used Cargo eyeshadows before, and I was pleasantly surprised at how nice they were. They have good pigmentation and blend really well. The only con would be that there is a ridiculous amount of fallout, if that’s something that’s a deal breaker for you. This was most definitely my favorite sample in this box.
- Clarisonic Sonic Radiance AM Skin Illuminating Cleanser (Full-size: 3.4 fl oz, $25) The sample is pretty small (0.14 oz), but you can probably get a week’s worth of AM cleanses in with the amount. As I already use face cleansers I find very effective for me, this was the least exciting sample for me. This one claims to brighten dark spots, even skin tone, and transform dull skin, but as of now, I have yet to see any of these effects. It’s a decent cleanser, very gentle and thus good for sensitive skin. It’s supposed to be used in conjunction with the Clarisonic cleansing brush for the best results. The Clarisonic brush has been too abrasive for my skin, which has been extra sensitive lately, so I haven’t tried that yet.
Final verdict: Pretty disappointing. I only truly enjoyed one of my samples, and 3 of the 6 were complete disappointments. I’m getting the April box next week, so hopefully that one will be better…