Birchbox Review: June

Per the recommendation of my hair stylist (& friend), Jordan, I signed up for Birchbox.  Haven't heard of Birchbox?  Neither had I.  Birchbox is the creation of Katia Beauchamp & Hayley Barna, who established the company while students at Harvard Business School.  There's a really interesting story in the NY Times about how they got started & how they get the samples.  Read more here.  

From their website:  Birchbox is the best way to discover new grooming, beauty & lifestyle products.  Sample top products from high-end brands, get expert advice, buy new favorites & earn points with every purchase.  It's $10 a month.  Full FAQ here.

I received my first Birchbox last month.  I meant to write about it sooner, but I wanted to use all the products first & the self tanner was holding me up.  I'll talk about that later.  Here is what was in my box for June.

beautyblender | blendercleanser

  • Birchbox description:  Keep your makeup sponges & brushes in prime condition with this soy-based formula, which removes built-up bacteria & oil.  Full-size, $17.95
  • My review:  Sorry, I haven't used this yet.  I'm horrible about cleaning my brushes.

Comodynes | Self-Tanning Intensive

  • Birchbox description:  Who needs the sun with you can get a safe, buildable, & natural-looking tan with these bestselling European towelettes?  Pack of 8, $14.99
  • My review:  I was excited to use this product, but it ended up being kind of a disaster.  Each packet contains one towelette that's supposed to cover your whole body.  The first time I used it, I followed the video tutorial, used one towelette & applied it in a circular motion.  It didn't work AT ALL.  Half of me was super tan & half of me was not tan at all (see above).  And it was embarrassingly uneven, especially around my joints.  In the interest of science, I tried it one more time, this time using two towelettes & not applying it in a circular motion, but more of a sweeping motion to ensure better coverage.  The second time was an improvement from the first, but still noticeably uneven.  It pains me to say this, but I do not recommend this product.  Sorry, Birchbox.

Number 4 | Super Comb Prep & Protect

  • Birchbox description:  This gorgeous-smelling leave-in treatment detangles & defrizzes with nutrient-rich botanicals, while built-in UV filters keep strands protected.  Full-size, $32
  • My review:  I don't think I had ever used a leave-in conditioner prior to this.  I wasn't sure that I needed more conditioner, as I apply it in the shower, but I went ahead & used it.  It smells so good!  And it's not heavy.  I've been using conditioner in the shower & then spraying this on before I blow dry.  I usually use Bumble & Bumble Styling Lotion, but this is way better, especially now that my hair is longer & I'm swimming all the time.  I love it!  I'm buying this one.

theBalm cosmetics | Stainiac in Beauty Queen

  • Birchbox description:  We're crazy about this two-in-one lip & cheek stain:  the sheer gel formula delivers a subtle, long-wearing flush.  Full-size, $17
  • My review:  I've never used a cheek & lip stain.  It just never made sense to me.  Until now!  Y'all, I love this.  It gives my cheeks the perfect flush without looking like makeup.  As a lip stain, it lasts ALL DAY.  I put it on in the morning & then just sporadically apply a clear gloss throughout the day.  It's still on at night when I clean my face!  Stainiac, you complete me.  I'm buying this one.  It comes in three colors.  I have Beauty Queen.

tili | Bags

  • Birchbox description:  Breeze through airport security with these too-cute plastic bags.  They're perfectly sized for storing all your travel essentials (& beauty samples).  Pack of 9-12, $8.49 - $9.49
  • My review:  I used this flying to DC recently & it held a lot.  A lot more than my usual generic ziploc bag.  Plus, it's cute & heavy duty.  I don't know that I'll buy more of these, but I'll definitely keep using the one I have.

John Varvatos | Star USA

  • Birchbox description:  In honor of Father's Day, we've included this dapper cologne, a blend of ginger, juniper berries, & vetiver.  Pass it on to a lucky guy friend of family member.  Full-size, $55-70
  • My review:  John doesn't wear cologne & my friend Heidi had recently told me how her boyfriend LOVES cologne samples, so I passed it along to her.  Heidi, if you're reading, you'll have to leave a comment & tell us how Andy liked it.
Final Thoughts:

Overall, I'm really pleased with Birchbox.  The June box was well worth my $10 & I'm buying two of the products.  If you're the least bit interested, I highly recommend it.  You don't "join" or buy a membership; you just pay $10 a month until you don't want to anymore.  

Also, you can give gift subscriptions, which is how my aforementioned friend Jordan found out about it.  Her mom bought her a year subscription for her birthday.  Also, if you have mens who love product, there's a Birchbox for men.  My friend bought a subscription for her husband for Father's Day & she says he loves it - FYI.

Yay, Birchbox!

Friday Links

Weekend Wrap Up: I'll Never Be Dry Again Edition