Birchbox is a $10 (USD)/month subscription service (shipping included). Each month, subscribers receive at least five beauty, grooming, and/or lifestyle samples. Birchbox is also available in France, Spain,the UK and Canada.
This is probably the item I was most excited about when I saw my box’s contents. Benefit’s They’re Real mascara is already a favorite of mine, so my hopes were high. The innovation for Roller Lash mascara is the “Hook ‘n’ Roll” brush, which is meant to ‘hook’ on to your lashes for curl and lift… eliminating the need for a lash curler. Since I’m all about finding effective ways to skip steps in my makeup routine, this was right up my alley.
I have to say, I was pretty impressed. Though the results weren’t extreme, Roller Lash did a decent enough job that I didn’t miss my curler. I also didn’t see any flaking or smudging in the eight hours I wore it. I have seen others say that multiple coats will result in clumping, but I found that one coat was all I needed.
Full size is $24, sample is worth about $8.50.
The Cucumber Eye Gel from Jules & Esther is interesting. The first thing that I noticed was the consistency. Very Gak-like. It smells subtly of, well, cucumber. The gel is cooling when it’s first applied, and then about 20 seconds later it gets a bit tingly and warm (though, I’m not sure if that reaction is normal). It did leave my skin a bit tacky for at least 30 minutes, so that’s worth keeping in mind if applying in the morning before makeup.
Full size is $27 (1 oz); sample is worth $3.40.
The sample of Caudalie Vinosource Moisturizing Sorbet left me with mixed feelings. The negatives had little to do with the product itself; the problem was the sample. The tube is meant to have roughly the same amount of product as the Jules & Esther Cucumber Eye Gel (~0.1 fl oz), but mine had maybe a fraction of that. Since this product is intended to cover the entire face and neck area, I wasn’t able to give it a true test. I had just enough to rub across the back of my hand (which is how I usually test these sorts of products when I initially open them). I contacted Birchbox and they’re sending me a replacement sample. As always, their customer service is top-notch.
On the plus side, what I can tell you is that the gel/creme hybrid feels really nice and moisturizing upon application and has barely any scent at all. I’m hoping the replacement has enough product in it, because the little bit I was able to try seemed promising.
Full size is $39 (40 ml); sample is worth around $2.90.
Moisturizing Sea Salt Spray is part of the Parlor line from Jeff Chastain. This was one of the sample choice options for February, and was an obvious pick for me since I like trying various sea salt sprays. Upon first spritz, the first thing I noticed was the scent. Birchbox (and, one would assume, Chastain) describe the scent as “ripe peach, fresh-cut grass, and white woods.” I definitely get the white woods followed by a grassy note, but the peach is kind of lost in the background. I still dig the scent; it’s different in a way that I think will play nicely with the sorts of perfumes I use.
I have fine hair, so I have to spray sparingly to avoid going from beachy and textured to crunchy and gross. As long as I manage to do that, I end up with soft, loose waves and even a bit of fullness. The product also claims to be moisturizing, and I would say that’s mostly accurate. It’s not nearly as drying as some of the other sea salt sprays I’ve tried in the past.
Full size is $24 (4.9 oz); sample is worth $4.90.
Finally, there’s a sample of Clean Skin. I actually already own a rollerball of this scent, so I’ll probably pass this sample along to someone who hasn’t tried it before.
The notes are “Honeydew, Lotus Blossom and Fresh Air Accord, Dewy Petals, Aquatic Notes, Blue Rose, Musks, Amber Wood, and Vanilla.” To be honest, I don’t really pick up on the honeydew, fresh air, dewy petals, lotus blossom, or the rose. I get a simple woody, vanilla musk. It’s warm, soft, and creamy… very “your skin but better”. The scent lingers for a few hours and has only minimal sillage. That may make it a decent choice for people who are sensitive to strong perfumes.
Full size is $69 (2.4 oz); sample is worth about $1.
Box Value: This month’s box comes in at just over $20, plus the points for reviewing each product ($5 in Birchbox Shop credit).