Last month’s box was a complete miss for me (and I chose it!), so I had my fingers crossed this month would be better. Pick Your Sample happened once again, and though I contemplated not making a choice, I ended up picking something at the last minute. I wasn’t overwhelmed by the items that were given as choices this month, but I felt like they were better than last month. My box also arrived really early this month, which was much appreciated.
Birchbox is a subscription sampling service that delivers a box of 4-6 products to your door each month. The box is only $10 per month and offers a very generous rewards program. Each item you receive and review is worth 10 points. Every 100 points is equal to $10, which can be used to purchase full-sized products in the Birchbox shop or gift subscriptions.
Atelier Cologne – Vanille Insensee Fragrance
1.0 ml, Estimated value: $0.83 || Full size: 100 ml, $120
When I signed up for Birchbox, there was a question regarding like or dislike of perfume samples. I indicated that I didn’t like them and would prefer six or less per year, yet I’ve gotten three boxes and each box has included a perfume sample! I’m not sure Birchbox is respecting my wishes on that end. That being said, I think I like this perfume, but it’s overwhelmingly strong in the package. Hopefully it’ll calm down a little once I wear it. I am annoyed by the packaging, however. I prefer samples that squirt, rather than a vial with a stopper. For a perfume that costs in excess of $100, I think they should offer a sample that sprays.
Harvey Prince Ageless Liquid Loofah
15 ml, Estimated value: $0.93 || Full size: 12 oz, $22
I’m starting to understand why some people get really annoyed with Birchbox. Three boxes, three Harvey Prince products–though I guess I should at least be happy this one isn’t a perfume sample! This body wash is a nice, clear gel with a bright grapefruit scent. It just smells very clean to me. I like it a lot. I’ll be saving this for traveling.
Pixi Shea Butter Lip Balm in Honey Nectar
4 g || Estimated value: $8
I have to travel more than an hour to my nearest Target, so Pixi is a brand that I haven’t tried before. It’s a little pricey for a drugstore-type brand, but I have heard good things about several of their products. This lip balm has a nice, warm shimmer. I was expecting a mauve color because of the packaging, but it feels more like a peachy nude to me. Not sure about the moisturizing capabilities just yet, but it does feel nice on my lips and provides just a hint of color.
Shiseido Ultimate Power Infusing Concentrate
10 ml, Estimated value: $21.60 || Full size: 30 ml, $65
This was the sample that I chose at the last minute. The other choices included Macadamia Professional Healing Oil Spray, Davines OI/ Conditioner, and a Liz Earle Cleanse & Polish Hot Cloth Cleanser Starter Kit. There was also a specially curated Fashionista Box, but I wasn’t interested in the contents (black eyeliner, mascara, a lotion I already sample and hated, conditioner, and pore gel).
I have a ridiculous amount of face products and I definitely don’t need more, but I felt like this was a brand I really needed to try. I already have an obsessive love of Korean skincare, so branching out into Japanese things seems like the next logical step. This is a product I’ll need to use for a while to see if I notice any results, but I liked the consistency and felt like it absorbed quickly into my skin, allowing me to layer other products on top. It also didn’t have a strong scent, which I prefer for facial creams and serums.
Tocca Crema da Mano – Bianca
30 ml, Estimated value: $2.50 || Full size: 4 oz, $10
I wasn’t really excited about this sample, but hand creams are always something I can use, especially with cooler weather approaching. They’re a definite must for my bag. This cream is about the same consistency as body lotion, but it left my hands feeling really smooth. I liked the scent, which was predominantly lemon, but with a hint of rose.
R+Co Bel Air Smoothing Shampoo & Conditioner
0.23 oz. each, Estimated value: $1.31 || Full size: 8.5 oz, Shampoo: $24, Conditioner: $25
The dreaded foil packets! These are listed as a bonus item on my card, so I can’t be too annoyed. Foil shampoo/conditioner packets are single use and I just don’t feel like they’re a good way to try out a product. One use isn’t going to be enough for me to decide whether I like a hair product (or if it agrees with my persnickety scalp). These are also for smoothing, which usually makes my greasy hair even worse. I’ll toss these in my bin of samples and pass them along when doing a swap.
Total value: $35.17
In spite of my complaining about perfume and Harvey Prince, I actually really liked this box. It might be my favorite I’ve gotten so far. Also, because there were seven items, I’ll earn 70 points in the Birchbox shop for my reviews.