Birchbox Review – June 2015

birchbox_zpsw8fczive1. Dermaclear™ Micro Water by Dr. Jart+
color: N/A
scent: unscented – didn’t have a smell
texture/feel: liquid and water-like, just a slightly tacky residue without rinsing
outcome: this did not make me break out, removed eye-makeup well
full size: 8.4 oz.
full size value: $32
sample size: 0.7 oz.
sample size (estimated) value: $2.67
overall opinion: this was my first time trying a combination toner and makeup remover product. although it did its job well, I do feel it requires rinsing for me personally (directions state it is optional). what stops me from wanting to buy this product is that the makeup remover and toners I presently use are together cheaper than this product and don’t require me to rinse.
buy: probably not

2. Waterproof Eyeliner by Marcelle
color: “Blue Lagoon” – bright blue, azure
scent: unscented – didn’t have a smell
texture/feel: smooth, easy to apply
outcome: color pay-off is decent, not very blendable
full size: 0.04 oz.
full size value: $11
sample size: 0.028 oz.
sample size (estimated) value: $7.70
overall opinion: first of all, I am a little biased on my “to buy or not to buy” decision because this color just doesn’t work for me. secondly, I’m not a huge fan of pencils as colored eyeliner; I prefer liquid or gels. that aside, Marcelle describes this as “perfectly blendable” and I disagree with that completely. when I gently rubbed at it, it only came off of my skin and spread shimmer around. perhaps that is unique to this color? this seemed like a middle of the road pencil, which I’m sure you could get an equivalent to at a drug store for less.
buy: no

3. Good Hair Day Shampoo by Temple Spa
color: N/A
scent: “soothing notes of ylang ylang, eucalyptus, and patchouli” – a little spicy, earthy
texture/feel: clear gel, lathered decently, average concentration (thick lather, tiny bubbles)
outcome: (tested separately from conditioner) hair felt clean after one wash, decently hydrated, shiny, not oily
full size: 6.8 oz.
full size value: $14
sample size: 0.84 oz.
sample size (estimated) value: $1.73
overall opinion: using this shampoo made my hair feel adequately clean and shiny without the use of conditioner. compared to some shampoos which can leave your hair dull or brittle mane when used without conditioner, my hair felt somewhat soft and hydrated. some other products that claim the 2-in-1 capabilities of cleansing and conditioning leave your hair with that “day 3” look by the end of day 1. Good Hair Day doesn’t fit into that category. that being said, my ultimate decision comes down to the cost of this shampoo. I’ve used multiple drug store and salon brands that work just as well and cost less. for $14 a bottle, I just can’t justify it.
buy: probably not

4. In Good Condition Conditioner by Temple Spa
color: N/A
scent: “refreshing blend of […] peppermint, rosemary, orange, and lavender”, “grapefruit and palmarosa” – herbal, minty, plastic
texture/feel: white cream,
outcome: (tested separately from shampoo) hair lightly scented, soft, a little heavy, hair became oily after 1 day
full size: 6.8 oz.
full size value: $14
sample size: 0.84 oz.
sample size (estimated) value: $1.73
overall opinion: “softens, shines, hydrates, thickens” states Temple Spa. I mostly agree with this claim as my hair came out soft, shiny, and hydrated. thickening may be a more long-term benefit, but it was not possible to tell with the sample. they also say that this conditioner “nurses split ends and styling damage” as well as “reduces ‘fly aways’.” this is true, but comes at a cost. even though I know better than to apply conditioning products directly to my roots, my scalp seemed to get oily quicker than usual. by the end of the day, I was ready to wash again! I can’t imagine the outcome if I’d applied this conditioner to my scalp (Temple Spa says “rosemary may help treat a flaking scalp”). after drying my hair, I suspected that this might be the outcome as my hair felt quite weighed down. maybe I had fewer fly-aways and less-noticeable breakage or split ends, but my hair didn’t look good for very long.
buy: no

5. Bianca (Eau de Parfum) by TOCCA
color: N/A
scent: lightly lemony, flowery (rose), a little earthy
texture/feel: N/A
outcome: powerful, long-lasting
full size: 1.7 fluid oz.
full size value: $68
sample size: 0.05 fluid oz.
sample size (estimated) value: $2
overall opinion: this scent is so pungent; I could smell it immediately when I began to open up my Birchbox and it was overwhelming. it has been days and I can still smell it sitting there. it’s difficult to discern if I actually dislike the scent or if I dislike how overpowering it is. perfume is a very personal choice; it can distinguish your mood, change with the season, and help to define your personality. you would never choose something that is just okay or that you don’t like. thusly, I wouldn’t choose to buy this perfume.
buy: no

LIFESTYLE EXTRA
6. Lace Headband by Pura Vida
color: light blue
scent: N/A
texture/feel: elastic, thick lace
outcome: this would not stay secured in my hair without bobby pins
full size: pack of 8
full size value: $18
sample size: single
sample size (estimated) value: $2.25
overall opinion: first of all, any amount of money for a useless product is too much… this is kind of cute, but just not useful for me with my thick, long hair.
buy: no

OVERALL BOX REVIEW
items: 1 skincare, 1 makeup, 3 hair care, 1 perfume
variety: neutral
sizes: satisfactory
quality: neutral
brands: neutral
total (estimated) value: $18.08
box cost: $10.00
rating breakdown: minus 1 point for receiving a perfume sample (Birchbox is well aware that their members don’t love perfume samples), minus 1 point for the smell of the perfume sample and the color of the eye pencil both being total misses for me, minus 1 point for the useless headband, minus 1 point for the lack of variety (hair products make up half of the box).
overall rating: 7/10

to be honest, this was more on the end of just meh for me. even though I’ve scored the box as a 7/10, this is based upon me trying to remain as unbiased and fair as I can. to me personally, the June 2015 Birchbox feels more like a 5/10. I was disappointed to see a perfume sample, a blue eye product (yes, brights are in right now, but I still can’t get behind another blue pencil), and then there’s the unusable headband. that’s three of six products that I won’t use – hence the 50% feeling. subtracting those three items from the total estimated price of the box, brings the new estimated total worth for me to only $6.13. having paid the full $10, I can’t help but be a little bummed this time around. and the conditioner didn’t work out for me either. but I completely realize that this box might have been a total winner for other members; just remember that why I disliked some of these things is because of my own skin, hair, tastes, etc.

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