Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Birchbox : February 2014

Oh, Birchbox. You are seriously making me wonder why I ever decided to purchase an entire year of you at once. You see, before I bought a full year, my boxes, while sometimes underwhelming, were usually fantastic. Then, I took the plunge and every single box I've gotten since then has pretty much, for lack of better words, sucked. With those few sentences, let me walk you through what I got this month.

What I received:
  • Beauty Protector Protect & Oil
  • Coola Tinted Matte SPF 30 
  • Ruby Wing Color Changing Nail Polish in Kitten Heels
  • Smashbox Full Exposure Mascara
  • Smashbox Full Exposure Palette (that shit you see above printed on paper)
My Thoughts:

This box was curated by Us Weekly and it's a shame, because I used to really look forward to my curated boxes since they were some of the best that would come out during the year. This box is just shitty on multiple, multiple levels. For starters, I got two things that are basically unusable to sample; the Coola and the Smasbox Eyeshadows. The reason that I'm saying the Coola is unusable is because there's essentially no product in the bottle; maybe enough for one application to the face. I know that Birchbox is a sampling box and that perhaps one use is considered a sample, but to me, I should be able to get a few uses out of a sample to decide whether or not I like it. This part isn't Birchbox's fault, but since I have acne prone skin, mineral sunscreens are kind of out of the question and I'm pale, so I doubt the tint would match. I'm not even opening this product, it's going straight into a trade/giveaway pile since I know I can't use it. 

Then... then there's the stupid Smashbox eye shadow card. This is technically considered my "beauty extra", so the value of this doesn't go toward the value of my box. However, I have to sit here and ask, what value? They hand these things out like candy for any product launch and they are terrible products. It's eye shadow... printed on paper. 

The other samples are fine, size wise, but not really my style. I already know that I don't like this Smashbox mascara; it's just not for me. I may still use it, I may put it in the trade/giveaway pile; these decisions have not yet been made. Also, in non-typical Birchbox fashion, they didn't put anything in a pillow pocket, so everything was just rolling around in the box when I received it. The cap to the oil was loose and now there is thin layer of oil on everything that came in the box. Also irritating is that the oil has no size listed on it, so I have no idea how much I am getting.

And last, but not least, god damned nail polish. I have gotten nail polish in three of my last four boxes and I'm sorry, but I really don't have much interest in color changing nail polish. I've been alive long enough to fully remember the color changing nail polish craze of the 90s and I didn't care then, either.

Can you tell that I'm disappointed? I feel like my Birchbox posts each month have simply become rant sessions. This box was bad enough on its own, but then to have everything coated lightly in oil is over the top; Birchbox will be receiving an email from me.

Monetary Values:

Beauty Protector Protect & Oil: $2.74 for .5 fl oz? (full size: 4 fl oz/$21.95)
Coola Sunscreen: $3.60 for .17 fl oz (full size: 1.7 fl oz/$36)
Ruby Wing Nail Polish: $5 for .25 fl oz (full size: 
5 fl oz/$10)
Smashbox Mascara: $7.18 for .14 fl oz. (full size: .38 fl oz/$19.50)
Smashbox Eyeshadow Card: Jack
Full Monetary Value: $18.52

Final Thoughts: Birchbox. I kind of hate you right now and I sort of wish I could break up with you. However, I have this lease with you right now, so I guess I have to wait until that's up. Crap.

If for some reason, you still want to subscribe to Birchbox, you can follow my referral link here or visit


  1. I hate hate hate shadow samples printed on paper too. I feel like this month's Birchbox was overall kind of a dud for most people. I don't subscribe to it, and I don't feel like I'm missing out too much.

    Also. I have acne and mineral sunscreens give me no problems. It's all of the other chemical sunscreens that irritate my skin.

    Sorry about your Birchbox disappointments :(

    1. I just sent them an email letting them know my general discontent with the last few boxes. Their customer service can't really do much, but it makes me feel better if they know that I'm not very happy with their services. At the rate that this is going, I definitely won't be renewing my subscription with them.

      I'm honestly really wary or any sunscreen that I've never used. I hate having to test it for a few days to figure out if it's going to cause a massive breakout!

  2. It seems a lot of people got the same shitty box this time. I'm usually distracted from the small sample sizes with their nice presentation–you know, the pillow boxes and designy postcards. And I'm pretty easily appeased with the low-value filler items like candy and tea.

    This box actually has items that I normally would be happy with–I like Ruby Wing enough that I own a bunch of their polishes, I like makeup samples, and I do use hair oil.

    But I can't shake the feeling of overall disappointment, especially since it was supposed to be a curated box. Upon opening, it looked so empty I had to triple-check to see if they'd forgotten a sample. Everything was just jangling around the bottom of the box. And honestly, even including the smashbox card is insulting. It leaves a bad aftertaste, like they are transparently cutting corners thinking we're too stupid to notice.

    1. I agree with you! The presentation of the package is a huge part to me as well and everything just looked thrown in this month, like some cheap, crappy box. I was so irritated with the Smashbox card, why would they even include that? If they wanted me to buy that palette, they should have included something different. Even just one, tiny eyeshadow from the palette would have been a better representation than a card with eyeshadow smeared on it. I can test it with my fingers, but that's about it.

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  4. I too am super disappointed. I got the itty bitty size benefit concealer ( serious will be used up in 3-4 times One of those crappy cardboard box things of hair oil..REALLY..OIL in a cardboard container..thanks Birchbox..I now will get either one use nd toss it, or risk a countertop of oil...SHEESH.. My .09oz OPI top coat is ok, super small and not needed ( yes, I get nail polish EVERY time too! ) and the Big easy sample?? Cardboard tear off with not even enough to do HALF face. I believe Mine HAS to be the WORST box ever. Getting ready to bail on this subscription..10 for about 11.00 worth of things i can't even try because of the small size?? COME on Birchbox..Time to cough up SOME full sized items or its ADIOS to you !!

    1. An internet friend actually have me her sample of the Fake Up a few months ago and I was shocked at how little came in that tube! It was, for starters, just a waste to put it in a tube that size but also really misleading. Obviously, we're paying for samples, but I feel like everything is getting smaller and smaller and smaller.

      Excuse while I wax poetic here, but I remember the good ol' days of Birchbox before they were the massive company that they are now. You would occasionally get full sized items of products and you always got at least one HUGE sample in your box. Pretty much every month came with 5 samples, not 4, and sometimes even a lifestyle extra on top of that. I would love to see them go back to that, but I doubt it will happen.

      Have you ever tried Sample Society? I used to subscribe to them, but generally speaking, their sample sizes are much bigger.

  5. Feeling rather glad that I never bothered with Birchbox after they took over Joliebox. Glossybox is much better over here but in the end who wants a crapton of samples that never get used?

    1. It's funny because the first few UK Birchboxes looked fantastic but I've been seeing more and more pictures recently that look like they're following the USA's formula. Smaller and fewer samples each time.

  6. I just started getting Birchbox (2 months in) and everywhere I look, people are completely dissatisfied with it. I'll keep getting it for now, but yeah, I don't want eyeshadows printed on paper (???why even send that???).

    I got the Fakeup and it was so misleading! It looks like an awesome sample, but there is like 1/4 inch of product in there. They obs spent more on packaging than on product there.

    1. I'm hoping for things to get better. I did email Birchbox that my contents all came lightly coated in oil due to the cap on the oil not being secure. They are sending me an all new box!

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  8. To some extent, it is comforting to see other people as disappointed as I am. Misery loves company? I was one of the early subscribers, and I can remember how beautiful the boxes were. Yes, the samples were better than they are now, but I distinctly remember the care that was taken in assembling the samples in the box. The tissue was crisp and new. I remember the ribbon tied around some of the samples. Now I guess we've left the ribbon to move on to the pillow boxes. That's fine, but this month my pillow box was crushed. The tissue that surrounds the samples, for the second month in a row, has been stuffed in the box and crumpled in a corner. In the recent past, I've received a chapstick-like sample without its cap, samples that seemed like they had been previously opened, and samples that seemed like they had been kicked around the floor before making it into my box. I used to feel like I was receiving a gift from a very special and thoughtful friend. It hasn't felt like that in a long time.

    1. Here's what I received in my February box:

      Beauty Protector Protect & Oil, Dr. Brandt Pores No More Pore Refiner, Joan Vass L'eau de Cristal, OPI Sheer Tints Color-Tinted Top Coat, and Harney & Sons Tea

    2. That's how I feel too. I want things to be packaged nicely in an aesthetically pleasing way; it makes me happier and like I'm getting my $10 worth. My box last month came partially crushed, but not by the post office, they packed it that way. The shipping box came perfectly, but when I opened it up, the interior box was crushed on one side, tissue paper was ripped and had just been shoved in and the pillow packaging was open. I feel you!