May Birchbox: XOXO


This month’s Birchbox was themed again – this time, a special Gossip Girl edition. It came in a fancy black box and everything.

Back in the day when I actually had time to watch tv and roommates who supported my guilty pleasures (so…freshman and sophomore years of college), I loved this show. I’m still adamant that some day I’ll catch up. Some day.

All of the May boxes were inspired by some of the swanky, upscale things the guys and girls of Gossip Girl do in a given episode. Nightclubs. Galas. Brunch. Not surprisingly, based on my Birchbox profile, I got the Sunday Brunch inspired box – which for a Gossip Girl themed box was just fine by me. Neutral makeup and skin products are more up my alley anyway. And I was pretty excited…until I saw what was inside:

If that seems like a pretty empty box to you, I feel completely the same way. Honestly, it seemed pretty light on actually useful products, and I wasn’t super impressed by even those. Hopefully next month’s box will be better…otherwise I might have to rethink the $10/month subscription price. As much as I love getting these boxes in the mail every month, it’s a little hard for me to justify the price of this particular one. I took some time to read through comments on Birchbox’s Facebook page after seeing these products, and it sounds like nearly everyone who received the “brunch” box feels a bit ripped off. Some of the other boxes included truly high end products like Dior samples or full-size expensive eyeliners. By comparison, the “brunch” box was truly lacking. I hope that Birchbox takes these comments to heart and makes the distribution of products in the boxes a little more fair from now on…I would have loved to receive one of those eyeliners even if I’m not completely “glamorous.” At the very least, I would have liked to feel like I got my $10 worth.

Here’s the rundown of what I thought of the products in this month’s box:

Dr. Jart+ Water Fuse Beauty Balm

Birchbox Description: Think of this four-in-one moisturizer, serum, sunscreen and skin-perfecting tint as the (extremely stylish) Swiss Army Knife of your beauty lineup.

As you can see from the photo above, this little guy was one of the only actual beauty samples that I received this month. If that’s not frustrating enough…IT WAS EMPTY! Not only is it one of the only products worth trying, but I couldn’t even try it! I’m assuming it’s a similar product to the Jouer tinted moisturizer that I bought after receiving the sample back in March, but I still would have liked to try it out. Especially because, like I said, it was one of the only actual products included this month.

BeautyBlender Blender Cleanser

Birchbox Description: Keep your makeup sponges and brushes in prime condition with this soy-based formula, which removes built-up bacteria and oil.

I have no idea what  a “beautyblender” is, which means that I definitely don’t own one. So why would Birchbox send this blendercleanser? Beats me. But the website suggested that even if you don’t own this mysterious product, you can use the cleanser to clean your makeup brushes…so I tried it out. Did my makeup brushes get clean? Sure. Any cleaner than they would have with soap and water? I’m skeptical.

Color Club Foil Collection

Birchbox Description: Give nails a gilded look with this luxe metallic polish. 

Once again, the nail polish this month was the clear “favorite” product that I received (if only for  a lack of other products being included this month). This one is a very pretty gold – very flashy but still wearable for every day. Especially now that I’m getting used to wearing nail polish all the time, this gold doesn’t seem too out-there as far as every day wear goes. Overall, I really like the color (and I really seem to like Color Club products each time I get them from Birchbox), but it was disappointing that this was really the only product in the box this month that I loved/would/could use more than once.

Arquiste L’Etrog

Birchbox Description: Warm notes of citron, palm leaves, and myrtle combine in this transporting scent, inspired by the aromas of a medieval harvest in Calabria, Italy.

After buying the full-size Taylor Swift Wonderstruck from last month’s box, my beauty budget has no more room for a new perfume. This one smells ok, but didn’t really grab my attention the way Wonderstruck did. It reminds me more of something my grandma would wear – pretty, but not really for me.

Twistband Skinny Headband

Birchbox Description: Keep your hair perfectly in place with these colorful elastic headbands.

When I opened the box and saw the “headband” included, I almost laughed out loud. Seriously. I’ve never heard of “Twistband” before, but the headband itself looks cheap. And with my thick, curly, crazy and difficult-to-deal-with-on-the-best-of-days hair, I knew this little guy was not going to cut it. Just for kicks, I decided to try it out on one of my library excursions last weekend. While it did a better job than I expected, that’s not saying much, given my low expectations to begin with. Actually, the tightness of the headband was just about right, not so tight that it made my hair look weird, but tight enough to stay put…for the most part. As with most headbands, though, I spent the entire day adjusting and re-adjusting it back into place, because it just was no match for my hair at the end of the day. It looked cute, I suppose, and I might wear it on similar library or study-day type occasions in the future when I want my hair out of my eyes. But I would never buy a pack of 6 for $20. And I’m positive that if I had worn it with a ponytail (instead of down), I would have lost it within 5 minutes, because it would have slid right off.

Birchbox Notecards

Birchbox Description: Text messages are no match for handwritten notes on fun, modern stationary.

I’m still trying to figure out why this card was included in the Birchbox. When I looked up the description online, it seemed to suggest that these notecards usually come in a pack that includes a bunch of cards in a variety of different colors. As a person who needs all of my colors to coordinate nicely (at the risk of being very anxious when I feel like things don’t match), I almost can’t bear to look at the red notecard that’s supposed to go in a pink envelope! You can see it in the picture above – these colors clash terribly. I was hoping to get a couple different cards and to use them to write thank-you’s to my bridesmaids to include with their wedding day gifts, but since I only received one, I have no idea what I’m going to do with it. If this was included in the box to make it more “valuable,” I think Birchbox is definitely stretching. The “xoxo” on the front of the card is cute, but not worth the $10 subscription price I pay to get these samples each month.


About Kimberly H.

I'm a Wisconsin girl born and bred - a 2L at the University of Wisconsin Law School and a former member of the UW Marching Band. I married my best friend on 7/7/2012 and am an avid lover of nail polish, corgi pups and historical fiction novels!

2 responses »

  1. Pingback: Who Am I? « Life. Love. Law.

  2. Pingback: Julep Maven « Life. Love. Law.

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