Sunday, February 9, 2014

Birchbox February 2014

Birchbox Review, February 2014: Collaboration with Us Weekly

Birchbox February 2014
This month, I didn't recognize the red outer packaging in my mailbox, but it turned out to be my February Birchbox!

February 2014 Birchbox First Look

The first look was a little disappointing.  I had no idea what to expect this month, as boxes hadn't updated and I don't watch the sneak peek videos BB posts.

OPI Sheer Tint Top Coat in Be Magentale With Me
We will start with the item that caught my eye.  It's no secret that I love nail polish, so I immediately was drawn to this mini OPI bottle.  It's the same size as you would get in their 4-packs of mini colors, 3.75 mL.  Normal polishes are usually 15 mL, and Julep polishes are 8 mL for a size reference.

This is one of OPI's new sheer tint top coats.  They suggest wearing alone for a sheer wash of color, or over another polish to change up its look.

My poor stained, peeling nails and winter cuticles.
1 coat OPI on index and middle fingers (left two), nothing on ring and pinky (right two) fingers
It's interesting by itself.  1 coat is shown above, and you can probably get it a little darker with 2 or 3 coats, but I think that even with layering on the entire bottle, you could never get this polish opaque.  That's fine, I don't mind sheer polishes to be honest, but I know I'm in the minority.  That being said, I'm really glad I got the pink-tinted variation, and not the green or purple or yellow.  As it is, one coat by itself looks like I did a bad job removing red polish.  I can imaging the yellow tint, alone, looks like you just have the world's most stained nails!

The full bottle of this (15 mL) sells for $9.  3.75 mL is worth $2.25.

Smashbox Full Exposure Mascara Sample
I was really surprised to see a Smashbox product in my Birchbox!  I know that they have sent out mid-price brands such as Benefit and Stila, but for some reason this was a pleasant surprise.  I don't think I've tried this particular mascara before, but I have a huge backlog to go through before I open it.  It has a nice, full brush, so that will probably mean a lot of lash definition (no spider lashes/clumps).  

0.38 fl.oz. is $19, making the 0.14 fl.oz. sample worth $7.

eleven skin Refresh Cleanser
Here's where things got weird.  I have never heard of this brand (eleven skin), and it seems that this cleanser is part of their anti-aging skin care regimen.  The cleanser is available for purchase by itself, and it looks like it is $30 for 2 oz on the website (and $42 for 4 oz), but Birchbox has 4 oz for $30.  So, I'm not sure if I'm reading things correctly?  I was sent a 2 fl.oz. bottle.  

This is a thinner gel formula and smells like a generic plant-oil mix.  Top three ingredients are water, TEA-lauryl sulfate, and glycerin.  It looks like a generic cleanser to me.  There are some plant oils thrown in (mostly AFTER "fragrance" on the ingredient list), but nothing stands out to me.  I haven't tried it, yet, though.  Who knows? It may change my life (probably not).

Worth $15 going from BB pricing.

Agave Healing Oil Oil Treatment

Aaaaand, a little cardboard packet of hair oil.  I hate these cardboard samples almost as much as I hate caffeine headaches.  Which is a lot.  Also, this is not a novel product.  It is mostly cyclopentasiloxane (silicone in circle form) and dimethicone (more silicone, not in circle form).  There are some random oils thrown in, including some for scent.  It smells like a combination of cheap bubblegum and dollar-store potpourri. I already have a silicone-based, oil-infused hair product I love (OROFLUIDO!) and have no intention of switching.

On Sephora's site, 40 mL sells for $40, making this absurd packet worth $4.  I'm going to go dump this into a resealable container so I don't spill it all over the place. 

Smashbox Full Exposure Paper Samples
Sigh.  See how fast this box went downhill?  I was sad when I thought there were only 4 samples in my box, but then I opened up the little flyer at the bottom and was even MORE disappointed that BB/ Us Weekly thought that this "sample" would be a good idea.  Seriously?  If I'm careful, I might be able to use this once to get a full look going.  But, a small amount of shadow pressed onto cardboard does not, in my opinion, give you an adequate idea of what the actual palette will be like.  Yes, there are shimmery and matte shades included, in a range of neutral colors, but I would have been more excited about a mini pan of just one shade.  Ugh.

No value.

February 2014 Birchbox
All together, this box had a value of $28.25.  I'm not that excited about anything, just because there wasn't really anything *new* to me.  I already have a perfect-for-me face wash and hair oil.  I have too many mascaras and a sheer polish mini really isn't that exciting.  I'm not even going to mention the eyeshadow.  I'll review these on the BB site for 10 points each (assuming they let me review the shadows) and spend my points on something I actually like.  Remember, 100 points is $10 to spend! 

Birchbox is $10 per month for 4-6 samples.  For every item you get and review, you get 10 bb points.  Buying things from their shop will get you 1 point for every $1.  The point system, and the occasional amazing life-changing product, make this subscription worth it for me.  Even with lackluster boxes, like this month's, I will continue subscribing.  If you want to try it out, please use my code here.  I'll get 50 bb points for each referral.

This post contains items purchased by me.  All thoughts and opinions are my own and no special compensation or consideration was received for this post.  This post contains a referral link; see above for details.


  1. The smashbox mascara is amazing. I usually swipe on a single coat of cover girls lash blast, then a swipe of smash boxes full exposure, and bam! It looks like I'm wearing falsies. Love it! I like it by itself but I find it makes my lashes a tad too long (lol who has that problem, seriously?) but two coats by itself and my lashes hit my eyebrows and get stuck. Haha

    I'd say even though the rest was pretty crummy the mascara makes it worth it in my book!

    1. Nice! That's a pretty good endorsement :) I have the same lengthening problem with mascaras, I usually have to pull some of it off the tips of my lashes so they don't mess up the inside of my sunglasses.

  2. Really good box.