Birchbox – December 2013

To find out more about what Birchbox is click here.

This month the Birchbox wrapper and box got a fun, holiday-themed makeover. Instead of its usual hot pink the wrapper was designed to look like a golden present. Very fitting. The inside box showcases Birchbox’s Christmas theme: Sparkle and Shine. It almost feels like a limited edition box.
Birchbox - December 2013
Not only did the outside of the box get a festive new look, the inside did as well. The gray chevron pattern was replaced with golden stripes. The only thing that stayed consistent is the trademark hot pink tissue paper. I love this design.
Birchbox - December 2013 - contents
On to the products:
Birchbox - December 2013 - contents detail

1. Rahua Conditioner

Full Size: 9.3 fl oz, $34
Sample Size: 2 fl oz, $7.32 value

“Lush all-natural formula that strengthens, repairs, and guards against UV damage.”

There really isn’t a good way to sugarcoat it: this conditioner smells just bad. I can’t even quite describe the scent but it’s far from the fruity and floral stuff I usually like. I’m not even sure I will use this sample unless I miraculously start liking this scent.

2. LA FRESH Travel Lite Antiperspirant Wipes for Women

Full Size: 3 ct, $2.49
Sample Size: 2 ct, $1.66 value

“Pressed for time? No sweat. These odor-blocking wipes are purse-friendly and biodegradable.”

These deodorant wipes are a really interesting concept. I think they would be great to leave in my purse or at work in case I ever forget to apply deodorant in the morning. The second use case I can think of are long-distance flights to save space in my carry-on. However, I’m not impressed with the price. Over 80 cents for one wipe is simply ridiculous. At that price I would always try to save them instead of actually using them when needed.

3. Embryolisse Lait-Crème Concentré Nourishing Moisturizer

Full Size: 75 ml, $28
Sample Size: 5 ml, $1.87 value

“A makeup artist must-have, this cult moisturizer moonlights as a primer and makeup remover.”

I’m always suspicious of skin care products that claim to do it all. I find that they usually fall in the trap of doing everything but nothing really well. The package claims that this can be used as “a moisturizing cream, milky make-up remover, repairing mask, after-shave cream, baby-care product.” Not sure where Birchbox gets the primer claim from, but hey, why not throw in another use case to make this product seem even more miraculous (another Birchbox claim that’s not mentioned on the product itself).

Nevertheless, I’m always on the lookout for a good moisturizer and I’m excited to give this a try once I’ve used up all of the other 49 moisturizer samples I’ve accumulated over the years. (OK, I don’t really have that many samples but I am indeed trying to use up my stash which has been getting a bit out of hand lately.)

4. Mally Beauty Lip Magnifier

Shade: Goldenstar
Size: 0.1 oz, $20

“This creamy lip crayon delivers high shine and rich pigment as it plumps and softens.”

I’m a huge fan of lip crayons. I find them to be very convenient. I actually really like the color of this one, Goldenstar, which Birchbox describes as “a dusty pale pink.” It goes on very smooth and has a slight sheen. It’s nice that Birchbox sent out the full size of this product. My only complaint is that this one has to be sharpened. I wish it was the twist-up kind.

5. Chuao Chocolatier Chocolate Bars

Flavor: Orange-A-Go-Go
Full Size: 2.8 oz, $6
Sample Size: 0.39 oz, $0.84 value

“Made with premium cacao, these inventive treats satisfy any sweet tooth.”

Ooooooh, chocolate! This one is dark chocolate with candied orange and orange bergamot which sounds delicious. You have no idea how hard it was for me to not devour this right when I first opened my Birchbox. But I was able to pull myself together and lasted long enough to take some pictures. You’re welcome. Of course I need to actually taste it so I can give you my opinion: it’s simply delicious. I loved the hint of orange. I’m not sure I would spend $6 on a full size bar, though.

All in all, this box was somewhat of a mixed bag. I really liked the lip pencil and the chocolate. The antiperspirant wipes were interesting. The moisturizer didn’t make me jump with joy but it will definitely be used. The only thing I didn’t like at all was the conditioner. The value was pretty good as well, just under $32. Overall, I’m pleased with this month’s Birchbox.

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