Birchbox Unboxing and Review: September 2013

Hooray, it’s September! My favorite month of my favorite season, also the most important month in my life and in the fashion world. While I celebrate my Birchday and Wedding Anniversary, Birchbox is celebrating the beginning of the Fall season with a Heritage themed box. Appropriate, isn’t it?

About Birchbox:
Birchbox is a subscription service that delivers a box of luxury samples to your doorstep every month. Each box is customized to match your beauty profile to ensure you get the samples you want. You will usually get 4-6 samples and sometimes even full-sized products! The samples vary from make-up and skincare, to food and beauty accessories, and each box is carefully hand-wrapped. At $10/month Birchbox is one of the cheapest monthly beauty subscriptions out there, the value of each box usually ranges from at least $15 and can be as high as $60. They also have a nice rewards program, where for each product survey you complete you get 10 points, every 100 points earns you $10 in Birchbox credits which you can redeem in their online store for full-sized products. 
If you would like to use my referral link then click here to join Birchbox. Thank you!

Ruffian Nail Lacquer in Delirium
Remember voting on potential colors a few months ago? Well, Ruffian chose three with the highest number of votes to feature in our September boxes: Delirium (purple), Fox Hunt (orange) and Hedge Fund (moss green). Now, Ruffian is a fashion brand, so I was a bit concerned about the potential quality of their nail polishes, thinking they would probably prioritize fancy colors instead of the good formula. How wrong I was! The polish goes on smoothly like butter and so far the swatches of all of the three colors sent out looked gorgeous 🙂 I must also add that I really like the shape of the bottle, it looks very fancy and eye catching, and I’m a total loser for cute packaging. Also just so you all know, these polishes we got are full-sized!

Juice Beauty Green Apple Peel Sensitive
I actually used this peel before, both the sensitive version and the original formula, and I do prefer the original more simply because my skin responds well to it, so there’s no need to go for a more delicate option. It’s a really nice peel and it always makes my skin feel incredibly soft and smooth. This little travel-sized jar will last me a couple weeks at least, or about four-five uses.

Racinne Ultimate Youth Power Eye Serum
I’ll be honest and say that I have never heard of this brand before, so I genuinely didn’t know what to expect from this eye serum. Usually eye serums are fairly pricey, because they have to be light enough to allow being layered with another product without looking greasy and cakey while still packing a nice cocktail of active ingredients. So while $30 might seem like a lot, considering we only need to use about a grain of rice amount of product each time, this bottle is going to go a loooong way. Anyhow, when squeezed out of the tube, the serum appears to be a semi-clear milky gel. I haven’t been using it long enough to see any kind of results, obviously, but it does feel very comfortable around my eyes and it doesn’t conflict with my eye cream. Also some eye products like to “flake off” once you put on foundation or concealer. Good news: not this one! The sample size is pretty generous, too, because like I mentioned earlier, using only a grain-sized amount, the tube will probably last me over a month! Maybe by the time it’s empty I will be able to see some results, but for now I’ll just enjoy the nice and comfy feeling it provides 🙂

Benefit Ultra Plush Lip Gloss in Sugarbomb
I do like sampling benefit products (their eye cream is amazing btw), and I’m glad that I got to try this lip gloss, because I heard it’s a favorite among many beauty gurus. The color looks so pretty in the tube, and I could already tell it’s packed with lovely reflective shimmer flecks. It’s one of those lip glosses that do not feel sticky at all, and it smells and tastes good, too 🙂 It doesn’t really show up on my lips as well as it does on my wrist because the gloss is highly reflective, so it pretty much whited out my pout. The shade is very work and school appropriate, too, and I can see that appealing to a lot of women.

COOLA Tinted Matte SPF 30 for Face
When I went to review my products for this month I expected to see this product rated like two or three stars tops, but apparently I’m the weird one here. I really did not like this tinted moisturizer at all, and I adore COOLA sunscreens, so it was a stab in the heart… With a dull knife! 🙁 First of all, it has a very weird texture, I magnified it for you so you can see those weird gritty things. Okay, so if that wasn’t weird enough, once I started spreading it over my face I instantly fell like I’m just rubbing on raw silicone. A quick look at the ingredient list confirmed that I was not far off – three different ‘cones all very high on the ingredient list. Aside from the artificial slippery, this tinted moisturizer doesn’t really provide much tint at all, in fact the coverage is pretty nonexistant. I personally use prefer light coverage products myself, but even for me it was too light and the end result looked chalky. I guess I’ll just stick to COOLA’s classic sunscreens and try to avoid these fancy-shmancy innovations they come up with 🙂

The verdict: I very much enjoyed my Birchbox this month, and 4 out of 5 products were a total hit. Actually, I’m glad that I got to try that COOLA tinted moisturizer, because I was considering purchasing it with points just based purely on my experience with brand’s other products. Also, without Birchbox I would never have tried Ruffian nail polish 🙂

Are you a Birchbox subscriber? What do you think of this month’s box?

Product Retail value
Ruffian Nail Lacquer in Delirium $10.00
Juice Beauty Green Apple Peel Sensitive $4.87
Racinne Ultimate Youth Power Eye Serum $18.18
Benefit Ultra Plush Lip Gloss in Sugarbomb $6.95
COOLA Tinted Matte SPF 30 for Face $2.11
Box Retail Value $42.11