Birchbox December 2015

Just plowing through these old Birchbox reviews! Birchbox is a monthly cosmetics subscription box. It costs $10/month, although it can be cheaper with an occasional discount code or as an annual subscription. Each box is loosely catered to the subscriber’s profile, and Birchbox will never send the exact same item twice (a different color or scent means that it’s not an exact repeat). This is what I received in December:


(MALIN+GOETZ) clarifying clay mask – Oh no. Oh hell no. The last time I used a clay mask, my normal-to-dry skin was flaky and dry and awful for a full week. I’ve even tried just using a dab of clay mask on a blemish, and had the same reaction: no benefit, just a week of flaky dry skin. I was so disappointed to see a clay mask in my box that I emailed Birchbox. I wanted to know if there was anything I could do, any settings I could change, to avoid such a mismatch in the future. Turns out, clay masks used to be a nightmare for dry skin, just like I experienced, but some companies have been developing different kinds of clay masks that are beneficial for all skin types. While it doesn’t say so on the package, the Birchbox representative assured me that this mask is for all skin types, including dry skin.

Relieved, I tried it out one morning after having fallen asleep with my makeup on. It was fine! It’s got quite a bit of graininess to it; it’s more of an exfoliating mask in my opinion than a clarifying mask. Most importantly, it didn’t dry out my skin at all. Usually after I sleep in my makeup, my skin makes me pay for it later. Not this time – my skin is just fine. I’m actually loving this sample and might pick up a full size.

Coastal Scents® styleEYES Palette – I’ve already received Coastal Scents eyeshadow samples in the past, and they were fine. I’m happy to see they’ve upgraded from the “can you throw away this piece of trash for me?” aesthetic of their old plastic sample quads. Even with two shadows instead of four, it gives a nicer impression. It’s still pretty cheap packaging compared to the similar but MUCH nicer theBalm cardboard samples I’ve received recently, but it gives a better impression than the old samples.  As for quality…

L-R: matte with primer, shimmer with primer, matte on bare skin, shimmer on bare skin. I used Too Faced Shadow Insurance as the primer.

Without primer, both shadows are fairly sheer and require a few layers. Over primer, you can tell that the matte shadow is actually a pale pink. The shimmer shadow becomes a gorgeous rose shade with baby pink shimmer. It’s dreary and overcast, so I’m having trouble with an accurate white balance in photos. My arm is not actually blue around the edge of the photo, and the far left swatch is actually pink. The other swatches are much more true-to-life, especially the shimmer swatch with primer. All in all, it’s a bit underwhelming. I might use the duo for traveling, but I have no interest in acquiring more Coastal Scents.

The Beauty Crop Lighting Crew Highlighting Cream – I’ve been getting a ton of use out of my cream highlighters lately, and I’m happy to try another one. Since this is a sealed product, I’m going to wait until I use up some of my open products before I try this.

COOLA® Classic SPF 30 Cucumber Moisturizer for Face – I’m always happy to receive more sunscreen, but I have enough samples that I probably won’t get to this one for a while. I still haven’t touched the sunscreen they sent me in July!

Soap & Paper Factory Shea Butter Hand Cream I just can’t muster up any excitement over hand creams. They’re so boring. I just can’t. I am, however, a sucker for cute packaging and Soap & Paper Factory delivers. This is a sealed product, so I’m not going to open it until I’ve used up my other hand creams.

All things considered, this was a decent box for me. The eyeshadow was a dud, but the clay mask was a surprise home run. I’m happy with the other products because even though I haven’t tried them, they’re staple products that I will definitely use up. If you want to subscribe, you are welcome to use my referral link. You can get an extra 50 points ($5) to use in the Birchbox shop by using the code SUBSCRIBENOW50.

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