October 30, 2012

My October Birchbox: Birchbox + goop (box #14)

After having little patience this month, I finally received my October Birchbox on Friday (October 26th, 2012). This month they teamed up with goop (I'm honestly not at all familiar with 'goop' but it seems to be a lifestyle company founded by Gwyneth Paltrow), and they also had their regular Birchboxes with the theme being "transformation"... needless to say, I opted in for the goop box (my curiosity had gotten the best of me). So here's a look at my box this month:

It arrived with a cardboard covering indicating that it was a 'goop' box (above)

Upon opening the box, there was a little card giving a bit more information about the goop collaboration (click to enlarge)

On the back of the card, it listed the products in my box along with descriptions and full-size retail values (click to enlarge)

As you can see, they used special tissue paper with the goop logo on it. Unfortunately my (MALIN+GOETZ) peppermint shampoo had a bit of a leakage... however, I was lucky the Luna bar kept my other samples separated and they were wrapped in their own tissue paper (whew!).
Also, after being in contact with Birchbox, they assured me they would send a replacement sample - this is one of the samples I was most excited to try in my box this month so I am really glad they still had some available! (click to enlarge)

Products in my box this month, from left to right:
Supergoop! City Sunscreen Serum (SPF 30)
essie 'fall pick' nail polish
Luna fiber bar
Jouer Lip Enhancer
(MALIN + GOETZ) peppermint shampoo

And a closer look at the products I received this month:

Supergoop! City Sunscreen Serum (SPF 30) - I received 2 foil packets, 2ml each. 
A full size retails anywhere from $20 (20ml travel size) to $42 (1.7oz). (4ml/50.275ml * 42 = $3.34)

essie 'fall pick' (as in a goop fall pick, this specific color was actually part of essie's spring 2010 line 'The Art of Spring') nail polish in 'neo whimsical' - I received a 'full size' bottle at 13.5ml/.46fl oz. which retails for $8.00 (they used to be 15ml/0.5fl oz.. not sure why the size change or when as I am more of a Zoya girl ;))

Luna fiber bar in 'Chocolate Raspberry' flavor - I received a full size bar and a pack of 12 retails for $14.95. ($14.95/12 = $1.25)

Jouer Lip Enhancer conditioning lip treatment - I received a sample size of 0.07fl oz (top picture for size comparison, bottom to show label). 
A full size (0.33fl oz.) retails for $14.00. (0.07fl oz/0.33fl oz * 14 = $2.97)

Last but not least: (MALIN+GOETZ) peppermint shampoo - I received a sample size of 1oz/29ml. (I tried to photograph as much of the label as I could ;))
A full size bottle (8oz/236ml) retails for $20. (29ml/236ml * 20 = $2.46)

The total 'value' of my Birchbox this month comes down to about $18.02 when you add it all up. With the $10 price tag (and free shipping), I'd say that's pretty good. Was this my best Birchbox? Absolutely not, but it could've been worse. At least I received a few samples I actually want to try/look forward to trying, so I'm not completely bummed or upset by any means. The biggest issues for me, this month, were the shipping times and dealing with customer service.

With that being said, I have been a Birchbox subscriber on and off for about 6 months. I kind of have a love hate relationship with them, lol. Honestly I think you have to be really open to receiving a broad spectrum of beauty samples - they are definitely not the type of subscription service that caters to cosmetics but rather offer a lot of skincare and hair care items, and often nail polishes and perfume samples.
But don't get me wrong - in those 6 months I have also been lucky enough to receive a full size Stila sparkle waterproof liquid eyeliner, a full size Noir long-wear eyeliner, a sample of Dr. Jart+ Water Fuse Beauty Balm SPF 25+,  Ada Cosmetics Bronzer, a sample of theBalm cosmetics stainiac, etc. It really is just a gamble and you have to decide if it is the right sub for you and whether or not you want to take that gamble.
As for me? I've come to terms with this (although, who doesn't love makeup.. right!?) and generally accept it for what it is - I have yet to find my holy grail skincare or hair care beauty items so in the end, it works out for me and I feel it is pretty worthwhile (especially when you take into consideration their points system). You always have the option to trade your samples with other subscribers, or give them away to friends/family members who might get more use out of them than you would have. ;)

What is Birchbox, you may ask?
Birchbox is a monthly 'beauty' subscription service. For $10 a month (and free shipping), they generally offer 4-5 deluxe beauty samples, plus a lifestyle extra, delivered right to your mailbox. They have an awesome points system in place and for every product you review you earn 10pts (you can only review your own product samples from your box each month, and you have from the time you receive your box to the 10th of the next month to do so) to their little Birchbox shop where you can order full size products of the samples they offer/samples from brands they've teamed up with.  For every friend you refer who uses your referral link to sign up, you'll earn 50pts. 100pts is the equivalent of $10 in their shop! If you are interested in signing up, you may use my referral link here or you can go directly to the Birchbox website to sign up without using my referral. :)

FTC: This sub was paid for by myself/by my boyfriend. I am not being compensated to write this post, these are my honest opinions on the products and company. All photos were taken by myself in natural lighting, are unaltered aside from cropping/collaging!

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