Review: July Birchbox 2013

Better late than never, right? 😉

Birchbox Bobby Pins – The July box came with a set of two oversized, printed bobby pins on a little card. These pins are as much for decoration as they are for actually holding your hair, but I did like the print on them and the fact that they were metal instead of plastic. I like when they include things like this in the box, because it’s alot more useful than say, a fruit bar. My affection for these hair accessories was sadly short lived however. When I actually tried to use them, I quickly realized that they were not as flexible as you would like or expect them to be. Trying to get them open to slide into your hair is one challenge, and getting them out again is another matter entirely. I was lucky if I managed to get them out without pulling out at least one strand of hair with them. Maybe they just need to be broken in a little, but I’d rather not break strands of hair off in the process. On the flip side, I suppose they would hold very securely. If you can get them to work, they’re cute, but based on my experience I haven’t used them again and would not purchase or recommend.

100% Pure Nourishing Body Cream – I’m not a fan of packet samples in Birchboxes, but this box did include three small packets of this lotion so at least it guaranteed multiple uses. I like Coconut scents, so I assumed I would like this lotion alot. The problem was, it was just a little too suntan lotion-ish. The lotion itself was fine, but it seemed a little greasy and didn’t moisturize as much as I would’ve liked. If I had a bottle of this, I would use it, but I would not go out of my way to repurchase it. The full size is $15 and does come in other scents if coconut is not for you. I did notice that some other reviewers felt it was very moisturizing and non greasy, so maybe my skin was just extra dry when I tried it. I think it’s just very different from what I’m currently using, so perhaps thats why it didn’t win me over right away. I still have two packets left to use and will update my review if I change my mind about it. I will say that I do love the fact that it’s made with natural and organic ingredients, and for that reason alone I’m willing to keep trying it.

Nick Chavez Beverly Hills Color-Saver Paraben Free Conditioner – First of all, could that name BE any longer? (Bonus points if you read that sentence in a Chandler Bing voice!) Secondly, I really like that there are more paraben free products coming out now, and if that means that the title has to be longer so that we can find them, then I can live with that. I hated the packaging on this little sample, those cardboard packets don’t hold up well in the shower and for someone with hair as long as mine, it’s hard to get more than two uses or so out of it. When I see those, I don’t think ‘deluxe sample’ at all. Otherwise, it’s a really nice conditioner and I was pleased with the results. I’m using Wen off and on now so I don’t need a separate conditioner, but this is one that I would consider using points to purchase some time in the future. Birchbox sent me the NC sulfate free shampoo a while back and I really liked it as well, I wish this conditioner had been the same size and packaging style.

Pur Minerals CC Cream Broad Spectrum SPF 40 – This may be the first spf 40 CC cream that I’ve tried, or even seen. Either that or I just haven’t noticed. Whichever it is, spf 40 sounds pretty impressive. The shade I received didn’t seem like a great match for my skin, but it was workable. I liked this cc cream pretty well, but it’s not my favorite that I’ve tried. That being said, you don’t need to use alot and the sample should last a while. It didn’t seem to cover as much as I’m used to, so for that reason I doubt I would purchase it. I could probably build up the coverage, but the point of a cc cream is to be a bit lighter than foundation, isnt it? Either way, I suppose I will experiment with it a little more, but so far it’s something I only try on ‘no makeup’ days around the house.

Benefit Moisture Prep Toning Lotion – This is definitely the prettiest, best packaged sample I’ve ever received. Glass bottle samples? Love it! I really like the idea of packaging that looks nice enough to be left out on a vanity table. It looks very elegant and well made. This is like a primer for your moisturizer, as I understand it, which seemed weird at first but is also kind of interesting as a first step. The formula is nice and soothing and you don’t need to use alot of product at all. I didn’t notice a major difference on days that I used this but for whatever reason, I still think it’s a nice product. I’m not usually a fan of primers but this one seems better for your skin and seems to help hold in moisture. It’s supposed to tone and clarify pores, as well. I’m used to toners that are watery and sometimes sting a bit, so I definitely prefer this. I’m not sure if I will buy the full size but I will continue to use the sample.


This was a cool box but really the only stand out product was the Benefit lotion. The other samples were a bit small or not the greatest packaging, although I did thing the CC cream was a good size and good packaging as well. If the bobby pins had worked out better I probably would’ve felt that the box had a little more value. I wasn’t unhappy with the box, I just wasn’t overly impressed.

To get your own Birchbox, full of deluxe samples for $10 per month, click here.


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