Spending Points

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Here’s my latest points purchase from Birchbox that just arrived today. I had 200 points, and they sent me an email with a 25% off code because it was my 34th Birchbox (wow). Since this week was also my birthday, I thought it was a good time to do some shopping. I decided to get some new skincare since I’ve been breaking out a little more than usual lately. The Clarisea products are new to the Birchbox shop and are made with sea salt and supposedly good for clearing acne. They have several items to choose from but I went with the exfoliating face scrub. If you look at the Clarisea website, they also have bath soaks and things, and they even sell a snorkel and earplugs for the bath soak products. That seems a bit extreme (and hilarious) to me, but the backstory on the site seems pretty convincing. I’m looking forward to seeing how this works with regular use. I also got the Juice beauty blemish be gone for spot treatments. Now for the fun part.. the only kind of math I like.. shopping math!

The Clarisea exfoliant is $18 while the Juice blemish be gone is $15. With my 200 points, 25% off, and my free shipping from the Aces program, my order total was just about $4. If I had bought these normally and had to pay the $5.95 shipping my total would’ve been about $38.95. Sooo instead of paying nearly $40, I paid $4 just because I’m a Birchbox member and I do the reviews. I know I probably talk about Birchbox too much on this site but I loooove the perks! 🙂 And it just makes sense for me to talk about it alot since I get their box every month and shop from their store alot.  If you’d like to get your own Birchbox for $10 a month, you can click here. If you’re already a member I highly encourage you to review every product you get to earn points and always check for coupon codes and bonuses! The Birchbox man subscription currently has free socks with subscription and the regular Birchbox has a deal for 100 free points with subscription using the code bb100 (according to Retail Me Not). That equals ten bucks so that makes the first box basically free. If you’re signing up for  a yearly subscription, use the code BBSUBYEAR and get two free boxes. Enjoy!

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April 2012 Birchbox: Review

Juice Beauty Oil Free Moisturizer – In a previous Birchbox I received a sample of the Juice Beauty acne serum, and I really liked it. So when I saw this moisturizer in my April box I was excited to try something else from the brand. This is a really nice product and I have nothing negative to say about it at all. I will definitely consider purchasing it, mainly because of the natural ingredients. The full size is $28 for 2 fl oz. which seems a little small, but then again I haven’t found the need to use alot of product to get results.

Zoya True (Spring Collection) – If you’ve ever been to this site before, you probably know that I absolutely adore Zoya. I got the shade Lotus (not the one pictured above). It’s a really pretty purple with shimmer that will be great for spring and summer. Zoya is made with a top 5 free formula and was voted the longest wearing natural nail polish.

Wonderstruck by Taylor Swift – This is a pleasant scent that I’ve actually worn a couple of times lately. I’m not a huge perfume person, but this wasn’t bad. I’ve been preferring pure vanilla by LaVanilla lately, though.

Amika Obliphica Nourishing Mask – I didn’t care for the packaging of this sample. It was a slender plastic sleeve with no way to reseal it once it was opened. Maybe it was intended to be a one use only sample. As long as my hair is, I probably could’ve used the entire thing at once. Instead I managed to get a couple of uses out of it. I expected a hair mask to be something you put on thickly, let sit for 20 or 30 minutes and then washed out. However, this only needs to stay on your hair two minutes and you can use it once a week, or even daily. After reading that, I really wasn’t expecting much from this other than a potentially nice conditioner. After washing my hair, it really didn’t feel any different… until I dried it. My hair was softer, shinier and overall more manageable. This is a really good product with a pleasant scent. The full size is $40 for a jar, which is the reason I haven’t already purchased it. Though once I stack up some more Birchbox points, it’s probably going to make its way into my cart!

Dropps Laundry Detergent – This month’s extra was a package of two little laundry detergent pods. It said you can use one per load, or if it’s a really large load, two. I think these are a really cool idea. It’s nice to skip the sometimes messy step of pouring and measuring out detergent, and just toss a little pod in the washer instead. These seem like they would be great for travel, or for older kids who are learning to do their own laundry. I was happy with this extra and have been keeping them around for when I unexpectedly run out of detergent. My only concern with these is that I wonder if they would easily puncture.

This month was a cool Birchbox, I liked everything that was in it although I wasn’t a huge fan of the perfume. It was worth trying though, I’ve been wondering how it smelled. I’m always thrilled when Zoya is included, so I definitely feel I got my moneys’ worth. It does seem like some people got boxes with a higher value, but maybe they balance that out somehow over several months. Either way I can’t complain since I was content with what I got. I can’t wait until later this week when my May box gets here, check back soon for a preview of it!

*Birchbox is a monthly subscription that delivers high end, deluxe samples to your door for $10 a month. Get your own box here.

Birchbox Review: February 2012

Jouer Luminizing Moisture Tint – This was a really, really tiny sample.. which seems to be a running theme with Jouer. This is the third sample I’ve received from Jouer in Birchboxes, and they were all equally small. The size would’ve been allright, but in addition to being a tiny sample, it wasn’t completely full. That was a bit annoying. I’ve been wanting to try this for a while, so I was still excited to use it. Since I’m a mineral makeup user, I use brushes and didn’t have any sponges handy, so I had to apply it with my fingers. (Would’ve really liked to get the beauty blender that alot of people got this month!) It went on fine, just like a tinted moisturizer. Honestly though, I just didn’t think it was that great. I would’ve liked to have a little more product to try it a couple more times, but since there was so little I just haven’t bothered with it again.

Juice Beauty Blemish Clearing Serum – This was the first time I’ve used anything by Juice Beauty, so I was pretty happy to see this in my box. It came at a good time because I’ve been having some breakouts lately, probably from stress. So far I have been really impressed with this stuff. I’ve used it as spot treatment and as a thin layer over my face. It can really reduce blemishes overnight. Doesn’t blemish sound so much nicer than zit? I think so too. This line is taken straight from the Juice Beauty website – “These amazing formulations are made without parabens, petroleum, propylene or butylene glycol, sodium lauryl sulfates, pesticides, phthalates, artificial dyes or synthetic fragrances.” Organic, gentle, and effective? What’s not to love here? The full size is $29, so it’s not ridiculously out of reach either. In fact, I think I’ll be putting their clear skin set on my wishlist.

Dermalogica Daily Microfoliant – This was a neat little addition to the Birchbox. I’ve never used a powder exfoliant, and this was a generously sized sample in a nice little shaker bottle. You don’t need alot of product, and it smells fresh and nice. I was surprised at how non-gritty it was too. It was pleasant to use, but I didn’t see spectacular results or anything. I’ve used it a few times, but I’m not sure I would use this daily. Perhaps my results weren’t as noticeable since I use a Clarisonic, and my skin might be a little more exfoliated already than someone who doesn’t use one? Either way, I feel like it’s a nice product but not necessarily something I would add to my daily routine. I’ll stick to using my June Jacobs mask once a week.

Eye Rock Designer Liner – I have so many mixed emotions about this product, it’s hard to form a conclusive opinion one way or the other. At first I thought they looked really neat, but my attempt to apply them did not go that smoothly. I started with one of the simpler designs, and I had alot of trouble lining it up and cutting it properly. When I finally got one side done, the inner corner continually popped back up. I didn’t end up wearing them very long because of that, and they were a bit difficult to peel off. Isn’t the first rule of eye makeup ‘dont pull at the skin around your eyes’??

Nevertheless, a few days later I decided to give them another try (For Valentines day). This time I went with the most dramatic style (they thoughtfully included four) and was more careful not to handle them too much as I was applying them. I still found them difficult to apply, and the inner corner on that same side still kept peeling up. I wore them the entire day, and actually started to like them quite a bit. However I was constantly just… aware of them. I could feel them with just about every blink, and they were slightly uncomfortable, they also seemed to push down on my lashes all day, but that could’ve just been the way I applied them. When I was ready to remove them, I decided to try makeup remover to remove some of the stickiness and hopefully cause less pulling on my eye. BAD PLAN. This just made them even more difficult to remove, and I ended up with sticky residue along my lashline. The next morning I woke up with some of my hair stuck to my face there! The only way I finally removed the last traces was to use loose powder, and then kind of pick it off. Ugh. That was obviously my own fault though, they advise you to just peel them off. All in all, these are kinda cool and fun, just be careful when you apply them because doing it wrong will make it tug at your eye all day. I will use the ones I have left, but I would not repurchase these just simply because I don’t want to peel anything off of my eyelids.

These seem more like a special occasion item, rather than a time saver to use daily. And one last thing.. my mother also received these in her Birchbox. I mean, really? I’m not going to say her age because I value my life 😉 but she does have grandkids. Are alot of grandmas out there wearing double winged cat eyeliner? Not that they couldn’t, just would they? I feel like that was just a poor choice on Birchbox’s part. Could’ve been worse though, they could’ve sent us the lip tattoos. Yikes.

Heart Shaped Nail File – Nothing much to say about this. Just a cute little nod to Valentines day. Very happy to receive practical beauty things like this as opposed to food items in the box.

Digital Download GRO – There was a little card included with a link to about 7 songs by Green River Ordinance. I’ve never really listened to this band, but one of the songs ended up being something I’d heard and liked before, but didn’t know the artist. I quickly fell in love with these tracks and have listened to them many times. Generally when you get a card for free music downloads, it’s songs that nobody wants to listen to. This was not the case here. Very cool, Birchbox!

Overall I really liked this month’s Birchbox. The only downside was that aside from a heart shaped nail file, it didn’t seem like a Valentine box at all. Even the tissue paper was silver and gold, more fitting for New Years than Vday. As a single person I can understand that maybe they didn’t want to throw it in everyone’s faces, but still, there are a few main holidays that you would expect to have themed boxes, and Valentines is one of them. I’m not complaining as I definitely feel I got my moneys worth and then some, I just would’ve liked to see some red and pink and really embrace the girly/cute side of Valentines day. Not necessarily a ‘romance’ theme, just something fun. Or maybe if everyone had received the beauty blender, since it was hot pink afterall! 😉 But anyway, I’m pretty happy with what I got and am looking forward to next months box.