I Tried Birchbox (So You Don't Have To) | April 2019

I Tried Birchbox (So You Don't Have To) | April 2019 | Writing Between Pauses

I love a beauty subscription. As you probably know, I’ve been an Ipsy subscriber for months (although we’ve been on a break recently) and have been looking for other beauty boxes to review and use each month. There is something to a beauty box, isn’t there? It’s like a special little treat.

I told Danny that the reason I love them is because it gives me the option of trying new things every single month… without spending a ton of money. To try a new moisturizer might cost $15+, depending on the brand—but I can get a deluxe sample of a moisturizer in a subscription box that I can use throughout the month, as well as other things to try, all for around $10-15 depending on the subscription.

That’s incredibly valuable to me! I love trying new things, but I hate spending money.

A few weeks ago, I was approached by Birchbox to review their beauty box subscription and to share with my readers. Of course, I said yes immediately!

Birchbox is the first beauty subscription box I ever remember hearing about: they really changed the game when they came on the scene! They are a tried-and-true brand with a ton of fans, so I was honored to be able to work with them.

I received my first beauty box this month and wanted to share everything I received, what I loved about Birchbox, and what I didn’t.

What Do You Get in a Birchbox

What I Got

Here’s everything I received:

  • Oribe Dry Texturizing Spray

  • Number 4 Lumiere d’Hiver Clarifying Shampoo

  • Marcell City Tinted Cream

  • Sunday Riley Luna Night Sleeping Oil

  • 100% Pure Green Tea Concentrate Cream

  • Number 4 Lumiere d’Hiver Reconstructing Masque

  • Love of Color Liquid Shimmer Eyeshadow (not pictured)

That’s $10 for 7 samples. Unlike Ipsy, there is no set number of samples every month. However, some of the samples in Birchbox are quite small; the clarifying shampoo and hair masque are both from the brand Number 4 Lumiere d’Hiver, but the shampoo is 1 fluid ounce in a travel size tube, while the mask is simply a packet (and much less than 1 fluid ounce). For that reason, it’s a lot more difficult to put a value on these products because you do receive a significantly smaller amount!

A prime example is that a full-size tube of the Oribe Texturizing Spray has 8.5 ounces and costs $46; the sample tube I received has 1 ounce. So, it would be valued at about 1/8 of $46: $5.75. However, not everything splits up quite that easily.

That’s ok though! I think even without strict numbers, we can talk about how valuable something feels: even though the tube of Sunday Riley’s Luna oil is quite small, a full-size bottle is only a little over an ounce and costs $105.

You read that correctly: full size is 1 ounce for $105. So receiving a sample tube, no matter the size, is going to be pretty valuable in terms of testing it out!

Birchbox costs between $10-15 a month to receive, depending on the status if your subscription. (You can learn more about Birchbox’s updated payment system here.) You can buy subscriptions in 6- and 12-month packages as well, which can help reduce your cost (and you can often get full-size gifts when you sign up. Score!)

Is Birthbox Worth It?

What I Liked

One of the great things about Birchbox, compared to Ipsy, is that you don’t just receive 5 samples: you get a variety and often 5+ things. In my first box alone, I got 7 samples, some of them bigger than others. I’d say everything except the hair mask, I can use for at least 3 weeks, potentially more. That gives me a ton of product to experience with.

I also like that Birchbox gave me options when it came to selecting my samples. As with Ipsy, the more you review the things you receive, the better the products will be suited to you. However, with Birchbox, you can receive a sneak peek of samples starting the month before; at the end of March, I was able to choose either one sample I definitely wanted in my box, or I could have chosen two curated boxes to receive. That meant that no matter what, I got to choose something to try—which is really, really fun!

I liked all of the products I received, except perhaps the clarifying shampoo (it made my scalp itch, which is 100% a “my scalp” problem!) and the CC cream (it didn’t match my skintone, but I did like the texture).

My favorite product is probably the 100% Pure Green Tea Concentrate Cream; I thought for sure I would love the Sunday Riley Luna oil, which I do, but it doesn’t wow me as much as I thought. What did wow me was the Green Tea Concentrate Cream! It smells amazing and feels beautiful on my skin; I love wearing it under my makeup. It’s one of those things that I would have never looked for, but thanks to Birchbox, I’ll probably be buying a fullsize tube!

Reliable Birchbox Reviews

Things You Need to Know

What are a few things I would want to know about signing up for Birchbox?

Firstly, I think you need to remember that these are samples: not necessarily even deluxe size samples, in some cases. I don’t think that’s necessarily a draw back, but I do think it is important to have realistic expectations of what you’re going to receive.

Secondly, you can earn points on Birchbox by reviewing items; these points can then be used to purchase full size items. That’s pretty amazing!

Lastly, Birchbox is not like ipsy. They are both beauty-focused subscriptions and while I’ve compared and contrasted them here, ultimately they serve two different purposes. Birchbox focuses a little more on tried-and-true skincare products; Ipsy is much more trendy and makeup focused. What you choose depends entirely on what you want to receive! Looking to find a skincare routine that changes your life? Birchbox would be the best choice. Want to experiment with makeup? Ipsy is your best bet.

If you’d like to sign up for Birchbox, you can do so by clicking here**.

Have you received Birchbox? What did you think?

My Top 3 Valentine's Day Beauty Must-Haves

My Top 3 Valentine's Day Beauty Must-Haves | Writing Between Pauses

Surprise! It's a bonus weekend post. 

I don't do this very often, usually only during challenge months, but I recently got an email from the Beauty Crop** announcing a special Valentine's Day sale starting today through the 4th! Everything on their website will be 30% off. Yes, everything. 

All the lipsticks I've recommended. All their brush sets. Everything. 

I wanted to share 3 of my favorite products from the Beauty Crop that will be perfect for Valentine's Day! Whether you're heading out with your honey or just want to treat yourself, these 3 pieces will be perfect: affordable, high-quality, and, most importantly, cruelty-free. 

Glow Milk | Writing Between Pauses
Fineapple Brush Set | Writing Between Pauses
GRLPWR in Piedaho | Writing between Pauses

1. Glow Milk Liquid Highlighter** 

The Beauty Crop's liquid highlighters (Glow Milk & Lighting Crew) are genuinely 2 of my favorite beauty products of all time because they are both dupes for the Cover FX droppers that everyone mixes into their foundation. (Ok, not everyone...) I love using both, but especially for Valentine's Day, the Glow Milk Liquid Highlighter is such a good option. Made from all-natural ingredients and in a beautiful, pale pink color, it's so much fun to use because of the cute packaging. Please just imagine how cute it will look in Instagram photos! It's regularly $19.50, but at 30% off, it will be less than $14! 

2. Fineapple Makeup Brush Set**

When people ask me what item they should definitely invest in when it comes to beauty, I always say brushes; a good brush set that you love will stay with you for years! I love this one from the Beauty Crop because it comes with such a nice case and the brushes are so cute. A stand out set of brushes that you love is something that you will revel in using every day--and these ones make me so happy! This set is normally $49, but with 30% off, it will be only $34.30! For 8 brushes and a case, that's an absolute steal. 

3. GRLPWR Liquid Lipstick in Piedaho**

I love the GRLPWR Liquid Lipstick formula; it's soft and comfortable, while still being super matte and full coverage. The color Piedaho is a deep, rich, burgundy; it's so pretty, especially for Valentine's Day. Whether you're vamping it up solo or heading out for dinner, it's the perfect color to wear with your favorite outfit (whether that's a dress or pajamas at home is up to you). Normally, Piedaho is $14.95, but with 30% off, it will be about $10.50! You can get 2 for that price! 

Whether you're looking for a little treat for yourself or to invest in a gift set (like the Brewtiful Face Gift set**, a personal favorite!), you don't want to miss this sale. 30% off everything ends on Sunday, February 4--to get shopping! 

Disclaimer: as noted in my disclosure policy (which you can read here), a double asterisk (**) indicates an affiliate links. An affiliate link means that for every sale, I make a small commission; affiliate links & posts like these help me keep the lights on at Writing Between Pauses. Thanks for supporting my blog & me by clicking these links, checking out these great products, and maybe making a purchase or 2! 

Beauty Review: The Beauty Crop*

Beauty Review: The Beauty Crop | Writing Between Pauses

Earlier this month, I got the opportunity to test out some products from The Beauty Crop**. I was really excited because I'd heard great things about them from many of my beauty groups on Facebook; as well, a few people I know swear by their mascara**. 

I wanted to share short reviews for each product I received. Believe me when I say, I genuinely loved all of these products for different reasons!

I want to talk about the Beauty Crop first, however, and share a little bit about their company. The reason why I decided to explore becoming an affiliate, and testing out some products, was because they are dedicated to being cruelty-free. This is incredibly important to me as a consumer; I try to only purchase from certified CF brands. Here's what the Beauty Crop says on their website: 

We are a brand inspired by healthy living and creating products enhanced with nutrition derived from natural ingredients. We avoid complex formulas and unnecessary additives, which allows us to create unique cosmetic recipes that include natural oils and plant-based extracts for products that will nurture your skin whilst delivering intense colour technology.

Our philosophy is that nutrition is as equally essential for your skin as it is for your body. Inspired by the healthy recipes we cook in the kitchen, we are passionate about creating colourful, fun and uber-hydrating cosmetics that include nutrition-rich superfood ingredients that promote health and wellbeing.

Our products are 100% cruelty-free. We do not test on animals, only on friends and family!

That is really a message I can get behind. 

Without further ado, let's dive in and talk about the products I received. 

1. GRLPWR Liquid Lipstick** in Tickled Pink

GRLPWR Liquid Lip | Writing Between Pauses

I use a lot of liquid lipsticks (which dry down to matte). When I first used this one, I kept asking myself... is this really as comfortable as I think it is? I've worn it several days now and I have to say, it's easily one of the best liquid lips I've ever owned. Very matte, very pigmented, very little transfer, and super comfortable. The photo above was taken at the end of the day with no reapplications; it's a little worn, but really lovely still! As well, check out why they're called GRLPWR Liquid Lipsticks:

Our new line of liquid lipsticks, GRLPWR, was designed to celebrate female empowerment and individuality. We are inspired to create a movement all about friendship, shunning girl-to-girl hostility, and creating a female support network encouraging self-expression.

Again, what a cool message! These liquid lips are only $14.95 a piece, which is very affordable for such a high end feeling product. The packaging, I should mention, is really gorgeous, with a frosted tube and metallic lettering. 

2. PBJ Smoothie Stick** in Peach Please

This was probably the only product I received that I was a little so-so about. It's still a great lip; if you're someone who liked a light, smooth, glossy formula for their lip products, this is absolutely amazing. Very hydrating and pigmented. The color Peach Please is an incredibly pinky-nude shade that I think would be gorgeous on just about everyone. The reason I didn't absolutely love it was because I generally prefer a liquid lip with limited transfer; with a lip crayon, you need to reapply pretty frequently. That being said, it's a beautiful color and would look great with a more natural, everyday look. These crayons are only $14.95 a piece, which, again, is so affordable for a product that is so high end. (They remind me a lot of Clinique's Chubby Sticks, which aren't cruelty free!) You can also get a set of three for $39.95 here**. 

3. Blush Duo** in Mauve-ulous 

This is my absolute favorite product, I think! I have been obsessed with blushes lately; I used to be a "same blush every day" kind of girl, but recently, I've bought a lot of new ones. I was bouncing between my Tarte blush in Paaaarty and Wet'n'Wild blush in Mulled Wine... until I got this blush duo. It has one side powder, one side cream, both in a lovely, dark berry-mauve shade. I was genuinely worried these blushes would be way, way too dark on me, but with a little finessing, they are so winter-y and give that perfect "I was just outside in the snow" look. The cream side only requires a tiny bit for a nice, flushed look; the powder side blends so beautiful and has the faintest hint of shimmer that I love. 

I read recently that dark and purple-toned blushes, while scary, are actually the ideal blushes because we actually tend to flush blue-purple in the cold naturally, so it's a much more natural look than pink or peach. Who knew? Plus, these blush duos are only $8.50 right now, which is super affordable! 

4. Lighting Crew Highlighting Cream**

I am always a little hesitant about highlighting creams, because I find that they are often too stiff and disrupt my foundation, especially if I apply after powdering. However, this highlighting cream has truly changed my life! It is a lot looser than the average highlighting cream, but just as bright; a little goes a long way! I apply it using my Beauty Blender, then usually pat out with my finger to diffuse it just a little more. It is gorgeous though, with a slightly warm, gold shift. It had vitamin C as well. It's only $12 for a tube that will last a very long time! 

*Disclaimer: I received the products in this post complimentary for the purposes of becoming an affiliate. However, all thoughts remain my own; I would never recommend something I didn't love! You can read more about my disclosure policy here

**These are affiliate links. If you do end up buying something from the Beauty Crop, I do receive a small percentage kickback. Doing so helps me keep Writing Between Pauses running!