Saturday, January 12, 2013

Birchbox Review January 2013

I love my Birchbox this month!

And that makes me happy.  Last month was my first with Birchbox and I was disappointed, especially as I had to wait over 4 weeks just to get an invitation to join!  Birchbox is a "beauty and lifestyle" subscription, and for $10 a month, they send you a box with between 4-6 samples tailored to your preferences.  When you join up, you fill out a beauty profile that Birchbox uses to select the items for your box.  I was scrupulously honest when I first filled out my profile - silly me!  Apparently being a 30-something with classic style and a middle-class income gets you a boring box filled with skincare items and nail polish remover.  I was about to cancel after receiving my initial box o'boring stuff, when I saw a YouTube video by "minzor9".  She described a phone call she made to Birchbox's Customer Service, where they gave her advice on filling out her profile.  I watched, I learned... and I became a filthy rich teenager with adventurous style!  Well, on their website, anyway.  I can dream, right?

So I got my January box and... love.  Love at first sight.  I am happy with EVERY SINGLE item in my box!  Which, if you obsessively read Birchbox reviews every month like I do (maybe I need a new hobby?), you'll know that's very unusual.  As with any subscription service, there are hits and misses in the items you're sent.  But this month? Perfection.  I can't believe I got all this for $10!  So, let's get started:

Here's the box when I first unwrapped it:

I can feel it... there's magic inside!

Sorry if it looks a little dark, I did all my photos with natural light this month!  But there it sat, all innocent, like a ticking time bomb of beauty.  I opened it up and saw...

Cardboard. Wait, no it's....

A cute little note! About making 2013 the "best year ever".  Awww.  Now, what did I get?

Contents Card

Here's my list of awesomeness.  First, I got an Eyeko skinny liquid liner pen in Black.  Now, when you start getting beauty subscriptions, you start to get "black eyeliner fatigue" pretty quickly.  I got a black liner in my November AND December Ipsy bags.  But I don't have a black liquid liner yet! And I love the pen style, should be goof-proof for klutzy me!  

Next, check out this new perfume by Harvey Prince, called Skinny Chic.  I'm not fond of the name for this perfume (I have to be skinny to be chic? Whatever. I was gorgeous before I lost all that post-baby weight!).  And apparently, the scents of green apple and sweet mint are supposed to suppress my appetite.  Sorry, but if you make a perfume smell like food, I'm gonna want food.  Maybe it'll make me want an apple instead of an ice cream sandwich, but I'm not holding out hope.  However, it does smell really good.  And the sample size is bigger than most perfume samples, so yay!  I'll be having apple cravings for months!  Here's a few shots of the perfume packaging and a comparison shot next to a standard-sized perfume sample:

Give that girl a pork chop!

Seriously, you could knock her over with
 one of those flowers!

Skinny Chic... fat sample?
Ok, enough with the perfume.  One of my favorite things about my subscriptions is I'll never have to buy moisturizer again!  I got a .17 oz sample of Sephora's Instant Moisturizer in one of the holiday It Kits, a .5 oz sample of Juice Beauty Organic Moisturizer in Dragon's November Citrus Lane box, and a .5 oz Pur-lisse pur-moist hydra-balance moisturizer in my January Birchbox!  A girl always needs moisturizer.

Ok, confession time.  I complained about getting a shampoo sample last month.  But in my defense, there was no matching conditioner and it was a clarifying shampoo, which is not good for color-treated hair.  But this month, I got the Rahua shampoo and conditioner!  They even sent out an option for both regular and color-treated hair.  Now that's how you do shampoo samples.  They even sent the samples in a cute little sheer bag!  I can't wait to try these next time I travel.

Cute bag!

2 sets. Shampoo AND conditioner.
'Nuff said.
And finally, the creme de la... box.  The Holy Grail Item I wanted SO BAD when I saw it in someone else's review last month!  Hot Mama blush by the Balm!  It's a pretty close match to the "It Blush", Orgasm by Nars.  However, I'll feel much better saying that I'm wearing something called "Hot Mama".    See the below hypothetical conversation:

Sweet Old Lady at Church:  Sweetie, that's a lovely shade of blush on you! What's it called?
Me: Um... Actually... It's called "Orgasm"
*awkward silence*

I'm so glad I can avoid that.  Even though it's a small sample size, it should last me quite awhile.  I use a very light hand with blush, to avoid being mistaken for a clown school student.

Love the container!

Here's a swatch of the Hot Mama and Eyeko liner on my hand:

The blush ends up as a beautiful peachy shimmer on me.  This is really a great all-over shade.  You can use it as an eyeshadow, a blush, or a highlighter.  I'm so happy I finally got it!  Hopefully, Birchbox will start sampling the Mary Lou-Manizer by the Balm again soon.  I would love to get that in an upcoming box.

So, that's my January Birchbox.  I'm definitely leaving my profile settings right where they are, and I hope next month's box is just as awesome!  Just as a comparison, I'll show you my December box:

Shampoo. Mascara. That Nicole Richie perfume STANK. Anti-aging
skincare.  And not pictured, nail polish remover wipes. Boring!

And here, my January box:

Does anyone else hear angels singing?
Thanks for making it all the way through my first Birchbox review!  If you enjoyed it, follow me on my Facebook page here for updates on new blog posts.  If you'd love a Birchbox of your very own, click on my referral link here! If you do,  I'll get points, which translates to credit at their online store.  Disclaimer:  I paid for this Birchbox myself, and was not asked to review this box, nor am I compensated for the review.

Love, Leigh


  1. Thanks for reading my ipsy/Birchbox showdown! I'm still building my blog but I'd love to start doing a feature with other blogs who review Birchbox and get different boxes- a "What if...?" feature reviewing someone else's box wondering what their opinions would be if they got that box instead. Hoping to do this my February. Let me know if you'd be interested! Check out my FB page-

    1. Sounds like fun! Just send me an email at amagicalmom at gmail dot com to set it up in Feb! Totally wandering over to FB now to check your page out, if you want, you can find mine at

  2. What were the setting you used to get the stuff you got? Its not the same for every person?

    1. No, everyone has different settings! You take a "beauty profile" quiz when you first sign up for Birchbox. Birchbox then sends you your monthly box based on your answers. I personally don't like anti-aging stuff, so I shaved a few years off my age when I filled out my profile ;) I hope this info helps you!


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