Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Birchbox: May 2012 (Gossip Girl) Box 1 of 2

As soon as I drop a few subscriptions, Birchbox tells me that the May box is going to be sponsored by Gossip Girl!? I have not only seen every single episode, but dream of stealing Blair's wardrobe, and slapping some sense into the ever so annoying and whiny Serena. After much hesitation, I re-activated my second account. I have yet to receive either shipping notifications, but one of the boxes was at my doorsteps on Monday! I probably won't get the second box until after I get back from vacation (I leave Wednesday).

Don't know what Birchbox is?
Birchbox is a monthly subscription service that delivers a little, heavenly box of premium beauty samples to your doorstep. Each month you will receive 4-5 samples (sometimes even full-sized products) and generally a goodie (energy booster, granola bar, etc). The samples range from make-up, polishes, skincare, body, hair, and fragrances. All from luxury, quality brands. Every month is a surprise, but the samples picked for you are based on a survey you fill out letting the gals know your style and skin-type. Birchbox costs just $10 a month, and your box will always be valued way above!
Click here to join Birchbox.

May 2012, Gossip Girl Box #5
This month all of the boxes are curated by the beauty/hair team behind the CW's hit show Gossip Girl. The boxes were even shipped out early this month so that everyone will have their boxes in time for the season finale Monday, May 14th. Within the Gossip Girl theme, there are sub-themes for each box (Sunday Brunch, Weekend in the Hamptons, etc). This box included all the items I'd need to get ready for a Black Tie Ball. Almost every episode the lovely ladies are glammed up in the most gorgeous fashions ready to go to some gala. The information card said that I'll be able to get a million dollar look with the products. Plus, Birchbox is sponsoring a Gossip Girl trivia sweepstakes! Jst answer the trivia questions in the information card while watching the season finale and you'll be entered to win a $500 Birchbox shopping spree. I'll of course be entering!

Information Cards:

Miracle Skin TransformerBody SPF 20 in Glow
Don't settle for anything but flawless skin -- all over your body. This tinted treatment erases blemishes and scars on arms, legs, and décoletté.
Full Size: 3.38 oz ($34.00)
Size Received: 0.5 oz ($5.00)
I've always wanted to try the Miracle Skin Transformer for face ever since I saw it in someone else's birchbox last year. The Miracle Skin Transformer is a tinted moisturizer that hydrates skin, brightens and tones skin, and protects with SPF. It is suposed to be able to cover up any blemishes, make skin look more radiant, and smooth. I was surprised by how dark and thick the treatment was, it felt like a heavy concealer. Just trying to take a swatch photo I ended up getting it on my pants and in my hair. It was extremely shimmery! And not finely milled soft shimmer, but GLITTER bomb teen style. Plus, it did not do what it said, my skin is covered in glitter but you can still clearly see the fading scratch on my hand. I also tried it on a blemish and on some sun spots without any success.

stilaSparkle Waterproof Liquid Eye Liner in Starry
Pearly shimmer meets intense pigment in this lasting liner. Better yet, the pen-like wand makes wiggle-free application a breeze.
Full Size: 0.05 oz ($22.00)
Size Received: Full-size! 0.05 oz ($22.00)
I don't understand how to use liquid eye liner or why anybody would use it every day. I understand it makes for a more dramatic look but my eyes are already bigger than my head. Why go through all the trouble of attempting a straight line when I can get precise, soft lovely lines from a pencil/crayon. This is a deep brown that has glitter in it. The box says it may contain carmine (crushed beetle), but carmine is normally only used with red colors, so I emailed stila to confirm if this shade does actually contain it. I did swatch it on my arm to show you the color. It has a sponge tip applicator that makes it easier to apply, but I still could barely get a straight line on my arm. The color is very warm and would go well with my eyes. I don't feel like the application was very even, you can see in the swatch it was patchy. From far away you can't tell, but I bet it'd be amplified with my horrific lining skills.

OjonVolume Advance Volumizing Shampoo
Made with ultra nourishing Central American ojon oil, this weightless shampoo helps hair look and feel thicker.
Full Size: 8.5 oz ($22.00)
Size Received: 1.0 oz ($2.59)
A shampoo made for my hair! The shampoo is formulated for fine, limp, flat hair. It works to remove oils and residues that weigh hair down and bring life back to hair with some volume. Coconut oil tames, defrizzes, and coat hairs with moisture, ojon oil moisturizes and makes hair shiny, and finaly Peruvian amaranth extracts remove oil/buildup and somehow makes hair appear thicker and fuller. Most shampoos are meant for normal hair and coat my hair too thick and don't remove enough residue. I often end up with a dry, itchy scalp and limp, greasy strands. But a shampoo formulated to hydrate my hair and scalp without leaving buildup...sadly Ojon was bought by Estee Lauder who conducts animal testing so I wont be using this product (you can read about that dilemma here).

Arquiste: L'Etrog Cologne
Warm notes of citron, palm leaves, and myrtle combine in this transporting scent, inspired by the aroms of a medieval harvest festival in Calabria, Italy. 
Full Size: 1.9 oz ($165.00)
Size Received: 0.038 oz ($3.30)
This is part of a unisex fragrance line by Arquiste inspired by history. L'Etrog is inspired by October of 1175 in Calabria, Italy. I think its a novel idea being inspired by history. I always wonder what it'd be like to go back and time (especially late 1800s, prohibition, Susie Homemaker 1950s). The cologne is based off of the festival of Sukkot (jewish celebration of the seventh month). Many of the prayer rituals involve the etrog, which is a yellow citron fruit. This cologne has main notes of citron (aka etrog), myrtle, date fruit, and vetiver. I'm not familiar with any of the notes in the scent so it's hard to describe. I guess velvety, woodsy citrus, and manly? I think the main issue I have with this fragrance is I have a very keen memory of smell. This scent reminds me too much of my uncle. Why would I want to smell like him? No thank you. Pass.

Birchbox: xoxo notecard
Text messages are no match for handwritten notes on fun, modern stationary.
Full Size: 12 notecards ($10.00)
Size Received: 1 notecard ($0.83)
Some people aren't too happy with this extra, but I don't mind! It's my favorite item in my box! I'll have a lot of thank you cards to write after graduation and this one is so cute! I love the gold/green color paired with the bright pink envelope and the xoxo on the front is too perfect! I also love that you can buy them on the Birchbox website! It would have been nice to get a few notecards, but I'm expecting I'll be getting another notecard in my second box.

Total value of my May 2012 box #5:$33.72
What a bust. I want to rub my arms in pure alcohol to get the smell of the fragrance off of me, the shampoo is tested on animals, the stila may have crushed beetles and has an uneven application, and the Miracle Skin Transformer did nothing for my skin! I'd have been better off just buying the notecard set online... I was somewhat excited about my box at first, but after taking the time to try them out and research the companies it is a major bust. The idea of teaming up with Gossip Girl was an amazing one, but to me the products weren't any different from any other month/theme. Hopefully the second box I receive is better...

What do you think of my May Birchbox? Do you think it lived up to the hype? How does my box compare to yours? Let me know in the comments below!
If you don't get Birchbox, click here to join


  1. What a major letdown! Those products are so not Gossip Girl worthy! :/

    1. It definitely isn't what I expected. I think all the hype around the box and the amazing Teen Vogue boxes really made me expect the best. I still have the second box coming my way, I really hope I get the Dr Jarts BB cream and the beauty blender cleaner!! That would put birchbox back on top ;)

  2. I'm sorry your box is such a let down. This is going to be my first month with Birchbox and I must say I'm a little turned off by how many box variations they put out, when I joined I thought it was just a few but there are so many diff ones. It seems that some are not as equal as others as well. :(

    1. I love all the variations! I think it means they really pay attention to our profiles and feature more products. Plus, they are able to give out favorites from past months to members who didn't get them the first time around.
      I think a lot of people would be happy with my box this month, but it just wasn't right for me. Last month I had a really crappy value and I know a lot of people were upset with it, but I got the wila moisturizer that I know love! So it was worth my $10!

      I hope you love your box!

  3. i like stila eyeliners so i won't mind it and plus i love liquid eyeliner. i also want to try the tinted moisturizer even if it's not full coverage...also want to try dr jart bb cream too.

    1. im gonna give the stila eyeliner a chance one i find out if it is vegan or not, but i do have the MST moisturizer up for trade on www.makeuptalk.com! Not sure if you are a member or not, but there are all kinds of birchbox samples for trade by other members.

  4. You're so lucky to have Birchbox ! I live in Canada, and we have great beauty boxes (and I have subscribed to all of them lol), but I have to say this one has always made me envious !

    1. I'm so surprised that birchbox hasn't taken advantage of opening subscriptions to Canadians! Y'all are so close and all ;) I bet it is coming, just like we are getting Glossybox!

  5. I'm sorry you were disappointed in your box. I also got the Black Tie Ball box but my items were a little different than your box. I got the Stila eyeliner, a sample of Miss Dior perfume, a bottle of Algenist Regenerative Anti-Aging Lotion, Kérastase Age Premium Bain Substantif shampoo and Kérastase Age Premium Masque Substantif for mature hair, and the XOXO notecard. This was my first Birchbox and overall I'm satisfied with what I got.

    1. ooh I wanted to try the Miss Dior, how does it smell?

      I know I'm probably one of the few completely let down by this month's box. Hopefully next month I'll be happier with what I get! Only a few weeks away!


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