Monday, September 3, 2012

Birchbox: August 2012

The start of my second year with Birchbox! I had expected to receive a special limited edition pink Birchbox this month for it being my 13th month, but of course they stop that program a few months before my anniversary. Instead I received a genuine leather Birchbox keychain. I complained to Birchbox since I was pulled into the yearly subscription due to the box and would never have wanted to receive a leather product. They felt bad and gave me a 100 BB points. Fair, fair. Anybody want to trade for my Birchbox keychain?

I'm going to start placing a cruelty-free or animal tested label beneath my descriptions so it is easier for people to quickly glance over products and see what is and isn't cruelty-free :)

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.

August 2012, Box #2
August's Birchbox is all about back to school. We all know back to school means shopping and more shopping. And that also means buying new beauty products and updating your routine. Birchbox put out a special information booklet this month with a Beauty 101 series to ensure we 'ace every class.' The booklet is super cute. There is a few pages on tools, how to read labels, 5 tips to a better shave, quick fixes, and speedy skincare tips. The only new thing I learned was that you shouldnt use regular body soap or hair conditioner as shave gel. It apparently will dry out your skin and clog your razor more so than shave-specific products. I always use conditioner since Im a cheapo. Birchbox also teamed up with Pencils of Promise a non-profit that creates global children education projects. 15% of every full-size purchase this month will be put towards building a school. I actually made a full-size purchase this month so Im gald to know that my money went towards helping kiddies!

Information Cards:

FusionBeauty: LashFusion XL
Part mascara and part lash conditioner, this creamy formula adds tons of volume.
Full Size: 0.42 oz ($24.00)
Size Received: 0.28 oz ($16.00)
LashFusion XL is a mascara that apparently adds a ton of instant volume to your lashes. And while you've got hot, voluptuous lashes it helps condition and strengthen lashes. I was really excited about this product. A cruelty-free company and the mascara was filled with natural oils and conditioners. But then when I was looking at the ingredient listing on Ulta I noticed Shellac (crushed beetles) on the ingredient list. Why does a black mascara need a pink/red coloring agent!? I looked at a few different sites and they all had different ingredients and some were vegan and some werent. I decided I would decide what ingredient list to abide to once Birchbox launched it on their website. Unfortunately Birchbox also lists shellac, so I won't be trying this one out. Oh well...
Cruelty-free! (product not vegan)

Juicy Couture: Viva la Juicy Le Fleur
This modern scent is a feminine blend of wild berries, mandarin, and waterlily.
Full Size: 2.5 oz ($70.00)
Size Received: 0.05 oz ($1.40)
This is the softer side of Viva la Juicy. It is a sparkling fruity, floral. Pretty much screams me. Juicy Couture is manufactured by EA Fragrances and I can't find a concrete answer on if Elizabeth Arden perfumes are tested on animals. Some say they do, others say they dont. Why must is be so hard to be ethical? The Le Fleur scent is definitely lighter than the original (received it in Jan Birchbox). Both fragrances are almost identical. They have the same top notes of wild berries and mandarin, and the same middle notes of honeysuckle, jasmine, and gardenia. The only difference is La Fleur has a lighter base than the original and an added waterlily, but it still has sandalwood, caramel, and vanilla. I expected a bit more floral, but it is a nice basic scent. Nothing special though.
Unsure if tested on animals.

Yu-Be: Moisturizing Skin Cream
This best-selling Japanese cream hydrates chapped lips, rough heels, and cracked hands.
Full Size: 1.25 oz ($16.00)
Size Received: 0.1 oz ($1.28)
Wasn't too excited to see this in my box. I received this sample for free from Sephora. So when that happens I feel like I've lost value. But strangely enough I don't think I tried the free sample I got, it's been sitting in a drawer collecting dust. This skin cream has the consistency of a soft wax and smells like vapo rub. What makes this stuff special is that it has a high glycerin content (plant source) which helps draw water towards it and therefore into your skin. It is considered an intensive treatment and can be used for even the roughest skin. I'm going to try using it on my feet next time I use my foot file to see if my feet stay smooth and soft for longer. Although it is a little different in texture I really like it. I was surprised by how quickly it absorbed since it seems so waxy/greasy. It is vitamin-enriched to help renew skin.

SHU UEMURACleansing Oil Shampoo
This ultra chic yuzu-scented cleanser leaves hair clean and bouncy.
Full Size: 13.5 oz ($55.00)
Size Received: 0.5 oz ($2.03)
Excuse me!? $55 for shampoo!? I had no intention of using this product since this company is owned by Estee Lauder so it is not cruelty-free. But even if they did not conduct animal testing I would have no interest in trying this product! I could never spend that much money on shampoo. The idea behind the shampoo is pretty cool. It uses oils to help draw out impurities and build-up without stripping the hair of its natural oils. It will leave your hair soft, radiant, and clean. But like I said the company tests on animals, so I will not be trying this one out.
Tested on animals!

Schick: Hydro Silk Razor
The water-activated serum moisturizes skin while you shave, and the innovative oval-shaped design hugs tricky areas like knees and ankles.
Full Size: 1 razor ($9.99)
Size Received: Full-size received! 1 razor ($9.99)
This was an extra not listed on the information card. It is noted as a Birchbox Find. The card says that Birchbox may scour high-end products, but also affordable finds. I actually blogged about this product a few months ago. I received an opportunity to receie the razor for free, but I realized once I saw it in my Birchbox that I never got it! Maybe because I moved, but darn! Hydro Silk is a newer razor from my company that has 5 blades. It is shaped to actually hug your body so that you can get a cleaner shave. It has gotten a ton of positive reviews on Amazon so I am excited to try this out!

Total value of my August 2012 Birchbox:$30.70
Definitely not my favorite month. The razor was really the only thing that I was excited about. And it sucks when a product is cruelty-free but contains random animal products in it, so the value of box went right down the drain. Birchbox and I are still on good terms though, I

What do you think of my August Birchbox? How does it compare to yours? Were you as disappointed as I? Let me know in the comments below!
If you don't get Birchbox, click here to join
P.S. Do you find the cruelty-free indicators helpful?


  1. happy to find another blogger clearly labeling brands as cruelty free. i don't believe Juicy is cruelty free. i know they use fur in their clothing.

    1. I'm so glad you found my little blog! Juicy the brand is definitely not cruelty-free. Fur is so gross! But the perfume is actually manufactured completely separately by Elizabeth Arden Fragrances. I wouldn't support Juicy by buying this fragrance just on moral grounds, but the fragrance may be manufactured without any animal testing. I wish it wasn't so hard to get a straight answer out of these companies!

  2. Always good to find another blogger on the lookout for cruelty-free beauty items!

    I keep thinking about joining a beauty subscription service but I only use cruelty-free goods and feel like the boxes would be a waste of money, since I think a lot of the samples I'd receive, I wouldn't be able to use! If they ever launch a beauty box that caters to the ethically-minded I'll be all over it though.

    1. What I've done with all the samples I can't use is trade them for things I want. I already traded all the items from last month's birchbox that I couldn't use. And I got a stock pile of awesome goodies!

      Also there are a few all eco/cruelty-free boxes out there. Kara's Way, Goodebox (my fav!), and Eco-Emi to name a few. Plus, Conscious Box has a mix of food/home/beauty.

  3. Ooh, I hadn't heard of those yet. Everyone just raves and raves about Birchbox, Beauty Army, and Sample Society, and I don't want to join those obviously! I might have to check out Goodebox, it looks pretty nice.


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