If you have to buy it, get the best deal!
I finished sending Birchbox gift subscriptions to my sisters in June (more articles are coming). Having a third box was awesome, but I wanted to end it with as few points as possible. My Dad always tells me not to leave points on the table. Of course, he is not referring to Birchbox in particular, but this is good advice for all things in life. Going into the September box, my third account had 132 points. You can only cash them in 100 point increments meaning I could cash in $10, but I would leave 32 points behind if I placed a $10 order. Thanks to Ace status, I could have done this in August and been done.
Nothing in the $10 category was really speaking to me, so I decided to go with one more box. I purposely selected the shampoo knowing it also included a conditioner foil. Any time you get a foil, it is a bonus over your five deluxe samples, but you still get the review points. That meant I would get at least 60 points for submitting reviews. Sure enough, my box had six samples (I’ve received as many as 8). After reviewing them, I had 192 points. Then, I shared my box on Facebook to get an extra 10.
With 200 of those points, I placed what will probably be my last order on this third account. There could be a scenario where I want three accounts again, so you never know. That left me with 2 points, but I picked up 11 more for the $11.60 I spent. Leaving 13 points on the table sounds a lot better than leaving 32. If you’ve ever been successful in leaving 0, you’re more talented than I am. I still have two valid accounts, so I could have purchased the $25 item on this account and the $14 item on a different one. The unique discount code for 20% off I got from my second box required a $35 minimum. At $35, I was also able to select the two sample add-on from the bonus shop.
I’ve enjoyed skincare items from 100% Pure, but I did not own any makeup other than nail polish. Although I have nothing against chemicals, I enjoy sampling natural and organic brands when possible. The story behind the company is actually what initially attracted me. Susie Wang discovered potentially harmful ingredients while working for a cosmetic company, so she vowed to start her own all natural brand. Thankfully, I have not taken the time to delve into her research, so I cannot attest to the validity. This is partly because I am not ready to let go of so many beautiful items in my stash that may have “harmful” ingredients. It still does not detract the lovely idea of exploring natural brands, like hers. This was my first all natural lip glaze, and I was super excited to try it.
I love wine colors, so I really wanted to purchase Cabarnet. Whenever I buy something I am unable to swatch first, I do a bit of research. This is something I cannot stress enough. Never use one site as your only source of information. It seems like most reviewers claim Cabarnet is more of an orange-red than a wine color. As much as I love orange and red, my skin is usually not warm enough to pull off an orange-red. That left me with the 100% Pure Fruit Pigmented Lip Glaze in Coquette.
I am glad I selected this one, because the pink is more gorgeous than it looks online. Sometimes things look different in person than they do onscreen. That is good (Coquette) and bad (Cabarnet). This was not applied until right before I was running out of the house. About two minutes into my drive, my lips were uncomfortably stinging. Of course, the tissue that is always in my car was missing. My plan was to go straight to the restroom when I reached my destination, because I did not have time to turn around. Almost immediately after arriving to my destination, my lips stopped stinging.
I guess it was a good thing there was no tissue in my car, because if there had been, I would not have noticed the stinging only lasts about five minutes. While any stinging is bad, I’d wear it again since it was temporary. BrightMud stings my eyelid for about two minutes, but it is totally worth it. Luckily, this sting is not as deep as GlamGlow, probably because it is on my lips and not my eyes. Unless the stinging was a one time fluke, I will not purchase any more of these. If I wear it again and it stings for five minutes again, I will probably limit how often I wear it, but I will not return it.
I wonder what is causing the stinging. When I was younger, I was allergic to avocado. The first ingredient on the list is avocado butter, but I thought that allergy went away. I’ve even been able to eat things with avocado on them in the past few years. After the stinging went down, there were some things that impressed me with the lipstick. It lasted a really long time. I applied it shortly after 3pm and there was still a decent amount left after dinner at 7pm. For me, that is a long time. Dry patches on my lips were not accentuated either. Coverage was also very even. While it was not the most moisturizing lipstick I’ve ever used, it did not dry my lips out either. Other than the burning, the lip glaze was nice.
Oils have been under experiment here. Argan Oil is pricey when purchased in pure form. This Mychelle Advanced Argan Oil includes a Baobab oil. Both oils are organic, because this is another natural line, like 100% Pure. After I decided on the natural lipstick, I decided to get a natural oil as well. The price and brand reputation also influenced my decision. Whenever you see an Argan oil marked for less than $15, it is likely mixed with something. If you do not mind trying the oil(s) mixed in, give the item a try. Once I try this, I will report back on how it goes.
Getting the Dr. Jart+Dermaclear Micro Water as one of my two free samples thrilled me. When this sample made its first appearance in boxes months ago, I wanted it. Cleansing waters are perfect for me. I do not do a full face wash at night, because my dry skin cannot handle traditional cleansers twice a day. At night, I only use cleansing water or makeup remover and cleansing water if I wore makeup that day. Changing my routine this way helped my dry skin dramatically. This 0.7oz sample is worth $2.67.
The Marcelle Waterproof eyeliner in Indigo made me laugh. It is now my fourth! While Birchbox samples never repeat inside a single subscription, there are other ways to get duplicates. If you have multiple subscriptions, get replacement boxes, add mystery sample packs, etc, you may see repeats. My first eyeliner came in my second subscription on my June Box (not yet published). An item arrived damaged, and Birchbox was able to send a duplicate replacement box. I received it for the third time on my main account in a mystery sample pack.
As much as I love colored eyeliner, I do not need four. The 0.028oz sample is worth $7.70. Reviews on Birchbox are very favorable of this. Those reviewers must have dry lids, because it moved and smudged on my oily lids, and my right eye had worn at least 30% off by the end of the night. My pencil (the one of four I am keeping, not the one pictured above) had a broken tip. To use this, I had to sharpen it right off the bat.
I started with my Julep sharpener, but that did not go well. There was a gap between the color and the pencil and jagged edges. My Lancome sharpener seemed to leave less of a gap than the Julep one, but the edge was still jagged. This actually made me smile, because people I know recently discussed how many makeup pencil sharpeners is too many. Apparently, you cannot have too many if the pencil sharpeners are even slightly different in size. The smallest difference in barrel can fit one pencil better than another, and I have a ton of different sized pencils, so I may buy a ton of different sharpeners. Of course, I could also use the electric one with the adjustable opening I use to sharpen my son’s school pencils.
I took the pencil with the jagged edge and tried to draw a line. The line was huge. Are you picturing the Panda eyes picture? I sure was. For fun, here it is.
While trying to fix a fat line on my left eye courtesy of the bad sharpening and shaky hands, the pencil slid. You can only imagine what happened. The jagged edge scratched my eye. It still hurts! I am lucky I did not scratch the cornea, because I’ve done that in the past (not with eyeliner).
The blue looks vibrant with the flash.
It looks muted without the flash.
Five minutes after swatching, I like to rub the eyeliner (dry) to see if it moves. There are plenty that do not move at all. You can see how much this one moved.
On my eyes in natural lighting, the blue is soft and pretty. I am a fan of the color.
Please forgive the splotchy orange skin. I tried to give the Stila Bronzing BB cream another shot by mixing it with something more human colored. It did not go well, so I am officially done trying to make it work.
With the value of the samples added in, these items are worth $49.87. That is pretty good for only spending $11.60. Of course, I have to ditch the fourth Indigo eyeliner, so my personal value is $42.17. Although I am not thrilled about leaving 13 points on the table before closing this account (it’s technically open without a subscription attached), I did not need to keep it open a lot longer to try to get it to 0 either. This ended well.
If you want to subscribe, remember to look at start-up offers and all available offers. When you’re ready to spend your rewards points, remember to add your free two piece sample pack when spending $35 from the Bonus Shop. Tips For Getting the Best Deal lays out all the ways I know to save money at Birchbox. See other Birchbox articles. View my main page for the guide map to the site and deeper deal exploration.
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