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Birchbox December 2015 Winter Essentials Review

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I started with Birchbox in February of 2014. Though all boxes have not completely rocked my world, I have not received any I’ve hated. Most were good, some were great, and only a few brought feelings of indifference. It is my favorite subscription and no other subscription I am aware of has its wonderful rewards program. In April of 2015, I added two subscriptions (month specific and general) to send gift subs to all the women in my immediate family. I completed ordering subs in June of 2015, so I could have canceled in July. Canceling the extra boxes proved hard.

Every time I tried to cancel, I’d get wrangled back in by an awesome preview. I was finally able to cancel my third box after September. With the help of a lovely customer agent transferring all the points from second and third account to my main account, I was finally comfortable closing my second box. I did not know when I reviewed it that it would be the last one, so I never gave it a proper send off. Although I cannot promise I will not open my second box again, I am down to one box for the first time since March 2015.

Getting an editor box and a regular box from the month is something I will miss. The editor box design is different and knowing all the products removes all surprise, which is something I love. When the editor box looks amazing, I cannot resist though. This box marks my 23rd official box on this main account. It is actually my 24th though, because Birchbox replaced a lost one. Both the lost one and replacement both arrived. On my second account, I received 9 boxes. Eight were monthly subs and one was a lost Birchbox that popped up after a replacement was mailed. My third account received 6 boxes. That makes this my 39th Birchbox. When I say I’ve never hated a box, I mean I’ve never hated any of my 39 boxes (enough for statical significance).

Birchbox gives at least five beauty samples each month for $10. For every review I give, I get 10 points, which is equal to $1 in the shop. A six sample box like this one got me $6 back. I also shared my box on Facebook for an extra 10 points. That gave me a total of $7 back to redeem toward future purchases. You can read my detailed overview of the program for more information. Each month, you get a sample choice or you can select the guest editor box. For this box, I selected featured box, Winter Essentials.

I do like the box design this month. It’s not my favorite but everything beats the boring brown ones.

Birchbox December 2015

The first thing you see when you open a Birchbox is a product card. It lists the items in the box and the price to purchase the full-size. Unless you choose to opt out for some reason, you will always get a sample choice. You can either select one item from a choice of 4-5 items or the guest editor box where you know all five in advance.

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The back of the card usually goes over the box theme.

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This month, the sample choice was between three eyeshadow palettes from the Coastal Scents StyleEYES Palette. The palette options are: FormalEYES which includes rose gold and cream eyeshadows, SocialEYES which includes gray and black eyeshadows, and GlamourEYES which includes green and gold eyeshadows. There was a single option for anyone who does not want eyeshadow, Serge Normant Dream Big Instant Volumizing Spray. A featured box, The Winter Essentials, was also available. By selecting the featured box, you know all items inside in advance. It includes: Jane Iredale Just Kissed Lip and Cheek Stain in Forever Peach, Coastal Scents StyleEYES Palette in GlamourEYES (green and gold), eSalon Perfect Ending, derma e® Microdermabrasion Scrub, Juara Coconut Illipe Hand and Nail Balm, and a Chuao Chocolatier Cinnamon Cereal Smooch.

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This box included a card with a unique code for $10 off a $35 purchase.

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The 0.023oz Coastal Scents® styleEYES Palette in GlamourEYES has beautiful green and gold shadows. This is the palette I would have selected if given a choice, because I love that the colors are festive for the season. I also really love green and gold shadows. Coastal Scents eyeshadows have been hit or miss for me. Although I disliked Revealed 2, I really liked Reveal3d. It is worth a whopping $0.62. That just goes to show how cheap Coastal Scents shadows are.

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On swatches alone, I am loving these shades. They are pigmented and lovely.

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I wore these on Christmas Eve, because the green and gold just seemed so festive. The lovely yellowish shade created by blending the two together along the crease was beautiful. After getting home from a late party and wrapping gifts all night, I was so exhausted I fell asleep without removing my makeup (something I do not do often).

Coastal Scents StyleEyes 2

When I woke up after sleeping in them, the colors were still bright with light creasing. These shadows are impressive.

Coastal Scents StyleEyes

The 0.39oz Chuao Chocolatier Cinnamon Cereal Smooch was a lovely bonus. Not only did it give me 10 bonus review points, but it was delicious. I happily consumed it while I was going through my box. It was sweet without being too rich and the cinnamon flavor was not overdone. It is worth $1.24.

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The 0.27oz JUARA Coconut Illipe Hand & Nail Balm is worth $2.16. I love sampling hand creams, because I use them more than any other beauty product. Every time I wash my hands, I apply a hand cream or thick body lotion. If I skip one application, my hands get overly dry. This would have been nicer in a larger size, but I will still happily use it.

The 0.5oz derma e® Microdermabrasion Scrub is worth $8.13. This has a lot of 5-star reviews at If it lives up to the hype, it seems like a great scrub.

The Jane Iredale Just Kissed Lip and Cheek Stain in Forever Peach does not list a size. It is really tiny, so I am guessing it is 0.03oz. If my guess is correct, this sample is worth $7.50. I like the light peach color. This is great for a very natural look.

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The swatch shows that is is sheer compared to how it looks in the bullet.

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Unlike typical a typical lip stain, it actually applies a little glossy. It does not feel like gloss at all but rather closer to a lip balm. I found its pink sister equally moisturizing. Considering how sheer the bullet is, I expected this to impart almost no color and was pleasantly surprised with the pigmentation. It is not bright and it takes a couple of minutes for the stain to take effect, but it looks darker on lips than it does in the swatch or the bullet. The lip stain lasted about 3-4 hours, and I like the way it wears. Dry patches on my lips were not highlighted when first applied, and this does not accentuate lip lines. As the color fades, it will highlight dry patches a little.

Jane Iredale

I also applied it to my lips, and love the subtle peach coloring. It wears more pink on my cheeks than it does on my lips. The formula lasts about 3-4 hours on my cheeks as well, which is longer than most powder blushes last on me.

The 1oz eSalon Perfect Ending Leave In Conditioner is worth $3. I use a leave in conditioner every time I wash my hair, so I will gladly try this.

The box has a $22.65 value. My personal value is also $22.65, because I will try everything. That is actually a low value for a featured box. I usually recommend getting the featured box if you’re looking for a great value, but I think there is a good chance many regular boxes beat the value this month. Then again, most boxes include the $0.62 palette meaning this is probably a low month overall.

Birchbox Women

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. See other Birchbox Subscription articles. View my main page for the guide map to the site and deeper deal exploration.

Disclosure: Affiliate links

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I'm Kimberly. Shopping is always more fun when I've found the best deal available, so I am always on the hunt. My father instilled that in me, and I love that I carry a piece of him. Sometimes, my husband and sons (12 and 7) let me shop for them, too. They do not use as many beauty products as I do. We can all benefit from nice products, even though their routine ends with moisturizer. That is when I can convince my 12-year-old to apply it.

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