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Birchbox October 2016 Revive and Restore Curated Box Subscription Review- The Big 50!

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This is officially my 50th Birchbox. That includes boxes I’ve received across three accounts and replacements I’ve received for ones that were lost or damaged, like last month when Birchbox sent me a new box to replace ONE broken item. My 50th box got a little banged up along the way, but most of the 50 boxes arrived in perfect condition. Of all 50, I cannot think of any I’ve ever hated. I do think my first one was my least favorite (which I cover in this overview). April 2015 was probably still my favorite, because September 2016 disappointed slightly. October 2015 was my highest valued box at a whopping $68.32. May 2015 was the lowest valued box (still over the $10 I paid, but barely). December 2015 was the sweetest box. January 2016 was the most themed. April 2015 (a different one that the one linked above) had the prettiest box, but the one from April 2016 was similar and almost as pretty. It’s really been a great ride when I stop and look at the boxes, and I never imagined I’d get 50 boxes in when I subscribed.

Birchbox gives at least 5 beauty samples each month for $10, which is half the cost of the Men’s Box. Boxes get customized to your beauty profile to a degree, but you cannot opt out of any type of sample. There is an option to select a sample (from a choice of 3-5 items) or the featured box where you know all 5-7 samples up front. Subscribers can review 5 samples for 10 points each once during the lifetime of the account. Unless you pay a year up front, you do not get any points for the cost of your subscription. That means there is no rewards program whatsoever for month-to-month plans after five reviews. With no rewards, the boxes have to speak for themselves in value. The samples will always go over $10 in value, but will the value you get from them equal $10!


Birchbox makes a custom box design for each month, and I really like this one. It’s been a long time since I have not liked one. This geometric print almost looks like someone is staring back at me.


The first thing you usually 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. This product card is smeared with lipstick. I made no attempt to clean it, because I do not bother saving these.


The back of the card usually goes over the box theme, which is Take a breather and slow. way. down. I really hate writing like this, but I know it is popular on social media these days. Even in informal writing, I like when things flow. This is too choppy.


This month, the sample choice was between three skincare products: dr. brandt microdermabrasion skin exfoliant, Tata Harper Skin Resurfacing Mask, or Juice Beauty Cleansing Milk. There was also a featured box, Revive and Restore, includes: MAKE Silk Cream Lipstick, GlamGlow® PowerMud™ Dualcleanse Treatment, Avène Hydrance Optimale Hydrating Cream RICHE, Oribe Gold Lust Dry Shampoo, and This Works Deep Sleep Pillow Spray. It was actually one of the hardest decisions yet, because I already love the dr. brandt, wanted to try the Tata Harper again, and love every Juice Beauty product I’ve tried so far. I ultimately had to go with the featured box, because I am oddly obsessed with Oribe.


Everything arrived coated in lipstick, but I did my best to clean it all up. I like saving the boxes (they’re super cute), but an odd smell emits when I wipe them down. Every single time I wipe a birchbox down with water, I think of the SNL skit with Alec Baldwin, Schweddy Balls. If you’ve never seen that skit, you’re welcome!


This MAKE Silk Cream Lipstick in Magnolia is one of the cutest lipsticks I’ve ever seen. It is barely bigger and wider than a prenatal vitamin, so I joked about taking it with my vitamins. My husband did not like the joke, so I thought I’d try a different audience. Feel free to let me know if it is still unfunny. Mine obviously arrived broken. It looks like an animal took a bite of it. That was not a joke. It really does. The lid is really sturdy, so I am not even sure how this came off in shipping unless it was not closed properly. There is a push up button on the side that reminds me of a pen to move the lipstick up, but it does not even remotely budge when the lid is on.

There is no size listed on this adorable lipstick, but I am going to guess it is 0.03oz when it’s full. Mine came in about half-size, and I’ve decided not to ask Birchbox for a replacement. The lipgloss in my last box arrived in a similar way and as I mentioned above, Birchbox replaced the box for that one damaged sample. I almost feel like that more than makes up for this. Plus, I really do not want to write in asking for replacements two months in a row. It could be worse, because a lot of people received broken Manna Kadar items in August, but mine thankfully arrived intact. And, there is probably still more in this cute little sample than I will ever use. Even though it is my decision not to contact Birchbox for a replacement, I am assigning this with the value I received, so 0.015oz. My sample is worth $3.13. Other reviewers will likely list this with a higher value. No one knows the size, so I’d expect to see a lot of variation anyway.


Magnolia is a bright magenta. Make describes this as a medium violet with pink undertones. I love all lip colors, but magenta is one of my favorites. This is a great shade for me, and I am really impressed with the swatch. Of course, I will edit in a picture and review once I wear this.

For years, the travel size of GlamGlow products were cheaper per ounce than the full-size at $19 for 0.5oz. It looks like the price finally makes it more expensive per ounce than the full-size (as most brands are). Even though this 0.5oz GlamGlow® PowerMud™ Dualcleanse Treatment is in a sample container, it retails in this size for $22. I always use the smallest size to calculate value, because it is the cheapest buy-in. I do like this mask. This is not my favorite or least favorite from the line, but it has been a while since I used it. I will review it more thoroughly after I use it again.

The 0.5oz Avène Hydrance Optimale Hydrating Cream RICHE is worth $11.85. I have really dry skin, so I love trying moisturizers that promise hydration.

The 0.9oz Oribe Gold Lust Dry Shampoo is worth $6.60. I love dry shampoo, and my hair needs it to skip even a day of washing. My goal is to sample as many Oribe things as I can. They all smell incredible, and are too expensive for me to consider purchasing. It is nice to use something luxurious while the sample lasts though.

The 0.17oz This Works Deep Sleep Pillow Spray is worth $1.86. Although I hate when samples fall below the $2 threshold (since Birchbox eliminated points for reviews, I pay $2 for sample in a 5 sample box), I really wanted to try this. I’ve never used anything like it, but I’ve heard of products that work this way. It uses essential oils to make one fall asleep faster and enjoy deeper sleep (or so it claims). This smells almost like a meadow, and the scent is very strong at first. If you can imagine rolling in the grass with flowers, you can imagine the scent.

After laying on my pillow for less than five minutes, I felt extremely tired. Why on earth did I spray this before starting this article? Now, I just want to sleep instead of writing this. After trying this more times, I can assure you that it helps induce sleep. Whenever I use this, sleep usually happens soon after. This did not help me sleep better, but in fairness to the product, I get up multiple times in the middle of the night to pee. It is not like this product can magically cure incontinence. People without a medical condition that keeps them from getting deep sleep can offer better reviews for this type of product. I did wake up smelling this way, so I know it transferred from my pillow to my body.

This box has a $45.44 value. My personal value is also $45.44, because I will use everything in this box. Everything but the GlamGlow is new to me, and I never mind getting duplicates of those samples. That is an item I can always use. Even though I do not like samples that fall under $2 in value, the other items more than made up for the one that came short. If Birchbox keeps sending me boxes like this, I will probably stay subscribed even with the change to the points program. Through Birchbox, I’ve discovered some incredible items I never would have. The box of samples is a great draw if you love trying new things.

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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 ShopTips For Getting the Best Deal lays out all the ways I know to save money at Birchbox. Product reviews do not always make it into the haul article, but you can always type the product into the search bar to see if I’ve mentioned it or reviewed it elsewhere. See other Birchbox Subscription articles. View my main page for the guide map to the site and deeper deal exploration.

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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.

2 thoughts on “Birchbox October 2016 Revive and Restore Curated Box Subscription Review- The Big 50! Leave a comment

  1. I’ve posted the link for the newest box on the Birchbox Page. It looks amazing. Unless you need it right away, I’d suggest waiting until around Black Friday. They’ve done 30% off in the past. Although it is possible they will not get to 30% off this year (as they’ve reduced the discount amounts in 2016), I think there will still be better offers than the 15% off we have now.

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