Birchbox January 2018 Subscription Box Review with Sample Choice Real Chemistry Luminous 3-Minute Peel
Birchbox gives at least 5 deluxe beauty samples each month for $10. Some boxes have more than 5, but anything over 5 is usually a foil. Boxes get customized to your beauty profile, but you cannot opt out of any type of sample. All boxes are a mixture of haircare, makeup, and skincare. There are times when body care items pop up, and you can select an option to receive no more than 6 fragrance vials a year. You could get a box with 2 haircare items, 2 makeup items, and 1 skincare item or any similar variety, but you will not see more than 2 items from any category unless the third is a foil. If you are looking for a box that is mostly makeup or mostly skincare, this is not it. Those looking for a well-rounded sample box may enjoy this subscription.
The $10 charge processes immediately for new subscribers and on the 1st in succeeding months. Boxes usually ship from the 8th through the 12th. At the end of every month (actual date varies), Birchbox will email an option to select a sample (from a choice of 3-5 items), or the featured box where you know all samples up front. If you want a sample choice and the featured box, read this article. Subscribers can review 5 samples for 10 points each once during the lifetime of the account. Those who pay subscriptions up front get points to use toward shop purchases. Anyone with a month-to-month plan does not get points for the subscription, but the amount spent will go toward the $300 annual minimum to achieve Aces status.
I have not shared a box since November 2016, but I have been a Birchbox subscriber non-stop since February 2014. After careful consideration, I’ve decided not to write reviews on past boxes. Scroll past this section if you only want to see what I received in the January 2018 box. Birchbox does not usually send samples it sent you in the past with three exceptions. The amika Blowout Spray is the only sample that repeated without hitting one of the 3 exceptions. If you subscribe under a different email address, it is like you are starting over as a new person. When you make a choice in sample selection, you can make it repeat as often as you want. Items in curated boxes never count as samples that cannot repeat. As I plan on sharing my monthly box going forward, this section will not exist in future articles.
December 2016: Oribe Grandiose Hair Plumping Mousse, Real Chemistry Luminous 3-Minute Peel, ARDENCY INN MODSTER Smooth Ride Supercharged Eyeliner, Hey Honey Walk the Walk Propolis Foot Cream, and Chella Eyebrow Defining Gel.
January 2017: Sunday Riley Good Genes All-in-One Lactic Acid Treatment, Pixi by Petra Glow Tonic To-Go, Eyeko Skinny Liquid Eyeliner, amika Brooklyn Bombshell Blowout Spray, and Klorane Dry Shampoo with Oat Milk.
February 2017: Living proof.® Restore Conditioner, Dr. Lipp Miracle Balm, The Beauty Crop PBJ Smoothie Stick, CLEAN Reserve Amber Saffron Eau de Parfum, Living proof.® Restore Perfecting Spray, Balance Me Congested Skin Serum, and Living proof.® Restore Shampoo.
March 2017: Dr. Jart+ Dermaclear™ Micro Water, PARLOR® by Jeff Chastain Touchable Curl Cream, Kiehl’s Clearly Corrective™ Dark Spot Solution, evo water killer dry shampoo, and ARROW ENHANCE Waterproof Eyeliner + Brightener.
April 2017: The Beauty Crop GRLPWR Liquid Lipstick, MALIN+GOETZ grapefruit face cleanser, Davines LOVE Smoothing Conditioner, Davines LOVE Smoothing Shampoo, Dr. Jart+ Cicapair™ Tiger Grass Cream, and Number 4™ Jour d’automne Sugar Texturizing Spray.
May 2017: OUAI Wave Spray, M·A·C Cosmetics Strobe Cream, Whish Firming Body Cream, Marcelle Hydra-C 24H Energizing Hydrating Gel, and COOLA® Face SPF 30 Rōsilliance® BB+ Cream.
June 2017: amika Bust Your Brass Cool Blonde Shampoo, amika Bust Your Brass Cool Blonde Conditioner, Oribe Dry Texturizing Spray, Manna Kadar Cosmetics Eye Candy Priming Shadow Stick, COOLA® SPF 30 Organic Makeup Setting Spray, and The Beauty Crop Fabulous Flocking Lashes Waterproof Mascara.
July 2017: Kiehl’s Rare Earth Deep Pore Daily Cleanser, Juliette Has a Gun Anyway Eau de Parfum, Oribe Matte Waves Texture Lotion, M·A·C Cosmetics Prep + Prime Skin, and Beautaniq Beauty Blush Serum.
August 2017: Living proof.® Restore Mask Treatment, Pūrlisse blue lotus seed mud mask + exfoliant, Dr. Jart+ Water Fuse™ Ultimate Hydro Gel, amika Brooklyn Bombshell Blowout Spray, and Stila Cosmetics Stay All Day® Liquid Lipstick.
September 2017: Evologie® Intensive Blemish Serum, Avène Cleanance MAT Mattifying Toner, Briogeo Rosarco Milk™ Reparative Leave-In Conditioning Spray, Wilma Schumann Skin Care Mouth & Lips Age-Defying Masque, and Pixi by Petra LipLift Max.
October 2017: [ comfort zone ] Hydramemory Cream Gel, OUAI Rose Hair & Body Oil, Lipstick Queen Lip Liner, Pūrlisse Green Tea + Vitamin C Brightening Sheet Mask, and The Beauty Crop Glow Milk Liquid Highlighter.
November 2017: Klorane Conditioner with Mango Butter, English Laundry Oxford Bleu Femme Eau de Parfum, too cool for school All-in-One Egg Mellow Cream 5-in-1 Firming Moisturizer, LAQA & Co. B’Lighter Blush + Highlighter Peacher’s Daughter, Briogeo Rosarco™ Blow Dry Perfection & Heat Protectant Crème, and Klorane Shampoo with Mango Butter.
December 2017: M·A·C Cosmetics False Lashes Mascara, Beauty Protector Protect & Volume, Sunday Riley C.E.O. Rapid Flash Brightening Serum, Whish Botanical Primer, and Sand & Sky Brilliant Skin™ Purifying Pink Clay Mask.
Without further adieu, let’s discuss the box you’re here for.
Birchbox makes a custom box design for each month.
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.
The back of the card usually goes over the box theme, which is Find Your Happy. That is also the name of the featured box.
Sample selection this month was difficult. I really would have been happy with any of the items or the featured box so I selected the item I absolutely love and purchased the featured box separately. The sample choice was between three products: VERB Hydrating Mask, Real Chemistry Luminous 3-Minute Peel, and ARROW BOOST Color Enhancing Lip Balm Berry Busy. The featured box, Find Your Happy, includes: Laura Geller New York Fortifying Lashes Eyelash Primer, Smashbox Cosmetics Photo Finish Radiance Primer, Clark’s Botanicals Age Defying Radiance Cream, Oribe Gold Lust Repair & Restore Shampoo, and Oribe Gold Lust Repair & Restore Conditioner.
I was actually lucky enough to get all three of the sample choices in one box, but the Real Chemistry Luminous 3-Minute Peel was my choice. That is wonderful on months like this and not so great on months where you could pass on all three.
The 0.67oz VERB Hydrating Mask is worth $1.58. I love trying new hair masks, and this is one I have not tried yet.
The 0.17oz Real Chemistry Luminous 3-Minute Peel is worth $4.80. This peel is my favorite peel so far (purchased some new ones I have not tried yet). I love how soft it leaves my face and is absolutely a FabuFind.
The 0.11oz The Beauty Crop Espresso Yourself Eyeshadow Palette Love U So Latte from the Espresso Yourself palette is worth $5.22. I really like the cheesy name on the trio and the large palette. This sample has brown shades with a champagne color plucked out of a neutral palette.
The shimmer shade swatched nicely, the satin shade was okay, and the matte shade was unimpressive. I will try them and edit in a picture and review when I can.
The full-size 0.14oz ARROW BOOST Color Enhancing Lip Balm Berry Busy retails for $14. This is a Birchbox brand, which explains why it is full-size. It is unusual to get full-sized brands that are not Birchbox owned, even though I just got one from Laura Geller in the featured box this month. This formula looks, feels, and wears like standard chapstick. I like chapstick, because it feels nice while it is on. Like chapstick, it wears off rather quickly. There just are not any long-term moisturizing effects, so there is no way I’d recommend this for full-price. Getting it in a kit or subscription box is nice though.
This is a color-changing lip balm activated by the ph in the skin. While the swatch looks very pink on me, it is much more purple with a pink tint on my lips. It looks very similar to the shade that is on the side of the tube. Yes, I used this before I took the picture. In other words, this is vibrant. There is no subtly to this shade. The one I sampled two years ago is a lot more subtle so do not select this shade if that is what you want. When I start wearing makeup again, I will add a picture. My skin is a mess so I’d rather not upload a makeup free photo. Both of the shades I’ve tested so far have a mint scent so I assume they are all minty.
The 0.17oz Bioderma® Sébium Pore Refiner is worth $3.32. My pores have actually been large lately, which is unusual with my dry skin. It is just going through an odd phase. This is a moisturizer or a primer. My skin is pretty dry so I will try it as a primer.
This box has a $28.92 value. That brings the value of the average box for 2018 to $28.92 (of course that is the average as this is the only box so far). My personal value is also $28.92, because I will use everything in this box. Everything but the peel is new to me, and I never mind getting duplicates of that. That is an item I will always select when given a choice. While I love trying new things, I enjoy getting duplicates of products I already know and love. I like that there was a full-sized item in this one. I am happy with the value given what I paid so I think this box was worth it.
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. 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 (13 and 8) 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 13-year-old to apply it.
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