Birchbox June 2016


Hey Birchbox fans!  Ready for a little ‘Everyday Magic’?  June’s Birchbox is full of products that bring major pay off.

This Month I chose the ‘choose one sample option’ as opposed to the featured box.  More often than not I dig the featured box and stick with that, as a safe bet, but this time; I wanted to snag the Benefit ‘gimme brow’ in its cool, new packaging.  I’m glad I went this route because I lucked in to a really Stellar box this month.  Yay, Birchbox!  I also chose a Birchbox Plus add-on this month, the Kiehl’s Avocado eye cream.  I have loved Kiehl’s products for many years and have been meaning to try the eye cream for some time as I’ve heard excellent things about it!

The Box:

June Birchbox.jpg

Before I get to ‘the goods’  I’ll go ahead and address the Birchbox Shock Report that has many subscribers less than pleased and plenty more canceling their subscriptions:

Birchbox Changes July 11, 2016

*Now I’ll admit, when I first skimmed this email, I understood it to be as it actually is…then after re-reading, it must have been my wishful thinking that allowed me to decide it was meaning ‘only 5 reviews per month’, like in the event there are extra samples and such…but it is precisely how it sounds: any new subscribers will receive bb points for reviewing their first box, the first 5 samples, and following that, will only be rewarded bb points for referrals and purchases.  Current subscribers will get their bb points for any samples reviewed prior to July 11th, and after that only for referrals and purchases.  Points earned after July 11th, will now, also expire in 6 months.  There is the perk of spending your points in any increment, which was clearly not enough to lessen the blow.  I’ll admit this is a huge bummer for me to; I have said more than a few times that the point system has been what makes Birchbox ‘worth it’ to me, without it; I believe they will take a huge hit.  I do feel the boxes have gotten better with the curated versions available each month and maybe, just maybe, judging by how fabulous my box is this month; the better boxes will continue, making the box alone worth the $10.00 monthly cost…I’m not going to break up with Birchbox just yet, we’ve had a longstanding relationship, I’ve loved their customer service and well, I’ve still got $40.00 in bb points to spend. 😉  I figure I’ll stick around for a bit, see what the next couple of months bring.  I’m curious though, who’s bidding the box farewell and who is riding this wave a bit longer?

If you are new to Birchbox, Here is the lowdown:

For 10.00 Per Month you will receive a box of 5 beauty products/samples and an occasional bonus product delivered to your door each month. Join Birchbox

For those interested there is also a Mens Birchbox. Details here

birchbox has many additional perks as well:

-prior to the month you will receive an email that will allow you to choose one of your samples from a selection or to choose a specially curated birchbox with each product detailed. You also may stick with the option of keeping your surprise standard monthly box with a selection of the spotlighted monthly items!

-Birchbox Plus: In addition to your monthly boxes birchbox has added Birchbox Plus, this allows you to add a lifestyle item to your box for a discounted price: [anything from additional (full sized) beauty products to items for your home, entertaining and accessories!] (You will receive an email with these options prior to your months box as well)

-The very best part of Birchbox for me is the Birchbox store and the rewards system that they have. Each month you may review each product for 10 BB points ea. 100 points equals 10.00 to use in the Birchbox shop; essentially every two birchboxes received can get you 10.00 to use in the birchbox shop.  (you also earn 1 bb point for every dollar spent in the shop) There are many other promos that allow you additional bb points and other loyalty discounts throughout each year.  They offer many excellent brands in their shop.

*New Rewards System Info Above

– Birchbox also has the Ace program which you are auto enrolled in after receiving 500 bb points in a calendar year:  learn more about the Ace program.

The Goods:

benefit gimme brow

Benefit Gimme Brow volumizing Fiber Gel:  Deluxe Sample/Travel Size.  Full Size is $24.00

This is a brow filling product with fibers; designed to fill-in sparse brows, giving them more definition and a thicker/fuller appearance.  This ‘Gimme Brow’ is part of Benefit’s new brow line.  I’m not certain if this is the original formula or if the formula was re-done along with the packaging.  In this new line there are several totally new products, but others that appear similar if not the same altogether as their former versions; in updated packaging.  One thing is certain and that is: the new packaging is so cool.  I have tried this product in the old packaging and it didn’t work well for me.  I’m not sure if the formula was different or if I chose a darker shade this time making it show up more as it did work better but still doesn’t cut it enough too be used on its own.  While it does well at giving my sparse brow areas a fuller appearance if you, like myself, have extremely sparse areas at your arch, (or elsewhere) your brows will likely need an additional product to shape and define your brows.  I definitely want to try other products in this new brow line.

Oribe texturizing:dry shampoo spray

Oribe Dry Texturizing Spray: Deluxe Sample/Travel Size.  Full Size is $44.00

I already own and frequently use this product.  It’s a pretty pricey brand so I was thrilled to receive a smaller sized version to travel with.  This handy spray has probably been my biggest hair ‘game changer’ since the launch of moroccanoil.  This spray is part dry shampoo and part hair texturizer.  The dry shampoo aspect of this product soaks up excess oil and odor, without a bunch of white powdery residue while the texturizing properties help to build some volume and give hair a tousled undone look that I love.  Because I use a ton of oil on my hair and straighten it to mash down the cuticle, helping my thick puffy hair to look more tame and smooth; it tends to lose it’s natural volume, especially at the roots.  A few sprays to the roots of my hair helps give them a lift and spraying and scrunching my remaining hair can give back some of the wave & texture I want.  Because this product also has the hold of a flexible hair spray, the style sticks around.  If you’ve yet to try this product, I highly recommend it!

Balance Me Congested Skin Serum

Balance Me Congested Skin Serum:  Deluxe Sample/Travel Size.  Full Size is $30.00

I’ve tried several products from this brand and I’ve liked all of them so far.  I was really excited about this one, which was one of two skincare items I received this month in my Birchbox, that seemed to be perfect for my troubled skin.  This is a milky lightweight serum with a nice, quick absorbing texture, and a scent that I know but can’t seem to peg right now.  (I really like it though.)  I really love how this product feels going on, it’s not drying at all yet seems to calm areas of concern.  The name alone, congested skin serum, it just sounds so; “that’s exactly what I need” I’ll need to put in a bit more time with this product b/c my skin is so finicky, but I really think it’s going to be a good fit for me.  When you have skin like mine, once perfect and blemish free your entire life and then suddenly bam, you wake up to weird, unlike any other acne, adult acne; traditional acne treatments generally will not work for you.  I’ve found some routines that have gotten it mostly under control, but it’s a tough road!  Who else has dealt with this madness?  What finally worked for you?

Kiehl's rare earth deep pore cleanser

Kiehls Rare Earth Deep Pore Cleanser:  Deluxe Sample/Travel size.  Full size is $22.50

This cleanser is a lightweight, white clay based version with a slight exfoliating texture. I like that my skin feels & looks clean & detoxified when using this product; but, & maybe it’s just me, but I feel like any time I try to use a deep cleansing detox formula on my skin, clay, charcoal, what have you, I end up breaking out days later.  I assume all of my newly opened pores are now susceptible to all of the things that irritate my skin and cause breakouts.  I guess I feel as though, despite always thinking my skin type needs these products..b/c brands are always telling me I do; my skin does better with the least amount of deep cleansing and very basic gentle cleansing…so there’s that. 😉

This is the second skincare item I was really excited for: another good sized product, a fit for my skin concerns and it’s a Kiehl’s product, a brand I really like.

pbj smoothie stick

The Beauty Crop PB&J Smoothie Stick:  Product is Full Size $14.95

This is one of the items from the featured box I was a bit bummed to be missing out on, so I was happy to find it was going to be in my box anyway.  I received a highlighting cream from this fun little brand, some time ago, that I love.  I assume this is the ‘guave nice day’ shade, which is kind of a light pink/mauve..almost orchid like on my lips the texture is nice and smooth and I really like the finish.  Though I expected it to smell like PB&J..or at least jelly it’s only a bit fruity and almost a tiny bit floral, in a pleasant way.

Birchbox Plus Add-On:

creamy eye treatment with Avocado by Kiehl's

Kiehls Creamy Avocado Eye Treatment: 0.5 oz $29.00

As I’ve already stated; I really like Kiehl’s.  I have heard and read so many fabulous things about this eye cream and have been meaning to pick some up.  When I saw it available as an add-on this month, I did not hesitate to add it to my cart!  As far as instantly moisturizing the under eye area goes, this stuff is really impressive.  It’s definitely different then my other eye creams; the texture is like a creamier salve/balm hybrid.  Because of its consistency it doesn’t seem to mix with water well, as in, you will notice if your under eye area is damp or wet when you smooth it on.  As ultra rich as it is, you can really dab a lot of it on and it still absorbs really quickly.  I think this will be an eye cream I stick with.

I love Birchbox and I am sad to hear of the changes taking place and I worry for the future of Birchbox and if this will be its demise.  This is the first month in some time I’ve skipped the featured box and picked the regular box.  I did this b/c I wanted to try the Benefit brow product in its cool new packaging, so I opted for the ‘chose one sample’ choice instead.  I must say; I’m so glad I did because this month’s box was great, one of the best in a long time.  I received excellent skincare products that fit my skin type, the beauty crop smoothie stick I’d wanted from the curated box, benefit, Oribe…fabulous!  Every product was a full sized or larger deluxe sample, easily worth much more than the $10.00 paid.  I’m also thrilled at the addition of Kiehl’s to Birchbox and have my fingers crossed that they will soon add Kiehl’s original musk to their lineup.


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-Kelli xoxo


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  1. Rezzo

    Oh man, that stinks about the points! I do like their products too… I wish I lived near their store so I could just make a box whenever I feel like! (is that how it works? ¯\_(ツ)_/¯)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. kelifornia79

      Right?! I do not live near one either…but I am pretty certain it does work that way!


  2. Daniela Soriano

    Everything looks great I’ve yet to try birchbox!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. kelifornia79

      I received a great selection of products this month!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Daniela Soriano

        Yeah that’s what it seems!! 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Andi

    Great box! I also got the Gimme Brow and lip pencil! When I first heard the news about the points I was confused, and if you go onto their website’s FAQs about points, they’re even more vague and sound like they’re still going to let you earn points for reviews. I feel like if they are stopping points from reviewing samples, it is going to hurt them because fewer people will review or buy from them.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. kelifornia79

      I thought so too! I know, what I read seemed vague as well, it wasn’t until reading a couple explanations from 2 of the big, well known subscription box bloggers that I figured they likely knew the real ‘happenings’ more so than most of us. Time will tell! I for one, can say for certain..while I do not know my future with Birchbox holds, I certainly will not waste my time reviewing my products [on their site] without the point incentive!

      Liked by 2 people

  4. AlifyaLifestyle

    These look exciting!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. kelifornia79

      Right?! 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  5. mylifeasishan

    Very nice

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Jenna

    I’m definitely one of the ones who has left, but I did leave before this announcement. For me, I have such a huge stash of products that I need to get through right now, so I had to cut down on my boxes anyway, and Birchbox simply didn’t make the cut as the boxes I get from them are typically of lower personal value to me. Even with the points, I don’t know that I’d have paid $5 for the boxes I was getting. It’s disappointing because I’d say from November and earlier they were definitely my preferred sub, with the Estee Lauder box being one of my all time favorites.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. kelifornia79

      That was a great box! I feel as though they are getting better and I do utilize birchbox plus. I once, despite having a lot of bb points had trouble finding things from their store that I wanted to purchase even after a huge chunk of cash of, freebies & free shipping. Over the past year, I feel their ‘special boxes and kits had gotten so much better, and with extra discounts and points of; I got some great deals and gifts for others. They have added more from brands I love for purchase in their store as well. I agree with you on the stash, and finding areas to cut back on such…I should as well, I give a lot away, but have entirely too much. I find it hard to let go! :/

      Liked by 1 person

  7. ayrgalaxy

    They have seemed to step up their game with their box contents, I actually had to cancel my subscription back in January to save up. But that is a bummer about the points. I really liked their point system, and I agree that, that alone, separated Birchbox from the rest.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. kelifornia79

      Yea, definitely. I’m anxious to see what the future brings for Birchbox…I do definitely feel the boxes have gotten better, after a long slump of mediocrity where the point system was all that was carrying them…This box, for me was really great though…which reminds me; I need to check the July featured box out now! 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  8. danniijane

    I’m super excited about Benefit’s new brow products☺x

    Liked by 1 person

    1. kelifornia79

      I know! Me too! I would kill for one of those cool PR boxes I’ve seen them send. They are so cool.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. danniijane

        I know they actually look amazing x

        Liked by 1 person

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