Birchbox January 2016 Review

To be honest, I contemplated even posting this review after learning that Birchbox is suspending its Canadian services.  I mean, I understand why they are doing it, given the poor Canadian exchange rate right now.  We were only paying $5 more per box than our American neighbours, yet our dollar is worth over 25% less at the moment.  I kind of wish they just raised the prices as opposed to completely cutting it out, though.  At least we would have the option to continue on if we so desired! Anyway, business is business and it's all about the money, so it is what it is.  The most disappointing thing, however, was finding out through the media quite a while before we heard any official word from Birchbox themselves. I finally received an e-mail from them last week, which stated the following:

Hi Janine,
We are sad to let you know that we have made the difficult decision to put our Canada operations on hold. We love our Canadian customers, but with the current exchange rate and high shipping costs, we can't deliver the Birchbox experience at a price that is fair to you. We will do what we can to make that a possibility; until then, please know that we sincerely appreciate your support and enthusiasm for Birchbox, and we plan to take good care of our Canadian subscribers as we wind down in this market.  

  • For all subscribers, February 2016 will be your last Birchbox shipment.
  • You will no longer be billed after February.
  • The Birchbox Shop will be open through April 30, 2016, and you have until that date to spend all of your Birchbox Points. 
Please don't hesitate to reach out with questions or feedback. We are available at info@birchbox.ca.
Thank you again for all of your support, and we hope to see you again in the future.
Sincerely,
Katia Beauchamp
Co-Founder and CEO

So while I am sad to see it go (especially because I only signed up in December), I figured I would at least review my last two boxes.  In the meantime, I requested to sign up for Toxbox and I also signed up for the quarterly Luxe Box. I generally only subscribe to subscription boxes for a few months at a time before I become overwhelmed with samples anyway.

Anyway, on to the review.

Birchbox January 2016 Review

The products arrived in an adorable pink, purple and orange box which had "2016, The Year Of ___" written across the top.  Inside were stickers which you could use to fill in the blank.  I chose "creativity" for myself!  Inside the box was five products wrapped in pink tissue paper.  I received the following:

Juara Candlenut Body Creme Traditional healers of Indonesia weren’t messing around when they pinpointed candlenut oil as a cure for severely dry skin. The centuries-old balm is rich in fatty acids, which makes it a great natural hydrator and all-around skin-smoother. It's velvety formula, inspired by venerable Balinese recipes, penetrates deep into dry, rough skin for instant, nongreasy softness that lasts and lasts. Approximate sample value: $2.20.

Review: This is a teeny sample but if the price of the full-size creme wasn't so expensive, I would consider purchasing it.  It's a thick and moisturizing cream but the best part is the scent!  It has a nutty, fruity, tropical scent that reminds me of a tanning lotion that I used to use when I tanned in the tanning salon (no worries, I learned that lesson!). 

Biorepublic Skincare Cucumber Breeze Soothing Fiber Mask (set of 3) | Save your veggies for your salad – cucumber slices are getting a serious upgrade. These soothing sheet masks bring the spa to us via natural cucumber extract, plumping plant collagen, and healing vitamin E. The powerful antioxidants and cooling powers of cucumber tighten pores, reduce the appearance of lines, and calm our stressed-out complexions, leaving us with smooth, happy skin. Who knew one little veggie could do all that? Approximate sample value: $7.

Review: I really enjoyed this mask! It smelled fresh (like cucumbers, duh) and left my skin soft and glowing. My only issue with this product is that it was so saturated with liquid that I accidentally ripped it while trying to open it up.

TONYMOLY Delight Tony Tint Though a stain that stubbornly spends the day on your winter white job interview ensemble is not a good look, a stain that stays put on your lips is a completely different story. This lightweight, super pigmented formula goes on your lips with a fruity smelling sheen, and dries quickly for a sheer, matte finish that won’t budge all day. It’s easy to create deeper color by adding layers of this non-drip formula, which moisturizes lips with rosehip and aragan oils. Plus, this long-lasting tint contains jojoba seed oil, which promotes cellular regeneration and elasticity for younger looking lips. Approximate sample value: $2.

Review: At first I wasn't too sure about this product. It has a watery texture that reminds me of fake blood for some reason. It's really cool and slippery initially, but it does dry really quickly which makes it difficult to achieve a non-patchy application. It's easy to apply a second layer once the first is dry, though. Once it's on your lips, it lasts for a few hours! I actually love applying this now and knowing I don't have to worry about reapplication for a few hours. It also doesn't feel uncomfortable or dry on the lips. 

Too Cool For School Dinoplatz Highlighter | There’s a reason contouring is the newest makeup craze—it plays up bone structure like nobody’s business. And the trick to getting that flawless dewy look is all in the highlighter. Formulated with tiny gleaming flecks, this illuminating cream puts the spotlight on your best features (think: cheek and brow bones) so you always look picture-perfect—no retouching needed. Approximate sample value: $6.30.

Review:  This product has great reviews on Sephora but I wasn't impressed. I have very fair skin and this seemed to disappear when swatched! I haven't actually tried it on my face yet, so perhaps my opinion will change then but I wasn't thrilled with the swatch.

Amika Bombshell Blowout Spray As the saying goes, a jack of all trades is typically a master of none. Not so for amika™’s Bombshell Blowout spray, which successfully works on both damp and dry hair to give you the perfect bombshell blowout. The lightweight spray performs a variety of functions, protecting, nourishing, smoothing, and volumizing hair. We apply it to damp strands before blow-drying to provide heat protection, texture, and lift. It also serves as a light hold mist for dry hair and can facilitate restyling. In keeping with its multipurpose personality, it works on all hair types, including color-treated hair. Approximate sample value: $3.30.

Review: I had really high hopes for this product as I've heard amazing things about their dry shampoo, not to mention that the packaging is adorable! Sadly, it just doesn't work for my hair. It smells lovely and I will try it again but so far, it seems to be weighing down my fine hair and making it oily. I have another one of these coming in my next box as I chose the curated Valentine's Day box and I will be passing it along to someone else.

Overall, I did enjoy this box as I liked the lotion, the mask and the lip stain.  The highlighter and blowout spray didn't work for me but seem to have a lot of positive reviews from others.  I liked the variety of products in this box, much improved over my December box which had three hair products. The total approximate value of this box is $20.80 CAN, which is approximately $6 more than what I paid.

Obviously it would be pointless for Canadians to sign up but if anyone from the US/UK would like to join Birchbox, I'd love if you used my referral link.

Description of products taken from the Birchbox website.  For calculation of value, prices based on current Canadian price on Birchbox website. Prices may vary on other websites.

6 comments

  1. I never heard of ToxBox or Luxe Box before! I must look into these! I love subscription services! :P

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    1. They are owned by the same company now (they used to be separate) so there might be a lot of duplicates between the boxes. I guess we'll find out!

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  2. I've heard a lot about Birchbox, but wondered what it was all about. Great review! Sorry that they're suspending the service to Canada.

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    1. I recommend checking it out if you aren't in Canada and you love beauty products!

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  3. I had an Ipsy subscription last year but when the dollar went to crap I had to cancel it- I refuse to pay double what anyone else has to pay!

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    1. I subscribed to Ipsy in the past before the dollar was so bad and I will still paying like $17/month! That's why I didn't bother to resubscribe this time around - I'd hate to know what it would cost now with the poor exchange rate.

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