Birchbox October Review

The October 2019 Birchbox

As usual I have mixed feelings about this month’s Birchbox.  For those interested it is a $15/month subscription.  If you sign up for more than just month to month then the price lowers even though you still pay month to month. You can find out more about their subscription by clicking HERE.

As usual, there were several boxes offered in the curated boxes this month.  If none of the boxes appeal you can swap the cost of your box for points or you can choose a full sized product.  This month they offered their Curly Hair Kit in place of a full sized product.  It looked interesting, but alas, sold out before it was my turn to choose the box I wanted.

Some months several of the boxes look good and I have difficulty choosing which one I like best.  This was not one of these months. This was one of those months where you were well aware it was October and there was the likelihood that after selecting an autumnal theme for the box, items were quickly selected so that whoever is in charge can get back to planning for the upcoming holiday season.

In all fairness that may not be the case.  Someone could have worked really hard on the selections.  It didn’t feel like it though. There were a lot of repetitions, and since it is a subscription box featuring sample sizes, I tend to treat it more as a discovery venue than anything else, so with a few notable exceptions, repeats aren’t my favorite.

This month I chose the Curated box: After Dark as my option. The first item in this box was the Kiehl’s Rare Earth Deep Pore Daily Cleanser. It is described as:

This foaming face wash gives pores the deepest clean possible (without any dry out) using a clay-based formula, which clings to bacteria and dirt before gently washing them away.

Both samples I’ve tried and liked and both went directly into my travel case for Thanksgiving

I’ve used this before and have to say it is a really good cleanser. It smells a little like damp earth, but in a good way. The scent dissipates quickly.  It rinses off without leaving a residue on the skin and you do not need much product. This makes the deluxe sized sample actually quite useful.  I am not currently using it though, but adding it to my Thanksgiving travel bag so that I don’t have to pack my big bottle of cleanser with the pump.  Somehow the pumps always get bungled when I travel with them so I am happy to leave it behind.

Next up is the amika Supernova Moisture and Shine Cream.  It too I have used before.  It is a leave in conditioner that works really well and doesn’t leave the hair feeling heavy.  It is not as good as my Mistress leave in conditioner, but it is a close second.  And it is travel sized so it went directly into the travel bag.

The Love of Color Liquid Shimmer Shadow was the only makeup product in the box this month.  In all fairness they did have one box that was entirely makeup but I didn’t choose it because the products offered did not appeal to me. I’ve used LOC shadow sticks before but I have not tried the liquid version.  I actually really liked this one. It has a doe foot applicator and I can see using this on the inside of my eye on top of darker shadow to finish out a look.  It dried down relatively fast and stayed put. Here I have put it all over my lid to show the shadow in situ as it were as well as to show the applicator.

Hand swatch of color
The light champagne color on the eye. Definitely use for a shimmery pop rather than as an all over color.

Next we come to the shampoo and conditioner samples included in my box.  Here is where I am uncertain how I feel about it.  On one hand the products provided were both deluxe samples useful for multiple washes so a better feel for how the product works can be attained. In addition, the conditioner is not in a foil packet.  Like the shampoo it is in a bottle which makes it much easier in the shower. On the other hand instead of the shampoo and conditioner being one sample they are two.  The shampoo is one sample and the conditioner counts as a second.  Usually shampoo and conditioner count as one of the five samples not two (and yes I know this is because they made the conditioner a bottle and not just a foil packet.  I am allowed to be both pleased and grumpy about the same thing).  Personally I don’t think it should count as two.

shampoo and conditioner, no foil packets this time at least.

Having said that, the shampoo and conditioner included in this month’s box were the Love Beauty and Planet Volume and Bounty Coconut Water & Mimosa Flower Shampoo and Conditioner.  (the conditioner’s name is exactly the same as the shampoo but with the last word changed. I just didn’t feel the need to type it twice in a row.)

I have seen this product on racks in my local Target and thought it looked interesting. The shampoo created a rich lather and smelled lovely. The conditioner had the same nice scent and didn’t weigh down my hair.  My hair came out soft and bouncy.  It is over all a good product. I really liked it and will more than likely be purchasing it in the future.

It is however a product I would expect to see in a Target beauty box, not a Birchbox. In fact a few months back, I think it was offered in a Target beauty box. I know a $9 shampoo (the full sized retail for this product) is on the more expensive side for the drug store, but typically when Birchbox sends samples for shampoo and conditioner they tend to be for products that are between $18-$25 per bottle. For example last month’s box had an Amika shampoo sample with a retail price of $23.

Target not only sells the Love Beauty and Planet line, but they sell samples of this size in case you want to try it out before you spend $9 on a shampoo. In fact I almost picked it up this weekend when I went to target and decided not to because I remembered I had a sample coming in Birchbox. I think my feelings are mostly due to the fact that I use this as a discovery platform.  I want to see products that I don’t see when I run to Target on my weekend supply run. You know, things I wouldn’t have simply come across in my daily life.

I know it is a small complaint in the grand scheme of things, but it is leaning me towards cancelling when my subscription is up.  I am signed up through November so once I receive the November box I will be deciding whether or not to cancel this subscription. With two duplicate products, two products I can find at Target and one shadow I’ve not tried before, I admit, I am leaning more towards the cancellation side. While they are all good products, my need for sample sizes, especially ones I’ve tried before, isn’t all that great. But who knows, November’s box could knock my socks off.  We’ll see, and then I’ll decide.

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