Birchbox Advent Calendar Unboxing

This will be an interesting post. It is sort of an advent calendar review, but sort of not.  I received this Advent Calendar as an incentive for signing up for Birchbox for a year.  I’m uncertain if the promotion still holds, but the code for that was ADVENT.

When the advent calendar shipped, it shipped with my first birchbox in a large box.  There was no information with the calendar, no product listing, no retail value.  Nothing. When I went to look up the Birchbox advent calendar I found this wasn’t the one that was listed (which in any event appears to be sold out. The link will take you to the advent calendar for 2020 so perhaps this was last year’s calendar.) It was listed as costing $35 and it had the same number of doors as mine did. So I’ll go with a $35 price estimate. I was okay with the change in box as the actual box I received seems to be a much better quality.  The current one listed has cut out doors that you open and the one I received had drawers.  It also has a magnetic closure and is quite sturdy. It is also much prettier. (There is a lot of shine to it so I apologize in advance for some of the glare in the pics.)

But as my mother always told me, it’s inside that counts.  

There are fourteen days in the advent calendar (for reasons I can’t actually name.) It seems an odd number, but as I was expecting twelve I’ll consider it a bonus.

So let us see what is inside the $35 incentive Advent Calendar from Birchbox.

Day 1: The first item out was one quite familiar to me from Birchboxes of yore. (I had a subscription for years before canceling and now rejoining) it is the MAC Strobe Cream. I have lost count of how many of these little tubes I have had over time. I’m not upset by it, but it isn’t exactly exciting.  Still it is day one.

Day 2: Kiehls Calendula Serum infused water cream was in the second box.  I generally like Kiehl’s products and I am always happy to try out a new moisturizer.  This one looks familiar so I am not certain if I have used it before or not.  If I have it was probably only once as it isn’t all that familiar.

Day 3: Ceramidin cream from Dr. Jartt is very familiar.  In fact I have two other small tubes of this sitting in my skin care drawer at the moment.  If I add this tube to those I might actually have enough of the cream to use it for a full month.  It is a good cream, but often seen in subscription boxes.

Day 4: I was happy to see the Dr Lipp Original Nipple Balm.  It is really a good product to use over the winter.  It is the perfect size to drop into a small purse and it is excellent at healing dry chapped lips. I am very happy to have another tube of this come my way.

Day 5: Was actually a full sized product and a lip product as well.  It was the full sized Jouer lip gloss sheer pigment (shade oxford street).  On the hand it swatches as a light pink gloss.  I’m sure on the lips it will just fade to a gloss, the color mostly unnoticeable on me. I am happy to see it and both pleased and surprised at the full sized item appearing.

top swatch is the Jouer lip (day 5), center is the shadow (day 13) and bottom is the eyeliner (day 14)

Day 6: The Whal Myung Serum anti-oxidant rejuvenating serum I haven’t tried before.  I’ve tried their Skin Elixir before and remember really like it so I am happy to give this one a try and I really do love serums so I am happy to try a new one. I think I may actually have an extra Skin elixir in my skin care drawer so I may retry it and see if the two work together. either way it looks like i am going to be spending time on the Whal Myung site as the bottles are really hard to read and don’t contain a lot of information.

Day 7: The Glow Recipe Blueberry Bounce cleanser I have tried before.  It is not a bad cleanser.  It cleans well and I will use it, it just isn’t the sort of cleanser I will rush out to buy a full size of once I use it.

There is nothing bad about it, it just isn’t spectacular. It does smell like those strawberry shortcake dolls from the 1980s though.  Strawberry Shortcake’s Blueberry friend anyway.  I am pleased to see a cleanser in general as it is a category that often gets forgotten.

Day 8: Briogeo Farewell Frizz blow dry perfection and heat protectant is the item that appears on Day eight and while it is an often seen sample, I am happy to have it.  I like the Briogeo products and have no issue using this one.

Day 9: The Benefit They’re Real lengthening mascara from Day 9 was also in my November Birchbox, but I have been using it this week and as I like the formula I am not opposed to having a second one in holding. 

Mascara is one of those products I use constantly.  Even if I have no other makeup on I will generally be wearing mascara and something on my lips. And since the little tubes generally only last a couple of weeks they are easy to use up.

Day 10: Lancome Advanced genifique eye cream appeared on the tenth day.  I have to confess, I don’t recall ever actually trying a Lancome product before.  I’ve seen them around for a long time and I think I have seen this sample floating around in subscription boxes but it has never landed in mine.  I am very happy to have the chance to give it a try.

Day 11: Currently I have a tube of the Amika Supernova Moisture shine cream in my hair care collection.  It is unopened as I was trying to use up some of the previously opened products. 

As I have had good luck with Amika products in the past I am fine with having another one.  I am also getting close to having a few more empty hair care products so soon it will be time to rotate in a new one. Perhaps this will be it.

Day 12: Or perhaps the Davines All in one Milk from Day twelve will be opened next. The information on the label basically says it can be used for everything.  I’m guessing it is hair related.  I will have to look it up before I open it and start spritzing away.

And finally we come to the two long boxes at the bottom of the Advent Calender. 

Day 13: The first of the long boxes  contained the Bobby Brown Long wear cream shadow stick.  I was really happy to see it. It is the perfect holiday shine and I am really looking forward to trying out a Bobby Brown eyeshadow.  I’ve tried their primer and fell in love with it, but never a shadow.  So it will be fun to try this one out. And yes I keep turning my hand to see the way the shadow catches the light.  It looks stunning on the hand and I can’t wait to try it on the eyes.

Finally we reach the last drawer.

Day 14: Inside I find the Tartest Double take eyeliner.  Tarte is a great brand.  Ending on a black eyeliner is maybe not the most spectacular way to end an Advent Calendar but who knows, maybe they just couldn’t top the Bobby Brown Shadow Stick.  It is a good liner (although in swatches it looks like it bleeds a bit so I’ll have to see how it works on the eyes). I would have just reversed the order, putting the shadow at the end and the eyeliner as number 13 so you end on more of a high, but that’s just me.

So this was the Birchbox Advent Calendar I received.  I’m guessing that like the other it sold for $35.  There are several products that I am happy to try out and several I am familiar with from previous Birchboxes. It was a little strange seeing such large boxes with such small items inside.  None of the items were wrapped in tissue paper and each of them sort of rattled around in its large box.   While the packaging was spiffy, it was a lot like getting a couple of regular boxes and a couple of bonus items.

Am I happy with it?  Well yes, because I got it for free for signing up for a yearly subscription.  As a promotional incentive it was good. I enjoyed it and I am happy I signed up to receive it.

Will I be seeking out Birchbox when I next buy an advent calendar? No.

While I like several of the products and look forward to using them, only the Bobby Brown long wear cream shadow stick had a wow factor.  This is nothing against any of the products or brands represented (several of which I adore) but almost everything in this advent calendar was something I’d seen in a previous birchbox, either from my boxes or someone else’s. Because of that it felt a bit like an end of the year cupboard clear out more than a thoughtfully designed product.

So there you have my thoughts on the Birchbox Advent calendar, at least the one they were giving away as part of the sign up bonus.  Again, it is different from the one they sold so I don’t know how the products varied, but I did enjoy my box and the unboxing and will look forward to trying the products out in the near future.

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