Friday, November 21, 2014

November Birchbox Review - BuzzFeed Life Holiday Hacks Box

For the second month in a row I decided to choose the curated partnership Birchbox over the standard one.  I always peek at my samples ahead of time, even when I get a normal box, so I like that I know exactly what items will be in the curated boxes when they are available during sample selection.

OMG, what's up with this box (sorry, I'm cheesy)?!  This month, Birchbox partnered with BuzzFeed Life to create a "Happy Holiday Hacks" box.  Up until recently I wasn't too interested in BuzzFeed, but I've been checking the site out regularly when I'm bored now because they have some interesting things (and fun quizzes).  I thought it was interesting that Birchbox was teaming up with them for this box, and I liked what I saw as far as what would be inside.

Before I get to the samples, I wanted to point out that everyone's box contained a holiday gift guide.  Birchbox has sent one every year (that I've been a subscriber at least), and while they're fun to flip through, they usually aren't too useful to me as far as gift shopping goes.

This one had the best design of all the gift guides I've seen, but again, it really didn't showcase too many products.  I felt like it was more about looking pretty than actually being helpful; maybe that's just because I was already aware of all of the products they featured.  But like I said, it was fun to flip through.

On to the part you actually care about, the samples!  This box contained five total, and I mostly picked it because of the candle and the dry shampoo.  I'd also tried two of the samples before and liked them a lot.  The informational card in the box lists little "hacks" that you can use these products for, but BuzzFeed is notorious for just posting obvious things and calling them "life hacks."  To me, a life hack is something creative that I wouldn't normally think of, like an unusual use for an everyday product.  Telling me to use dry shampoo on my oily hair when I don't have time to take a shower is not a life hack.

I feel like I'm sounding a bit negative in this review, but I don't mean to be!  I actually really liked this box a lot.  Here's what was inside:

  • Dr. Jart+ Pore Minimalist Mask ($7.50 for one mask) - I've used this mask before and I like that it's targeted towards oily skin.  It's soaked in charcoal serum, which is great for controlling sebum production.  Unfortunately the effects are not too long-lasting with only one mask, but it's better than nothing!
  • amika Perk Up Dry Shampoo ($2.97 for .75 oz) - I love trying new dry shampoos because oily scalp is a daily struggle for me!  I know everyone says not to wash your hair every day, but I have to or else it's just gross.  This formula smells really nice and works better than any other that I've ever tried!  I will most likely buy a full-sized bottle of this.
  • Greenleaf Signature Candle in Silver Spruce ($3.58 for 2 oz) - This candle is the main reason why I chose this box!  I love, love, love candles, especially in fall and winter scents.  I could smell this as soon as I opened the box and it's lovely.  It smells exactly what you would expect it to smell like: a big ol' pine tree.
  • Mirenesse iCurl Secret Weapon 24hr Mascara ($11.60 for .14 oz) - I've heard good things about this mascara but I just don't ever really get excited about mascaras.  I also have about 500 of them, so I'm not in need for any more samples.  I put this up for swap.
  • Dr. Lipp Original Nipple Balm For Lips ($2.91 for .10 oz) - I also put this up for swap, but only because I currently have a full-sized tube of it.  The name is really weird, but this stuff is amazing!  It's a really hydrating and protecting moisturizer.  I use it mainly as a lip balm, but you can use it wherever you have dry, chafed skin.
Bottom Line: While BuzzFeed's premise of "life hacks" may be a bit weak in my opinion, this Birchbox was not!  It had an approximate retail value of $28.56, which I think is pretty good for something that only cost me $10.80.

*Disclaimer: This is not a sponsored post.  Post contains referral links.


  1. LOL at the non-hack life hacks. The contents of this box are definitely solid though! I'm a scented candle fiend so I was a bit tempted to swap out for this box too. :)

    1. Of course, I already have at least three other candles that smell like pine, but I needed another!


Thank you for taking the time to visit my blog! I love any and all feedback and I read every comment.