BYOB – Build Your Own Birchbox

I am the Birchbox subscriber that cannot get enough!! Even with boxes on the way, I always take the time to BYOB (Build Your Own Birchbox) when passing the Soho oasis. The BYOB station has changed dramatically, since you can grab your own samples without someone assisting you, plus a mens BYOB. I went all out – even surprised my boyfriend with his own box filled with shaving goodies and whiskey stones. For my box, I picked samples I have been waiting to try! Luckily, the company now lets you substitute certain categories for others (hint – skip the fragrance and go for the skin or hair care).

My personalized Birchbox wasn’t my only purchase that day… I decided to try a Korean product called Peripera Ah Much Real My Cushion Blusher in Happy Coral (for more Korean beauty, check out my Face Shop post). The sponge applicator is perfect for an on-the-go look to create glowing cheeks with a peachy finish.

Have you ever done the BYOB? What do you think of monthly subscriptions?

May Vs. June Birchbox

As I listen to the Top 50 Pop Songs on iTunes Radio, a song from the was-then-Disney star, Hillary Duff, blares… I know, I was as shocked as you are! It is called “Sparks” and kind of reminds me of the ‘sparks’ in my eyes once I saw the May Birchbox placed on my desk (I had to). I was packing for a 12 day Europe journey… praying for sample sized goodies.

The Harvey Prince Yogini perfume was my signature scent while shopping in London, hiking in Scotland, and partying in Denmark! Light, citrus notes with hints of mysterious jasmine make it the perfect day-to-night formula. I also enjoyed the Lollibalm with its almost poignant rose aroma and veil pink coverage – it is my current lip obsession! I am a sucker for packaging… so, TokyoMilk’s Shea Butter Lotion in Kabuki got my heart racing! The sweet scent of vanilla and fruity twists of lychee and grapefruit create a unique combo.

I was not nearly as excited for the CōTZ Flawless Complexion with SPF 50… kind of a thick formula with an oily finish. I am a HUGE fan of the Macadamia Professional Moisture Mask – it makes my hair feel like silk! Unfortunately, the Moisture Oil Treatment does not get my vote because it is a bit too harsh on my blonde locks.

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The June Birchbox was fitting for the vibrant, sunny (and suddenly hot) month that welcomes summer ! Mine was labeled “Next Stop: Adventure” with an array of cosmetics to help you beat the heat. I am SUPER excited to try the Paula’s Choice Moisturizer because my skin has been super dry… Plus, it is a generous amount of product! The Coola Sport Sunscreen is also eye catching from the Mango scent and Caribbean turquoise packaging. I plan on taking this sample with me to Bermuda in July. Do they have fresh mangos on that island??

The Dr.Jart+ Ceramidin Cream was not a surprise. I have tried this product before from Sephora… I guess it was okay, but not significant, since I lost all memory of its effects. The Number 4 Super Comb Prep + Protect was another repeat, but this time… I remembered how much I liked this after-shower necessity! The Marcelle Waterproof Eyeliner was another dud. Instead of the dark, rich purple, I wish Birchbox offered a vibrant liner! I could totally go for an electric blue or jungle green.

The Pura Vida Lace Headband was a great addition to this box! In fact, I put it on seconds after opening for my evening treadmill run (it has Google Maps on it, which is pretty cool).

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How did you like the May and June Birchboxes? Did you find any favorites? Were you surprised with your sample choices?

March vs. April Birchbox

Birchbox can either be the greatest part of your month, or one of the worst. Lately, it has been a bit of both. I always try to do the early sample pick (which never works out) and change up my beauty questionnaire to mix up the likelihood of my product selection. In March and April, I received boxes with duplicate products from past boxes or purchases from Birchbox. Here is a comparison of my March and April boxes!


MARCH: I ordered the Roller Lash mascara from Benefit on Birchbox and it happened to come the same day as my March box! How lucky!

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PROS: This Cargo Blush has changed my view on cheek shades. I was an all pink lady, but now I am all about the coral shades! A perfect product to enhance your summer glow! I got the Cargo Bronzer in one of my boxes a couple of months back and thought it was OK… nothing unique besides being waterproof! But why would you want waterproof blush? I cannot think of any situation where I will be dolling up my face just to jump in the pool! Can you?

CONS: I purchased an Amika gift set in January from Birchbox with my points… Got quite a bit off! But why would Birchbox then put a product I purchased from them in my box? Just a little annoying… wish it was another brand! By the way – Amika has phenomenal dry shampoo! Absorbs all the oils and leaves you with a blow out look.


APRIL: I absolutely ADORE this box! Such a great collaboration with Rifle Paper Co. Definitely check out their website for extraordinary stationary!

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PROS: When I saw the sample selections for April, I was immediately drawn to the Bee Venom face mask… BEE VENOM?? What kind of ingredient is that?? It smells wonderful, is very soothing, and completely transformed my skin from a dry bone to a blossoming flower (a little cheesy, but it’s the truth). This is going to be my next purchase from Birchbox!! BEWARE – if you are allergic to bees, avoid the venom at all costs! Birchbox even sent a warning for costumers who are allergic.

CONS: I mentioned in a blog (see here) that I get tons and tons of lotions from my boxes! STOP! I do not need any more body or hand lotion…! I should have taken a picture of my lotion stash for this post. Plus, the Temple Spa lotion was a REPEAT! My first Birchbox repeat and it wasn’t even a product I liked. Oh well… cannot win them all!

Birchbox Review – January 2015

I am not one to review my Birchbox. But with a new year, a new blog style, and a new batch of products… I decided it was now or next year.

Birchbox is a monthly subscription service where five personalized beauty and lifestyle samples are delivered to your door. I have been receiving Birchbox since August of last year and enjoy each month’s goodies. It is a nice pick me up in the middle of the week to have samples of latest brand names and most talked about products. How do they personalize boxes when they send out millions? You answer specific questions about your hair color, beauty preferences, skin type, and so on. Do you think your Birchbox samples fit your beauty preferences?


This month’s theme was about starting fresh in 2015 with the tagline “Let’s Do This” printed across the box.

January 2015 Birchbox

I was a bit disappointed in my samples this month. Each month I got a lotion (a bit tired of having lotion pile up) and even got a sample  for curly hair (which my hair is pretty straight). Do not let this steer you away from Birchbox though, normally I love my samples and use them up before the next box comes.

  1. Balance Me – Wonder Eye Cream – light formula with no scent, but a bit difficult to rub in. I would give this product 3 out of 5 stars… Nothing big to rave about.
  2. Curly Hair Solutions – Curl Keeper Gel – water based formula that fends frizz and leaves curls intact. I do not have curly hair… So, 1 out of 5 stars for this product.
  3. Cynthia Rowley Beauty – Creamy Lip Stain – long-wear stain in shade Heartthrob. Eager to try out this red gloss… 4 out of 5 on the excitement level.
  4. Essential Elements – Wake Up Rosemary Body Lotion – light weight hydrator with a strong rosemary scent. The packaging is cute and unique… 3 out of 5 stars.
  5. Sumbody – Body Soap – this product smells so fresh since it is full of botanical oils and herbs. Pretty interested in trying out this soap so I would give it 4 out of 5 stars.