February 2016 Birchbox Sample Choice Comparison

Birchbox’s sample choice has become a monthly staple now; you can find a description of the program here. This month there are 4 samples to choose from plus a curated box filled with beauty samples meant for date night (February 14th is Valentine’s day, after all…). Let’s get started!

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The Arrow BOOST Color Enhancing Lip Balm is one of the items released a few weeks ago as part of Birchbox’s newest in-house brand. The brand, “Arrow,” is supposed to be all about beauty on the go for a busy lifestyle. This is a lip balm that changes color based on the pH of your lips. The 9 reviews on the Birchbox website so far are all 5 stars, and here‘s a review of the Arrow products so far if you’re interested. This sample is probably full size, in which case it would be worth $14.

The second sample option is the Hey Honey Take It Off! Exfoliating Honey Peel Off Mask. This is an exfoliating honey mask that is supposed to result in a smoother and clearer complexion. According to ipsy, “this fifteen-minute beauty mask brightens and smooths skin with the exfoliating power of Alpha Hydroxy Acids, while moisturizing with luxurious honey extract.” Here are two reviews of the mask from fellow bloggers Devon and Kelli Lyn. This sample is worth $5.80.

The third choice is the REN Glycol Lactic Radiance Renewal Mask. Another exfoliating mask, this one takes just 10 minutes to use. It also clarifies and reduces the appearance of fine lines. It is intended for mature or congested skin, and not recommended for sensitive skin. I’ve got reviews for you from Michelle and Fleur. This sample is worth ~$16.

The final option is the brand new Whish Revitalizing Cleansing Oil. This isn’t even available for purchase yet, on either the Whish or the Birchbox website, so there is practically no information about it (and definitely no reviews!). This is all I got for you: “Unlike regular soap and water, oil-based cleansers attach themselves to our skin’s naturally occurring oil and wipe it cleanly away. This skin-balancing cleanser uses a rich combination of olive fruit oil, organic rose hip oil, and organic coconut oil to do just that. It magically melts away makeup, grease, and impurities to leave behind a soft yet incredibly clean face.” I estimate that this sample is worth $6.60.

I’m really impressed by the high values of this month’s samples! Especially compared to last month (which included a low-value curated box).

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The curated box this month is based around the theme of “Date Night”. It includes the following 5 samples:

  • amika Bombshell Blowout Spray ($3)
  • Whish Renewing Mud Mask ($16?!)
  • Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics Matte Lip Tar in Strumpet (~$9)
  • Cynthia Rowley Beauty Brightening Illuminator ($10.18)
  • Catherine Malandrino Romance de Provence perfume ($4.40)

The amika spray is supposed to do a little bit of everything, but it’s main use is to be applied before blow-drying to provide heat protection, texture, and lift. The Whish exfoliating mud mask is another product that is brand new with no information except what Birchbox has provided us: “Loaded with purifying bakuchiol and organic rose hip oil, the mud sloughs away dead skin while softening with kaolin. Meanwhile, mucor miehei extract and bionatural tropical enzymes work together to refresh and renew skin, revealing a smoother, brighter, trouble-free complexion.” This mask sample might be worth a whopping $16, if my guesses about both the sample and the product sizes are right (Whish samples for other products are all 0.75 oz, and the photo here looks like it says 2 oz).

The OCC lip tars have quite a reputation for lip color with staying power. Strumpet is described as a “seedless grape red,” and I’ve got several swatches for you, so here goes… meet Jasmine from The Happy SlothsIsabella from Musings of a MuseJen from Blush & Fuss, and Jen from Vibrant Beauty Blog. The Cynthia Rowley highlighter has received generally good reviews, and I’ve got swatches for you from Sara and Kristina. Finally, we have the Catherine Malandrino perfume, which was inspired by the Provence region of France. It was only released in 2015 and so there isn’t much information about it, either, but according to Birchbox: “it begins with subtle fruity layers and opens up to a floral bouquet of jasmine, orange flower, rose, violet and lily (all against a backdrop of powder musk, amber, and patchouli)”. Perfumes are very hit or miss, and this will probably be no different.

All together, this gives the curated box a total value of around $42.50. Holy. Cow. Now, my guesses on sample sizes could be off, but I’m decently confident about them, and if this value is correct then this would rank among the highest value Birchboxes I’ve ever seen (mine usually hover closer to $25, although I have had as high as $52).

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This month’s box, shown on the left, is very Valentine’s Day themed. It almost looks like it should contain the Date Night box instead, with all its infinity signs and Cupid’s arrows! Also, it totally has an image of the OCC Lip Tar on it, and the lip tar is in the curated box. Huh. The curated box is the design I prefer this month, by a LOT. It’s so fun and sophisticated at the same time!

Sample choice will open on January 28th for subscribers (January 27th for Ace members and referrers).

This month I’m really torn on what to select as my sample choice. I want to try everything, including the curated box! I especially want to try the REN mask, OCC lip tar, and Whish mud mask. I think I might have to add a second subscription, just for this month… But since that is unlikely, I think I’ll just opt for the curated box.

Which sample are you going to choose?

If you’re planning on purchasing a Birchbox subscription, please consider using my referral link: https://www.birchbox.com/invite/justabirchbox

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2 thoughts on “February 2016 Birchbox Sample Choice Comparison

  1. Pingback: January Recap | Just A Primer

  2. Pingback: March 2016 Birchbox Sample Choice Comparison | Just A Primer

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