March 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 3 samples to choose from plus a curated box filled with beauty samples intended to prepare you for ANYTHING. Let’s get started!

*I apologize for the lack of photos! I am out of space on my free WordPress media drive, and am trying to figure out what to do about it. In the meantime, here is the Birchbox official announcement video that I usually take all my screenshots from:


The first sample up is the Number 4 Hydrating Shampoo and Condition duo. Reviewers on Birchbox think that this duo does a great job of hydrating and strengthening hair. I received this duo in my December 2014 Birchbox and felt sort of meh about it. Both products have a pleasantly oceanic scent and a slightly creamy texture, and if the sample sizes had been larger maybe I would have had a more defined opinion about them. The value of this sample is $3.66.

The second sample option is a Volumizing & Texturizing Shampoo & Conditioner duo from PARLOR by Jeff Chastain. I wasn’t able to find any information about these samples because the Volumizing & Texturizing duo is so new that it isn’t even listed on Jeff Chastain’s website yet. Making some assumptions about the price of the products, the value of this sample is $3.50.

The third choice is the amika Perk Up Dry Shampoo. I have two reviews of this product for you today, one from  Franziska and the other from Crystal. In general, this dry shampoo has reached cult product status — everyone seems to really like it. This sample is valued at $3.40.

In contrast to last month, the values of this month’s samples are pretty low. They’ve also gone back to themed sample choices, this time with “haircare.” This is nice because it makes the sample choice seem cohesive, but it’s unfortunate if it happens to be a product category you really don’t care about.

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

  • Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Cream ($4.04)
  • Smashbox Photo Op Eyeshadow Trio in Filter ($12.44?)
  • Wilma Schumann Skincare Hydrating Collagen Eye Pads ($3.60)
  • MILK Makeup Lip Color in C.R.E.A.M. (~$11?)
  • PARLOR by Jeff Chastain Smoothing Blowout Spray ($4.90)

The Kiehl’s moisturizer seems to be well-loved and to have stood the test of time. Here is a great in-depth review of it from the lovely Carrie, and another from MusicalHouses. Smashbox has an eyeshadow formulation that people like; these colors are a nice set of matte browns. Maybe a little basic, but the color payoff and lasting power seem to be worth it. Here is a review from Aoife and swatches from Kelly B.. Reviews on Birchbox are all positive for the Wilma Schumann eye pads — people seem to think that the eye patches do what they are supposed to, which is plump and hydrate the undereye.

There are almost no reviews for the MILK lipstick, since MILK just launched their first makeup line in December. This Lip Color did make it onto two of the lists for “best products in the MILK lineup,” here and here, so it’ll probably be good! (The lists left me longing to try all of their other products, too!) C.R.E.A.M. is a brownish-pink nude. The PARLOR blowout spray has nothing but good reviews on

I really was not able to find a sample size for the MILK lipstick, so I estimated it based on other mini lip products. I assumed that the Smashbox trio was the same size as the samples ipsy sends out. All together, this gives the curated box a total value of around $36.

This month’s box is pretty cute in my opinion! I like the pastel colors for spring, as well as the sophisticated gold accents. I also like the Ready for Anything box design, with its pastel sunbursts. I think they’re both pretty cute and suitable for March!

Sample choice will open on February 25th for subscribers (February 24th for Ace members and referrers).

This month I think I’ll go for the amika Dry Shampoo! I’ve tried three dry shampoos before and none have been perfect, so this is my chance to try yet another and hope for the best. While I’m intrigued by the MILK lipstick, I think that’ll have to wait for another time. Plus, after opting for the curated box this month, I think I’m ready for a surprise!

Which sample are you going to choose?

If you’re planning on purchasing a Birchbox subscription, please consider using my referral link:

My 15 Favorite Products & Discoveries of 2015

2015 was such a full year for me! I struggled a lot with my job at school. I graduated with my Bachelor’s degree. I spent the summer traveling all across the United States, including visiting 8 states for the first time (Alaska, Washington, South Dakota, Minnesota, Iowa, Indiana, Kentucky,  and Tennessee). I attended the first funerals I’ve been to since I was 9, and unfortunately that was funerals in the plural. This means I’ve been so, so incredibly lucky not to have lost anyone close to me since then, but it made this particular year really rough. I started graduate school and managed a 3.82 GPA last semester.

It was so hard to develop my “best of” list for this past year. In 2014 I discovered a lot about the basics of beauty, but while I did learn a lot in 2015, this year was more about delving in and figuring out what I liked most. I still don’t have any true holy grails (I haven’t tried quite enough products for that!), but I’m getting there. After all, isn’t that what this whole process is about?



1. Serums & Oils

This year was the year I discovered the wide world of serums and oils. My interest in serum-type products started back in the summer of 2014 when I purchased the Nutriganics Drops of Youth Concentrate, but this year I expanded the number of serums I own by a huge amount through sampling and started using serums regularly in my routine. Now I have too many serums, and am struggling to get through them at a fast enough pace. Oops!

In March I received an oil from Paula’s Choice in my Birchbox and liked it so much I ordered a full size. Then I tried out a rosehip oil and a serum-in-oil, as well as transitioning to using a body oil and starting to test out hair oils. I even started using a cleansing oil!

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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!


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.

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Birchbox Black Friday Haul

I love Birchbox. I love receiving my box every month, I love window-shopping in their store, and I love occasionally buying myself something. This month was one of those “buying something” times.


Shipping was a little slow, but only by the high standards I’ve come to expect from Birchbox — it took 2 days to be shipped, and another 3 to arrive at my door. I was really surprised by how light the box was, especially considering its size, until I opened it….and realized how much bubble wrap had been used to package my products!

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January 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 3 samples to choose from plus an awesome curated box filled with Korean beauty samples. Let’s dive in to this photo-heavy post!


The Eyeko Fat Liquid Eyeliner was supposed to appear in everyone’s boxes this June, but a shipping problem prevented the samples from arriving in time. They promised that the liners would appear in a future box, and here they are! I’m actually more pleased about the way they’re doing it this time around, with the Eyeko liner as a sample choice instead of a definite sample, since there are plenty of people who probably don’t particularly want another eyeliner, but those who are excited to receive it can opt for that choice.

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September 2015 Birchbox Review

So, once again, I find myself behind. I still have my May, June, July, and August Birchbox reviews to write, but I figured I might as well post my more recent boxes in the meantime. Here I begin with a return to the warm, warm weather and idealistic views on schoolwork from September!


I’m back at school for the Fall semester, and among the many things I forgot to do while transitioning was change my Birchbox mailing address. So my September Birchbox was sent to my home address instead of my university address, and I had to wait all month until my parents visited to get it. Which ordinarily wouldn’t have bothered me too much, except I peeked at my box online and was beyond excited to be receiving the Caffeine Eye Cream from 100% Pure!

September’s theme was “Better Together”. September is Birchbox’s anniversary month, and so this theme seemed to fit the occasion.


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November 2015 Birchbox Sample Choice Comparison

For those of you not familiar with sample choice, it’s a program that began last August where Birchbox subscribers have the option to select a sample to be included in next month’s box. Each month several samples are revealed and the sample you pick will replace one of your traditional 5 samples. This is a comparison of those options based on research I’ve done using other blogs and my own calculations. This month I’ve taken all of my images as screenshots from the official Birchbox video.

This month, Birchbox is launching their first makeup line, called LOC or Love of Color, and subscribers have the chance to choose any of the 8 products that are a part of this line. That’s the most sample options that have ever been offered through sample choice! There is also a curated box, as always. The LOC line was developed in partnership with Youtuber Tati Westbrook, and so she appeared in all of the LOC announcement videos.

First, the sample options. This month’s theme is “Feeling Fancy”. I don’t really understand the theme in context with this month’s sample choices, but I am completely in love with all of the sample choice options. There are 3 lip colors and 5 shadow sticks in the LOC line.

BB Nov Lipsticks BB Nov Eyeshadows

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