Friday, March 14, 2014

Review, Birchbox Mystery Sample Pack: Free with $35 Order

Disclosure: Birchbox referral links are included within this post, and I'd be so appreciative if you decide to sign up and use mine.

I'm back with Birchbox, for a little longer anyway, and if you were keeping track, I did just cancel, but I also rejoined in time to not actually miss a box.   March will just be late as it won't ship until the 21st.  I know, talk about indecisive!    The main reason I decided to give Birchbox a little longer, is that as I was going through my left over samples from the six months I subbed, I found a couple skin care gems.  These were things that didn't excite me when I received them in past boxes, and just sat around in the unused pile.  I also decided that as I get closer to 40, maybe I do need all that skin care and anti-aging stuff that Birchbox sends along.  So I'll give them a couple more month to see how it goes.

Specifically, I really like Paula's Choice Resist BHA 9 and I actually went ahead and ordered a full size.  This stuff worked really well for me.  I have had some persistent red spots on my chin and this stuff made them noticeably lighter overnight and completely gone in two.  It's also helped with with a couple other trouble spots.  Great stuff!  My full sized order shipped free and was just barely over the $35 threshold for getting a free Mystery Sample Pack.  I thought I would share what I received as my bonuses today.

Mystery Sample Packs are sold by themselves for $10 on Birchbox and I would not recommend you select one, unless it will be included for free.  The monthly Birchbox is the same price and you get a better value by getting one of those, even if it's just for one month than with a sample pack.

From what I can tell these sample packs are two items and are leftovers from previous Birchboxes.  I also think they are included at random so subscribers may have gotten the same sample previously.  That being said, a duplicate would still fine with me since it is free.  I have plenty of friends who love it when I pass along Birchbox samples so definitely add one whenever your purchases hit $35.

Mystery Sample 1: Color Club® Wanderlust Collection, Mod in Manhattan, which is a brilliant off-white that represents the glow of the mega-watt city at night.  This mini looks to be the size included in a four pack kit that features shades inspired by Birchbox's four international headquarters. Eight dollars and free shipping for the set of four minis is a great price and each of the shades is custom to Birchbox.  Each mini is half the size of a full bottle and a full bottle of a Color Club® polish is $8 at Birchbox.  Since I rarely go through a whole bottle of any color, minis are a great way to go.

I think Mod in Manhattan probably works best within the context of the set of four because I can't see myself wearing off white on all ten fingers all by itself.  I bet it's great for a super fun French manicure with one of the other three summery colors.  I have yet to try a Color Club® polish, I got a Baldwin Blues Mini from the Harlem Nights collection one month but the shade was not for me so I gave it away.  I will probably try this one at least once to see the quality of the polish and then pass it along too.  From reviews, it looks like it might require a few coats and not have the greatest staying power.

Mystery Sample 2: Suki Exfoliate Foaming Cleanser, This is an example of why you would not want to pay for this sample pack.  I loved this at first smell, the lemongrass is so fresh & airy.  But right away I noticed something was amiss, it was rock hard.  I went to the listing at Birchbox and from reading the reviews it sounds like a lot of users had this issue.  It's a bummer because I don't think I can get enough out for even one try and since you only need a dime size per use there were probably a couple in there.  It smells divine, but is unusable.

Overall?  At first glance this seemed like a great Mystery Pack for me.  I love nail polish and while the color isn't my fave it's more than enough to be enjoyed by someone.  I'm all over a lemongrass sugar scrub, but a dried up and hard one...not so much.  Keeping in mind the price - free, I'm not worked up about it.  I think it's luck of the draw, but buyer beware do not pay for one outright!


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