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Wednesday, April 20, 2011

April 2011 Birchbox

After months of watching people rave about their Birchboxes (and finally learning what all the fuss was about!) I finally decided to take the plunge and sign up for my first Birchbox. After anxiously waiting for what seemed like years, I found my Birchbox happily sitting in my mailbox yesterday. I tore it open and was pleasantly surprised to see all the wonderful items I would be able to try out throughout the rest of the month.

Before getting into my 'haul' of samples I received in this month's box, let me explain the concept of 'Birchbox' (I'm sure many of you are in the dark as I used to be!).

Birchbox was founded by Hayley Barna and Katia Beauchamp. As stated on their website,
Birchbox delivers the best products and the best insider secrets, without any fuss. Every month Birchbox members will receive a curated box of luxe beauty samples. Each box will span beauty categories and deliver exciting products that fit into both your day-to-day routine, and into those days when you want to turn up the drama a notch.
Every month, you receive 4-5 deluxe samples of various beauty products, from skincare, haircare, fragrances, to makeup. If you like the product, you can log onto their website,, and buy a full size! For every product you purchase, along with referring friends to the program and filling out feedback surveys about products you've tried, you receive points you can use towards a future purchase.

Oh, I forgot! You must be wondering, how much is something like this going to cost me? The best part is, Birchbox is only $10 a month! A great deal for some amazing products, if you ask me. Who knows, you may just discover your new 'holy grail' beauty product you cannot live without!

Alright, I'm sure many of you are thinking, 'Olivia, just get to the haul already!' Fine, fine! Here it is:

This month, Birchbox went green in honor of Earth Day, so this box is full of eco-friendly products.
Birchbox has partnered with EcoFabulous to deliver some great items that won't hurt the Earth. Even the cardboard boxes, letter, and tissue paper are recyclable! Birchboxes are also a great size to reuse for any crafts, activities, or makeup storage you need.

You receive an 'information letter' in every box describing each sample included, along with the size and price of the full size if you're thinking about purchasing it online.

I've noticed that all Birchboxes are not the same, and some samples can differ based on your responses in your beauty profile you first fill out when you sign up for the service. In my box, I received:
  • Juice Beauty Green Apple Peel
  • Juice Beauty Stem Cellular Repair Moisturizer
  • LIV GRN Earth Eau de Parfum
  • Lavanila Healthy Body Butter
  • Zoya Nail Polish in Jules
  • Bloomin Seed Paper
I was delighted to see that the samples picked out for me were just my style (even down to the nail polish color!) and definitely worth this month's $10 membership fee. I haven't tried all of the products yet - I just got them yesterday! - but I will go through each and give a first impression.

The Juice Beauty Green Apple Peel (above left)
a potent alpha and beta hydoxy acid complex from organic apple, lemon, grape, raw cane sugar and willow bark delivers spa-grade exfoliation, revealing a brighter complexion while firming the skin and eliminating the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.
I have not yet tried this peel, but from the sound of it, it seems there will be some serious tingling action and a few uncomfortable moments that will hopefully be worth it. I will follow through with an update after I have tried this baby out!

The Juice Beauty Stem Cellular Repair Moisturizer (above right),
a cocktail of potent organic compounds, this moisturizer has two hero ingredients: first, a proprietary blend of fruit stem cells; and second, a big dose of fat-soluble Vitamin C. Both work to repair DNA damage, encourage new cell growth, and minimize the appearance of fine lines. These all-star complexes get a nice boost from antioxidant-rich fruit juices and plant oils, which hydrate and help improve elasticity. 
I only received a small packet of this that is probably good for only one use, but I'll be sure to follow up the Green Apple Peel with this and see how it goes. Unfortunately, with the full size being around $65 (and me being a college student!), I will probably not be purchasing more.

The LIV GRN Earth Eau de Parfum (above left), is a fragrance with:
top notes of jasmine and green leaves that blend seamlessly with middle notes of lavender, lily of the valley, and the ocean to give the fragrance its lively and floral appeal. Base notes of musk and sandalwood anchor the scent, but don’t overpower.
Not usually my first pick when it comes to 'genres' of perfume scents, I surprisingly found myself really liking this scent. I usually go for more fruity, sweet scents, but knowing this one is eco-friendly, and includes my nickname Liv in the title, I'm sold! I also found that this paired well with the body butter I received, which I will describe next.

The Lavanila Healthy Body Butter (above right), is:
made from pure cocoa and shea butters, this cream is rich without being heavy. It has goji berries and kakadu plum, both of which are packed with antioxidants, minerals, and vitamins, to help keep skin both moisturized and healthy. Spanish lavender, rose, and Madagascar vanilla give it a sweet, not saccharine scent.
I love the scents of lavender and vanilla, and when paired together, I'm head over heels! This body butter is very lightweight and blends into my skin in seconds. The scent is very soft and not overpowering at all, which is why I like to pair it with the LIV GRN Earth. The two seem to compliment one another and since both are soft scents, they work together to give me an earthy, feminine, and fresh scent just in time for spring!

Zoya is known for using eco-friendly ingreidents, and started the 'Three Free' movement,
creating colors without formaldehyde, tuolene, and dibutyl phthalate. Their shades are so safe that even pregnant women can wear them. Recently, they’ve taken it one step further by also removing camphor from their polishes.
I received the color in Jules (above), and must say - this is going to be my new spring go-to color! I normally go for brighter colors (like 'Danni' in the same Intimate collection - a purple-ish violet with gold and red undertones), but Jules is a beautiful pale champagne beige-gold, a unique neutral that will go with any outfit I wear. I have surprisingly never tried Zoya polishes before, but knowing they are safe to the environment and come in over 300 different colors, I will definitely be coming back for more. Zoya polishes retail for $8, so I will probably pick up one or two more from this collection in the future as well!

I am always a sucker for cute little 'extras', and this adorable piece of Bloomin Seed Paper infused with wildflower seeds was the double-chocolate extra-hot fudge on top of my brownie sundae. With the nice weather practically here and a new garden my mother is starting, I'll be sure to bring this little guy with me on my next trip home. Birchbox apparently includes a monthly little 'extra' gift like this one in every box they make, so I'm already stoked and looking forward to what the next one will be!

Overall, I am in love with the Birchbox concept and am kicking myself for not signing up earlier! These deluxe samples are packaged so nicely and you can tell Birchbox puts a lot of thought and hard work into each box they ship out. So if I've sold you on subscribing to your own Birchbox, hop on over to their website and sign up right now! It's fast, easy, and later on if you're unsure whether you want to receive another box (or maybe you're a college student like me and spent your last $10 on late night snacks for your study party), you can always skip a month! So don't hesitate or wonder whether you'll like the products picked out for you - it's about trying something new!

*Note: I am not affiliated with nor being compensated by Birchbox for this review. All opinions are my own.


Awesome post!! I got all the same products and it was my first Birchbox also, loving body butter and cant wait till I use the Nail excited to see what we get next month :-)

Thanks Elba! I think the Lavanila body butter is a favorite of mine too, along with the LIV GRN Eau de Parfum - they go really well together in my opinion. I am already excited for next month's box to come! Thanks for stopping by!

Awesome post, I just did a review on my site: because I got a few different things :)

@Ashley - Thanks! I love your April Birchbox post too and your blog! I'll be sure to check back regularly and keep reading it!

tried the Lavanila body butter and the LIV GRN Eau de parfum and they do go really well together!!! love it

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