As the year comes to an end and I’m thinking of dropping at least one of my subscriptions, let’s take a look at Birchbox and Sephora Play.
Birchbox arrived first, and that’s something I like about it. I almost never have to wonder if I’m going to get my Birchbox. It’s old reliable. So let’s take it up first.
Again, Birchbox gave us the opportunity to choose between two boxes. As I’ve mentioned before, I dislike having to look at the boxes in advance because I like to be surprised. Plus, if neither is a winner, it makes me feel bad. I think I chose the box I got. The theme was about “reviving and restoring”.
So what did I get in my Birchbox?
- Juice Beauty Cleansing Milk, deluxe sample: I tried it out a couple of times, and it’s a fine cleansing milk. Natural, no or very mild scent, gentle, hydrating. Nice, but since I got a full size Unani Cleansing Milk in my Glossybox, I’ll throw this in my travel bag.
- Marcelle Xtension Plus Curl Mascara, travel size: I’ve wanted to try some makeup from Marcelle so I was glad to get this mascara. The wand is curved which is not my favorite. Everyone’s eyes are shaped differently and mine are downturned. I’ve never had good luck with curved wands, and this was no exception. Nevertheless, the formula is decent, not exceptional. This will be a good everyday mascara.
- Number 4 Super Comb Prep & Protect Hair Spray, travel size: I believe I got this same leave-in conditioning spray several months ago. I used it last week, and it’s a good spray. I don’t like it quite as much as It’s A 10 or the other spray I got last month from Birchbox, also a repeat (can’t remember the name, in a red spray bottle). Enough with the leave-in conditioning sprays, please!
- The Organic Pharmacy Double Rose Rejuvenating Face Cream, deluxe sample: I was eager to try this moisturizer sample because I like The Organic Pharmacy brand. Since it was called “double rose”, I was especially excited. However, the smell is awful. It’s unusable. It doesn’t really smell like rose, just perfumey and overwhelming. I’ll probably throw it out.
- TokyoMilk Dark Pretty Rotten Eau de Parfum, sample spray: I tried another TokyoMilk Dark scent, and though it was interesting, I ended up giving it away as it didn’t suit me. I was surprised that I like this different TokyoMilk Dark scent. I’m not usually into fruity scents, and this was smells identifiably of apple, but I like it though probably not enough to buy it. I’ve been enjoying wearing the sample.
Sephora Play The Cool Cut
The white drawstring bag had a cute Lipstick & Chill saying on the front.
- Smashbox Always On Matte Liquid Lipstick, shade Driver’s Seat, deluxe sample: I was most excited to try this creamy matte liquid lipstick in a pretty, neutral shade. The formula reminds me of NYX Soft Matte Cream Liquid lipsticks in that it’s creamy and non-drying. The Smashbox has a narrow, angled applicator that makes it easy to apply. I really like this lipstick! Win!
- Erborian Bamboo Creme Frappe Skin Reviving Fresh Gel, deluxe sample: I wish I had gotten this moisturizing gel-cream during the summer. It’s billed as being “reviving and refreshing”, perfect for warm weather. I’ll use it at some point, I’m sure, because I love gel-creams.
- Farmacy Skin Dew Hydrating Essence Mist, deluxe sample: I’m intrigued by this makeup reviving or setting spray, but I have a hard time spraying anything in my face. Since it’s supposed to be a hydrating essence, I may try applying it as an essence before applying my makeup to see if it’ll provide any extra moisturization. I’ll keep you posted!
- Christophe Robin Regenerating Mask with Rare Prickly Pear Seed Oil, deluxe sample: Sounds very nice. I can’t say I need another hair mask, but the ingredients sound interesting so I’ll try it.
- The Estee Edit by Estee Lauder Flash Photo Gloss, deluxe sample: Oh heck, I meant to try this innovative-sounding product today but I forgot! It’s a gloss that is supposed to be applied over bare lips or over lipstick to make teeth appear whiter in a photograph. I was taking selfies today for some new makeup that I am testing. It would have been a good chance to try it out. Hopefully, I’ll remember next time ‘coz I’m really curious about it.
- Yves Saint Laurent “Mon Paris” Eau de Parfum, sample spray: Oh another perfume sample. Unfortunately, this fruity floral blend is not my cup of tea. I’ll try to give it away.
Assessment and Winner
To be honest, I thought both of these subscriptions were just okay this month. Each had a couple of products I was glad to get to try out but wasn’t super-excited about. They were both decent and worth the $10. Neither box included any full size products.
But the winner of the competition this month is Sephora Play! because of the Smashbox Matte Liquid Lipstick, and because it sent me 6 sample products vs. Birchbox’s 5. My Birchbox subscription ends in December, and though I have been introduced to a couple of products that have become HG products for me ( especially Dr. Lipp Miracle Lip Balm!!!), I won’t be renewing. When Birchbox got rid of giving points for reviewing the product samples, they lost me. Also, waaaaaaay too much skincare and haircare as well as too many product repeats.
Do you subscribe to either of these? Which would you have preferred?