Birchbox August 2014 Sneak Peek + Pick A Sample!

Oh, my goodness gracious, everyone! Birchbox just got a bit awesomer for August 2014!

They are expanding the Sample Choice option they launched in July (subscribers got to choose the color of one makeup sample). For the August box, subscribers can choose one of four samples to be included in their boxes. How cool is that?!?!

Here are the four items subscribers can choose from:

  • Noir’s Long-Wear Eyeliner in Forever Noir ( It goes on smoothly and its waterproof formula is perfect for these icky summer days.
  • Laura Geller Cool Lid Cream Eyeshadow in Silver Sands ( It has a sheer shimmer when worn alone or you can layer a powder eyeshadow over it. 
  • Modelco is an amazing Australian brand and their Shimmer Bronzing Powder ( is exclusive to Birchbox
  • Birchbox fave- theBalm’s Stainiac in Beauty Queen ( is a great gel that adds sheer color to both lips and cheeks.

Decisions, y’all. Decisions!

Okay, a couple of things to point out. Based on the video notes, I gather you will not be able to pick a different color of these products, so keep that in mind when picking your sample. Especially if you are considering the Laura Geller eyeshadow or Modelco bronzing powder. Also, you know how BB’s sneak peek videos often display both the full-size and the sample size? They did that here… except they didn’t show a sample size of the eyeliner. So one could assume that the eyeliner sample is actually a full-size.

I’m just applying some Encyclopedia Brown guessing on that. Birchbox has sent full-size products as the samples before. In fact, I’ve received two full-size eyeliners as “samples”. The Noir sample may really be a sample size, but go ahead and squeal with joy if it is indeed full-size!

Which sample are you going to pick? My first choice is theBalm’s Stainiac. I already have a full-size and a sample of this product, but I always like to have extras for emergencies, my desk drawer at work, or even to “share the product love” with a friend.

If you are a subscriber, make sure you keep an eye on your inbox for the email letting you know when you can pick your sample. The email should be going out on July 24!

If you are not a Birchbox subscriber, click here to subscribe for only $10 a month

Golly. And this is only part one of the August Sneak Peek. Can’t wait for part two!




Birchbox: July 2014


This month Birchbox partnered with Women’s Health magazine to create boxes to help subscribers “Power Up” our month. Birchbox partnered with the magazine last year (in April 2013?) and I really like it when they team up with other companies to give us themed boxes. 

I have two Birchbox subscriptions with one profile serving my classic taste and the other for my more adventurous side. So let’s get into my Birchbox vs Birchbox showdown!


Box #1: Adventurous/Trendy Profile


Coastal Scents Revealed 2 Eye Shadow Palette (in Ballerina); Full size 20-color palette, $34

This 4-color sample is totally up my alley regarding the color. I did receive a similar palette a few months ago which I have not yet used. But I will definitely have to give this a shot. It is a perfect size for summer travel too!


Beauty Protector Protect & Treat Mask; Full size $25.95 

Sigh. I can not express how sick I am of receiving samples from this brand. It seems like I get samples every bleepin’ month. Will probably give this to a friend.


NAOBAY Body Radiance Lotion; Full size $24

I love the fragrance and the texture is perfect- not too thick or thin. It has a slight peppery smell and contains olive oil and avocado oil.


Marcelle New-Age 8 in 1 Power Serum; Full size $34

I am a sucker for a good serum and this Birchbox exclusive is an anti-aging gel that hydrates, lifts, firms, and plumps fine lines. It states that you’ll see results in just one week. We’ll see!


Real Chemistry Luminous 3-Minute Peel; Full size $48

I have to confess: I am a bit scared of peels. Did you see that episode of Sex & The City when Samantha had a bad reaction to a peel? Yeah- I know that was played up for TV, but I have read that peels can cause redness and I’m so nervous about having a bad reaction. But I will test this in a small area to see how it goes.


On to box #2!


Box #2: Classic Profile


100% Pure Gingerade Shower Gel; Full size $15

This is the Beauty Extra in my box. I received a sample of 100% Pure Mascara that I liked and I am excited to try this one. One thing I do not like is that it is in a foil packet. This are hard to open in the shower, but hey.


Sumita Color Contrast Eyeliner in Raina (Navy Blue); Full size $11

I received a full-size Sumita eyeliner in my first Birchbox so it’s great to be reacquainted with this brand. I like the navy blue color- it’s a great alternative to black. This is a soft wax pencil that promises to deliver long-lasting color that won’t irritate your eyes.


Klorane Gentle Dry Shampoo with Oat Milk; Full size $18

I have seen this sample on Birchbox before and am glad I finally got one myself. Yay! 


Vasanti Detox Nutrient-Rich Purifying Facial Cleanser; Full size $24

Another brand I sampled in my first Birchbox, this Vasanti cleanser is sulfate-free and gently removes impurities without overdrying. 


NAOBAY Body Radiance Lotion; Full size $24

Double trouble, baby! I love getting duplicates of great stuff.

One more thing that was included in each Birchbox was a card to redeem for a free one-year subscription to Women’s Health. If you don’t want to get this magazine, you have the option to request a refund of $9.99. 

Verdict: This is the second month in a row when I’ve enjoyed the selections for my Classic profile more than my Adventurous profile. It actually seems like the products for the Adventurous profile are actually not that Adventurous. I will play around with that profile to see if I can better tweak the samples I get. The samples I like the most this month are the NAOBAY lotion, Sumita eyeliner, Vasanti cleanser, and the Coastal Scents eyeshadow. I so wish I could stop getting hair product samples and have adjusted my profiles as such, but so far no luck. One thing I always do is submit product reviews to get my Birchbox points. I’ve got a good number of points and it is time for this girl to redeem them! I think a Birchbox Haul review is in my future!

You can still subscribe to Birchbox and get the July box with the card for a free Women’s Health magazine subscription. A monthly subscription is only $10 and is a great deal for sampling products and discovering your new favorite thing!



The Ultimate Birchbox Sneak Peek: July 2014


Forrest Gump once said, “Life is like a Birchbox. You never know what you’re gonna get.”

Okay, that’s not really how the line goes. But it might as well! Every month Birchbox surprises its customers with a new selection of products to sample and (hopefully) discover their new favorite things. Birchbox offers so many variations to its boxes- dozens in fact, with each box selected based on your profile.

Birchbox just posted a sneak peek of all of the colorful makeup products making their way into July boxes. Birchbox subscribers may get one or two of these awesome products.

You can visit their website for the full list and descriptions of all of the products, but here’s a quick rundown:
Benefit Cosmetics Posiebalm
Coastal Scents Revealed 2 Eye Shadow Palette
Cynthia Rowley Beauty Eyeliner
Cynthia Rowley Beauty Creamy Lip Stain
Jouer Luminizing Moisture Tint
Jouer Matte Moisture Tint
LAQA & Co. Sheer Lip Lube Pencil
Sumita Color Contrast Eyeliner
Ofra Universal Eyebrow Pencil

Recently Birchbox gave some subscribers the option to choose the shade of a cosmetic sample they would receive in July. I got my email and it looks like I will be getting the LAQA & Co. Pencil. I’m a sucker for a great lip product so I am thrilled about trying this! Of the products listed above, I’ve previously received the Sumita Eyeliner, Jouer Matte Moisture Tint, both Cynthia Rowley products, and the Coastal Scents Eyeshadow Palette. If you get one of these, you’re in for a treat!

Which product are you interested in trying? If you are not to a Birchbox subscriber, click here to sign up today!



Birchbox Just Got Even Better For July 2014!

If you are a member of any subscriber box services, you know that one of the risks is getting a sample in a color that doesn’t work for your skin tone. As a woman of color, this happens to me a lot. Like, a lot!

But Birchbox has listened to customer requests and in July you will be able to pick the color of one of your cosmetic samples. Keep an eye in your inbox for an email giving you that option. I’m guessing only those scheduled to get a makeup sample will actually receive this email. But this is a great option for all subscribers going forward!

The video above talks about this option as well as some other options for July.

What do you think about the option to pick the color of your makeup sample? Would you like to see them roll out the option to pick all of your samples (a la Julep?).



Sephora Deal: 3 Bliss Body Butters for $30

I ain’t gonna lie: I am a bit of a Sephora junkie. I can’t tell you the number of times I have said, “I am just running into Sephora to pick up one thing,” only to leave the store with a bag full of gorgeous goodies. But hey, what’s a girl to do?

Yesterday I received an email from Sephora that included an amazing offer: Beauty Insider members can buy 3 Bliss body butters for only $30. A trio of this magnitude would normally cost $87, so this is an amazing deal!

I have used this body butter for years and have loved the rich texture and refreshing scents. My ultimate favorite is the Lemon + Sage scent, but Bliss also offers Naked (fragrance free), Blood Orange+White Pepper, Grapefruit+Aloe, and Vanilla+Bergamot scents. You can buy 3 of the same scent or mix it up. This product is a great item for Mother’s Day, Easter, or graduation gifts. The Naked “scent” is a good option if you are uncertain which scent one may like.

This online-only deal is only available to Beauty Insider members who use the promo code BLISSLOVE at or thru Sephora’s mobile app (which is also very handy by the way!). The promo ends March 3 at 11:59 PST. Click here to go to and place your order.

Happy Shopping!



Limited Edition Birchbox Finds Box Now Available


Birchbox has developed a reputation as being a trailblazer in the subscription box genre, helping members discover their next favorite everything! Recent Birchboxes have included new products from mass market brands like Chapstick and Burt’s Bees alongside high-end goods. Today Birchbox has released a limited edition box called Birchbox Finds that focuses solely on these mass market goods.

This box includes 7 products that will help you achieve that movie star look without breaking the bank! The box includes:

  • COVERGIRL Bombshell Volume Mascara by LashBlast
  • Rimmel London Stay Glossy 3D Lipgloss
  • John Frieda Frizz Ease Nourishing Oil Elixer
  • COVERGIRL Bombshell Shine Shadow by LashBlast
  • NIVEA Kiss of Care & Color
  • Biore Self Heating One Minute Mask
  • Sally Hansen Complete Salon Manicure

The Birchbox Finds box costs $18 and contains $55 worth of product.

So what do you think? Are you going to get the box? I do wonder if this box has enough of that “ooh la la” feeling to make ladies want to take the plunge. But then again, for those who are more practical this could be a great box to get. Plus this box is still a good way to discover new products, proving that a girl can find glam in the grocery aisles!

Click here to order your own Limited Edition Birchbox Finds box!



Review: Oribe Dry Texturizing Spray


I have long heard about how dry shampoo can give your hair a boost but have never tried one until recently. I received the Oribe Dry Texturizing Spray in the POPSUGAR Neiman Marcus Must Have Box and while I was excited to try it, I was also nervous. Let me explain.

I have chemically relaxed and colored hair. As a black female I have had some great and less than great (okay, horrible) experiences with hair products. The act of trying new shampoos and conditioners is always something I approach with extreme caution. A new product can strip my relaxer or color or make it frizzy and incredibly coarse and dry. So I often only try stuff recommended by my stylist or one that I am confident can work on African-American hair.

So dry shampoos have both fascinated and scared me. It’s an odd balance, I’ll admit. But who wants to risk having weeks of constant bad hair days all because I just had to try that shampoo/conditioner/gel/etc. Not this girl, nuh-uh!

The Oribe Dry Texturizing Spray is described on Oribe’s site as an “invisible dry hair spray builds in incredible volume and sexy texture. Patented polymers absorb oil at the roots, leaving you with just-styled hair for days (and nights).” Sounds great, right? Okay, so I gave it a try one week after a recent relaxer and one day before I was planning to wash my hair. I figured any craziness that happened to my hair should only last a day.

I applied the product to the roots of my hair, as stated by the instructions. And Wham!– instant volume. What the what?!?! I was taken back. While I was aware of product being in my hair, it didn’t have a weird, icky, sticky texture.

Verdict: This is not a product I will be using daily or even weekly. But it is something I would use during the first week of my relaxer when my hair is at its thinnest and I feel that I need a boost of volume. I gotta say, this stuff really works!

The Oribe Dry Texturizing Spray is available in 2.2 ounces for $21.50 or 8.5 ounces for $42. Visit the Oribe website to learn more about this texturizing spray and discover more of the Oribe product line.