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Birchbox November 2016 Review

Updated on November 15, 2016

My November Birchbox finally came and man, was it loaded! For those who don't know, Birchbox is a monthly subscription box of curated beauty products. After filling out a brief profile, you pay $10 each month to have trial-size products sent to you and there's a store with full-size versions of the products you like on the website. If you want to check it out, you can use my link here! Remember, what you get in each Birchbox may be different.

November 2016 Birchbox full of goodies
November 2016 Birchbox full of goodies

Each month's Birchbox comes with a theme, and the theme of this month's box is "The Finishing Touch." From the box itself, "This month is all about those extra, just-because details that make all the difference." I usually see the theme clearly in my boxes, and I have to be honest, I didn't see too much of a connection this month. Even so, this is my favorite Birchbox yet!

Phytodefrisant Botanical Straightening Balm

First things first, this HUGE "sample" of a lovely straightening balm from phyto! I used this product the night my Birchbox arrived and as far as straightening balms go, it's pretty darn good. I have very wavy/curly hair, so the straightening effect might be more/less pronounced depending on your hair texture. The balm is actually a serum and I loved that my hair didn't feel sticky or greasy application. You apply it to damp hair and then blow dry or follow your regular straightening routine. This is heat-activated, so you won't notice a difference if you air dry your hair. I would say the smoothing effect was a solid 7/10 even though I still had to use my flat iron.

Benefit Cosmetics Goof Proof Brow Pencil

Small but powerful is the name of the game when it comes to this generous little sample. Like many people, makeup samples are by far my favorite to see in my Birchbox, so I was excited to see a Benefit brow pencil in the batch! I've always been impressed with Benefit, and they're known for their brow products. This pencil certainly didn't disappoint. The angled pencil is what makes this product unique and it really does grab onto the individual brow hairs. I like a bold, thick brow, and I felt like it was easy to build up the look.

Kiehl's Since 1851 Midnight Recovery Eye

Over the past few years, I've become increasingly wary of the fine lines around my eye area. I know it's a natural part of the aging process, but I am going to fight it kicking and screaming the whole way. No graceful aging over here. That said, I'm always on the lookout for eye creams, and Kiehl's is a favorite brand of mine, so I was excited to see it in my November Birchbox. The cream itself goes on light and a little goes a long way. A drop under each eye was more than enough. I really liked that it went on smooth and wasn't greasy. Unlike my Olay undereye cream, it didn't burn my eyes at all, so others with sensitive eyes might want to give it a try. I haven't noticed any reduction in lines but my dark circles do look a bit lighter after a couple of days. Of course, that's not really enough time to say anything for certain.

Lavanila The Healthy Fragrance - Pure Vanilla

This is another brand I've longed to try after smelling a sample at Sephora, so I was thrilled to see it in my Birchbox! The scent is absolutely scrumptious if you already love vanilla. If you don't, well, this isn't the fragrance for you. Tonka bean and goji berry round out a nice, sweet fragrance. The company also sells a natural deodorant in this scent, so I might give that a try in the future.

Oribe Gold Envy Luminous Face Mask

I haven't yet tried this mask. The full-size version retails at $95 (yikes!) so I'm saving it for a special occasion so I can avoid using other products and see if it makes any difference. According to the insert, it "evens skin and uses gold particles to give you a lit from within glow."

Coastal Scents Blush and Highlighter Duo

This was another nice little makeup surprise. My biggest complaint is that the wedges are a bit awkward to use with a brush, but hey, it's a makeup sample. The formulation is interesting. I'd put the quality somewhere between Physician's Formula and Tarte Cosmetics. The highlighter was too dark to really use as a highlighter for me, but I think the quality of the powder itself was impressive. The blush itself is much pinker than it looks in the picture, and it went on beautifully.

With a variety of makeup and beauty samples in generous sizes, I'd say this is my favorite Birchbox yet! I hope December lives up to the new standard. As far as products I'm planning to purchase after trying, the Benefit Goof Proof Brow Pencil and Lavanilla perfume are definitely at the top of my list.

Have you tried Birchbox?

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    • modernalchemyst profile image

      Josephine 14 months ago from New England

      I don't give free samples away, this is just a review for a paid subscription service that curates beauty samples. :)