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Thursday, February 19, 2015

Birchbox Canada

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Birchbox finally got it's passport renewed and has landed in Canada! I used to be all about a little subscription service action, but after to subscribing to my fair share I'll admit I am a bit more trepidatious now as there are definite downsides to the subscription game. That said, I was curious about Birchbox since they're the original that's spawned the whole craze. Read on for a closer look!

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So, I'm not sure what month my box represents as it's not on the card. I took a look online but still can't say with certainty. I'm thinking it might be a press box- something put together for review purposes rather than a specific month. Maybe? Either way, the box is cute. It's smaller than I expected, but the brown craft paper style outer with black on white chevron interior is simple, elegant, and cute. When you pop the top off, the contents are nicely wrapped in a layer of pink tissue and your menu card laying atop. I love the menu as it has all the info you need and prices of the full size versions of your samples should you find something you've just got to have more of. I was very curious about the envelope- thinking it would contain something extra amazing- but it looks like it's their way of keeping little samples from crashing about during the shipping process. A little bit of a downer, but a nice touch regardless.

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What you really want to know though is what did I get... Well, for starters I got what every beauty lover needs another black eyeliner! Kidding, I love eyeliner but really don't need another (on top of the multitude I already own) but the Noir Cosmetics Long-Wear Eyeliner in Forever Noir (full size shown, $15) does have a dreamy smooth formula with a lot of pigment. I was quite impressed with how easily this glides on and can easily be smoked out. Not sure how it fares in terms of longevity, but I am very interested in checking out more of the brand.

Hair products are usually the backbone of subscription services, so I wasn't too surprised to see one in the form of Amika Nourishing Mask (250 ml full size retails for $31). I haven't tried this yet so I can't say too much about it but it smells incredible and has a very buttery texture. The formula is 'packed with sea buckthorn berry and jojoba oil' which is said to 'intensely hydrates strands while repairing damage and sealing frayed ends'  all while being 'free of parabens and other unwanted chemicals that have no place near your head.' I have high hopes.

Only one skincare item, but it's a pretty good one- Juice Beauty Green Apple Peel Sensitive (60 ml full size retails for $42) This is the lighter version of the popular mask that claims to be sensitive enough for all skin types. I haven't use this yet, but I have been working my way through the entire range and will have a review soon (next week maybe..)

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birchbox canada- cynthia rowley beauty creamy lip stain in heartthrob

I was really happy to see actual makeup- and colour!- included in this selection. Along with the eyeliner, I received Cynthia Rowley Beauty Creamy Lip Stain in Hearttrob (20 g full size retails for $23) which is exactly what the name says- a creamy lip stain. It applies like any other lip gloss, but is completely creamy (so stickiness) and dries just a touch. The stain stays glossy but does last quite well as it stains lips. Heartthrob is a super wearable pink kissed red that I can see myself wearing pretty frequently. I don't know much about her beauty brand (I do have her BandAids though...), but I love the classy-cute packaging.

Last up is a wee-little tube of Benefit High Beam (13 ml full size retails for $32) This is a classic Benefit product, but really, who hasn't tried it or one of the many dupes? I was surprised to see that the wand has a cute little brush instead of a doe-foot applicator though. A nice touch on a sample. Good job, Benefit.

Overall, this definitely isn't a bad selection of products, although I did expect more. More what exactly, I'm not sure, but with Birchbox being new to Canada I thought they might pull out all the stops to try and impress us. Value wise it's okay- you break even with the inclusion of the Noir eyeliner which is kind of nice. I like that the $10 (okay $15 in total) price point isn't over the top and makes for a nice little monthly surprise. Do you subscribe to Birchbox or any other services? Have you gotten anything great lately?