Birchbox December 2014 Review & Unboxing: Decked Out | Hello Pretty Bird! - A beauty and not-so-glamorous lifestyle blog

14 December, 2014

Birchbox December 2014 Review & Unboxing: Decked Out

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Birchbox is kind of like a holiday present that I give myself every month. Every month is a holiday, every month is a surprise? The fun never ends.

Birchbox December 2014 Review & Unboxing: Decked Out unboxing

Not familiar with Birchbox? It's a monthly beauty subscription box. For $10 per month, you get 4-5 beauty and "lifestyle" samples, plus the opportunity to review the samples you received for rewards points to be used towards purchases in the Birchbox shop. They recently launched in Canada too!

Before I get into the box contents, can I just take a moment and say how pretty the actual box was this month? Lookie:

Birchbox December 2014 Review & Unboxing: Decked Out pretty blue and gold box

Oooooh, blue. With gold bits. So festive. I usually recycle or repurpose my Birchboxes into gift boxes, but I might have to keep this one around.

Birchbox December 2014 Review & Unboxing: Decked Out info card

This month's theme is "Decked Out", i.e. ways to get your beauty festivities on a bit early. Sounds good. There was another little card in the box as well with instructions on how to get a complimentary $10 credit to spend at Gap—nice! Well, it would be nicer if one could use the credit online (as opposed to physical stores only). Also, I heard that some people were having issues getting their codes because people were trying to claim them fraudulently... well, it was a nice idea.

Onto the products!

Ojon rare blend™ oil Moisture Therapy Sample SeaRx Microdermabrasion Face and Body Scrub

Ojon rare blend™ oil Moisture Therapy (Sample size, 2ml, approximate value $1.56):
An "intensely moisturizing" hair oil that contains... something. The Birchbox product page lists Ojon oil, monoi oil, coconut oil, ximenia oil and aloe vera as components of this blend, but when I tried to look at the full ingredients list it just says "Please contact Customer Service (877) 487-7272 for ingredients." Hmm. Not sure what to make of that. I can tell you this much though: This oil blend smells awesome (kind of sweet with a hint of herbs and fruitiness) and isn't super heavy or greasy, so that's promising I guess.

SeaRx Microdermabrasion Face and Body Scrub (Sample size, 5g-ish, approximate value $1.40):
A physical exfoliation scrub made with mineral salts and a bunch of other stuff. I'll be honest here—I'd be fine if I never got another "microdermabrasion" scrub in a beauty box. I don't like using them on my face (too rough for me—I prefer chemical exfoliants or the melty goodness of sugar) and these tubes can be a little fussy to use in the shower for body exfoliation. Oh well! Birchbox, please make a "I don't want no scrub" checkbox on your profile page?

RUSK® Texture Spray Sample

RUSK® Texture Spray (Sample size, 1.5oz/50ml, approximate value $3.38):
A medium-hold hairspray that's supposed to give hair volume and shape whilst retaining bounce. Shrug. Hairspray doesn't usually drive me wild with delight, but I'll try it!

Mirenesse Mattfinity Lip Rouge in Sydney Sample Vasanti Kajal Extreme Intense Eye Pencil in Rose Gold

Mirenesse Mattfinity Lip Rouge in Sydney (Sample size, 1.7g, approximate value $7.04):
A matte, dark magenta lip tint that promises to "stay put all day", even without lip liner. I ended up liking this a lot more than I thought I would—it didn't bleed or feather on me without lipliner, just as the info card claims. The color is very intense and opaque, but in a flattering, non-clownish way. My only complaint is that it isn't 100% transfer-proof (which I learned after giving my BF a big old peck on the cheek—mwah.) Not a bad product at all though, all things considered. It even has a nice fruity scent!

Vasanti Kajal Extreme Intense Eye Pencil in Rose Gold (Sample size, 0.03oz, approx. value $13.50):
A creamy eyeliner pencil with in a subtly shimmery rose gold shade. As has been the case recently, Birchbox subscribers were given the chance to preselect one of their samples via e-mail, and this is the one I went for. I like it! This is a pretty shade for highlighting, using along the waterline etc. No complaints!

Swatches of the lip tint and eye pencil:

Mirenesse Mattfinity Lip Rouge in Sydney Sample Vasanti Kajal Extreme Intense Eye Pencil in Rose Gold swatch swatches

Total box value: Approximately $26.88

Overall impressions:
I liked my Birchbox this month. I don't necessarily need more hair products or scrubs, but I'm thrilled with both of the makeup items I got, so I'm fine with the rest of the lot being a bit less exciting. My favorite item overall this time was the Mirenesse tint—I'm wearing it right now, in fact!

Like what you see? You can sign up for Birchbox here. I've been pleased enough with them so far that I finally signed up for an annual subscription last month... here's hoping they continue to please. Be sure to use coupon codes BBSTORE100 or BBJETBLUE when you sign up—either of those codes will earn you 100 points to use in the Birchbox shop, which is equivalent to $10. Birchbox subscriptions also make a great gift, FYI! You can purchase gift subscriptions for as little as three months.

What do you think of my December Birchbox? If you got some of the same stuff, what did you like (or not like)?

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. For more information, check out my full disclosure policy.


  1. Ooh, the eyeliner is really pretty! And I seem to get a lot of scrubs from Birchbox too and I never end up using them.

  2. The Mirenesse stain is a really pretty shade!

  3. Yep, I have quite a pile of mini scrubs at the moment. I wouldn't mind if they sent them once in a blue moon, but I feel like I get some sort of scrub-type thing every other box...

  4. I guess the problem is that I already have a mini-hoardpile of full-sized scrubs I know I like! It's probably time to cull the scrubpile, I think.

  5. I don't want no scrub made me think of a cool exfoliation pack they could do. Then I got to thinking about all the items they could pack in that box. Then how cool it would be to have TLC do some cross-promotion while I've been humming "No Scrubs". Man if that could be real…

  6. I don't want perfume, but sadly the best they can do in that regard is "no more than six a year."

    I got a dry shampoo, a BB cream, a moisturizer, a highlighter, and a mascara (another item I seem to get 3654657 samples of). The highlighter seems to be a decent "I don't feel like messing around with eye shadow but my lids are so dark" product and the BB surprised me by not appearing dark on my ridiculously pale skin. Does anyone ever get excited about mascara? It seems good enough which is pretty much all I ask of mascaras. I tend to grab one from the huge pile of samples, use it a few months, pitch it. Is there a life-altering mascara I have yet to encounter?

  7. I've always been curious about Mirenesse products and that lip product looks really pigmented. Probably a bit too bright of a shade for my liking but then you never know. I'm currently on a Birchbox/Ipsy timeout so I'm missing out on a lot of products lately, but hopefully in 2015, I'll resubscribe again. LOL.

  8. I really like that eye pencil! That would be a great shade for the waterline. I want to try that now!

  9. Sarah @ bitsandboxes.comDecember 16, 2014 at 3:05 AM

    Box twins! I loved mine, especially the eyeliner and lip color. So much prettier than I was expecting on both counts!

  10. "No more than six a year" is too many. I would mind the perfume samples less if I didn't get some variation of the latest blah Harvey Prince or Juicy Couture fragrance every time. As for mascara... I actually get excited about color mascara, but it's really rare that it shows up in beauty boxes. Black mascara usually falls into one of two categories for me: Would use, or OMG you go in the trash. I still have several backups in my hoardpile though, thanks to beauty boxes...

  11. But if TLC wants no scrubs then wouldn't their special exfoliation pack be chemical-based? Clearly this project requires some market research.

  12. The Mirenesse tint is definitely bright, and I could see how the color wouldn't suit everyone. Depends on your skintone I guess. I have cool undertones and the color is bold on me but definitely flattering, if that makes sense. It's OK to be on a bit of a timeout! I rarely use up every sample I get in my beauty boxes the month I get them, honestly.

  13. Yes! That's how I've been using it. It's subtle but pretty!

  14. I agree! This box was pretty well-rounded, though I could do with less hair samples overall. I just have so many I'm working through!

  15. Ah yeah, a bad color is no fun. I hate it when I get a lip gloss or lipstick that generally seems OK, but comes in a color I hate. I feel like that happens half the time with beauty boxes, unfortunately. :(

  16. I had a good feeling about the eye pencil, but I had no idea the lip tint would be so nice. Yay!

  17. I really liked that lip tint and Eye Pencil. I did not get that in my December Birchbox :(. I really liked the blue box that all my samples came in as well. They should do that more often.

  18. I'm totally down to being one of the people in their focus groups testing their items guinea pig-style. You're right though. They'll need to do a lot of peeling gels, masks and packs.

  19. Yeah definitely! They've put out special/decorative boxes before, but I think this is the prettiest one so far. It would be cool if they changed up the box design every month but I'm sure that would be a hassle. :P

  20. Luckily my BFF's 8 year old girl loves perfume samples, especially the really juvenile sweet ones I get a million of. My perfume tastes run more towards Darling Clandestine and BPAL, most commercial perfumes have way too much throw for me to use them even if I enjoy the scent.

    (not that there is an inherent problem in sweet perfumes, one of my current favorites smells like strawberry jam, but the "yet-another-light-sweet-inoffensive-fruity-floral" stuff that comes in beauty boxes is tiresome)

  21. Are you talking about Morderteile Kelah? I feel like that one's a bit more interesting because it's vaguely spicy. Mmm, spicy fruit.


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