Unboxing | Birchbox January 2015: Relax & Recharge | Hello Pretty Bird! - A beauty and not-so-glamorous lifestyle blog

15 January, 2015

Unboxing | Birchbox January 2015: Relax & Recharge

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Who's ready to get down to some serious relaxation with the January Birchbox? Me, that's who! And if you don't subscribe, maybe this review will soothe you. Sooooooothe.

Birchbox January 2015: Relax & Recharge outer box

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. Rewards = more stuff! I LIKE STUFF!!! They just started shipping to Canada too—check out the Canadian site for details.

For the past few months, Birchbox has been allowing subscribers to pre-select one of their samples or a special curated box. This time I went with one of the special boxes: Relax & Recharge.

Birchbox January 2015: Relax & Recharge info card

I love at-home pampering sessions and sure as hell could use an excuse to relax, so choosing this box was a no-brainer. Let's see what was in it!

When™ Travelmate Sheet Mask

When™ Travelmate Sheet Mask (1x 23g mask, approx. value $7):
These are great masks. I actually got one in Memebox a while back, and as soon as I saw it on the Birchbox sample selection page I went "OMG MUST HAVE." These are bio-cellulose/gel masks, which are sort of a premium item, hence the not-absurdly-low price. I like these masks because they're very soothing, fit my face nicely, and don't smell like ass. High standards, right? One funny thing I should note is that these are the only sheet masks I've ever tried that were slightly too long for my nose. I have a huge nose, so... yeah. Not a problem though: Just fold up the tip and you're good.

Perlier Intensive Nurturing Body Balm in Lavender

Perlier Intensive Nurturing Body Balm in Lavender (1oz/30ml sample, approx. value $4.25):
Perlier is another brand I've sampled in many forms and generally like. Their body butters are rich and usually smell awesome, and lavender seems like the perfect scent choice for a relaxation box. I haven't opened this yet because I have another mini tube of Perlier in rotation at the moment, but you better bet your bippy that I'm going to use this bad boy.

Briogeo Don't Despair! Repair! Deep Conditioning Mask

Briogeo Don't Despair! Repair! Deep Conditioning Mask (1oz/30ml sample, approx. value $4.95):
A deep conditioning mask for your hair, AKA conditioner. Whoa. I tried a sample of this via Ipsy a really long time ago (maybe over a year ago?) and wasn't really that impressed. It works fine as a conditioning treatment, but it wasn't really "miraculous" so I think it's too expensive for what it is. I also didn't like the way it smelled, but I'm picky about that sort of thing so YMMV.

Balance Me Wonder Eye Cream

Balance Me Wonder Eye Cream (0.2oz/7ml sample, approx. value $17.73):
You heard it here first: This is eye cream. Yup. And according to the tube it's "99% natural", which is pretty much meaningless to me. I haven't decided yet if I'm going to try this sample or give it away—I'm prone to getting millia around my eyes, and I'm still not sure if rich eye creams contribute to that. What do you think? If you've tried this, is it amazing or meh?

Manna Kadar Lip Locked in All Of Me

Manna Kadar Lip Locked in All Of Me (0.01oz/0.5g sample, approx. value $0.34):
A lip tint with a glossy finish. And a shiny gem on the tube, which always makes me feel fancy. This stuff is gorgeous! Very pigmented, nice texture, nice color. It doesn't really have any scent at all, which may be a pro or a con depending on your preferences? Personally I don't care. Swatch:

Manna Kadar Lip Locked in All Of Me swatch swatches

Nice, huh?

Teapigs Tea Temples

Teapigs Tea Temples (2 "Temples", approximate value $1.33):
I'm glad that Birchbox included some tea as a sixth bonus item, because as I've said before, it annoys the shit out of me when food or tea takes the place of one of the five beauty samples. That said, it certainly makes sense in the context of a relaxation box, and both liquorice and chamomile are excellent choices because they're sweet and herbal (no caffeine). I've never tried Teapigs before, but I'm looking forward to it next time I need to take a break from sucking down coffee!

Total box value: Approximately $35.60

Overall impressions:
I'm pleased with you this month, Birchbox. I thought that this was a really well-curated box, and despite a couple of "meh" inclusions (hellooooo overpriced eye cream and hair treatment) it still has a lot to offer. The Manna Kadar lip stain was a particularly nice discovery—I probably would have overlooked it if it hadn't shown up in this box, but it did, so... yay!

Like what you see? You can sign up for Birchbox here. Be sure to use coupon code BBSTORE100 when you sign up—it'll earn you 100 points to use in the Birchbox shop, which is equivalent to $10.

Birchbox January 2015: Relax & Recharge

What do you think of my January Birchbox? If you subscribe, did you get any of the same stuff?


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


  1. I think all eye creams are "meh." I use them, but only because everyone says you should. I know I'm too young to really see a difference in my skin now but hopefully it will pay off in the future?

  2. I really liked the lip tint, too! Also, I appreciated your alliteration and the use of "bet your bippy." The tea was weird, I decided after my second cup. I tried the liquorice one.

  3. The Manna Kadar lip color is so pretty! I liked the Brigeo hair mask especially the scent but it was pretty pricey.

  4. I think moisturizing the eye area is probably a good idea, but you don't necessarily need a dedicated eye cream for that. I don't know about long-term benefits... I never gave eye cream a single though until I was maybe 28 or so, so who knows what would have happened if I'd used it much earlier.

  5. Have you tried licorice root tea before? It does have kind of a strange taste on its own in general, though I'm used it it. My folks never had sweet drinks in the house when I was a kid so I drank a lot of herbal tea. Jealous? :P

  6. Yeah the price is a bit harsh. The full size is only 5oz or something like that, so if you have long hair you'd use it up so fast!

  7. Actually for $7USD, that's not too bad for hydrogel sheet masks. Some paper masks go for much more than $7. *cough*Sephora*cough*

  8. I agree, I was mostly pointing out the fact that they were hydrogels so folks weren't like "OMG BUT MY BEAUTY DIARY MASKS ARE A DOLLAR!!!" Honestly, I don't think I've ever spent more than $5 on a single paper/fabric sheet mask myself. Have you tried the Sephora ones? It's cool that they come in a round thingie, but I have my doubts that they're better than cheaper mask brands from Korea and Taiwan.

  9. I did want to try one for the sheer novelty that they were in Sephora and in really nice bright colours. When I went to pick one up though I yelped and backed away. I mean–that's too much money for something that I could get for a lot cheaper. I did have a friend who did try it and she wasn't wowed. For reference, her and I were in Korea together and she knows her way around a good mask.


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