Unboxing | Birchbox July 2015: Go Bold | Hello Pretty Bird! - A beauty and not-so-glamorous lifestyle blog

21 July, 2015

Unboxing | Birchbox July 2015: Go Bold

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How's that summer heat treating you? I'm melting a bit, but thankfully the contents of my latest Birchbox didn'tthey were smart enough not to send any traditional lipsticks (or other waxy products) in this the month of swampy air. Overbearing humidity aside, who wants to see what I got in my box this month?

Unboxing | Birchbox July 2015: Go Bold review

First though, a "What is Birchbox?" primer: Birchbox is a monthly beauty and lifestyle subscription box. For $10 per month, you get 4-5 samples, plus the opportunity to review the samples you received for rewards points to be used towards purchases in the Birchbox shop. I've been a subscriber for a couple of years now, so you can check out a whole bunch of my past reviews here.

The theme of this month's box is "go bold."

Birchbox July 2015: Go Bold info card

I am fond of wearing bright colors during the summer months, but popsicles for breakfast? Let's be real here: That's a year-round activity for mildly dysfunctional adults like myself. Know what I'm saying? Grab yourself an Otter Pop and have a gander at the "bold" beauty samples I received this time around.

COOLA® Classic SPF 30 Cucumber Moisturizer for Face sample

COOLA® Classic SPF 30 Cucumber Moisturizer for Face (0.24fl oz sample, approximate value $4.52):
A daytime moisturizer with SPF 30 and a light cucumber scent. Unfortunately this stuff contains an ingredient I'm sensitive to, so I tossed it into my swap box right away. Maybe I'll give it to Stan and ask him how it fares against the cheaper drugstore sunscreen sample I gave him a couple of weeks ago? Shrug.

Oribe Dry Texturizing Spray sample

Oribe Dry Texturizing Spray (1oz sample, approximate value $4.94):
A dry shampoo-esque texturizing hairspray. I was a little skeptical of this sample given the somewhat hefty pricetag, but it actually turned out to be sort of great. My hair is on the fine side, and it adds texture and volume without making my scalp look powdery or making my hair feel overly stiff. The scent is also pleasant—kind of fruity? FYI, this stuff is listed in the "MEN" section of the Birchbox site. Doesn't really matter though—I think the scent would suit most men and women equally. Good stuff.

Benefit They're Real! Mascara deluxe sample tube

Benefit They're Real! Mascara (0.1oz sample, approximate value $8.00):
A cult favorite mascara that somehow I've never tried before. I'm glad to finally get a chance, though I am a bit bummed that I got regular old black... apparently Benefit now makes They're Real! Mascara in blue. I want blue! This is "go bold" month, after all. Anyway, I haven't opened it yet because I have over half a dozen black mascaras in rotation right now, but I'm looking forward to trying it later. (I totes would have opened it right away if it was blue though. Totes.)

dr. brandt® microdermabrasion skin exfoliant

dr. brandt® microdermabrasion skin exfoliant (0.25oz sample, approximate value $9.75):
A fine (but intense) facial scrub. I tried a sample of this from some other beauty box long ago and didn't really love it—a bit too scrubby for my tastes, and waaaay too expensive for what it is. Into the swap pile it goes!

stila look at me liquid lipstick in Venezia

stila look at me liquid lipstick in Venezia (1x 1.5ml tube, approximate value $6.67):
A liquid lipstick with a matte finish. Part of a Birchbox exclusive set of three bright colors—finally, something that expresses the "go bold" theme! Venezia is a very, very bright orange/coral shade:

stila look at me liquid lipstick in Venezia lip swatch swatches

I like this color a lot, but it's not for the faint of heart. As for the formula... it takes the lipstick a few minutes to dry completely, but once it does, it's very transfer-proof (unless you eat something oily, in which case bye-bye lipstick!) I think it's a tad on the drying side, but that's not unexpected given how matte it is. All in all, not bad! Assuming you can deal with heinously bright colors, of course.

Total box value: Approximately $33.88


Overall impressions:
This month's box was hit or miss for me. I liked the liquid lipstick and dry spray, but the microdermabrasion scrub and sunscreen are things that I simply don't have any use for. The Benefit mascara is still an unknown to me, so I guess curiosity alone nudges it more into the "good" category. Therefore: Three out of five samples in this box have value to me. I guess that's pretty good? Especially considering that all of the samples I received were from pricey-ish brands this time around.

Like what you see? You can subscribe to Birchbox here. Use coupon code BBJETBLUE10 when you sign up to get an extra 100 points (worth $10) to use in the Birchbox shop.

What do you think of my July Birchbox? Which of these items would you have been most excited to try? Let me know in the comments!

Disclosure: Some or all of the links in this post are affiliate links, which means I will earn a commission if you make a purchase after clicking on them. For more information, check out my full disclosure policy.


  1. I've been interested in trying the Oribe spray so I'm glad to hear you had positive results with it. I hope I get it in a box soon, cuz as you said a full-sized one is kind of pricey.

  2. This box doesn't look as good to me as some of the previous ones I've seen from Birchbox. That said, I'd actually love to try that scrub; I like really scrubby scrubs a lot of the time!

  3. That's a bummer that you couldn't use a couple of the items in this box. I've really been wanting to try Coola sunscreen, but not if it contains something that's potentially harmful.

  4. I finally gave in to subscribing to Birchbox after having been convinced by your 'Why Birchbox Doesn't Actually Suck' post. Must. Collect. Points. Thanks for that ♥

    Also, I love that you use your SO as your guinea pig, or rather, 'Here, you try this, because I don't really care for it, but I paid for it and I don't want it to go to waste'. That's what I do with my hubs, anyway.

  5. I agree with you. This box was ok. The liquid lipstick and the texture spray are def the highlights in this box.

  6. I love that texture spray!! I have the thinnest, finest hair on earth and it's one thing that doesn't weigh it down but actually gives it a little poof without accentuating flyaways.

  7. Yeah I would never gamble $40+ on a hair product, so I was really pleased to get a sample! Hope you do too, because I thought it worked really well.

  8. The sunscreen ingredient in question is Avobenzone. Through trial and error I've discovered that it breaks me out, which is why I avoid it.YMMV depending on your skin. Generally speaking it is considered to be safe - here's a quick link that explains more about it as an ingredient: http://www.paulaschoice.com/cosmetic-ingredient-dictionary/definition/avobenzone

  9. Haha glad to "help", I guess? I do love the points though. I just managed to haul more of the Beauty Protector detangling spray (which I love) and some fancy shaving stuff for my dude thanks to those delightful little points. Speaking of... he actually LOVES inheriting my reject sunscreens, haha. One less thing for him to have to buy.

    I think I chose the lip color this time but my profile says Adventurous. I love getting crazy colors, wish Birchbox would send more of them.

  10. Definitely! I guess two (maybe three?) really good samples isn't bad.

  11. I feel the same way! It also doesn't make my scalp feel gross. I hate it when I fall in love with a product that's kind of expensive, but it is really good...


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