Birchbox: May 2016

My May 2016 Birchbox arrived late last week and I was excited to crack into it and see what goodies they sent me. This month’s box design, while not my favorite, is still cute and very spring-y with a pastel modern art motif:

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In case you’re not familiar with Birchbox, I explain all about this beauty subscription box down at the bottom of this post!

For this month’s sample choice (which I logged on to do at the end of April) I picked the Coola Classic Face Sport SPF 50 White Tea. I chose this sample simply because I’ve used a couple other Coola products in the past and I really liked them.

My sample descriptions looked interesting, minus the perfume sample (meh…I just can’t get excited about those):

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Ready to see my samples?

May 2016 Birchbox

Some fun stuff, right?

First up is the sample that I chose: Coola Classic Face Sport SPF 50 White Tea (full-size, $32). This sunscreen is meant to moisturize while protecting your face from harmful rays. As someone who uses SPF 30 every day on my face, I appreciate something with an even higher SPF. I haven’t had the opportunity to try this product on my face just yet, but I tested a bit on the back of my hand and it’s light and absorbs quickly. While the white tea scent is pleasant and not overpowering, I would very much prefer to use an unscented product on my face. For that reason I wouldn’t buy this product full sized, but if Coola released an unscented SPF 50 formulated specifically for the face it would definitely be on my radar. (They currently offer an unscented SPF 30 matte tint which I use fairly regularly, as well as an unscented SPF 30 moisturizer that I haven’t yet tried, but they don’t produce an unscented SPF 50 for the face at the moment).

Coola Classic Face Sport SPF 50 White Tea - Birchbox

The next sample is a very generously sized hair care product: Davroe Ends Repair (full-size $25). This vegan, cruelty-free Aussie brand is totally new to me. As someone who typically gets a haircut once a year (seriously…I just don’t bother) and has split ends that have split ends, I was excited to receive a hair care product like this. Also, I was just kind of happy it wasn’t yet another amika sample. This leave-in product contains rice and wheat proteins that supposedly prevent split ends. You smooth a bit of the product on the ends of damp hair after showering, and that’s that. I’ve used it a couple of times so far and for hair as fine as mine, a little goes a long way. It leaves my hair feeling very soft. The jury’s still out on whether it actually prevents split ends, but it feels nice enough on my hair that I’ll continue to use it. The only thing I’m not that into is the scent; as with so many other hair care samples I’ve received from Birchbox, it smells quite strong and powdery. Scent is such a personal thing…it would be great if these brands could just pull back on it some! Bonus: this product is free of parabens and sulfates.

Davroe Ends Repair - Birchbox

Next up: Goldfaden MD Doctor’s Scrub (full-size $38-75). This new-to-me cruelty-free brand was created by “world-renowned dermatologist Dr. Gary Goldfaden” without using harsh chemicals or parabens. This scrub sounds quite luxurious: it uses round ruby crystals to exfoliate your face while plumping skin with hyaluronic acid. The stuff is supposedly gentle enough for daily use, but I felt like it was a little rough on my face for me to want to use it every day. At $38 for 1.7oz or $75 for 3.5 oz I don’t think I’d buy this product full sized, but I love that I got this sample to try out!

Goldfaden MD Doctor's Scrub - Birchbox

The sample I was most excited to see upon opening my Birchbox was the ModelCo Lip Lacquer in Morocco (full-size $24). The rosy nude shade is just about my perfect lip color, so I couldn’t wait to swipe this baby on my lips:

ModelCo Lip Lacquer, Morocco - Birchbox

But first, the obligatory swatch on my arm:

ModelCo Lip Lacquer, Morocco - Birchbox

I slicked this gloss on my lips for a date night look this past Saturday, and it did not disappoint. Morocco is exactly the color I would have picked out from the brand’s options had I been given the choice. The formula is thick, moisturizing, and glossy without being tacky or ultra-shiny. It’s stickier than the Acure Lip Lush that I got in my April 2016 Birchbox, but it’s not nearly as gooey as many lip glosses out there. The gloss smells a little fruity and is this month’s winner, in my book.

ModelCo Lip Lacquer, Morocco - Birchbox

My Date Night Look with ModelCo Lip Lacquer in Morocco

My final sample, the one I’m least excited about, is a fragrance: Another Oud by Juliette Has a Gun (full-size $145). My disinterest in perfume samples is well established, and I was less into this scent than the last one that I received from Birchbox. Another Oud (whatever that means) is supposed to “evoke the grandeur of the Middle East” with deep woody notes, bergamot raspberry, and musk. It’s not horrible, but it’s just not for me.

So! As always, I like to look these samples up on EWG’s Skin Deep database to keep an eye on the potential toxicity of these products.

  • Coola Classic Face Sport SPF 50 White Tea: unlisted, but their unscented face SPF 30 is on the low end of medium hazard with limited data
  • Davroe Ends Repair: unlisted
  • Goldfaden MD Doctor’s Scrub: low hazard, limited data
  • ModelCo Lip Lacquer: unlisted
  • Another Oud by Juliette Has a Gun: unlisted

All in all, I’d say my May 2016 Birchbox was pretty solid. I like that I was introduced to a couple of ingredient conscious brands (Davroe, Goldfaden MD). I’m loving the lip gloss color and will definitely get plenty of use out of the sample. I’ll use up the Coola sunscreen even though I’m not in love with putting scented products on my face, and the good-sized tube of Davroe hair treatment will last me quite some time. A little also goes a long way with the facial scrub so I’ll get a decent number of uses out of that sample tub as well. The perfume sample will probably just go in the trash. 😛

You can browse through my previous Birchbox reviews here.

What is Birchbox?

Birchbox is a $10/month subscription box that includes five sample sized products based on your preferences (makeup, skin care, hair care, fragrance, etc.). They also have an online store filled with full sized versions of all the products they include in their monthly subscription boxes, so if you fall in love with a sample they sent you, you can go back to their site and buy the real thing. Use my referral link to sign up for your own subscription!

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