Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Subscription box experiment July 2015

Ok a note to start off.  I paid for or used coupons to get for free or discounted products.(not sent for free to review)  If available, the links I use for each company can and probably will contain links that do something for me like give me points towards purchase if you subscribe and whatnot.  If you don't like the idea of helping me out feel free to Google it yourself and give them a payday,  doesn't matter to me.  I subscribed to these not to make a profit but to explore my girly side and the world of makeup of which I really have no idea what I am doing.  Feel free to correct me,  advise me and otherwise help me out in any way you see fit in the comments below.  I'm am merely documenting my journey into womanhood (lol I am 31 but have never really embraced  my feminine side)  I plan on writing up every subscription I have every month and comparing them directly in a way that makes sense to me.
I'm starting off with 4 $10 subscription boxes I've found recently,  I'm sure you've heard of most of them from the numerous awesome beauty bloggers out there.  I am not one of them but will try to learn from them along the way.  I will be including links in future posts so you can easily view past posts.  If it works well,  I will start doing that with all of my blog posts linking them to other relevant posts you may like as well,  to try to get some semblance of organization to my very mixed up blog.  Please do subscribe and tell me what I'm doing right or wrong,  other stuff to try,  your opinions of the subscriptions or products.  Whatever.  OK here goes...

July 2015 - Falling down the rabbit hole-


Bulu box: Monthly service with samples of healthy living products. Point system in place for turning in reviews to discount full size purchases.

Birchbox: Monthly makeup subscription 5 high end samples point system in place for turning in reviews and has awesome specials and discounts available. New box design every month.

Ipsy: Monthly makeup samples and full size products.  Mixed between high end and "drugstore" makeup.  Also has a point system in place and member only specials.  Comes with a new makeup bag every month.  Has a wait list for the sole purpose of spreading the word.

Lip Monthly:  monthly makeup subscription. 3-4 full size Lip products ranging through gloss,  stains,  pencils and sticks.  Mixed value,  seems higher end.  Includes a makeup bag and a non Lip product every month.

                           Signed up    Shipped      Recieved
Bulu box -           July 3rd      July 15th      July 22nd

Birchbox -           July 3rd      July 9th        July 17th

Ipsy-                   July 3rd      July 17th      July 21st

Lip Monthly -      July 3rd      July 16         July 20th


Bulu box

-Urgent RX- upset stomach
FS=$13.99/12 SV=$1.17
Haven't actually had need to try this yet but I have to assume its no different than chewable pepto so I'm really not sure its worth the price and I wouldn't buy it myself.

- Bach- Rescue pastilles
FS= $7.75 SV= $7.75
I actually used to use Bach rescue remedy in the liquid version. This is a lot cheaper and alcohol free. It definitely works well and my midwife even gave me the liquid version to help when I was in labor so this blend works on all kinds of stress. The pastilles are a weird texture and I honestly prefer the liquid for delivery but this works just as well and may be a little safer to transport. This was a great product to include and they actually sent a full size tin.

-Movit- Energy gummies
FS=$15.99/12 SV=$1.35
These taste really good.  The berry flavor is sweet and bright.  I didn't notice if it really did anything or not since during a workout is about the only time I don't need any additional oomph.  So not really for me.

-Shapeology- Burn blend
FS=$39.99/60 SV=$2.60
Really excited about this one. It states that it mimics high metabolism which used to have naturally and that you can feel it working. So far it seems to be true. I took two (one pack) this morning and really feel more like I used to. I actually have energy and want to move. This may just be what I spend the included coupon on.

OK so you should not do what I did and take 2 of these with your morning coffee or two.  According to the package it containsas much Caffeine in 2 pills as 3 cups of coffee.  Since I popped two of these and slammed down 2 cups I inadvertently has basically had 5 cups of coffee in under 5 minutes.  Shortly after this post my heart was racing.  I had to keep moving and exercise just so it felt like my heart should feel that way and I sweat so much.  I also didn't really feel hungry all day and did feel full very quickly. I ended up crashing hard around 8pm glad I didn't play around with a second dose that day.  I feel skinnier.  I still really think I'm going to get this one and maybe pace it a bit better,  or just get used to it.  I used to be a huge caffeine addict and way thin. Probably some correlation there.

FS=$44.95/60 SV=$3.00
Seem like a decent vitamin I suppose... didn't actually feel anything though so not so much energy to it. I won't be looking to buy it but at least I know that now without paying almost 50 bucks for it.


-Benefit Cosmetics- they're real push-up liner sample
FS=$24 SV= $3
I love this! So smooth,  the silicone applicator is just perfect on my eyes and the stuff just does not go away.  Lasted all day.  Even gave me an in for another sample if I purchase a full size version.  I may get this and sample their mascara.

-Dr. Jart+ -  Ceramidin liquid .3oz
FS=$39/5oz SV= $3
Weird consistency,  felt tingly then very warm when I put it on.  Couldn't get past the ever present feeling of it or the way my skin felt greasy sticky all day.  Needless to say I wasn't a fan but at least I know without having spent 40 bucks.

-Oribe- Dry texturing spray 1oz
FS=$42/8.5oz SV= $5
I hate that I love this it is so expensive but made my hair look and smell fabulous,  can't believe people were complaining about getting it.  I hope I get more in the future or I might have to buy some.

-Real Chemistry - Luminous 3-minute peel 0.17oz
FS=$48/17oz SV= $5
On one hand this works awesomely and I'm glad I got the sample.  Follow the directions and it does pull off a couple layers of skin.  My face felt just like it does when I use baking soda on it but without feeling slightly raw.  Good stuff and if I had money to burn and or didn't know about using baking soda I would be all over it.

-Stila- look at me lipstick
FS=$22 SV=$7
Wow oh wow is this the hottest pink to ever touch me.  I really really hate pink but I tried this anyway.  Thought it was a gloss but then it dried and actually stayed almost neon pink and on place.  I any had to reapply once the whole day and that was after eating still my lips were mostly bright pink even then.  You know I'm They even felt pretty normal and they are running a special now for three of these and a cute bag for $20..  This subscription is going to break me that is 3 for 3 I want to buy in just the first box.


-Ofra- eyeshadow/highlighter in Bliss
FS= $15 SV= $5
This is a very pretty eyeshadow and it looks really nice blended to use as a highlighter as well.  The only thing I dislike is the clam shell it came in as a sample.  I estimated the value by dividing one of the 5 packs since the makeup was all I recieved.

-Teeez- Read my lips lipstick in killing me softly.
FS= $22 SV= $22
I wasn't impressed with this product.  The color isn't horrible I suppose but it's definitely not as long wear as the package suggests and it feels a little dry on the lips.  I can't deny it's a great value having it included the packaging is really cute too.

-Crown Brush- pink tweezers
FS= $6 SV= $6
A nice set of tweezers and they work well,  no complaints.
sorry I can't find them to take the picture lol but they are baby pink.

-Cool way- beach salt spray
FS= $13 SV=$3
Wasn't really into this one.  It's a small spritz bottle of what seems to basically be a light hairspray.  Only use I could really find for it was to get crispy hair from braids faster.  Worked great for that.  No real scent. I used it on half of my hair in the picture, the side I'm holding the bottle on.

-Avene- Cleanance gel
FS=$20/200ml SV= $2.40
Again not the most expensive sample but I really really like this cleanser. I hardly had to use any of it to clean my face and it made it feel smooth thight and tingly after plus it has a lovely clean scent. It not being expensive sucks on the sample value side of things but it is awesome when you go to buy more!

Lip Monthly

-Lord &  Berry- 20100 Lip crayon Fire 0.11oz FS $19 SV $19
I didn't think I would fall in love with something orange but this is awesome! I love the consistency it goes on easily and stays on for hours without drying on your lips.  The color is just perfect for me.  Slight vanilla smell and no taste.  I plan on using a Lip brush with it instead of trying to sharpen it based on other reviewers pointing out difficulty in sharpening and loss of product.

-Mica- tinted Lip balm velvet rose 0.25oz
FS $14.95 SV $14.95
OK this is another one that seeing reviews before trying helped.  Were I to name this it wouldn't be called tinted Lip balm.  It's more like a potted lipstick or stain.  You pretty much have to use a brush which I actually like and it's a beautiful red like a sheer brick red for lack of a better term.  I can't decide if I like this more than the
crayon because I love them both.

-Milani- Lipshine gloss in Sweet Grapefruit 0.21oz
FS $4.99 SV $4.99
The color of this one is cute,  very light pink.  It does make your lips really shiny too.  That being said this one is being given away.  It is so sticky it felt like my lips were getting ripped off my face when I kissed my kid.  It also had an air taste to it.  Actually licking it had no flavor but breathing through the mouth you could taste it.  Not a bad taste but definitely noticeable.
After a few days it's kind of growing on me,  the color is a nice nude look that just adds a bit of color to make my lips just look nice.  Still sticky but looks good so I'll probably keep it.

-Harvey Prince- Sincerely Eau De Parfum 8.8ml rollerball
FS $21.00 SV $21.00
Lots of people complained about this one being a perfume in a Lip subscription but they do tell you they include one non Lip product monthly and this is a really nice scent.  It's warm and floral and a bit fruity.  It feels old and young at the same time which turns out to be perfect for me.  Plus it's really potent so I'll bet this little bottle will last a really long time.  If you don't like it you can always hold on to it for a gift as its still very nice.

Bulu box price $10/month worth $15.91 full price of all= $121
Birchbox price $10/month worth $23.00 price to try all of the samples if you had to buy the full size version at the store = $175.00
Ipsy $10/month value $39.00 full price value is $76.00
Lip Monthly price $10/month (just went up to $12.95  for new subscribers.) value $59.54 and since they were all full size,  that's just what you'd be paying.

Final thoughts:

Bulu box: not a huge value but you can try expensive things out before you buy them which is always great.  The real savings come from the sales and discounts they offer if you really pay attention.  If worst comes to worst this will likely be the first one to go but it's a great way to get started in the supplement world.  I really want to check out their original box to see how it compares to the weight loss box I ordered.

Birchbox: Love it fully.  It's not the highest value box I Recieved this month but the samples were great.  Best of all with all the points I got for signing up and reviewing my samples and voting for a Birchbox brick and mortar to be built here in O-town,  I had 20 bucks to spend in their shop.  Ironically I went with a few more sample kits from Smashbox makeup and even qualified for not one but 2 special free bonuses.
full list:
-Smashbox try it kit Halo + BB- cost $29.00 Value $37.50
Halo Hydrating  Perfecting Powder 0.11oz Value $11.00
Photo Finish Foundation primer 0.25oz Value $9.00
Camera Ready BB cream 0.5oz $19.50
Baby bukki brush $8.00
-Smashbox Cosmetics try it kit- cost $18.00 Value $38.70
24 hour Photo Finish shadow primer 0.14oz Value $6.70
Photo op eyeshadow trio 0.04oz Value $15.00
Photo Finish Foundation primer 0.25oz Value $9.00
Full exposure mascara .14oz Value $8.00
-Mystery Sampler- free with $35.00 purchase Cost $0.00 Value $16.00
Jouer matte moisture tint 0.03oz Value $8.00
Bee Kind body lotion 30ml Value $8.00
-Deluxe Beauty bundle 1- free with $50 purchase Cost $0.00 Value $32.75
Laura Gellar Glam lash .2oz Value $12.00
Smashbox Photo finish Primer water 5ml Value $3.75
Dr Brandt microdermabrasion .25oz  Value $7.00
Macadamia professional nourishing moisture oil treatment 1oz Value $10.00

with my $20 in points I spent $27 on all this Value $124.95
  So it's awesome I'll get to try like 14 new products on top of what I've already tried for a very very low price.  I'm ecstatic.  I could have saved up and paid for the whole thing with Birchbox points but I'm not that patient.  Waiting the month is going to kill me and I'm curious on if you can buy multiple subscriptions at once.  Wish the men's was only 10 bucks too,  I'd order it if it was.

Ipsy: I really like Ipsy too. It was the second most valuable box and though I mostly set out to do this for a makeup collection, it was really nice getting things to take care of my skin and beauty tools too. the bag is really cute too and handy since I'm going to need some place to keep all of these samples. can't wait to see what next month has in store.

Lip Monthly: by far the most valuable of all the subscriptions which is almost ironic considering for one thing it has one less item than the others did and for another it quite honestly has the worst reviews which I think are mostly due to them growing and trying to offer people what they want since the bad things I've read seem to be " oh it took forever to get my box its like its never going to come" and then later it was "oh no they are double charging me, I haven't even gotten my first box yet and I've been charged for the second" to which I say, get over it people either the company is going to have to make you wait out the whole month before even shipping you your first box or they are going to have to get you on the books sooner even if that means you haven't gotten your first order. You really can't have it both ways and I think they are doing a great job. It seems like they have made some big improvements to their company along the way and I'm excited to see whats in store and a bit glad that I was lucky enough to order it just before the price increase and get grandfathered in at the $10

All told this month I spent $47 (lip monthly and bulu box I got for free for the first month with discount codes and I  am including my purchase since I wouldn't have made it without my subscription) and received a grand total of.......$268.00 worth of products. or $138 worth of products for $20 worth of subscriptions if you prefer. I am also seriously debating using my shapeology bogo code from bulu box for two of their big starter kits and save(and spend) an addtiional $130 heck 2 of the bottles of pills I want that come in it are 80 bucks so L'd hardly be spending anything on the other 3 or 4 products that come with it *2.

So what do you think? Is it worth it? I was really thinking I would want to cancel at least one of the subscriptions but now I'm letting them all ride another month.

as promised above, here are those links to sign up if you are interested,
Bulu box     Birchbox         Ipsy       Lip Monthly

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