Birchbox, March 2013 Review

Birchbox, March 2013 Review

There are few things in life I enjoy more than food and beauty products. And shoes. And traveling. I love shoes and traveling, too. Anyway, my point is, when I heard about Birchbox a little over a year ago, I knew I had to subscribe. And every month since, I’ve received these little treasures in the mail. And, I have to say, I really do enjoy receiving them. I love getting introduced to and trying new products. And sometimes, I’m even reminded of an old favorite.

For those of you who don’t know what Birchbox is, it’s a subscription service that, for $10 a month, will deliver 5 or 6 designer beauty product samples to your door. Birchbox comes in a small brown box and inside, wrapped in pink tissue paper, are products ranging from beauty to lifestyle and can be sample or full size. It’s like life and a box of chocolates; you never know what you’re going to get. But it’s always exciting.

Along with each box comes a post card that lists and describes each product inside, and a little gift box in case you want to gift a friend.  

Back of Birchbox Postcard with porduct descriptions.

Back of Birchbox Postcard with product descriptions.



March 2013 Birchbox


This month I received  8 products that included 3 scents of Caldrea body lotion, an eyeshadow and face primer by Make, a color-safe, sulfate free shampoo and paraben-free conditioner by Nick Chaves Beverly Hills, and a super cute emery board by Madewell for Birchbox. I have tried all of the products and will share my thoughts on each.


Nick Chavez Beverly Hills Shampoo and Conditioner 


I was excited about this product because I have color treated hair and my hair has been a little dry this winter. Although I use a good shampoo and protein conditioner, I’m always open to trying new ones, especially when they’re sulfate and paraben free. 



Nick Chavez Beverly Hills Color-Saver Sulfate-Free Shampoo and Paraben-Free Conditioner


The shampoo came in a 2 oz plastic bottle, which I think is a nice size sample. I’ve used this shampoo twice now and still have enough product left for a couple more uses. And it smells incredible! The description says “it’s loaded with yummy apple and lemon extracts that boost volume” and I would agree that it does. I have long, thick hair, and sometimes the weight can make it look flat and lifeless, but I did notice, with this shampoo, I had a little extra oomph. And did I mention it smells delicious? Because it does. It has one of those scents that almost make you want to eat it. Weird, I know, but I know you know what I’m talking about. An 8 oz. bottle of Nick Chavez Beverly Hills Color-Saver Sulfate Free Shampoo retails for $22 on the Birchbox site. 

The conditioner sample was a disappointment. It came in a cardboard pouch and was basically a one-time use thing. Okay, my hair felt soft after using it, but it also feels and looks that way with my current conditioner. I’m sorry, but I can’t tell with just one use how I’m going to like a product. I really do need to use it a few times to decide if I like it well enough to stop using my current conditioner and buy this one. As I said, I like my conditioner and because I do, I’m not going to ditch it for something I’ve only tried once, even if it is less expensive than the one I’m using. An 8 oz. bottle of Nick Chavez Color-Saver Paraben Free Conditioner retails for $24 on the Birchbox site.

Make Face Primer and Eyeshadow



Make Face Primer With SPF 30 and Single Eyeshadow


I’ll admit, I’m still on the fence about face primers. I always use an eye lid primer to help keep my mascara from transferring, but I just haven’t noticed any real benefit to face primers.

Maybe it’s because I have very dry skin, or maybe I’m just using the wrong type of primer. I’ll admit I don’t know a lot about face primers, and my very basic understanding about them came from a quick google search that told me there are basically two types of primers; those made with silicone for oily or acne-prone skin, and those made with waxes, emollients, or lotions for dry or aging skin (raises hand!). It could simply be that I’ve tried the wrong primers, and if I ever got one formulated for dry skin, I’d understand all the hoopla about them. 

Anyway, I tried the Make primer, and while I can’t say I noticed any real difference in staying power, it did seem to help my foundation glide on easier. Although I typically use a light coverage foundation, or BB Cream, I didn’t seem to use as much with this primer. And, I really enjoyed the way it felt on my skin.  As with other primers I’ve tried, it’s very lightweight and makes the skin feel very soft.  The added SPF would remove the need for that extra step.

The Make eyeshadow is a warm satin brown called “granite” and is definitely a color I’d reach for. Although not highly pigmented, it’s very easy to blend and it is easily buildable. I already know I’ll put this  little eyeshadow to regular use. On the Birchbox site, this single shadow by Make comes in 6 colors and retails for $18.

Caldrea Aromatherapeutic Body Lotion


All three lotions are free of phthalates, parabens, formaldehyde, and artificial colors. On the Birchbox site, an 8 oz. bottle of Caldrea Aromatherapeutic Body Lotion retails for $22. These lotions are very hydrating, and they don’t leave your skin feeling tacky or greasy. 


Caldrea Aromatherapeutic Body Lotion


  1. Aloe Water Apricot -Described as “A modern white musk with florals and freshness.” This scent is initially very strong, bordering on obnoxious .As it settled in and mellowed out, though, it wasn’t too bad. It’s still far too musky for me, but it was much nicer after wearing it for a while . 
  2. Tea Olive Lime – Described as “Green yet sensual, citrus is deepened with vanilla, orchid, and tea”, this scent smells very much like a cucumber vanilla water to me. It’s fresh, soft, and very feminine. 
  3. Coconut Fig Leaf – This one is described as “Fresh yet exotic, easy sensuality balances juicy spice. Smooth, soft yet clean”, and it is. This is definitely my favorite of the three scents, and I didn’t hesitate to order this one. I love subtle scents like this for bedtime. It’s clean, feminine and very soft.


Emery Board  


Madewell Emery Board

Madewell Emery Board


What can you really say about an emery board? It does exactly what it’s made to do, and, in this case, looks cute doing it. This emery board from Madewell is patterned after a print in their Spring Collection, and it sells for $5 on the Birchbox site. 


Final Thoughts


Overall, I’m very happy with this months Birchbox. I especially like the eyeshadow, lotions, and shampoo. Although I’m still on the fence about face primers, I’ll probably continue using the sample and do some further research about primers in general. Perhaps if I find one specifically for dry skin, I could benefit from using a face primer.  

If you’re subscribed to Birchbox, tell us in the comments below which products you received this month and how you liked them! 

This is not a sponsored post. The product mentioned in this post was purchased by me, and the thoughts and opinions expressed are my own. However, sponsored posts will never skew my opinion on a specific product. If you are interested in sponsoring this post, please contact me for details.
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