Birchbox is now regularly giving its subscribers different options to select for their boxes each month. This month the choice was the collaborative "Holiday Hacks" box with Buzzfeed Life or one of the following samples: Juice Beauty Green Apple Peel Sensitive (got it in my Birchbox Customer Appreciation Day Box), Not Soap Radio Joy Inducing Body Wash (got it in my August 2014 box), amika Nourishing Mask (sounds nice!), and Royal Apothic Cuppa Cuppa Firming Tea Treatment Mask (cool story behind the product and high value!). I ended up going for the Buzzfeed collab because although I was interested in the amika Mask, there was another amika product I knew I would definitely use in the collab box. I also already had and loved the Dr. Lipp product, was eager to try the Dr. Jart+ product, and love candles - especially holiday ones. So, I thought all of that outweighed the benefits of going for just the amika or Royal Apothic masks.
My box contained: amika Perk Up Dry Shampoo (Full-size, $21), Dr. Jart+ Pore Minimalist Mask (Full-size, $35), Dr. Lipp Original Nipple Balm for Lips (Full-size, $14.50), Greenleaf Signature Candle in Silver Spruce (Full-size, $17), and Mirenesse iCurl Secret Weapon 24hr Mascara (Full-size, $35.96)
Birchbox sells just one single mask for $7.50 so this Dr. Jart+ "sample" almost pays for the entire Birchbox itself. I have only received tiny samples of Dr. Jart+ products before, so I haven't really been able to judge them properly until now. I had seen this mask in some other bloggers' boxes and was hoping I would get the opportunity to get one in one of mine. I was really pleased to get this and look forward to trying it out on a bad skin day. Through the package I can tell that the mask is going to be thick and luxurious.
Birchbox sells a 1 oz travel version for $9.00 and this sample is .75 oz, so another great value for a box that only costs subscribers $10 (or less with a discount code)! I am a huge fan of dry shampoos - how else can you achieve that "just blow dried my hair" look at a social event right after a long day at work? Travel size dry shampoos can be hard to find and pricey - I've only occasionally found some by Batiste. They're perfect to keep in your work bag for hair emergencies. I know for sure I will get a lot of use out of this one. I'm also excited to see how amika stacks up against high end dry shampoos like Serge Normant and then my fave Batiste, which is an incredible value for the money.
I previously did a review of the full-sized Dr. Lipp balm for the Birchblogger program in October 2013 and received a sample in my January 2014 Birchbox - so this is my third time receiving the product from Birchbox. I actually really like the product so I'm happy to receive it. The samples are quite small (lots of air in the packaging), but the full size version will last you a long time. I love how it doesn't take much of the product to fully moisturize your lips and the effect is incredibly powerful and long lasting. It doesn't wear off after eating or drinking like a lot of other lip balms.
I love candles way too much. I think they just instantly turn any space in your home into a fragrant and calm sanctuary. So, I was definitely excited to see a candle sample included in this box. It's not often that Birchbox includes hefty lifestyle or home fragrance samples. I have to admit the Greenleaf brand is completely unknown to me so I don't know if I would initially have been able to justify the $17 price tag at all. However, it is a very nice smelling candle. The fragrance is strong so I think it would be quite noticeable when lit and long-lasting. From the "Silver Spruce" name it's exactly what you'd expect - a Christmas tree in a box! So perfect for the holidays, especially if your family uses an artificial tree that doesn't give off any scent. I'm not a big fan of plain votive candles like this. That means I'll have to find a nice votive-sized holder for it or put it in my decorative lantern. I definitely prefer small candles that come in their own decorative holders. However, it is a sample so I can't really complain! The full size ones do come in decorative glass jars.
I think this Mirenesse Mascara would really make the box if you are a big fan of this brand or looking to find a new luxe mascara. It has the highest retail value of any of the items in the box and appears to be very close to full size. From the accompanying packaging it looks like this mascara aims to boost volume and add curl, which is definitely what I look for in a mascara. I'm pretty dedicated to the one I currently use which is more than $10 cheaper, but always happy to try something new.