December Birchbox

Looks like I got my November Birchbox review up just in time, because my December box arrived this morning!  Good timing, too - I'm about to go home for Christmas in a few days, I'm so glad it came before I left!

First off, can we talk about packaging for a second?  Birchbox has always gone above and beyond when it comes to packaging, from their nice sturdy boxes - beneath an additional cardboard covering so the box itself doesn't get damaged during shipping - to the hand-packed sample items.  But this month was just extra fabulous for the holidays.  For starters, the snowflakes on that familiar hot pink cardboard sleeve.  Adorable!  Then the list of contents, usually on a single notecard-sized sheet, is actually done up like a Christmas card!  Even the tissue paper and ribbon, usually pink and black, respectively, are this month a wintry white and silver.

Sure, in the long run, packaging gets discarded, so it doesn't mean much.  But to me, those little details show a dedication to the product.  It would be easier to have every box be exactly the same, but they went out of their way to make the holiday box special.

So now that we've covered how frickin' adorable the design of this box is, let's move on to the contents!

01. Benefit Cosmetics The POREfessional
Sample Value: $9.67

Allow me a momentary backtrack to my packaging rant, because this?  Is adorable.  The above picture is the outside, then when you open it up, it looks like this:

So cute!  Again, that additional step says a lot, at least to me.  Now, back to the products.  I promise!  This is a primer said to reduce the appearance of pores.  Now, I'm not sure how much use I'm going to get out of this, as I don't wear foundation, but I'll swipe on a bit and give it a try anyway.  Worst case scenario, I can use it for my eyes when I run out of my Laura Gellar primer from last month.

02. Jouer Moisturizing Lip Gloss in Birchbox Pink
Sample Value: $5.71
I cannot get over how adorable this is!!  The tube itself, and the color, and the fact that the color was made to match the Birchbox pink!  My only complaint is that I wish it were bigger, man does Jouer give out tiny sample sizes!  Let's hope I don't lose this like I did the Lip Enhancer from a few months ago.

03. kate spade new york Twirl
Sample Value: approx $1.55
Now, as I've mentioned here before, I have no sense of smell, making perfume samples pretty worthless to me.  I can't smell it myself, and - more importantly - I never know if I'm putting too much on.  So this makes me really happy that there's actually an atomizer - I can use one or two spritzes and not worry about smelling like I just spilled an entire bottle on myself.  Its scents include, according to the Birchbox site: watermelon, blackberry, red currant, orange blossom, jasmine, magnolia, musk and French macaroons.  That sounds like quite a lot to pack into one fragrance, but seriously, what the hell do I know about perfume?

04. Nuxe Huile Prodigieuse OR Multi-Usage Dry Oil
Sample Value: approx $6.80
This is a hydrating oil that also adds a subtle glitter.  Really fits in well with the holiday party season theme, and I'm sure I'm going to need this when I go back to frigid Chicago - my skin is just not used to a dry climate anymore.  According to the site, this is actually supposed to be a spray in full-sized form, though it says to spray it on your hands and then smooth over skin.  That seems like a bit of an unnecessary extra step, but I guess it would be less messy than dealing with it directly out of the bottle.  It can also be used as a hair oil.

05. ShowStoppers Designer Fashion Tape
Sample Value: $0.83
Double-sided fashion tape.  Fits well with the theme, again, but this probably isn't something I'll use; I'm extremely flat-chested, so I don't own anything low-cut.  Maybe I'll try it with tank top straps or something when I get back to warm weather.  Also, because this is the month I rant continuously about packaging, take a look at the full-size product.  It looks just like a packet of gum!  There's no way you can look at that and tell me it's not completely adorable.

06. EBOOST Orange Natural Energy Booster
Sample Value: $1.40
A morning pick-me-up, basically, with energy-boosting vitamins and minerals, and natural caffeine from green tea.  No sugar, no artificial sweeteners, and only 5 calories per packet.  Fits in well, again, with the theme.  Since I'll be on vacation over the holidays and won't have to be up early in the mornings, I'll probably save this for when I get back, a night that I hit the bar during the work week.

Total Value: $25.96
This number averages the cost of some items where there are two sizes available, with the larger being the better value.  So that's pretty impressive, 2.5x what I paid!  And a really nice selection of products, that fit the theme, and - are you sick of me saying this yet? - are just wonderfully packaged.

Plus, in case you needed yet another reason to love Birchbox?  This month they're donating all proceeds of full-sized product purchases to Baby Buggy, a charity that helps provide for children in impoverished families.  So if you had been waiting for the right time to make a purchase, this would be it.  Get your Christmas shopping done and donate to a good cause, all in a few easy mouse clicks!

Next up: Zoya Dove

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