Beauty Review: Birchbox & POP Beauty Bright Up Your Life Palette in Naturally Bare

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If you’re into beauty, I’m sure you’ve heard of beauty subscriptions such as Julep Maven, Birchbox, and Ipsy. After months of hearing about these I jumped on the bandwagon because $10 a month seemed completely justifiable for a box of goodies delivered to my door.

The idea is simple: you sign up, take a fun style/lifestyle quiz, and the company ships you a box of 4-5 products for only $10. Don’t worry, they automatically bill you weeks before the box is shipped…for an East coast company, it seems like they’re headquartered in China because it took me forever to get my boxes. Their tracking is horribly inaccurate but at least the shipping’s free, I guess. I’ve just gotten too used to being pampered by Nordstrom’s always fast, always seamless shipping service.

{the good}
Variety:Β I did get to try a lot of products that I never would have picked up on my own. I actually only got three boxes, but that’s over a period of 90 days. I don’t know about you, but for some reason it takes me forever to finish products. I end up having to throw away products because it’ll be time to toss them and I still haven’t finished them. For someone like me, using up samples is sometimes a struggle. So currently my vanity is still cluttered with these three boxes, some samples unopened, because I just have so much.

Rewards: The rewards system is pretty decent. Your first box shipped gets you 10 points, a friend referral gets you 50 points (thanks for signing up through me Blair!), and if you write a product review for each product you’ve sampled – you get 10 points each too. 100 points equates to $10 which you can spend in the Birchbox store which has tons of products. I tried to write a review for every product I got and racked up some points that I couldn’t let go to waste! I was able to only pay a few dollars for the palette that I’m going to review below! I thought about it this way – for every box I successfully review, it’s like I’m only paying $5 for it. Sort of works, right?Β 

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{the bad}
-Some samples are so small that I couldn’t justify the price. If a sample has a larger bottle, chances are half of it is empty.

-Shipping, as mentioned above.
-Nowhere did I mark that I wanted to be sent the lifestyle samples but I have received packets of tea, chocolate, and an overly healthy snack bar in my boxes before. What are these things doing in my beauty subscription box? Some people might like that surprise but if those are making up my 4-5 items, no thanks.

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{bottom line}
If you have $10 to spare each month and you don’t mind trying truly sample sized samples, this is pretty fun to receive and if you do the reviews, think of it as only $5 a month. But you can get deluxe sized samples from places like Sephora or simply asking at department stores. For now, I’m on a break. But I’m definitely interested in giving ipsy a try – Michelle Phan’s version of Birchbox
!

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What I’m really excited about in this post is the palette that I purchased partially with my points! This is affordable, has a good selection of neutral shades, and after a week of testing has proven to be a great product especially for the price.

Shades

The shades are very buttery and comparable to the texture of Urban Decay shadows actually, however the pigmentation is not as intense. Some of the top row shades come off a bit chalky and there is a bit of powder on the black palette packaging. Speaking of packaging, the sleek palette is small and light enough to travel with however I prefer to bring something even smaller or with more multi-purpose products. There’s also no mirror as the top is clear. The front clasp is also pretty difficult for me to open each time. It comes with a dual ended brush that’s decent for basic application. The concealer looking brush is good if you wanted to smudge some shadow on as liner.

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Keeping in mind the price tag, I would say it does a good enough job. I would give this 4/5 stars. What would make it a 5? Some matte shades that aren’t chalky, a mirror, and slightly better packaging. I see a lot of potential in this brand however and I would love to try some more of their products! Sadly, POPBeauty is a UK company :(

I’ll leave off with some swatches of the shadows. (I apologize for the goosebumps..I was a bit chilly I guess.) As you can see, the top row isn’t TOO pigmented but on my finger they were more rich. All the colors seemed to lose a bit of payoff as I swiped them on my arm. The third picture shows a view with flash – you can see how shimmery some of the shades can be.

 

Today’s outfit: Necklace|BCBG. Bag|Longchamp. Sweater|Lucky Brand. Skirt|Forever21. Wedge caged sandals|Unpictured and unknown from Nordstrom Rack!

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Have a wonderful week! As always, thank you for reading!
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