Birchbox February 2016 Review

It’s Birchbox time! Even when you check what you’re getting in advance and are profoundly unexcited, there’s still something nice about getting that box in the mail.

It’s a monthy ritual. Check online, hold out hope, open box, be mildly disappointed. Every month like clockwork.

This month, I received:

Beauty Protector Protect and Detangle (estimated 1.25 oz), approximate retail value $4.12

​Beauty Protector Protect and Detangle

This did a surprisingly good job of getting knots out of my hair. Possible alternative explanation: I did an uncharacteristically good job of brushing my hair today. Either way, this smells delightfully similar to sugar cookies. (I may buy this.)

Color Club Nail Polish in Wild Cactus (0.25 oz), approximate retail value $4.00

Coat of Color Club in Wild Cactus

I really like getting mini nail polishes in my birchbox. Since I almost never use up an entire bottle of nail polish, it works pretty well for me. Every Color Club polish I have ever used has had a fantastic formula, and this is no exception. It’s also a bit more emerald than it is in the picture, which makes it incredibly richly colored and very different from anything I have in my collection right now.

Dr. Jart+ Black Label Detox Beauty Balm (0.1 oz), approximate retail value $2.13

Dr. Jart+ Beauty Balm

Swatch of Dr. Jart+ Beauty Balm

I’d already received the Dr. Jart+ Water Fuse BB Cream in a former Birchbox and I was NOT impressed, so I wasn’t expecting to like this product. However, I really enjoyed the feel of this foundation. It is smooth and definitely gives me the full coverage that I need.

There are a few things that I don’t like, however, and I feel they are worth mentioning:

1. I understand that this is an Asian product, but I think creating some shade diversity is a necessary step for any brand hoping to expand to the United States. It is simply not appropriate to release exactly one very pale shade.

2. The Birchbox website makes some rather outrageous claims about this product’s properties. Ok guys, I am sure your “rare caviar extract” is just going to make my face explode with collagen, science be damned! (It is highly likely that I will dedicate a “Beauty Bullshit” post to this in the near future.)

3. This product contains skin whitening ingredients. The ingredient in question is arbutin, a derivative of hydroquinone that whitens skin using the same mechanism. I find it really problematic from a social justice perspective to encourage skin whitening as a beauty ideal. Not to mention the fact that this “feature” isn’t exactly advertised by Birchbox. They are advertizing it as a “skin brightener” which is their way of saying “this is a skin whitener but we kinda secretly know that’s racist so let’s pretend something else”. It’s not a skin brightener. It works by inhibiting melanin production. It is a skin whitener, period.

Juicy Couture Couture La La Perfume 

Juicy Couture Couture La La

This smells like orange juice and vanilla. It’s perfectly adequate smelling, but perfume samples are the worst kind of samples. Although there are certainly perfume samples that would have value for me because I am specifically interested in that particular scent, getting random samples in my Birchbox is kind of worthless. Every time I buy something from I end up just clicking random, unfamiliar-looking perfume samples to throw into my bucket o’scent that hangs out on my dresser. I usually don’t even look at what I spray on myself in the morning.

Ghirardelli Milk and Caramel Square

Ghirardelli Square

Total box value: $11.99

This is the lowest value Birchbox I have received so far, which was disappointing. It was barely worth the $10 I paid for it, and I didn’t like several of the products.

That being said, because I really did like detangling spray and the nail polish (and I also enjoyed getting to try the BB cream, other issues aside), I am actually not too dissatisfied. That’s not exactly high praise, but it will have to do.

If you are interested in getting a Birchbox and are feeling generous, I would love for you to use my link by clicking here.


1. I was gifted a birchbox subscription, so my opinions are a bit different because I’m not paying for it, but I got some similar things and I love every birchbox I got! I’m sorry you were disappointed in some things. I hate Juicy perfume. I just throw them away as soon as I get them. I can’t use them, so I’m not even going to pretend to keep them. I did a birchbox review on my page. I received the Dr. Lipp nipple balm instead of the polish, which is gorgeous btw! Lucky you!

2. It wasn’t bad. It was just… anticlimactic.

3. It’s ever so slightly too dark for me as well… but it’s not orange-y, so I think it looks okay.

4. Wanting fairer skin doesn’t mean someone wants to look another race. It’s more of a socioeconomic thing than a race thing.

Anyways, nice review.

5. Hey there, I’m new to your blog, I always like seeing what everyone else received monthly, but it seems everyone was a bit dissapointed this month 🙁 hope birchbox steps it up soon, come check my blog out sometime 🙂

6. Isn’t the Beauty Protector mist amazing?! I just posted the review of my February Birchbox on my website. I received some amazing beauty products this month.

7. I think you might want to re-evaluate your perception on whiteners. It is not a matter of looking like a different race (why do Caucasians spend so much time tanning?). It’s generally a matter of even skin and being wealthy.

8. I agree that whiteners are not used to make people look Caucasian, but I disagree that that excuses them from a social justice perspective. I think it is problematic to say that pale skin is more beautiful that darker, especially given the historical context that we find ourselves in.