It’s that time of the month again: my Birchbox arrived yesterday! For the November box, subscribers were given the option to choose a sample from Birchbox’s own new makeup line, LOC (which stands for Love of Color), or to opt for a box guest curated by YouTube beauty star Tati Westbrook. I’ve never heard of her (sorry, Tati) and I was interested in LOC so I chose a rose gold eyeshadow stick.

The November box design is especially cute; I’m such a sucker for floral graphics:

November 2015 Birchbox

This month’s theme is “Feeling Fancy.” With the holiday season coming up it’s time to primp and pamper ourselves within an inch of our lives (if you’re into that sort of thing, which I can be from time to time).


A few days ago, Birchbox sent out an email offering a peek at what I’d be getting in my November box, but I fall firmly in the NO SPOILERS camp so I held out until my actual box arrived. So here’s the card that explains what they sent me for this month:


And here’s a pic of my samples:

November 2015 Birchbox

My first thought: oh…ANOTHER dry shampoo: Living proof.® Perfect Hair Day™ (PhD) dry shampoo. Yes, the way I typed the brand and product name here is actually the way the stuff is named. I’m a little over brands that have unconventional ways of capitalizing and punctuating; it’s not like anyone’s going to remember how to do it properly. Anyway, I already have three other dry shampoo samples from previous Birchboxes that I’m still working my way through so even though I’ve been interested in trying out a Living proof product, their dry shampoo would have been one of my last choices. I tried it out this morning anyway, and it smells very clean—it’s less fragranced than some of the other dry shampoo samples I’ve received. My hair wasn’t particularly dirty when I used the stuff, but it does feel a bit refreshed, so I can’t complain.

Next up is the Liz Earle Superskin Moisturizer with Natural Neroli. The package claims that it “will leave mature or very dry skin smooth, radiant, and replenished.” I’m down with that, so we’ll see if this product delivers. I’m not totally sold on the scent; it’s pretty fruity, a little citrusy, and has a bit of an odd note that I can’t put my finger on but am pretty sure my husband won’t love smelling on my face at night. I’m not particularly fond of the scent either. I’m still working through my Darphin sample from last month, so it may be a little while before I move on to this one. The sample size is quite generous, though, so I always appreciate that. Also, a full-sized tub of this moisturizer is $72 which is more than I typically spend on facial products, so the odds that I’d end up buying this one in the future are slim.

My third sample is the one that I chose: LOC One & Done Shadow Stick in “Impress Me.” Aforementioned YouTuber Tati Westbrook apparently handpicked the shades for Birchbox’s first ever beauty line, and I’m happy that I chose this rich rose gold color.

LOC One & Done Shadow Stick, "Impress Me" - Birchbox

Here’s the shadow swatched on my inner arm:

LOC One & Done Shadow Stick, "Impress Me" swatch - Birchbox

I’m going to a party tonight and will definitely be wearing this new shadow! Birchbox claims that the shadow is creaseless and waterproof, and I will say the stuff has real staying power; I had to scrub my arm to remove the swatch. We’ll see how creaseless the shadow really is after I put it to the test tonight.

My fourth sample is Make Face Gloss, the purpose of which is a little murky to me. The card says, “With minimal effort, this colorless, vitamin-rich formula refreshes dull skin.” Hmm, okay, so that kind of sounds like it’s an all-around moisturizer, right? Then I found more detail on “Just a tiny touch of gloss along the bridge of your nose or dabbed on your cheekbones, and you’ll be getting your glow on in no time.” The package itself does say to “apply with finger tips or brush and pat repeatedly on desired areas.” Okay, so it doesn’t go all over your face…good to know, otherwise I would have applied it and looked like a swamp dweller in July. I think I’ll also give this stuff a shot for tonight’s party! We’ll see if I get any comments about looking glowy or radiant (yikes, then people will just think I’m pregnant…more wine, please!).

My fifth and final sample for November? Temple Spa La La Lagoon Aromatic Bath & Shower Gel. I’m happy to have received a shower gel, because I believe it’s been some time since Birchbox sent me one. My skin has been particularly sensitive lately, and I’ve been getting itchy red bumps on my legs and torso, so I am a little hesitant to try something new. This gel is infused with mint, peppermint, and basil and it’s sulfate and paraben-free so that counts for something. If you’ve been reading my Birchbox reviews, you know just how picky I am about fragrance. Well, this shower gel smells GREAT—very invigorating and soothing at the same time, which is 100% what I want in my shower. I am looking forward to trying this out, and am keeping my fingers crossed that it doesn’t upset my skin. I have a really lovely sample Quietude calming mist by Temple Spa from a hotel stay awhile back and I’ve always liked it, so I have high hopes for this body wash. Plus, a full-sized tube of the wash is $18, which is totally affordable for me.

So! Now it’s time to see how my November samples rate on EWG’s Skin Deep database.

  • Living proof.® Perfect Hair Day™ (PhD) dry shampoo: unlisted, but all other products from the brand that come up in the database are moderate hazard with limited data.
  • Liz Earle Superskin Moisturizer with Natural Neroli: unlisted.
  • LOC One & Done Shadow Stick: unlisted (not surprising as this is a brand new line)
  • Make Face Gloss: unlisted
  • Temple Spa La La Lagoon Aromatic Bath & Shower Gel: unlisted

I’d call my November Birchbox a pretty solid one. I believe my December box will mark my first anniversary as a Birchbox subscriber—I signed up on Black Friday last year because they had some kind of special offer, so if you aren’t a subscriber just yet you may want to hold off until Black Friday because I’m sure they’ll have another deal. I have to say it’s been a lot of fun to get these samples and then write about them here!

I also recently became a Birchbox Ace, which means I’ve earned at least 500 points on in a calendar year. I earn points by reviewing my samples (10 points per review) and those points turn into dollars you can spend in their online store. Aces get free standard shipping (woohooo!!!), concierge service, anniversary perks (which should be coming up very soon for me), exclusive offers, gifts, etc etc. I highly recommend earning points by writing reviews of your samples; the perks are definitely worth it!

Read my October 2015 Birchbox Review

Read my September 2015 Birchbox Review

Read my August 2015 Birchbox Review

Read my July 2015 Birchbox Review

Read my June 2015 Birchbox Review

Read my May 2015 Birchbox Review

Read my April 2015 Birchbox Review

What is Birchbox?

In case you’ve never heard of Birchbox, it’s a $10/month subscription box that includes five sample sized products based on your preferences (makeup, skin care, hair care, fragrance, etc.). They also have an online store filled with full sized versions of all the products they include in their monthly subscription boxes, so if you fall in love with a sample they sent you, you can go back to their site and buy the real thing. Use my referral link to sign up for your own subscription!