My October 2016 Birchbox arrived a little earlier in the month than usual, so that was a nice surprise. I opened the shipping package to find this pretty, fall colors-inspired design inside:

October 2016 Birchbox

Near the end of each month, Birchbox allows subscribers to choose either one of several samples or a curated box for the next month. I didn’t receive an email from Birchbox at the end of September notifying me that it was time to choose a sample, and because I was on vacation I didn’t think to go to their website to pick a sample, either. So I think this month I was just sent whatever the standard curated box was.

The October 2016 theme is “rejuvenating products to make the most of your you-time.” Seeing as how I love me some Me Time, I’m 100% down with this theme.  🙂

My sample card promised all good stuff:


And now, for my October 2016 Birchbox sample reveal:


First up: Dr. Brandt Microdermabrasion Skin Exfoliant (full-size, $79). I recently received this exact same sample in my Sephora VIB Appreciation Sample Bag and already used the whole tube up while on vacation (I got three uses out of it). The scrub has a nice lemony scent and exfoliates without being too rough. This product is not meant to be used more than once or twice a week, and it’s supposed to reduce fine lines and scars over time. I know I’ll never buy this product full sized due to the price, but I’m glad I now have a second sample to try out because I didn’t get many uses out of the first.


My second sample is a tiny tube of Dr. Lipp Miracle Balm (full-size, $16.50), which is comprised of 100% natural medical-grade lanolin. The sample tube has a slanted applicator tip that looks like it’s intended for use on lips, but it’s also supposed to be good for soothing sunburns, taming out-of-control eyebrows, moisturizing dry cuticles, and more. So far I’ve used it on my lips and it imparts a nice gloss without being tacky. However, I do think it’s ever-so-slightly too sticky for me to want to use on other body parts. The price is totally reasonable but I don’t see myself buying this full sized any time soon because I recently cracked open a fresh tube of Bite Beauty Agave Lip Mask, which is going to last me forever!


I was very excited to see my next sample, Embryolisse Lait-Crème ConcentrĂ© (24-Hour Miracle Cream) (full-size, $28). I’m aware that this product is one of those beauty editor and makeup artist favorites that appears in basically all of the Top Shelf posts on Into the Gloss. This is a multitasking French cult classic can be used as a moisturizer, primer, makeup remover, and body lotion. Dry skin season is upon us, so I’ll likely use this tiny tube up pretty quickly. I’m really hoping it will help soothe the dyshidrotic eczema that flares up on my hands when the weather starts to dry out (I saw an allergist this week and she told me to keep the affected areas moisturized, so theoretically this should be ideal!).


I’m sort of swimming in mascara samples now, but I’m still looking forward to trying this Marcelle Extension Plus Curl Mascara (full-size, $14). I haven’t tried a mascara with a curling wand in many years, so I’m interested to see if this one delivers as promised. I’m not going to try this mascara out just yet because I want to work my way through my other mascara samples before I start using it.


My fifth and final sample this month is Oribe Grandiose Hair Plumping Mousse (full-size, $38). Birchbox is clearly pushing this brand hard—this is the fourth Oribe sample I’ve received since June. I have found that these products are high quality, but they are also quite expensive so I don’t see myself shelling out the dough for full sized versions (I mean..$49 for a shampoo? YIKES).


I applied the mousse after showering this morning and let my hair air dry…and lo and behold, it gave my baby fine hair some volume, texture, and wave.

I’m also wearing Dr. Lipp balm on my lips, plus two September samples: Milk Highlighter on my eyelids and tops of my cheekbones and Elizabeth Mott It’s So Big Volumizing Mascara.

The mousse is not supposed to leave your hair feeling crunchy, but small sections of my hair were indeed a little crisp until I brushed it out. Maybe I just did a poor job of evenly distributing the product through my hair. I don’t see myself using the mousse regularly because I really hate running my fingers through my hair and feeling GUNK in it (though I could try applying less product). That said, this mousse will definitely get some use for special events or date nights.

Overall, I’d call my October 2016 Birchbox a success because I know I’ll use all of these products up! As I’m sure you’ve guessed, the sample I’m most excited about is the Embryolisse moisturizer.  🙂

How did your October 2016 Birchbox work out for you?

You can browse through my previous Birchbox reviews here.

What is Birchbox?

Birchbox is 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 it full sized. You can also earn 1 point per $1 you spend at and earn points for referring friends, then use those points toward future purchases. Use my referral link to sign up for your own subscription!