Your SEO optimized title page contents

Cynthia Rowley + Birchbox

by Ashley on July 25, 2011

cynthia rowley birchbox, birchbox

Remember when I got all confessional and shared how I don’t take care of myself as much as I used to? And how I needed to have a Consuming & Passionate Love Affair with myself?  I’ve been trying to get back in the swing of that.  Partially by spending a little more time on my body than normal, and by playing with beauty products more.

I used to have a huge, huge love affair with beauty products when I was younger.  Face scrubs, nail polish, and colored mascaras, I loved experimenting with it all.  After months of peeping other ladies buying them, I decided to begin a subscription to Birchbox.

Birchbox is a monthly subscription ($10 & free shipping!) that sends “deluxe” beauty samples to you each month (approximately 4-5 each month).  You customize the profile based on your own needs (skin type & coloring, hair type, eye color, lifestyle, whether you like trendy stuff or classic items, what kind of style you have, etc.), so that each month the box is suited to your needs.  Each month you can earn points for purchasing boxes, writing reviews, etc, and those can be redeemed for $10 off coupons to use on full size products you love.

A little package of make-up treasties arriving on my doorstep each month? OH HAIL YEAH!

Because this was a guest curated box, the boxes are pretty consistent in product.  (Though I’m jealous not to have received the Nuxe dry oil!) This month’s box included:

  • Redken Shine Flash 02 Glistening Mist: This is a yummy smelling spray that goes on dry hair to pump up the shine.
  • Philosophy Purity Face Wash: I’ve used this in the past and found it rather drying (a feat since my skin is so oily!). A little goes a long way, and I may try using it in the evenings with a moisturizer so my skin can mellow out while I sleep.
  • Zoya Polish in Shay: this is a really pretty nude (and for me it is Nude, as it matches my skin tone perfectly).  It goes on a bit thick and has a slight shimmer to it.  I really love that this is mini-sized; I wish ALL nail polish could be bought in mini-size.  It takes me ages to go through it all, and at a cheaper price, I’d buy tons more.  My Milk Glass Heart‘s experience with the polish is that it chips very easily, and I haven’t worn it long enough to know yet.
  • Ahava Mineral Hand Cream: The smell is soft, clean, and slightly mineral-y, while the cream is really thick.  I’m no lotion connoisseur, so I’d probably use it until it ran out, then switch back to a cheaper drugstore brand.  The Ahava also has sulfates in it, so if you’re sulfate & paraben-free, this isn’t the lotion for you!
  • Kind Fruit & Nut bar in Almond & Apricot.  This was far more delicious than I thought it’d be.  It’s gluten-free and soy-free, but also packs almost 5 grams of saturated fats! Oh you fatty, delicious almonds!

And who’s that peeping in the upper corner? Do I see a fuzzy paw?
Why, whoever could be photobombing my photos?  Could it be…

Oh, Ainsley Hayes!

As soon as the mailman delivered the box, she was all up on me.  Trying to get in to the box, tear back the tissue paper.  She immediately found the ribbon tying up the Philosophy Purity and went to town.  (In fact, I had tried to record an unboxing video, but it turned in to The Ainsley Hayes Show.)

Story:  I was thinking about signing up to get the Birchbox monthly, and I asked the Beau, “Hey babe? Do you mind if I spend $10 a month to get a little box of beauty samples each month?” and he responded, “Go ahead! Anyways, that’s cheaper than my World of Warcraft subscription was each month.”

Bwah! That’s logic, ladies.


Beth M August 12, 2011 at 4:23 pm

Yay!!! I just got my first birchbox and I am so excited that I rushed here to tell you about it. First, it’s just so damn beautiful! Everything is so carefully wrapped and presented, I felt like I was opening a birthday present… and I get to do it every month! I got Blinc mascara, Befine exfoliating cleanser and night cream, Lift Lab skin serum, and Twirl by Kate Spade eau de parum. SO EXCITED!

This thing is so dang pretty that I’m going to get a gift subscription for my sister… I mean, this is the best invention ever. So much fun!

Ashe August 12, 2011 at 6:13 pm

Ahh! This makes me so excited! I got mine today (same products as you–which makes sense, since we’re both naturally fair skinned, fair haired, and I’m guessing your hair seems fine, too).

I love that you’re getting a gift subscription for your sister– I hope she loves it! We should get Christy in on it, and we can have a little unboxing ceremony each month ;)

Beth M August 13, 2011 at 7:32 am

That would be so much fun!! (and a good excuse to make cocktails)

Casee Marie July 29, 2011 at 12:49 pm

I have never heard of this, and now I feel a bit embarrassed. Absolutely going to check it out. I love that you can customize it based on your particular needs/wants, that makes it even more worth it!

Oh, and Zoya nail polish does chip very easily – I just tried it for the first time last month. My understanding is that it’s vegan? I could be entirely wrong. The formula seemed a lot different, the consistency and all. It lasted a few weeks on my toenails, but only a day or so on my fingernails.

Ashe August 12, 2011 at 6:12 pm

That’s good to know about Zoya! I do like that it is vegan and the Big 3 free… I’m horrible about chipping my nails though, and assume any polish is going to!

Jocelyn July 28, 2011 at 12:32 pm

This was my first birchbox month too! I thought the purity facial cleanser was just bad for me, I tried it before bed and the next morning I had 3 pimples on my face. Wish I would have gotten the hand cream, instead I got some organic body wash. After reading your take on the fruit & nut bar, guess I’ll try mine for breakfast tomorrow.

Ashe August 12, 2011 at 6:12 pm

Yeah, I’m totally not a fan of the Purity! It’s crazy how dry it makes my face… and funny, I’d almost prefer body wash! (Too bad we can’t trade, right?)

Dolly Dahl July 26, 2011 at 8:02 pm

ooh that DOES look interesting. I love getting surprises in the mail and I love beauty products so this looks like a win win. Now to figure out what to cancel so that I can give them the $10 every month. HEHE

liz July 26, 2011 at 1:55 pm

I had just read about this in a mag. (Marie Clair?) and signed up too!
I don’t get my first box til next month but I am excited
I *Heart* samples

Ashe July 26, 2011 at 9:03 pm

I’m super excited for next month to– let me know how you like it!

Beautifully Invisible July 26, 2011 at 1:26 pm

Can you believe my Birchbox is still sitting on my bedroom floor un-opened? This is the first one I’ve gotten, and I haven’t had time to dig into it yet. Can’t wait after reading this!

Also, love the beau’s way of thinking. Also – I used to love World of Warcraft. I am such a nerd.

Ashe July 26, 2011 at 9:02 pm


Courtney July 26, 2011 at 12:20 pm

I’ve seen Birchbox come across my blogroll so many times that I may have to try it! I’m trying to cut back on my beauty spending so $10 is a great price for so many samples.

Ashe July 26, 2011 at 9:02 pm

It’s definitely got great balance going on– it’s cheap enough to splurge if you don’t treat yourself enough like I do, but it’s also a great way to get a lot of goodies and cut back on your spending if you’re a beauty junkie!

Terri July 25, 2011 at 10:08 pm

This sounds like such a bargain–do they have cosmetics too?

Ashe July 26, 2011 at 9:01 pm

Terri, I think so! I remember Lara (MilkGlassHeart above) mentioning getting a full size Laura Mercier something– and I know in their shop they often have blushes, too.

Juliana July 25, 2011 at 8:09 pm

This is exactly how my conversation with MY beau went! I am jealous that you got a bottle of Zoya!!

Ashe July 26, 2011 at 9:00 pm

HAHAH! LOVE IT! Sometimes I wonder how many fashion/beauty gals are with gamer boys… I bet a lot! I know quite a few…

And the Zoya was a nice touch— I hope they put in polish often!

birdie July 25, 2011 at 7:34 pm

I wanna watch the Ainsley show so bad. SOO BAD. KITTY UNBOXING!

Also… interesting! Deluxe samples for 10 a month?! That IS cheaper than most of my beauty buys.

Ashe July 26, 2011 at 9:00 pm

RIGHT? And no more racking up tons of spending at Sephora!

Mary July 25, 2011 at 5:40 pm

Wow, that looks way cooler than I anticipated. Maybe I’ll join in the future.

Ashe July 25, 2011 at 5:49 pm

Let me know if you do! I’m suddenly getting a kick out of seeing what people are getting!

Fabienne Jach July 25, 2011 at 4:42 pm

Love it! I’ve recently rediscovered beauty products myself and it’s kinda fun. $10 is a steal, too! Your cat totally makes the pictures extra cute!
:) f
The House in the Clouds

Ashe July 25, 2011 at 5:49 pm

It’s a total steal! Like, I feel like buying the samples of these at Sephora would have each been at least $3-5 each (if not a bit more).

And man, you should see the video. This kitten KILLS ME!

Kimberlee July 25, 2011 at 2:33 pm

YEY you got it! haha that is logic by your man and wow World of Warcraft is expensive!

Ashe July 25, 2011 at 5:48 pm

GIRL, World of Warcraft is SO EXPENSIVE. It’s like $80 for each expansion, plus $15/mo to play. The idea of how much he’s spent over the past several years on it… well, I coulda done had me some Manolos by now!

Lindsay July 25, 2011 at 11:09 am

I really need to sign up for Birchbox. All my friends keep getting fun treats while I get none. :(

Ashe July 25, 2011 at 5:47 pm

Let me know if you do it! I’m curious as to what others will get in upcoming months!

Beth M July 25, 2011 at 10:34 am

YAY! So glad you posted this… I too am a product-aholic and this is *way* less expensive than my splurges on sephora. I’m so freaking excited!

p.s. I’m a sucker for pretty packaging too so just that box would have been worth it for me :P

Ashe July 25, 2011 at 5:47 pm

YES! So much cheaper than Sephora splurges….. it’s like a Sephora deluxe sample party in a box.

(And isn’t the box stunning? She really went out in curating this!)

Christy July 25, 2011 at 10:29 am

I’ve seen a few of my blogger friends sign up for this service and I’m tempted to try it out. I kind of feel the same way about not taking care of myself like I should.

Ashe July 25, 2011 at 5:46 pm

Let me know if you do! I think it’d be fun to have someone else who does… then we could have beauty trades or something?!

Lara July 25, 2011 at 9:12 am

I’m so glad you treated yourself!
Wasn’t that KIND bar delicious? I found them at my grocery store and got some more!
Yeah, I wish all polishes came in those little bottle too. I have no idea why I had such a bad experience with that color. I know people love love love Zoya so, I’m going to assume my nails just weren’t cooperating that day. It didn’t last 24 hours on me and that’s never an issue, even with cheap stuff.
Did you ever get that cheaper dry oil stuff yet?

Ashe July 25, 2011 at 5:45 pm

It was SO GOOD. Oh man. Maybe I’ll check my grocery store. I love that it was gluten free, vegan, etc. I wonder if it’d be easy to make my own, something similar?

I know with Zoya, my nails last about 2 days (with no base coat or top coat) before chipping… haven’t tried this one long enough though, but I’ll let you know as soon as I do!

(And haven’t gotten it yet… hopefully soon though! I bookmarked that site.)

Previous post:

Next post: