Monday, March 12, 2012

March's Birchbox and Glam Bag Showdown!

So I was SUPER excited when I opened my mailbox today to find not one but two makeup boxes!  My Birchbox came a few days late and the Glam Bag came a few days early, so them arriving together plus their price of $10 each naturally created a rival environment.  I'm so excited to give you a taste of each of these brands and show how they stack up against each other.

Birchbox and Glam Bag, for those of you who don't know, are makeup subscriptions that send out samples and/or full size products for $10 a month.  This is my fifth month for Birchbox and my second for Glam Bag. (Which just came out in December.)

I'm going to review Glam Bag first because that was the one I was most excited about and also the one I opened first...

This is Glam Bag's March bag... a little cute, but does anyone really need another makeup bag?

This is the big item for March's Glam Bag... a "classic crease brush and case," emblazoned with the MyGlam logo, with a pretty pink handle and case.  The description page in the bag says that Michelle (the create of myGlam) handpicked the brush during her trip to Hong Kong. 

The brush seems nice enough, but I typically find crease brushes rather bulky and difficult to use.  Plus, I have quite a few of them.  But we'll see how it works actually applying makeup.

There is a sample of Pur-lisse Pur-Protect SPF 30 Essential Daily Moisturizer, a sample of Murad Eye Lift Perfector, and a $25 off $50 Dermstore "gift card."  The samples themselves are nice, but the kind that you get thrown in with your or order for free.  The Dermstore gift card - really more of a coupon - is also a nice touch, but doesn't really stack up to last month's $100 gift card to NuMe.  I hate it when gift cards require you to spend a minimum amount just on principle.  Really the best deal you could get with this is 50% off.  I loved the NuMe giftcard because you had the choice to spend as little as $15 (the lowest priced item on the site was $115).  I actually spent $190, including shipping, on the site.  But just the idea that it's more of a gift card than a coupon is enough to give me a benevolent view of the company, I'm just saying.

Here's a deluxe sample of Murad Absolute Bronzing Boost with SPF 15.  It's a good size for a sample, though I'm not crazy about bronzers.  (Ok, I don't know how to use them.)  This one says to apply it all over your face for a bronze glow, but when I try that, I usually just look like my foundation's too dark!!  However, I think the bronzer is a nice touch for the upcoming summer months.  (I'm actually lying in the sun right now tanning :)

The package also included a sample of Keracolor's Color Enhancing Leave-In Treatment, "designed to enhance, protect, strengthen and hydrate all hair types."  Coincidentally, I was also one of Keracolor's first 500 Facebook Fans, so I received another of these samples in my hair color (brown) today!  I'm excited to try it, although I worry about it screwing with my hair a little.  But it seems like fun, kind of reminiscent of John Freida's hair color glaze.

...the Keracolor from the mail, not from the Glam Bag.  I assume that Glam Bag sent everyone the non-colored option.

If you want some more details, here's the insert...

And finally, all of March's Glam Bag goodies.  Pretty fun, totally worth the $10, but probably their weakest month, I'm sorry to say.  But props to getting them all out quickly!!

Now on to Birchbox!!  Take the jump for the rest of the review!  (Hint: it's awesome :)

I signed up for the special Birchbox that they did with Teen Vogue's "beauty guru" Eva Chen.  I haven't been a teen for a few years, but I thought it sounded like a cool collaboration.  Plus, I was hoping that they'd have some younger products - I get sick of getting so much skincare!!  I'm 23, my skin is pretty ok :)

Their note included with the box...

Inside of the box.  Already excited!!  If you're familiar with Tarte, you can spot their lipsurgence right away!

I got Tarte's lipsurgence in Joy!  This alone makes the whole box worth it.  Lipsurgence's are typically $24 each!!  Plus I've been wanting to try this one :)

Such a pretty color!!  It goes on the lips an orangey-red.  Which is sooo the color this season - I know you've read about my Tangerine Tango obsession ;)

Here's one swipe of the lipsurgence.  It's really buildable, so can go from a light coral to bright tangerine.

Also in the box was Shiseido's Pureness Oil-Control Blotting Papers.  The sample comes with ten sheets (kinda small).  I thought this was really thoughtful with Summer coming up (I say as I sweat in the sun).

Another exciting edition!  Essie luxeffects in A Cut Above, a "glittery top coat."  The color is pretty fun, but mostly I was just excited to see a popular name brand item in full size - usually $8!

A sample of Annick Goutal's Petite Cherie also came with the Birchbox.  The insert describes it as "A blend of fresh fruity notes and musk... the definition of understate chic."  I thought it smelled young and fresh and, yeah, chic.

The inside... a typical makeup sample with an applicator, not a spray top.

Another twistband!  I got one of these a few months ago and, sadly, have still never tried it.  I really like the idea of it, but my ponytails are usually for doing housework or working outside.

Along the lines of the Glam Bag coupons, Birchbox also has a discount for $10 off $75 at ModCloth, and two years of Teen Vogue for $10.  That seems like a pretty good deal, as subscriptions are typically around $15, and store prices are even higher.

Here's the Birchbox insert with more descriptions if you want to peruse...

The whole March Birchbox!

And here's a reminder of March's Glam Bag...

Which do you like the most?  I think that this month's Birchbox BY FAR surpasses the Glam Bag.  Birchbox has two full size products from popular brands.  I've been second-guessing my Birchbox subscription for the past few months, but if they keep whipping out items like this, I'll stick with it!  Hopefully this is an indication of Birchbox's new direction as competition beauty subscriptions spring up.  Maybe it's just because of teaming up with Teen Vogue this month.  Either way, I'm SO happy with this month's box!!  I'm also really curious as to what the normal subscribers got!

What's your favorite product out of all of these?  Do you subscribe to either?  What did you get this month??


  1. I subscribe to both of these. I cancelled the my glam bag because I haven't been too happy with it. I love Birchbox though. I've done Birchbox for about 7 months now. I loved the Essie polish and Tarte lip pencil. Did you my glam bag smell like moth balls?

    1. I thought the bag itself smelled kind of chemical-y! I'm getting a little tired of those cheap bags!

  2. I am obsessed with my Tarte lip gloss! I've been wearing it since my box came and it made the March box so worth it! Oh, if only every month came with something fantastic!

  3. this month's birchbox was so awesome! i want to buy the tarte lip stain in every color!

    1. YES! I have 9 of them and they're all amazing! I'm not a big fan of the matte ones though, to be honest. Kind of drying...

  4. Essie...ahh LOVE IT :)
    My Birchbox this month was 2 thumbs up for me, too :)