Birchbox Reviews

Monthly review of Birchbox

Birchbox #7 : Nov. ’12

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Ugh. I’m not going to waste a lot of time on this post. I have better boxes with better goodies to review.

This is my absolute last and final Birchbox that I will ever receive. Since signing up in May, I have been disappointed every single month. In October, my disappointed reached it’s peak and I just couldn’t take it anymore. After being reached out to by the Birchbox Operations team, I found their lack of concern for their subscribers opinions absolutely disgusting. I also think they should have more pride in the crap their peddling instead of sending the shit samples and then blaming the lameness on the companies who provided the samples. With so many subscription beauty services saturating the market right now, Birchbox just doesn’t have the luxury of sitting back and sending out lackluster boxes. Just like me, other subscribers can, should and will move on to better services. (Ipsy is $10 a month as well and all their samples are cosmetics and truly deluxe). So here is what I found in my November 2012 Birchbox:

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Kerastase :: Chroma Sensitive Shampoo. :: Full Size $42 – Two, one-time-use samples of color safe shampoo by Kerastase. Haven’t used it and I won’t. (I use biolage products by Matrix and alternated with the Moroccan line of hair care.)  zero ♥s

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MCMC Fragrances :: Phoenix – Full Size: $45-$95 – This smells… and not good. The company is based out of Brooklyn though. American made by an American company… that’s nice. But I will not be buying this. zero ♥s

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ModelCo :: Fibre Lashxtend lengthening mascara :: Full Size: $24 – I like ModelCo products. I like that there is a mirror on the bottle for on-the-go touch ups. But, it’s a black mascara. I didn’t find any distinct difference between this mascara and other lengthening mascaras. I was happy with this sample though. It also seems to be a full size sample… I’ll have to investigate this further. ♥♥♥♥

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One Love Organics :: Aromatic Body Serum – Full Size: $39 – A decent sized sample and I really like the smell of this body oil. I prefer the feel of the body oil I received in my October GlossyBox but the scent of this one by One Love Organics is delicious. It says it’s made with pumpkin seed oil and maybe that’s what I’m smelling but it smells very citrusy and you all know I like my citrus smells! ♥♥♥

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EXTRA – Chuao Chocolateir :: HoneyComb – Full Size: (7 assorted) $7.95 – This was tasty. Small but delicious. Won’t be buying these in the future (at least not from Birchbox) and these “lifestyle extras” are part of the reason I’m leaving Birchbox. If you want to give me an extra, awesome, I’ll take it but don’t give me “extras” of shit that is non-cosmetic when you haven’t fulfilled the promise of 5 DELUXE beauty samples first. You can keep your chocolates, mints, headphones, tea bags, etc… I want beauty products! zero ♥s

November 2012 Birchbox total: 7♥s/20♥s (plus “extra”)

Also worth mentioning: Birchbox provided a chintzy little cardboard gift box to give one of your crappy samples to a friend for the holidays. A.) I wouldn’t gift any of the crap Birchbox has sent me. BC I, for one, don’t consider a one-time-use item a decent gift and B.) I can afford a real gift bag, Birchbox… keep your tacky shit.

Birchbox would be the perfect subscription beauty services for a freshman in high school (or younger). I feel that the overall Birchbox mentality is that of a tween anyway and the tiny products sent to be sampled would be great for a newbie.

… and that’s why I cancelled my Birchbox.

Thanks for reading! Keep coming back for my monthly GlossyBox US and Ipsy bag reviews!!!

Love, GK

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Bad Bad Birchbox Ops

*title of post should be sang to the tune of

“Bad, Bad Leory Brown.”

As you may or may not be aware, I was incredibly disappointed with the October Goop-partnered Birchbox. I wrote more than one post expressing this and naturally made my way to twitter with the news:

Not long after I took to twitter, posting my own tweet and commenting on others’ tweets about this month’s Birchbox, I received this tweet and was notified that BirchboxOps was now following me.

I was so impressed! I had been so annoyed and disappointed with Birchbox and when they reached out to me, I felt better. If they were reaching out to me about my dissatisfaction, not only does it mean that their customer service is aware of how their customers and subscribers feel about the service but also that they must want to try and make it up to me somehow. I felt so guilty about the nasty email I had typed up to send them.

I figured they were going to listen to my views on the October Birchbox, apologize for the monstrosity that was the Goop-Birchbox and maybe even try to give some sort of compensation (in the form of a bottle of essie or something.) I direct messaged them my email, as they requested, and after a few hours I received my first email from a staff member at Birchbox… It was all down hill from there. Not only did they not offer any form of compensation, their copy-and-pasted responses were so apparently generic it’s insulting.

Now, I doubt that very many people will take the time to fully read the entire email conversation I’m about to share with you all nor am I naive enough to think very many people will even car. However, I have done a little copying and pasting myself and have the back and forth emails posted below.

I wanted others to see a good example of how little the Birchbox Operations staff cares about the opinions of their subscribers. So little, in fact, that I was addressed by an entirely different name. If you’re at all interested, please feel free to read the back-and-forth below.

The main mission of this post is to address potential Birchbox subscribers. So, to anyone who is considering becoming a Birchbox subscriber: all I can suggest is that you look into the other subscription cosmetic sample boxes available. I’m currently a subscriber to GlossyBox and I couldn’t have been more pleased with my first box. My first box from GlossyBox had better products, larger “samples” and is most likely worth more (monetarily speaking) than all of the Birchboxes I have received combined. Another great service is Ipsy, previously MyGlam. I will be signing up for Ipsy, this week, immediately after cancelling my Birchbox subscription. I’m only waiting on my Birchbox order (the one I purchased and posted about in yesterdays post) to ship before I cancel.

Anyway, here’s the email conversation between myself and the Birchbox Operations team members. I don’t hold anything against the actual ladies who had the task of reading and replying to my messages, I do, however, have a problem with Birchbox’s protocol of dealing with these matters. Clearly, a disappointed subscriber is at the very bottom of their priorities. Unfortunately, providing quality, deluxe samples isn’t at the top.

The things that upset me most in the first response I got from Anastasia (as you can read) were:
  • Calling me by the wrong name; her name. -No explanation needed.
  • Explaining to me their definition of “deluxe-size samples” -I’m aware and none of the samples I received this month were “deluxe” by anyone’s definition.
  • Stating that of the products featured in the sneak peek, each subscriber would receive at least one -I didn’t receive any of the feature products.
  • Saying they will share my input with their brand partners. -So, they will use my opinion to get bigger, better samples from their “brand partner” FOR FREE and then give them away to paying subscribers, making their subscribers happy, who will obviously want to stay a subscriber, thus, making Birchbox more money yet they can’t throw me a product or two to thank me for my imput and dissatisfaction? BS.

Thanks for reading. And to those who continue reading from here, I thank you even more.

Love, GK

PS I’d love to hear any and all opinions and comments on this matter. Please feel free to contact me directly or to share your comments below (I always respond!) -Thanks again!

Sarah, Oct 19 03:08 pm (EDT):

Hi Kate,

Thanks for writing in. I’d love to hear your feedback on this month 😀

xGingerKate, Oct 22 11:15 am (EDT):

Good Morning, Sarah
I hope you had a wonderful weekend. Thank you again for reaching out to
me about my dissatisfaction with my Birchbox for the month of October. I am
extremely upset and disappointed with the Goop partnered box I received
this month and based on the comments I’ve received on multiple blog posts I
have written about this box, others who received the same box (or similar)
are quite upset as well.

After opting to received one of the goop boxes, I checked out Facebook
posts, the sneak peek videos, etc and was thrilled at the products
featured. Unfortunately, when I saw the box I was due to receive, I came to
find that I would not be one of the lucky ones to received any of those
fabulous products. My dismal box contained:

– Lulu Organics Lavender hair powder
– Karuna Hydrating mask
– Naked Princess lip gloss
– Embryolisse 24hr Miracle Cream
– LUNA bar

Every one of these products was a one-time only sample with the
exception of the lip gloss which is absolutely tiny. When I signed up for
Birchbox, I was promised that I was to receive “premium samples” each
month. One-time use samples can be acquired from department stores or by
simply contacting companies individually; I pay for this subscription to
received more than a one-time use sample.

As it turns out, I received my very first GlossyBox on the same day I
received this month’s Birchbox. Whether I compare the two boxes as a whole
or individual products, GlossyBox was able to stand by their word and
provide me with luxe products for a little more than double my subscription
costs with you. I received 5 full size (or at least close to full size)
products from them and find that the extra $11 per month is more than worth
it (and my blog readers agree). I’ve also researched Ipsy and their boxes
(previously MyGlam) and the reviews I read on these boxes from other
bloggers leaves me impressed with their service as well.

I have been disappointed with your boxes in the past but there was
usually at least one product per box that made me feel not so stupid for
spending $10 on it. However, I don’t think I will continue my subscription
much longer after receiving this most recent box. It’s absolutely horrible. I
am promised 4 or 5 products each month and sometimes “extras” are provided
as well. Months when I receive 4 samples I can’t help but be a bit
disappointed but if the sizes of the samples are decent, the “extras” can
sometimes make up for this. This is far from the case this month. The four
minuscule samples packed and sent to me were supplemented by a LUNA bar…
thanks, but no thanks.

Not only have I read other blogger’s reviews of this month’s box but I
have also discussed with personal friends the items they received in their
box and I feel that everyone received a more worthwhile box than me and
those who received the same box as me. How can you give so many people a
box that includes a full bottle of essie amongst other products and give
others 5 one time use samples? Its not fair and it does not make any sense.

When I watched your sneak peeks and features, I was so excited at the
products featured.

– Chantecaille Brilliant Gloss
– Chantecaille Faux Cils Mascara
– DDF Wrinkle Resist Pore Minimizer Moisturizing Serum
– Essie Nail Polish

Where are these fabulous products? I had anticipated receiving at least a
few of these products and I expected them to be more than one-time use
samples. Your company promises “deluxe” samples and your highly hyped
partnership with goop gave me the false hope that I would be receiving a
completely amazing box this month. These skimpy samples do not reflect very
well upon Goop.com either; they couldn’t afford to provide you with decent
sized samples to pass on to your subscribers?

I certainly hope something can be done about my huge let-down in
October. Otherwise, I don’t believe I will continue subscribing long enough
to receive my November box. However this plays out, I maintain an
obligation to keep my readers informed. I love beauty and fashion and I
love being able to review new products each month courtesy of your
subscription service. I also am proud to subscribe to what was really the
first major product subscription service in the states but now, I’m
beginning to look and feel like a fool for continuing.
Thank you for your time and consideration,

Kate [Last Name]

Ginger-Kate.com

Anastasia, Oct 24 04:04 pm (EDT):

Hi Anastasia,

Thank you for writing in, and I am so sorry that you were not satisfied with your Birchbox delivery this month!

We definitely are aware of the fact that sample impression is important, and an appropriate amount of product is the only way to make a valid decision as to whether it’s a product you would like to purchase in the future or not.

While sample sizes do vary each month, it highly depends on what the brands provide us and feel is a deluxe-size sample. Deluxe-size means the sample gives you the opportunity to try the product on multiple occasions. Based on the brand’s opinion, the samples they produce coordinate to how much of the product they feel should be used in one use, three uses, and so on. While smaller samples are by no means the standards of what we want to send our subscribers, the product is one that we want to be able to share with our customers.

We post our Favorites video each month to highlight items that our members will be receiving. Everyone will receive at least one or two of the samples featured, but not all. They are also allotted by your Beauty Profile preferences. I recommend that you update your Beauty Profile in order to receive products more suited towards your tastes.

Once again, I apologize for your disappointment and we understand your concern completely. We are constantly trying to evolve as a brand and company, for this reason, customer feedback is extremely important to us and highly encouraged! I will be sure to pass this along to our Beauty Partnership Team, so that they are aware of how this sample was received.

In the meantime, if you have any other questions and/or concerns, please do not hesitate to reply to this email or give us a call at: 877.487.7272 (9am-5pmEST| M-F).

xo Anastasia

Birchbox Operations Associate

xGingerKate: Dear Birchbox Representative #3,

MY name isn’t Anastasia. From what I can tell, YOUR name is Anastasia. Your keen observation skills and ability to address me by my own name are a perfect example of the level of care Birchbox gives to their subscribers/customers.

Allow me to respond to your most recent BS: So, a small pouch of moisturizer, a pouch that can not be resealed and a small package of dry shampoo, that also can not be resealed, are considered “deluxe”, multiple-use samples according to the company that produced them and you’ll stand by that?

This is absolutely laughable; you must realize this.

In a box of four samples: 2 products are tear-open, one-time-use packets, 1 product is a face mask to be used ONCE and the final product is a minuscule tube of lip gloss. The lip gloss is the ONLY product that I will (reluctantly) agree can be used multiple times. 4 horrible samples and then you throw in a LUNA bar as an extra… YAY! Excuse me while I jump for joy.

Thank you for your response but you really just wasted more of my time corresponding with you and gave more false hope that Birchbox would take responsibility for their service and at least attempt to make a recovery. I will be canceling my subscription following the delivery of the products I recently ordered off of your site. I will be giving my $10 a month to Ipsy/MyGlam from now on in addition to my GlossyBox subscription.

I’d thank you for your service over the last 7 months but it’s been horrible.The LEAST you could do is get my name right since you’ve been billing me for more than half a year. You reached out to me as if you were willing to/looking to make this wrong a right. Clearly you just wanted another opportunity to repeat the lofty description of your “deluxe” samples. Do you have a complaint response template that you simply copy and paste in your email responses as you see fit? I am completely aware that sample sizes vary each month but a box that consists of strictly one-time-use samples IS NOT what you promise, it IS NOT what you advertise and it is certainly NOT what I signed up to pay $10 a month to receive.

Sincerely,
(Not Anastasia,)
-Kate, Ginger-Kate.com

Anastasia, Oct 24 04:54 pm (EDT):

Hi Kate,

So sorry for the typo and your disappointment in my response. I am definitely passing your feedback along so that it will be heard by our brand partners.

Please let us know if you need any further assistance.

xGingerKate:  Thank you for your prompt response and apology, Anastasia. And no, I will require no further assistance from Birchbox.

-Kate
That’s it. Nothing overly interesting or exciting. I did think that it was worth sharing though. Again, if you’re considering becoming a Birchbox subscriber, reconsider. Check out other blogger’s reviews of Birchbox, GlossyBox, Ipsy/MyGlam and the other subscription sample boxes out there. Birchbox is a let-down monthly with their skimpy samples and then on top of that, they clearly don’t care very much about resolving any issues that their customers may be experiencing.
If you read through that crap, it is very much appreciated. Sincerely, thank you.
Love, GK

Birchbox #6 : Oct. ’12

Let me start by say, “ughhhh.”

I received my October Birchbox yesterday afternoon along with my first ever GlossyBox. Bad timing, Birchbox. GlossyBox blew Birchbox out of the water and by far. I’ve been disappointed in the past with my monthly Birchbox but never as disappointed as I am this month.

I am positively fed up with Birchbox and their craptastic samples. They promise 5 (or 4) premium samples of high-end cosmetics. Um, no. From my very first box back in May i pointed out that the samples are far from premium and this month is the perfect example. Since when are one-time use samples “premium”? I can get better walking into Macys and not have to fork over $10 a month.

After pumping me full of hope and excitement over their partnership with Goop.com for the October box they sent me a box [far from] full of lame stuff. LAME, in all caps! I was really assuming that this months box would have such fabulous items inside since they were partnering with Goop.com. I was relieved because, like I have said in my monthly reviews, I’ve been disappointed with Birchbox; I figured Goop.com would provide them with amazing stuff and then they, in turn, would provide me with amazing stuff… nope.

I’ve read other beauty blogger’s October box reviews and it definitely seems that me and everyone else who received the same box as me got the short end of the stick. Not even, we can’t reach the damn stick!

Let’s just get this over with…

See what I mean? What the crap, Dude?

1.) Naked Princess – Naked Shine Luscious Lip Gloss in Barely Blush :: Full Size $26 – ♥ – Lets first take a look at the miniscule sample of lip gloss from naked princess.

I’m a lipstick/lip gloss lover so I’ll definitely use this sample… for about 1 day.

You can barely tell I’m wearing lip gloss at all as this is a “sheer gloss”. I like subtle glosses but I’m still not a fan. Hence, the 1♥ (and it would’ve been a zero if I didn’t love glosses so much).

2.) Karuna – Hydrating Treatment Mask :: 4 Masks for $28 – ♥♥ – This was definitely the most worthwhile product in the box this month. I applied my mask last night. Its not the most difficult sheet mask I’ve ever applied but it is also not the easiest. This mask is meant to provide intense moisture to the skin with it’s Japanese Natto (soybean) ingredient.

Sexy, right?

I took the opportunity of applying some teeth whitening strips while I let the mask sit on my face. After removing, I blended the remaining product into my face, neck and hands as the instructions stated. It felt nice. My skin felt soft. When I woke up, my skin felt dry… es no bueno. I will not be purchasing this product in the future.

3.) Embryolisse – Lait-Creme Concentre – 24hr Miracle Cream :: Full Size $16 – 0♥s – Since my skin was left feeling dry from the Karuna Mask from last night, I applied some of this Embryolisse miracle cream this morning, post shower/pre makeup. I don’t like. It’s also weird to me that the description boasts that this can be used a makeup primer AND makeup remover… how is that even possible? Remover I can believe since it’s so oily, but if it removes makeup, how will it help makeup to better stay on? If anyone can explain how that could be possible, please explain it to me. No sarcasm here at all. If it is possible for a product to be both a primer and later a makeup remover, I would love to understand why. Fo real-real.

4.) Lulu Organics – Lavender + Clary Sage Hair Powder :: Full Size $30 – 0♥s – I’m giving this sample a rating of zero ♥s even though I haven’t used it yet. I have very dry hair (which I believe was a question I answered when filling out my beauty profile but I could be wrong…) so I don’t use dry shampoos. If I don’t wash my very curly, very dry hair every few days, I’ll be rocking dreadlocks.

October Goop Birchbox score: 3♥s out of a possible 20♥s… and I was being quite generous.

As an EXTRA, Birchbox was kind enough to provide me with a LUNA bar. (Anyone of you who have read my last couple of posts about this box will have noted the intense sarcasm.) Thanks, BB.

That’s all. No, seriously, that’s it.

Thanks for reading! Love, GK

Birchbox #5 : Sept. ’12

Here it is. My review of the Septmeber Birchbox. Finally.

I received my September Birchbox on Sept 28… Yeah. BUT: Better late than never! Here goes.

Color Club – Birchbox Custom Polish in “Status Update” :: Full Size – $8 – I actually really like this color. I usually choose dark colors over lights and I love that this polish is dark enough without being too dark. Theres hints of blue, grey and green in Status Update and I had to slap on a coat immediately after receiving my box. ♥♥♥♥

Nevermind the crappy paint job and band-aid, this color is awesome.

Nexxus – Pro-Mend Split End Treatment System :: Full Size – $9.99-$14.99 – This is the one sample, this month, that I have not tried as of publishing this post. Regardless, these samples are nowhere near “premium”. I could find a similar sample in a magazine or at a retail sales counter. For that reason and that reason alone, having never tried this product, I’m giving this sample 0/5 ♥s. Zero. I’m not happy with this sample strictly based on size. Even though it boasts that this treatment system will bind 92% of split ends together in one use, I don’t feel this sample provides enough to even make a true judgement of quality and effectiveness. I will eventually give this system a try, of course and I may decided to buy full size bottles to really give them a try, but as far as September’s total Birchbox score is concerned, this sample will not contribute any points.

twistband – Birchbox Custom Lace Hair Tie :: Set of 6-12 – $14-$22 – ANOTHER F*CKING TWISTBAND! First of all, I’ve already received one of these in my first ever Birchbox (May 2012); I was not impressed then and I’m not impressed now. Second, it’s neon-f*cking-orange. I’m a ginger. I filled out a beauty profile. They know I’m ginger. Another 0/5 ♥s.

Vasanti – Brighten Up! Enzymatic Face Rejuvenator :: Full Size – $34 – This exfoliating cleanser is amazing. Almost too amazing because after my first use, I experienced a [very rare] breakout. The microderm crystals and papaya enzymes worked harder than my usual products to remove the dirt and oil that was left behind. ♥♥♥♥♥

Youngblood – Mineral Primer :: Full Size – $41 – This primer makes my skin feel the way Soft Lips makes my lips feel (if you’ve ever used Soft Lips, you know exactly what I’m talking about.) Containing vitamins and minerals to sooth skin, this primer does it’s job of preventing makeup melt-away. ♥♥♥♥

September Birchbox Score :: 13♥s/20

In spite of issuing a zero score to 2 of my 5 samples, the products I loved, I really loved and September’s box earned 13 out of 20 total possible ♥s.

Extras

Mighty Leaf Tea Company :: Box of 15 – $9.95 – Chamomile Citrus (Herbal Infusion), Vanilla Bean (Black Tea), Green Tea Tropical. I love tea. Always have. Growing up, my mother was a tea drinker; we didn’t even have a coffee maker for the longest time. Tea was the choice in our house. Although I do love a good cup of coffee after dinner or as a mid-day treat, nothing beats a hot cup of tea. Of the three teabags I received, I curled up with my cup of Chamomile Citrus as I began reading my new book (J.K. Rowling’s The Casual Vacancy) and it was delightful. I can’t wait to try the Vanilla Bean black tea next and although I am not a big fan of green teas, I’m still excited to give the tropical blend a try as well.

Tristan Prettyman :: 2 song download – I haven’t downloaded these songs yet nor have I ever listened to Tristan Prettyman but I love music and always love giving new artists a try.

This month, the Birchbox team included their first ever Birchbox Lookbook. It was full of this fall/winter’s most popular trends and style ideas executed by staff members. It’s definitely no Vogue (or even Glamour), but it was cute and I look forward to receiving future “issues”.

I also got a $25 Gift Card to apply to any purchase of at least $75 from Madewell.com. Unfortunately, it had to be used between September 10-30. Just rub salt in my late-box wound why don’t you Birchbox. Birchbox Fail.

The products in this box that I like, I love. I will most likely purchase the full size bottles of the Vasanti cleanser and the Youngblood mineral primer. No lie. Love them both! Over-all, September’s Birchbox was pretty damn good.

I’m eagerly awaiting my October Birchbox which I hope will be one of the limited Goop Birchboxes!! -eek! I hope all the featured products are fabulous and I hope it comes on time! I’m also looking forward to receiving my very first Glossybox in October!

Thanks for reading! Love, GK

Birchbox #4 : Aug. ’12

OK, I’ve been super busy so I’m just now getting around to posting this month’s Birchbox review but here goes! The theme for August was Back To School. In addition to the products, the box included a fold-out full of helpful beauty and makeup tips.

This box had 4 products (20 possible ♥s) and 1 extra.

Juicy Couture Viva la Juicy La Fleur perfume – Full Size: $70 – I love this scent. Not only would I buy the full size of this fragrance, I will buy this. It’s fabulous! It’s sweet, flowery and citrusy (just my kind of perfume!) ♥♥♥♥♥

Miss Jessie’s Original Stretch Silkening Creme – Full Size: $22 – This curl creme works pretty well. When applied to soaking wet hair, it should loosen tight curls and add tons of shine. I used this one once so far but I didn’t trust it to not use my other products. I’ll have to give this one another shot and definitely post results pics. ♥♥♥

Yu-Be Moisturizing Skin Cream – Full Size: $16 – Definitely NOT for everyday use but on damaged skin like chapped lips and cracked hands, it’s great. I applied it to a particularly dry patch of skin and it worked really well. It’s a bestselling Japanese medicated cream and it seems to do the job. I just think there’s already plenty of other options available. ♥♥

Pixi Beauty Lip & Line – Full Size: $18 – I really do love this lipstick and waterproof lipliner. This shade is Bare Berry and it’s perfect! In fact, this very pale, very tired-looking picture of me trying it out before washing my face to crash for the night, doesn’t quite do this color justice. I’ll definitely check out Pixi’s other shades and maybe pick up a couple of others. ♥♥♥♥

14/20 ♥s. Pretty good. I was pleased with everything in this box.As an extra, they threw in one of these:

Schick Hyrdo Silk Razor – Not my brand but I’ll use it. Thanks, Birchbox!

Thanks so much for reading! Check out my next Birchbox review!

Love, GK

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