Birchbox December 2016 Unboxing & Dr. Lipp Miracle Balm Review

Birchbox December 2016 Unboxing

My December Birchbox arrived on time! I was figuring with the holidays and coming all the way up to Alaska it’d be a few days off schedule; I was pleasantly surprised.

Birchbox (for those who are unfamiliar) is a monthly beauty subscription service sends you 5-6 product samples for $10/month, link if you’d like to try it out: Birchbox Sign-up. Use code ORIBESHINE to get a free travel-size Oribe Supershine Moisturizing Cream when you join or code MESMERIZE to get a Pixi by Petra Eye Shadow when you rejoin at checkout.

First Impression: OMG the size of the shipping box was huge. I had ordered one item from the shop that shipped with my box, but it should have been pretty damn small and easily put inside the normal shipping box. Upon opening, the Birchbox has a lovely dusty rose, gold, and powder blue color scheme designed to look like a gift package.


On to the contents! The whole package is really nice looking, I’m adoring the box and inside is a bonus matching compact mirror (score)! From my initial inspection there were some oooohs (a brand I’m currently loving and a product type I want to try) and some booos (hair and fragrance samples) regarding the included products.


In addition to the product card there was a card of gift tags.

First item is the Ardency Inn MODSTER Smooth Ride Supercharged Eyeliner in Black        (.8 g/.028 oz). Looks like a great pencil (says it’s waterproof) however I do not wear black eyeliner more than a few times a year for shows I perform in and I get a shit ton of black eyeliners from beauty boxes so this is so-so item for me and it will probably used as an eyebrow pencil on my near-black brows but hey, being waterproof could prove well as I sweat it up on stage.

Second item is the Beautiful Nutrition Lemon Rinse (59 mL/2 oz). Hair care items generally score little points with me unless it’s an oil or something really special. This lemon rinse I will actually use as it is described on the card as more of a clarifying treatment than a shampoo. So not as bad as I initially thought.

I got excited about this next item from my first peek of it as I opened the box – dr. brandt pores no more cleanser (.25 fl. oz/7.5 ml). I have really liked the few dr. brandt products I’ve tried so am absolutely stoked that this was included in this month’s box.This is a foaming cleanser and apparently is one of dr. brandt’s “best-selling” face washes.

Molinard Violette Eau de Parfum (1 ml) is the next product and there is nothing I hate more than fragrance samples. I do not like perfume, I do not like to wear it or smell it on other people. If I must use a fragrance I prefer to use body sprays in very light spice or floral scents. Not even gonna open this, going straight in to the donation box of perfume and hair care samples.

The last product in my Birchbox is Real Chemistry Luminous 3-Minute Peel (.17 fl. oz/.5 ml). Yes, yes, yes, yes, YES! I am just now slowly starting to include peels and actives in my routine and need some products to try out so will be including this acid-free peel in my routine this coming weekend!

My December 2016 Birchbox included a total of 6 items:

Ardency Inn MODSTER Smooth Ride Supercharged Eyeliner in Black ($8 value), Beautiful Nutrition Lemon Rinse ($1.55 value), dr. brandt pores no more cleanser ($5.04 value), Molinard Violette Eau de Parfum ($.85 value), Real Chemistry Luminous 3-Minute Peel ($4.80 value), and a Birchbox exclusive compact mirror ($3 value) for a total value of $23.24, not the highest value but okay for a $10 box. I added the compact mirror in the value as they are being sold on eBay, but I don’t really think it’s worth much and in my head the box is really worth about $20. The peel and foaming cleanser are good enough to make up for the perfume sample and black eyeliner. I’ve been thinking about cancelling my Birchbox lately, but I’m going to give it at least one more month before deciding.

Dr. Lipp Miracle Balm Review

Dr. Lipp Miracle Balm 100% Natural For dry skin, luscious lips, glossy bits!


First off, I love this product. I bought (spent my Birchbox points on) a full size a few months after I received a sample of it in my Birchbox subscription. I have been carrying my sample (.1 fl oz/3 ml – so perfectly small that I wish I could just buy these instead) around with me and using it as an all-in-one brow tamer, lip balm, cuticle oil, flaky skin spot reliever, and hair fly-away tamer. I use public transportation almost daily so minimizing what I carry around is an absolute necessity. Thankfully, the full-size is a mere .50 fl oz/15 ml and as it fulfills so may purposes is deserving of the highly appropriated space in my bag.


Ingredients: Medical Grade Lanolin… wait what? 100% Lanolin? So yeah, I love this product but am starting to feel like a huge asshat for not looking up the ingredients before using AND purchasing this product, but lanolin? Just lanolin? I immediately head on over to the Dr. Lipp website after finally reading the ingredients. The Dr. Lipp website sells one product, this same balm but in a dark grey tube and a different tagline. It was apparently originally a nipple balm, makes sense, this product is tough on dryness.They proudly proclaim its one, all-natural ingredient. Sheesh. Quick finger jog over to Amazon to find medical grade lanolin at less than $7.50/ounce. This tube of balm retails on Birchbox for $16.50, so a staggering $33/ounce comparatively. Ouch. If I had not used my Birchbox points to purchase this item, I would really be kicking myself. For whatever reason, read the damn ingredients.

Okay, okay, trying to forget about my wasted points – I really do love this product. When I saw negative reviews of it I was astonished. People complained the sample was too small (I’m still using my .1 fl oz!), that the product was greasy (you need the tiniest little dab, not multiple drops), that it was sticky (warm it between your fingers to make it go on smoother), and that it tasted weird (it is odorless, colorless, and to me tasteless). The product is thick, like viscous old school pomade in a tin thick. A little goes a long way is an understatement, I feel like applying it liberally may be one of the main reasons for the negative reviews. Despite its thick occlusive density, Dr. Lipp Miracle Balm doesn’t irritate or break out my skin, I apply it directly to dry, flaky spots on my face and use often as a lip balm throughout the day (the teeniest drop ). Since bringing it to work with me I no longer use a separate cuticle oil during the day, a few drops of this warmed between the fingers and massaged in to my cuticles has really helped them stay healthy this winter. A few drops also works great for setting my hair part, taming fly-aways, and smoothing the abundant baby hair along my forehead.

Verdict: This is a great product but is basically a medical grade emollient packaged in a hecka cute and convenient tube and retails for 5x the cost. Initial rating 10/10, new rating 5/10. Must have product but can easily get at a ridiculously lower price.


About Epithelial Dreams

I am 37 years old. I have dry, aging, acne-prone skin with sun damage and pock marks caused from oil burns as a child. I live in a dry, arctic environment with extreme seasonal weather and light (from 5 hours to 20 hours of daylight) and I am often outside standing or walking in windy, below freezing weather.
This entry was posted in Beauty Boxes, birchbox, Product Review, samples, Skincare, unboxing and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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