Beauty · Rants

Birchbox Sadness

The gist of this post: Birchbox is scuttling their reward points for reviews feature in July 2016 and I’m salty about that.

I like subscription boxes. They are like a little present every month. Sure, the size of the samples are typically abysmally small and half the time I’m unable to use a product because it’s swimming with Vitamin E but I love them nonetheless. I’ve tried a bunch of different boxes but the one that was my all time fave was Birchbox. Why? Well it wasn’t for the size of the samples I’ll tell you that much. No, it was because they rewarded points for writing reviews. I loved this feature so much that I’ve stayed subbed to Birchbox far longer than I probably would have. Obviously I loved it because if I wrote a review for each of the five samples I received I’d be rewarded with 50 points and after four months of reviews I’d earn $20 off my next purchase which was always a huge incentive to buy things from Birchbox. That approach seemed like a win-win to me. I also liked that I wouldn’t let my samples gather dust every month waiting for a good opportunity to use them. Instead, I’d try them all within the month so I could write my reviews. Now, in fairness, I always took my time to write useful reviews that I hoped were helpful instead of just writing nonsense so I could meet the minimum word count. But, I felt like I saw vastly more thoughtful reviews than just junk when I’d browse products and that was always really useful when making purchases. I’ve opted to make more purchases from Birchbox than other similar retailers because of this whole reward point system. I felt like I was being rewarded for my loyalty and time and as such I would return that favor. But Birchbox no longer wants to reward subscribers for writing reviews. Instead they will now only reward points for the FIRST five sample reviews and then NEVER again. It’s their prerogative to do so but in my case it’s going to hurt them. I will be cancelling my sub to voice my displeasure over losing this.

Beauty · Health

Vitamin E

So my love of beauty and makeup products continues to be foiled by a little ingredient called tocopheryl acetate. You are likely more familiar with it’s more commonly used name, Vitamin E. Back when I was a kid I found out I was highly allergic to the stuff. My mom had bought a bottle of those little vitamin E caplets for my sister to use to help soften a scar she had. We’d all heard how wonderful vitamin E is for all things skin related so I figured if it helped with scars I bet it would help make my skin softer. So I broke open a caplet and spread that stuff ALL over my face. Next morning my skin was covered in red, angry hives. All from the vitamin E. Needless to say, I’ve tried to be diligent about ingredient checking since then. Unfortunately, vitamin E is in EVERYTHING. From cereals to nail creams, it’s been a struggle to find products without it. Vitamin E is one of those things that is heralded as a miracle ingredient and then included in everything. Over the years, I’ve come to learn that not all vitamin E is created equal. Many ingredients, like almond oil, are naturally high in vitamin E and I’ve typically been able to tolerate those products. And recently I used a face product that had tocopherol instead of tocopheryl acetate in it and was also able to tolerate it. So, in my entirely non scientific study of a sample size of one, synthetic vitamin E (tocopheryl acetate) is what causes my allergic reactions.

Something I’ve wanted to do for a while is compile a list of products that either do not included tocopheryl acetate or happen to be one of the few products that didn’t irritate my skin. And I plan to do that here! Rejoice fellow vitamin E allergic friends!




Hello and welcome to this blog’s obligatory awkward first post!

My plan with this space is to have a spot to ramble incoherently about things I like and things I don’t. Some of those things are video games, makeup and beauty, how my deliveries are either late or lost, music, books, steampunk/cosplay and more video games.

So, without further adieu, last one unto the breach!