Wednesday, March 14, 2012

March Birchbox

I received my first Birchbox this week.  What is Birchbox? It's a monthly subscription service for beauty products like makeup, skincare, fragrance, etc.  Each month you will receive 4-5 generously sized samples and sometimes full size beauty products.  The cost of this service is $10 w/shipping included.  They also have a yearly subscription which is $110 for the year bringing the cost down to $9.16 a month. 

The good:

The brands.  You will receive items from benefit, borghese, dermalogica, Essie, kerastase, tarte, etc. 

The price.  This month I received 5 items and 2 of the were FULL SIZED.  This worked out to be $2.00 and item which I think was very reasonable.  The other items were not $2 each individually but paired with the full size items the whole package is a great deal. 

Like surprises?  You don't know what's in your box until you receive it.  When you sign up you take a little quiz and the items in the box are supposed to be customized to you. 

Discounts: They have a system where you earn points for referrals and things you buy.  The points allow you to receive discounts on future full size purchases from their shop.  They offer free shipping on items from the monthly box and a $5 flat shipping rate for items that don't qualify for free shipping.  This is a nice feature because if you want to order several different brands you get free or $5 shipping for everything. 

Need a gift? You can gift a 3, 6 or 12 month subscription or you can purchase a gift card in any amount.  There also have a nice option with the gift subscriptions where you can choose to have the 1st box shipped you for giving and subsequent boxes will be shipped directly to the recipient.  Great holiday gift!

The not so good:

Skip a month?  Currently there is no option to skip a month.  If you don't want a box that month then you have to cancel your subscription.  If you paid for the year you cannot cancel, you will continue to receive boxes until the paid year is up. 

Choice.  You don't get to choose what's in your box so if you don't like surprises or experimenting with different products this may be an issue for you. 

 This is my March box.  They had an option of the regular box or a special Teen Vogue box.  I threw caution to the wind and picked the Teen Vogue box.  Why not right?

This is the inside of my box.  The nail polish and perfume came wrapped in tissue paper with a little ribbon bow.  The card is a description of each item with the full size purchase price listed.  This is a nice extra so you know right away what the cost is instead of having to look it up.

The contents: I also listed the retail price of the full size item for value comparison purposes. 

FULL SIZE Essie luxeffects nail polish top coat "as gold as it gets" ($8.00) - loved this polish.  I used it over a red color and it looked like little gold flakes. 

.05 fl. oz Kate Spade Twirl perfume sample - it's the size you would get in the store - value $1.96 (1.7 fl. oz $65)

.25 ml Kerastase Elixir Ultime nourishing oil for hair (125ml $54) - This felt like a thick oil but didn't leave my hair greasy.  I used a small amount on damp hair and my hair felt soft and tangle free.

FULL SIZE Tarte LipSurgence matte lip tint in lucky - pink color ($24) - not a color I would normally wear but I actually liked it.  It was a nice matte, didn't look too cakey and not too bright. 

Twistband hair tie ($1.50)

Coupon to subscribe to Teen Vogue 2 yrs for $10

Coupon for $10 off $75 modcloth order

So as you can see the value of the full size items are $32 which is well over the $10 paid for the box.  I will definitely use the nail color. I probably wouldn't have chose the pink color for the lip tint but it's seems pretty light so it's worth a try. 

The verdict:  I am curious to see what next months box offers since this was a special Teen Vogue box.  If they continue to send a couple of full size items then I think it's definitely a great value. 

***I am any type of sponsor paid or unpaid for Birchbox 

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