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As a self-proclaimed beauty product addict, I was one of the first in line for Birchbox back in 2010 when it launched. A loyal subscriber for probably a year or two, I liked getting new products each month sent to my door. When the products started to get repetitive or seemed like they were sent to the completely wrong person, I’d try to cancel…and then in a hail mary move, the last box of the subscription period (I think it was 6-months at a time then?) the box would be AMAZING, luring me back in. Eventually, the lack of need, dozens of unused perfume samples, and scattering of tiny tiny bottles all over my bathroom made the decision for me to quit.
On my birthday last year, I was gifted a six-month Birchbox subscription…and I was suspicious. I was thankful for the gift, but I wondered how the product had aged, since my tastes have changed and the products that I remember liking 8-years ago no longer fit my needs. So, I redeemed the gif…and here is my experience.
The first difference between the old Birchbox and this one was the customization quiz. I remember there being something that asked skin color, hair color, and maybe hair/skin type…but that was about it. This was more in-depth. One question I was very impressed with was “how often would you like to receive perfume samples”. I don’t want to waste 1 of my 4-6 samples on a perfume I’m never going to wear (I rarely wear it anymore as it is–but more on that later).
Within a week of filling out that survey, I received my first box. The items were pretty good! I’ve been neutral-to-happy with each shipment since. I received my sixth shipment last week. Here are some of the things that I liked, as well as some of the things I did not like:
- They are better at customization (and likely just have more product partners) than when I tried it before. Most of the items I received were organic and/or natural, which I stated as a strong preference. I received some products I’ve used and liked, and just forgot about…and will likely be buying again.
- Each box has a cute message on the front…”For the Sensational <<your name>>”. By the sixth month, I was kind of over it, but I definitely instagrammed it the first month!
- Each box has at least one full-sized product, and each box had at least one, in most cases more than one item I would buy.
- With the monthly shipping, all the packaging, and all the tiny little tubes and bottles my desire to try cool new beauty products is contributing to a lot of non-recyclable waste.
- While I liked a lot of these products, the ones I didn’t like were a 100% complete waste. I’d love it if there were some sort of cleaning/recycling program to send these items to people in need.
Both something I liked and disliked: While I LOVE exposure to new products, I don’t really need it. It’s fun, but I have a pretty solid routine.
In conclusion, I’m not sure if I’m going to continue. I definitely think it’s worthwhile if you are looking to fill in and/or expand your beauty routine, but if you feel like you’ve got it down…then maybe skip this. A quarterly subscription here would be ideal.
The wins in my shipments:
Kiehl’s Clearly Corrective™ Dark Spot Solution: This stuff works, you only use a little bit, and isn’t as expensive as a lot of dark spot treatments. I’ve been using the small sample I got for over a month, and hardly any is gone (I also just use on a few small spots…so mileage will vary). It’s currently out of stock on Birchbox but you can buy directly from Kiehl’s or on Sephora.
Davines MINU Illuminating Shampoo – For Color-Treated Hair: I LOVE all Davines products. They’re luxurious, work well (and hard–you don’t need much), and they’re one of the greenest beauty brands out there. Forgot about this formula, but definitely working it back into the mix.
Love of Color Liquid Shimmer Shadow: This stuff is amazing. I don’t love liquid eye color, because it’s hard to blend, and tends to be all shimmer no color. Not this one. Definitely shimmer here, but so long as you work with the color as soon as you put it on, it’s easy to blend, and it’s nice and buildable. It also lasts all day, even without a primer.
COOLA® Mineral Sunscreen Matte Tint SPF 30 – Unscented: This product is amazing. It says there’s a matte tint, but I felt like it basically sunk into my skin. I applied it before primer and foundation, and there was no pilling at all–if anything, it left the texture of my skin super smooth, making other products blend even better. Highly recommend.
Juliette Has a Gun Not a Perfume: The best thing I got in all of the boxes. I don’t wear perfume hardly at all, have been using Chanel Mademoiselle and Killian Liaisons Dangereuses for years. Since I hardly wear scents, when I filled out my Birchbox questionnaire, I requested to receive very few samples. Well, this one won. As the name states, it’s technically not a perfume–it’s only one note, so you can actually layer it. I have been wearing it on its own as a light scent which smells fresh and a little exotic. Absolutely in love with this one…thanks Birchbox!