Reflections on My Birchbox Three-Month Anniversary
It's kind of like getting a tiny Christmas stocking in the mail each month. The occasional lump of coal within.
Photo by Christina Uticone
Last September I signed up for Birchbox after writing a story about the company (and its counterparts, Glossybox and Glymm). My excitement during the sign-up process was dampened somewhat when, after entering all of my information into the required fields, I was notified that I had been added to a waitlist for Birchbox services. That I was signing up for a waitlist, not beginning services immediately, was not readily apparent and I was immediately put off by that fact.
A few weeks later I received an email notification that my first Birchbox would be delivered, and since then I have received three boxes. Those of you who read my original story had mixed reactions to these, and similar services and after three months I have to admit--so do I.
My excitement was high, so I was naturally inclined to just be happy with my Birchbox samples, which included a stretchy hair tie in a pretty lavender lace pattern, a low-suds shampoo for color treated hair, a sample of Viva La Juicy Perfume, and a generous sample of theBalm® "Mary-Lou Manizer" highlighter, as well as a TSA-friendly cosmetics bag. The hair elastic and the highlighter were worth the price of admission--I loved them both. The cosmetics bag and one of the shampoo samples were gifted (I liked the shampoo, but thought it would be great for a friend with very curly hair), and the Viva La Juicy perfume went right into the trash bin; I'm not a Viva La Juicy kind of lady.
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For ten bucks I was pleased at with my first monthly shipment, especially theBalm highlighter product which can be used on the face, around the eyes, or on the lips. The full-size product is around $24, and even with frequent use I've barely made a dent, so I feel like I've gotten my money's worth, and then some.
Hurricane Sandy delayed my month two subscription, but not by much--a week or ten days. Nothing from that shipment really stands out, other than the customer service which I found to be fast and responsive. To compensate me for the "trouble" (which was non-existent) of the late shipment, Birchbox deposited 100 Birchbox points into my account; the equivalent of $10. I did receive a full-sized lip gloss from ModelCo in this order--a lippy with a mirror attached to the body of the tube, brilliant!--which I ended up gifting to a friend because I have several similar shades. But considering the full-sized lippy is $16, the Birchbox is still a great value.
I received my third Birchbox just hours before getting on a plane so I didn't have tons of time to play. There was a fragrance, some facial moisturizing oil, an eye treatment, an eyelash dye/conditioner, and a coupon for Rent-the-Runway--all very nice, but nothing too memorable. Still, for ten dollars the entire box remained a good value, and I decided to extend my subscription by at least another month.
My fourth Birchbox shipment has been delayed until January 25 (they usually ship on the tenth of each month). Another 100 points (=$10) has been added to my account. Depending on the products received, this may be my last month with Birchbox.
The most I can say about Birchbox so far is that it's nice, and mostly a good value. There has been at least one full-sized product in my sample box each month, and while I have gifted some of them, the return on my ten dollar investment remains high. I've heard a lot of great things about Glossybox, and will likely sign up for that service once I feel I've got the most I can out of Birchbox. Still, it's fun to get a little present in the mail each month and at $10 Birchbox is by far the most affordable of the services of this type. I still recommend it to anyone who is interested.
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