It's kind of like getting a tiny Christmas stocking in the mail each month. The occasional lump of coal within.
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

Reflections on My Birchbox Three-Month Anniversary

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.

Month 1

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.

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.

Month 2

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.

Month 3

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.

Month 4

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.

In Summary

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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