My First Birchbox: February, 2016

Before I begin, please remember that I am not paid for these reviews, nor am I given any free products/boxes! These are my opinions, based on my experiences, and I pledge to tell you the truth – be it good, bad, or beautiful!

At $10.00 a month, Birchbox is one of the more economical options in the Beauty Box subscription world, so when I became obsessed with the idea of these boxes, I decided they’d be the second one I’d try (Ipsy was the first). It took a little bit of time before my first Birchbox arrived, though I was billed weeks prior to shipment. FYI, subscriptions are billed on the first of each month, and since I’m on disability benefits, this challenges me to make sure I’ve got enough in my account to cover my Birchbox (and other subscriptions). 

The February box arrived around the 17th, and I was delighted when I opened it up. I noticed it had a light scent to it, which I initially thought was a nice little touch that Birchbox added, until I realized it was because one of the products was slightly warped and had leaked a little bit. I never contacted customer service about it, but perhaps I ought to, seeing as I have no qualms about doing that kind of thing in general. Plus, it will give me a chance to review their customer service as well. I’ll let you know what happens if and when I do interact with their representatives.

I initially intended to take pictures of the box, as I’d done with the Ipsy glam bag I posted about, but I was apathetic and unmotivated to do so by the time I got it, and I just wanted to tear into it and see what it was I’d waited to patiently to get! The pink box contained a card about the theme, and I noticed right away that the word “occasion” was misspelled as “ocassion” which is something that was hard for me to overlook. When I went on their site, they had the same message as the one printed on the card, only this time, it was spelled correctly. I’m a stickler when it comes to grammatical errors, especially when it is a business making those mistakes! Who does your proof-reading anyway? Moving on to the review…

I was impressed with what they sent me, and the box was also cute and worth keeping, so hooray for that!

The contents of the box I received were as follows:
  • Not Soap, Radio – Body Wash, Sample Size – I got the “Liquid Freud” version, which is lightly scented with coconut milk and a splash of mango. It had the following message printed on the front: “Liquid Freud: When you need to turn up the volume on your inner voice of reason” which of course, I got a kick out of. ESTIMATED VALUE: $2.50
  • Marcelle New Age 8 in 1 Power Serum, Sample Size –  This is a really nice serum, with a consistency that’s thicker than your average serum. I really appreciate that, as it works a lot better for my skin needs than serums with a more runny formula. It didn’t irritate my very sensitive skin either. ESTIMATED VALUE: $10.00
  • Coola SPF 30 Unscented Matte Tint, Sample Size – Let me preface by saying that I hate tinted moisturizers, as well as foundations and BB creams, because I have yet to find one that works well with my skin tone. This stuff, however, was AMAZING! The product formula is lightweight and smooth (hence the “matte”) and it blended so well with my skin tone, that I couldn’t help but be seriously impressed. So much so that I am probably going to purchase a full-sized version of this product, with my Birchbox points, of course! ESTIMATED VALUE: $5.00
  • POP Beauty Matte Velvet Lipstick, Satin Rose, Full Size – I didn’t try this product because I debated on whether or not to put it up for sale on ebay or amazon, but I held on to it and ultimately decided to give it to my sister-in-law as a gift, because I know she is obsessed with lip color and lip products. She was, of course, delighted when I gave her it, and the shade looks really good on her. ESTIMATED VALUE: $16.00
  • Beauty Protector, Protect and Detangle, Leave-in-Conditioner Spray, Sample Size – This is the product that leaked slightly and gave my box a nice, light scent. I nearly sold this sample as well, but decided against it because of the fact that it leaked. I have yet to try it, but I plan on doing so shortly, maybe even tonight! ESTIMATED VALUE: $10.00

Not bad, consider it was only $10.00.

Being a budget beauty, I honesty wouldn’t pay full-price for any of these products EVER. They’re simply out of my price range! Not to mention, there are times when I like to sell the products I get from these boxes, because if there are items with pretty decent retail value, I can make back the money I paid for the subscription and then some! The real reason why I subscribe to services like Birchbox and Ipsy is because I can’t afford to buy these kinds of products in the first place, but I deserve a little bit of luxury in my life, don’t you think? Everybody does, in my humble opinion!

For those who are curious about trying a subscription beauty box, I’d recommend trying either Birchbox or Ipsy. I will say that I think Birchbox caters to a slightly older demographic and they seem to offer mainly higher-end items. Ipsy seems to market towards a younger crowd, based on my observations, and their product offerings are a mixed bag, but generally contain a retail value ranging anywhere from $40 – $60 retail value!!

In addition to being generally awesome so far, Birchbox offers bonuses to subscribers. You’ll earn 10 points for each product you provide a review for (must be products you received in your box). 10 points gives you a buck to spend in their shop. Not bad for taking a minute of your time to give your feedback! When you reach 500 points, you become an “ACE” which gives you access to even more exclusive offers and discounts. If you refer a friend who then becomes a subscriber, you get another 50 points to spend in their shop. And for each dollar you spend in their shop, you get another point, which is pretty cool, considering I couldn’t ever afford to place an order on their site without points.

THE VERDICT: Birchbox is totally worth the $10.00, especially if you like to try new, high-end products. So why not treat yourself to a little something special and subscribe!? Click on my referral link and I’ll get 50 points – which is 5 bucks to spend in their shop! You can count on both Birchbox and Ipsy to send you plenty of bang for your ten bucks, so go ahead, what are you waiting for? TREAT YOURSELF, BECAUSE YOU DESERVE IT, MY BEAUTY! 

Do you subscribe to any beauty boxes, and if so, which ones? Are you a Birchbox subscriber? What’s your experience been like? Are you a fan of Ipsy instead, and if so, why? Or are there other boxes you really love? Share your feedback in the comments section, and as always, thanks for reading, and stay tuned for more reviews of subscription beauty boxes!

*Since I’m not compensated, nor given any free boxes to review, you can be sure I’m giving you my honest-to-goodness, unbiased, real opinion! 



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