Birchbox

Beauty Review: My August Birchbox

Beauty Review: My August Birchbox | Writing Between Pauses

We’re back again with another Birchbox review!

I have one month of gifted boxes left, so it goes without saying: a huge part of my next two reviews will be about whether I see value in these boxes. Has receiving them improved my skincare routine? Have I gotten any absolutely cannot mix items?

A huge part of why I review beauty products is helping people pick products that have the most value for their money. There is no point buying a $5 product or a $50 product if it doesn’t work, or it is deceptive, or whatever. That’s why I write the reviews I do: I want you guys to get the most out of your money, so when it comes to your self-care, you’re not feeling like it was a total waste. However, beauty and skincare is so subjective; I’m just one voice of many and I hope all beauty reviews help you make your best decisions.

So, if you’d like to try Birchbox based on my previous reviews or this review, click here to use my referral link.

Now, let’s talk products.

August 2019 Birchbox Value

This month, I chose another curated box: originally, the box showed an entire eyeshadow palette (which I knew couldn’t be true), so I wasn’t expecting it. It turns out, everyone received one single eyeshadow from the palette. I chose this box specifically for the R+Co product, which I’ll talk more about shortly.

1. Dr. Lipp Original Nipple Balm for Lips

I really like Dr. Lipp products. I’ve been using this on my stupid elbow; when I first moved into my new house, I gave myself a blister on my new desk in my office doing embroidery. (This is a very weird problem.) Since then, the blister has healed, but I’ve had a very scratchy, dry spot on my elbow. My moisturizer from my Ipsy Glam Bag Plus last month helped a lot, but I still needed a sealant to put over it. This stuff worked. So if you’re having very dry, stubborn lips or other patches of skin, this stuff is the way to beat it. It’s only $14.50 for a full size tube and I legitimately can’t imagine using an entire thing fast.

(If you’re nursing or have a newborn, this might be a great nipple balm. It used to be called the Miracle Balm and still advertises itself as a moisturizing sealant. Double check the ingredients though!)

2. Smashbox Cosmetics Photo Finish Primer Water

I am suspicious of all primers, but I actually really liked this one! It does come out a bit like mace (I hurt myself the first time I used it), but for once I actually did notice a huge difference in my makeup! I didn’t have to use my usual powder (which has talc, I know, I know, I know) to keep my makeup set all day. However, it’s $32 for a full size bottle of 3.9oz. Not sure how I feel about that price as the amount you use is very hard to control. I’d prefer if it was in a dropper, but as a spray bottle, it just kind of gets out of control.

3. R+Co HIGH DIVE Moisture + Shine Creme

Listen, let me tell you how dumb I feel right now. I specifically picked this box for this item, which I thought was a moisturizer. For your face. I have been putting this ON MY FACE and wondering why I’m getting such bad congestion on my chin. I was like, “is it just a crappy product?”

No, guys, it’s for your hair. So yeah, I picked a box for a hair product, which I didn’t realize was a hair product, even though I’ve complained about Birchbox sending me far too many hair products. My reading comprehension has been so good lately, I don’t know what you’re talking about.

I have yet to use it in my hair because I literally just noticed as I was reading the description for this review that it is for hair. Feel free to mock me in the comments, I deserve it.

Birchbox Curated Boxes Worth It

4. IBY Beauty Poolside Eyeshadow in Dive In

This eyeshadow is part of the larger Poolside palette from this brand, which is actually quite pretty. I expected this shade to go on and be kind of sheer (I don’t have high expectations for most “unknown” eyeshadows). Y’all, this was BRIGHT, metallic pink on my eyelid. I put it on and was immediately like, “oh shit.” So it’s pigmented! And very blendable. I’m actually really impressed. The larger palette is really pretty, with the standard neutrals then some brighter shades (I’m peeping the shade No Running, a bright, metallic purple). Is it super wearable? Probably not. But fun.

This shade, however, on it’s own will make a good, vibrant color to use all over the lid. It is pretty bright, so toning it down will be key for me to wear it more.

5. Too Cool for School Coconut Oil Serum Eye Patch

You guys know I’m not too big on coconut oil on my face, but eye patches I’ll willing to try. My suspicion is that these don’t actually have much coconut oil in them, but more of a scent component. I haven’t used them yet, as I’m saving them for a more special occasion.


Whew, that’s it! I’m still embarrassed about the R+Co hair products, but alas, what can I do? I actually do really like this box. That’s one of the benefits, I think, of picking a curated box from Birchbox: you know exactly what you’re getting, which I do always like.

The question is: do I think this box is worth $10? The samples are all so small (and then after-the-fact, Birchbox only gives you the information for the full-size products), but I feel like they are enough to give you an idea of if you like it or not. A prime example is the primer water: I have at least 5-10 uses of that (if I can get that spray nozzle to calm down), so I’ll know within 2 weeks if I like it enough to take the plunge on a $32 bottle. (I guarantee you I won’t, though.) I like having a lot of things to try for $10 and I feel like this box at least gave me that. However, I do wish sometimes the samples were just a bit bigger!

Beauty Review: Birchbox, July 2019

Beauty Review: Birchbox, July 2019 | Writing Between Pauses

About 10 days ago, I had every intention of keeping my blog schedule. Then life happened.

I know if you follow me on Instagram, you’re probably thinking, “Is she going to mention it? Is she going to talk about it?” The truth is: right now, probably not. But to cut a long story short if you don’t follow me on Instagram (and you totally should)… I (as well as all my coworkers) were laid off on Wednesday. We knew it was coming, but it happened sooner than we thought and with a variety of factors that were really, really unpleasant.

In short: Wednesday was a terrible, no-good, very bad day. And to be honest, Thursday and Friday weren’t much better.

I don’t really want to talk about it right now (is a Birchbox review really the best place to get into all these feelings?), but it’s had a huge impact on every single part of my life, for better or for worse. I will be writing about it eventually, but not now. It’s too fresh and I’m too “in” the situation.

I was feeling pretty melancholy Saturday after I put Forrest to bed. Danny was getting ready to go to the gym and I had exhausted my to do list and simply couldn’t do anymore. (I’ve been fiddling with a blog post for LinkedIn for, like, a week now.) Danny told me I should write a normal blog post. You know, for that other blog I run, that I love and refuse to give up even when it’s a huge pain in my ass? (Bless.)

He was right. I needed to feel normal. I needed to write about something not related to my career. I needed to have a phone call or a meeting or a text where I didn’t rehash the story over and over again and start crying again and wondering how 5 years went by so fast and I didn’t do all the work I wanted to and I feel like I let clients down and blah blah blah blah. Rinse, repeat, ad nauseum.

So here I am: freshly scrubbed out of the bathtub, with my Birchbox freshly photographed, ready to write about it. Sorry for this heavy introduction, but hey, it’s the truth. And as Birchbox pointed out in an email to me recently, Birchbox is all about taking care of yourself.

You can read my past Birchbox reviews here. If you’re interested in a longer Birchbox vs. Ipsy blog post, I’m working on one that will be posted in 2-3 months. So stay tuned! As well, if you’d like to sign up for your own Birchbox subscription, click here!

One note about this month’s Birchbox: I chose a curated box just out of curiosity and because I hated the customization samples this month. Ho-hum.

Is Birthbox Worth It?

1. Number 4 Super Comb Prep & Protect

The month I don’t receive a Number 4 product from Birchbox will be the day I feel like I’ve made it. Every month I get a product from them! The thing about Birchbox reviews that niggles at me (that I mentioned last time) is that there’s no way to say I don’t actually like something and want to stop receiving something. It’s all just about whether I’ve tried the product before and whether I’ll be buying it soon. There’s no way to say, “I actually hate this and would like to stop receiving these Number 4 products because I’ve barely liked a single one.” Either way, this one is a solid “fine”: I don’t love it, I don’t hate it, it’s the 4th detangling spray I’ve received. I can only use so much.

2. ARROW BOOST Color Enhancing Lip Balm - Blush Hour

I received this same product in my box last week. It remains the same. I’ll be regifting this one.

3. Clarins Wonder Perfect Mascara 4D

Mascara! I usually hate receiving mascara because it’s something I’m very picky about (in short, I hate all mascaras and have yet to find out that doesn’t make me miserable). On Wednesday, I wore this mascara and cried a lot and ended up looking exactly like those emo girl photos circa 2004 that were super popular on Myspace, so that was very exciting. Aside from that, I actually quite like it; it’s a little goopier than I prefer, but it doesn’t get clumpy like most mascaras.

Bumble and bumble. Don't Blow It (H)air Styler - Fine

4. Bumble and bumble. Don't Blow It (H)air Styler - Fine

Yes! Another hair product! This one is is actually quite nice. If I use it right after the shower, my hair dries with less flyaways and general nastiness. It smells good and makes my hair feel pretty good, so it gets some solid points there.

5. invisibobble® POWER in Pink

I really don’t like this style of hair tie: they tend to tear my hair out. However, these ones are really nice. (Am I going soft?! Giving in? Being less critical!? Never.) I’ve been wearing them quite a lot in the past week as I throw my hair into any variety of messy bun, weird ponytail, or half-pony-bun-thing. In fact, I’ve already lost one, which is the sign of a well-loved hair tie if I do say so myself.

6. COOLA® Dawn Patrol™ Classic Primer SPF 30

Can you believe I picked this curated box specifically for this product and then was crushed when it arrived and I realized it is primer? A product I neither like nor use? Good one, Michelle, good reading comprehension there. Yeah, it’s an SPF primer, which is great in theory. But this is silicon-y as all hell and turns my already oil face into a slip and slide. I can’t even apply foundation over it, it’s a lost cause. I tried wearing it without foundation and I was so shiny and my skin felt so gross I had to baby wipe my face in my car. A great look! I’m regifting this. Why couldn’t it have just been a nice COOLA sunscreen?

ARROW BOOST Color Enhancing Lip Balm - Blush Hour

Final Thoughts

Did reviewing these products help me get out some of my sadness and aggression? Yes. Do I feel better now? Absolutely. Do I like Birchbox? Not really. I’ll be ending my subscription as soon as I get my sixth box. I feel like I haven’t gotten anything I really love or use, but rather a bunch of shockingly similar hair products that basically act as conditioners. I’m not overly impressed, but perhaps I should have expected it—Birchbox seems like maybe it’s more of a hair-focused subscription (that’s just my expectation) and that’s not exactly what I love focusing on. (My hair does exactly 4 tricks: curls/waves that fall out within 4 hours; a bun; a high ponytail; and down.)

Beauty Review: Birchbox June 2019 Review

Beauty Review: Birchbox June 2019 Review | Writing Between Pauses

This is my third Birchbox of a 6-month subscription I was gifted. To jump to the point right away, my overall impression has been a little… lackluster. I enjoyed my first box; last month’s box had 4/7 samples as hair products. And this month’s box is better, but I still don’t get that excitement I thought I would have. It’s not bad, but it’s not great either, you know?

In short: I don’t look forward to my Birchbox arriving quite as much as I do my Ipsy bag. (And even better, I have a very exciting Ipsy review this month. Stay tuned!)

You can read my past Birchbox reviews here. If you’re interested in a longer Birchbox vs. Ipsy blog post, I’m working on one that will be posted in 2-3 months. So stay tuned! As well, if you’d like to sign up for your own Birchbox subscription, click here!

Birchbox Branding

This month’s Birchbox theme was self-care, clearly. My box included a pamphlet about how Birchbox isn’t a “beauty box” (er) and it had a checklist of self-care suggestions that included, “take a walk around the block” and “actually SEE your friends”, as well as things like “Plan some time off for 3 months from now” (yes! I can afford that!) and “moisturize your hands.” My favorite is “get some actual sleep (7+ hours please!)”; what a privileged thing to send people! I’d love to get 7 hours of sleep per night… I simply can’t. I’d love to take a vacation or go on a nature walk; I have neither the money nor the time.

I find corporatized self-care extremely embarrassing and painful, because these self-care items are very much about pampering. Lots of people take part in self care that is along these lines, but self-care isn’t prescriptive. Self-care is very much about taking care of yourself and your mental health—and sometimes self-care isn’t cute stuff like taking vacations and going on nature walks. It is taking a shower when you have been so exhausted for 3 days that showering is insurmountable; it’s taking your medication even though you might not want to; it’s cutting off toxic people because they are making your mental health worse.

So anyway, I found this very annoying. At the end of the day, Birchbox is a beauty box that sends out a few samples to a lot of people every month and while I’m glad any large company supports mental health initiatives, I would like to see them reflect those ideals inward. How is their medical insurance for employees? Do they provide mental health support, life-work balance? Do they accommodate mothers? What is their family leave policy? And most importantly: are all their employees compensated fairly? It’s great to send out a checklist of potential self-care items, but are they supporting actual humans in their actual policies? (This goes for all companies that decide to use mental health in their marketing, not just Birchbox.)

I’m off my soapbox now. Let’s talk about the products.

Is Birthbox Worth It?

1. Wilma Shumann Skincare Hydrating Collagen Eye Pads, $7.20

These made my skin burn, which is often a problem I have with eye pads and eye masks. They also didn’t seem very wet, as to open the packaging, you have to slide out a plastic tray (a waste of packaging!!) and it makes all the serum spill out. Not only is that a waste, I had that these plastic masks aren’t actually soaked with product; it just sits on top. Give me a biodegradable eye mask over this. The value for these is quite low, as a “full size” includes 5 sets of masks for $18, making each set of eye pads worth about $3.60.

2. Too Cool for School All-in-One Egg Mellow Cream 5-in-1 Firming Moisturizer, $7

I love this K-beauty brand and I love this moisturizer. This is probably my favorite thing I received and one thing I will probably buy a full size of. I’ve been really struggling with extreme dry patches on my nose and cheeks, especially during my cycle, and this is one of the few moisturizers that has really helped. A full size is 1.76 ounces and costs $36 (which is pretty expensive). This sample is 0.35 oz, making it around $7.

3. Beauty Protector Protect & Detangle, $2.94

You can find this at Walgreens. Walgreens! It costs $23.50 for a full size, which is 8 ounces. This sample size is 1 ounce, making it worth less than $3. It’s a perfectly fine detangler, but I’m not exactly impressed. I don’t know why, but I don’t feel like getting sent things I can buy at Walgreens is really fair! I can go to my local Walgreens and find these things myself.

What comes in a Birchbox

4. Arrow BOOST Color Enhancing Lip Balm in Blush Hour, $15

They also sell this at Walgreens. This is the one product that really increased the value of this box and I’m not sure thats a good thing. $15 for one lip balm that turns a bright pink? I’ve seen reviews that say this is a really flattering color and it is supposed to change “just for you personally.” I don’t agree. This is really unflattering on me. I don’t mind the balm itself (even though I think lip balm is a bit of a scam even though I cannot stop using it), but I won’t be wearing it out of the house.

5. Amika Perk Up Dry Shampoo, $10

I don’t like Amika products generally and I get so many samples of them! I also don’t use dry shampoo as it makes my dry, itchy scalp 400 times worse. Also, dry shampoo has been linked to alopecia areata (when my alopecia was at its worst, I was in a dry shampoo phase, which is not a coincidence). A sample can costs $10 from Sephora. I won’t be using this product, so it is getting passed on to donate.

6. Eyeko Skinny Liquid Eyeliner, $11

Funny enough, I just bought (via Ipsy) another Eyeko liner. This one isn’t the same; it’s a felt tip pen, which is my absolute least favorite kind of eyeliner. I don’t know what monsters are using felt tip eyeliners still; they aren’t good, they don’t work well, and they don’t look good! End felt tip liner! Every brand needs to make a good brush tip, which makes a sharper line and a better wing. But no! Brush tips are hard to find and felt tips populate the world at astronomical rates. Anyway, this is about half the size of a full size, making it worth $11. I will not be using it.

New Birchbox Pricing

Final Thoughts

This box has a $53.14 value. The value lies almost entirely in the lip balm and eyeliner, with the dry shampoo coming in third. That isn’t exactly great; I don’t like when the value of my beauty boxes is bolstered by one or two products, because it means i’m getting sent filler usually. There are two things I will not use period in this box (the dry shampoo and the eyeliner), one thing I will use but not outside the house (the lip balm), one thing I’m indifferent on (the detangler), one thing I don’t like period (the eye masks), and one thing I love (the moisturizer).

This might just be an unlucky box. In fact, that’s really just the truth. I forgot to log in and choose my custom option this month, so I got a grab bag and it feels like this isn’t tailored to what I like at all. I wish there were some way for me to tell beauty subscriptions all the things I love, love, love and hate, hate, hate so they know not to send me color-changing lip balms (which never look good on me) or felt eyeliners or dry shampoo.

One thing about Birchbox is that their system for reviewing items is not good and last month, when I reviewed my items, I didn’t get my credits like I did the month before, as if the system wasn’t registering them. It was pretty annoying and it makes it hard to indicate that I don’t want certain items.

This is all to say: I found my Birchbox quite disappointing this month.

Beauty Review: Birchbox, May 2019*

Beauty Review: Birchbox, May 2019 | Writing Between Pauses

Last month, I shared my first Birchbox to show you what the new, redesigned Birchbox offers. If you didn’t catch that post, you can read it here. However, as a summary, here’s the jist: Birchbox is now $13 a month (depending on the plan, but that’s the average) and doesn’t just come with 5 samples, but at least 5 with a few bonus samples. Last month, I got 7 samples, including a Sunday Riley Luna Oil sample which I am still using a month later. (Such a good deal!)

This month, I’m going to share a more traditional review of Birchbox. If you’d like to sign up with Birchbox, you can do so by clicking here*.

Is Birchbox Worth the new Cost?

Here’s What I Got:

Davines OI All in One Milk (50ml/1.69oz) : “This nourishing leave-in treatment detangles while adding volume, shine, and heat protection.” A full size of this hair milk retails for $34 and contains 4.56 oz/135 ml, making this sample roughly $12.50 in value. It is a fairly large sample. I really like this one, as I can spray it on my hair when it is dry or wet and it helps tame frizziness (especially as it has been humid and rainy here in Oregon). It also smells amazing.

Dr. Lipp Moisturizing Colour Tint in Sweet Potato (3ml): “This high-shine tinted lip balm uses just four natural ingredients… Organic edible sweet potato pigments give it its flattering pink shade.” I actually received a full size of this product from my Ipsy bag several months ago. The full size is only 5ml, making this deluxe sample worth about $5 (the full size is $8.95). I am almost done with my tube from Ipsy, so I guess it’s good I got a second one!

Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Cream (0.25oz/7ml): “This ultrahydrating moisturizer is rich without being greasy and sinks in without leaving behind any residue.” This was my sample pick this month; the samples were pretty lackluster, but I’ve never tried any of Kiehl’s facial products. I quite like this moisturizer, as I’ve been breaking out a lot lately and my skin has been dry, dry, dry (I think it’s from the recent changes in weather here). A full size sample retails for $30 and contains 1.7 oz, which makes this sample worth about $5.60. This cream didn’t make me feel greasy either, which is always a plus!

Marcelle Xtension Plus Skyline Mascara (0.14oz/4.2ml): “This clump-free mascara’s ultraskinny brush helps curl and lift every last lash while adding length and definition for a wide-eyed appearance.” This sample is about a half-size, which is pretty good! A full-size retails for $15, making this about $7.50 in value. Mascara is always a hard one for me, as mascaras often don’t do what I need; I have very long, full eyelashes, but they are quite thin. I’ve yet to find a mascara that adds volume without being clumpy af, and, unfortunately, this one only seems to lengthen. Nice, but not what I need!

Number 4 Jour d’automne Smoothing Balm (1oz/30 ml): “Prep damp hair with this styling cream, which contains tiny molecules that penetrade each strand to minimize frizz, add touchable texture, and protect against heat damage.” This is about 1/5 the size of a full size bottle, which retails for $30, valuing this sample at about $6. This is one of 3 leave-in hair products I received (I’ll touch on this in my final thoughts), but I quite like it still. My hair, as everyone probably knows by now, is very long, very thick (I have a lot of hair), but very fine and straight that tends to get frizzy with fly-aways. This seemed to make a huge difference.

SCAPES Apothehair Signature Sleeping Hair Mask (0.67oz/20ml): “Apply a dime-size amount of this herb- and oil-rich leave-in conditioner to damp hair before bed to wake up to smoother, hydrated hair. No need to rinse out, just style as usual.” A full size of this product retails for $25 and has 125 ml; that values this sample at about $4. Honestly, this is probably my favorite product of everything I got; it smells amazing and made my hair feel absolutely lovely. And $25 for how much you receive is pretty amazing, considering you only need a teeny tiny dollop.

Davines OI Shampoo (0.4oz): Nice, a shampoo packet. This shampoo promises to be ultrahydrating, which is fine. It says it protects hair from UV rays, which I quite appreciate. I did get tons of compliments on my hair after using this, but since I only received a packet (it was just a bonus item), it’s hard for me to know if that’s because of the leave-in conditioner or this shampoo.

Davines OI Conditioner (0.4oz): Another packet! I did quite like this conditioner even if I only received a packet of it. It reminded me a lot of the Shea Moisture Manuka Honey mask that I like to use: a little lighter than that, but very hydrating and rich. It made me hair feel lovely and I almost wish I had saved it to use alongside my preferred shampoo, just to see what it really did for my hair.

What Kind of Samples do You Get in Birchbox?
Kiehl's Ultra Facial Cream
Hair Masks from Birchbox

Final Thoughts

The total retail value of this box is about $44.60. That includes a very generous $2 each for the shampoo and conditioner packets. While $45 would be quite the shocking price for a bunch of sample (and deluxe sample) size products, for $13, I definitely don’t baulk at it.

My one issue, if you couldn’t tell, is that 8 things I received, 5 of them are hair products. And of those 5 hair products, 3 are leave-in products! Thats honestly just a bit too hair-heavy for me, when I tend to be quite picky about my haircare products. While I did like all of them, I found myself frustrated at having to space how when I tried everything; if I used it all at once, how would I know what did what!? It also doesn’t give me a well-rounded amount of things to try, especially as one of the non-hair products I’ve received from another subscription service.

Are you a Birchbox subscriber? What did you receive this month? I actually had wanted one of the curated boxes, but it had sold out by the time I was able to get in to select my item or box for the month!

Disclaimer: As noted by the asterisk (*) in the title of this post, this is a sponsored post with Birchbox. I am a Birchbox affiliate and any links to the Birchbox site are affiliate links and also marked with an asterisk. I received a 6-month Birchbox subscription in exchange for blog posts. Posts like these help me keep Writing Between Pauses going! However, all opinions remain my own. If you’d like to learn more about my disclosure policy, click here.

I Tried Birchbox (So You Don't Have To) | April 2019

I Tried Birchbox (So You Don't Have To) | April 2019 | Writing Between Pauses

I love a beauty subscription. As you probably know, I’ve been an Ipsy subscriber for months (although we’ve been on a break recently) and have been looking for other beauty boxes to review and use each month. There is something to a beauty box, isn’t there? It’s like a special little treat.

I told Danny that the reason I love them is because it gives me the option of trying new things every single month… without spending a ton of money. To try a new moisturizer might cost $15+, depending on the brand—but I can get a deluxe sample of a moisturizer in a subscription box that I can use throughout the month, as well as other things to try, all for around $10-15 depending on the subscription.

That’s incredibly valuable to me! I love trying new things, but I hate spending money.

A few weeks ago, I was approached by Birchbox to review their beauty box subscription and to share with my readers. Of course, I said yes immediately!

Birchbox is the first beauty subscription box I ever remember hearing about: they really changed the game when they came on the scene! They are a tried-and-true brand with a ton of fans, so I was honored to be able to work with them.

I received my first beauty box this month and wanted to share everything I received, what I loved about Birchbox, and what I didn’t.

What Do You Get in a Birchbox

What I Got

Here’s everything I received:

  • Oribe Dry Texturizing Spray

  • Number 4 Lumiere d’Hiver Clarifying Shampoo

  • Marcell City Tinted Cream

  • Sunday Riley Luna Night Sleeping Oil

  • 100% Pure Green Tea Concentrate Cream

  • Number 4 Lumiere d’Hiver Reconstructing Masque

  • Love of Color Liquid Shimmer Eyeshadow (not pictured)

That’s $10 for 7 samples. Unlike Ipsy, there is no set number of samples every month. However, some of the samples in Birchbox are quite small; the clarifying shampoo and hair masque are both from the brand Number 4 Lumiere d’Hiver, but the shampoo is 1 fluid ounce in a travel size tube, while the mask is simply a packet (and much less than 1 fluid ounce). For that reason, it’s a lot more difficult to put a value on these products because you do receive a significantly smaller amount!

A prime example is that a full-size tube of the Oribe Texturizing Spray has 8.5 ounces and costs $46; the sample tube I received has 1 ounce. So, it would be valued at about 1/8 of $46: $5.75. However, not everything splits up quite that easily.

That’s ok though! I think even without strict numbers, we can talk about how valuable something feels: even though the tube of Sunday Riley’s Luna oil is quite small, a full-size bottle is only a little over an ounce and costs $105.

You read that correctly: full size is 1 ounce for $105. So receiving a sample tube, no matter the size, is going to be pretty valuable in terms of testing it out!

Birchbox costs between $10-15 a month to receive, depending on the status if your subscription. (You can learn more about Birchbox’s updated payment system here.) You can buy subscriptions in 6- and 12-month packages as well, which can help reduce your cost (and you can often get full-size gifts when you sign up. Score!)

Is Birthbox Worth It?

What I Liked

One of the great things about Birchbox, compared to Ipsy, is that you don’t just receive 5 samples: you get a variety and often 5+ things. In my first box alone, I got 7 samples, some of them bigger than others. I’d say everything except the hair mask, I can use for at least 3 weeks, potentially more. That gives me a ton of product to experience with.

I also like that Birchbox gave me options when it came to selecting my samples. As with Ipsy, the more you review the things you receive, the better the products will be suited to you. However, with Birchbox, you can receive a sneak peek of samples starting the month before; at the end of March, I was able to choose either one sample I definitely wanted in my box, or I could have chosen two curated boxes to receive. That meant that no matter what, I got to choose something to try—which is really, really fun!

I liked all of the products I received, except perhaps the clarifying shampoo (it made my scalp itch, which is 100% a “my scalp” problem!) and the CC cream (it didn’t match my skintone, but I did like the texture).

My favorite product is probably the 100% Pure Green Tea Concentrate Cream; I thought for sure I would love the Sunday Riley Luna oil, which I do, but it doesn’t wow me as much as I thought. What did wow me was the Green Tea Concentrate Cream! It smells amazing and feels beautiful on my skin; I love wearing it under my makeup. It’s one of those things that I would have never looked for, but thanks to Birchbox, I’ll probably be buying a fullsize tube!

Reliable Birchbox Reviews

Things You Need to Know

What are a few things I would want to know about signing up for Birchbox?

Firstly, I think you need to remember that these are samples: not necessarily even deluxe size samples, in some cases. I don’t think that’s necessarily a draw back, but I do think it is important to have realistic expectations of what you’re going to receive.

Secondly, you can earn points on Birchbox by reviewing items; these points can then be used to purchase full size items. That’s pretty amazing!

Lastly, Birchbox is not like ipsy. They are both beauty-focused subscriptions and while I’ve compared and contrasted them here, ultimately they serve two different purposes. Birchbox focuses a little more on tried-and-true skincare products; Ipsy is much more trendy and makeup focused. What you choose depends entirely on what you want to receive! Looking to find a skincare routine that changes your life? Birchbox would be the best choice. Want to experiment with makeup? Ipsy is your best bet.

If you’d like to sign up for Birchbox, you can do so by clicking here**.

Have you received Birchbox? What did you think?