Beauty subscription services were all the rage a few months ago in the beauty community here and on youtube, and the idea of paying a measly $10 a month for makeup samples seemed like a no brainer to me, so I signed up for Birchbox in March 2012 right after the Teen Vogue themed box made such a big splash.
I got my first box in April and was so excited to see what I was going to get. (I think part of the appeal was looking forward to something that wasn't a bill coming in the mail every month.) Here's what was in there:
Nothing all that exciting, right? The only product in here that I liked or ever actually used was the nail polish, and the exfoliating cleanser ended up being expired by over a year. Birchbox gave me "points" for the expired sample, so whatever. I didn't really understand how the point system worked so I was still a little tiffed at their messup.
Then came May; the Gossip Girl box.
Again, I found myself disappointed with my samples. I was really looking forward to the Stila Sparkle Eyeliner, but when I got my box it was missing. I had to spend 3 days calling and e-mailing customer service to actually get to talk to someone, and then had to wait a week and a half for them to ship me one. I did end up getting one, though, so I guess it wasn't all bad. Though it was army green colored - which I thought was completely unflattering for my skintone - but whatever, I wasn't going to complain about the color since they fixed their mistake by sending me the one product I was actually looking forward to. Everything else in this box was pretty much junk; note cards? Really? My "note cards" were actually one piece of Cardstock; so I only actually got one. None too pleased, Birchbox.
In June, Birchbox temporarily redeemed themselves with this box:
I really liked the (seemingly) full sized Stila bronzer and the tan towels. But why is a beauty service sending me a nutrition bar? (And a nasty one at that - if anyone else got a Luna Bar, you know, it was disgusting.) I didn't even eat the whole thing. The other redeeming factor in this box was the Taylor Swift Wonderstruck perfume sample - I love the scent and will probably end up buying a full sized bottle, though I won't be purchasing it from Birchbox.
Next came July:
This box is what closed the deal for me. Mints and crappy neon headphones? Why am I paying for this again? I loved the smell of the perfume sample (Harvey Prince - Hello) but realized I had something in my collection already that was a lot cheaper and smelled exactly the same (Victoria's Secret Sexy Little Things Tease). At this point I decided I would give Birchbox one last chance to really wow me - AKA send me something I might actually try - or I was going to cancel. And then came August...
Okay, so I haven't actually gotten this box in the mail yet, but I always go on when I get the shipping notification to see what to expect. This month, I checked on 8/10, the day I got my shipping notification e-mail and saw that there were only 3 products listed: a razor, stick on eyeliner, and nail polish remover. Obviously, they changed that since there are now 5 products showing, but I cancelled immediately after seeing my "preview" of those 3 things. A razor is hardly a beauty sample. I want makeup!
Overall, Birchbox is a good idea in theory, but I found that the products they were sending me weren't worth $10 in my opinion. I could just as easily have taken that money and bought something I would actually use. Not to mention that their customer service is seriously lacking; you can't get anyone on the phone (you have to leave a message) and it takes days for someone to reply to an e-mail. I might try another service, since I was so disappointed with this one. I really like the idea of getting new things in the mail every month, but I want it to be worth my money.