Monday, June 29, 2015

Birchbox Beauty Subscription Box Review, June 2015

It's probably safe to say that most subscription boxes (not to mention box bloggers and vloggers) pretty much owe their existence to Birchbox.  This company was founded by two young women who met while attending Harvard Business School. They shipped the first Birchboxes in September, 2010.  The explosion of subscription commerce that followed has been nothing short of a business phenomenon. Considering that the industry did not exist five years ago, it is amazing that this increasingly crowded market is now home to more than 750 companies.

Of course, the risk for any market creator is maintaining relevance...just ask Myspace, Napster, Prodigy or a whole slew of other Internet pioneers. Birchbox has introduced a number of initiatives over the past year clearly with the goal of maintaining their leadership position.  One of those is giving subscribers the option to choose one of the items in their monthly box or to choose a guest edited limited edition box. This ability to "manage the unknowns" is undoubtedly an innovation in the subscription business.  

For June's box, I decided to choose the limited edition box whose theme is "Adventure is a State of Mind".  This box has a cool ombre lavender top and a peach colored bottom. Inside are five samples and one bonus item.

First out is a Good Hair Day shampoo sample from Temple Spa which is a botanical-infused formula intended for use by those who wash their hair frequently.

It's always nice to get a matching shampoo and conditioner in the same box (and sort of annoying when you only get one or the other).  There is a Temple Spa conditioner called In Good Condition which is a hydrating and softening detangler with a light pepperminty smell.  Judging from the packaging, names and differing scents, I'm not sure these two are a match.  That seems a bit odd.

Next is a waterproof eyeliner from Marcelle.  I don't see a shade name on this but it looks like a slightly shimmery coppery brown.  It is smooth and creamy and glides on easily.

I think we get way too many body creams (in different forms) in beauty sub boxes. This one, by Harvey Prince, is called Hello Body Cream and it has a pleasant citrus floral scent.

As one who does not leave the house without some type of sun protection on my face, I was really glad to see this facial moisturizer with SPF 30 from Coola in Cucumber scent. If all goes well, this is one product I might actually buy in the full size since there aren't that many facial sunscreen moisturizers that I like.

The bonus item in this box is a Grab & Go Ponytail Holder from L. Erickson.  This one is a slightly metallic silver gray color.  My hair is way too short for this so I'll pass it along to someone with longer strands.

I'm not too sure how each of these products relate to the "Adventure" theme but they are all items that could easily be tossed in a cosmetic bag.  For me, the winner is the Coola moisturizer but I also like the shampoo and conditioner and will use the eyeliner.

If you have not yet tried a beauty sub box, at only $10 a month, Birchbox is a very good place to start. Be aware though that Birchbox has grown way beyond monthly boxes. There are hundreds of health, beauty and grooming items for men and women plus lots of other a la carte purchase ideas on their site.

One other thing worth mentioning is Birchbox's fantastic points system. There are several ways to earn points, which accumulate rapidly and can be applied directly as dollars off future purchases.  Every dollar spent (including those for monthly boxes) earns one point. Every 100 points can be redeemed for $10 off anything on their site.  You also get points for reviewing the five products in your box each month.  Each review is worth 10 points. If you consistently review the products in your box, you're effectively getting $5.00 off per box, making them just $5.00, an unbeatable deal.

So, check out Birchbox.  But don't blame me if you end up in a 12 step subscription box addiction program!


Disclosure:  Views and opinions expressed in this blog are strictly my own.  Product discussed in this post was purchased by Lone Star Shopper. Post may contain referral or affiliate links.

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