• Shelli In Transit Contributor

Birchbox Review

This is a guest review of Birchbox that I have copy-edited for content and style. The final version was approved by the guest reviewer.

Birchbox is a personalized beauty subscription box that sends members beauty and

grooming deluxe samples, including makeup, skincare, haircare body care and fragrance every month. I subscribed to Birchbox because I am have been an Ipsy subscriber (check out the review of Ipsy Glam Bag Plus here) for the last 6 months and I wanted to see how the similarly priced Birchbox compared. Plus, I like boxes that give both skincare and makeup and are budget friendly to boot and Birchbox checked all those boxes.

How it Works

Birchbox has 3 subscription plans: monthly plan ($15), 6 -month plan ($84) and 12-month plan ($156). Plans automatically renew and for the 6- and 12-month plan, you are committing to the entire length of your plan. Birchbox usually offers a free gift for subscribers who sign up for the 6-and 12-month plans. After signing up, you can complete a Beauty Profile that asks questions about your skin, hair, personal style etc. to help Birchbox curate a monthly box that will be right for you. Birchbox typically sends about 4-6 deluxe samples per box as well as tips and tricks to use the included products. Subscription boxes ship by the 10th of each month but your first box ships within 10 days of signing up.

For those who want to skip the subscription Birchbox also has an online Shop that sells full-sized beauty products. All members are automatically enrolled in the Birchbox Loyalty Program where members earn 10 points for every $1 dollar spent in the online store or for gifting subscriptions. If you spend over $300 (excluding sales taxes) in a calendar year, you get promoted to the Ace tier, where members earn even more points for every $1 spent in the online store or gifting subscriptions. These points can be redeemed as a payment toward any full-sized product in the Birchbox online store. Another cool perk of the Ace tier is a $10/month Birchbox subscription for the duration of your Ace status. You get to keep your Ace status from the date you qualify through the end of the calendar year, plus the entire calendar year that follows.

Getting Birchbox

I subscribed to Birchbox on July 14 and it was shipped on July 24 and arrived on July 30. Birchbox arrived in a plain brown box but inside was an attractive magenta-colored box that said Birchbox on the top. I received 6 deluxe sample-sized products in my box, but please note that the weights and prices listed in parentheses below are for full-sized versions of the products I received:

What I Liked and Didn’t Like

I liked the make-up to skincare ratio in my Birchbox and the July 2020 box I received included a Stila mascara, which is a brand I have used in the past and that I liked. Also, I liked the box that the products came in, it is small and cute and could be used for other things. Relatedly, I liked that Birchbox does not include a small makeup bag like Ipsy does each month, because I have built up a collection of these Ipsy bags and it seems like a waste.

I disliked a few things about the Birchbox. I did not like the Dr. Pawpaw Ultimate Red balm because it was sticky and although it was recommended for use on the lips and cheeks, I put some on my cheeks and I looked like a sticky messy clown. Also, I didn’t like that I received a 4-sample pack of the TIRTIR Bubble Toner and wished I had gotten another makeup product instead of 4 samples of the same thing. Plus, the Birchbox I received is nearly identical to the Ipsy Glam Bag I received in July in terms of the types of brands featured and the products included, so I felt as if I wasn’t getting anything really “new” or different with Birchbox.

The Verdict

I do not plan to keep my Birchbox subscription because it very similar to Ipsy Glam Bag that I already subscribe to, which is $3 cheaper than Birchbox. And with the exception of the mascara, I wasn’t very excited about most of the products in the Birchbox. I liked the mascara and am excited to try the TIRTIR Bubble Toner, but the other products are either “meh” or ones I won’t use, like the Biorace Pore-Tightening Pearl Clay Mask. I would recommend Birchbox to budget minded individuals, who want to try something similar to Ipsy or someone who wants more variety in their beauty/skincare products.

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Hi! I'm Shelli, a travel enthusiast, avid reader and prolific reviewer of everything from books to skincare.  Read more...


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