Friday, March 15, 2013

Birchbox March 2013 - Open Box

Hello friends,

In my last post I mentioned my using the leftover boxes from Birchbox as drawer dividers for organizing small items. I also mentioned I would write more about Birchbox, so here goes:

Birchbox is one of many monthly sample cosmetics/skincare subscriptions. Other companies that provide the same service are GlossyBox, EcoEmi or Ipsy. I am pretty sure there are more, but these are the ones I am most familiar with.

For the makeup and skincare addicts like me, those subscriptions have become the perfect solution since we get to try a variety of products without having to commit to full sizes (hence saving us some money). I lost count of how many products I bought (and paid big bucks for) only to realize I either did not care for them or they were totally useless (as in fraudulent claims). So, samples are a good alternative to spending loads of cash on stuff you don't use and they are actually quite fun to receive every month in the mail.

How it works:

Birchbox costs $10 per month. Along with Ipsy, which is also $10/month, Birchbox it is one of the least expensive of all the monthly subscriptions (EcoEmi is $15 and GlossyBox is $21).
For a quick reference: Ipsy is all makeup + a cosmetic bag each month, EcoEmi is all organic products, including cosmetics, skin care and food items and Glossy Box is all cosmetics but in Luxury sizes which is another way to say travel size. Of course the idea is that should you like a specific product, you would return to the website (whichever subscription you have) and purchase a full size of that item.

You can also cancel any of these subscriptions at any time and shipping is always included in your subscription.

You do get to fill out some kind of skin profile online but I really think that is somewhat bogus since there's just no way they can handpick all the samples based on every subscriber's individual profile -each month (sorry Birchbox, I just don't buy that at all).

Every month, usually within the first week, you receive a box with at least 5 samples. Sometimes they would send (or so they claim) one full size product. I have been subscribing to Birchbox for 4 months now and I am yet to see a full size item! EcoEmi will send way more products (10)  and guarantees a full size in every box. Ipsy also sends 5 makeups items + a different bag with one full size item each month.

So every month it is pretty much like Christmas all over again as you open your box - you just don't know what will be in it, which is kind of fun or utterly disapointing, depending on the box. 
For the inpatient ones, looking at all the other boxes subscribers have posted for that month on their blogs and vlogs will not help much either as there are many variations of the same monthly shipment, one or two items may be the same, the others are completely different. I don't think it has to do with your profile, it is more a matter of what they ran out of first.

March 2013 was a make it or lose it month for me. As mentioned above, I have been a subscriber since December, this was my 4th box and the previous three were complete or partial fails. I said to myself that if March was going to be another let down, I would cancel my subscription and move on. So let's see what was in my box this month. 

This is March 2013 - Open Box. Next month I will do a complete review of all the products I tried.

First, this is what the box looks like when it is delivered to your door. (it is always this really cool and rather festive hot pink!):

But that's just the shipping box. Your Birchbox is actually inside and pretty much always looks the same each month, though Christmas was a bit more decorated. There are some gals out there who recycle their boxes for gift giving since they are sturdy enough. I use mine as drawer dividers or small organization boxes. The box itself measures 7x5 inches.

Once you open the box, the first thing you always see is that month's special message card. On one side it has a message from the girls at Birchbox and on the other side there is a description of the samples included.

This month there was a special offer from Benefit as well. 

A Birchbox exclusive, buy one Benefit concealer, get a free deluxe size mascara . Again, Deluxe means travel size, in this case it is probably the same size than any of the mascaras you would get as a free gift from the department store brands. I'll pass. Plus I don't want a concealer that looks like a lipstick so that I can contaminate the entire thing by applying it to my skin (this is not a rant against Benefit, I actually really like their products, I just don't think it was a good move on their part to package a concealer as a stick).

So basically the big surprise is right underneath the pink tissue paper, which by the way always comes to you in pristine and totally reusable condition. Oh the suspense! Let's see what's inside, and again this was a make it or lose it month for me, will I keep or ditch my subscription to Birchbox?

Here is the first view of the samples as you remove the tissue paper...

And here are the samples I received this month:

The first item is this nail file from Madewell (never heard of them). It is supposed to be one of the freebies this month. Surprisingly enough, while some may already cry out "are you kidding me?" I was just thinking of buying a nail file to bring to work, so this is just perfect for me.

There is this pretty cottage flower design on the back of the file and it comes (once the plastic wrapper is removed) in its own protective sleeve. That is a plus.

I am not going to have you wait until next month to find out my review about the file, I tried it right away...hmmmph. It's just a nail file with the same strength on both sides, I would have liked a rough side and a smooth side...Oh well, I still need one anyway! Next!

Serge Normant Dry Shampoo - That's cool, I always wanted to try a dry shampoo! This is a pretty good travel size actually (2 oz). Here's the claim (from the back of the card): 

"Serge Normant - Meta Revive Dry Shampoo - The A-List stylist created this volume-boosting mist to give second-day locks a lift. Bonus: The subtle fragrance leaves hair sweetly scented. Full Size: $25."

Yikes! $25 for a dry shampoo that's pretty stiff, but I will try it, and yes it is aerosol (not too environmentally friendly) and the smell is just that of baby powder. Not a big deal. Will try and will definitely review it for those of you who are interested. Next!

Whish - Shave Crave Shaving Cream - Not impressed with that one.

"The organic shea butter in this foam-free shaving cream makes for an insanely close shave and leaves skin incredibly soft. We love the exclusive blueberry scent. Full Size $20."
I like the ingredients (organic), the back of this  .75 oz tube states that it moisturizes, smoothes and nourishes all at once. It is also Paraben Free, Sulfate Free, DEA and TEA free and naturally sourced. But it does not smell like blueberry at all, to me it smells like candy. Will give it a try, review is coming soon. Next!

Marcelle - BB Cream Golden Glow - 

Very cool since I am yet to try a BB Cream. Never heard of the brand, turns out they are from Canada.

It is actually a pretty good size sample (0.5 oz) or enough for at least three applications.  Here is the claim:

" A Birchbox exclusive, this Canadian brand's multitasker is rich in hydrating aloe juice and works for all skin types. Full size, $27."
So I put it on the back of my hand is this is what it looks like, pretty fluid but already tinted, I thought that BB Creams came white at first and changed to tint upon applying it. Either way it may be too dark for my fair complexion but will definitely try it and review.


Inside the little pouch there are always a few additional items. 

This time around I received three samples of body lotion from the organic company Caldrea.

I am very excited about trying these body lotions since I am a bit of a lotion maniac and these are not only phthalates, parabens and formaldehyde - free, they are also vegan and not tested on animals. Here is the claim:

"We adore these elegant body lotions, which come in three ethereal scents: Tea Olive Lime, Aloe Water Apricot, and Coconut Fig. Full Size - $22."
Dang! Do they take coupons? Can' t wait to try and review these as they look like they will actually deliver big time!

So, to recap, this is what came in my March 2013 Birchbox:

And now for the big question: Will I keep my Birchbox subscription for at least another month? Well, this was by far the least disappointing box in four months and I am eager to try all the products, so I would say that the verdict is YES, but a reserved one. I am giving Birchbox one more month to deliver some great goods otherwise I will cancel.

That being said, I did sign up for EcoEmi last month and I am still waiting for my first box. I will definitely review that one too as I suspect it will be pretty epic!


What did you think? Would you be willing to subscribe to one of these sample subscriptions? I'd love to hear your opinion on any of them.

Stand by for a complete video review of all the products above as well as my EcoEmi open box -  blog post (coming soon).

Thank you for sharing my blog with family and friends. You can find me on FACEBOOK and YOUTUBE.


Sophia, NJ.

I am not affiliated with any of the companies mentioned above - nor am I being compensated to review products - all opinions are my own.


  1. That bb cream product looks fantastic.I just posted the review of my March Birchbox on my blog too. It is the best Birchbox I've ever received!

    - KW

  2. Hi K, I just checked out your blog and discovered a whole bunch of boxes I did not even know existed - will definitely read on further....good stuff. As for the BB Cream, I will post a video review with my next open box for April 2013. I have to agree that Birchbox started as a disapointment for me and is finally delivering. I wish I had received the same eye shadow you got in your box, that purple looks amazing to me! Thanks for sharing!

  3. The Manufacturer has revealed the BRAND NEW Openbox V8S. This new product is basically a better and latest version of F5S and V5S and involves greater functions. For instance, Web TV and 2 USB ports. This feature allows the users to use files on USB memory stick and Wi-Fi simultaneously. If you buy this product from us, you get FREE 12-month gift and 3 month warranty, for more check this>>>> Guaranteed openbox

  4. Are you looking for free Google+ Circles?
    Did you know that you can get them AUTOMATICALLY AND TOTALLY FOR FREE by using Like 4 Like?

  5. Quantum Binary Signals

    Get professional trading signals delivered to your cell phone every day.

    Follow our signals right now & make up to 270% a day.

  6. If you want your ex-girlfriend or ex-boyfriend to come crawling back to you on their knees (no matter why you broke up) you must watch this video
    right away...

    (VIDEO) Why your ex will NEVER get back...


I welcome your feedback and comments. If you have a question or a specific request, do not hesitate, I am here to help! Thanks, S.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
Pin It button on image hover