Oct
09
2011

Splendid Thing: Birchbox

Have you heard of Birchbox? Nobody is paying me any money to say this, swear to god—none of my Splendid Things are ever, ever sponsored or given to me for free, by the way; they're just things that I've bought with my own hard-earned cash and liked—but I have become sort of obsessed with Birchbox. Basically, for $10 a month, you get a box of high-end beauty products in the mail every four weeks. The catch? Well, they're sample-sized. Generously sample-sized, though, I might add. Which really makes it not a catch at all.

I first heard about Birchbox way back in June and I decided to sign up just to see what I thought. It seemed like a good deal—I'm a sucker for sample-sized products because they're so good for traveling, and I love to have miniature versions of all my favorites. I entered in my mailing address, paid my $10, and forgot all about it. And then, in early July, this arrived in my mailbox.

Yes, that is a hot pink package. It's kind of a fun thing to get in the mail every month.

I opened the package to find my Birchbox....box. (Allow myself to introduce....myself. Anyone?)

And inside that was this:

There was also a little card, telling me what everything was:

August and September's boxes were just as good; I didn't take any photos of them because I was all "eh, I am an old hand at Birchbox now, it is unbecoming for me to squeal at miniature-sized bottles of nail polish" but they had some pretty great stuff in them too, my favorites being a Tarte tubed mascara ("a push-up bra for your lashes!"), a new Kate Spade perfume, some sort of hugely expensive lip gloss that makes your lips all tingly and ostensibly plumped up (though not like this, thank goodness), and a Be Fine night cream which totally lets you go to bed smelling like a rich person, so that you can imagine, albeit briefly, what it might be like to be Gwyneth Paltrow.

Look, I know $10 a month is kind of a ridiculous indulgence for a box of tiny, fancy beauty products, and if I ever need to reexamine my budget and cut from it, Birchbox is obviously going to be the first thing to go, but for now, I love the surprise of getting some little treats in the mail every month. It's silly, but I get really excited when a new box arrives—I don't even let myself read the emails they send in advance, just in case I accidentally see what this month's products are; it would be kind of like seeing all my Christmas presents on December 22nd—and I relish the way they wrap everything up so prettily, so that you can just sit at your desk, with your cats as your audience, and gleefully narrate your excitement out loud as you open up each little tissue-wrapped package one by one.

Uh, I mean you could. You. One.  I obviously don't do that at all.

36 Comments

1
Erika
Oct 09, 2011

This sounds so fun! It seems like a bargain too at just ten bucks per month.

2
Brittany
Oct 10, 2011

I would love love love to do that, but I so obsessed over having too much clutter. That I'm afraid it would just sit around and get unused and then I would have too much stuff in my house and I may have panic attacks over having too much stuff. And I wouldn't be able to toss it out because that would be wasteful and seriously that is just a downward spiral isn't it? LOL But man oh man would I love that pink box.

Brittany
http://adam-n-brittany.blogspot.com/

3
Laura
Oct 10, 2011

I'm slightly jealous of your mini polish... it wasn't part my of my July box. But my October box just shipped, so maybe they threw it in that one!

4
jonniker
Oct 10, 2011

I am OBSESSED with Birchbox. OBSESSED.

5
Kim
Oct 10, 2011

I signed up for birchbox back in June or so when I read about it in *cough*Cosmo*cough* or I mean some really intelligent news publication. I adore it! I got a friend to sign up only after I realized you get a bonus set of points for that, bummer.

My all time favorite has been Pur 4-in-1 pressed powder. I swear to you, I've never looked this smooth and somewhat airbrushy. It's light, and matte and I can just throw it on an go with no foundation or concealer and I promise I'm not being paid to say this.

SOO GOOODDDDDD.

6
KateMc
Oct 10, 2011

So ten minutes ago I read this entry, and now I'm already signed up. I have virtually no beauty routine, but I do love beauty products (especially mini-sized!), and for $10 a month it seems like a great deal. I'm kind of excited, actually!

7
Hannah
Oct 10, 2011

AHHHH this is really really tempting... I'm going to keep this idea on the backburner and if it still peaks my interest next week I'm going to sign up. Thanks for sharing!

http://champagnelifestyles.blogspot.com

8
cojo
Oct 10, 2011

Want! Alas, my sweetie already nags me about having too many products. For some reason he doesn't believe I need 5 different facial cleansers in the shower or 3 different hair conditioners. Nonetheless, what could it hurt to sign up for a couple months for kicks and giggles? He doesn't need to know, I'm the one who brings in the mail :)

9
Jaime Thomas
Oct 10, 2011

I am not one for fancy cosmetics, mainly because I don't want to spend the money, but this would be awesome! When I've got an extra few dollars in the budget I'm going to sign up for this. It's like a present! Every month! And you don't know what you're going to get until you open it! I love presents, even when I buy them for myself!

10
Auburn
Oct 10, 2011

Two things:

1.) Waaaaay back when (like, 2005) when I was making my first of several forays into match.com, you had to have a tag line of sorts. Not your username, something else. Some were REALLY bad...although that was helpful too because you could just read one (Ex: Lookin' 4 an angel) and be like, ok, nexxxxt. Mine was: Allow myself to introduce...myself. Almost no one got. 1 guy, I think. But it amused me and, really, what else matters?

2.) A friend in NYC emailed me about this last week and I signed up. I'm a beauty product whore so this was basically right up my alley. I have to wait until November for my first shipment but am thrilled to hear that someone I "know" is using it and liking it.

-Auburn

11
samantha
Oct 10, 2011

I signed up for Birchbox around the same time that I signed up for the foodzie.com tasting box, so now it's basically like Christmas in my apartment every month. Fortunately, I live alone, so no one actually has to see how thrilled I am by the boxes of tiny things and therefore there's nothing to be embarrassed about.

12
Anna K
Oct 10, 2011

They do not ship internationally.

I have never known misery like this.

13
jen
Oct 10, 2011

What a splendid thing indeed! I just signed up. Can't wait for my first box!!

14
Lynn
Oct 10, 2011

Isn't it the best!? I bought them as thank you gifts for my girlfriends who threw me a shower. It's like sending them a little thank you every month. Also...it's a great gift for for new mamas who can't get to the makeup counter with little ones in tow.

15
Katharine
Oct 10, 2011

I ADORE Birchbox. After just one try, I'm sold. Except now I need a place to store all these adorable mini-sized products...

16
sarah
Oct 10, 2011

Anyone remember the cheesy version of this that was advertised in those coupon books you got in the mail, back when you got paper mail? Veerry 70s, and not sample sizes of known brands, but a makeup collection of unknowns every month. Make up remover appeared a lot, as did rust colored lipsticks. Not that I would know. *cough*

A quick internet search led me to it---COSMETIQUE! http://www.cosmetique.com/ It's one or two (small) steps up from Wet 'n Wild quality.

17
jill
Oct 10, 2011

i'm with anna k - bleak outlook at no international shipping

18
melanie
Oct 10, 2011

Love it. My husband would probably kill me, though. Waste of money!! But I might sign up anyway, just for a month or two, to spoil myself a little bit.

19
Savvy in San Francisco
Oct 10, 2011

I love receiving my Birchbox every month! If you like that, you should try StitchFix (they are personal shoppers that send clothes and accessories to your home for you to try on and decide if you like them or not, if you don't you mail them back to them). They are a local San Francisco company. It is so much fun! I wrote about it here:

http://savvyinsanfrancisco.blogspot.com/2011/09/need-fix.html

20
Annika
Oct 10, 2011

If they shipped outside the US, I would sign up immediately.

21
Debbie
Oct 11, 2011

Holly -
Do you have a "unique friend referral link" so that you may earn Birchbox points if I sign up under you?

"you can invite friends to join Birchbox with your unique friend referral link and you'll receive 50 points for each friend that signs up after their first box has shipped."

Thanks!

22
Jenny B
Oct 11, 2011

Oooh, please post a link if you have one! I am planning to sign up this week!

Does anyone even realize how long samples actually last? YESSSSSSS.

23
Procrastamom
Oct 11, 2011

Of course, OF COURSE they don't ship to Canada. Ugh, with the number of things that they either don't ship to the Great White North or the ungodly amount of money they want when they DO ship, I wonder why we even need the internet at all up here. That would have been the perfect Xmas gift for my oldest daughter...*sad face*.

24
Nikki
Oct 11, 2011

Just had to comment for you fellow Canadians....

glymm.com ($10 per month) and loosebutton.com ($12 per month) they are the same idea and came to my rescue when I too was horribly crushed by the fact that Birchbox isn't international :)

25
Anu
Oct 11, 2011

To everyone nothing that Birchbox doesn't ship in your area: there is probably a local competitor that does. Off the tip of my tongue I can list EcoEmi (Intl), GoGoGirlfriend, Glymm (Canada), Glossybox (UK), Rubybox (AU) and BeautyFix. I'm sure more competitors will be popping up soon as the barriers to entry for the business are fairly low. Personally I've been a little disappointed with the Birchbox offerings of late. It seems like they peaked with the Nars box earlier this year. I think the Brits get the best of the bunch...Glossybox is really awesome.

Incidentally, I don't work for any of these companies! I just researched this industry for a business school project.

26
Anu
Oct 11, 2011

NOTING. Noting, I say!

27
Emily
Oct 11, 2011

Oh, I hate to be the bandwagon jumper-offer, but I did Birchbox for 6 months earlier this year and I ended up canceling it. I love products, I love getting mail, I love neatly wrapped things, so was surprised to admit that I ultimately found this disappointing. Two of the boxes were great - including the one you photographed above - but the rest had only one or two truly useful things. On the whole I think it made up for itself money-wise with a few full-size products, but I was surprised how much of each box was actually kind of useless junk (e.g., a piece of paper infused with seeds; a sample wheel of nailpolish colors, like the kind they show you at a salon....)

28
Caty
Oct 11, 2011

Oh my word love it!!!and thanks to Anu's Tip in the comments I found out we can get Glossybox in Germany as well. I just signed up and can't wait for my first box to arrive. Unfortunately it was too late for the ocotober one so I have to wait until the end of november! =(

29
Wacky Mommy
Oct 12, 2011

My 12-year-old daughter says, Thank you!!

30
Lauren
Oct 12, 2011

This is fantastic.....but no shipping to Canada, $@&k.

31
Dianna
Oct 13, 2011

Just signed up, thanks Holly!

32
Julia
Oct 13, 2011

Philosophy facial cleanser is the best - the BEST! It costs a fortune but it is absolutely incredible.

33
Jenny B
Oct 14, 2011

Thank you for the referral link Holly! I signed up today so I hope you get some points!! :)

34
Sensibly Sassy
Oct 26, 2011

oh my this looks really tempting!

35
Lauren
Dec 02, 2011

Holly - just found your site (from a pin of the '60 years of memories') and LOVE it. Your splendid things really are splendid! I've never heard of Birchbox, but based on the other things you love (that I love too), I should give it a try!

Confession: I also love parenthesis.

36
Ali Marie
Dec 10, 2011

Wow, I wish I would have discovered this months ago! I signed up after Thanksgiving, so I'll get my first box in a few days. I hear that this month we are getting an exclusive lip gloss in birchbox pink..(spoiler *) I have been reading alot of blogs lately where customers are cancelling their subscription because the boxes have not been so great. I'm sure I will love everything being the obsessed beauty freak I am. Besides, at $10/ month, I can cancel without feeling that I've dwindled away my life savings.

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