If you have to buy it, get the best deal!
Birchbox has always been my favorite subscription box. At $10 a month, each sample only costs me $2 (or less during amazing six or seven sample months). That is a low price to pay for some of the gems I’ve discovered in these lovely boxes that I look forward to each month. Since the revamp, you can either select a sample from 3-4 options or select an entire curated box of 5-6 pieces. I’ve always liked at least one sample from the choices, so I usually select the one I like most. It is hard at times, because I like more than one. This was the first month where there was not a specific sample that I had to have, but I really looked forward to the curated box.
When a curator comes in, all items are pre-selected. If you choose this option, your element of surprise will completely go away. I looked forward to trying three of the five items, which is always how I determine (before calculating value, of course) whether I am excited about a box. For the first time since the curated boxes started, I did not already own a single item in it. It meant I was finally ready to know all of my samples in advance. I ordered it hoping the two I am not excited about would surprise me.
The curated box this month was pieced together in conjunction with Rent the Runway. If you have not heard of Rent the Runway, let me introduce you to the business model. Rather than purchase expensive clothing, jewelry or accessories that you will only wear once, you rent them. For people who love nice things and deals, this is a perfect opportunity to enjoy both. I am inventing places to go, so I can use their services for the first time. The custom box comes with a unique code for $30 off $75 making this deal too good to pass up. The code expires 04/17/15, so I am waiting on a formal invite!
The box itself is very fashionable. I usually save my boxes to reuse them as gift boxes, but I think I may repurpose this one into something else. It did get slightly banged up during its travels, but I can live with that.
The product card inside always tells you a little about the products and what the full size of the product costs. I wish it also listed the sizes of the full product, but I know I can look them up.
The first product I pulled out of the box, and the one I was most looking forward to is theBalm Read My Lips in Bam. This 0.08oz sample is slightly over a third of the full size and worth $5.71. I love the color Bam. It bright pink with a dash of dusty rose. It is quite beautiful, so I am happy with it. The gloss also falls between the matte look the no flash presents and the overly glossy look the flash presents. I look forward to actually trying this on and seeing how it wears.
The gloss also falls between the matte look the no flash presents and the overly glossy look the flash presents. I look forward to actually trying this on and seeing how it wears.
The second item I was excited to receive is Not Soap, Radio The Stuff That Cupid Dips His Arrows In (because sometimes fate needs an assist) body wash. Even though soaps and body washes tend to be lower value samples, I really enjoy trying every one ever made. This one even sounds cool. It leaked slightly in my box, so I also got to smell it over everything. I was very pleased with this soap. My skin feels squeaky clean and the blackberry and fresh vanilla cream blend smells incredible. The lather is great, and the product does not dry out my skin. This was a great start into exploring this brand, so I am looking forward to trying more (not) soaps. At 1.5oz, this sample would have been worth $1.85. Even though I do not have 1.5oz left, I will keep the value there to determine what it was worth before the spill.
I try to wash my hair every other day. Since investing in a nice shower cap that helps keep frizz and water at bay, I am a little more fruitful in this endeavor. My scalp is very dry, which causes a lot of oil production to compensate. That means I need dry shampoo for days I skip a wash. This is a product where I thought I found my perfect one, but it no longer works as nicely as it once did. As such, I am always open to trying new ones that will really let me skip a wash. Here is hoping this Fekkai Blowout Hair Refresher Dry Shampoo will be a gem for me. At 1.7oz, I found a few retailers that sell it in this size. They all seem to sell it for around $8.
Eyeliner was one of my least favorite makeup items for a long time. The eyeliner hater in me sometimes creeps back in and reminds me that I hate how many eyeliners I’ve picked up. Luckily, this dark blue Sumita Color Contrast eyeliner in Raina appears to be navy. Until it arrived, I was not excited at all. Navy is an eyeliner color I really like though, so I am a little more excited. I also own a Sumita eyeliner in black and black with silver glitter. I’ve never used the black one, because I am not into black. The one with silver glitter was less than impressive. When swatching this one, I noticed it is a lot more smooth than the glitter one.
I also like that it took a lot of effort to wash it off. Just from ordering this box to receiving this box, this eyeliner moved from an item I was not excited about to one I was. At 0.024oz, this sample is worth $4.40.
The item I was looking least forward to was derma e Anti-Wrinkle Vitamin A Glycolic Scrub. My skin is so sensitive. I barely find an exfoliant that does a good job without giving me a rash. Since the ones that have irritated my skin all seem to have different ingredients, I have yet to identify the culprit. This is why I love Exfolikate. It’s expensive, but it is perfect for my skin. Despite not being excited, I will give this a try. If it gives me a rash, I will pass it on to a friend or family member, as I’ve done with other failed scrubs. I’ve never seen so many retail prices listed for one product. This is not only listed differently at practically every site on the Internet, but it differs from the Birchbox website to the product card. As the website has more current information, I will use $12.75 as the full price to calculate the value of this 1oz sample at $3.19.
That makes the overall value of my box $23.15. Even if the scrub does not work out, my value will be $19.96. Of course, I will also get $5 worth of points for reviewing these items, and I could save $30 if I use the Rent the Runway coupon. I was only able to get a $25 coupon digging on my own, so that means I would save an extra $5 there, too. The points and savings would pay for the box entirely. Thus, I had another successful box.
My favorite thing about this membership is the site gives you 10 points for each review. With 5-7 samples a month, you can earn up to 70 points. At 100 points, you can cash them in and spend $10 on anything you want in the Birchbox shop. Even if you have 2 months in a row with only five items, you should be earning $10 every 2 months just for reviews. You get 1 point for every $1 you spend in the shop as well, so it is very easy to earn points.
If you want to subscribe, remember to look at start-up offers and all available offers. When you’re ready to spend your rewards points, remember to add your free two piece sample pack when spending $35 from the Bonus Shop. See other Birchbox Subscription articles. View my main page for the guide map to the site and deeper deal exploration.
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