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Ever since I fell in love with Birchbox, I’ve tried to talk my husband into subscribing. Men’s subscriptions are $20 a month and not the $10 a month women pay. This is due to the added lifestyle item, which is more often than not over $20 by itself. Having a subscription that is twice as expensive also makes it twice as hard to get the value back. Thus, it is more risky. In a month where the lifestyle item does not connect with him, he will not get the value back on the box. He is one of the few people I know who does not like to try samples he has not done a ton of research on, so he had me convinced he would not try most of the product samples either.
He even joked that subscription boxes are clever at getting one to pay for junk they do not really want or need. A few months ago, I completely gave up on the idea that he should subscribe. I did this despite the fact that he keeps buying full-sized items he’s researched and “knows” he will love them only to find he does not love them once he tries them. Like me, he never returns anything either. That means he uses all these products completely before trying another one he pays the full price for in the hopes of finding one that will stick.
Imagine my surprise when he informed me he subscribed on 07/22/15. He even used my Birchbox subscription page to get himself a deal. For a man who cannot be bothered to “look up a code,” this was great. The code he used was BBJETBLUE10, which gives 100 points for a subscription purchase. It is still active if you’d like to use it. With 100 points, he will get $10 toward a future purchase. There are others that take money off your box or give you a free item.
The Birchbox Man subscription starts shipping on the 25th, so August was his first month. His August box arrived 07/30/15, and it was a pretty great box. It is probably a welcome box and not an August specific box. You can get lifestyle items outside of the choices when no selection is made, so it could be an August box. The lifestyle item seems like a common welcome one.
Birchbox Man gives at least four beauty samples in addition to the lifestyle item. His first box had a bonus item. For every review, it gives 10 points, which is equal to $1 in the shop. A seven item box like this one gets him $7 back. I also “shared” his box on Facebook for an extra 10 points. That will give him a total of $8 back to redeem toward future purchases. You can read my detailed overview of the program for more information. Each month (after the first), you get to choose your lifestyle item or you can choose the featured box for the month. He should get his first choice before the September box.
The first thing you notice when you open a box is the product card. It gives you a brief description of the products as well as the cost to purchase the full size.
In all the boxes I’ve received, I can only think of one or two items that did not list sizes. His very first box already beat that record. I will see if this was a coincidence or a pattern as time goes on. For valuation, I always guess when I am unsure how big something is. If others guess a different size, we will all have different values. Another odd thing is there are multiple items in this box not sold at Birchbox. That rarely happens with women’s items. Birchbox needs to step up their male game. If he earns points and loves something, it would be nice to purchase it using his points.
The lifestyle item in this box is a pair of Tommy John Cool Cotton Trunks. This item is not listed at Birchbox, but I did find it directly through the retailer for $29. My husband, whom I shall call CB, has always wanted to try these. He’s a huge Howard stern fan, and Howard is a fan of this brand. When he found out he was getting these, he was happy. I need to wash them before he can wear them, so let me know in the comments if you want a follow-up on how it goes. They’re extremely soft. Hopefully, they are as comfortable to wear as they feel. I imagine he will look incredible in these, because they look good on the model.
The Birchbox Man + River Virtual Reality Viewer is listed on the product card for $10. It is not for sale in the shop, but you can get it using the code VRVIEWER on a $20 purchase. This is a cardboard item that requires light construction. Once you’ve put it together, you download an app and use it to view things. CB thought this was a waste of cardboard. I did not personally look at the app like he did, so I cannot form an opinion one way or the other. Putting things together no matter how simple the assembly is not my forte, so I probably never would have bothered if this was in my box.
CB already tried and hated the CoSTUME NATIONAL SCENT INTENSE. Scents are so personal, and he is way more critical of scents than I am. He tends to love or hate them and never seems to like any. As such, I never put too much credence into his judgement of scents on whether or not to recommend. Although I have yet to find one I love, so he has me beat in that department, there are very few I hate. Most, I consider likable.
It is worth $3.75 using the smallest buy-in size, which is the method I always use. Items usually get cheaper as items get larger, so it devalues it too much to value from the largest size. This 0.05oz sample is unisex, which he was not happy about. I do think he leans toward masculine scents unless they are more woodsy, in which case he claims smell “like a man.”
The Hanz de Fuko Natural Shampoo is another item not sold at Birchbox. They do sell a kit including it, but that would not help someone only wanting shampoo. It costs $16.50 on the brand’s website. I am assuming this sample is 1.0oz making it worth $2.06. My husband has a very short haircut but insists he needs nice shampoo for his scalp. Hopefully, this suits him. He already put it in the shower to try tomorrow.
The Hanz de Fuko Natural Conditioner is a foil. I do not value foils, so it does not matter that the size is not listed. My husband does not use conditioner, but he told me he would try this. After I reminded him that conditioner that close to the scalp is not good, he insisted he wanted to try it. For a man who hates trying samples, I am not going to keep pushing once I gave him the warning. Foils in boxes are always welcome, because they also get 10 review points, equal to $1 for spending in the shop.
The 0.24oz Supergoop! Forever Young Hand Cream is very small. I think I’ve received this in one of my boxes, but I have not tried it yet. This is a nice brand, and I love hand creams. At this size, it probably would not last me a day, because of how often I wash my hands and reapply. My husband washes his hands less and only applies hand cream once a day. It may actually last him a few days. Sunscreen in hand cream does seem ingenious, because I always forget to put sunscreen on my hands. This is a 2-in-1 I could get behind. It is worth $2.88. The markup to get this in travel size is insane. If we like it, I would probably buy the big one and pour it into a smaller bottle taking the price from $12 an ounce to $3.40.
The Ursa Major Fantastic Face Wash was another product with no size listed. I am guessing it is 1.0oz making it worth $3.50. This is another item he already placed into the shower, so he will try this soon.
The box has a $51.19 value. His personal value is also $51.19. Although he did not like the view finder or cologne, he tried them. Once he tries them, he gets value he would not have without receiving them. 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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I'm Kimberly. Shopping is always more fun when I've found the best deal available, so I am always on the hunt. My father instilled that in me, and I love that I carry a piece of him. Sometimes, my husband and sons (12 and 7) let me shop for them, too. They do not use as many beauty products as I do. We can all benefit from nice products, even though their routine ends with moisturizer. That is when I can convince my 12-year-old to apply it.