If you have to buy it, get the best deal!
Happy Birthday, Birchbox. Birchbox turns six this month. It started customer appreciation day in 2014 to celebrate its fourth anniversary. The celebration for the fifth anniversary in 2015 was even bigger. On September 15th, customer appreciation returned. Now that I’ve seen what they offered in 2016, I feel it was a downgrade from 2015.
Customer appreciation returns this year on September 15, 2016. Birchbox has some exclusive offers that are only available on 09/15/16. These offers should not work after the 15th, and Birchbox is on the East Coast.
In 2014 and 2015, subscribers got to make a free Build Your Own Birchbox in the SOHO store. The 2016 offer only offered a free box with a purchase. Birchbox did reduce the cost of a standard (one product from haircare, makeup, body, perfume, and skincare) Build Your Own Birchbox from $15 to $10 and the custom (any 5 products) from $25 to $15.
-New subscribers get a free extra Birchbox with the September box with code EXTRABB.
–Free standard shipping on all orders.
-Buy any full size Beauty Protector product, get a free Protect & Detangle. One per customer.
-BOGO for the following Amika products: Perk Up Dry Shampoo, Bombshell Blowout, and Nourishing Mask.
-Get 50% off the Benefit Mascara Kit.
-Receive a Men in Cities Passport Case with a $35 purchase.
-Receive Bowery Earbuds with a $35 purchase.
-The free sample pack (usually has a $35 minimum purchase) is available with a $25 purchase. Add this to your cart. It combines with any code or other offer.
-Receive an Isaac Jacobs Organizer with a $50 purchase.
-Aces get 20% off Birchbox Discovery Kits. Discount loads automatically when signed into an Aces account.
My account is in Aces status, and I actually ordered one of these. The 20% discount was calculating in my cart. It removed itself when I checked out. I sent Birchbox a message right after placing the order. Birchbox contacted me on 09/19/16, and issued a refund for the 20% I overpaid, $5.20.
The beautyblender® original retails for $20 by itself, so I got the other four samples for $0.20 each.
The Discovery Set comes with a product card like regular and limited edition Birchboxes. It gives the premise of the box on the front.
The back goes over the products inside, and the cost to purchase a full-size.
The beautyblender® original is a FabuFind, and I will probably always repurchase this. I always have multiples open at a time, so I can use one wet (foundation, concealer, or other liquids) and one dry (setting powder). It is also common to open a new one when I need one before washing another one. As mentioned above, this retails for $20.
The 0.24oz jane iredale Smooth Affair® Facial Primer & Brightener is worth $6.78. It did not occur to me until after I swatched this below (the white cream on the far left) that I have too many primers I should have opened first. I can say it feels like a face cream when I swatched it. This probably adds extra hydration (as promised in the product description). Since I opened it, I will try it soon.
The 0.1oz Supergoop!® Daily Correct CC Cream SPF 35+ in fair/light is worth $2. I really love this CC Cream. In the past, I’ve only used light/medium. That is probably the perfect summer color for my skin. As this arrived on the first day of fall, I opted for the lighter color. It looks like that decision backfired on me, because it swatched way too light. I have to use it before I really lose my color during winter, because it expires in 10/2016. Receiving a product that expires a month after you receive it is never ideal, but I have to remind myself that I only paid $0.20 for this.
The 0.105oz Cargo Blush and Bronzer Duo in Catalina Blush and Medium Bronzer is worth $5.92. Every time I see these Cargo tins, I remember how cute I think they are. Then, I try to open it, and remember why I rarely reach for these. As much as I think they’re cute and the product inside is stellar at times, they are so hard to open. Sometimes, I get lucky and open them in a few seconds. Other times, I cannot get them open after more than a minute. The pans on these are deep, because the tin is about the same size as an Urban Decay single, which is 0.05oz for one product. This has two products. In the swatch picture below, the blush is on the far right, and the bronzer is right next to it. Neither look super impressive based on swatches alone, but the bronzer looks less powdery than the blush.
The 0.04oz trèStiQue Perfect Multipurpose Highlight Stick is worth $6.48. I thought it arrived empty, because there was nothing in the bullet. Then, I looked in the lid and saw it all inside there. This picture is after I successfully removed it from the lid and jammed it back into the bullet. Hopefully, that is a permanent fix, because I decided I am not contacting Birchbox for a replacement. If the product performs better than the swatch or the stick falls out of the bullet again, I could regret that decision. To my bare eyes, this highlighter did not look special at all. Under the flash (in the middle of the picture), it looks pretty. Until I wear it, I am unsure how it will perform.
I added the mystery sample pack that only requires a $25 purchase today. The items I received were a SeaRx Microdermabrasion Face and Body Scrub and 2 0.34oz foils of Kérastase Cristalliste Bain Cristal Fine Shampoo for Long Hair. My guess is the scrub is 0.25oz, so I value that at $2.12. Although I like trying foils (I prefer to get a deluxe size in my sample pack), I never place value on beauty foils. That means the mystery sample pack with this order is worth $2.12. It is probably the lowest value ever. So much for a bonus pack with a lower purchase.
It allowed me to add a GWP even though my total with discount went below $25, and I picked the Skyn Iceland Blemish Dots (1 sheet of 12 dots). There is a possibility my discount fell off, because of this GWP (it kept the subtotal above $25 by removing the discount). Since I am not placing another order today, I cannot test this theory. It worked in the cart, so I am unsure why the discount fell off in checkout. This actually has a $5 value, so I am glad I was able to add a promo code.
The total value of this discovery set is $41.18, which is way below the $50 estimate. It is possible Birchbox is using the prices of purchasing the blush and bronzer separately. Birchbox offers a nice discount on its site for buying them together, so I used that price to value my sample. Unless you want or need a new beautyblender, this set is not worth it. My total value is $48.30 when I add my samples and promotion in. That is still below the $50 estimate! I will try everything in this order, so $48.30 is also my personal value. If the CC cream is too light, I will use it to highlight.
Birchbox asked subscribers to hang out on social media, and it looks like all giveaways were either in person in New York or on social media. There were no random draws this year, so anyone who did not stalk Birchbox today came up empty-handed. I stalked Birchbox a lot and came up empty-handed on freebies. The “deal” I got did not even apply correctly when the order processed. With points for monthly reviews eliminated, I thought it would be nice to see more subscribers rewarded. It is likely 2016 saw less winners than 2015. Even if there were more winners, it took a lot more hassle to “win something” this year. Some subscribers received the Cheers to You Limited Edition Box for free, but I only saw one plucked for this giveaway.
Someone mentioned Birchbox is down to 800,000 subscribers. I am unsure where she read that, so I cannot confirm. After getting nothing in 2014 and 2015, I had hope that 2016 would be my year. This event is just too random, so my hope was misplaced. There are very few winners, and I feel like more of a loser for stalking social media this year. It was better when I just hoped for a call and never received one. Hopefully others had more luck.
I like to compare events to previous years to see if offers got better or worse. Let’s start with the launch in 2014. That event took place on September 19th, 2014 and mostly flew under the radar. I was a Birchbox subscriber and never even heard about the event until after it took place. It was only advertised on Facebook (to my knowledge). People lucky enough to see the random Facebook post were given an offer pop link to nominate themselves or their friends for a surprise. Winners were subscribers selected from their entries who stayed by their phone and/or email on the 19th. Those without a Facebook account were unable to enter. They called hundreds of subscribers and made deliveries across the country. Recipients received prize packages with full-sized items sold in the Birchbox store. Technically, deliveries were only made in select states (California, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Massachusetts, New York, Pennsylvania, Texas, Virginia, and Washington), but winners who lived outside those states got gifts in the mail.
Anyone subscriber who was able to attend the SOHO store in New York was able to create a free Build Your Own Birchbox. The usual rules applied, so subscribers had to select one item from each category: fragrance, hair, makeup, skincare, and body. With a million subscribers, having only hundreds of winners felt more like a contest than customer appreciation. I am unsure how many free boxes they gave out at the store, but most subscribers were unable to attend. All subscribers received free shipping with any purchase, which did not offer anything to Aces who already get free shipping.
Birchbox stepped up the offers in 2015, and the advertising on Social Media. Advertisements were all over multiple forms of social media, including Twitter and Instagram. This event took place on September 16, 2015. Emails about the event went out, so even subscribers who do not take part in social media were aware of the event. There was no official contest to enter, so every subscriber could win. That was an immediate improvement from 2014. Subscribers who were randomly selected received special calls and emails. I even know of someone who received 500 bonus points. That’s $50 to spend in the shop.
Everyone could take part this year, too. Birchbox had plenty of deals for $5, $10, or $15 available for women and men. I took a look at the deals and did not see anything I wanted. There were a lot of great items though. Free shipping returned. Lucky New Yorkers had another opportunity for a free Build Your Own Birchbox in the SOHO store.
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. Tips For Getting the Best Deal lays out all the ways I know to save money at Birchbox. See other Birchbox articles. View my main page for the guide map to the site and deeper deal exploration.
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