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Birchbox November 2016 Subscription Box Review

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Birchbox gives at least 5 beauty samples each month for $10, which is half the cost of the Men’s Box. Boxes get customized to your beauty profile to a degree, but you cannot opt out of any type of sample. There is an option to select a sample (from a choice of 3-5 items) or the featured box where you know all 5-7 samples up front. Subscribers can review 5 samples for 10 points each once during the lifetime of the account. Unless you pay a year up front, you do not get any points for the cost of your subscription. That means there is no rewards program whatsoever for month-to-month plans after five reviews. With no rewards, the boxes have to speak for themselves in value. The samples will always go over $10 in value, but will the value you get from them equal $10!


Birchbox makes a custom box design for each month, and I really like this one. It’s been a long time since I have not liked one. It is colorful, but still screams fall to me.


The first thing you usually see when you open a Birchbox is a product card. It lists the items in the box and the price to purchase the full-size.


The back of the card usually goes over the box theme, which is The Finishing Touch. That is also the theme of the featured box.


This month, the sample choice was between three products: Chella Eyebrow Pencil in Tantalizing Taupe, Coastal Scents® Blush & Bronzer Palette (blush and highlighter), or Jane Iredale Just Kissed Lip and Cheek Stain. There was also a featured box, The Finishing Touch, includes: Ardency Inn Modster Smooth Ride Supercharged Eyeliner, Balance Me Tinted Wonder Eye Cream, Number 4™ Jour d’Automne Smoothing Balm, Benefit They’re Real! Lengthening Mascara, and Juliette Has a Gun Not a Perfume.


The 0.003oz Chella Eyebrow Pencil in Tantalizing Taupe is full-sized. It retails for $20. I did not realize this was full-size, because it is extremely small and thin. Getting a full-sized product as a Birchbox sample is not customary either, outside its own in-house brands.


The swatch on the left is with multiple strokes to show how dark the color can get. I’d say some brunettes could use this shade with a heavy hand. It is very light with a single stroke, shown on the right. That gives it a bit of range. Once I wear this, I will edit in a picture and review.

The 0.14oz Bumble and bumble Hairdresser’s Invisible Oil is worth $1.65. This is a product I love. My hair is frizzy, so I need hair oils to tame a bit of the frizz.

The 1.69oz Davroe Murray River Sea Salt Spray is worth $6.22. My hair is naturally wavy, so I do not need much assistance for beach waves. I am always searching for a sea salt that gives me a little more bounce without stiff hair, so I will try this.


The 0.023oz Coastal Scents® Blush & Bronzer Palette sampler is worth a whopping $0.29. This is my lowest sample value ever, which is disappointing given I paid $2 for it. I was going to pick this as my sample, but I decided not to thinking it could make the box end with a low value. Selecting a low value sample is risky, because there is no guarantee the other samples will make up for the low value. That actually happened to me once before, so I want to prevent it from ever happening again, if I can help it. It is nice that I got it anyway. The packaging is cheap cardboard, so I will transfer it to a Z Palette.


The sample includes one blush and one highlighter from the palette. It does not specify the shades, but I see a champagne highlighter and bright pink blush. Once I wear these, I will edit in a picture and review.

The 0.23oz Marcelle New-Age LumiPOWER 3-in-1 Moisturizer is worth $3.52. This is a moisturizer that works as a day cream, night cream, or an eye cream. I do not typically purchase multi-use products unless they work extremely well in at least one area. My experience is they typically fall short in all areas, but I will usually experiment and finish the sample in the area I like it best.

This box has a $31.68 value. My personal value is also $31.68, because I will use everything in this box. Everything but the hair oil is new to me, and I never mind getting duplicates of that. That is an item I can always use. Even though I do not like samples that fall under $2 in value, and this box has 2, I like that there was a full-sized item in this one. On first impressions alone, this is my least favorite Birchbox since the change to the points program. It is possible there are gems in here, so I am trying not to judge it too quickly. Through Birchbox, I’ve discovered some incredible items I never would have. The box of samples is a great draw if you love trying new things, so I will stick with this box a little longer.

Birchbox Women

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 ShopTips For Getting the Best Deal lays out all the ways I know to save money at Birchbox. Product reviews do not always make it into the haul article, but you can always type the product into the search bar to see if I’ve mentioned it or reviewed it elsewhere. See other Birchbox Subscription articles. View my main page for the guide map to the site and deeper deal exploration.

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notcreative View All

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.

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