I have three May 2019 Birchbox reviews, and I am placing all three in this article. After I learned about the new Birchbox pricing structure, I decided to purchase two more subscriptions before the price went up. Since I wanted to see if the new boxes are really better than the old boxes, I wanted to have a few each month for comparison. It is easy to get one lucky box. If you get three out of three, it is far more likely actual improvement is taking place. In typical studies, you usually need a sample size of at least 30. As much as I love experiments and blogging, I was not ordering 30 boxes!
I decided to purchase three-month subscriptions, because it was the cheapest plan that let me get some boxes under the new box format for $10. My first boxes on the new subscriptions came from the March stock, so they were still under the old format. That means these April boxes were the first to fall under the new format where Birchbox now gives at least 6 deluxe beauty samples (it was 5 through March 2019) each month for $10-$15 (depending on your plan). It also means I can compare the four March boxes I received to the three April boxes I received here and the three May boxes I will receive.
Once I’ve received my final May Birchboxes and Allure Beauty Box (which I purchased to compare for those who will pay $15), I will recap everything and let you know what I think of the changes. After that, I will also return to only purchasing one a month. Until then, I will present the boxes in my typical review format (only factoring the average box value for the year on box one, because it is the only subscription I will have all year).
Boxes get customized to your beauty profile. All boxes are a mixture of haircare, makeup, and skincare. There are times when body care items pop up, and you can select an option to receive no more than 6 fragrance vials a year in your profile. You could get a box with 2 haircare items, 2 makeup items, and 1 skincare item or any similar variety, but you will rarely see more than 2 items from any category unless the third is a foil. If you are looking for a box that is mostly makeup or mostly skincare, this is not it. Those looking for a well-rounded sample box may enjoy this subscription.
This is my May 2019 Birchbox review, but you can see a synopsis of a year of Sephora Play Box reviews vs a year of Birchbox reviews. Every year, I review my $10 boxes (for me at least) against each other, so I can declare the annual winner. This is also helpful for those who would like to see a year of reviews for either box in one place. Birchbox did raise its prices for select members, but it is still $10 for me. For those who are not ACES on the $10 plan, I will consider that when I do the annual comparison for 2019.
About the Birchbox Subscription
The $10-$15 charge processes immediately for new subscribers and on the 1st in succeeding months. Boxes usually ship from the 8th through the 12th. At the end of every month (actual date varies), Birchbox will email an option to select a sample (from a choice of 3-5 items), or the featured box where you know all samples up front. Those who respond to that email can also opt out of one type of sample. If you want a sample choice and the featured box, I suggest making a choice and purchasing the featured box separately. Subscribers can review 5 samples for 10 points each once during the lifetime of the account. Those who pay full-price for their subscriptions up front get points to use toward shop purchases. People who use a discount code on up front subscriptions will not get points. No one on a month-to-month plan gets points for the subscription either. The amount spent for the subscription goes toward the $300 annual minimum to achieve Aces status.
May 2019 Birchbox Theme
Birchbox makes a custom box design for each month. The outer lid of the box has paintings of women depicting CEOs on it. It is peach on the bottom of the box.
For the first time ever, there is a message inside the lid. It says, “Together, we are unstoppable.”
The first thing you normally 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. This is my product card from box one.
This is my product card from box two.
This is my product card from box three.
The back of the card goes over the theme, which is, We’re Proud to Celebrate and Empower Female-founded Brands. This expands the brand’s effort to push the Female Founder Collective.
There is a subscriber only coupon in this box. It is the same offer we received via email on May 24th, but you can scroll down to see the photo in box 3.
Contents are loose inside the box with a single piece of black foam at the bottom and a single sheet of tissue paper encircling the items. Faster shipping was a promise with the new pricing update and while I did get two of these quickly, one got lost. As you can imagine, fragile samples move around too much inside the box and are subject to breaking. These are the contents of box one. *Box one was a kit, so it was packed tighter and came without a standard Birchbox.
These are the contents of box two.
These are the contents of box three.
May 2019 Birchbox Sample Choices
The three items to choose from were: Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Cream, Beauty Protector Protect & Detangle, or jane iredale Just Kissed Lip and Cheek Stain Forever Pink. There were two options for the curated boxes, and a Discovery Kit Option. Curated Box One includes: Oribe Apres Beach Wave and Shine Spray, Lipstick Queen Mornin’ Sunshine Lipstick, COOLA Classic Face Sunscreen, Vasanti BrightenUp! Enzymatic Face Rejuvenator, amika Velveteen Dream Smoothing Balm, and Marcelle Xtension Plus Skyline Mascara. Curated Box Two includes: Smith & Cult Nail Lacquer Doe My Dear, Real Chemistry Environmental Rescue Daily Serum, beautyblender beauty.blusher cheeky, Benefit Cosmetics High Beam Liquid Face Highlighter, GrandeLIPS Plumping Liquid Lipstick Vintage Rose, and Moroccanoil Treatment Light. This month’s Discovery Kit includes: HUM Nutrition Glow Sweet Glow Gummies, Bioderma Sensibio H2O Make-Up Removing Micelle Solution, Avène Cleanance Cleansing Gel, Sand & Sky Australian Pink Clay, COOLA Classic Sunscreen, PETERTHOMASROTH Water Drench Hyaluronic Cloud Cream, Kiehl’s Midnight Recovery Eye, Sunday Riley Good Genes Lactic Acid Treatment, and Acure Radically Rejuvenating™ Sheet Mask. Subscribers can always purchase this featured box separately for $15 if they want that and a sample choice. Everyone else can purchase a featured box for $20. I wanted the second curated box, but I did not want to pay $15 for it when I could get it for $10.
I selected the kit on my main sub, the second curated box on my second sub, and the Beauty Protector Protect & Detangle on my third box.
My main box got lost in the mail, so I fully expected to see an inferior option in its place. When it arrived, it was the kit I ordered. It impressed me that Birchbox had extras, because I remember seeing a pop-up that the kit was out-of-stock.
My first May 2019 Birchbox review is from box version 64314810, which is the skincare made easy kit. It has 9 skincare products. Kits are not usually available as box selections. I love that it comes in a thick, clear TSA friendly bag. You can never have too many of those since they fall apart so often. This was the first time that happened, and we will have to wait to see if it happens again.
The 0.1oz Kiehl’s Midnight Recovery Eye is worth $7.40. I’ve heard great things about this eye cream, so I look forward to trying it.
The 3.33oz Bioderma Sensibio H2O Make-Up Removing Micelle Solution is worth $3.96. It is a shame Birchbox does not sell it in this size. It is great for travel. I like this product on my face, but I do not think I’ve used it on my eyes yet. If I remember, I will try it that way.
The 0.25oz PETERTHOMASROTH Water Drench Hyaluronic Cloud Cream is worth $8.13. This sounds amazing. If I love it once I finally try it, I will keep this duplicate.
The 0.6oz Avène Cleanance Cleansing Gel is worth $1.79. I have so many cleansers. This is one I already have and it does not seem suited to my skin type. I will not keep this duplicate.
The full-size Acure Radically Rejuvenating™ Sheet Mask retails for $4.99. Nothing helps me relax more and makes my skin feel more hydrated than a sheet mask. I love receiving them in kits, because it eases the financial burden if I end up disliking it.
The 0.35oz Sand & Sky Australian Pink Clay is worth $4.16. I got a sample of this from Birchbox before, but someone wanted it. It was nice to see it in this kit, because I should get a chance to try it now.
The 2-pack of HUM Nutrition Glow Sweet Glow Gummies is worth $0.83. I am not going to review the performance off a single serving, because I doubt I could. What I will say is the flavor is strong. It did not have an overly vitamin or an overly sweet taste, but it did have a tart, artificial orange taste.
The 0.17oz Sunday Riley Good Genes Lactic Acid Treatment is worth $15.80. I always intend to try this again, because I did not notice much difference from the sample the first time I tried it. As I gather more samples, it will give me more time to test it without paying $158.
The 0.24oz COOLA Classic Face Sunscreen is worth $4.52. I need to get better at applying sunscreen every time I leave the house, because I’ve been getting new sun spots. Admittedly, I do not apply it everyday, so if I run out for a quick errand, I do not have it on. This is one I like (without fragrance, which makes me happy). Hopefully, getting more samples lately will help me apply it more.
My second May 2019 Birchbox review is from box version 64083951, which is Curated Box 2. It has one hair product, one skincare product, one beauty tool, and three makeup products.
The 0.13oz Benefit Cosmetics High Beam Liquid Face Highlighter is worth $10.24. I do not have any photos of me wearing this, but I have used it a lot over the years. It was my first highlighter love.
The full-size 0.5oz Smith & Cult Nail Lacquer Doe My Dear retails for $18. Even though Smith & Cult polishes chip faster than I’d like, I find the bottles beautiful. They are also really heavy, so I know a lot of the cost goes into packaging. This taupe color is lovely and a shade I did not already own.
The 0.34oz Moroccanoil Treatment Light is worth $6.80. I have not even tried the regular version of this yet, but I like the idea of trying the light version as well. It will help me figure out which is better suited for my hair.
The 0.05oz GrandeLIPS Plumping Liquid Lipstick Vintage Rose is worth $9.62. This claims it will not flake or crack, so I am happy to try it.
I really like this vintage rose color.
The full-size beautyblender beauty.blusher cheeky retails for $16. I purchased a kit with one of these, but it disappeared before I ever got a chance to use it. One of my boys probably took off with it, because my husband found three other beauty sponges in the office. Anyway, I am glad this kit has one, because I feel this will work wonders for liquid highlighter or blush.
The 0.17oz Real Chemistry Environmental Rescue Daily Serum is worth $4.40. Given how expensive the sheet mask for this product is, it surprises me to see the serum is affordable. I think the serum in the mask is nice, but I would rather buy the serum and disposable masks to make my own. Using this as a regular serum could work nicely, too.
My third May 2019 Birchbox review is from box version 64467779. It has one hair product, two skincare products, and three makeup products. I already owned all of the sample choices and was disappointed Birchbox did not offer anything new. Since I also own a lot of products in Curated Box One, I decided to pick the sample choice I like the most.
The 1oz Beauty Protector Protect & Detangle is worth $2.94. This is a leave-in conditioner I’ve used before and enjoy. It smells great, reduces frizz, adds moisture, and helps loosen tangles. My hair is dry and tangles easily. I can always use more of this.
The jane iredale Just Kissed Lip and Cheek Stain Forever Pink does not list a size. It is really tiny, so I am guessing it is 0.03oz. If my guess is correct, this sample is worth $8.40. I like the light pink color. This is great for a very natural look. I already own this, so I am not keeping this duplicate.
Unlike typical a typical lip stain, it actually applies a little glossy. It does not feel like gloss at all but rather closer to a lipstick. I found it pretty moisturizing. Considering how sheer the bullet was, I expected this to impart almost no color and was pleasantly surprised with the pigmentation. The lip stain lasted about 3-4 hours, and I like the way it wore. Dry patches on my lips were not highlighted and it looked lovely (not uneven) as the color faded.
It lasted a little longer on my cheeks than most blushes. This color is so close to the splotchy pink-red I turn when I am overheated, so I cannot tell where it begins and I end in the picture.
The 2 pairs of Wilma Schumann Skin Care Hydrating Collagen Eye Pads are worth $7.20. I’ve received these in the past, but I do not think I’ve tried them yet. Unless I dislike it, which is doubtful, I will probably keep these. Since I use them so rarely, getting them in sub boxes is the cheapest way to keep them on hand when I need them.
The 0.05oz MAC Cosmetics In Extreme Dimension 3D Black Lash Mascara is worth $2.73. I’ve received this sample a lot, but I have not tried it yet. With so many mascaras to try, I doubt I will hold onto this duplicate.
The full-size 0.028oz ARROW ENHANCE Waterproof Eye Brightener retails for $10. I’ve used this before, but I cannot remember what I thought of it. Since I was not motivated again to use it after the first time, I will not keep this duplicate.
The 0.24oz COOLA Classic Face Sunscreen is worth $4.52. Scroll up to see my thoughts on this.
Were these May 2019 Birchboxes worth it?
These May 2019 Birchboxes have a $51.58, $65.06, and a $42.50 value. That brings the value for the average box (only including Box one in the average, because it is the only one I’ve had all year and the only one I will keep for the rest of this year) in 2019 to $42.20. Birchbox really stepped up the average box value this month. It is nice to see the leap on the main box, because it brings the average to over $40. There were 9 products in it though, so we will see if the average dips again with 6 products. With 6 in Box 2 and 3, they both managed to stay over the $40 average (even though they are not counted).
My personal value is at least $41.66, $54.82, and $14.66. I am keeping more items than I am getting rid of this month. Only Box 3 comes in at 50%. The others come in over that. While there is a chance I might keep more from one and two than I plan, that would only increase my value. Box 3 is the only one where I am sure I will keep three and get rid of three. It was still worth the gamble, because I am keeping more than I would have kept if I ordered Curated Box One in its place. From that box, I would have only kept 2 products.
This was the best month so far, so I am sad the experiment is ending. I return to a single box next month. My annual is also up for renewal, and I switched to month-to-month. If Birchbox keeps sending me more boxes like 1 and 2 and less of 3, I will stay subscribed for a while.
See my list of Birchbox subscription offers. Want to subscribe? Click that link to see the current start-up offers. If you’re reading this around the time I’ve posted it, the one I posted below will work.
What are your thoughts on these May 2019 Birchbox reviews? Do you think they are better than past boxes so far? Let me know below. If your purchase is over $25 (longer subscriptions or purchasing something from the shop with the subscription), you can pick a free item from the bonus shop if you do not use a subscription start-up offer or discount code, which I cover on my Birchbox Deals Page. Some discount codes on that page will not work on subscriptions, but I will post any that work on my Birchbox Subscription Deals Page. You can always add a free two piece sample pack when spending $35, because it combines with any promo code. Tips 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. Subscribe to the blog to get updates on all posts. 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.