Hello all, this one is going to have a point, I promise. No sleepy puppies or Disney references 😦
In September of this year I was having such a good time with my Ipsy subscription and a hard time getting the right footing with the Target Beauty Box that I decided to go ahead and sign up for Birchbox. Birchbox is similar to Ipsy in that it is five deluxe samples for ten dollars on an auto-renewal service.
For Birchbox, again like Ipsy, you get billed on the first of the month and you can expect the box to come around the middle of the month. I was really excited, Birchbox is supposed to be more about skin and hair care than Ipsy while also having some great makeup samples.
My first box came and I will admit I found my new go-to mascara, that’s the Ubame by Milk Makeup. Beyond that, there was nothing memorable to speak of. One of the samples was 0.05 oz, if you’ve ever seen a container that’s 0.05 oz you know how tiny that is… I would probably get more product if I went to Sephora and got a free little sample thing. Upon further inspection of the website I found that they also have Birchbox Man, a monthly grooming service for men.
Eduardo has hair, a lot of hair, and I buy him new products all the time. I thought that this would be a fun thing for us to do together… Unfortunately that’s not how this works, you get billed for Birchbox Man on the fifteenth of the previous month and you can expect the box to be in your hands before the month it is intended to be opened. (We got billed for December’s box on November 15th and then it shipped by November 25th and we received it around Thanksgiving sometime) In the first box there were bracelets… If that doesn’t tell you something I don’t know what will.
Each of the boxes have since been completely forgettable. I have all of the samples, they’re on my vanity, waiting for me to use them… Most of the products are exclusively from Birchbox and I don’t really like that… Well, this leads us into the cons.
Like I said, there are a good number of ‘Birchbox exclusive’ products. I feel like this makes the box gimicky, which I just don’t really like. I’m all for targeted advertising and product placement, but I feel like Birchbox puts five lackluster products together in an attempt to get you to purchase something at full-size through their website. Yes, I know, Ipsy may or may not be trying to do the same, but I like the experience I get with Ipsy. They are real deluxe samples of products I really will use. I don’t like companies that underestimate the intelligence of their consumers.
I really didn’t like that we got the boxes during different times of the month, which defeated the purpose of doubling the subscription. The Birchbox Man was most definitely not worth twenty dollars. Not for the size of the samples, not for what the products were, there is no way you could ever sell me on the cost of the men’s subscription.
This past month, the third month, I figured that I would be wowed, there would have to be something special… Nope. Actually, it just made me mad. Ten dollars for products I know that I specifically said I didn’t want. There was also no variety in the products, I got two beauty oils, beauty oils I did not ask for, beauty oils I do not need.
I heard something about curated boxes or create your own boxes or something… I’ve never been able to find anything about that feature so I’m a little disappointed I didn’t get the full experience, but I don’t even know if that’s supposed to be a part of the experience.
There is supposed to be a feature of Birchbox that allows you to select a sample, you know so that you can customize your experience a little bit, the first month I did not get the option at all. The second month I was able to select a product, but it wasn’t really done intentionally. And the last month… I opened the email, I clicked on the link… The website wouldn’t load. I know that the products go quick so I went to another computer, website wouldn’t load. By that point I was on my way to school, tried there, nope.
Birchbox’s website is not the most well organized, and it is not the easiest to navigate. The pages take more than a second to load and I know that I sound crazy but Eduardo and I work in tech, I know how a website should load… You are also supposed to be able to select a product in Birchbox Man, I don’t know where those emails are or how to get them or why I can’t seem to get it together, but it’s now been three months. I’m over it. Something this simple should not be this hard.
Also, Birchbox points. If you’re an Ipsy member then you know that you earn points, you earn these points by reviewing products you received, sharing your reviews, I think you even earn points just by having the subscription set up. Birchbox claims they have the same set up… I’ve written a review for every product I got… No points. I know that yes, I could contact customer support but it’s just not worth the effort to me, I shouldn’t have to harass a support rep for my five points or whatever. I also wouldn’t have anywhere near enough points to actually get anything so you know, whatever.
I’ve seen people leave Birchbox because they do not like the samples. I do agree that just from looking at the homepage and through the subscription process, Birchbox is a makeup subscription. I knew that I would be getting more skin/hair care items when I started this journey. I knew that ten dollars wasn’t going to get me much. I knew that this experience was going to be different, I just don’t think I realized how different it really would be.
Cancelling was simple, they switch around the options which does make it confusing and you could easily mis-click and not actually cancel, be careful to read everything. Overall, I’m not mad at the hundred or so dollars I spent on Birchbox (it does hurt a little bit) but I’m not going to continue this service.
Until next time. Xx.
(I will still be posting the Birchbox and Birchbox Man for December)