Thursday, March 21, 2013

Birchbox - A Box Full of (expensive!) Surprises Every Month!

A few weeks ago I was looking for something on YouTube and, as always happens on YouTube, I ended up somewhere completely off the beaten track on this amazingly hilarious vlog by Nicola Foti, a man to watch!  I mean that literally as well as figuratively!  As in, right now.  Go watch.  His monologue will have you rolling, and he's someone with whom you instantly want to go shopping.  I love his work.  But I'm getting off on a tangent again.

Nick was giving a review of a product called Birchbox and I was instantly curious, so I looked them up.  Birchbox is, in their own words, "...the best way to new grooming, beauty, and lifestyle products".  The premise is this:  Beauty and fashion retailers want you to try their product, some of which most of us lowly worker bees can't afford and wouldn't even stop at the counter in Dillard's to check out because, well, we can't afford to even walk in to Dillard's, much less look over their merchandise!  So these retailers create sample bottles, think travel-size, not the little tiny dab sample that you normally see, in the hope that they've given you enough of the product and you'll love it so much that you'll spring for the real thing.

Birchbox is a monthly subscription.  But the subscription price is only $10!!!  There is a waiting list.  I applied for the invitation about a month ago, and was sent my invitation a few weeks later, luckily in time to have gotten in under the March box deadline, and I got my first Birchbox last night.  I really didn't know what to expect and was so impressed!  Nicola knew what he was talking about!  The stuff was just amazing.

First of all, the packaging was just delightful.  The hot pink box sitting on the table with the rest of my mail literally brightened my day. 

And opening it was even better!  Inside that box was this cute and quite sturdy smaller box with the Birchbox stamp (that I immediately felt horribly guilty for tossing in the trash as it was just too cute and too sturdy not to recycle!) and, inside that wrapped nicely in hot pink tissue paper were a number of great little samples, all of which I would certainly use!  

There was a Madewell Emory Board, full size, a sample of the new Juicy Couture "La La" perfume just right to fit in a purse (about half the size of a Bic pen!), a tube of Marcelle BB Cream Golden Glow skin illuminator (full size retails for $27), and the sample was fairly substantial!  This is used to target dark spots and smooth out the complexion, and it did a great job of that, though I don't use base makeup which this reminded me of.  There was also a good-sized tube of Nick Chavez Beverly Hills Color-Saver Sulfate Free Shampoo which I'm holding out to try until I can get in for a color!  Just so you get an idea of the sizes here, the yellowish tube on the far right in the box pictured below is this particular sample.

The item that literally got me hooked however is the Vasanti Brighten Up! Enzymatic Face Rejuvenator, 4.23 oz of which (a normal sized bottle) retail for $32 and are worth EVERY PENNY.
Let me preface this by saying that I've had a bit of a rough work week.  And by that I mean, if it could go wrong, it went wrong.  I'm having software issues at home that are literally making my usual 6 hour job in which I can generally get all of my work done and turned in on time and hours under deadline, have been late every day, and I currently have a backlog of about 9 hours of working waiting for me from last night that are going to be equally late.  And that's not counting all the work that will be uploading from today by the time I arrive home to begin another fun-filled night of horror.

Now.  Having said that, when 1115p rolled around and I was so tired and stressed I literally couldn't see straight, I headed to bed and, for some reason, decided to wash my face first.  I generally just remove my eye makeup (really all I wear besides lipstick) and call it good.  But I opened up the little bottle and found this creamy, bright white scrub that felt like it was full of miniature grains of sand.  Yes, smaller than actual grains of sand.  But the stuff was thick, just a little bit sticky, and I could literally feel it sloughing off all the dead skin on my face.  After I rinsed it off I could SEE the difference it made.

I don't generally...well, no.  I NEVER get excited about a product unless it's a big deal.  THIS product is a big deal.  I have very sensitive skin and have to be very careful what I put on my face as I tend to break out instantly in a horrid red rash that will stick around for days.  But this stuff did exactly what it purported to do and nothing more.

After I patted my face dry, I applied the Acure Day Cream that I've mentioned here before (see below), and even this morning when I'm standing at the sink brushing my teeth looking at myself blearily through the fog on the mirror still fresh from bed and wishing I wasn't, I did a double-take, at myself, in the mirror and was shocked at how great my skin looked!  Definitely buying the full-size bottle of this stuff.  I'm guessing that since it's only recommended that you do it a couple of times a week, even the sample size is going to last me quite awhile!  But, being totally honest here, the stuff is amazing.
I would recommend Birchbox also.  Well, I guess that's what I've just done!  But it's only $10 a month, you can cancel any time so there's no commitment, so you really have absolutely nothing to lose!  The items in my first box were of FAR more value than the $10 I spent, and the free shipping makes it a no-brainer.  I also went in and purchased the men's version for My Person as he likes to try new things and actually takes quite good care of himself.  The Men's subscription is $20 a month, so I'm curious to see what comes in theirs that makes it worth double what I pay for mine!

I'm definitely excited to see next months' box and thought I'd share.  Click here if you'd like to join!  And don't forget to check out Nick Foti at the YouTube link above.  (His review of Tom's Toothpaste and deodorant is a scream!!!)