Subscription boxes are everywhere. It’s dizzying – what constitutes as luxury? If Alexa Chung has endorsed it, with it make me look youthful and fresh? Am I getting my money’s worth? Will everything turn up in minuscule, 5ml trial bottles?
I decided to try one out. I’ve got you.
Birchbox are a monthly beauty subscription service where you get 5-6 beauty treats a month, ranging from anything from makeup to fragrance to skincare to haircare. Including shipping, it costs £12.95 a month and you can cancel at any time. Jusqu’ici, tout va bien. When I saw that a free, extra gift of a Benefit mascara trio was included as an extra in July’s subscription, I was sold. What exactly did my thirteen hard earned pounds get me, however?
The first thing to say is that the box arrives in compact, sturdy packaging, with a cardboard outer layer and then the actual box with a drawer compartment inside. The box’s pattern changes month by month, with users voting for which design they want to see each month (which is a great idea) – I love the pattern of this one, which I’ll definitely be keeping to store away makeup in my bedroom.
So, what did I get in my July Birchbox?
- Rituals ‘The Ritual of Hammam’ Foaming Shower Gel, 50ml
- English Laundry Notting Hill Femme Eau de Parfum, 2ml
- Percy & Reed Perfectly Perfecting Wonder Overnight Recovery, 30ml
- Balance Me Flash Cleanse Micellar Water, 30ml
- Benefit Chachatint Cheek and Lip Stain, 2.5ml
- POP Beauty Bright Up Your Life Eyeshadow Palette, 4.35g
My ‘extra gifts’ for signing up:
- Benefit “They’re Real!” Tinted Primer, 3g
- Benefit “They’re Real!” Mascara, 3g
- Benefit “They’re Real!” Remover, 7.5ml
When first seeing what was in my box, some of the sample sizes seemed comically small. For example, Birchbox has boasted that the Perfume is normally £59. The 2ml sample, then, only actually has a worth of £1.18. Despite this, after calculating exactly how much the products were worth in comparison to the prices of their “full sizes,” I saw that the deal was still amazing overall. The products in the box have a value of £22.40 – if you add in my extra gift of the Benefit trio – worth £16.44 – the box is worth £39 in total (see the full maths breakdown below). For only £10 plus £2.95 shipping, it’s a bargain.
Some of the negatives of the service is that, most of the time, you can’t choose what goes in your box (although sometimes you can pick the shade – I could choose which shade of the Benefit Lip/Cheek tint that I wanted on this occasion). This means that I received a hair care product when I’m not particularly interested in hair care. Of course, the point of the subscription is to try new things, so the variety of the products isn’t necessarily a negative. I also wouldn’t have chosen those shades of eyeshadow myself. However, Birchbox allows you to sample high end products that I ordinarily wouldn’t be able to afford, like the Benefit products. Previous month’s boxes have included products from high end brands – from Bobbi Brown to Laura Mercier. Clearly, the figures show that what you receive is absolutely worth the money.
VALUE FOR MONEY – MATHS BREAKDOWN
- Rituals Shower Gel, 50ml (full size 200ml is £8.50, so sample is worth £2.12)
- English Laundry Eau de Parfum, 2ml (full size 100ml is £59, sample worth £1.18)
- Percy & Reed Hair Recovery, 30ml (150ml is £20, so sample is worth £4)
- Balance Me Micellar Water, 30ml (full size 180ml is £16, so sample worth £2.60)
- Benefit Chachatint, 2.5ml (full size 10ml is £25.50, so sample worth £6.38)
- POP Beauty Palette, 4.35g (full size 11g is £15.50, so sample is worth £6.12)
- Benefit Lash Primer, 3g (full size 8.5g is £19.50, sample worth £6.88)
- Benefit Mascara, 3g (full size 8.5g is £20.50, sample worth £7.23)
- Benefit Makeup Remover, 7.5ml (full size 50ml is £15.50, sample worth £2.33)