Birchbox was one of my gateway subscription boxes when I first started getting them about three years ago. I can say, after having received this month's box, that the quality definitely hasn't changed.
The box is $10 a month, but if you use this link you can get $5 off your first month's subscription. It ended up being $10.71 ordering it here in TN. I ended up going back to this subscription box this month because there was a coupon code last month to get a free eye shadow palette. Now, I'm not a makeup person, but I'm going to have to do a grad school interview, and they tend to expect those things. Long story short - cheaper to get Birchbox than it was to buy that kind of makeup. Onto the box!
You can personalize the items you get in the box. You can't get rid of perfume completely, but you can limit it down to 3-5 times per year. You can set your subscription to be make up heavy, make up utensil heavy (brushes, sponges, etc.), or you can do what I did and set yours to bath and lotion heavy. Now, when you set your preferences, this doesn't always mean that you will get what you want, but they are, in general, very good at staying true to the things you indicate you like.
Birchbox is a box - so don't let the envelope fool you. The box was in an envelope because of said aforementioned freebie.
They've started putting their birchboxes in a cardboard outer container - I'm guessing too many got damaged in transit? They used to just send them in shrink wrap like Target does for their beauty boxes, which I preferred. This just meant more trash for me.
This was the freebie that came with last month's coupon code. It's Pixi by Petra's Mezmerizing Mineral Palatte. They said last month that this freebie had a value of ~30 some-odd dollars, but you can get it at Target for $12. Either way, it's still more than the cost of the box by itself, and it was free.
Here it is out of the protective plastic wrap.
This is the outer cardboard opened to show you the inner box. This inner box is just how you used to get it. Again, not a fan of the extra packaging, but I can understand that it may have been cheaper to do that than to replace damaged items.
This month you had the option of getting the normal box or a variation on the Pretty Mighty box. They gave spoilers for what could be in the Pretty Mighty box, so that's the one I went with, as you can see on the insert card.
This is the back of the insert card. While these prices may look overinflated, and they are - sort of (see comment about Target previously), these are the prices that they sell the full sized products for on their site, so they are technically accurate, for their site. I've only ever used referral points and review points to get full sized items - I've always stuck with the things they sent in the box only.
Side note: They no longer do reviews for points - it's straight up referral for points now - so use the link from earlier to get your first box for half off and I get a few points that I will, eventually, be able to use to get a free thing. That's all I get out of this. You're getting the better deal than I am by using that link, trust me!)
The first item - a perfume sample. Perfume is not my thing. Not even a little bit.
The inside of the sample. I must have a good 20-30 perfume samples in the medicine cabinet. I should probably get them out and donate them. This one did not make me sneeze - I will give it that. It smells a little like a sun heated orange peel mixed with some kind of flowers. It's not terrible. I just don't do perfume.
This stuff - wow. This is Ol All in one Milk. It's a leave in treatment for your hair that's supposed to detangle it, add volume, give it additional shine, and protect it from heat (if you blow dry or use a curling iron or what not). My hair recently got hacked off into a pageboy. I have wavy-ish hair, where half of my hair curls under, and if cut at the same length, the other half curls out. On the day this came in, I was actually having a good hair day. And then I took an accidental nap on the couch. I woke up to my hair sticking up every which direction but the way it should. This came in the mail and I figured why not? Sprayed it in, brushed it, and my hair immediately did what it was supposed to. No craziness, nothing. It's great for making your hair more manageable. I didn't get more volume, but it was shinier, and more importantly - it stayed and did what it was supposed to without having to put tons of goopy products in my hair. It is fantastic.
I couldn't really get a good picture of this one. It's a Real Chemistry Luminous 3 minute peel. You're supposed to massage it into your skin for three minutes while in the shower, rinse off, and then wash your skin like normal. It's got enough for one use in it. It's not terrible, but it's not a peel like it says, and it's not as good as the dr. brandt microdermabraision scrub that sometimes comes in these boxes. It's decent enough, and it did a relatively good job, but there are other products that work better that take less time.
This is Ol shampoo and Ol conditioner (made by the same company that did the All in One Milk Spray). I haven't gotten a chance to try these yet, but given how impressed I was with the spray, I'm hoping for good things from these.
Coastal Scents Revealed Smoky Eye Shadow was next - it's a half pack instead of a full size - two colors not four. I received two different shades of grey, which I'm not displeased with, but again, I maybe wear makeup two or three times a year, so this isn't a big deal for me.
Finally, there was Kiehl's Ultra Facial Cream. It wasn't on the insert card, so I can't tell you what they might have had to say about it. I can tell you that with the weather flip flopping as much as it has this week alone - we've gone from snow to shorts weather to thick jacket weather, to heavy rain, back to shorts weather - my skin has been feeling the effects. This face lotion is not oily or greasy, is almost instantly absorbed, and it's decreased the amount of issues that I've had as a result of the air sucking all the moisture from my skin. I don't think it's worth the almost $30 price tag for a 1.7 oz trial jar like Nordstrom has it for, but it's a nice lotion. I will say that the container was hell to open the first time - it was like it was screwed on with a vice grip - which is what I ultimately had to use to open it - I may have put some gouge marks in my lid. I just couldn't get the thing open for the life of me any other way. Even still - worth that hassle, worth it for being included in this box, not worth full price to me.
So - you get a lot of trials of really expensive beauty products in this box. There are times when I even find something that I think that it's almost worth paying full price for, because of how well something works, but then I realize that I work from home, rarely leave the house, and don't really care about fancy beauty products. I enjoy trying out new products though, and that's part of what makes this box fun. (I also think it's highly satisfying to use up a product in its entirety, so the trial size stuff definitely has a certain appeal for me.)
All in all, this is a great box, and it's a good starter box if you're just getting into subscription boxes. I highly recommend this one.