Thursday, November 15, 2012

Birchbox November 2012

Oh Birchbox, you vex me so!

I know I've mentioned ad nauseam that I have a hate/hate relationship with Birchbox. I am also aware that is a bit of an exaggeration - after all, they do have the best rewards program out there as far as subscription boxes go. And their customer service ain't half bad - in fact, most of the time it's great.


This box is just another example of how much Birchbox hates me. I've been crying for over a year that I rarely ever get a fragrance sample. So what do they do? They give me a fragrance sample - but a MAN's fragrance - not a woman's.

When a few of us complained about receiving a man's frangrance, this is what they said: "The scent is for any man in your life - friend, brother, father, boyfriend, husband, fiance. We completely agree that your Birchbox should be treat for you, but this month we are all about sharing the love."

Okay... but that's not true. Take a look here - you'll see a list of all the different boxes going out in the month of November. Of the 31 boxes being sent out, only NINE boxes have that particular sample. All the rest contain products MEANT for the recipient - in other words, all other boxes contain samples that the recipient could use for themself.

This is what really happened: Birchbox had a bunch of samples left from their Birchbox Man, and decided to dump them on us.

I am NOT happy to be one of the recipients of Birchbox Man leftovers - and I'm not the only one.

By now, you're probably wondering what I actually got in my box. Here it is:

1) John Varvatos Artisan fragrance - see above complaint.
Retail price: $62 for 2.5 oz.

2)  Lulu Organics® Lavender + Clary Sage Hair Powder: This is a super small sample, probably good for two uses. However, I am DYING to try this - so in that sense, it's a win!
Retail price: $30 for 4 oz.

3)  ModelCo FIBRE LASHXTEND Lengthening Mascara: I tried this and I like it - but something weird happened. There were little black fibers all under my eyes after about an hour's worth of wear. Since the mascara "uses tiny fibers to beef up your fringe without any irritation," I'm assuming that is what is below my eyes. I don't know if I can give this a recommendation because of that - the fibers DO work to extend lashes, but is fiber speckling worth it? BONUS: This was a full size product.
Retail price: $24

4)   Mox Botanicals Lip Butter: I don't like to use these types of products - as I've mentioned before Chapstick and lip balms are my choice. They're easy to apply and there's no mess. This is in a pot, and I'd have to use my finger to put it on. That said, there were a lot of BB subscribers who really wanted this product - unfortunately, I'm the one who got it. It's not BB's fault that I don't like this kind of product... but that doesn't mean I'm not disappointed!
Retail price: $16 for 0.2 oz.

5) One Love Organics® Aromatic Body Serum: I am very happy to receive this product. The sample is kind of small, considering it's for use on the body - I'll probably get two uses out of it if I'm stingy. It smells wonderful, though - and for the two days I'll get to use it, I'll feel luxurious!
Retail price: $39 for 90 ml

I know I'm hating on Birchbox again - however I do want them to give them a shout out. Hurricane Sandy hit them hard - yet they still managed to get most of the boxes out on time (mine was one of them). I am very impressed - and thoroughly surprised. I fully expected to wait longer this month for my box.

This is an example of why I stick with Birchbox, even though I love to hate them. Their dedication to their customers is fierce - although sometimes misplaced.

I will be receiving my first Kara's Box this month since their relaunch, and I may give up BB if Kara's Way revamp blows me away. However, BB is $10 a month - and this month (unlike other months) I did receive a full size product worth $24, so I have to say this month I got my money's worth!

My box also contained a coupon to use for some shoes... but as I don't order shoes online, that is worthless to me. Additionally, the shoes are $88 a pair so a $15 coupon isn't going to make much of a difference - it's going into the bin!

Nitpicks: I'll just recap what I talked about in the beginning of this post: the damn fragrance that I can't use. I don't have any men in my life - except my dad, and he can't use this sort of thing these days as fragrances bug him now that he's older.

I hate the fact that Birchbox attempted to spin this and used the excuse that we received this product because the theme of the box was giving - if that was the case, then EVERYONE should have received a needless sample they couldn't use themself, and of course, that wasn't the case. In reality, it was because they had extra Birchbox Man samples that they needed to get rid of.

Lasting impression: Birchbox came through, despite the challenge of Hurricane Sandy. As they didn't have access to their warehouse for several days, and I believe also didn't have electricity for a few days, this is one major accomplishment on their part - and I am so impressed by the effort they made to get boxes out relatively on time!