The reality of a beauty box subscription for a beauty addict

Monday, August 24, 2015



When the beauty box subscription trend took off a couple of years ago I was totally on board. It sounded awesome - $10 a month and you'd get a box full of beauty surprises delivered to your doorstep to try out. I signed up to Birchbox first and Ipsy a few months later, and I'm still subscribed to both. (I'm on the fence about continuing with one of them, but more on that later...) I wanted to share my experiences and thoughts on the best and worst parts of them, as well as some more info on the ones that I use.

Obviously one of the most fun parts of these monthly boxes for a beauty addict is being able to try out a lot of new products for a relatively reasonable cost. I've discovered so many incredible products that I might never have tried if they hadn't come in a beauty box (I'm looking at you, Laura Geller Blush-n-Brighten.) I've also received so many different makeup removers, hair oils, and face sunscreens that I won't need to buy any for a very long time. However, you're also rolling the dice with getting something you'll never use. I've received several lipsticks that are shades that I'll never wear in a million years, and it's not like you can exchange them for something different.

Being both a beauty lover and beauty blogger, I tend to buy a lot of makeup, skincare, and hair products pretty often. So adding in ten-ish more products a month from two boxes on top of what I've already bought leads to the dreaded pileup. I have so many products between what I've willingly bought and what's come in my beauty boxes that I'll never have enough time to try out, let alone consistently use them all. There are honestly several boxes worth of products that haven't even been opened. This is probably the biggest con for me of having these subscriptions and why I want to cut it down to just one. I've ended up putting together a little pile of things I think my mom would like or that I have something similar to to give her her so at least someone will get use out of them.

As I said before, I currently subscribe to both Birchbox and Ipsy. I'm strongly considering getting rid of Ipsy, though. Out of the two I seem to get more beauty related products in Ipsy (more beauty than skincare, etc.). However, the shades I get are really hit or miss for me- either something in a shade I don't like, another black eyeliner, or, at times, a chalky eye shadow. Granted, there are definitely some gems once in a while (nail polish from Trust Fund Beauty, a shadow brush from Crown Brush), but not too many products that really stand out to me. Last but not least, I feel like the rewards program is horrendous. You get points for reviewing products, but by the time you have enough to cash in for an extra product in your bag, pretty much everything is sold out. They also seem to expire faster than I can earn enough to use most of the time, so I feel like I'm really not getting any type of rewards for being subscribed.

Birchbox on the other hand is the box that I see myself keeping for quite some time. They've really upped their game since I first subscribed to them two years ago. The boxes I get have a good mix of beauty products, hair care, skincare, nail polish, and everything in between. They've also added a great feature where every month you can choose between a guest editor box which is selection of products chosen by the likes of Emily Schuman from Cupcakes and Cashmere, Nicole Richie, Rent the Runway (that was a great box!), or you can choose one of the 5 products that you'll receive in your next box from a small list. I love this feature, since it gives you a little bit more control over what you'll be receiving, and I have to say, the guest editor boxes have been really good lately. 

The rewards program that Birchbox offers is killer and one of the main reasons I'll keep subscribing. Every product you review is 10 points and every dollar you spend in the Birchbox shop is 1 point. Every 100 points earned is $10 you can spend in the shop, so basically if you just review all of you products each month, then every 2 months you'd have $10 to spend. The shop offers a lot of great products, too, from brands like Benefit, Oribe, By Terry, and Laura Mercier, among others. Just for an example of how great the rewards program can be, I just combined some earned rewards points with a discount code that they sent me and bought a Laura Mercier baked eye shadow, cream shadow stick, and a By Terry Ombre Blackstar shadow stick all for a little less than $50. For what those cost full price, that's a steal in my mind, and most of the rewards that I cashed in were from doing a quick review of the products in my box each month.

If you subscribe to any beauty boxes, let me know if you're experiences are similar to mine! If you're interested in subscribing to Birchbox, click here! Ok, now I feel like that turned into an unintentional essay... Who knew there was so much to say about beauty boxes? This post wasn't sponsored in any way, I just really wanted to throw my thoughts your way about these boxes.

I'm sorry I'm been MIA for over a week - work got super busy and I had some plans on the weekends, so there just ended up being no time for creating any posts that I would feel proud of. I went shopping on Friday night, mostly as a mental boost after a long week at work. After a few stores and a lot of browsing, I picked up a couple of new things including these little flats (on sale!) that I posted on my Instagram. I did almost nothing on Saturday (literally nothing - it was awesome!) and on Sunday I had a bridal shower to go to. Afterwards, the Mr and I went to our nephew's football game, too. I hope you all had a great weekend!

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