Birchbox, my new love.

Through We Heart This, I discovered a new program for beauty products called Birchbox.  And I’m so in love.

Now, this is not a paid review or even an unpaid review.  Or even really a review.  I just joined Birchbox, got a bunch of cool stuff and immediately wanted to tell all y’all.  So if you’re a product whore like me, and don’t mind pic-heavy posts taken with a crappy iPhone camera (I’m getting a real one, leave me alone….) keep reading.

I have a thing for beauty products.  When I lived with my best friend Michael (former Miss Gay Texas, thank you very much.) he had twice the amount of products that I had, so it was like living across the hall from Sephora.   Between living with him and now my reviewer post at We Heart This, I’ve been spoiled.  My counter is a mess and a bone of contention between me and Jethro.  I need a vanity table in a big bad way.  Possibly a vanity room.  I am full of the vanity, apparently.

I’ve joined a beauty subscription service before and it sucked.  It was expensive, I got full size products of things that I only marginally liked and trying to cancel the damn subscription was nightmare.  But then I discovered a new program called Birchbox.  It’s a subscription service, but it’s only $10 and it only sends you samples.  That way you’re not stuck with a giant bottle of something you don’t like and $10 is super affordable, especially considering the samples I received.  Let’s take a look at those, shall we?

My first box was April, which was a Earth Day themed.  All their products they sent were earth-friendly and mailed in their usual recyclable packaging.  AND, it was carbon-neutral shipping.  No idea how that works, but I like it.

I got five products,

Suki Exfoliate Foaming Cleanser,

Zhs Gypsy Tea Italian Chamomile

Weleda Wild Rose Smoothing Facial Lotion

LIV GRN C2C Fragrance Collection Natural Eau De Parfum

and my favorite nail polish brand Zoya Intimate Spring 2011 Nail Polish Collection in Dove

with swatch spoons and a catalog of the new line,

and a plantable card from Bloomin!  (so cute.  I’ll probably kill it, but so cute.)

So how are the products?  I haven’t tried them all, but I can tell you that the Rose lotion is nice but not amazing and the Zoya polish is great but not a color that I like for me. I don’t know about the tea, has anyone ever had chamomile?  (I drink tea and yerba mate, but only because coffee isn’t good for you on a daily basis and it makes me pee too much.  Herbal teas make me twitchy, is it gross?)

But the fun part is with Birchbox, once I try a product I fill out a small survey and then earn points toward a $10 off a product.  And any product they send me has free shipping for the full size counterpart during the month I receive them.

And this is on their FAQ and it makes me VERY happy.

I’m a woman of color. Will Birchbox fit my needs?

We would never send you something that we know would not work with your beauty needs and skintone, so we customize the boxes to make sure all the samples will work for you. In the case of color makeup products, we typically choose trend-based products that work for many different skintones.

THANK YOU.  I cannot tell you how annoying it is to never be able to sample anything in a shade that would be kinda sorta my skintone.  COLORED PEOPLE BUY MAKEUP TOO.  And don’t get me started on the Covergirl Queen collection.  Just…don’t. (Yes, I said colored.  I say that all the time in reference to myself and was going to erase it but changed my mind.  So there. )

So yeah.  There’s my shilling for a company that I have no invested interest in other than I find it immensely cool. (Except referral points if a friend signs up, but I’ll only send you that if you want it.  This isn’t one of those, “oh, this is so fun, I’m totally not getting paid…JOIN NOW AND USE MY LINK SO I GET REFERRALS.”  That’s annoying.)  I love beauty products, I love sample size anything and I love getting mail.  It’s like they made this just for me and my shallow little heart.

Whatcha think, moppets?  Sound fun?  Sound stupid?  Hate beauty products?  Think I’m falling for a patriarchal construct in which I must hide my true self in order to fit societal views on beauty?  Discuss.

18 comments on “Birchbox, my new love.

  1. irisira
    April 26, 2011 at 7:45 am #


    Zoya is what my salon uses/sells. I used it for my wedding – I got the manicure/pedicure on a Wednesday morning (wedding was Friday evening) and I bought the bottle in case I had any chippage. I only had to make a minor touchup on Friday, but that stuff lasted through the following Monday. (On Tuesday I was frantically trying to “save” it, as I had a banquet to attend for a work conference – yes, 4 days after my wedding – but it was a lost cause at that point.) My pedicure lasted for nearly two months.

    • kindofamess
      April 26, 2011 at 11:55 am #

      AHHH! You need to check out their Exchange Program, they do this a couple times a year and it is the BEST. It doesn’t neccessarily save you money, but it’s green and that’s nice….

      Also, I found out I can get it at Whole Foods for $6.99, which cheaper than online and without shipping costs…

  2. ElfPuddle
    April 26, 2011 at 9:17 am #

    I love chamomile tea. (But herbal teas don’t make me twitchy: obviously your mileage may vary). I find it very relaxing and yummy, though I sweeten mine a tish with Splenda. I’d say try it!

    • kindofamess
      April 26, 2011 at 11:57 am #

      You said “tish”, I love that…

      I’ll gulp down a chai or yerba mate in a heartbeat, but herbals? They weird me out for some reason. But if you drink it, I’ll give it a try!

  3. JazzWhispers
    April 26, 2011 at 10:25 am #

    Oooo I want! I’ve never heard of this… I just may need to go sign up! Thanks for sharing!

    • kindofamess
      April 26, 2011 at 11:57 am #

      It’s kind of amazing, I love it. Again, HUGE product whore who loves things in sample sizes, but I love it.

  4. Kristy
    April 26, 2011 at 11:50 am #

    Chamomile tea is about as mild and non-offensive as herbals come. Try it. It’s actually supposed to be soothing. And naturally caffeine free, so it shouldn’t make you twitchy.

    I’m interested in this nail polish. Non-toxic nail polish sounds pretty good to me.

    • kindofamess
      April 26, 2011 at 12:15 pm #

      Yes, definitely look into Zoya! Do you want my mini polish, it’s a pretty dove gray but not good on my skin…

      Also? Our “Exactly!” buttons that I painted with nail polish because I couldn’t find pretty purple paint? Totally used Zoya on those… 🙂

      • Kristy
        May 2, 2011 at 2:19 pm #

        If you really aren’t going to use it, sure, I’ll try it! I have no idea what grey polish would look like on my fingers, but I’d still try it out. Thanks!

        And nice use of the purple polish, haha!

        • kindofamess
          May 2, 2011 at 2:33 pm #

          Don’t let me forget to bring it to our next meet-up! Which won’t be at the next bookclub, I just found out I have a wedding that day! Boo……

  5. Elisabeth
    April 26, 2011 at 12:09 pm #

    I’ve been tempted to sign up for a while, and I’d be happy to use your referral link if you post or send it!

    And even though I’m not a woman of color myself, I also love that that’s in their FAQ.

    • kindofamess
      April 26, 2011 at 12:16 pm #

      Yay, I’ll email it to you!

      I know that they can’t satisfy all people all of the time, but the fact that they are even thinking about it making me VERY happy.

  6. Helen
    April 26, 2011 at 6:07 pm #

    That’s really neat! As for the chamomile, I used to dislike it… then I spent two months in Peru, where I was FREEZING all the time, and chamomile was the one tea I could get that wasn’t caffeinated. Now, I’m actually rather fond of it. It’s worth a try, anyway, since you have it. I suggest honey (if you like honey) or a bit of sugar, to sweeten it up.

  7. Jo
    April 26, 2011 at 7:46 pm #

    I really want to try that Suki Exfoliating Cleanser!

  8. kahlia
    April 27, 2011 at 2:15 pm #

    “Rose mosqueta” = rose hips, which you can also eat! But not out of the beauty product bottle, sadly.

    The monthly “local products” market here in Florence has a stand that sells rose hip jelly. Been too scared to try it so far, but I will next time if she has samples out!

  9. Meg Mooney
    May 4, 2011 at 12:18 pm #

    Chamomile is yum. Good for dicky belly and food remorse.

  10. Meg Mooney
    May 4, 2011 at 12:19 pm #

    Also Gypsy makes great tea in general.

  11. VNikol
    February 15, 2012 at 1:26 pm #

    Ok, this makes me wanna subscribe to Birchbox which was next on my beauty subscription list. I pay $40/quarter for New Beauty now because it was the first beauty subscription service I had ever heard about a few years ago but they tend to repeat items and now other services are available for far less..and can we just talk about the skintone thing for a sec.. 1st) NB had me fill out a profile with all my coloring info but I’ve never received a single foundation shade in my color or anywhere near it. I’ve yet to make a fuss cuz they rarely send actual shaded anything since it’s mostly skincare but twice they did & I had to give it away. 2nd) I wrote a post a few weeks ago & debated on whether to use the word ‘colored’ in reference to a piece from an era when ‘colored’ was used before any other terminology was available, yet I sat there debating on whether or not to do so, I went with my gut & used it but honestly, I often find ‘colored’ or ‘brown skin’ more suitable than ‘black’ or ‘AA’ cuz, well, neither one is a valid description but you know how people get up in arms about these things…. and my blog is no political hot pot for such debates… what, with so many other far more interesting & superficial things to focus on.. So good call! : )

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