When it comes to personalization, I do wish they would have inquired about color preferences, just to make sure you're not getting a shade of lipstick that makes you look like a clown though the complexion questions probably help with this. I guess it's a way to see how something looks on you instead of purchasing and hoping for the best, which is the entire point of Birchbox anyway.
But it's what's on the inside that counts
If you've done any other research, I'm sure you've seen that Birchbox , Ipsy , and Play! While Birchbox was struggling with sales a few years ago, Ipsy stayed sitting pretty, and continues to be Birchbox's number one competitor — and with the way they keep bumping up their subscriptions, Birchbox can't afford to stay complacent. I wish Birchbox's beauty quiz inquired about eye and lip shades that you prefer instead of leaving it up to your complexion. They are the box that sends the most niche and less well-known brands — meaning they're gonna be less expensive — but the entire point of the subscription is to expose you to brands that you wouldn't find on mainstream shelves.
Ipsy and Sephora don't exactly offer that variety. And if you watch any YouTube tutorials, you know damn well that even the most famous beauty bloggers don't care if something is cheap. As I mentioned earlier, I wish Birchbox's beauty quiz inquired about the eye and lip shades that you prefer to wear instead of leaving it all up to your complexion. Ipsy's beauty quiz really gets into the nitty gritty, asking what shades of eyeshadow, lipstick, eyeliner, blush, and nail polish you prefer, as well as the types of makeup you prefer to get in general for instance, I never wear lip gloss or lip liner, so I'd prefer to just not deal with getting them.
This makes the chance of getting something you don't like even smaller, which is obviously important as no one wants to spend a monthly fee on getting things they won't use. IMO, Ipsy's beauty quiz is just more user-friendly and fun to take, but this is not a deal breaker. Ipsy's loyalty program revolves around a point system where you get points for reviewing bags and products, following Ipsy creators on social media, and referring friends. If you follow a skincare routine religiously and care about your naked face over your caked face, Birchbox is the way to go.
Why Birchbox hasn't upgraded to a full-sized box, I don't know. I'm just as surprised as you are, but after seeing what Ipsy's doing, it's not long until Birchbox does the same. It's nearly impossible to say which one is best. They're all good for different things, and trying to name one as "the best" doesn't really make sense. If you like to cake your face and care more about trying new makeup samples from more premium brands, go with Ipsy.
If Sephora is your second home, you trust those brands, and would like to continue racking up VIB points, Play! If you follow a skincare routine religiously and care about a naked face more than a caked face, Birchbox is the way to go. Jonathan from Queer Eye would be proud.
If reading reviews just isn't giving you enough deets, subscribing to all three for a few months to get the gist won't set you back too far, and you can just cancel the ones you don't like later. Newbie to the entire industry? Get Birchbox.
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Skincare-obsessed refuse to hit the hay without doing a skincare routine? An expert who could school any YouTube blogger on a cut crease? Seriously, guys. Birchbox is ideal for beginners who want to try new brands before making the plunge to full price, or for those who just don't have a clue about the industry and want someone else to do the work for them. It was equally important that the experience of receiving the monthly box was delightful: Birchbox wrapped the samples in beautiful packaging, so customers would feel like they were opening a present.
The novelty of this experience was exhilarating to many women, and this spurred a wave of other monthly boxes offering everything from socks to sex toys—a phenomenon I documented in a story from While consumers loved the experience of getting products delivered every month, it was never clear how the subscription model was a good way to make money. Beauchamp has also addressed this in a Medium blog post. Beauchamp said the goal was to get customers to buy full-sized versions of the products on the Birchbox website or store. The problem with this was that there was no mechanism to make customers buy products directly from Birchbox when they could just as easily buy them from Sephora and Ulta.
While Birchbox has been working to build out its retail experience, it is hard for the startup to compete with these giants, which have a much bigger footprint in malls around the country. Both Sephora and Ulta have also invested heavily in their omnichannel experience, boosting their e-commerce shopping experience and allowing customers to move seamlessly from shopping on the website and in store.
Other beauty subscription boxes have had more success by monetizing other aspects of the business. Take Ipsy, for instance: The brand was founded by YouTube influencer Michelle Phan, and works with other influencers with massive audiences to start conversations about the samples customers receive. Ipsy not only makes money from the subscriptions, but also from brands whose products they feature in the monthly bags, and from advertising revenue generated by Ipsy influencers.
In her statement, Beauchamp said that her goal is to use the infusion of cash to do more of what the brand has been doing already. Bonobos, which launched in , was in much the same boat. The brand was founded by Stanford Business School students Brian Spaly and Andy Dunn, who wanted to disrupt the menswear space by selling well-designed chinos online. The company, which owned its own factories, was also a VC darling.
Brands are all ultra high-end and range from Davines and Dr. Jart to MAC and Benefit. You might also get beauty tools, like a mini Beauty Blender or Invisibobble hair ties. To see exactly what goodies we got for our Birchbox review in July and August, keep reading. Birchbox offers three different subscription models and prices. Each subscription is billed monthly.
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The promo codes are right there at the bottom of the Birchbox homepage. These codes change regularly and can include a discount on the cost of a box or a free full-size beauty gift. We signed up for the monthly subscription and chose the mascara as a gift. The only other cost is if you decide to order a full-size beauty product you sampled in your box.
Some of the full-size items incur a shipping fee, but watch for incentives and deals in your inbox that often include free shipping. Aces loyalty members get free shipping, too. Does Birchbox Have a Loyalty Program? You betcha. Essentially, there are two tiers: general shoppers and Aces. What do you get? Another perk is early access to picking your sample—ensuring you get the one you want. Aces also have access to priority customer service and get special incentives and surprises throughout the year.
Birchbox Men originally launched in but it was changed to the non-gender binary Birchbox Grooming in Birchbox Grooming subscription service focuses on grooming products. Love it!
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Items that might be included in a Birchbox Grooming box. Birchbox shut down its flagship store in SoHo when it teamed up with Walgreens. The beauty section featured a large, eye catching Birchbox display with about 15 huge canisters filled with individual products.
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The available products were completely different than what was delivered in our monthly box. Some of the tester products were missing or—in the case of the Deep Sleep Pillow Spray —completely empty. It would be fun to fill up a sample box and grab one of the displayed Birchbox gift cards for a thoughtful present. Or, truthfully , you take a picture of the colorful box and post it on Instagram! Or, you set it all aside and wait for your next vacation to crack open your new lip glosses and sheet masks!
You can also purchase a full-size tube of the sample mascara that you discovered perfectly lengthens your lashes.
Every month! When the monthly limit is up, these subscriptions automatically renew. Bi rchbox boxes ship by the 10th of each month.
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Birchbox Grooming and Grooming Plus Subscriptions ship by the 25th. How genius is that? The Discovery Kits make adorable gifts. There was also a watermelon sheet mask which ended up being included in our box anyway. Another option was to pick our box from a selection of three curated choices, with each of the samples shown and described. Aces loyalty members get first dibs on picking boxes. That month, the item was a Tarte H20 lip gloss.
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