June Birchbox Sample Choice Comparison

For those of you not familiar with sample choice, it’s a program that began last August where Birchbox subscribers have the option to select a sample to be included in next month’s box. Each month 3-4 samples are revealed and the sample you pick will replace one of your traditional 5 samples. This month, Birchbox subscribers have the chance to choose from 5 samples, or select a box curated by a guest editor. This is a comparison of those options based on research I’ve done using other blogs and my own calculations. This month I’ve taken all of my images as screenshots from the official Birchbox video. I also had too much time on my hands, so I calculated the value of every sample.

First, the sample options. This month’s theme is ADVENTURE. I’m so excited about this theme that I needed to write it in all caps 🙂

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However, I am pretty disappointed by the first announcement that every box will contain an Eyeko Fat Liquid Eyeliner. I’m sure it’s a lovely eyeliner, but I don’t actually like eyeliner very much and I certainly don’t need another one when I already have quite a few. Still, it’s a brand new product, and I’m sure most of you will love it. Sample value: ~$9.

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Disclaimer? And a conflict of integrity.

I didn’t start this blog to make money, or to get sent products for free, or to become famous — did that even really need to be said? I started it because I wanted to try something I thought I would enjoy. And I have — I really love trying new things, and thinking critically about things, and practicing writing those thoughts down. Which is where this critically-thought-out blog post comes from…

I first heard about websites like Influenster and Tomoson back when I was first starting this blog. While googling advice about photography and blogging platforms, I couldn’t help but hear these sites get tossed around as “another thing that bloggers do,” “another part of the business”.

I only joined Tomoson.com about 3 weeks ago. I browsed the site a bit, saw some things I was interested in trying, hit the “Apply” button. Most of the promotions on the site I don’t have enough followers on any platform to apply for anyway, but browsing the options felt a little bit like window shopping.

For a while, I was conflicted. I applied for a bottle of argan oil and thought, how am I supposed to explain this to my readers? I requested a duo of unbreakable silicone wine glasses while wondering, how will I review this on my blog when it’s completely unrelated to beauty? After admittedly being confused or or annoyed by other bloggers when they reviewed dryer sheets in between “What’s in my bag” posts and lipstick reviews, I felt like I was betraying myself and my readers by doing the same thing.

The realization I’ve come to is that this is my blog. Yes it’s currently focused on beauty, and I have no desire to change that since I started this blog as a forum for me to talk about things that I can’t talk about in other arenas of my life. But just because I want to keep it focused on beauty doesn’t mean that it’s all I can talk about.

I’m just here to say that I’m not doing this for money, or to have more things. Every single thing I have applied for on Tomoson is something that I thought would be a useful part of my life. And if it’s a useful part of my life, why shouldn’t I share it with you?

So, I wanted to give you a heads-up that in the future you might see posts about products that I’ve been sent for free in exchange for my honest review. I’ll always mark them as such, and I won’t let anything affect my opinion of the product.

I would really appreciate your feedback on these thoughts! Have you felt a similar conflict?

April 2015 Birchbox Review

April’s box theme was “Fresh for Spring”, which I loved the idea of. For once I actually did think that my samples reflected the theme — a pale pink lip color, peachy eyeshadows, a lotion to help get rid of leftover winter dryness, something that smells like blueberries (although maybe that’s more summery…), and a rejuvenating face mask.

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October 2014 Birchbox Review

Up next in my “catch up with Birchbox reviews” series…October!

It’s so hard to believe that this is my 6th month of receiving Birchboxes! How have these 6 months passed by so quickly?

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This month’s theme was “Fanfare”. The theme description said that it was about being proud of what you’re a fan of and get geekily excited about, as well as ‘taking beauty inspiration from our favorite leading ladies in pop culture’. However, six months in, I’ve pretty much given up on my Birchbox samples fitting the month’s theme. Instead, I’ll do a bit of imagining: Frozen-themed makeup, coconut oil spray as used on Game of Thrones, Geek Chic eyeshadow… even pumpkin products would have been great, like Peter Thomas Roth’s pumpkin enzyme mask.

As it stands, though, I am happy with my October Birchbox, and here’s what I received!

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September 2014 Birchbox Review

Catch-up time… yet another quite belated Birchbox review!

I was pretty excited to open my Birchbox this month and see 7 samples! The theme was “Fresh Paint”: new colors, new trends, and new inspiration for the new season. Unfortunately, the theme wasn’t apparent at all in my samples. The only ‘new’ or ‘colorful’ sample was the lip balm, and I even received a neutral shade of it. I would have loved to see a slew of fall colors. I also received a lot of ‘favorites’ in my box, which is nice, but for a month of newness it would have been great to get a type of product I’d never heard of before.

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The boxes this month were super cute. I really liked the redesign for their anniversary month. There were several possible color combinations, and I love the one I got!

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March 2015 Birchbox Review

I have a lot of “oh wow” thoughts about this box! So far for my annual subscription I’ve had a lackluster box and a great box, and I was glad that this box fell closer to the “great” end of the spectrum (although not all the way there…)

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The theme for March was Creativity — all about expressing yourself in whichever way best fits you. I feel like this theme was a really easy fit for Birchbox, because pretty much anything that Birchbox sends out could be labeled “creative”.  Makeup is something that I think a lot of subscribers probably experiment with, as is blogging. Still, I loved how the theme came across in the multiple box designs this month.

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