March 2016 Birchbox Sample Choice Comparison

Birchbox’s sample choice has become a monthly staple now; you can find a description of the program here. This month there are 3 samples to choose from plus a curated box filled with beauty samples intended to prepare you for ANYTHING. Let’s get started!

*I apologize for the lack of photos! I am out of space on my free WordPress media drive, and am trying to figure out what to do about it. In the meantime, here is the Birchbox official announcement video that I usually take all my screenshots from:


The first sample up is the Number 4 Hydrating Shampoo and Condition duo. Reviewers on Birchbox think that this duo does a great job of hydrating and strengthening hair. I received this duo in my December 2014 Birchbox and felt sort of meh about it. Both products have a pleasantly oceanic scent and a slightly creamy texture, and if the sample sizes had been larger maybe I would have had a more defined opinion about them. The value of this sample is $3.66.

The second sample option is a Volumizing & Texturizing Shampoo & Conditioner duo from PARLOR by Jeff Chastain. I wasn’t able to find any information about these samples because the Volumizing & Texturizing duo is so new that it isn’t even listed on Jeff Chastain’s website yet. Making some assumptions about the price of the products, the value of this sample is $3.50.

The third choice is the amika Perk Up Dry Shampoo. I have two reviews of this product for you today, one from  Franziska and the other from Crystal. In general, this dry shampoo has reached cult product status — everyone seems to really like it. This sample is valued at $3.40.

In contrast to last month, the values of this month’s samples are pretty low. They’ve also gone back to themed sample choices, this time with “haircare.” This is nice because it makes the sample choice seem cohesive, but it’s unfortunate if it happens to be a product category you really don’t care about.

The curated box this month is based around the theme of “Ready for Anything”. It includes the following 5 samples:

  • Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Cream ($4.04)
  • Smashbox Photo Op Eyeshadow Trio in Filter ($12.44?)
  • Wilma Schumann Skincare Hydrating Collagen Eye Pads ($3.60)
  • MILK Makeup Lip Color in C.R.E.A.M. (~$11?)
  • PARLOR by Jeff Chastain Smoothing Blowout Spray ($4.90)

The Kiehl’s moisturizer seems to be well-loved and to have stood the test of time. Here is a great in-depth review of it from the lovely Carrie, and another from MusicalHouses. Smashbox has an eyeshadow formulation that people like; these colors are a nice set of matte browns. Maybe a little basic, but the color payoff and lasting power seem to be worth it. Here is a review from Aoife and swatches from Kelly B.. Reviews on Birchbox are all positive for the Wilma Schumann eye pads — people seem to think that the eye patches do what they are supposed to, which is plump and hydrate the undereye.

There are almost no reviews for the MILK lipstick, since MILK just launched their first makeup line in December. This Lip Color did make it onto two of the lists for “best products in the MILK lineup,” here and here, so it’ll probably be good! (The lists left me longing to try all of their other products, too!) C.R.E.A.M. is a brownish-pink nude. The PARLOR blowout spray has nothing but good reviews on

I really was not able to find a sample size for the MILK lipstick, so I estimated it based on other mini lip products. I assumed that the Smashbox trio was the same size as the samples ipsy sends out. All together, this gives the curated box a total value of around $36.

This month’s box is pretty cute in my opinion! I like the pastel colors for spring, as well as the sophisticated gold accents. I also like the Ready for Anything box design, with its pastel sunbursts. I think they’re both pretty cute and suitable for March!

Sample choice will open on February 25th for subscribers (February 24th for Ace members and referrers).

This month I think I’ll go for the amika Dry Shampoo! I’ve tried three dry shampoos before and none have been perfect, so this is my chance to try yet another and hope for the best. While I’m intrigued by the MILK lipstick, I think that’ll have to wait for another time. Plus, after opting for the curated box this month, I think I’m ready for a surprise!

Which sample are you going to choose?

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November 2015 Birchbox Review

November’s Birchbox theme was “Feeling Fancy”. And boy, did this box achieve that! While this is by no means the best box I’ve received from Birchbox, it certainly felt luxurious — everything from the box design to the product packaging to the products themselves. Just look at how classy my samples look, sitting there on the pretty burgundy tissue paper! It’s like they were specially coordinated to all match in shades of black, white, and grey.


I originally thought the pattern on this box was just “nice enough.” But once I opened the box I fell in love with it! What I thought was really special about the appearance of this one was how put-together it looked as I opened it. The product card echoed the box design, the tissue paper color complemented the box color really well, the color of the other included card played off the color of the tissue paper…except for the strange brown color of the pillow insert, everything was so on-point thematically. It really did feel fancy.

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February 2016 Birchbox Sample Choice Comparison

Birchbox’s sample choice has become a monthly staple now; you can find a description of the program here. This month there are 4 samples to choose from plus a curated box filled with beauty samples meant for date night (February 14th is Valentine’s day, after all…). Let’s get started!


The Arrow BOOST Color Enhancing Lip Balm is one of the items released a few weeks ago as part of Birchbox’s newest in-house brand. The brand, “Arrow,” is supposed to be all about beauty on the go for a busy lifestyle. This is a lip balm that changes color based on the pH of your lips. The 9 reviews on the Birchbox website so far are all 5 stars, and here‘s a review of the Arrow products so far if you’re interested. This sample is probably full size, in which case it would be worth $14.

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January 2016 Birchbox Sample Choice Comparison

Birchbox’s sample choice has become a monthly staple now; you can find a description of the program here. This month there are 3 samples to choose from plus an awesome curated box filled with Korean beauty samples. Let’s dive in to this photo-heavy post!


The Eyeko Fat Liquid Eyeliner was supposed to appear in everyone’s boxes this June, but a shipping problem prevented the samples from arriving in time. They promised that the liners would appear in a future box, and here they are! I’m actually more pleased about the way they’re doing it this time around, with the Eyeko liner as a sample choice instead of a definite sample, since there are plenty of people who probably don’t particularly want another eyeliner, but those who are excited to receive it can opt for that choice.

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September 2015 Birchbox Review

So, once again, I find myself behind. I still have my May, June, July, and August Birchbox reviews to write, but I figured I might as well post my more recent boxes in the meantime. Here I begin with a return to the warm, warm weather and idealistic views on schoolwork from September!


I’m back at school for the Fall semester, and among the many things I forgot to do while transitioning was change my Birchbox mailing address. So my September Birchbox was sent to my home address instead of my university address, and I had to wait all month until my parents visited to get it. Which ordinarily wouldn’t have bothered me too much, except I peeked at my box online and was beyond excited to be receiving the Caffeine Eye Cream from 100% Pure!

September’s theme was “Better Together”. September is Birchbox’s anniversary month, and so this theme seemed to fit the occasion.


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December 2015 Birchbox Sample Choice Comparison

For those of you still 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 several samples are revealed and the sample you pick will replace one of your traditional 5 samples. This is a comparison of those options based on research I’ve done using other blogs and my own calculations. As is now usual, this month I’ve taken all of my images as screenshots from the official Birchbox video.

This month’s theme is “Home for the Holidays”. I think this theme is pretty cute! I’m looking forward to how Birchbox incorporates it into their activities for the month.

The December sample options initially appeared to be a choice between three colors of eyeshadow. All three are from Coastal Scents and are glimpses into their StyleEYES palettes. However, I originally couldn’t find any information on these palettes anywhere — not even a “new product” announcement! But right before posting this I decided to check one last time and I found this palette on the Birchbox website. I wonder why it wasn’t there before! Each palette features 8 complementary shadows around a mirror in the center and is meant to be purse-sized.

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The first duo is called GlamourEYES and pairs an emerald green and bright gold shadow. Lorelei is wearing it in the sample reveal video.

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