Girl Meets Bulgaria

Musings of an American expat in Bulgaria (with detours in Utah and Alaska)


Birchbox: A Review

I have a confession…

I’m a makeup junky.

It’s definitely no secret to my friends and family.

I can’t really pinpoint when it all started. I know it certainly wasn’t in my younger days. I didn’t wear a bit of makeup (aside from some mascara on my pale red lashes here and there) in High school. I can’t even say that I wore much during my first few years of college.

I really started wearing makeup daily when I first came up to Alaska in 2008. I don’t know what made me make it a part of my daily routine, but I started and have not stopped since.

Now, I stalk Sephora. Fantasize about MAC. Watch endless tutorial videos on You Tube. It’s slightly pathetic.

I’m not fanatical, mind you. I often go months without a single purchase. But then I go wild and spend far more than I would like to admit in one visit to the mall or session of online shopping.

I don’t use the vast majority of what I own. Crazy, I know. I wear makeup daily, but with my busy schedule and propensity to wake up 15 minutes before I have to head to work, lately I wear little more than some concealer, eyebrow pencil, and mascara.

Where am I going with all of this?

Well, in the past year my makeup shopping has actually became a bit of a problem. I don’t often spend money on myself for things like clothes, but makeup is another story.

One girl definitely does not need 20+ lip glosses, 100+ eyeshadows, 8 “backup” mascaras…You get my drift.

I think my makeup wake up call came when I found that my stash comprised an entire makeup case, large makeup bag, and overflow into a cardboard box.

It’s sure fun to look at (My Pretties!!), but not fun to add up the costs.

Essentially, I think the hoarder collector in me got a bit out of hand.

So, in an effort to curtail my spending but still get my “fix” now and then, I signed up for a monthly subscription to Birchbox.

Birchbox is a monthly  subscription which offers deluxe beauty and cosmetic samples, all packaged in a cute little box, for only $10 per month (including shipping).

Each box is themed and features 5-6 products. Most are sample size, but a few full size products are included every so often.

I got my first box back in March and have been enjoying them ever since.

Sure, some of the products have been duds; but overall, I have loved the samples I’ve gotten in my boxes. And the products definitely add up to more than $10.00, even being sample sizes.

And best of all, I haven’t spent a dime on any other cosmetics or beauty products since getting my first box.

Oh, and who doesn’t love getting mail each month? It’s especially nice up here in Alaska.

Since Birchbox exploded in popularity, many other “beauty boxes” have hit the market. I did some research before signing up for Birchbox and it seemed like the company had mostly positive reviews and was more established than some of the newer companies.

Here’s what I got in my June box…

June’s “Jet Set” box included:

  • Comodynes | Self-Tanning wipes – Sadly, not something a pale redhead such as myself can use.
  • Eyeko | Fat Eye Stick (eye shadow stick) – I like cream shadows, but this one is in black (not my color), so I’ll probably give it to a friend.
  • Likewise | Facial Moisturizer – Smells good and has SPF 50. I’m all over it!
  • theBalm cosmetics | Stainiac lip and cheek stain – Only tried on my lips so far, but I like it.
  • tili | Travel bag – This cute, reusable bag is designed to hold liquids in a carry-on while traveling. I’ll definitely use it.
  • John Varvatos Star USA | Men’s cologne –  Haven’t sprayed it. Giving it to my hubby.

I was more jazzed about the products in last month’s box, but I can’t say that I am disappointed with June’s box. There are a few things I can’t use myself, but I am sure I can give them away.

Overall I am happy with Birchbox and the 4 boxes I have received thus far. I think it’s well worth the $10 monthly fee, especially considering shipping is included (even to Alaska!).

If you are interested in joining Birchbox, email me at whitney(at)girlmeetsbulgaria(dot)com and I can refer you.

Or simply click here.

With each referral I get points that I can spend towards full size products, and ya’ll know I need more makeup! 😉

There is a waiting list right now to sign up. I was only on the list for a about 3 weeks when I signed up in March. So hopefully it is still moving that quickly.

I’ll have to cancel my subscription when I head back to Bulgaria, but that’s fine. I’m sure I’ll find something else to spend my money on! 😉

Are you subscribed to Birchbox or any of the other monthly beauty boxes? If so, what do you think?


*All opinions are my own. I was not compensated in any way to write this review.


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