Friday, September 14, 2012

September Issue Birchbox & Sample Stop Birchbox


Another month, another Birchbox... actually make that TWO Birchboxes this month! Along with the usual monthly Birchbox, I was lucky enough to pick up a special Birchbox from the Sample Stop pop up boutique. First up, let's talk about the September Issue box: it's a good one. I have to admit I'm not too crazy about it but all in all I got a more than decent box.


Every month Birchbox thinks of a concept for the box and the September Issue concept is ingenious. A little flyer with a Madewell coupon for $25 off a $75 purchase was included in every box as the two companies partnered up for Fashion's Night Out. I'm still debating if I should use my coupon but it's nice to have.


The perfume sample was underwhelming as I've gotten another variant of the Bvlgari perfume before in a previous Birchbox. I happily passed the sample onto my mom who is much less picky about fragrances than I am. The Color Club polish in Insta-This (love the name much?) was great as I do not have many shades of blue polish in my collection and none like this one. I've received a Color Club polish in my Gossip Girl Birchbox in an orange shade which I really love. The first thing I thought of when I saw the blue was how in combination with Clambake Coral, I'd have Knicks nails! The Dr. Jart Water Fuse BB Cream was a nice addition as I love trying bases and I've had pretty positive results with the Dr. Jart Premium BB Cream. Thanks to Birchbox I'm more concerned (in the best way possible) about the health and look of my hair so the LiQWd volumizing catalyst seems like an interesting product to try. They also included sample packets of the LiQWd shampoo and conditioner which will be excellent for overnight trips. Lastly, another repeat product in a different color: a twistband. Some people actually love twistbands but I don't see the value in an overpriced, albeit colorful, piece of elastic. I will definitely use the twistband but would not buy the full size as it's just not for me.


Birchbox also created their first lookbook featuring many of their staffers. Seriously, Birchbox has the coolest corporate culture. The lookbook was a nice touch and the content is top notch.


Now onto my Sample Stop experience which was incredibly exciting and loads of fun. For Fashion Week, Birchbox launched a week long pop up shop in the Chelsea area for mostly people in the industry. I did some research and found out that for an hour on Sunday (September 9th), the Sample Stop would be open to the public. So I dragged my cousin along with me to get a peek into the venue. 

There was a line as Birchbox did not want the space to be overrun by sample hungry beauty loving gals and guys. I chatted with the Birchbox staffer who was acting as security for the time being and he was very pleasant to talk to. Everyone I interacted with had a genuinely happy vibe despite the hectic atmosphere. 

The Sample Stop was designed with a candy shop theme so there were rows of beauty products alternating with candy. We were all provided with an empty Birchbox and we moved down the rows to choose four to five beauty samples and as much candy as we wanted. When we were done we headed to a wrapping station where a lady carefully wrapped our goodies and sent us on our way. There were various booths where makeup, hair and skincare brands had set up stations where you could get a treatment but there was a two hour wait for most things. I saw some awesome hair styles and manicures even though I did not indulge myself. We were free to walk around the rest of the room where there were some other free samples of lifestyle extras. 


Here is the loot from my Sample Stop visit! I absolutely love the tiny Birchbox tote and mini water bottle. I picked up some Boscia blotting linens from the Boscia booth and a tiny pack of gum, both were necessities that I needed badly at the time!


It was quite difficult to choose only five of the beauty samples but I narrowed it down to the above and I am incredibly happy with the outcome. I love the Klorane dry shampoo that I ordered from Birchbox a few weeks ago and want to try out more dry shampoos before repurchasing. There were a few Oscar Blandi goodies to choose from and the mini dry shampoo is the perfect size for traveling. I've always wanted to get a Beauty Blender in my Birchbox because I've heard so many great things about it. So far I've never been lucky enough to score one in my regular boxes so I was elated to see it at the Sample Stop. I love my Birchbox Pink Jouer lipgloss so I jumped at the chance to try the lipgloss in Nude. I felt the need to toss in a base makeup related product into my box so I settled on the Per-fekt Beauty Skin Perfection Gel, only to come home and realize there was a specified shade and that it's the second darkest shade in the range. I somehow assumed there was no shade, like a BB cream, or that it would be clear. The product is a mousse like gel which is supposed to cover up blemishes, pores and wrinkles while drying to a matte, powder finish and preventing shine. My skin is still a bit tan at the moment so this blends into my skin quite well at the moment but I won't be able to use this in a few weeks. I think I might just save it for next summer as I'm sure to get tan again. Lastly, I chose an eye product which was Benefit's They're Real Mascara. I pretty much refuse to pay full price for a high end mascara since I love my Maybelline waterproof mascaras but I've heard many positive things about They're Real. No harm in adding another mascara to the back up stash, is there?


Of course, no Birchbox is complete without the little greeting card! It's really fascinating how much the small company has grown and accomplished in only two years. 


Since everyone got to pick out their own products, there was a checklist of the various products available. You can read through the list to find out what other beauty samples were available at the Sample Stop.

This month Birchbox was a hit for me as it was much more than just a box of beauty samples. At this point some of you must be getting tired of me raving about Birchbox but seriously, the perks make the $10 a month price tag very worthwhile, especially if you happen to live in a big city where Birchbox events are not uncommon. Also, Birchbox just acquired Joliebox in Europe so now Birchbox is international! I am very excited to see what Birchbox has in store for their customers next! Have you tried Birchbox before? What do you think about the Sample Stop?

10 comments:

  1. The sample event looks and sounded awesome! I wish there were things like this in Boston. I signed up for a Birchbox earlier this month to try, but it seems I'm still in queue! Can't wait to see/try out my first box, whatever it may be. :)

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    1. Boston is a pretty big city so maybe one day they'll have an event there! I hope you have a great experience when you get your first box :D Sometimes a box is a flop but in the long run I think it's great!

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  2. Ah this makes me want to sign up for it now! I'm completely missing out >__<;;
    Have you used the beautyblender yet? Everyone raves it, but I haven't felt like dishing out the money a sponge =\

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    1. According to Maggie's comment above I believe there is a waiting list for Birchbox but definitely sign up in case you want to ever get it in the future! I've been using the beauty blender for the past few days and I'm kind of torn over it.... I need a bit more time to formulate my thoughts on it but in short, it's an extremely expensive sponge.

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  3. So jealous you got the LiQWD Volume Catalyst! Tell me what you think of it when you get a chance to use it! I was hoping I would get that for the September Birchbox :D and the beautybender is a super good choice :) i have two stocked up in my closet

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    1. I've only used the LiQWd Volume Catalyst once so I'm not sure if it's doing anything to my hair yet. I'll probably go through it quickly since the bottle is small and I'll review it in my next empties post!

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  4. I've been tempted to join Birchbox and they seem to give out better samples as compared to other monthly subscriptions. The main reason I don't join is because I think for myself, it would be better that I save the $10 and use it toward something that I know will use rather than samples, cause I know 90% of them will get lost and forgotten in my pile of stuff.

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    1. I totally get what you mean, Pang! That was my debate for a long time but I realized in the long run it was pretty worth it and I sometimes get surprised by items I would have overlooked. I think having the opportunity to go to a few events makes it more appealing for NYC subscribers though.

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  5. Chanced upon your blog and enjoy reading it!

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    1. Thanks so much for letting me know! :)

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