Wednesday, July 22, 2015

My Ultimate Subscription Box Reviews | Birchbox

I had a fun idea for a blog post the other day. The most asked question I get about my blog is regarding subscription box companies. A lot of people ask me if I recommend Birchbox vs. Ipsy, or what boxes I've tried. I've tried a lot over the past about four years, and I have solid reviews on all of the ones I've tried.

Sometimes as blogger, I share a lot online, so if I ever stop sharing something, people often think I stopped liking it or found something better. Sometimes that is the case, but with subscription boxes, I have to strategically decide if I am getting my moneys worth and whether it fits my budget.

I figured I would round up my review of ALL of the boxes I've ever tried. So just because I've cancelled a box doesn't mean that I wouldn't recommend it, so here I will list my overall recommendations of the overall value that a company offers. I am going to write them separately, at least for the big brand subscription boxes. Some of the smaller ones that I only tried for a few months I might combine in one post.


PRICE: $10
HOW OFTEN: Monthly
WHAT YOU GET: 4-5 beauty items. Sample size through full size.

I'll first say that I was subscribed to Birchbox for over two years, and I recently cancelled just for budgeting reasons. I think my review on the company is well-rounded and has been constructed over multiple years of being a paying customer.

Birchbox is the OG of subscription boxes. They really have the details narrowed down and if you are just starting off in the subscription box world, it is honestly a great place to start. They were one of the first subscription beauty boxes, so they have a lot of respect from bigger luxury brands, and a larger range of brands. I think Birchbox is really good for the girl who wants to try a lot of new things, but doesn't care too much about the size of the product. Every single box often has a product (usually a small size) from a luxury brand or a more expensive brand than other subscription boxes.

For me, I ended up canceling Birchbox because the sizes of the products received were usually not very large. The actual products were great, I'd get face masks, body lotions, and mascaras. The downside of this was that I have MULTIPLE of those products in full size (because I'm a blogger who loves testing products) so I was just never reaching for those smaller samples over my large products. I simply was receiving Birchbox, maybe using 1 item out of the box, writing a blog post, and just putting the samples in a drawer. It honestly became a waste of money for me personally, just because I have a lot of makeup items so I don't feel the need to sample tiny products.

One last thing about Birchbox, their reward system is AMAZING. The best one out there actually. The Birchbox shop carries every product in full size that they've ever had in the box, a lot of high-end products and almost anything you'd see in Ulta or Sephora. When you receive a box, you get 4-5 products. If you go onto their website and fill out a short survey on each product, you receive 10 points per product (up to 50 points a month). For every 100 points you rack up, it converts into $10 in their Birchbox shop! I usually save up my points for around 6 months and then use 300-400 points on a luxury item that I normally wouldn't want to spend $30 or $40 on!

If you are just getting started in the subscription box world, Birchbox is a good place to start. It is the most affordable box on the market (tied with Ipsy). The reward system does make it a lot more appealing to me, but the size of the samples are very consistent and very small usually. Often I even received foil packets that you can honestly get for free in Sephora or Ulta if you ask for them. I put up with it for a long time since it was only $10, but it got to the point where I wasn't using any of the samples. I decided to cancel just to save money, or to be able to put that money toward another service to review for my blog.

For now, I'm happy with my decision to cancel, but it doesn't take away anything I think about this brand! It is a solid company, with great customer service and an amazing reward program!

Up next will be Ipsy, look out for that soon :)

xo, Jaimie

Thursday, July 2, 2015

My Month in 5 Photos | June 2015

A lot of my favorite bloggers do this type of post, so I figured I would start also! I get a lot of good feedback when I share a little more into my personal life so this is a good way to start incorporating some of that!

1. I took my first line dancing lesson! As I've mentioned, I'm in grad school, and I was blessed with the MOST amazing individuals in my cohort that I love so much! Some of us girls decided to give line dancing a try, and I surprisingly LOVED it. I danced when I was younger, so the choreography and memory part wasn't a problem for me, I just was very nervous to get into my country side and try some line dancing. I was pleasantly surprised at how fun it was, and I already can't wait go back!

2. An amazing macaron shop in New York was kind enough to send me some macarons. They reached out to me, and when I told them that I've actually never tried a macaron, they were happy to send some my way! Let's just say, they were amazing!! One was a strawberry cream flavor and I wish I had 100 of those. They are so chewy and practically melt in your mouth. I was so thankful they reached out, and I look forward to sending these as gifts to friends and family for special occasions.

3. I attended the US Open. I was so thankful when the opportunity approached to attend the US Open as I have been a golfer my entire life. The weather was perfect, and the experience was great. I actually got hooked up with some tickets in the nicest all inclusive tent that offered unlimited food and drinks, so that added to the amazing experience of being a spectator at the US Open!

4. I went to an amazing resort for a work trip, at Suncadia resort in Cle Elum, WA. Our first night there we relaxed a bit before the busy work weekend started by grabbing some wine and pizza flatbread. My coworkers and I got wine flights, and they were all delicious! Paired with some flatbread pizza, and it was a win win for me.

5. I went to a charity event that Russell Wilson and Kasey Kahne put on together called The Drive. It raises money for Seattle Childrens Hospital. They provided an auction, great food and drinks, and an amazing concert! There were a lot of celebrities mingling around, and they were all so kind to take photos and have great conversation. Here I am with Kasey Kahne, Anthony Anderson, Joey Fatone (fan girl), and Al from Home Improvement!! It was such a fun night.

Now onto July! It is my birthday month, which is always fun!