The idea behind Birchbox is really simple: they send you a (beautifully wrapped) box of beauty samples (skin cream, makeup, hair stuff) each month, and if you like them, you buy the full-size products in their store (and if review the products you get points towards … more products). A month of samples is $10, and I've gotten at least one sample in each box that I would consider bigger than "sample size".
Everyone knows that the free samples are the best part of buying makeup, moisturizer, or perfume (and that often the "sample size" of something is all you really want) so why not just sell the samples? Genius.
A year of Birchbox is a very pricey present (you do get one month free, making it only $110) but I have to say I love getting those nice little boxes in the mail … you're basically giving someone a beauty grab bag every month for a year. It's about the same as buying one drugstore makeup item a month … or doing what I do, blunder into department stores to buy expensive lipsticks that don't suit me. If you consider it that way, I actually think I might break even on my Birchbox experience. (8 drugstore foundations, 12-13 clumpy mascaras, or 4-5 expensive department-store lipsticks a year < 1 Birchbox subscription).
[And we're still on the fundraising drive/Secret Lives poll:]
If we reach $1200 in donations by December 25, I will write a new "secret lives" story, that will include the top-two vote-getters below: