Birchbox Roadtrip Box Review – August 2015
Birchbox and Birchbox Man recently announced a three-city roadtrip featuring build-your-own Birchboxes, a handful of shop items, and free beauty and grooming services. Atlanta was the first stop (weekend of August 7-9) so I went to check it out.
I did a build-your-own Birchbox. They were using the Rifle Paper Company co-branded boxes you see above (only the one kind). I think this is one of my favorites! They had a build-your-own Birchbox Man area, too, but my fiancé, whom I dragged along, does not share my enthusiasm for subscription boxes, so he sat this one out.
My Subscription Addiction paid for the build-your-own Birchbox. (Check out the review process post to learn more about how we review boxes.)
The Cost: $15 for a build-your-own Birchbox for women; $25 for a build-your-own Birchbox Man
The Products: Beauty and lifestyle products selected by the Birchbox team.
Heads Up: the Birchbox and Birchbox Man Roadtrip is coming to Chicago from August 14-16 and Los Angeles from August 28-30. Click the link to find out times, locations, special guests, and more.
Here’s a look at the line for the women’s build-your-own Birchbox. On the left, under the sign that says “Birchbox” is an area with a small selection of items from their shop. (Didn’t realize until after I got home that I didn’t have a good picture – too many people’s backs in the way to see much…) Up top, under those black umbrellas, they were doing free manicures. I totally would have gone for it but there was a wait and I was so hot after the build-your-own Birchbox line that sweat was literally pouring down my back, under my shirt, so I decided to call it a day.
To Birchbox’s credit, they kept the “BYOB” line moving fairly quickly. And they came by periodically offering free bottles of water.
The Birchbox Man side wasn’t as hopping as the women’s side. Up top, they were doing free haircuts – wasn’t much of a wait there. Another kind of bad picture of the shop part, but if you see the shelves of products on the right, well, there was another display of the same size on the left. The women’s side and the men’s side had similar amounts of inventory. The women’s side also had a few mirrors and tester products, including some Benefit makeup but I couldn’t bring myself to try it out. I just can’t do eye makeup testers! (Plus I have oodles of samples of They’re Real Mascara and Eyeliner already.)
Here’s a photo of the bins of samples. For the build-your-own Birchbox, you could choose one item from each of the five categories makeup, fragrance, suncare, hair, and skincare. I remember most, if not all, of the items that were available, so I’ll list them below.
They put your purchases in these cute pink bags!
And they did the whole tissue paper thing after you chose your samples – just like a real Birchbox. There was no information card, though, because of the many possible combinations of products.
If you go, you’ll also get a coupon code for 20% off a $35+ purchase from the Birchbox shop. (If you didn’t attend, you can still try one of these codes: TAKEALEAP20, TAKEOFF20, COMEBACK20, WELCOMEOFFER20, MOBILE20, or TAKEOFF10. The first one listed is fairly new and I don’t think a lot of people have had a chance to use it yet.)
W3LL People Expressionist Mascara (sample) – Value $10 (?)
I’ve used this before and I like it – mostly because it doesn’t irritate my eyes. (I’ve been having a lot of trouble with mascara irritating my eyes lately.) Also because I can get it off without a major battle. It’s got all natural ingredients, but it’s one of the best natural mascaras I’ve used.
Other options: Marcelle Eyeliner in Electric Blue (I think that was the color), Benefit PoreFessional, Stila All Day Liquid Lipstick (reddish color that might’ve been “Beso” from last month’s box). I have tried all of these, as well. The PoreFessional sample was pretty tiny. Everything else was a respectable size.
Etat Libre d’Orange “Like This” Eau de Parfum (sample) – Value $3 (?)
I chose this one because it was the only one of the three I hadn’t tried. (The others were Folle de Joie and Harvey Prince Hello, neither of which I’m particularly fond of.) “Like This” is supposed to be a blend of yellow tangerine, ginger, pumpkin, immortal flower, Moroccan neroli, Grasse rose, vetiver, heliotrope, and musks. This is a little floral and musky on me (definitely smells better on than it does in the vial).
Shiseido 50+ Wet Force Ultimate Sun Protection Cream (0.64 oz) – Value $11.52
I think I’ve gotten this, or something very similar, in the Sephora Sun Safety Kit. It has octinoxate, octocrylene, titanium dioxide, and zinc oxide. It blends in fairly well without making my skin white. Because some of the SPF components are chemical in nature, I’ll use this on my arms instead of my face. (I sometimes get rashes from chemical sunscreens – not willing to risk getting a rash all over my face.)
The other options were the Coola Environmental Repair Plus Radical Recovery After Sun Lotion, some SPF 30 Supergoop (maybe the one I linked to, but don’t quote me on that), and the Coola SPF 50 Sport Mango sunscreen. (I have received most, if not all, of these products in boxes before…)
N. 4 Super Comb Prep and Protect (1 oz) – Value $4.80
Kiehl’s Calendula Deep Cleansing Foaming Facial Wash (1 oz) – Value $5.20
For hair, the other choices were R+Co Death Valley Dry Shampoo and an Oribe texturizing spray (may or may not be the one at the link). I am not a dry shampoo user and don’t spend much time styling my hair, but I go through detangling spray like it was water (OK, maybe a little bit of an exaggeration) and I know the N. 4 product works for me.
And, I hadn’t ever seen Kiehl’s products in the Birchbox shop or in anyone’s Birchbox before. I’ve actually had a hard time finding them elsewhere (other than the Kiehl’s website). Other skincare samples included the Dr. Jart+ BB Crème (SPF 25), a Kiehl’s moisturizer (maybe this one?), and the Real Chemistry Luminous 3-Minute Peel. I’ve got the Dr. Jart+ product and a couple of samples of the Real Chemistry product, so it was a toss-up between the cleanser and the moisturizer. I get more excited about cleansers for some reason, so I went with the cleanser. (There *might* have been one other skincare product and if there was, I don’t remember it.)
With every purchase, you got a free popsicle from King of Pops. This is an Atlanta/southeastern US chain, so you will probably have something different in Chicago and LA.
Verdict: I calculated a value of about $34. That’s pretty good for the $15 cost. Of course, you have to consider that I got to choose the samples, so I was able to pick items that I thought were better-suited to me, personally, making this less of a risk. Longtime Birchbox subscribers (especially those of us with multiple accounts) will recognize a lot of the products – I was going by memory with the product list, didn’t write anything down. But I was happy at the chance to choose a few old favorites and also experience a few new items. (And I hope they’ll start having more Kiehl’s items in the Birchbox shop…)
I think Birchbox put this together at the last minute (voting on cities wasn’t that long ago), and considering that, I think they did a pretty good job. The location was in a high-traffic part of town, but we were able to find free parking right next to the event (a little unusual in Atlanta…). The set-up had the appearance of being about the right size for the number of customers they were getting although, of course, that can vary by time and any other events or special guests going on at the same time (they had an Atlanta Falcons player and someone from The Real Housewives of Atlanta on Saturday, for example). You could also take a selfie with your box and share it on social media for a chance to win $500 in Birchbox points (I don’t do social media and I don’t have a smartphone so I skipped that part – but a lot of people were taking advantage of it).
FYI, you are able to pay with and earn points if you go. They can look your account up in their computer system. The woman who checked me out was a bit puzzled until I explained that all three of those e-mail addresses indeed belonged to me (I only have two active subscriptions at the moment, though)!
What do you think of the Birchbox and Birchbox Man Roadtrip? Were you able to attend (or do you plan to attend)?