Haley’s Trip to Birchbox’s Soho Store + BYOB Review!
Hi, everyone! Haley here! As most of you know, I was recently flown out to New York to visit Elizabeth & Clarke and help them film a commercial for a Kickstarter for their new Unstainable Collection! You can read all about that here. On this (short, but awesome) trip I got the chance to stop by the brick-and-mortar Birchbox shop in Soho! I was thrilled to be able to check it out and I’ve been so excited to share it with you. Most of this is mostly a photo dump of what the shop is like, but I got to do a “BYOB” – Build Your Own Birchbox – and I’ll review that at the end!
This is the shop! It is so cute and the styling is perfect. I loved the energy here!
I’m happy to let you know that the shop itself is designed as adorably as the boxes are!
In addition to all the shelves and such, there’s all sorts of little tables and pedestals set up featuring lots of different items, including staff picks! And, of course, lots of advertising for the subscription.
They even sell some pre-curated boxes and limited edition boxes in store!
Their walls of products are split up by category – so you have hair, skincare, fragrance, makeup (which is then split by face, lips, eyes, etc), body etc.
It was so much fun seeing all the items I’ve browsed around hundreds of times only online! I love trying all the packaging and had a blast with browsing in person.
Of course they had lots of mirrors and samples of every item out for you to swatch.
I also liked seeing the displays of Birchbox’s own brands, LOC and Arrow.
You can bet I left covered in makeup, like any good makeup or shopping junkie leaves any cosmetics store.
Birchbox Soho also offers beauty services – hair, makeup, nails, and whole packages! In addition to the makeovers/services, they educate you and are a great resource when trying to tackle one of your beauty hang-ups or a new trend! Here’s an info sign of their available services.
And here’s a peek at their little salon!
Downstairs is where the Birchbox Man shop is (and the salon).
Here is Birchbox Man’s little corner!
Birchbox has some amazing employees – everyone I met was super enthusiastic and friendly. The guy who showed me around the Birchbox man corner definitely knew his stuff, too! He also chatted with me about life in New York and what it’s like to work at Birchbox.
Lots of lifestyle items in the men’s section, too!
And, of course, the gentlemen get to Build their own Birchbox, too. For them, it’s $25 and they choose 4 deluxe-sized samples and 1 full-size lifestyle item.
When I got there this lovely lady named Dana showed me around! She is basically the cutest thing I have ever seen.
The glorious BYOB area! So, step 1 is you grab a box. They have some generic ones as well as ones that are left over from recent months available. Next, you pick 5 samples – you have to pick 1 from each category of body, hair, skincare, fragrance, and makeup. And step 3 is instant happiness!
There are all these sample bins filled with the samples you get to pick from, and they’re grouped together by category.
And that’s all I want to give a big, giant shout out to Shain and Dana. They were so enthusiastic and knowledgeable! They not only made sure to show me around and talk to me, but were also constantly busy talking to, education, and helping other customers.
Best day ever! Now onto my BYOB review!
As I said above, Birchbox’s Soho shop has a “BYOB” station – which stands for “Build Your Own Box.” They have a counter set up with all sorts of samples in the categories of skincare, body, hair, makeup, and fragrance. You pick 1 sample from each category (a total of 5 samples) and that’s your box! I do have to point out that it costs more than the typical $10/month subscription box does, though.
Birchbox kindly allowed me to build my own Birchbox at no cost when I visited! (Check out the review process post to learn more about how we review boxes.)
The Box: Birchbox’s Brick-and-mortar Soho store’s Build-Your-Own-Box
The Cost: $25 for any 5 samples, or $15 for 1 sample from each category.
The Products: 5 samples chosen by you, from a set selection of samples. For the $15 deal, you must pick 1 sample from each category of body, fragrance, makeup, skincare, and hair. You can also do $25 for any 5 samples from the selections.
Check out our Birchbox reviews to learn more about this subscription!
FYI – I chose the $15 BYOB option.
Caudalie Gentle Cleansing Milk – 1 oz, value: $4.14
I picked this item because I love the Caudalie brand and I hadn’t tried this one before! I always remove my makeup BEFORE cleansing with my cleanser (either with hands or my Clarisonic), and this just feels so nice n my skin. It’s gentle and hydrating.
Whish Shave Crave Shaving Cream – 1 oz, value: $3.16
Okay, so I know this might be a product that is a little polarizing for Birchbox subscribers – I find most people either love it or hate it – but I hadn’t tried it before. I actually like it okay! I prefer my L’Occitane Almond Shave Oil better for shaving, but this stuff works well, too!
Harvey Prince Petaly Noir sample – sample size
I just don’t care for these little perfume samples, but I don’t generally mind if they’re a bonus to a box. So, I grabbed a Harvey Prince sample because I like his Hello fragrance and honestly considered it a bit of a loss. Yes, I smelled the rest of the fragrance samples but honestly I really didn’t care for any of them.
Klorane Dry Shampoo with Nettle – 1 oz, value: $6.25
Yes, this is another pick I know many of our readers will groan at me for choosing. However, I personally love Klorane and I can’t live without dry shampoo! I knew I had to grab this!
Cargo Swimmable Shadow Stick in Coral Reef – value: $22
So, I was excited to pick this item! It’s full sized and a nice value. The sample I swatched at the Birchbox store was smooth and glided onto my hand well. However, when I tried working with this particular pencil, the formula itself was dry and hard to work with. It didn’t glide on smoothly, and it broke and chunked. A little sharpening of the product helped a little but didn’t completely fix the issue. I figured it must just be an older sample and got dried out.
When I looked up these swimmable pencils on Birchbox’s website I saw the exact same comments being made in lots of reviews! Because I tried one that worked really nicely at the store when I was picking this as a sample, I’m confident that these pencils absolutely can work smoothly and be creamy. I suspect these may have had time to dry out (maybe sitting in Birchbox’s warehouses too long?) or just dry out quickly.
I haven’t reached out to their customer service about this issue, since this was a complimentary BYOB box. However, I’ve dealt with their customer service enough to know that they are probably the best service I’ve received from any company ever. I’m confident they would do all they could to make it right, were I to reach out.
And here’s my makeup from a day I used the Anastasia Brow Wiz (which is every day, really), and the Cargo swimmables shadow stick on my lid. Like I said, it was hard to work with. I think I made it work, though! The shimmery golden coral was a very bright, pretty color, once I got it on! Even after being seemingly dried out, it wore well and didn’t crease throughout the day.
Verdict: I had a lot of fun building my own Birchbox! I wish I could do it more often! I really loved shopping at the store in person, and I even had fun BYOB-ing. I know it’s a higher price than the normal Birchbox subscription boxes, but the value is (mostly) within your control regarding what items you pick. When it all boils down, I did get a good value for the cost of the box: $30.55 for a $15 box. And yes, I’m including the hardly-workable Cargo pencil because I know I’d get it made right from customer service if I asked.
What do you think about my trip? Have you been to the Birchbox Soho store?