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Birchbox Roadtrip Box Review – August 2015

Ragan Buckley
ByRagan BuckleyAug 10, 2015 | 29 comments

Birchbox Roadtrip Box Review - August 2015 - box

3.7 overall rating
659 Ratings | 190 Reviews

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 Subscription Box: Birchbox and Birchbox Man

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.

Be sure to check out My Subscription Addiction’s Birchbox and Birchbox Man reviews, or head on over to the Beauty Subscription Box Directory for more great beauty finds!

Birchbox Roadtrip Box Review - August 2015 - line

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.

Birchbox Roadtrip Box Review - August 2015 - bbman

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.)

Birchbox Roadtrip Box Review - August 2015 - byob

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.

Birchbox Roadtrip Box Review - August 2015 - bag

They put your purchases in these cute pink bags!

Birchbox Roadtrip Box Review - August 2015 - samples

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.

Birchbox Roadtrip Box Review - August 2015 - coupon

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.)

Birchbox Roadtrip Box Review - August 2015 - mascara

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.

Birchbox Roadtrip Box Review - August 2015 - fragrance

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).

Birchbox Roadtrip Box Review - August 2015 - sun

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…)

Birchbox Roadtrip Box Review - August 2015 - hairskin

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.)

Birchbox Roadtrip Box Review - August 2015 - pops

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)?

Birchbox ($15 per month) was one of the very first beauty subscription boxes—we’ve been reviewing it since 2012! Each month, subscribers get a new mix of 5 beauty samples, such as makeup, skincare, haircare, and fragrance items. Birchbox lets you choose whether you’d like a box of items picked just... read more.
Ragan Buckley
Ragan Buckley
Ragan stumbled across My Subscription Addiction in late 2013 and immediately subscribed to way too many beauty boxes. She's now focused on boxes for her cats and dog, vegan/vegetarian food boxes, and craft subscriptions (and she didn't give up beauty boxes entirely).

Ragan Buckley
Ragan Buckley
Ragan stumbled across My Subscription Addiction in late 2013 and immediately subscribed to way too many beauty boxes. She's now focused on boxes for her cats and dog, vegan/vegetarian food boxes, and craft subscriptions (and she didn't give up beauty boxes entirely).
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While it cost more than your ordinary BB in the mail, I think I’d pay 5 bucks more just for the experience. It’ looks like a fun thing to do, you get to choose your own items, and maybe even chat with other Birchbox lovers in your area. Now, I wish they’d come to my area, too. Thanks for the review, this is a unique and fun review.


So I am in line now for Birchbox Chicago. First day 2 hours after opening and line is long and slow. The line isn’t actually too bad, but it’s very slow. Lots of tourists in line who think everything is free. Looks like the Atlanta set up. I will let you know when I actually get in. And it’s darned hot out here with no shade!!


It looks like midtown. I live 6 hours away, but my sister has a condo in midtown and I considered going. Happy I didn’t make a special trip, but would have gone if I had been in Atl.


West Paces Ferry in Buckhead. Pretty close to the Whole Foods.


Now to find someone to drive to LA with me lol. This looks like so much fun! And if we get to pick the lifestyle item, I want to get a BB man box too!


You do get to pick the lifestyle item. I didn’t go through the BBMan line so I don’t know what the choices are, though.


I was at the one in Atlanta on Saturday and I was able to get 2 hair products without any hassle. It was pretty busy and they were having issues getting a connection on their Ipads so maybe that was why (although I am an Ace and bought 2 full sized items).


Was hoping for Seattle.


Im so excited for the Chicago event this weekend!


I voted for Vegas. Oddly, we don’t get a lot of things like this. Dang it! lol


I went on Sunday around 5:30, no line, but no King of Pops left either 🙁 I was happy to try out several hair products in the shop I had been curious about, and discovered Amika now makes a dry conditioner! YAY! Was a bit miffed at paying $15 for 1 Birchbox, but, for another $15 you could get two more months of Birchbox, so it was like buying a 3 month sub for $30. I was able to convince them to let me have 2 hair samples (subbed a hair product for fragrance) after telling them I had 2 subscriptions and was an Ace on both and that I had sampled most of the products they had already. Would have loved a manicure if it wasn’t 90 degrees in a parking lot!


It never occurred to me to tell them I have two Ace accounts and had sampled most of the products already (even though it’s true).

I didn’t want to sign up for a third subscription, though. I had three going for awhile and started getting too many duplicates.


I live in a small metropolitan area (950k people), so I’d never get something like this in my city. I wish though because it looks like a lot of fun!


Do you have to have a regular birchbox subscription or can you go to the event and purchase one of these boxes as a one time thing?


You do not have to have a subscription. You can just buy the box if you want. Or, you can make the box your first month of a three-month subscription.

If you do have an account (don’t have to have an active sub), you will get points for purchasing the box.


Thank you! Sounds great! I will go to the upcoming one in Los Angeles!


I went with my two daughters and had an amazing time. We each built our own birchbox. I also made a BB men’s box for my husband. BB did great. The people working there were all super nice. Well worth it. We are near Atlanta in Dallas GA.


Ragan! I was there on Sunday! What day did you go? We should have gone together, that would have been awesome.


I was there on Sunday, maybe 12:30-1:15 or so? (Might be off on the time by a little bit.)


Thanks for attending and for your detailed summary, Ragan! Very interesting. 🙂


I voted for BB to come to Boston but it wasn’t one of the cities chosen so I really enjoyed this review (and the 50 points BB gave out to the voters).
I love Kiehls as well and you can find it at Barney’s or Neiman Marcus if you are close to either of those. They are extremely generous with samples too (Kiehls)!!!


I voted Boston too! Oh well, maybe if it’s successful they’ll do more pop-up shops. Sounds like fun – thanks for braving the heat, Ragan!


It could be that Boston is too close to NYC…or maybe….because Sephora is launching here in September!!! We will just have to console ourselves with that LOL


That makes two of us that voted for Boston. I thought Boston would have a good chance but maybe a bit too close to their home in NYC.


I was a little surprised Atlanta was chosen. Unless they were not only going by number of votes but also geographical region. I did vote twice, but I have two subscriptions. =)


So jealous! How much fun would that be to do! Thank you for the pics of the event – it’s nice to see what it was like to be there.


That looks like fun! The Chicago event sounded awesome, meeting Empire cast members. I’d love for Birchbox to come to Kansas City.


I live about 2 hours away from Atlanta and was considering going to this just for byob, but I’m glad I didn’t. My husband would have loved a free haircut, though. I thought byob would be more personalized, for example I don’t want suncare or fragrance. I was hoping it would be a certain array or products and you could choose what you wanted. Since this isn’t the case I’m glad I didn’t waste my time. It’s pretty far to go for a box in the first place, I guess.


Yeah, they had a lady behind the sample bins continually reminding people they had to choose one item from each category. I live in Marietta so it wasn’t that long of a drive for me.

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Our reviewers research, test, and recommend the best subscriptions and products independently; click to learn more about our editorial guidelines. We may receive commissions on purchases made through links on our site.