Birchbox sends samples (and sometimes full sizes) of new and exciting beauty products from top brands for $15/month. Birchbox is one of the original beauty subscription boxes and is a great way to discover new makeup, hair care, and skincare products without breaking the bank. I received one of the two curated Clean Beauty options.
This is one of our top recommendations if you are looking for a subscription box - the value and sample sizes are amazing. (Check out our list of the best beauty boxes for 2021 and our reviews of Cheap Subscription Boxes for more recommendations!)
My Subscription Addiction pays for this subscription. (Check out the editorial guidelines to learn more about how we review boxes).
Included is a product card that lists the products in your Birchbox on the front, with a Birchbox Tip listed on the back.
Now, on to the items!
Dr. Botanicals Strawberry & Poppy Seed Soap Bar, 100 g - Retail Value $13.55
Wow, this smells amazing! In general, I’m not a soap bar kind of gal, but this product could easily sway me. The delicious subtle scent and the mild natural exfoliant from the poppy seeds were a great experience. The product felt nice on my skin. It lathered up beautifully and left my body feeling cleansed but not dry. It does get very slippery and it’s a little hard to hold onto in the shower, and I’m not sure exactly the best way to store a product like this because I’ve avoided soap bars for such a long time. But as long as I hold on tight and invest in a soap dish, I’ll get a good amount of use out of this product. I truly enjoy the texture of the soap. The silky lather, combined with the poppy seeds, really makes your skin feel fresh and clean. The scent is a delicious strawberry but what I would describe as strong. If you’re sensitive to stronger fragrances, you might not enjoy this, but if you’re a fan of a fruity burst in your products, this is definitely for you.
Sunday Riley Light-Hearted Broad Spectrum SPF 30 Sunscreen, 5 ml - Estimated Retail Value $3.89
Ever since I learned how important it is to use sunscreen every single day, even if you’re not outside, I have become a little obsessed. I’m always on the hunt for a perfect sunscreen that provides protection from UV rays without clogging my pores and causing a breakout. This sunscreen is creamy yet incredibly lightweight, has a very nice consistency, and has the highly coveted matte finish. This sunscreen is virtually scentless, which I really enjoy. It has a slight hint of that typical sunscreen smell, but it’s not at all overpowering. For me, since my skin is a little more oily than most, the product went on feeling a little greasy, and I did notice a slight white cast after applying. The product has a pink tint to it that is supposed to help with the white cast; perhaps that works better on a lighter skin tone. That being said, I really enjoyed how lightweight this product is, and it definitely offered good sun protection.
Balance Me Radiance Face Oil, 10 ml - Estimated Retail Value $14.33
I really enjoy the delicate natural scent of this face oil. It has a light herbaceous scent that is very ‘holistic spa.’ It is non-intrusive and dissipates quickly. The oil is impossibly lightweight. It applied smoothly to my skin and absorbed rapidly. Unfortunately, I have quite oily skin… So, while using this product over my entire face left my complexion looking fresh and dewy and my skin feeling smooth and soft, it also resulted in an acne flare-up. I switched usage to spot treating dry patches, scarring, and hyperpigmentation, which worked wonderfully. I tend to have a number of small scars on my hands and forearms at any given time due to regularly handling exotic birds. Their nails and beaks leave little nicks here and there. A little of this oil diminished the tight feeling of my scars and hydrated my skin beautifully. The rollerball applicator makes it super easy to apply the product directly where I need it.
[ comfort zone ] Hydramemory Cream, 8 ml - Estimated Retail Value $9.07
This is an intensely hydrating face cream with a wonderfully light whipped texture. It applies smoothly and absorbs quickly into my skin. It provided lots of moisture without making me look greasy, which I greatly appreciate. The one downside for me is the scent. It has almost a perfume-like scent that I am not a fan of. I would describe it as “mature.” If you prefer fragrances that are less fruity or herbaceous, you will probably enjoy how this cream smells. After application, my skin felt very soft, moisturized, and buoyant.
FILA Skincare FILA Gel-ous Cool Down Wash Off Mask, 7 ml - Estimated Retail Value $1
The texture of this mask is absolutely wonderful. It has a great lightweight gel consistency that goes on smoothly, with a cooling effect. I found it incredibly soothing to my skin. The mask was very refreshing. That being said, other than the delightful cooling effect, I didn’t really notice any substantial benefits to my skin. A mask like this might feel great after a lot of sun exposure or on irritated skin, which would make sense since it’s formulated by a sports brand. This mask is probably designed specifically for athletes. If I were out running track or playing soccer, this product would be ideal to soothe my skin after exposure to the elements.
This month’s Birchbox was missing that “wow” factor for me. I enjoyed the BalanceMe face oil and the Dr. Botanicals cleansing bar. But the FILA mask, while soothing to my skin, was a bit of a letdown. The [ comfortzone ] cream is definitely hydrating to my skin, but the scent was an assault to my nose. I really enjoyed the lightweight texture of the Sunday Riley sunscreen, but the pink tint showing up as more of a white cast on my skin makes me think that the product is not inclusive to all skin tones. While the diversity in this box was very nice and overall, the retail value is great for a $15 box, I will only get use out of two of the products, which lowers the value of the box to me as an individual.
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Value – Was This Box Worth It?
The Cost: $15
- Soap Bar $13.55
- Sunscreen $3.89
- Face Oil $14.33
- Cream $9.07
- Mask $1.00
The total value of my box was $41.84, which is a great value for a $15 box.
Other Things You Should Know
Can you still get this box if you sign up today? No, you'll likely start with next month's box.
What do you think of the October 2021 Birchbox?