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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.

Birchbox October 2021 Review + 50% Off Coupon

Naomi Pandolfi
ByNaomi PandolfiOct 20, 2021 | 14 comments

Full Contents for Birchbox October 2021

Birchbox
3.7 overall rating
661 Ratings | 192 Reviews

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.

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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).

First Impressions

 

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.

Verdict

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

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Value Breakdown:

  • 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

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.
Naomi Pandolfi
Naomi Pandolfi
Naomi Pandolfi is a skincare obsessed subscription box junkie who is always on the hunt for the best curl defining cream. She is a producer and contributing writer at several online publications, including MSA, The Knockturnal, and Hey Beauti Magazine. Naomi is also the Head of Development at Starfury Productions and is dedicated to helping Black, minority, and underrepresented creators develop and sell projects.

Naomi Pandolfi
Naomi Pandolfi
Naomi Pandolfi is a skincare obsessed subscription box junkie who is always on the hunt for the best curl defining cream. She is a producer and contributing writer at several online publications, including MSA, The Knockturnal, and Hey Beauti Magazine. Naomi is also the Head of Development at Starfury Productions and is dedicated to helping Black, minority, and underrepresented creators develop and sell projects.
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14 comments

Stephanie

So I just checked out the samples I am receiving in the November box. Wow. The bag and two out of the five samples are duplicates from the July box, both of which were useless to me the first time I received it and are still useless this time. I have 4 boxes left on my prepaid subscription and I have a feeling those are going to be total duds too. 🙁

Melissa

Ok, why is *NOBODY* at MSA talking about the changes to Birchbox???? This used to be the go to site for all subscription box news. This is big news! We have questions! We want answers!

dia

They got bought out. They’re now owned by a company called Fem Tech.

Melissa

I recently received an email saying that we don’t get sample choice this month because they have something special in store for us. Does anyone know what this is about?

Stephanie

Haha, my “surprise” was a duplicate of the box I received in July.

Worthless.

Kelli

What a great review! I loved it, especially how you detailed the different ways you used each product. Thanks for such a detailed and thoughtful review!

Naomi Pandolfi

Thanks for reading Kelli!

Snow

The weird thing about those poppy seed bar soaps is that hair can get caught in the seeds. I tend to shed when I shower so ultimately the soap picks up what my head leaves behind. Needless to say, I hate seeing how much hair I lose every time I shower…

Naomi Pandolfi

OMG noooo, for some reason loose hairs skeevy me out so much. Attached to someones head, beautiful, stuck to a bar of soap GROSS lol.

SiouxF

Naomi, those sisal soap bags (sometimes called ‘soap savers’) might help. I’m thinking about getting one because a good product recently converted to soap bars! The bags turn your soap bar into a self-soaping loofah, basically. And they help you grip it. But of course, with a exfoliating bar like the one you reviewed, you’d lose it’s own exfoliating effect, but you could still store it in one.

Love your reviews!

Naomi Pandolfi

That is awesome Siouxf, thanks for the recommendation! I will check it out 🙂

Melissa

I’m so glad that you are a reviewer who has quite oily skin, like me, so that I know what to expect with these products. We seem to get a lot of the same boxes, so a lot of the same products, and it’s so good to get the perspective of someone who has skin similar to mine. Thank you for your review!

Naomi Pandolfi

Thank you my fellow oily faced friend lol

Pink5

Just keep in mind what a former co-worker told me when I was grumbling about oily skin: Just think how good you’ll look when you’re old.

I’ll be 60 on my next birthday and I can still easily pass for early 40s.

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.