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First Impressions: Birchbox Review


Naomi Pandolfi
ByNaomi PandolfiApr 11, 2024 | 15 comments
Full Contents for Birchbox March 2024

First Impressions is a series that (re)introduces and reviews new brands to My Subscription Addiction, drawing from readers' requests for an insider's first look. Interested in seeing more reviews from this brand, or have another box in mind that you'd like to see reviewed? Let us know in the comments.

Birchbox is a monthly subscription box that sends samples (and sometimes full sizes) of new and exciting beauty products from top brands. Despite being out of the game for a minute, the subscription is back! Birchbox is one of the original beauty subscription boxes and is a great way to discover new makeup, hair care, and skincare products (four to six items every month) without breaking the bank.

This is one of our top recommendations if you are looking for a subscription box — the value and sample sizes are amazing. Just like Ipsy, Birchbox sends out many different variations of their bag each month — so my review is just one of the bag variations you might receive!

My Subscription Addiction pays for this subscription. (Check out our editorial guidelines to learn more about how we review boxes).

The Cost: $17 per month with annual subscription. Monthly and 3-month subscriptions also available.

What's Inside the Birchbox?

Open Box for Birchbox March 2024

When the Birchbox arrived, I was quite taken with the stunning royal blue color of the box’s exterior. This was further accented with a ‘Birchbox’ text pattern running across the top. On the frontmost portion of the lid, there’s a printed phrase that says, “Joy is being totally you.” I appreciate the sentiment, and it sets a positive tone, which is nice. Once opening it up, I found the subscription's name printed under the box lid, as well as the month’s curation tucked away underneath some crinkle paper.

Front of Info Card for Birchbox March 2024

Upon opening the box, the info card was sitting atop white crinkle paper packaging. Inside there was a springtime-themed intro for the box, along with makeup tips and details about various products. I’m a big fan of this updated info card, which is actually more like a little booklet. An info card can make all the difference in one’s perception of a subscription box; presentation really does matter. Something I quickly noticed is that the four products highlighted in the info card are not exactly the same products that are included in the box. Instead, the four featured items appear to be the subscription’s overall top picks of the month. No prices are listed, but there’s a nice product photo, a brief description, and usage instructions accompanying each.

Now, on to the items!

DERMATOLOGIST’S CHOICE pH Balanced Cleanser with Glycolic Acid (AHA), 15 ml - Retail Value $5.00

Front of Dermatologist's Choice Cleanser for Birchbox March 2024

The DERMATOLOGIST’S CHOICE pH Balanced Cleanser with Glycolic Acid (AHA) has quickly become a favorite of mine, offering up quite a refreshing experience. Its lightweight gel texture is exactly what I look for in a face wash, providing a thorough cleanse that leaves my skin feeling clean yet hydrated, with no feeling of dryness or tightness after. No irritation, thanks to its gentle formulation, making it an excellent choice for those with sensitive skin like mine. Plus, it’s virtually scentless, which is another bonus, eliminating any concerns over potential fragrance sensitivities. This cleanser expertly balances efficiency with gentleness, nourishing my skin and leaving it feeling buoyant and fresh.

MELOWAY Brow Creation Gel in Dirty Chai, 6 ml - Retail Value $20.00

Front of Meloway Brow Gel for Birchbox March 2024

This Brow Creation Gel from Meloway is a near-perfect brow product. The shade ‘Dirty Chai’ is a spot-on match for my brows, enhancing their natural color without overpowering. What I love most about this product is its innovative design, featuring a grippy silicone texture on the handle. There have been too many instances in which I’ve had a brow gel (especially sample sizes with their smaller handle) slip from my grasp at the most inopportune time. This non-slip material ensures precise application – and no accidents. I noticed that the gel’s texture is a bit thicker than I expected, but it doesn’t seem to be an issue, thanks to its exceptionally designed brush. Equipped with an ample number of spines, this brush expertly distributes the product, allowing for a bold but natural look rather than a thick ‘painted-on’ look.

KOSAS Cloud Set Setting Powder in Pillowy Sheer Medium Tan, 3 g - Retail Value $18.00

Front of Kosas Setting Powder for Birchbox March 2024

I love setting powder, but I have never had the pleasure of using one like this Kosas Cloud Set Setting Powder. This shade ‘Pillowy Sheer Medium Tan’ works so well with my skin tone, which is not something that happens every time. Shockingly, this powder seamlessly meets the mark. Its texture is truly ‘cloudlike’ as the name suggests, making it perfect for all-day wear. Unlike other powders that tend to gather in fine lines, this one maintains a smooth finish for hours, avoiding the dreaded ‘cakey’ look. The powder’s ability to blend into my skin is nothing short of magical; it’s nearly invisible in my swatch photo. I have to say, this powder may have just set a new standard.

Swatch of Kosas Setting Powder for Birchbox March 2024

Here is a swatch of the Kosas Cloud Set Setting Powder in ‘Pillowy Sheer Medium Tan.’

R+CO Gemstone Color Shampoo and Conditioner Set, 7 ml x2 - Estimated Retail Value $1.90

Front of R+Co Shampoo and Conditioner Set for Birchbox March 2024

R+Co is an excellent brand whose products have never disappointed me. I’ve always been a fan of their regular shampoo and conditioner, so when I saw this new ‘Gemstone’ Color Shampoo and Conditioner Set included in this month’s box, I was thrilled. Unfortunately, due to the small size of these packets, I wasn’t able to coat all of my hair for the ultimate test. That said, the portions I could treat mirrored the quality I’ve come to expect from this brand. The shampoo impressed me with its cleansing ability, leaving my hair feeling refreshed and hydrated. The conditioner lived up to its nourishing promise as well, enhancing the softness of my curls and their overall bounce. Although I don’t currently have any color in my hair, the inclusion of such a feature adds considerable value.

BUSY CO. Clarify and Cleanse Facial Serum Pads in Clarifying Citrus, 2-pc - Estimated Retail Value $1.73

Front of Busy Co. Facial Wipe for Birchbox March 2024

These Busy Co. Clarify and Cleanse Facial Serum Pads are a lovely addition to my skincare routine. These wipes stand out not only for their generous sizing but also for their efficiency in whisking away every last trace of makeup. Infused with a serum that clarifies and tightens pores while offering protection against UV damage, these pads elevate the concept of a double cleanse. I particularly enjoy using these to remove heavy makeup before proceeding with my double cleanse of an oil cleanser followed by a clarifying cleanser. What I especially love is the fact that they’re individually wrapped, which works wonders for travel and ensures each wipe remains fresh until use.

Value - Was This Box Worth It?

The Cost: $17 per month with annual subscription. Monthly and 3-month subscriptions also available.

Birchbox is a great way for subscribers to experience new brands and products. As someone who enjoys seeing visual results from a product, I often would rather try things out before purchasing from the get-go. I appreciate being able to try out new products and brands this way without having to blindly commit to a full size. I also travel quite a bit, and this subscription provides a nice array of items that I can take along on my trips for optimal convenience. From the cleanser and facial serum pads, to the setting powder and brow gel, and finally the travel hair care combo, each of these items will come in handy. Overall, I’m quite happy with this box.

I couldn’t find exact retail values for every item in the box due to the sample sizes, but I estimated based on the same products in a larger size. The value of this box is $46.63. While that does exceed the cost of the box, I feel like the value could be a touch higher.

Keep Track of Your Subscriptions: Add this box to your subscription list or wishlist!

To Wrap Up

Can you still get this box if you sign up today? Probably, but you definitely can sign up to receive the next box starting 4/13.

What do you think of Birchbox?

Starting at $22.00
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Birchbox 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 for you (incl... 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.

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Might want to be careful with this one … Birchbox and Alltrue have the same owners now ….

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Just got my Box and WOW!!!! Yes!!! Love trying new beauty product and Kosas and R+CO products are my fave! Looking forward to what’s to come, thank you Birchbox!!

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Am I the only one that thinks this is a fake review?

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Nope, I also think it is fake.


No, you’re not the only one who thinks that Summer’s review (as well as Kori’s) is fake…I’m guessing they are affiliated with Birchbox…


I love receiving my Birchbox each month. I am so happy they are back. The always seem to have the most elevated products from the best brands. The fact they let you choose your samples is also a huge plus.

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Tiffany Nicole

This definitely isn’t worth the price. I’m not trying to be dramatic but I’d be insulted if I got this assortment of products in a subscription box unless it was like $5 a month. Three sample sized products and foil packets are not worth $17 a month by any stretch of the imagination. I loved Birchbox back in the day but this new version is just ridiculous.

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I actually paid $5 for this box and it definitely wasn’t worth it. I didn’t even get the samples I chose. I’m sorry to have paid $5 for sample packs and a years-old highlighter. I’d be livid if I paid $20. Don’t bother with this box. Also skeptical of the positive comments on MSA after multiple negative comments.

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For about $8 more-$4 with annual sub-u can get at least 2 full size n 2 other higher end items with Allure beauty box. I got a $68 FS grande lash serum n n FS charlotte tilbury bronzer last month.

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Doesn’t seem to be worth it. Two of the items are single use packets, and most of the brands are ones I’ve never heard of. Reminds me of Ipsy and how they would include one brand name item and four obscure samples of DLS quality in each bag.

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Those were my thoughts as I read through the review. The lack of brands I’ve ever heard of and the single use packets – not worth their new, higher cost. With how Ipsy seems to the slipping, BB could have done better to get those members, but they completely missed the mark.

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I wouldn’t necessarily buy this box, but box lovers need to know about the brand new Margot Elena Mother’s Day box. It is super luxe, comes in different packaging than the quarterly box and has all full sized products. I just received mine and it is GLORIOUS!!! 🙂 I received an email from their company that this was a new product, jumped on it and it arrived in a HUGE padded box less than 5 days later!!! Can’t be beat, IMO, for luxury fragranced items.

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Why are you leaving this here? Not the right place. Birchbox used to sell Margot Elena products and special edition boxes, so I was looking on their website for a special box. You wasted my time.

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Be VERY wary of this “new” Birchbox! The used to be a solid sub box, with decent customer service. But the original pretty much shut down. Now, there are hundreds of recent complaints online of people who haven’t had subscriptions for YEARS, who Birchbox all of a sudden reactivated without their permission and charged their accounts…in many cases several hundred dollars. People comment that they attempt to cancel the subscription, but they continue to get charged. Multiple people have been forced to file claims with their banks, and to even cancel their credit or debit cards in order to get BB to stop charging them.

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Gah! FitFabFun or whatever it’s called was trying to do that with me recently. I was a brief subscriber (maybe 2 months) YEARS ago, and suddenly they’re trying to ding my cc (fortunately it had expired) again.

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