Birchbox: Better Than a Papa John’s Coupon

I discovered Birchbox 2 years ago. A friend of mine from Los Angeles posted beauty items on Facebook that she received in the mail in a pretty box with a bow. I looked up Birchbox’s website and learned about their concept and thought, how clever, deluxe beauty samples by mail (try before you buy). I purchased a yearly subscription ($120/yr. or $10/mo.) and was elated every time I saw the box  on my front doorstep. I didn’t even care what was in it, I was just thrilled to get something other than Papa John’s coupons in the mail. And I was always pleased with at least 2-3 items in the box (they give you a total of 5). I would get samples of products like BlowPro hair care, Color Club nail polishes,  and Jouer lip glosses. Sometimes I would get a square of chocolate, which always reminds me I need more chocolate in my diet.

I was excited to get a referral from a fellow makeup artist, Emily J, about an opportunity to work with Birchbox, Ann Taylor and Cate of Wild Ruffle Blog.  Hell yea I want to do hair/makeup on a fashion blogger with a box full of full sized Birchbox brands! Brittany from Birchbox sent me a big box of love. Some products I was familiar with like Dr. Jarts+ Beauty Balm (which I recommended to one Exec at FOX TV, Los Angeles, and apparently the whole 4th floor is using it now), and Benefit’s They’re Real mascara (ah-mazing) because it’s a cult classic loved by celebrities like Winona Ryder (who by the way I have helped pick out shampoo in my shampoo selling days and she did pay for it). Products that I hadn’t tried but was eager to was foundation by By Terry and Mereadesso Lip Treats. Both were as I expected– easy to apply and look fresh and clean on the skin/lips. And as always, not available via Birchbox (yet), I prepped the skin with Elizabeth Dehn for One Love Organics Active Moisture Serum.

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Cate, creator and writer of Wild Ruffle Blog, was a joy to work with. Her down-to-earth personality matched the look I gave her for the photo shoot- effortless and radiant. I used Birchbox’s Captain Blankenship’s Mermaid Sea Salt Hair Spray to give Cate’s hair some texture and grit (think 2nd or 3rd day dirty hair). I wanted her topknot and style to look disheveled sophisticate (yes, that’s a look, I made it up). And I used the Dr. Jart+ Beauty Balm to even out the skin and make it glow.  Noemi Hedrick the photographer and the Ann Taylor team were also amazing to collaborate with.

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Read more about Cate’s experience, her product reviews, and about her event tonight at Ann Taylor’s MOA location from 6-8pm here.

Thank you Cate, Ann Taylor, Birchbox and Emily J. for the chance to try new products and to spread the gospel of product sampling. It’s a very smart way to shop.

All photos courtesy of NoemiPhotography.

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