August 2012 Birchbox FAIL


August 2012 Birchbox

After being a subscriber for a year, I can now present to you the worst Birchbox of all time.  I’m going to say it, Birchbox has let me and a lot of other subscribers down this month.  And from what I have read online, there are a lot of unhappy customers that they are going to have to deal with.  The above picture shows what I actually got in my Birchbox.  Below, is what I was supposed to get (minus the “extra” razor, which isn’t pictured).  See the difference?

August 2012 Birchbox

The little silver tube in the picture from Birchbox’s website is supposed to be my sample of Stila Stay All Day Foundation & Concealer.  Instead of that little tube, I got this paper sample.

Stila Stay All Day Foundation & Concealer sample card

I don’t want to turn this into a full-on rant, but I am not a happy camper.  The Stila sample card is NOT a deluxe or luxury sample.  I’m sorry, it’s just not.  This type of sample comes free in magazines.  I was actually really excited to try the Stila Stay All Day Foundation and Concealer when I saw the image on the website saying I was getting it in my box.  However, I was so disappointed and, frankly, angry when I saw this pathetic little sample card.  I’ve seen many of the other August boxes, and there were several paper/foil sample packets sent out this month.  THESE ARE NOT DELUXE SAMPLES!  I’ve got my fingers crossed that I can get one full face use out of my sample, but I’m not sure.  A deluxe sample should be enough for 2-3 uses at least.  I’ve never gotten a sample this small.  Even the very tiny Jouer Luminizing Moisture Tint sample back in February was .07oz of product.  This card with .006oz is ridiculous and insulting to paying customers.

Also, there is such a huge disparity in the value of the boxes offered.  Some people are getting full sized (or at the least very large) Pixie products this month, and others are getting paper/foil packets that have no real value.  It’s not fair, and it is infuriating.  I understand and accept that I am not going to love every sample I get, or even like every box I get, but I should be able to count on getting deluxe samples as advertised.  (Sorry, that was pretty darn ranty.)

Okay, let’s get into this thing.  Here is what Birchbox has to say about their August box: “We all remember the excitement of back to school shopping and the thrill of stocking up on fresh notebooks and pens. This month, we’re helping you refill your beauty supply kit with must-try essentials and new products that will take you through the fall. Plus, we’ve put together plenty of fresh content to ensure that you ace every class.”  In keeping with the back to school theme, they sent a Beauty 101 fold-out pamphlet.

Beauty 101

Inside they highlight what various tools are for, how to read a label, tips to get a better shave, etc.  If I was a young girl or a beauty newb, this may come in handy, but I didn’t find it particularly useful.

  • Juicy Couture Viva la Juicy La Fleur- regular price $70 for 2.5 fl oz; sample size 0.05 fl oz, worth $1.40.  This modern scent is a feminine blend of wild berries, mandarin, and waterlily.
  • Stila Stay All Day 10-in-1 HD Beauty Balm, Foundation & Concealer- regular price for the Stila Stay All Day Foundation & Concealer (combo item) is $44 for 1 fl oz foundation and .07 g of concealer.  Regular price for the Stila Stay All Day 10-in-1 HD Beauty Balm is $38 for 45 ml; sample size 0.006 oz of both the Beauty balm and the Foundation, 0.003 oz of the concealer.  The sample is virtually worthless, around 30 or 40 cents, so I’m counting it as zero.  These multitasking favorites are your cheat sheet to flawless skin.
  • Whish Shave Crave Shaving Cream in Pomegranate- regular price $20 for 150 ml; sample size 1 oz, worth approx $3.95.  The organic shea butter in this foam-free shaving cream softens skin as you shave.
  • Yu-Be Moisturizing Skin Cream- regular price $16 for 1.25 oz; sample size .1 oz, worth $1.28.  This best-selling Japanese cream hydrates chapped lips, rough heels, and cracked hands.
  • EXTRA Schick Hydro Silk razor- regular price (Birchbox lists the price as $9.99 on their site, but they do not sell the razors directly.  They say to find them at your local drugstore.  Walmart has them listed as $7.94, so it depends on where you go and if you have a coupon.); sample size 1 razor.  The water-activated serum moisturizes skin while you shave, and the innovative oval-shaped design hugs tricky areas like knees and ankles.

The grand total value of my August 2012 Birchbox (not including the “extra”) is $6.63.  If you throw in the razor at the price Birchbox listed the total goes up to $16.62.  Frankly, in my opinion, this box was not worth my $10 subscription fee.  The only sample that I am interested in at all is the perfume sample because I love Juicy fragrances.  I already know that I love the original Viva la Juicy, so I’m sure that I’ll like this one.  I’ll use my other samples, but they don’t really interest me.  As you can probably tell, I’m pretty angry about the crappy Stila sample.  This month was an epic fail on Birchbox’s part.  The only redeeming quality is that I can get the points for giving my feedback on the samples.  I’m hoping to break 300 points this month, which is worth $30 in the Birchbox shop.  There is no way that I can recommend Birchbox to you based on the horrible samples offered this month, so all I can do is hope that they redeem themselves in some way.



About beautyinbudgetblog

I am a self proclaimed eyeshadow junkie whose main hobbies include shopping, reading, singing, and mainlining caffeine while hanging out with my friends. I love interesting socks and have amassed quite a collection. The place that I want to visit before I die would be Greece. I like to read all seven Harry Potter books once a year the way some people read the Lord of the Rings Trilogy. (Sorry JRRT, but JKR kicks butt in my book.) I love art, and use my creativity in many different ways through painting, crafts, and makeup. I love to cook and try new things, and I especially love to eat. My favorite "date" is to go wine tasting, and do so with my husband once or twice a year. I love musical theater and think the world would be much better off if we all just watched more musicals. I am 100% a cat person and, although I think dogs can be really cute and sweet, they make me sneeze so cats will always rule. I love faeries and magic, mythology, theology, philosophy, and psychology. I regularly do logic puzzles and sometimes crosswords. I adore Bette Midler, Betty White, and Carol Burnett. I am not ashamed to admit that I watch Glee. I would like to start making some of my own clothes because I can't stop myself from buying fabric. I'm sure that there is much more, but I'm suddenly distracted by something shiny.

12 responses »

  1. And THIS is why I don’t subscribe to any of these beauty box companies. For 10.00, I can buy a couple of NYX eyeshadows, or maybe a Revlon Just Bitten Lip Stain, or any one of a number of things I will not only know I’ll like, but will actually USE.

    Plus, if there is something I really want to try before investing, my local Sephora will give samples of anything. There was a MUFE lipstick my daughter really wanted, but I wasn’t convinced she’d like the way it looked on her. I went to Sephora to swatch the shade on my hand so I could show my daughter what the color really looks like. The tester was gone, and when I explained the situation to the SA, she took a brand new lipstick, lopped off the end of it with a knife, pressed it into a sample container and put it in a little bag with a couple of disposible lip brushes to take home. Free.

    That saved me 19.00. Turns out the color looked much better in the tube than on my daughter’s lips.

    • I have actually enjoyed my subscription in past months. Birchbox has introduced me to brands that I wouldn’t have otherwise looked at, and I’ve received a few full sized items. The last few months have been pretty lackluster, though. It seems like they have started to give single use samples the last few months, but it used to be only deluxe samples. I’m not sure what changed, but it is not okay to say that you give deluxe samples, and then give out single use foil packets.

  2. Yeah, this month was a bummer. I didn’t get quite as stiffed. I also got the juicy perfume and the yu-be, but I also got a single use sample of shu uemura art of hair shampoo and a lashfusion mascara sample. So far my best was June when I got a full size stila one step bronzer which retails for $36. I guess it really is hit and miss.

  3. That sucks! I just signed up in July for Birchbox so this is my 2nd box. I actually got a full-sized Stila smudgestick, 2 sample sized hand soaps, and then the yu-be thing, the juicy sample, and the razor. So I’m pretty with my box but if I had gotten yours I’d feel the same way as you do right now.

    I did like my July box too, until I saw that others had gotten full sized liners and beauty blenders. I really hate the disparity between boxes of the same month. If we’re all paying $10 a month, we should all be getting the same value every month. Why should my box be worth $30 while yours is worth $16 at the most?

  4. Ugh, it looks like I’m going to get the same Birchbox that you did — of course, since I live in the southwest, this insulting package isn’t even scheduled to arrive until Friday, August 17. Of course, it may arrive later/earlier, but I have no chance to find out because the tracking info only lists the fact that it was shipped on August 11. Other people’s were shipped on the 6th – why not send the “far away” ones first? Sorry for the rant – just fed up and disappointed.

  5. I got the same box. Frankly I’m pissed! I’m allergic to two of the products. And the stila sample is so small I can’t even tell if it would work or not. And the razor while a full size product isn’t something I need. I shave every 6 months maybe.

    I also agree, with the comment of why not ship our boxes on the west coast first? I just got it today (aug 17th).

    Last year I got good samples. I signed up for the year subscription and immediately after that started getting crappy boxes.

    I always get the box that has the lowest value and fewest products.

    Last month the only interesting thing was the earbuds, and they were broken and one of the samples had popped open and spilled. They comped me a box, but honestly I’m ready for it to be over. I have almost $50 in points and there’s nothing I want.

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