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(Pokes at box)

I’m a little underwhelmed with my first BirchBox. I know so many people whose opinions I respect love BirchBox, and I love the idea of it, so I signed up right after I learned about BirchBox at Sniffapalooza this spring.

I just got my first one and… Huh. *Pokes at the bottom of the box to see if there’s anything else in there* This is it? I don’t know what I was expecting. Well, I guess I was expecting like a TestTube, but more elegant. TestTube sends you a lot of popular beauty products in very generous sizes, but it’s almost $40 once you include shipping. (It is only shipped quarterly, though – you get a new TestTube every three months.) BirchBox is supposed to send you a much more carefully edited collection of “deluxe samples” (interpret however you like), and it comes monthly, for only $10 a month. Even for a quarter of the year, it’s cheaper.

It makes a big difference to get a BirchBox versus a TestTube. Opening a TestTube is a party – there’s always more to look at, and most of it is stuff I’ve never heard of, hair and skin and makeup and fragrance and STUFF. Yes, I watched a whole YouTube video of a chick unpacking her TestTube – and yes, I was glad I watched it. (She explained some things to me I hadn’t known about what I got!)

The BirchBox I just got has four things in it. A black eyeshadow (Huh? Well, I guess learning how I’m supposed to wear THIS from the videos on the associated website will be educational – and they really are great videos. I learned things about putting on nail polish just from watching a couple of short videos, and I’ve been putting on my own nail polish all my life.) A sample of Mon Jasmine Noir from Bulgari. Well, I guess most people aren’t as perfume-insane as I am and perhaps this will be more revolutionary for them. I’ve tried Jasmine Noir (it’s nice) and I don’t even have to look up Mon Jasmine Noir to bet it will be either sweeter, fruitier, or lighter than the original. A tube of Ahava hand cream. Well, again, I’m probably undercutting my own thunder, as I just scored some Tiny Hands at the LUSH store this week (and that stuff is AWESOME) and after all, I had a friend who brought me a great set of Ahava things from actual Israel years ago, and I loved it all already, so, you know, Ahava, not new, but it is nice to have a nice purse-sized tube of this cream. And a nice small soap. OK, it’s a nice soap, but, you know. It’s just a nice soap.

Again, I think I’m partly psyching myself out because I’ve been playing with my TestTube stuff for the last few weeks. I put it all in a basket on the table where I eat breakfast, and every so often I pull something out of it and try it. This is fun for me, and feeds my interest in new things a lot more cheaply (believe it or not) than me shopping unfettered, and unsupervised, in beauty stores (on foot or online). I thought the BirchBox would kick my basket up a notch in excitement level. But, no.

I will put the nice soap in the bathroom, check out the videos online on how to wear black eyeshadow (it is a shadow, not a liner!) but never wear it, as I don’t wear eye makeup almost ever, and put the Mon Jasmine Noir in my purse to try at some point later in the week, along with the Ahava hand cream. It will be a tube smaller than anything else I was recently considering in the hand cream category.

Still interested in BirchBox, but not as super-excited as I was. Next TestTube is in July! I’ve set myself a challenge to try everything at least once before I get the new one.

P.S. So I checked out videos on YouTube of others opening their May BirchBox, and where I was meh before, now I’m actively irritated. A teenage? girl got a DDF pore minimizer, a Serge Lutens sample, an Ahava body cream (same thing?), and a mini lip gloss. THAT would have been a BirchBox I would have been super-excited about! Why do I have HER BirchBox and she has mine?? She won’t even try to pronounce Serge Lutens and she is a teenager! She doesn’t HAVE large pores! Srsly, annoyed. (Also, I am a massive lip gloss freak – my lip gloss mania only exceeded by my perfume mania.) Well, poot.

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