Tag Archives: surprise

Birchbox vs. Beauty Army

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Subscription Box Saturday: Beauty Products Edition

Most of you who follow me know by now that I get a Birchbox every month. However, last month there was a new addition. And no, I’m not talking about Shamrock. 🙂

I learned of a Beauty Box where you can choose your samples. I thought I’d give it a shot. Here is my comparison.

First up is Birchbox which is just $10/month, including shipping. I get to try a out a lot of high end beauty products and earn points each month a box is shipped, each time I review a product and for each purchase outside of the box. Points can be redeemed for more product.

May 2013 Birchbox Contents

May 2013 Birchbox Contents

This month’s box included items that I will definitely use: Pilot Acroball Penamika Obliphica Nourishing Hair MaskSumita Color Contrast EyelinerCOOLA Classic SPF 30 Cucumber Moisturizer for FaceMarvis ToothpasteIsaac Mizrahi FABULOUS Eau de Parfum Sample.

Truthfully, I haven’t tried any of these items out yet. Well, except for the pen. They were such perfect travel sizes that they went straight in my travel bag, so I’ll be able to try them out this girls’ weekend!

You can read about my other Birchboxes here:

April 2013 – Women’s Health

March 2013

Feb 2013 – Red Carpet Ready

January 2013 – Best Year Ever (and links to 2012 boxes)

Next up is my new box from Beauty Army. Beauty Army is $12/month, including shipping. First, you complete a profile. Then, each month, you pick from a selection of samples to try. You can choose up to six. If you don’t like your options, you can just go back and change your profile to reveal new items. You can do this as many times as you wish! Since you will not receive a box until you pick your samples, you can skip any month. With Beauty Army, you can earn badges for completing surveys, reviewing products, inviting friends to join and making purchases. An earned badge can get you a discount on full-size products and free boxes.

this is how my box arrived in the mail

This is the box I received in the mail.

Box inside a box

Box inside a Box: After stripping away the outer layer, this was the box inside. I love this box. It’s sturdy with a lid. It can serve many household purposes!

Even though I’m not a girl who is really in to pink, I love the army theme once the box is opened. And when I read, “Hello, Gorgeous!” I instantly smiled. I told Rob that is why I get these boxes… Because most women don’t get surprises nor told that they are gorgeous very often. 😉

felt empty.

And despite the fact I chose these samples, I sincerely did forget what I picked. So they were still surprises to me.

In fact, it wasn’t until writing this post that I realized that one of the items was not what I selected…

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April 2013 Beauty Army contents

Included:

  • Mighty Leaf Chocolate Mint Truffle Tea – I was skeptical, but ended up adoring this tea!
  • Own Refining Moisture Night Cream – This was a tiny sample. It was kind of difficult to make an opinion of it.
  • Mark Scanda-Lash Mascara – This is the perfect travel size! I tried it out, liked it and threw it in my travel bag.
  • Nailuv Gel Polish This is the item I did not request. 😦 It requires a UV lamp to apply. I would have never picked it. Maybe they were out of the Nelson J Beverly Hills Argon Oil Non-Foaming Shampoo that I selected?
  • Immuno-Viva Sunset Tea – I’ve been on a tea kick lately…
  • GG Gatsby Raise Volume Conditioner – A one-time sample that went straight into my travel bag. This will help me with my shampoo to conditioner ratio dilemma.

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In comparing these two boxes, there are pros and cons to both. I like the fact that you can choose your own samples with Beauty Army, so you get what you want, as long as I they send you what you selected! However, there is something to be said about the element of surprise with Birchbox. Still, with this first month of Beauty Army, the items seemed really small/one-time use samples, which seems silly for $12. But maybe that was just the case with the specific samples I chose. Birchbox usually combines a mixture of single and multi-use samples and will sometimes even throw in a full-sized product.

I don’t intend to receive two beauty boxes each month. We all know that I’ve got a serious addiction and get my fair share of subscription boxes every month! However, if there are some good samples out there in a particular month, I will continue with Beauty Army. I like the option to get what I want and skip when I don’t want anything. And I know that I will stick with Birchbox for a while yet.

How do you feel about surprises? Love ’em or Hate ’em?

Cheers~
Carrie

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