Inside the Brand

Birchbox Man Unboxing | A Home Run or Foul Ball?

I'm Natalie, an American born makeup artist & makeup educator based in Wiesbaden, Germany. I truly believe that makeup, when applied well, can transform us in so many ways. My page is a space for inspiration, education, and advice. Thanks for being here & I'd love to connect with you!

HELLO beautiful!

Ask Away

Do you have a beauty or makeup question? Tap the button below and get advice from a pro. Your question may even become a future blog post!

Sign up to receive my monthly email and be the first to know when new services or events are announced!

HAVE A MAKEUP QUESTION? ASK ME!

POPULAR BLOG CATEGORIES

Inside the brand

beauty tips

personal posts

ask setareh

education & business

GET MY MONTHLY NEWSLETTER!

...because you deserve to know how to wear makeup!

My Book!

Ok, ok. So I get a ton of messages from men asking on ways they can up their skincare regime or even apply manly makeup to conceal shine or scars. I wish I were an expert on men’s skincare but I’m not… so I look to my dad to manly beauty advice (because my dad is a beautiful man) and I also use my ever-so-handsome husband Simon as a test bunny.

So while most of my readers are indeed women, most of my readers have men in their lives who are struggling with aging, wrinkles, acne, etc.

There are so many amazing beauty box subscription services out there, which if you tuned into my Beauty Box Dilemma series, you caught a glimpse into a great sampling of how they all differ. However, seemingly lacking from the market place are beauty boxes for men!

My husband has been a long time fan of the Dollar Shave Club, which has been an amazing service for both of us by the way. He’s become a devoted follower and re-purchaser of several haircare/shaving items he received as deluxe samples from DSC. However, DSC tailors more to the shaving needs of men and not as much the skincare.

When I learned Birchbox started a Birchbox Man service, I immediately insisted that Simon try it out. So without further adieu, check out my hubby and I’s co-unboxing as well as his own write up of Birchbox Man.

The Guy’s Take

I’ve watched Natalie’s reviews of many beauty boxes and have always thought it was an interesting concept.  I know she has found many products that have really helped her out in one way or another.

Before Natalie, I was probably the exact opposite of the target demographic for a service like this.  I have a job that puts me outside a lot and I really like spending time doing outdoorsy stuff during my free time. Natalie is always bugging me to use sunscreen or to moisturize my face at night but its just not something I worry about, I’m fairly confident that my money maker isn’t the thing making me any money.  I haven’t completely brushed off her advice though.  She introduced me to one of my favorite shaving products from Kiehl’s, the 31-0 Close shaver’s formula. I think Kiehl’s stopped making it but its great for outdoor use for a lot of reasons.  So when Natalie asked me to try out Birchbox Man I was a little reluctant but I figured it might be a good opportunity to find something that I would like.

Men’s Subscription Boxes: Not Completely Uncharted Territory for Me

I am not totally out of the loop when it comes to skincare products by mail.  I’ve been a subscriber to the Dollar Shave Club for a little over a year.  I really like it.  I started out with just the basics, 4 razor blades every other month and every once in a while I get a sample of a new product.  The samples (and sizes) are great and has caused me to convert to several of their products.  I really like their Mr. Boogie’s hair paste and their

Dr. Carver’s Easy Shave Butter.

Getting refills in the mail is very convenient.

If you’d like to give DSC a try, here’s my referral link: http://shaved.by/dnEkj

The Birchbox Man “Sign Up” Process

The sign up process was pretty simple.  I had to enter my address and payment info of course and was presented with a few questions regarding my personal preferences.  There were about 20 questions total, ranging from hair color and texture to skin type.  There were also several questions regarding my preferences for accessories or tech products.

I’m a techie kind of guy and tend to do a lot of research before I commit to buying/using any tech-related products, so I answered the questions in a way that I hoped would prevent me from receiving any tech products. Accessories on the other hand seemed intriguing to me.  I’ve dabbled in bow ties and enjoy dressing business casual. I think it would be awesome to receive a product or two that might step up my style game.  All told, the questionnaire took me about 5 minutes to complete.

Birchbox Man Emails

While waiting for my box, I received several email’s regarding the incoming box.  There was an opportunity to choose one of the products I would receive from a set of three options.  I thought this was pretty awesome at first but when I clicked on the email and logged into my account, I saw that all but one of the options, a denim hat, were sold out.  I really don’t need a denim hat so I decided to just leave this alone and hope that fate would bring me something else.

The Loot: What I Received in the Box

Check out the video above to actually see what I received as well as Natalie’s more professional assessment. But ultimately, this is what I received in my first Birchbox Man:

  • 1 oz. bottle of Parlor by Jeff Chastain Moisturizing Sea Salt Hair Spray (only decent sized sample)
  • .1 oz. sample of Baxter of California Under Eye Complex (ridiculously small)
  • 10 mL sample of Supergoop City Sunscreen Serum (small sample)
  • .5 oz. sample of Kiehl’s Brushless Shaving Cream for all skin types (we get these free from Kiehl’s all the time)
  • Black Coalatree light weight duffle bag (see video for the details)

Overall Assessment

I really wanted to like the Birchbox Man and when I saw that instead of a tech product or a denim hat I had received a pretty decent little duffle bag, I was kind of pumped.  I know that the purpose of the box is mainly to introduce me to new skincare products and I don’t really feel that it did a good job of that.  The samples are just too small.  I doubt I will feel or see any change in the extreme short time that these little samples will last and I just don’t feel like, at $20 dollars, the box was a very good deal.

I would have liked to receive two half sized bottles instead of four tiny samples.  Additionally, I know that there is an Oily skin variant of the Kiehl’s Shaving cream and the fact that I was sent the regular skin variant after filling out the questionnaire makes me question the tailored-ness of my box.  Overall, I was not very pleased with the Birchbox Man.  I wish it was more substantial and gave me a real chance to try out some new products.

I’ve also had a subscription issue.  Since receiving my first box I received a second one in the mail.  I haven’t opened it yet but it seems odd to me that I would receive two in as many weeks.  I was charged for both boxes and I think one of them definitely has to be a mistake.  I guess this will give me an opportunity to make a quick decision as to whether or not to stay on board with Birchbox Man.  Natalie told me I should give it a few chances so Ill do that before I jump to conclusions.

Closing Thoughts

It’s Natalie here… and I won’t lie, I was pretty disappointed in Birchbox Man. I had pretty nice experiences with my two Birchboxs (see here and here). Had I not been there to unbox with him, he probably would’ve tossed the samples (except the Kiehl’s). I had to explain what each product was, ahem like how a serum is different than a cream or when under-eye moisturizer should be used/how to apply. I couldn’t believe there wasn’t a card outlining a description of each product, how to use, and why using it important or what benefits to expect.

Like always, I encourage you to try these services for yourself. Here’s Simon’s referral code. If you are interested in trying, give it a shot: https://www.birchbox.com/invite/82h3d

Simon has agreed to unbox the surplus box we received, so stay tuned to see if the second one is better! Like always, I like to give these types of services three tries…if I’m consistently disappointed after the third time, it’s time to part way.

Are you a Birchbox Man subscriber? Have you had a different experience? Are there other services you use that you’d recommend trying? Let me know in the comments below and as always, have a wonderful, beautiful day.

xo,

Natalie Setareh

Leave a Reply

Beauty is about perception, not about make-up. I think the beginning of all beauty is knowing and liking oneself. You can't put on make-up, or dress yourself, or do you hair with any sort of fun or joy if you're doing it from a position of correction.

kevyn aucoin