Birchbox for December – what do YOU think of it?

December's Birchbox

December’s Birchbox

I’m at a crossroads now and can use your advice. As you might realize by now, I’m a bit nutty about Subscription Boxes. I don’t know what it is about them but I love opening them. My longest term box is from Birchbox. It’s also the least expensive at $10 a month complete. I’ve reviewed just a few of these though I thought I’d reviewed more.  To cut to the chase, I’m debating dropping this box and I’d love your opinion. I did find some useful items in the November Birchbox (reviewed on Prime Beauty).  I’m torn though about the December box. At first I didn’t like it at all, now I’m feeling a little more favorable. Let me show you what it’s about and you can help me decide.dec birchbox card

The theme of the December Birchbox is All Wrapped Up. The contents:

December Birchbox contents

December Birchbox contents

2 fragrance samples: Cartier Baiser Vole Eau de Parfum (for her) and Cariter Declaration d’un Soir (for him) – I don’t wear fragrance and never will. I don’t even like my husband to wear fragrance. I often pick fragrance samples though when I’m ordering online because that’s mostly what they have. I always give them away. dec birchbox fragrance

Number 4 Clarifying Shampoo – in their defense Birchbox doesn’t know that I usually have a keratin treatment so this kind of shampoo is a no-no for my hair. I’m sure I’ll find a worthy home for it.

Clarifying shampoo

N.4 Clarifying shampoo

Ahava Dermud Enriched Intensive Foot Cream – a small sample pack that would probably be good for one night.

Mor Botanicals Pomegranate & Fig Lip Butter – this seems like a nice sample since it has avocado oil and shea butter in it. The problem for me is my nails are too long to get this out. I could just keep it by my computer with a brush though.

sample of Mox Lip Butter

sample of Mox Lip Butter

theBalm Cosmetics Hot Mama blush sample – some people got this in their November box and I do remember thinking that I wished it had been in mine. I “fished my wish” since I now have it. Hot Mama is a pretty peach shade with golden shimmer that reminds me of Nars Orgasm. This is the size of an eyeshadow so it’s a bit difficult to use as a blush but I think I’ll put it in my travel bag since those brushes are smaller.

theBalm Hot Mama mini blush

theBalm Hot Mama mini blush

dec birchbox thebalm open

There’s also a $50 off card for Rent The Runway. I have one too from my latest PopSugar Must Have box for $30. I know neither will get used since a) they don’t carry my size and b) I think I’d rather own than rent.

So what’s your opinion? Should I keep spending my $10 and hope to get things I like (i.e. theBalm’s blush sample)? Or should I be good and just take a $10 bill every month, put it aside and in a year buy myself something special with the $120? (If I remember to actually put it aside that is.) Curious minds want to know and one of those curious minds may get a selection of Birchbox goodies from me! – Marcia


Disclosure: I pay for my own Birchbox but I’ve linked to my referral code which would get me points towards possible products.


  1. Its a hard call since the box is different every month. How about if you do a search for the contents of the last several and tally up how many “would love to try” , “wouldn’t look for it but will try since its here”, and “would just give away” items. If more than half have “would love to try” then stick with it. If less than half have love-to-try but you have found several gems among the will-try-since-its-here, maybe keep going. If neither of those, then let it end.

    One more thought – you don’t have to wait a year to use the money you saved. Put it aside till u feel like a treat, then have a scavenger hunt for the coolest thing you can find for that much, whether its $10, $20, $30 or any other amount.

    Have fun either way!


  2. It’s really up to you. I just bought a 3 month subscription to PopSugar because I like the variety of items they have but I have to cut back elsewhere financially. I look at it as a way to surprise myself with some unexpected items. If you subscribe to other boxes I’d say go ahead and cancel if you aren’t using the items you get. Then again, $10 a month might not be too much out of your budget, and if you’re like me and like surprises more than what you actually get then keep going. I’m probably not helpful!

  3. Thanks G and Marilyn. I’ve been going back and forth about this for so long. I’m sticking with Pop Sugar Must Have and I have another that I’m going to start buying. I think Birchbox and Glossybox have one more month with me.

  4. If you actually get use out of the MOST of the products, I think it’s worth it. I tend to stick most of the samples into a drawer so it’s not worth it to me–that Balm blush would be nice though!

  5. I agree with you Marcia, I would not be very excited about this box either! No full size products and it just looks like a mix of cheap samples and give aways! Save your money for something special!

  6. I tell you what, I was Birchbox’s biggest fan, I thought. The last 4 months or so, my boxes came later and later. My November box was delivered on 12/19. I emailed them and they said they had been trying to email me but couldn’t get ahold of me, so they cancelled me…”sorry they all went to spam”. Umm, no, they didn’t send me emails and they didn’t go to spam because I had just checked my spam box and emptied it before I heard back from them. Don’t cancel me and not tell me. Don’t lie and tell me you emailed me when you didn’t. Don’t assume I didn’t check my spam box when I had. I think I’m going to leave myself cancelled for awhile. I wasn’t using the products anyway and I’m tired of fragrance samples because I can’t use them. I’m a little disgusted with the person who answered my complaint and it’s soured me on them. For now anyway.

  7. MaryAnn Casey says:

    I’ve been researching suscription boxes for myself. I’ve been debating because I love surprises, but I don’t want a bunch of stuff I won’t use and it’s inevitable that I would get a box like this once in a while. If I knew for sure that it would be rare then I’ll go for it, but I really have no way of knowing. And everyone has different taste. I’m a fragrance junkie and am also allergic to most face skincare products. A suscription would work out because it’s a cheap way to try new things (I may come across a face skincare item I’m not allergic to) without spending a lot of money to try, only to not be able to use it.
    I’d say if the majority of the boxes you receive is a good one, then stick with it.

  8. I love receiving my Birchbox and have received more than a few items that have become HG’s that I would not have tried otherwise. However, I think if you have certain specifications such as not liking fragrance or can’t/won’t use items, then the possibility of being disappointed or let down becomes greater.

    For me, the best perks of Birchbox are their points system, the high quality and variety of items in their Birchbox shop and boxes, and the discounts that are sent out periodically. I just got a gift set valued at $80 for $26, using a discount and my points. I can’t find that kind of deal anywhere else.

  9. I’m like you, I love surprise boxes, but if a box is a letdown (or just not usable for me) more than once, I’m rather fast to drop them. Sure, I like the surprise factor, but unless I know there’s going to be something in there that I like, I feel like I’m wasting money. When I started ordering beauty boxes here in Austria (quite a short while ago, though I’ve had other kinds of surprise boxes before), I did a lot of research on blogs to find reviews and finally decided against the box that I initially was most tempted by because it was just too expensive for what could be expected from it. That said, I’m more willing to take a risk if a box is cheap.

    Okay, so that was a really long-winded way of saying that if you’re regularly disappointed by the Birchbox and spend more time being annoyed than enjoying it, then save the money. But if you feel that it’s fun to have this kind of surprise and that in the long run you’re getting your money’s worth, stay with it, since it’s not that expensive.

  10. beautybabbling says:

    Like another responder, I want to point out that Birchbox has their rewards system. I had seen someone else recently explain that even though she was disappointed by some boxes, the rewards system made up for that because she was able to get products she loved for cheap. I have never subscribed to Birchbox, so I don’t know how good the rewards program actually is, but it is something to consider.

    The only subscription service I’ve done is MyGlam for a few months at the beginning of last year. I was disappointed with all three that I received and quickly dropped it. I haven’t seen a subscription service that has tempted me enough to sign up. I love the look of the PopSugar box, but it’s a bit expensive for a monthly subscription.

  11. I decided I wasn’t going to do anymore monthly subscriptions. I have would up with a lot of deluxe samples that I don’t love.

  12. You can always wait just one more month. This month’s box didn’t seem to have much you like.

  13. LOL Kimberly, I always wait one more month. My sister told me to give it up but I want to see my January box and then I promise to make a decision. Thanks for answering.

  14. @Laura, one more month – I think that’s my mantra. But I’m pretty close to giving up Glossybox and Birchbox. I got two nice Beauty Army boxes but skipped this month and may quit that one depending on what the next box offers. I quit Beauty Bar from Allure already.

  15. Thanks so much for answering @Beautybabbling. With Birchbox points you have to do these ridiculously long surveys to get the points. And you need a LOT of points to get products. I’d rather spend my time writing reviews.
    My Glam was awful but I do read that the new one Ipsy is much better.

  16. @Lulubelle, great answer and I appreciate it. I hate the surveys because of the length of time it takes to do them. I guess I haven’t looked enough to see about deals though.
    But for someone who doesn’t want fragrance I guess I should give up soon. Thanks for answering.

  17. Thanks @Mary Ann. Everyone’s answers have been really helpful. I guess because I dislike fragrance so much that I’m not the best candidate for surprises even though I love cosmetics.

  18. @Polarbelle, I’d be upset too. That’s shabby treatment. I know that living in Alaska that it makes it harder for you because after all is that even a state??? Ridiculous.

  19. @Carol, I buy too much special. LOL. But if I save for even 6 months I could buy something I like a lot.

  20. Thanks @Cindy. I do stick them in drawers or give them away. The Balm blush is nice and is in my travel bag for IMATS!!

  21. I haven’t tried Birchbox but my mum and I always question these boxes. I bought her a subscription to LustHaveIt and at first we weren’t sure if it was worth the money if you get stuff you would never use. However, she loves receiving it in the mail each month and has discovered a bunch of great products she might never have tried…there are also a lot of things that get given away though as well 😉

  22. Thanks for answering @Katherine. I’m with your mum on my feelings about these boxes.