Treat Yo Self is a series that focuses on inexpensive indulgences that make you feel good without feeling guilty. Because when momma’s not happy, nobody is happy.
After a few highly-trusted friends raved about the awesomeness of their Birchbox subscriptions, I decided it was high time to treat myself. At just $10 a month for five personalized beauty samples sent to my front step, it seemed too good not to try.
The likelihood of trying out beauty products on my own is tiny because a) I’m cheap as hell b) I hate waste and c) as much as I love the idea of beauty products, I don’t use very many of them. The thought of spending money on a whole tube of something that I might potentially hate and immediately throw out (…or hold onto for three years before I throw it out) makes me itch. But itty bitty sample sizes for a fraction of the cost? Sign. me. up.
My husband put together a video while I unboxed my newest box. It’s super short (and includes the most sarcastic music he could find. Thanks a lot, Bad Dad), but I thought it would be a good way to show you what you can expect each month if you sign up.
So behold the most regal unboxing you shall ever experience:
First of all, I absolutely love the attention to detail. The boxes are seriously beautiful—my friend Rena even reuses them for gifts throughout the year, which has inspired me to save all of mine. Let’s just hope I figure out something brilliant to do with them before I’m buried alive. Maybe stash some of those craft supplies? 😉
I also love that all of the products you get are personalized based on a little survey you fill out on the site. It includes things like beauty stats (skin concerns and type, hair color, texture, etc.), beauty style, and what you’re looking to get from your subscription. The result is a greater chance of getting samples that are a good fit. I have gotten a lot of products that are perfect for low maintenance beauty routines and are great for dry skin (thanks a lot, northeastern winter).
Take this month’s box. I got a leave-in hair mist that conditions, detangles and provides protection from the sun (among other things), a hard-core moisturizer, long-lasting lip gloss that doubles as a cheek stain, a sweet and spicy perfume, and a highlighter I can’t wait to experiment with. All of my samples are quick and easy to use and some even have multiple purposes—talk about a good fit! Those are all qualities that I value, which means I’d be way more likely to use them.
Of course, not everything is going to be a perfect fit. I’m totally finicky when it comes to scents so the likelihood that I’ll like a perfume is not very high. I’m also totally particular about lip colors, which means that while a gloss might be creamy and dreamy, the color might rub me the wrong way. The fun thing is that since I have two daughters, they take my castoffs excitedly—whether to pamper themselves in the bathtub or to add to their growing collections of lip gloss.
Having gotten boxes for the last few months, I definitely have developed some favorites—and if I’m feeling like treating myself a little bit extra, I can earn a rewards point for every dollar I spend in the Birchbox shop (every 100 points can be redeemed for $10.00).
Here are some samples I have loved:
BeeKind™ Body Lotion: eco-friendly from their recyclable packaging to their cause (the Honey Bee Research Program at the University of California at Davis) and super hydrating, I’m a big fan of this light, fresh-smelling lotion. It reminds me an awful lot of my honey lemon mask, which isn’t too surprising since it contains honey and has a nice lemon verbena scent.
Sumita Color Contrast Eyeliner: My favorite thing about this eyeliner is how silky smooth it is. I didn’t realize it was possible to have such a soft pencil. Perfect for smudging, but totally capable of staying in place, this one made me swoon.
TOCCA Crema da Mano: I’ll be honest, the packaging of this hand cream made me think it would be way too fancy smelling for my taste. My hands are in rough shape after a brutal winter and I’m way more concerned with moisture than a delicate scent. But this little guy surprised me. The grapefruit smell was so refreshing and not at all overpowering and it moisturizes without feeling greasy, making it the perfect choice to keep at my desk. I can hydrate without leaving my keyboard covered in grease!
Paula’s Choice Skin Perfecting 2% BHA Liquid Exfoliant: I was leery about trying this one because I have super sensitive skin and have been having a major problem with my rosacea. But the bottle promise even-toned skin and redness reduction so I decided to give it a whirl. I was shocked at the difference after just one usage. It is so gentle and if there’s anything on this list I will most definitely splurge on, it’s this guy.
Beauty Protector Protect & Detangle: The promise of multitasking is definitely a good way to pique my interest—especially when it comes to a hair product. As I’ve mentioned before, I couldn’t be lower maintenance when it comes to my hair. I absolutely do not wash it daily and when I do, I don’t use shampoo and I rarely use any type of heat-styling tool. #sorrynotsorry. What I like about this little guy is that it conditions and protects while also detangling and it does it with a vegan formula that is paraben- and sulfate-free—a crunchy granola hippie’s dream come true. Added bonus? It smells incredible.
Embryolisse Lait-Crème Concentré (24-Hour Miracle Cream): I’ll be honest, I’ve only tried this cream once, but I was really impressed. It’s really rich, yet it sinks in quickly so you’re not left with a grease face. I was amazed at how well it conquered a patch of flaky skin I haven’t been able to get rid of on my face for a week or so. I can only imagine what the results will be when I use it for a few days in a row. It can also be used as a primer, makeup remover, post-shave soother, and all-over body lotion—which is something I just can’t argue with.