Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Birchbox Men Review: January 2015

As I mentioned in my previous Birchbox review, I thought it would be good to see what the men's box offered. I've seen other box reveals and although some of the products other people received were better (gloves, for example), there were a couple of items in this box that were interesting. I don't think the value is there, though, given that these are mainly cheaper items and the box costs twice as much as the women's.

I'm still on the fence about Birchbox, but I'm giving them a little time to adjust to my profile and hopefully to see my feedback integrated. I will do the same for the men's, but my patience will likely wane quicker with this if the value doesn't improve.

I've mentioned before how low maintenance my husband is and his profile addresses that. This is a guy who uses soap, water, deodorant, and toothpaste. He isn't picky about shampoo and soap, though, and I wanted to see what was available.

Let's start with the bad. Do you see the color of that handkerchief? Really? Here's a guy who likely won't even use a handkerchief and the one on our portal at Birchbox is white with dark blue anchors. However, this is bright orange with dots. I don't know any guy who would use this, and my husband just looked at it once before going back to Xbox.

Also, the sponge hair wax doesn't make sense, because he specifically noted he never does anything with his hair. He doesn't style his hair and it's too long for the "just out of bed" look. These two items were an utter fail for us. I know there are limits to what can be included, but in looking over the samples, these just seem like Birchbox paid zero attention to his profile. There had to be two other items in their collection that were not so far from a fit.

On the plus side, the other three items were decent. The other one in this picture is my favorite. It's a body wash from Gilchrist & Soames, a British company that's eco-friendly and cruelty free. It smells amazing and I am going to get a bigger bottle soon. My only concern is that it's only $15 for a big bottle, so I struggle to see the value in the box if this is the best item and a full size bottle costs less than a subscription.

The other two items in the box were from American companies. We haven't tried the Billy Jealousy shampoo yet, but it smells good (minty) and it's a Birchbox exclusive sample designed to strengthen hair. My husband could use that since his hair has no body at all (as opposed to styling wax that will sit in the box). I also like that both the items here are cruelty free. Since Birchbox doesn't guarantee cruelty free product, it's another concern I have about sticking it out long-term. I've been relatively fortunate so far, but with other boxes that do guarantee, it's admittedly a concern. I know I'm not always the best about knowing what companies are owned by other companies, but I do like to be ethical in my choices as much as I can.

I really like the smell of the Baxter of California deodorant. However, my husband isn't a big fan of the texture. Also the deodorant fell right out of the container and onto the floor when opened, which doesn't bode well. Again, I'm happy to try these samples but I'm a little disappointed in the quality/value. I hope it's a fluke and Birchbox will get a better sense of my husband's style soon.

I will keep it up for another month or so but I need to see more value/profile matching in the next boxes to continue long-term.

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