Boxes of stuff

I like to hoard beauty products. This is where Birchbox and Julep boxes* come in.

I’m a huge Birchbox fan. I’ve been a subscriber for nearly two years now and I can count on one hand how many disappointing boxes I’ve received. Honestly, even with those not-so-great boxes, I have found one or two items that I genuinely like and use, so I feel that I have gotten my money’s worth. I love getting all the stuff they send and I’ll miss getting these boxes when I move to Scotland (although perhaps… I’ll persuade my husband it’s a good use of moolah and I should subscribe to Birchbox UK. Ahem)

So, when I started seeing Julep boxes pop up on facebook, I was a bit intrigued. Fingernail polish is something I may or may not hoard collect. Since Julep’s first box was free (except for shipping and handling) I figured that I might as well try it out and see what all the hype was about.

Both boxes arrived on the same day two weeks ago and I feel strangely ambivalent about this Julep box. Now, don’t get me wrong, it is beautiful. I love the packaging, the colors, the pamphlets, and even the size of the sturdy purple box. But there were only four items in there and that box was in no way worth the full price I could have paid for it. I used the beautiful lavender color on my fingers nearly immediately and I used the turquoise color on my toes this past weekend. The nail polish is pretty, but a bit drippy and VERY light on the first application. The color also took a while to dry (my Zola and Essie polishes have spoiled me apparently) and I got a smudge on my thumb within the first ten minutes. I like the Mighty serum that is applied to the base of the nails and softens and soothes my poor, abused nail beds. The polish lasted for 4 days without a single chip, which is pretty awesome. I enjoyed that it lasted a while and still was easy to remove. Something other reviews have mentioned is that the nail polish smells good. I thought it smelt like moldy feet.

My Birchbox had TONS of awesome stuff in it. The facial wash is something I absolutely love. In fact, I packed it on my trip to Florida (cloth and all) because I couldn’t bear to be without it for any extended amounts of time. Same with the tiny jar of lotion. The hair cream is something I will just throw into my overnight bag and someday, when I’m lazy have wavy hair. Basically, it’s not my favorite, but hey, I’ll use it someday. The lip stain has already been used multiple times and has a permanent home in my purse. Lastly, the shower wash got thrown into my overnight bag and is the perfect size for traveling (except that sadly enough, I think I left it in Pensacola. :( Sadness!). Out of the five items, there was only one item I haven’t even opened yet, and these small items were all taken to Florida with me last weekend and in the long run, saved me money from buying tiny travel sized cleansers and such.

So, I weighed the pros and cons and Birchbox definitely came out ahead. First, it’s cheaper and for me, that’s a big deal right now. Along the same lines, I feel that Birchbox has more for the cost. Honestly, 10 points for every item review adds up, and every 100 points is $10 off a full sized item. For me, that adds up easily and I can buy items I actually like from different brands. Secondly, it has a wide spectrum of items received and I feel that Julep sends just their items and that much brand biased is not something I really appreciate. Lastly, as I’m discovering now, canceling Julep is a pain. You must call the Customer Service hotline to cancel and that discounts the pros of a cheap set of nail polish in the mail.

Birchbox, you’ve still retained me as a loyal customer, which is saying a lot, so thanks! :)

*disclaimer: Neither Birchbox, nor Julep know who I am. This is simply a post about my thoughts on the two brands.