Are you as much of a hair and grooming product junkie as we are? Do you like personalized but surprise goodies in your mailbox? Do you like discount rewards? Yep, we do too. That’s why Birchbox is so awesome. It’s like getting the coolest care packages ever once a month, you get to try all kinds of carefully curated products, and if you like them, you can buy them and get points toward free or discounted stuff.
We love this service because although we are product junkies, we do so detest buying an expensive full-sized product only to find we don’t like it or it doesn’t work like it says it does. This way we try little sample things until we find a product that blows our minds, then we will go buy it. It’s all about finding the right tool for the job. Quite logical, we think.
We should also mention that Birchbox posts are not sponsored posts. We have just found so many life-changing product through this service since we signed up that we thought we should share the goodies with you each month (although if you sign up here, we do get a little credit for having referred you!).
Each month we will review the men’s Birchbox products, as well as some products from the women’s box that Natalie receives that are totally guy stealable. You could just buy them for yourself, or give yourself some cover while earning serious husband or boyfriend brownie points and treat your lady.
Read on to find our favorites from this month, along with the price and size of the full-sized items, the rating and amount of reviews on Birchbox’s very active review community, the Birchbox product description, our take, and whether or not we would go and buy a full-sized one (for the men’s products – for the women’s products, we only mention the products that we would actually purchase).
It’s such a shame. For some reason, the men’s box was not hitting for us this month (the first time since we started receiving the service in October-it’s always great!), but the women’s so was.
This month we had one fragrance, one oral care and one shave product, as well as a clothing item (did we mention the men’s box comes with lifestyle gear and accessories?)
Although this box is a disappointing way to start off our monthly Birchbox review feature, just wait until we get to the lady products!
English Laundry Signature | $84 | 3.4 oz
Birchbox Rating: 4 stars | 1003 reviews
A strong, musky scent might be suited to a cognac parlor, but if you’re in the mood for adventure, you’ll need a cologne with a little more pep. This citrusy fragrance channels the spirit of the Far-East explorer, combining fresh, spicy notes of bergamot and coriander with a woodsy base well grounded in English tradition. Whether your journey takes you around the world, or just around the block, this scent will keep your spirits up.
How it Works
If you’re looking for a bright, citrus scent with a classic vibe, this fragrance hits the mark. Top notes of bergamot, lime, and coriander lead to warm, woodsy base notes of sandalwood and vetiver.
A few months ago, we received English Laundry’s Notting Hill scent in our Birchbox, which we actually liked much better, but for those who like a brighter bit of citrus, this is a nice one. It lasts quite a long time, too. This would be a good choice if you’re feeling particularly springy (60 degree high today, woo hoo!)
Would we buy it? Nope
Nice, but scent is a very personal thing, and this is just not a favorite.
MiN New York Solution2 Post Shave Treatment Rollerball | $22 | 50 ml
Birchbox Rating: 3 stars | 179 reviews
What do you get when you combine liquid aspirin and spearmint with German engineering? A pore-tightening, bacteria-killing, postshave treatment with a handy roll-on applicator. In other words: A one-stop solution to razor bumps, ingrown hairs, and general irritation caused by your morning shave.
How it Works
MiN’s powerful formula tightens skin to prevent ingrown hairs, along with the razor bumps that follow. Organic spearmint soothes, while acetylsalicylic acid (a.k.a. aspirin) reduces inflammation.
If you have ever gotten a shave from us in the shop, you know our feelings on traditional aftershave. All that alcohol (and this one does smell pretty much like straight alcohol) and a freshly shaved face do not the best combination make. BUT. This one contains liquid aspirin and really does snap the pores closed nicely, so if you are prone to ingrown hairs and other post-shave problems but do not have particularly sensitive skin, this is a post-shave that does the job well. The rollerball is a neat way to apply, too.
Would we buy it? Nope
Good for a small subset of guys, but as Tyler has very little shaved area on his face, and we have better post-shaves, we would pass on this one. Can’t even use it in the shop because the roller would cause cross-contamination.
Luster Premium White Luster NOW! Toothpaste + Distinctly White Set | $19 | 4.5 oz. Toothpaste, 4 fl. oz. Rinse, 0.27 fl. oz. Whitener Gel
Birchbox Rating: 3.5 stars | 605 reviews
Let’s face it: Whitening strips can be messy, not to mention the cause of painful (nay, excruciating) tooth sensitivity. Who needs that? Avoid the pitfalls of scoring a squeaky-clean smile with this dentist-developed, clinically tested kit. As the name implies, it’s made for people who want whiter teeth in the here and now—without the risk of increased sensitivity. True to its promise, it delivers the bright-white goods in just two to three days.
How it Works
This three-piece kit uses gentle, fast-acting ingredients to get the whitening job done without eroding your precious enamel. The daily Luster NOW! Instant Whitening Toothpaste helps remove stains in a single brushing session while creating the illusion of whiter teeth, thanks to special Bluverite® technology. The Accelerator Mouth Rinse pretreats teeth, while the Super Whitener Gel uses a patented formula with active dental peroxide to lift away surface and deep-level stains. Together, they unite for a truly blinding smile (in a good way).
Here’s the thing: if you have a multi-item product that needs those multiple items to work, you should probably send samples of all of the items, as Birchbox has with some skincare systems. As it was, all that came was the toothpaste. Which was neat. It’s blue, and it does temporarily brighten your teeth, so we could totally see using it pre-photo shoot, but otherwise, we can’t really tell you if this one does the job it claims it does.
Would we buy it? Nope
We like our iso-active foamy toothpaste just fine thank you.
MeUndies Crew T Shirt | $25
Birchbox Rating: 4 stars | 222 reviews
Like everything else in a gentleman’s life, your wardrobe choices should respect the fundamentals. Start each outfit on a high note with this ultrasoft tee, hand-sewn in Los Angeles for exceptional quality. Each shirt is cut slim for a clean silhouette, from a lightweight cotton fabric that balances stretch and breathability. Whether you wear it alone, or as the world’s finest undershirt, this tee won’t take long to earn your favor. Don’t know your size? Check out our Sizing Guide.
How it Works
100% combed cotton produces a rich, soft fabric that still remains light and breathable. Slim fit lines ensure it looks great, whether it’s worn on its own or under a dress shirt.
Oh my Zeus SOFT. Tyler has found himself getting molested by Natalie while doing dishes wearing this. The fit is excellent as well.
Would we buy it? Yep
Will be needing a bunch of these, please. Tyler could live in these shirts (and sort of has been in this one lately).
The women’s box was chock full of awesome this month.
We have a moisturizer, an eye cream, a healing salve thingy and a dry shampoo powder.
Not reviewed here (but also awesome) an eyeliner and delicious chocolate.
Lulu Organics® Lavender + Clary Sage Hair Powder | $30 | 4 oz
Birchbox Rating: 3.5 | 2,428 reviews
Lulu Organics®’s organic hair powder is the hip younger sister of mainstream dry shampoos: she’s eco-conscious, health-savvy, and has vague plans of packing her bags and moving to Portland. Analogies aside, this winning natural formula revives second day locks by absorbing volume-zapping oil. It has a lovely lavender scent laced with the faintest trace of herbal clary sage. And since it leaves no chalky white residue behind, even dark-haired girls can use it.
How it Works
Most dry shampoos are made with talc, a controversial ingredient that may have carcinogenic properties (scary, no?). But Lulu Organics®’s version is formulated with organic corn starch, rice powder, white clay, and pure essential oils, so you never have to worry. The sweet-smelling powder helps you achieve the look of just-washed hair no matter how long it’s been since your last shampoo.
We are all about dirty but not dirty hair (you will meet very few hair people that wash their hair every day), hence we are all about dry shampoo. We love this old-fashioned version, and even tested it out on Natalie’s hair after four days without washing it. Back to perfect looking hair in seconds!
Although this only has a 3.5 star rating, the poor ratings are from those who just said “I don’t like dry shampoos, so I would never buy this.” Goodness people, you’re rating the PRODUCT, not the existence of the entire category of products. Come on. But for those who are not somehow offended by the existence of dry shampoos, it was a hit across the board.
Air Repair Rescue Balm All-Purpose Skin Salve and Lip Balm | $12 | 0.9 oz
Birchbox Rating: 4 stars | 3,393 reviews
Meet what Air Repair calls the “Swiss Army Knife” of beauty products. This multitasking skin salve can be applied anywhere and everywhere—to the lips, hands, face, knees, elbows, and even cuticles—to instantly soothe and heal dry skin. The brand’s revolutionary combination of emollients effectively inhibits chronic inflammation (or “inflam-aging”) that causes dryness, irritation, and premature wrinkles. Plus, the travel-friendly packaging makes it easy to slip into your carry-on, so you can be sure your skin stays soft and supple no matter your destination.
How it Works
This ultrarestorative salve works its magic by preventing transepidermal water loss, a primary cause of dry skin. Sweet almond oil, fatty-acid rich lanolin, and vitamin E hydrate and nourish skin upon contact. Anti-inflammatory lavender helps quell irritation, while geranium promotes circulation and rejuvenates skin.
As a person with moderate psoriasis, Natalie is always on the lookout for good skin products. She loved this one on the first application, but that was about all we could get out of the very tiny sample – most samples from Birchbox are significantly bigger.
We would definitely get a full sized one to try it out over a longer period of time, but from the reviews (3,393 reviews? Jiminy. Most negative ones are about the smell of the stuff) we would definitely give it a try.
Pure Organic Coffee Bean Caffeine Eye Cream | $19 | 1 oz
Birchbox Rating: 4 stars | 685 reviews
Some mornings we wish we could be hooked up to a coffee IV, but it turns out there’s an easier way to look wide awake. Turbo-charged with caffeine from coffee and green tea, this cream provides an instant pick-me-up to sleepy eyes. It works by reducing the appearance of that telltale trifecta: fine lines, dark circles, and puffiness. Even better, it’s formulated exclusively with natural and organic ingredients.
How it Works
This hydrating formula harnesses the power of caffeine from green tea and unroasted coffee beans to reduce puffiness and dark circles by increasing circulation. Antioxidant-rich vitamins C and E and nourishing rosehip oil boost the formula’s antiaging properties. In a study commissioned by the company, 97% of users saw a reduction in puffiness, 87% in dark circles, and 93% in the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.
We are unfortunately getting to the age where we could use a product like this. With a 5-year-old around, we do get a bit of the red and puffys. This stuff tightens up the skin quite nicely and made us look quite a bit more awake. You’ll also get a lot out of the full sized tube, we used an amount the size of a match head for each eye.
The fact that it’s 100% natural and vegan is a plus (we’re not vegan or anything, but things that happen to not harm animals are always nice).
DDF® Ultra Lite Oil Free Moisturizing Dew | $42 | 1.7 oz
Birchbox Rating: 4 stars | 1,787 reviews
In an effort to battle an abundance of unwanted shine, we sometimes err on the side of going too matte, caking on unflattering layers that make skin appear dull and dry. This lightweight oil-free moisturizer works on all skin types—yes, even acne-prone—to replenish moisture without clogging pores. A mix of aloe vera, vitamins A, C, and E, and grapeseed extract hydrate, leaving skin soft and dewy (not overly shiny and certainly not lackluster).
How it Works
A mix of aloe vera, vitamins A, C, and E, and grapeseed extract hydrate for supple, glowing skin. The fragrance-free formula absorbs quickly, so there’s no need to press pause on your a.m. routine as you wait for it to soak in.
Both of us have long had a problem with moisturizers. Tyler tends to get greasy, while Natalie has super sensitive skin that reacts to damn near everything. This stuff left us feeling hydrated, but like we had nothing else on our face, and we even noticed that dewy glowy thing where you look like you’re under photo lights or something.