Birchbox Canada | December 2014

Thursday 18 December 2014

This month was a crazy good month for Canadian Beauty Box subscribers.  Not only did Birchbox finally make its way into the Canadian market place, but so did Glossybox!  I don't know what this means for Topbox and Luxebox, but the laws of economics mean one of two things will happen. Either they will step up their game, or they will bleed clients and eventually close.  Or, the Birchbox and Glossybox will go back home.  The only reason I do not include Ipsy in this equation is that Ipsy already competes with these two brands in the United States.  I personally don't think the Canadian beauty box market is big enough to sustain all of these companies.  We're only 1/10th of the size of our neighbours to the south.

Welcome to Canada!

Birchbox Canada costs $10 CAD plus $4.95 shipping and handling.  Glossybox costs $21 USD plus $5 shipping.  Given the current exchange rate, Glossybox could easily set you back $30 a pop, making it a more expensive box.  If you use code "THETALK" you will get an extra full size Tarte lip product will be included, and apparently if you use somebody's referral they also will get a Beauty Blender.

Anyways, back to the box at hand.  A few days ago my very first Birchbox arrived.  I thought that the presentation was quite cute with the hot pink wrap around!  I really enjoyed the detailing including some of Canada's most iconic monuments and nature.  The box its self is a thin but sturdy brown box that would make an excellent box for a gift.  I'm actually looking forward to amassing several of these.  Inside there is a pretty little zigzag design.

However, before we get into the products in the box I just want to share why I am so excited about this box.  Birchbox is a big player in the American beauty box market.  They are basically the original, mass produced, beauty box.  This means years of experience, established brand relationships, and a sense of security.  This also means minimal growing pains.  I anticipate some growing pains as they adjust to the Canadian market, but over all, nothing like the beauty box disaster that was Glymm.  Over all, this brand inspires confidence.  Confidence in quality brands.  Confidence in a secure business model.  And confidence in a functional points system.  

With Birchbox's point system you get 1 point per dollar you spend, and every 100 points is 10 dollars off your online purchase from their store.  In addition, you get 10 points for every product review you do from your box, meaning this box is even worth it if you don't love the products.  

The box included a nice little product card which outlined what I was getting and how much the full size is valued at.

Two of the smaller samples were packaged in the little green envelope.

This month I received five deluxe sized samples:

Protect & Detangle by Beauty Protector

This smells amazing-- very sweet but also somewhat musky.  This product is designed to lock in colour and protect from heat damage while adding silkiness.  I rarely use heat in my hair, and have never died it, so this product isn't the most useful to me.  I would have preferred the deep conditioner. However, this stuff smells amazing so I will use it until it is gone simply for the smell.

A Black Eyeliner by Cynthia Rowley 

Not the most exciting inclusion.  I actually will not swatch this because I will likely give it away to a friend.  I need another black eyeliner like I need another subscription box.

Lollitint by Benefit

I always find it reassuring when I get a Benefit sample in a box, because Benefit is a solid brand.  I have sampled this product before, and I really enjoy it on my lips.  I am not complaining about having another to keep in my stash!

Hello Body Cream by Harvey Price

This hand cream has a beautiful citrus-floral scent and does a good job a hydrating my skin.  However body creams are my least favourite product ever to get in a box because I have so much of it, and I never notice a significant difference in the quality.  Also, this sample was kinda dirty.  Details to follow.

Brighten Up by Vasanti

I am pretty sure I got this in a previous box from Ipsy or Luxebox?  I will probably pass this on to my mom.  I love my skin care routine as it is!

My body cream arrived with a thin filk of grease on it.  On the top where the ridges are you can see where that filk got a bit dirty.  In addition, the part that you squeeze the product out of has old product dried up and crusty on the edge.  I will be calling Birchbox tomorrow to see how they deal with it.

So, this box didn't get off to the best start... one gross sample and a few I won't get much use out of.  However, I am going to stick with them for a few months to see how they grow in Canada.  I am optimistic, given how many US ladies love them!  So, let's see how they do in Canada!  I hope they offer us a similar product selection and similar brand partnerships.  Most of the boxes I have seen online look pretty similar to mine, and that makes me a bit concerned.  I was hoping to see a greater variety.  

What do you think so far?

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