Birchbox Man Review- January 2014

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The Birchbox Man January box shipped before December was even over, and we got it on the 31st. Woop! I am a big fan of this box, and it always ships early in the month. Birchbox Man is a monthly box that costs $20 per month and includes full- and sample-sized lifestyle and hygiene items for men. Cool men. There were great things in store for January. Here are the goods:

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This box is all about the New Year, and contained some awesome gear. I don’t include prices for samples, but you can click on any of the hyperlinks for the price of the full-size items. Here are the details:

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Reviver Dry Deodorant Swipes for clothes: These little wipes are supposed to be used to swipe across your clothes or hair to remove odors, such as those from a smoky bar. Not to throw my husband under the bus, but his gym clothes reek. I will try these on that, although, I have a feeling this is more for surface smells, not the ground in rankness that only men’s gym clothes can acquire. We shall see. I wonder if these work on the dog! (Kidding, these are not approved or meant for animal fur..although, maybe the rug where the dogs take their naps might be a candidate) This sample contains one reusable swipe.

Men Science Post-Shave Repair: I have never seen an aftershave in spray form, but this stuff is pretty legit. It is alcohol-free and it says it prevents redness and ingrown hairs, helps with razor burn and softens skin. It has tea-tree oil as an ingredient, and that is what it smells like; it is a fresh smell that I really like. My husband does not use aftershave much, so I will see if he gives this a go. If not, I will pass it on to a friend whose dude is more into it.

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ERNEST Supplies Soap-Free Gel Face Wash: My husband just got a promotion that means he will be traveling quite a bit more, so samples like this face wash are great to just toss in his dopp bag so he doesn’t have to worry about repacking each time. This is an all-natural wash that helps to unclog pores and eliminate environmental damage.  It smells amazing, like lavender and sandalwood, maybe. The fact that it smells so good makes me want to make him use it at home instead of on the road so I can enjoy it, too. I guess the lovely ladies of Milwaukee, Wisconsin will have a nice-smelling guy to sniff soon. Not too close, ladies.

Sasquatch Soap in Gold Moss scent: My husband is usually fairly stoic about the contents of his boxes, but he had a genuinely excited reaction to this one. He got a giant bar of Sasquatch soap in his Bespoke Post Refresh box a couple months ago, and had just finished it. (I think it must go fairly quickly, but is only $6 for the full-size) This soap smells so manly and good and is such a great complement to his regular cologne. This is a product that we will be buying for sure unless we luck out and keep getting it in boxes; Mike loves this soap. It is currently out of stock on the Birchbox site, but I’m sure it will be back in stock soon.

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Men In Cities Jump Rope: ($40) The lifestyle item this month is such a cool item for the new year. I have never seen my husband jump rope, so I am planning on stealing this. Jumping rope is awesome for burning calories and working up a sweat, and I can even do it in the privacy of my backyard where no one can see my, uh, backyard bouncing up and down.  Mohammad Ali has nothing on me. Solid wood handles and a PVC rope make for a great-quality jump rope that will last, and the link includes a video that will give you a quick tutorial if you’ve forgotten how to jump rope since the days when all the cool kids were doing it.

The jump rope alone was worth twice the $20 price tag of the box, and all of the items inside are legit. Birchbox Man continues to be one of my favorites because of all the useful, trendy, original things inside. Float like a butterfly, sting like a bee.

Birchbox Review December 2013

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More crappy photos. You’re welcome.

The Birchbox December box arrived on Friday, but with all the bustle in having 50 people here on Saturday night, I am just now getting to this and a few other reviews. This was a great Birchbox, and I really liked all the items. Here are the goods:

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I love the actual Birchbox boxes. They are always so cute, and make perfect little gift boxes. And these items made the box even better. Here are the details:

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Hello by Harvey Prince perfume: (sample size): I actually thought this perfume smelled great. It is very different than my everyday scent, which is musky and spicy. This is flowery and citrusy, and I was surprised that I liked it so much. I will use this for special occasions.

Sheer Glo by Manna Kadar in Birchbox Love: (deluxe sample size) I mixed a little of this lotion with my foundation, and sure enough, it gives an extra bit of pearlescence. It smells fresh and did not feel heavy on my face. I can’t see using it anywhere besides my face and decolletage, like they suggest, but I like it, and I like that the color is exclusive to Birchbox.

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Non-Aerosol Hairspray by Number 4: (deluxe sample) This is a botanical hairspray that is Earth-friendly. It smells good and doesn’t leave a crunch to your hair. Perfect for travel or to toss in your gym bag.

This other item is an advertisement for the Birchbox mobile app that includes a coupon code for 20% when you order through the app, but it also includes this cute little static sticker that sticks to the back of your phone. The cool thing about it is that the front of the sticker can be used to clean the screen of your smartphone. Smart. I stole my husband’s from his Birchbox Man box a couple weeks ago, and once he realized how cool it was, he called dibs on this one. It is a neat little freebie.

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Organic Healing Balm by Honest Company: (purse size) I like the consistency of this lotion a lot. It smells nice and is made from good, organic ingredients. It says it is good for eczema, which I do not have, but I do have a weird issue on my ring finger where, four years in, my wedding and engagement rings have suddenly started trying to eat my finger (that is my own diagnosis, not a doctor’s). It’s not pretty, and I am desperate and will try anything to make it go away. I probably should go to the dermatologist, but instead, I would rather try all my different lotion samples on it like some kind of science project.

Twistband: I am kind of over Twistbands and have a bunch accumulated from subscription boxes. However, this one is so cute with its dots that I may just wear it. They don’t stay in my hair very well like they seem to for others, so I stick with my plain black Goody elastics that stay through any workout, but sometimes if I want add a little fanciness to my workout look, I put a Twistband on top of the elastic. This one is perfect for that.

I liked this Birchbox, although there were no full-size items in this particular box (there often are) I don;t really put prices on samples, but I definitely feel like this box exceeds its $10 price tag, and I will get use out of everything inside. I have been very happy with Birchbox.

Birchbox Man Review- December 2013

The Birchbox Man box got here yesterday, and it was another good one! My husband really digs this box. Birchbox Man is $20 per month and contains full- and sample-sized hygiene items as well as cool gadgets or lifestyle items.

The box was literally bursting at the seams:

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I love the Birchbox Man box so much because there are always great items in it, and this month was no exception. Here are the goods:

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The box smelled amazing when I opened it, and the thing that was taking up so much room is actually a canvas apron. More on that in the details:

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I can’t decide which of these items made the box smell so good.

English Laundry Notting Hill Cologne (sample): Um, this smells amazing. My husband is currently wearing Spice Bomb, but this could give it a run for its money. It smells woody and fresh and so manly.

Votivo Speakeasy Candle: (travel size): This candle was a bonus item and is supposed to smell like bourbon and rum, which I can kind of see, but it also smells smoky and leathery and I am excited to burn it. It is a tiny candle, though, so I will save it for a special occasion. My husband liked the smell a lot, but he is not one who would take a travel candle on a business trip, so I will be the boss of this particular candle.

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GO247 Face Scrub:  (deluxe sample size) After the Bespoke Refresh Box, and now this one, my husband has a lot of face wash. This one can go in his dopp kit for travel or into his gym bag for after bike rides. The instructions say that it should be used once or twice a week, so it is not a daily thing and will probably last him a long time.  This smells nice and is plant-based.

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American Crew Alternator Spray: This spray says it features hold, shine and all-day pliability. Mike is a wax/pomade guy, but he uses this brand a lot and will definitely give this a try.

PRORASO Shave Cream: I thought this was one of the coolest samples in the box. The old-school tube and the fact that is smells great won me over. PRORASO is imported from Italy and contains eucalyptus and menthol to refresh the skin. Another great travel bag item.

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Roosevelt Supply Apron ($28): This was a really cool and different lifestyle item this month. It is a canvas apron with cool leather detailing, including the neck strap. Mike is a great cook, but we may gift this to his dad who would use it in his wood shop. Very cool item.

The December Birchbox Man box had a great value, very cool samples, and all of it will get used. I really love this box and secretly wish they would upgrade the women’s box to $20 and include some cool gear like the apron. For now, I will just have to settle for Mike getting these cool surprises.

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BirchBox Man Review

We got home from a park outing to meet up with all the toddlers in D’s class, and the mailman was walking up the street clutching our first Birchbox Man subscription box in his hot little hands. Yay, box week has begun!

I opened it to take photos and then packed it back up to let Mike open it.  He liked it!

The November box had a few really great things, but the best one was the cherry wood Bowery earbuds from the LSTN Headphones. Valued at $50, these things are AWESOME! Mike loved them, too, but then said he might rather have them be a Christmas gift for his brother. 
Part of the reason my frugal husband agrees to my subscription box obsession is that it covers our gift budget, in addition to my shopping “allowance.” We pay our bills from our joint account, but we each get an amount into our own accounts each month that we can do whatever we want with.  For us, it is the best way to manage our money because of how we are so different. Mike always saves most of his allowance, and I spend a lot of mine. On boxes, of course. So the fact that we are covering a lot of gifts by being able to “go shopping” in my box of subscription box items marked for gifting just helps it make sense to him
The Yes to Carrots Pomegranate lip balm was an automatic push over to me. Mike very rarely puts anything on his lips, and I am a lip balm hog. I probably have 15 different lip items in my purse right now. I liked this balm. It did not have much of a scent and no taste, but it feels nice on my lips and isn’t greasy.
The two sample items were both nice sizes, a deluxe 2 ounce oil-free moisturizer from Baxter of California, and a ginger lemongrass body lotion from Mount Sapolo. The moisturizer seems like something he will want this winter for after skiing, or even for after one of his cooler-weather bike rides. The body lotion is not Mike’s thing, so it might go into the Bag-o-Beauty for one of my girlfriends to give to her man, or I may throw it into my swim bag for some emergency lotion. I smelled it, and I kind of wish it was Mike’s thing, because it smells great. Very citrusy and manly at the same time. 
All in all, our first Birchbox Man box was a success!  The earbuds are an awesome gift that have a value that way exceeds the price of the box ($20), and the rest of the stuff is just icing. And I loved how everything came from companies that are giving back. Yay for the start of all the November boxes rolling in!  Woop! 

And the Finalists Are…

I have rounded out my final box selections for the next three months. I have ten boxes, which puts me slightly over my $200 per month budget, but hey, I’m close, so I’m counting it. I tried to vary my boxes into a few different categories so that there are lots of fun reviews. In addition, while I keep a few subscriptions going at all times, some of these are three-month subscriptions that I will switch to try something new down the road.  So here are the finalists:

Bespoke Post
Bespoke Post is a monthly box geared towards men. I have gotten one Bespoke box so far, and am looking forward to this month’s. Let’s just say, my husband is going to love all of the awesome stuff he gets from these boxes. They are perfect for the guy who like to be a little trendy without being a full-on hipster. I mean, seriously, ironic mustaches are really not that cool around the office, you know? Bespoke Post is $45 per month and you can get 25% off your first month with the code WINGMAN. the cool thing about Bespoke is that they send an email at the first of the month every time, letting you know what boxes are available and what is in them. Then you can choose whether or not to opt out for that month. While it may take out the element of surprise, it also ensures that you never pay for anything you don’t want. Seems like a deal to me!

Bike Loot
Bike Loot is just what the name implies, a monthly box of fun new stuff to try for cyclists. My husband is a die-hard cyclist, and so this is another one just for him. He is a lucky guy. Bike Loot is $10 per month, plus $3.95 shipping.

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I have not received a Birchbox yet, but I am excited to try another $10 box, especially one that gets such great reviews. I should get my first one in December.

Birchbox Man
ANOTHER one for my husband. Seriously, how did he score all of this gear? Birchbox Man is $20 per month and is a monthly box of sample and full-sized products for men, including accessories. I think my husband will love the socks and trying the aftershaves and moisturizers.  And I will enjoy him smelling so nice. Although, he usually smells pretty nice anyway.

Citrus Lane
This one is for little D. (I swear, I get some stuff, too) My son is 19 months old, and so far, he has loved his gear from Citrus Lane, a monthly box with snacks, toys and other fun kid stuff. They specify their picks to your child’s sex and age and the items we have gotten are pretty cool. I let D have one or two of them, and then I stow some for the holidays, too. Citrus Lane is $24.95 per month.

ipsy
I really love my ipsy envelope/box that I get each month. It is only $10, and there are always great sample and full size items in each little makeup bag, and the value always far exceeds the cost. As I mentioned last week, ipsy is how I discovered my favorite mascara EVER, It’s So Big, by Elizabeth Mott. Ipsy curates their bags based on a profile that you fill out, so not everyone gets the same things each month, but the items are catered to your skin type and other preferences.

NatureBox
NatureBox is another one that I will be getting for the first time this month. I am pretty excited about this monthly box of healthy snacks. This is something the whole family will be able to use, and it will make lunch packing and on-the-go days much easier. Nature Box Deluxe is $19.95 per month, and there are other sizes with more snack servings for those feeding a bigger group. They are always running a 50% off your first month offer which you can find on their Facebook page. The offer I used today was DAILYCANDY, which I grabbed from Retail Me Not

Pleasure Pantry
In keeping with the theme of having boxes from varying areas, I chose Pleasure Pantry to round out my ten boxes. Pleasure Pantry is an adult subscription box company that sends sex toys, lingerie and other bedroom related products to try each month. Pleasure Pantry is $29 per month, and I will get my first one in November. With a toddler running around and not much time to spice things up, I think this will be an exciting addition to my box collection, as well as to my marriage! Pleasure Pantry offers boxes for all types of couples, boy/girl, girl/girl, boy/boy, and a bridal box. This makes me even happier to support this company. Equal spicing up for everyone!

PopSugar Must Have Box
The PopSugar Must Have box was my first subscription box, and it is also my favorite. I also love their Limited Edition boxes that come out a few times a year. This is a box geared towards women with fashion, beauty, lifestyle, houseware, and food items. This box is my little slice of me-time each month, and I usually try (sometimes I can’t wait) to set it aside and wait for some alone time with some wine to crack this bad boy open. I LOVE PopSugar Must Have. The Must Have box is $39.95 per month, and the Limited Edition boxes are usually $100. They recently released a $250 splurge box where they teamed up with Neiman Marcus. It will be delivered this month, and I cannot wait.

Sparaj
The Sparaj subscription box has me totally intrigued, and I am very excited to receive my first one in December. Sparaj call themselves a “discovery service”which sounds pretty cool to me. They are a new subscription box company that focuses on natural spa-like products from a different area of the world each month. Their pre-launch box was a Thailand-themed box, and I was bummed to miss it. Thailand is one of my favorite places in the world. Sparaj is $40 per month, and they do not autorenew right now, so you must reorder each month or select a three or six month subscription

So that is the lot. I am looking forward to my new boxes and my usual boxes with gusto for the holidays. Not only does my $200…ok, closer to $250…per month cover all of my fun and shopping for the month, it also covers almost all of my holiday shopping and gifts. To me, that seems like a great deal. Can’t wait til the boxes start coming.