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What Is Birchbox? A Perfect Introduction to Beauty and Skincare

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Getting into makeup and skincare can be daunting. There are so many types of products, brands, and ingredients that a trip to even your local pharmacy can be overwhelming. Birchbox is a beauty subscription service that helps customers discover new products. Every month, they send shipments of quality beauty products tailored to your unique Beauty profile. Most items you receive will be sample sizes, so you can try a variety of products, but they do send the occasional full-size item.

Birchbox is catered toward people who don’t spend a lot of time shopping for beauty products. They want to make beauty accessible to people who aren’t familiar with tons of products and brands. They include 6 items in each box, and at $15, Birchbox is one of the most affordable options out there. I recommend this box to people who want to learn more about beauty products and try new items.

Birchbox Overview

Birchbox’s subscription service includes shipments of beauty product samples for $15 a month. To save some money, you can sign up for a 6 month or annual subscription and get each box a dollar or two cheaper.

A great thing about this service is that you can choose the specific categories of items that come in your box. The options are bath and body, fragrance, haircare, makeup, and skincare. You can select as many or as few categories as you’re interested in. If you don’t want any haircare items at all, for example, you can let them know.

Their service was created to help women save time when shopping for beauty products. Instead of starting from scratch or spending hours researching products, Birchbox delivers a selection for you to try. They include sample sizes so you can try products without the pressure to keep using them. As you sample more items, you can learn what brands and ingredients seem to have the best results for your skin and hair.

Each month, you can choose between a themed box from their collection or a personalized box based on your beauty preferences. Most boxes include 6 sample sizes. You do get the occasional full-size product, and those boxes have 5 items.

They also have an online store, where you can buy full-size versions of the products they send to you or themed beauty boxes. To save on shipping, just choose these as add-ons with your next box. That means your shipping will be free and you’ll get the items along with your usual monthly delivery.


  • Products personalized to your preferences
  • High-end products
  • Affordable price

Something I appreciate about Birchbox is that they let you choose the categories you want to receive in your box. You can skip haircare if you’re not interested, or you can select only makeup in your box. They also let you choose a beauty style, according to what kind of looks you want to create on a daily basis. You can mark yourself down as adventurous, classic, trendy, or low-maintenance.

Birchbox samples tend to be high end, and in my first box I received a luxury oil that costs $125 in full size. Even if you don’t plan to buy full-size versions, it’s nice to try quality products and compare them to the other products you’ve tried. You can also look at the product type and ingredients for future reference. Maybe you’ll discover you love lip oils, or products containing CBD.

Birchbox is only $15 a month, and most boxes include 6 items. If your box has a full-size item, they might only include 5. In the average box, the cost works out to about $2.50 per item. The affordable price is appealing to people who haven’t ventured deeply into beauty, and aren’t sure what to buy.


  • Sample sizes are very small
  • You can’t choose any products yourself

Unlike other subscription services that offer deluxe sample sizes, Birchbox mostly includes sample sizes that are quite small. They only seem to have a few deluxe samples per month. The service does include the occasional full-size product, and when they do, they send 5 products total instead of 6.

Birchbox doesn’t let you preview your box before it ships. They also choose all the products for you according to your beauty preferences. Unfortunately, they don’t let you add any product choices of your own.

How does Birchbox work?

To get started with Birchbox, you need to take a quiz and fill out your beauty profile. This includes important information like your hair type, skin type and coloring. They’ll also ask your main skincare concerns.

Their quiz includes a section on your beauty style, where you can tell them if you favor bold looks, classic ones, trendy ones, or even minimal looks. Here you can also tell them what categories you want to receive in your box, from makeup to bath products.

You can expect a box in the mail around 10 days after you sign up. After your box ships, you can choose to preview its contents through your account. Birchbox hides the preview behind a link, in case you don’t want to see spoilers.

The shipping boxes are colorful, and the boxes inside are printed with a fun, unique design each month. Your shipment comes with an info card that gives you information about the products and how much the full version costs. The info card also marks items with special labels if they’re clean beauty, woman-owned, black-founded, bestsellers, and so on.

The info cards also have helpful information about each product and what to expect from it. It’s helpful to have instructions on how to use all your new products in one place, so you don’t have to look it up or try to read tiny text on the labels.

After you get your box, you can go to your account and review it. The reviews will help Birchbox pick products for you in the future, and it’ll also give them an idea of what subscribers like most.

How much does Birchbox cost?

Birchbox is one of the more affordable beauty subscription boxes at $15 a month. They price their boxes cheaper when you commit to a longer subscription, so you can pay $14 a box for 6 months. Normally, they charge $13 a box for a year-long subscription, but currently they’re doing a deal where they charge $11 a box for an annual subscription.

Birchbox has an online shop where you can buy the products that were in your box, along with themed boxes, holiday sets, and more. If you buy any add-on products, Birchbox will ship them to you for free along with your usual subscription delivery.

How do you sign up for Birchbox?

To sign up for Birchbox, you’ll need to fill out your shipping and billing information, then complete a beauty profile. Your beauty profile includes basic information about your skin, hair, and style. The company takes around 10 days to send out your order after you place it.

At this point, you also have to choose your Birchbox plan. They offer a $15 plan on a monthly basis, but you can get a small discount if you subscribe for 6 months or a year.

What brands does Birchbox send?

Birchbox has a large selection of beauty brands. They tend to include trendy new products, so you’ll probably discover new beauty companies from their selection. In my experience, they tend to offer plenty of samples from high-end brands.

They carry big names like MAC, Kiehl’s, Georgette Klinger, and Sunday Riley, but they also have up-and-coming brands like Saint Jane and Arrow.

Final Thoughts

Birchbox is a great way to get started with beauty. The sample sizes might leave you wanting more, but the variety is helpful if you’re just trying to figure out what works for your unique beauty routine. You can try new product types and discover new brands. The service picks out reliable, well-reviewed items for you to try. It really does save time, and they make it easy for you to buy full-sized versions of anything that you love from their store.

I recommend this product to anyone who wants to improve their beauty routine quickly and without fuss. I think their boxes would make great gifts, too.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I return an item to Birchbox?

Birchbox doesn’t allow returns of subscription boxes, but they are able to replace items that are missing from your box or damaged. Contact customer service to get a replacement item.

When is the billing date for Birchbox?

Birchbox bills your account on the first of every month for beauty subscriptions. Their men’s grooming service bills on the 15th of the month.

How do you cancel Birchbox?

It’s easy to cancel your Birchbox subscription. Just log in to your account, and go to your subscription page. Under “Subscription Details” you’ll see a link that lets you cancel your account.

If you have a monthly $15 plan, you can opt out at any time. If you sign up for a committed subscription, you’ll have to wait until the 6 months or year have passed to cancel your subscription. You can go to your account settings and turn off the auto-renewal to avoid being signed up for another subscription when your current one ends, though.

Can I see what’s in my Birchbox order before it arrives?

After your Birchbox ships, you’ll get an email asking if you want to see what’s in your box for the month. If you want to keep it a surprise, you can just avoid clicking the link.

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