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Birch Box (and a cowl)

2011 November 21

Despite my best efforts, I just don’t get makeup. Or hair products. Or fancy skincare. There’s so much out there that I find myself overwhelmed, and every time I step foot in a Sephora, I want to run away screaming. I’ve treated myself to recommended and fun new products in the past, and have felt disappointed or been frustrated by my complete lack of skills in doing my own hair and makeup. Not to mention the cost of buying new products all the time quickly gets expensive. I guess you could say I’ve all but given up.

When I first heard about Birchbox, my curiosity was piqued–for $10 a month, Birchbox sends you a pretty little box full of selected samples of different makeup, skincare, and hair products. If you like the samples, you can then purchase the full-sized items from their shop (often at a discounted rate). I debated joining for a while, and then finally caved a couple of weeks ago. My first box was delivered a few days ago, and I was so excited to get a package in the mail.


I think the biggest attraction of joining Birchbox is that they take the guesswork out of shopping for these products for you. Normally, I shy away from buying a new type of hair product or skincare item for fear that I’ll be disappointed–now, I can try out these items with very little risk. Also, who doesn’t like to get a box full of surprise treats once a month?

 November’s Birchbox features make-up remover, body polish, hair mist, nail polish, and a spicy chocolate bar.

Each box comes with a note explaining its contents, and the website is full of tips, tricks, reviews, and other fun stuff so you won’t be lost when trying to use your treats for the first time.

I haven’t had the chance to try out any of the products yet, but I’m looking forward to experimenting, and already counting the days until the next one arrives!


 I bought this cowl a couple of weeks ago at Urban Outfitters and I’ve been wearing it nonstop ever since. It’s so cozy and bright and warm. Now I want one in every color.

**Cowl: Urban Outfitters** Tunic: Express ** Belt: J. Crew Factory ** Cardigan: H&M ** Leggings: Forever 21 ** Boots: Target

 Chief thought it was a little weird that Joe was taking photos of me in the middle of the living room.

I couldn’t resist. He’s a little ham.

9 Responses Post a comment
  1. Raquel permalink
    November 21, 2011

    That Birchbox service sounds so fantastic and fun! I may need to check it out. I feel the same way you do–I am often befuddled by products. (WHAT IS PRIMER?) I spent many years buying many of them before giving up in confusion and near-bankruptcy. I’m getting a little better at understanding them though… I have ventured into tinted moisturizer and mascara and blush if I’m going someplace slightly fancier than the supermarket. But I try to keep things natural–I never want to look made up like the ladies who work in Sephora! (I also want to run away when I go in there–I only ever occasionally venture in for like, body lotion or something. The ladies who work there scare me with their gobs of makeup and poreless faces!) I feel like if it takes more than 5 minutes to get my face done up, it’s not worth it. One product I will never understand: eyeliner. Putting a sharp stick of black ink on the edge of your eyeball. WTF! Run away, run away!

    I find that the better care I take of my skin, the less need I have for a million products. Now I try to invest my money in good facial and skin care products. I have found decent ones that don’t break the bank and now I no longer really need foundation or concealer because of my skin care routine. Hurrah! (I am a big sucker for body lotions and washes that smell pretty though! And I do love lip gloss.)

    I definitely don’t use anything in my hair other than shampoo, conditioner, and occasionally dry shampoo if I’m lazy. I am entirely befuddled by hair and the myriad products surrounding it! (See: I’m lazy.) I am curious to see what you think of your samples and if you get experimental in using them! :) Your cowl is fab, I want to get a snoody type thing for this winter. I have many scarves but would love one that doubles as a loose hood. The color looks great on you and apparently Chief agrees!

    • Jill permalink
      November 22, 2011

      Thanks! Your skin is gorgeous-I have always envied it. Sadly, I lack your good skin fortune. But I can’t even be bothered to try and conceal my scary undereye circles or crater-like pores anymore–maybe the Birchbox folks will send me some great skincare products! One can only hope.

  2. November 22, 2011

    Aren’t cowls just the greatest! I love em! And that last photo is brilliant!

  3. Kelli permalink
    November 22, 2011

    First off, I love your photos. Your outfit was the perfect mix of neutral with pops of color in just the right spot.

    Second, I’ve been debating birchbox myself. I am a self-confessed product junkie & know this would only add fuel to the fire…The only thing I worry about is having them pile up faster than I can use them each month. BUT I also just think having a box arrive – just for me – every month would be oh so fun. Hmm…

    • Jill permalink
      November 22, 2011

      Thanks Kelli!

      The surprise and fun of the package in the mail is a huge selling point, for me. The samples are pretty small, so I wouldn’t worry TOO much about them piling up. Also, I get the sense that they send a good variety of items, so you shouldn’t have 12 new bottles of nail polish or hairspray by the end of the year, know what I mean?

  4. meghan permalink
    November 22, 2011

    oh, i feel your pain. as someone who is clueless about makeup, i had pretty much given up entirely on foundation. when i got my makeup done for my sister’s wedding i asked a lot of questions… i was asking her for advice about whether or not to get a custom-made foundation at a place by me, when she pointed me in the direction of covergirl natureluxe, which is what she, a professional makeup artist who used to work at NARS, uses and was using on everyone. i have to say it is amazing makeup… it feels very light and it smells good… i am really happy with it, and also gratified to know i can still buy my makeup at CVS. haha.

  5. Melissa permalink
    November 22, 2011

    Love the cowl and the outfit as a whole. Really love the Birchbox idea, as I am a makeup junkie….and finaly, I cannot wait to see my favorite doggie nephew on Thursday!!!!

  6. November 24, 2011


  7. nancy durso permalink
    November 28, 2011

    why is this the first i’m hearing about this birchbox, it sounds like i would enjoy this very much. i definately want to hear about the products you got . talk to you soon,
    love to Chief and Joe

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