October Birchbox

Bad Bad Birchbox Ops

*title of post should be sang to the tune of

“Bad, Bad Leory Brown.”

As you may or may not be aware, I was incredibly disappointed with the October Goop-partnered Birchbox. I wrote more than one post expressing this and naturally made my way to twitter with the news:

Not long after I took to twitter, posting my own tweet and commenting on others’ tweets about this month’s Birchbox, I received this tweet and was notified that BirchboxOps was now following me.

I was so impressed! I had been so annoyed and disappointed with Birchbox and when they reached out to me, I felt better. If they were reaching out to me about my dissatisfaction, not only does it mean that their customer service is aware of how their customers and subscribers feel about the service but also that they must want to try and make it up to me somehow. I felt so guilty about the nasty email I had typed up to send them.

I figured they were going to listen to my views on the October Birchbox, apologize for the monstrosity that was the Goop-Birchbox and maybe even try to give some sort of compensation (in the form of a bottle of essie or something.) I direct messaged them my email, as they requested, and after a few hours I received my first email from a staff member at Birchbox… It was all down hill from there. Not only did they not offer any form of compensation, their copy-and-pasted responses were so apparently generic it’s insulting.

Now, I doubt that very many people will take the time to fully read the entire email conversation I’m about to share with you all nor am I naive enough to think very many people will even car. However, I have done a little copying and pasting myself and have the back and forth emails posted below.

I wanted others to see a good example of how little the Birchbox Operations staff cares about the opinions of their subscribers. So little, in fact, that I was addressed by an entirely different name. If you’re at all interested, please feel free to read the back-and-forth below.

The main mission of this post is to address potential Birchbox subscribers. So, to anyone who is considering becoming a Birchbox subscriber: all I can suggest is that you look into the other subscription cosmetic sample boxes available. I’m currently a subscriber to GlossyBox and I couldn’t have been more pleased with my first box. My first box from GlossyBox had better products, larger “samples” and is most likely worth more (monetarily speaking) than all of the Birchboxes I have received combined. Another great service is Ipsy, previously MyGlam. I will be signing up for Ipsy, this week, immediately after cancelling my Birchbox subscription. I’m only waiting on my Birchbox order (the one I purchased and posted about in yesterdays post) to ship before I cancel.

Anyway, here’s the email conversation between myself and the Birchbox Operations team members. I don’t hold anything against the actual ladies who had the task of reading and replying to my messages, I do, however, have a problem with Birchbox’s protocol of dealing with these matters. Clearly, a disappointed subscriber is at the very bottom of their priorities. Unfortunately, providing quality, deluxe samples isn’t at the top.

The things that upset me most in the first response I got from Anastasia (as you can read) were:
  • Calling me by the wrong name; her name. -No explanation needed.
  • Explaining to me their definition of “deluxe-size samples” -I’m aware and none of the samples I received this month were “deluxe” by anyone’s definition.
  • Stating that of the products featured in the sneak peek, each subscriber would receive at least one -I didn’t receive any of the feature products.
  • Saying they will share my input with their brand partners. -So, they will use my opinion to get bigger, better samples from their “brand partner” FOR FREE and then give them away to paying subscribers, making their subscribers happy, who will obviously want to stay a subscriber, thus, making Birchbox more money yet they can’t throw me a product or two to thank me for my imput and dissatisfaction? BS.

Thanks for reading. And to those who continue reading from here, I thank you even more.

Love, GK

PS I’d love to hear any and all opinions and comments on this matter. Please feel free to contact me directly or to share your comments below (I always respond!) -Thanks again!

Sarah, Oct 19 03:08 pm (EDT):

Hi Kate,

Thanks for writing in. I’d love to hear your feedback on this month 😀

xGingerKate, Oct 22 11:15 am (EDT):

Good Morning, Sarah
I hope you had a wonderful weekend. Thank you again for reaching out to
me about my dissatisfaction with my Birchbox for the month of October. I am
extremely upset and disappointed with the Goop partnered box I received
this month and based on the comments I’ve received on multiple blog posts I
have written about this box, others who received the same box (or similar)
are quite upset as well.

After opting to received one of the goop boxes, I checked out Facebook
posts, the sneak peek videos, etc and was thrilled at the products
featured. Unfortunately, when I saw the box I was due to receive, I came to
find that I would not be one of the lucky ones to received any of those
fabulous products. My dismal box contained:

– Lulu Organics Lavender hair powder
– Karuna Hydrating mask
– Naked Princess lip gloss
– Embryolisse 24hr Miracle Cream
– LUNA bar

Every one of these products was a one-time only sample with the
exception of the lip gloss which is absolutely tiny. When I signed up for
Birchbox, I was promised that I was to receive “premium samples” each
month. One-time use samples can be acquired from department stores or by
simply contacting companies individually; I pay for this subscription to
received more than a one-time use sample.

As it turns out, I received my very first GlossyBox on the same day I
received this month’s Birchbox. Whether I compare the two boxes as a whole
or individual products, GlossyBox was able to stand by their word and
provide me with luxe products for a little more than double my subscription
costs with you. I received 5 full size (or at least close to full size)
products from them and find that the extra $11 per month is more than worth
it (and my blog readers agree). I’ve also researched Ipsy and their boxes
(previously MyGlam) and the reviews I read on these boxes from other
bloggers leaves me impressed with their service as well.

I have been disappointed with your boxes in the past but there was
usually at least one product per box that made me feel not so stupid for
spending $10 on it. However, I don’t think I will continue my subscription
much longer after receiving this most recent box. It’s absolutely horrible. I
am promised 4 or 5 products each month and sometimes “extras” are provided
as well. Months when I receive 4 samples I can’t help but be a bit
disappointed but if the sizes of the samples are decent, the “extras” can
sometimes make up for this. This is far from the case this month. The four
minuscule samples packed and sent to me were supplemented by a LUNA bar…
thanks, but no thanks.

Not only have I read other blogger’s reviews of this month’s box but I
have also discussed with personal friends the items they received in their
box and I feel that everyone received a more worthwhile box than me and
those who received the same box as me. How can you give so many people a
box that includes a full bottle of essie amongst other products and give
others 5 one time use samples? Its not fair and it does not make any sense.

When I watched your sneak peeks and features, I was so excited at the
products featured.

– Chantecaille Brilliant Gloss
– Chantecaille Faux Cils Mascara
– DDF Wrinkle Resist Pore Minimizer Moisturizing Serum
– Essie Nail Polish

Where are these fabulous products? I had anticipated receiving at least a
few of these products and I expected them to be more than one-time use
samples. Your company promises “deluxe” samples and your highly hyped
partnership with goop gave me the false hope that I would be receiving a
completely amazing box this month. These skimpy samples do not reflect very
well upon Goop.com either; they couldn’t afford to provide you with decent
sized samples to pass on to your subscribers?

I certainly hope something can be done about my huge let-down in
October. Otherwise, I don’t believe I will continue subscribing long enough
to receive my November box. However this plays out, I maintain an
obligation to keep my readers informed. I love beauty and fashion and I
love being able to review new products each month courtesy of your
subscription service. I also am proud to subscribe to what was really the
first major product subscription service in the states but now, I’m
beginning to look and feel like a fool for continuing.
Thank you for your time and consideration,

Kate [Last Name]

Ginger-Kate.com

Anastasia, Oct 24 04:04 pm (EDT):

Hi Anastasia,

Thank you for writing in, and I am so sorry that you were not satisfied with your Birchbox delivery this month!

We definitely are aware of the fact that sample impression is important, and an appropriate amount of product is the only way to make a valid decision as to whether it’s a product you would like to purchase in the future or not.

While sample sizes do vary each month, it highly depends on what the brands provide us and feel is a deluxe-size sample. Deluxe-size means the sample gives you the opportunity to try the product on multiple occasions. Based on the brand’s opinion, the samples they produce coordinate to how much of the product they feel should be used in one use, three uses, and so on. While smaller samples are by no means the standards of what we want to send our subscribers, the product is one that we want to be able to share with our customers.

We post our Favorites video each month to highlight items that our members will be receiving. Everyone will receive at least one or two of the samples featured, but not all. They are also allotted by your Beauty Profile preferences. I recommend that you update your Beauty Profile in order to receive products more suited towards your tastes.

Once again, I apologize for your disappointment and we understand your concern completely. We are constantly trying to evolve as a brand and company, for this reason, customer feedback is extremely important to us and highly encouraged! I will be sure to pass this along to our Beauty Partnership Team, so that they are aware of how this sample was received.

In the meantime, if you have any other questions and/or concerns, please do not hesitate to reply to this email or give us a call at: 877.487.7272 (9am-5pmEST| M-F).

xo Anastasia

Birchbox Operations Associate

xGingerKate: Dear Birchbox Representative #3,

MY name isn’t Anastasia. From what I can tell, YOUR name is Anastasia. Your keen observation skills and ability to address me by my own name are a perfect example of the level of care Birchbox gives to their subscribers/customers.

Allow me to respond to your most recent BS: So, a small pouch of moisturizer, a pouch that can not be resealed and a small package of dry shampoo, that also can not be resealed, are considered “deluxe”, multiple-use samples according to the company that produced them and you’ll stand by that?

This is absolutely laughable; you must realize this.

In a box of four samples: 2 products are tear-open, one-time-use packets, 1 product is a face mask to be used ONCE and the final product is a minuscule tube of lip gloss. The lip gloss is the ONLY product that I will (reluctantly) agree can be used multiple times. 4 horrible samples and then you throw in a LUNA bar as an extra… YAY! Excuse me while I jump for joy.

Thank you for your response but you really just wasted more of my time corresponding with you and gave more false hope that Birchbox would take responsibility for their service and at least attempt to make a recovery. I will be canceling my subscription following the delivery of the products I recently ordered off of your site. I will be giving my $10 a month to Ipsy/MyGlam from now on in addition to my GlossyBox subscription.

I’d thank you for your service over the last 7 months but it’s been horrible.The LEAST you could do is get my name right since you’ve been billing me for more than half a year. You reached out to me as if you were willing to/looking to make this wrong a right. Clearly you just wanted another opportunity to repeat the lofty description of your “deluxe” samples. Do you have a complaint response template that you simply copy and paste in your email responses as you see fit? I am completely aware that sample sizes vary each month but a box that consists of strictly one-time-use samples IS NOT what you promise, it IS NOT what you advertise and it is certainly NOT what I signed up to pay $10 a month to receive.

Sincerely,
(Not Anastasia,)
-Kate, Ginger-Kate.com

Anastasia, Oct 24 04:54 pm (EDT):

Hi Kate,

So sorry for the typo and your disappointment in my response. I am definitely passing your feedback along so that it will be heard by our brand partners.

Please let us know if you need any further assistance.

xGingerKate:  Thank you for your prompt response and apology, Anastasia. And no, I will require no further assistance from Birchbox.

-Kate
That’s it. Nothing overly interesting or exciting. I did think that it was worth sharing though. Again, if you’re considering becoming a Birchbox subscriber, reconsider. Check out other blogger’s reviews of Birchbox, GlossyBox, Ipsy/MyGlam and the other subscription sample boxes out there. Birchbox is a let-down monthly with their skimpy samples and then on top of that, they clearly don’t care very much about resolving any issues that their customers may be experiencing.
If you read through that crap, it is very much appreciated. Sincerely, thank you.
Love, GK
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Mad for Makeup

Stila, Sephora and Urban Decay, oh my!

I did a little splurging today. (What else is new?) It started out innocently enough on Birchbox.com and quickly escalated into a full-on makeup buying frenzy. Nevertheless, I wanted to brag about the goodies I’ll be receiving soon enough and let you in on some of the awesome deals that you can also claim right now.

Since I’ll be canceling my Birchbox soon, I wanted to cash in the Birchbox points I had. The two items I traded my points for are below and I’m quite excited about receiving them.

First up, is the stila “It’s Go Time” Lip Glaze trio. It’s a “Birchbox Exclusive” except that you can get a similar trio on Sephora as well. ( Sephora.com: stila lip gloss trio also $12. Or for a little more than double, why not get 8 stila glosses? stila “All is Bright” lip glaze set for $25)

My only gripe with stila glosses are how sticky they are. The shine and pretty pout they offer is what keeps me coming back but the stickiness is less than pleasing.

Next, on Birchbox.com, I picked up one of the nail colours from Zoya’s Intimate Nail Polish Collection. I chose “Caitlin”. It’s the lighter purple color featured below under “available options”. (2nd polish from the left in pic).

I’ve never used Zoya nail polishes but I’ve read some good reviews and I really loved the colour of Caitlin.

So that’s that. I traded in my Birchbox points. No sense in missing out on redeeming them for some products before canceling my subscription, right? But my cosmetics shopping didn’t stop there. No, I moved on to Sephora.com where I spent more than I planned to today. I did nab some sweet deals though!

I love the sample boxes put together by Sephora! It’s a great way to expand your makeup arsenal without paying for the full sizes at full price. This set is the Sephora Favorites Glitz and Glam Party Sampler and is perfect for the upcoming holidays ($45)! The set includes:

  • – 0.09 oz Stila Duo Shimmer Powder in Kitten
  • – 0.018 oz Laura Mercier Baked Eye Color – Wet/Dry in Black Karat
  • – 0.02 oz bareMinerals Eyecolor in Good Fortune
  • – 0.125 oz SEPHORA by OPI Nail Colour in Looks Like Rain Dear
  • – 0.11 oz Josie Maran GOGO Instant Natural Volume Argan Mascara in Black
  • – 1 oz Nars Body Glow
  • – 0.17 oz Lorac 3D Liquid Lustre Gold
  • – 0.15 oz Bare Escentuals Marvelous Moxie Lipgloss in Trail Blazer
  • – 0.01 oz Stila Smudge Stick Waterproof Eye Liner in Starfish
  • -Metallic zipper clutch

I almost bought the Stila Smudge Stick on Birchbox for $20 before venturing over to Sephora and I’m sure glad I didn’t!

Here’s what Sephora has to say about the Glitz and Glam Party Sampler:

What it is:
A dazzling makeup collection featuring nine of Sephora’s most glittering products—plus a chic metallic clutch.
What it does:
Perfect for the holidays, this kit has a gorgeous assortment of festive products to create any party-ready look, including three full-size products. Take it all anywhere you go in the included distressed metallic zippered clutch.

I can’t wait and I wont have to for very long because on Sephora, any order over $50 includes free three day shipping! However, my Glitz and Glam box is only $45, I had to find at least one more item to make my order more than $50. I found two.

Urban Decay Eyeshadow in Haight. $6. YES! $6. They are having a sale on Urban Decay Eyeshadows right now. I would suggest you hop over to Sephora right now and buy them all at this price! I took everything in my power to not buy all 13 colours. If this sale is still going on next week, I will be back for the rest! Today, I only picked up two. The other colour I bought is:

Purple Haze. Just like the Jimi song. Normally, I’m a neutral colour kind of girl but since I was splurging anyway, I figured I’d get some fun colours! (I want to get Half Baked and Kiddie Pool as well.)

That’s where my buck stops but those aren’t the only things coming at me from Sephora. I was able to select 3 samples from a [pretty slim] list. Here’s what I selected:

I’ve never tried either of these perfumes and I’m excited about giving this leave-in conditioner a try as well. That’s still not it. By using the promo code philo3 at check out, I secured a 3 piece Philosophy sample set as well.

If you head over to Sephora.com, make sure you sign up to be a Beauty Insider. It’s Sephora’s customer reward program that allows you to accrue points as you buy that can be redeemed for sweet stuff. It also keeps you in the loop about specials, promotions, new product launches and earns you invites to special events. Sephora also send their Beauty Insiders a birthday gift each year! It’s a great program and if you’re spending anyway, why not collect points to be used later?

I may have spent more money on makeup than I expected to when I woke up this morning but the deals I got are incredible. Money well spent, I say! I know I’ve been slacking on my Daily Threads posts; this weekend I was just having way too much fun and didn’t have time to take any pics and post the descriptions and yesterday I had to do some Halloween shopping after work followed by a movie with friends. (We saw Argo. I loved it. One of my friends hated it. I would suggest seeing it.)

No word back from Birchbox yet. If you read, they contacted me on Friday about my dissatisfaction with the October Goop Birchbox. I was temporarily impressed with their customer service so instead of sending them the nasty email I had drawn up to send them originally, I decided to be a bit nicer and tone down the anger. However, since I haven’t heard back from them, I’m now figuring that their whole “reach-out” to me was BS and they really just don’t care about their loyal subscribers or the quality of their service. If you’re pissed at Birchbox too, contact them and tell them Ginger-Kate sent you! If i ever hear back from them, I’ll be sure to let you know how they plan to resolve this extreme upset over their craptastic box.

Thanks for reading! I’ll be posting full reviews on each of these products once I’ve received them and had a chance to play with them.

Love, GK

October 2012 :: Birchbox #6

Let me start by say, “ughhhh.”

I received my October Birchbox yesterday afternoon along with my first ever GlossyBox. Bad timing, Birchbox. GlossyBox blew Birchbox out of the water and by far. I’ve been disappointed in the past with my monthly Birchbox but never as disappointed as I am this month.

I am positively fed up with Birchbox and their craptastic samples. They promise 5 (or 4) premium samples of high-end cosmetics. Um, no. From my very first box back in May i pointed out that the samples are far from premium and this month is the perfect example. Since when are one-time use samples “premium”? I can get better walking into Macys and not have to fork over $10 a month.

After pumping me full of hope and excitement over their partnership with Goop.com for the October box they sent me a box [far from] full of lame stuff. LAME, in all caps! I was really assuming that this months box would have such fabulous items inside since they were partnering with Goop.com. I was relieved because, like I have said in my monthly reviews, I’ve been disappointed with Birchbox; I figured Goop.com would provide them with amazing stuff and then they, in turn, would provide me with amazing stuff… nope.

I’ve read other beauty blogger’s October box reviews and it definitely seems that me and everyone else who received the same box as me got the short end of the stick. Not even, we can’t reach the damn stick!

Let’s just get this over with…

See what I mean? What the crap, Dude?

1.) Naked Princess – Naked Shine Luscious Lip Gloss in Barely Blush :: Full Size $26 – ♥ – Lets first take a look at the miniscule sample of lip gloss from naked princess.

I’m a lipstick/lip gloss lover so I’ll definitely use this sample… for about 1 day.

You can barely tell I’m wearing lip gloss at all as this is a “sheer gloss”. I like subtle glosses but I’m still not a fan. Hence, the 1♥ (and it would’ve been a zero if I didn’t love glosses so much).

2.) Karuna – Hydrating Treatment Mask :: 4 Masks for $28 – ♥♥ – This was definitely the most worthwhile product in the box this month. I applied my mask last night. Its not the most difficult sheet mask I’ve ever applied but it is also not the easiest. This mask is meant to provide intense moisture to the skin with it’s Japanese Natto (soybean) ingredient.

Sexy, right?

I took the opportunity of applying some teeth whitening strips while I let the mask sit on my face. After removing, I blended the remaining product into my face, neck and hands as the instructions stated. It felt nice. My skin felt soft. When I woke up, my skin felt dry… es no bueno. I will not be purchasing this product in the future.

3.) Embryolisse – Lait-Creme Concentre – 24hr Miracle Cream :: Full Size $16 – 0♥s – Since my skin was left feeling dry from the Karuna Mask from last night, I applied some of this Embryolisse miracle cream this morning, post shower/pre makeup. I don’t like. It’s also weird to me that the description boasts that this can be used a makeup primer AND makeup remover… how is that even possible? Remover I can believe since it’s so oily, but if it removes makeup, how will it help makeup to better stay on? If anyone can explain how that could be possible, please explain it to me. No sarcasm here at all. If it is possible for a product to be both a primer and later a makeup remover, I would love to understand why. Fo real-real.

4.) Lulu Organics – Lavender + Clary Sage Hair Powder :: Full Size $30 – 0♥s – I’m giving this sample a rating of zero ♥s even though I haven’t used it yet. I have very dry hair (which I believe was a question I answered when filling out my beauty profile but I could be wrong…) so I don’t use dry shampoos. If I don’t wash my very curly, very dry hair every few days, I’ll be rocking dreadlocks.

October Goop Birchbox score: 3♥s out of a possible 20♥s… and I was being quite generous.

As an EXTRA, Birchbox was kind enough to provide me with a LUNA bar. (Anyone of you who have read my last couple of posts about this box will have noted the intense sarcasm.) Thanks, BB.

That’s all. No, seriously, that’s it.

Thanks for reading! Love, GK

They’re heeerrrreee.

Look what was waiting for me when I got home from the station today!!!

20121018-174548.jpg
Welcome to my Thursday night!

My very first GlossyBox and my October Birchbox!

Check back for my reviews of all the products in each box!

Love, GK

30 mins later…
UPDATE:

Here’s a sneak peek at my October Glossybox and Birchbox.
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I’m so in love with GlossyBox. Birchbox on the other hand has fallen way short (again).

October Goop Birchbox Spoilers

I’M PISSED!

I just took a peak on my Birchbox account at what my October Birchbox has in store for me upon arrival (which should be today btw). I did in fact get chosen ton receive one of the highly coveted Goop Birchboxes and after watching the sneak peek video I was so excited! The products featured look amazing! Then I saw what I would be receiving…

20121017-142247.jpg

Where’s my sample of Chantecaille Brilliant Gloss and Faux Cils Mascara? Where’s my DDF Wrinkle Resist Pore Minimizer Moisturizing Serum? Where’s my Supergoop? And the most pressing question of all: Where the f*ck is my Essie?

I really expected this month’s box, partnered box with Goop.com, to have the best of the best or at the very least the products highlighted in the monthly video. A LUNA BAR!? No thanks Birchbox and Gwenyth Platrow can stick it up her ass. I’ll walk to walgreens when I want a LUNA bar; I don’t want it included in my monthly subscription that I pay for to receive cosmetics.

Once again, I’m disappointed with my Birchbox and I havent even received it yet. (It could very well be sitting in my mailbox right now though) I can only hope that my GlossyBox won’t disappoint. I received my shipping notification email from GlossyBox and when I tracked my package, I was pleasantly surprised to find that it is closer than I expected. GlossyBox only sent me my email this morning, but my box was shipped on the 12th.

20121017-142259.jpg

That means I should have my very first GlossyBox by the end of the week! Be frightened, Birchbox. You’re on the chopping block, for real. There’s a few other monthly cosmetic subscription box services I’ve been researching recently and I might just have to kick Birchbox to the curb and sign up for another service.

I’ll have a full review of my October Birchbox up soon (hopefully by the end of the night). I’ll also have a full review of my GlossyBox goodies posted asap.

Thanks for reading and my apologies for all the expressed anger. BIRCHBOOOOOX [shakes fist in the air]. Love, GK