BirchboxMan 3.0: Can They Keep the Good Stuff Coming?
Three is an important number. Especially for subscription box services.
This is the third box that I have received from BirchboxMan and I think this is truly a defining box. The first box was awesome, exciting, and had lots of great stuff. The second box was awesome as well. Lots of value received for a really great $10 price. Perhaps, though, it was the newness and variety of products that excited me. Can they truly keep it going for a third box? How many different, new products can they send me that will actually give me that same excited feeling? Well, they sent me five products from FIVE NEW BRANDS this time around! That is impressive stuff.
Oh, and let’s not forget the “theme” of the month: A Change of Classics: “We all have our stanbys, but this month we’re excited to help you get out there and try something new. Here’s to change for the better.” So, basically, the theme is “try new stuff”. I’m not very impressed with this theme, since that’s the entire goal of having a BirchboxMan subscription (and the same goes for almost all subscription box services). But, like I said last month, the theme is the most insignificant part of the box. The products are everything! So let’s check ‘em out.
Billy Jealousy: Face Moisturizer – 3 fl. oz = $26. The sample comes with 0.5 fl. oz, which is worth $4.34 based on the sticker price. Description: “Lightweight and easily absorbed, this moisturizer will hydrate, smooth and soften your face in no time.”
CLEAN: Shower Fresh Fragrance – 3.4 fl. oz = $38.34. The sample comes with 0.03 fl. oz, which is worth 34¢ based on the price I found on FragranceNet.com. Interestingly, both BirchboxMan and other online retailers list a 2.4 fl. oz bottle for $60. But there are numerous online options that sell it for a lot cheaper. Description: “This fragrance captures the fresh sensation of your morning shower and lets it linger with top notes of bergamot and thyme, mid notes of cardamom, and a warming base of black tea and cedar-wood.”
Davines: Naturaltech Energizing Shampoo – 8.45 fl. oz = $29.50. The sample comes with 3.38 fl. oz, which is worth $11.80 based on the sticker price. Description: “For treating thinning and breakage-prone hair. Energizing Shampoo stimulates circulation using caffeine phytoceuticals and improves hair elasticity, preventing loss.”
Level Naturals: Vanilla + Charcoal Bar Soap – 5.8 fl. oz = $8. The sample comes with 1 fl. oz, which is worth $1.38 based on the sticker price. Description: “This bar packs a serious cleansing punch thanks to its activated charcoal infused blend that gets the dirty work done while simultaneously rounding out the action with soothing vanilla for a fine-tuned experience unlike any other.”
V76 by Vaughn: Exfoliating Facial Cleanser – 4.0 fl. oz = $23.00. The sample comes with 0.5 fl. oz, which is worth $2.88 based on sticker price. Description: “This mild exfoliating cleanser washes away oil and impurities to refresh and renew, while gently resurfacing to remove dead cells and prepare skin for a closer, smoother shave.”
My Favorite Item
AND THE WINNER IS: Level Naturals’ Vanilla + Charcoal Bar Soap!
In case you haven’t yet noticed, charcoal has been all the rage lately in men’s products. In fact, the Brickell sample set we wrote about last week had a face wash with “fortifying charcoal.” Personally, I have hated the charcoal products that I’ve tried thus far. I hate the strong smell and the harsh substance, despite the fact that the dermatological benefits of charcoal are well known. But Level Naturals did a really great job here in mixing charcoal together with vanilla to give this bar soap a really great smell! There’s no way I would have liked this bar if it was just a charcoal bar. But together with vanilla = awesome. On top of that, I can almost feel the soap stripping the dirt and bacteria out of the pores of my skin and helping it rinse away.
Truth is, I am not a big fan of bar soap in general. This is mostly because, after the first couple of uses, it gets pretty small and it slips out of my hand easily when I try to use it. It’s pretty frustrating, and for that reason alone I long ago switched to body wash. But, if I were to start using bar soap again, I would definitely purchase this soap in its full size.
I’m happy I got to try this soap out and can safely say that I am no longer anti-charcoal. What I think we’ve learned, though, is that it just needs to have a solid complementary partner, like vanilla.
Value & Conclusion
Bottom line is that BirchboxMan has now delivered consistent and predictable value three months in a row. Think about it. In the September box we calculated that we received $20 of value. In October, $25. And now, in November, $20 again. On the one hand, none of these boxes delivered value that was 3-4 times the $10 monthly fee, but they consistently delivered twice the value. That may not be as good value as some of the other subscription box services we have reviewed, but it’s certainly not underperforming. Also, I am now through three months and I have received 15 products from 13 brands. That’s a really great variety and they’re doing a solid job keeping things fresh. There is value in subscription services in general beyond the literal monetary value of the items inside it, and that can now for sure be said about BirchboxMan as well.
Can they keep it going, though? Will December’s box impress? Can BirchboxMan be a serious contender for the best overall subscription box service for men? We shall see. But for now, we continue to be impressed.