Coffee Chat: Goodbye Birchbox – Why I unsubscribed from the Birchbox beauty box after a year and a half

The time has come to say goodbye to Birchbox. Like many of you, I read the reviews and comments before I subscribed but I still wanted to try it out myself. Now, after about a year and a half of being a subscriber, I have decided to end my subscription.

If you are wondering why subscribe to beauty boxes in general click here to find out the top 5 reasons.


I haven’t just been a Birchbox subscriber, I’ve also been subscribed to GlossyboxLook Fantastic, and Cohorted for the same amount of time and in the meantime I’ve also been trying out other new and upcoming boxes, like the My Little Beauty Box (aka MLB Box), Sophie’s Beauty normal and luxury beauty box and others which I didn’t write about. As a result, I haven’t just been judging Birchbox, I have been directly comparing it for a year and a half to its competitors and unfortunately, my opinion has become very firm.

Birchbox is not as exciting or good value for money as the other beauty boxes out there. This is especially true if you compare it to its direct competitors, Glossybox and Look Fanstastic, which are around the same price tag (Birchbox £12.95, Glossybox £13.25, Look Fantastic £15.00 – all prices include postage).

I’m not saying that Birchbox is not value for money, because it is. If you go to a drugstore or other beauty shop and try to spend those £12.95 you will not come out with as many products as Birchbox provides you every month. However, for a very similar price, Glossybox and Look Fantastic are much better value for money and a lot more exciting. You very often get full size products in Glossybox and you even get the full ELLE magazine in Look Fantastic.

I’ve even tried the Pink Parcel box a couple of times (a monthly box that provides you with your chosen period pads/taboons as well as 4-5 beauty treats and some sweet treats to cheer you up) and even that was better value for money and costs exactly the same, £12.95. I thought that Pink Parcel had more interesting beauty products, some were even high end and full size. Not to mention that you also get a sweet treat and your period pads covered for the month.


Birchbox not only often includes sample size or in general smaller sized products but it also feels like they are rotating between the same brands very often (although actually going through my pictures and checking showed same brand products only 2-3 times a year which is fine). There’s nothing wrong with including different products from the same brand, in fact I’m known to trying out a brand to exhaustion, until I find the products I like and don’t like, but there is something about Birchbox specifically that feels repetitive. Perhaps it’s not the brands (other boxes repeat brands too), perhaps it’s the product types included. It feels like it’s always a hair spray or a single eye shadow or a mascara.

I’ve actually went through every single one of the beauty boxes I got the last year and a half and scored 1 point for every time a box had a product that became one of my favourites, and Birchbox was last. I like a good bargain buy or cheap but effective product as much as anyone, but I feel that the Glossybox and Look Fantastic approach to mixing drugstore with mainstream and sometimes even higher end products is a more balanced, realistic and exciting option.

Last year I went through the first impression and product scores of all beauty boxes I was subscribed to and drew some conclusions. Check out: Battle of the Beauty Boxes – Conclusions from the 2017 unboxing and reviews on Cohorted, Glossybox, Look Fantastic and Birchbox!

Long story short, Birchbox had the lowest score and while I haven’t done my analysis just yet for this year (post coming in December 2018) my overall feeling is that it will be the same result. While I felt that Glossybox stayed equally amazing and Look Fantastic improved, I didn’t think that Birchbox changed in any way from last year.

Let’s take the most recent Birchbox (October 2018) as an example which was actually one of the best Birchboxes, so it should work in Birchbox’s favour. If you payed around the same price tag, which box of the three following below would you rather have received?

Birchbox October 2018 £12.95
Glossybox October 2018 3_20181012124847749
Glossybox October 2018 £13.25
Look Fantastic October 2018 £15.00

I’ve also asked you to vote which beauty boxes you like reading about and Birchbox came last with only 33.33% of you interested. Granted, the number of people replying to this poll wasn’t exactly of statistical importance but it shows an overall flavour of what people think and combined to my experience and other online reviews I think it’s accurate enough for this purpose. Some of you even said in the poll that you unsubscribed from Birchbox yourselves.

If you missed the post check out: Coffee Chat: Which beauty boxes do you want to read about?

Birchbox is value for money and if it was the only beauty box in the market I would be more than happy to receive it every month. Unfortunately, as it stands right now, the competition is better. With beauty boxes such as Glossybox, Look Fantastic and even Pink Parcel, which cost almost the same, Birchbox scores last in terms of value for money, excitement, variety of beauty product discovery and even how long Birchbox will manage to top up your beauty bag or collection with the smaller samples contained.

Have you subscribed or unsubscribed to Birchbox? I’d like to hear your opinion and experience in the comments below.


To subscribe to Birchbox UK and get £5 off your first box click here.

Did you get this month’s Birchbox? What did your box contain? What did you think of the products? Have you tried any of the products listed? Let me know your experiences!

For all the details on how Cohorted, Glossybox, Look Fantastic and Birchbox performed in 2017 and which one is worth your money, check out “Battle of the Beauty Boxes – Conclusions from the 2017 unboxing and reviews on Cohorted, Glossybox, Look Fantastic and Birchbox!

For general subscription box reviews see the: BirchboxGlossyboxLook FantasticCohorted and My Little Beauty Box general review posts. For help on how to choose the right subscription box for you check out “Which Subscription Beauty Box is right for you?”.

I am not affiliated with any company or brand. These are my views and experiences.


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3 responses to Coffee Chat: Goodbye Birchbox – Why I unsubscribed from the Birchbox beauty box after a year and a half

  1. I’ve never tried Birchbox before, but it kind of reminds of Ipsy because like Birchbox Ipsy gives you a lot of sample or smaller products also. I think it looks like a good way to start on a subscription if you are new to subscription boxes, but the other boxes look better which could almost be like a step up, just like BoxyCharm for me is a step up because you get full size items.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Ayesha says:

    I see so many product repeats month after month. Even if you yourself didn’t get the product again each month you will see someone get a product you got months ago. I got a mystery box with my September box and both came No4 smoothing balm which u have in ur October box. I also got the shower scrub in my September box. Which I love. But noticed other people get the same one throughout the year. They seem to have a stock pile of the same products and use it to fill gaps in each months box. Which isn’t very exciting when I check what other people got and see something from one of my older boxes

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you for reading! I’ve also noticed the same thing but not only for Birchbox, for other subscription boxes too. It’s ok to have a stock of products, it would otherwise be very hard to fill in all the different boxes and beauty profiles every month, but I do agree it’s takes away some excitement. What bothers me more is how long do they have them for, how old are some of the products we are getting?


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