Friday, November 7, 2014

Birchbox's Mystery Sample Pack Revealed and Reviewed

So, one of the many items in the Birchbox Bonus Shop is their Mystery Sample Pack.  I have received three over the past month, and I am pretty confounded about the range of these Mystery Sample Packs.

Here's their Birchbox Breakdown:
We know you love diving into samples as much as we do, and the Mystery Sample Pack gives you the chance to try some of our favorite products. Receive two samples for free by spending $35+ on any full-size products from the shop. It includes one deluxe sample and one standard sample that we’re especially excited about right this minute, and here’s the really fun part: Their identities will remain secret until you receive your order. Alternatively, you can purchase this mysterious sample duo on its own for $10.

Here's My Breakdown:

Given that this item would cost you $10 separately, I would expect to discover at least $10 worth of value in this Mystery Sample Pack.  Keep in mind that this sample pack has the exact same cost as Birchbox's monthly subscription box.  When I finally ordered more than $35 worth of products from the Birchbox shop, I was pretty stoked about getting my free Mystery Sample Pack!  I like to think that I have pretty realistic expectations for things, and I was really looking forward to this surprise.

Mystery Sample Pack #1

One tiny bottle of Color Club nail polish in coral, one tiny blister sample pack of 100% Pure French Lavender Butter cream, and two one-time use samples of Obliphica Treatment Hair Serum.  I overall feeling on this Mystery Sample Pack is Meh.  This one wasn't bad, but I'm just not thrilled.  At least the nail polish can be used multiple times, and I could toss the hand buttercream into my purse for a backup lotion for my hands/ arms - its a pretty good size for single-use.

Since the value was not immediately apparent to me, I did some research.  Here's what I found.  Prices are breakdowns from full prices on Birchbox.  

The polish is part of a four piece set that costs $10.  So, polish = $2.50.  

The Obliphica Treatment Hair Serum full size is 2.2 fl oz. for $38.  So, each of these packet = $3.45 

Finally, the 100% Pure Handcream full size is 1.6 fl oz. for $8. So, this sample = $.34

So, the value of this Mystery Sample Pack is about $13.

I don't love this Mystery Sample Pack, but its not a total let down.

Mystery Sample Pack #2

My first response when I pulled this out of the box was, "Some poor person might have paid $10 for this."  I was completely underwhelmed and disappointed.  This Mystery Sample Pack includes one Obliphica Intensive Nourishing Hair Mask, which could be used twice if you have short hair, and one single use Obliphica Hair Treatment Serum.  Honestly, neither of these items could possibly be called "full-size."  

Here's the value breakdown:
The Obliphica Intensive Nourishing Hair Mask full size is 8.45 fl oz for $38.  This sample = $4.54

The Obliphica Treatment Hair Serum full size is 2.2 fl oz. for $38.  So, this packet = $3.45 

For a total value of $7.99.  

This is no where close to $10 of value.  Birchbox, you've got to do better than this!!  At this point, I've given up hope of getting anything but blister packs of hair products that their sample department is apparently trying to clear out.  I had one more mystery sample pack arriving with a final order, and I swore that if I got more hair products, I'd just throw everything away.

Mystery Sample Pack #3

I've ended up with two BB accounts, and when I made an order from account #2, this is the Mystery Sample Pack I got!  Talk about surprised!  This one was AWESOME!!! I am still happy with this set! I received the Pixi Lip Balm in Honey Nectar in my August Birchbox.  I seriously love this balm, and the color.  It feels amazing on my lips.  I had been wanting to try this product in a brighter color for a while.  The color I received in this Mystery Sample Pack is Coral Crush, its really nice without being overpowering.  This balm is $8 on Birchbox.  I've heard good things about Shishedo and seen their ads in beauty mags, so I'd been hoping to get my hands on a sample.  This product runs $65/oz on Birchbox, and this sample is .33 fl oz, which puts it at a value of about $21.  Now, THIS is a Mystery Sample Pack, Birchbox!  If this becomes a regular thing, then I'll definitely be trying to hit $35 for every purchase!

Mystery Sample Pack #4

This sample pack was a little "ho-hum" for me, but it still contains some pretty good items: 2 blister packs of 3-step skin care regimen from derma-e, 3 sachets of Mighty Leaf Tea, and one sample size of  Havvn Night Cream.

Breakdown for derma-e samples = $4.30/each
Mighty Leaf Tea Sachets = $1.99 for all 3
Havvn Night Cream Sample = $4.05
Total Value of this Mystery Pack = $14.64

Overall, really not bad, Birchbox!  Things are looking up!  I'm just swimming in moisturizers and night creams right now.  Otherwise, I'd be a bit more excited about Havvn Night Cream, especially for travel!

Mystery Sample Pack #5

Deja Vu, right?  This is the exact same sample pack as above, except that it contains a LAQA & Co. Lip Lube.  Now, I love me some new lip colors, so this one is really exciting to me!

Breakdown for derma-e samples = $4.30/each
Mighty Leaf Tea Sachets = $1.99 for all 3
LAQA & Co. Lip Lube (this is part of a 5 piece set) = $8.00
Total Value = $18.59!

As my most recent mystery sample pack (as of 2/15/2015), it is really exciting to see that Birchbox has totally stepped up their game!  I'm thrilled with this mystery sample pack!  I love samples of skincare for traveling.  Tea is always great!  AND I scored a free lippy!  SWEET!