I know that’s a bold claim, but trust me when I say I’ve got the receipts to back it up.

Build Your Own Birchbox

My beauty shopping is heavily dominated by Sephora, it’s true, but I love experiencing new environments. I’m a huge fan of Harmon for drugstore makeup and Space NK knows the way to my heart in many, many ways, yet I remain loyal to Sephora mostly out of convenience. I “know” the Birchbox store exists, but I’m so rarely on West Broadway that I forget to include it in my shopping loop. (TBH, I stay away from West Broadway to mostly avoid emptying my bank account at Laduree, but I digress.)

Although I lost my patience with Birchbox’s repetitive box offerings long ago, at my heart I’m a deeply curious beauty consumer. The boxes appeal to my love of discovery and surprise, but I’ll be damned if I pay for another Juicy Couture fragrance sample. At the SoHo store, however, Birchbox has deconstructed the box experience. For $15, you can build your own five item box.

The build your own box station, located all the way in the back of the store, is quite impressive. As you browse the selection, testers are available for each of the products. The products are divided into specific categories and as you build your box, you select one product from each of the designated categories for a total of five items.

My custom box contents, listed in order of excitement:

  1. Living Proof Dry Shampoo, 1.8oz ($12 retail)
  2. TokyoMilk Dark Lip Elixir in Cherry Bourbon, full size ($7 retail)
  3. Nuxe Huile Prodigieuse Multi-Purpose Dry Oil, 0.33 oz ($29 for the full size)
  4. Skyn Iceland Hydro Cool Firming Eye Gels, 1 pair ($30 for 8 pairs)
  5. Calypso St. Barth Figue Eau de Parfum, ($30 for 7.5 ml purse spray)

Building your own box is a cute concept, but the real value is in the travel (sometimes full) size products, especially if you’re preparing for an upcoming trip. We all get sidetracked by the Beauty To Go bins at Sephora until we see the price tag for mini versions, often with just a few dollars difference in price from the full size. While I’ve often browsed the selection without creating my own box, the tipping point was identifying three items that I was genuinely curious to try. I’d even be willing to sign up for a monthly build your own box subscription if I could receive first dibs & notifications of when new products are added to the assortment.

Like any good bargain, there is a bit of hunting involved. But what is it that they say about the thrill of the chase? 😜

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