Update 1/29/12: Loooks like Birchbox got a little too big for its britches. The quality of stuff definitely took a dive over the summer, leading me (and what looks like many others) to cancel my subscription. I haven’t forgotten how wonderful the first six months or so were though – fingers crossed they up their capacity and get back on the ball soon! And, if they do – I’ll be back.
Basic idea: for $10 a month, you get a box full of sample-sized cosmetics shipped to your home. The samples are tailored to your preferences – skin tone, skin type, hair color, what you splurge on, etc. etc.
The website explains the products and features tips and user ratings for each sample. You earn loyalty points for becoming a yearly member, recruiting other users, and filling out surveys for the products you tried. And, of course, you can buy full-size versions of all the crap you’ll inevitably get hooked on in the process. :)
Best Part: The packaging aesthetics are wonderful – a simple brown paperboard box sets off the pink tissue paper wrapped around an efficiently packed assemblage of goodies. It’s Apple’s logistical sleek + Williams-Sonoma’s luxury pretty. Solid branding, for sure. I’m sold.