Birchbox Review: May

When they announced last month that they were going to begin offering a Birchbox Man subscription, I knew January would want to sign me up. This presented me with a conundrum. On the one hand, the amount of time I have spent thinking about toiletries is far less than the amount of time I spend thinking about almost anything else. On the other hand, I love getting stuff in the mail. So when January offered to buy me a three-month subscription for my birthday, it seemed like a good enough reason to give it a shot.

Coincidently enough, my first box arrived on my actual birthday. I know it took all the strength she could muster for January to not open up the box herself when it arrived, but she did wait patiently for me to get back from breakfast that morning. Regardless of what your thoughts are on “grooming and lifestyle products for men,” you have to give Birchbox credit for their packaging.

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As for the contents, here’s a quick rundown of what came in this month’s box.

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Billy Jealousy LiquidSand Exfoliating Facial Cleanser – I have this thing about water on my face. I don’t like it. Ever since I was a little kid taking showers on my own, my face has always been largely neglected. I don’t know what it is, but I just hate sticking my face directly in the shower stream, and splashing water on with my hands isn’t that much better. Getting out of my comfort zone, though, I gave this facial cleanser an honest shot over the past few weeks. While it felt a bit like rubbing very wet sand on my face, I did like the results: Much smoother skin, and many compliments from January. I’ll definitely keep using this, at least as long as the sample lasts.

Kiehl’s Ultimate Man Body Scrub Soap – Before marrying January, I was pretty brand loyal when it came to bath soap: I generally bought a superpack of Irish Spring, because it was cheap and I didn’t really care. After we were married, I promptly switched my loyalties to whatever she happened to have in the shower at the time, which for the past few years has meant some sort of body wash on a poof. Pretty manly, huh? I’ve been using this bar for the past few weeks, though, and I have no complaints. I’ve always preferred bars over body washes, because I somehow feel less greasy afterwards, so this gets a thumbs-up from me as well.

ZIRH Shave Gel – I’m fairly certain that the last razor I purchased was sometime in 2005, so this product is of pretty little use to me. January keeps telling me that I should probably get a razor to keep the neck of my beard a little tidier, which would give me good use for this shave gel. But you can’t change a man overnight, so my bathroom remains razor-free for the time being. I’ll scuttle this away, though, and maybe give it a shot at some later date.

Richer Poorer Socks – I treat my socks poorly. Very poorly. I typically buy them in a bulk pack from Target and wear them until they are barely recognizable as socks anymore. You see, I’m a shuffler and a pivoter; I don’t always feel the need to pick up my foot completely when walking or turning a corner, and as a result the lifespan of one of my socks is pretty short. Over the past couple of weeks, I’ve treated these socks from Richer Poorer exactly the same way, and they’ve held up fairly well. They also do good job of staying up while not cutting off circulation in my legs, so bonus points for that. I’m not sure I’m totally down with spending $12 on a single pair of socks, but I’m admittedly pretty stingy with my wardrobe budget. I’ll keep wearing these and maybe one day, when I’ve learned to walk properly, invest in a few pairs of these.

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All in all, I was three-for-four on this month’s Birchbox Man. They picked out some pretty solid products for me this time, so I’ll look forward to seeing what they offer next month. If you want to give it a shot, go ahead and sign up. It’s only $20 each month, and each box is customized to your tastes. What else were you going to spend that money on? An 18-pack of Irish Spring?