BYOB: Build Your Own Birchbox

Off Duty / On Style

I have never been a subscriber of ipsy, Birchbox or any of those subscription services, but recently I went to the brick and mortar store for Birchbox located in Soho and loved it. The store is located at 433 West Broadway and I definitely recommend checking it out if you’re in the city.

For those not familiar with Birchbox, it’s an online shop that sells beauty, hair, skincare and other similar products. Birchbox also offers a famous digital service for $10 per month where you get 5 different random samples based on your preferences. Out of fear of receiving things that I would not use, I have not participated in this, but the physical store’s format was perfect for me.

To start, you select your own box. I chose a geometric pattern box, which I hope to be able to use for something in the future. Leave suggestions in the comments!


The pricing works like this, it’s $15 if you select one item from each  of the five categories or for $25 you can select any five items you want. I chose the $15 option and since I have had these products for a little bit already, I’m going to give a short review for each!


Left to right: Face, Fragrance, Skin, Hair, Makeup


I absolutely love Caudalie, so when I saw their brand name I knew that I had to snatch it up. It is a gentle cleansing milk consisting of sweet almond and cornflower. The scent is fresh and not overpowering. The application is milky, moisturizing and very gentle. It’s difficult to tell a direct cause with my skin cause I use so many different products on my face, but I think it helped clear it up a bit. I would definitely recommend this to those with more dry skin. Verdict: I enjoyed it, but would not repurchase for my already oilier skin


Viva La Juicy from Juicy Couture is one of my favorite scents so I figured I would give Hollywood Royal a try. Its scent is described as being a mix of candied apple, juicy pear, marshmallow, vanilla, jasmine and gardenia. This scent is sweet with a punch of flirty fun. It’s a great scent for day to night. Verdict: It was a bit too sweet for my taste to get a full size, but I liked testing out the sample.


For my skin product, I chose the sunscreen Coola SPF 50 Sport in Mango scent. I LOVE the scent of this, the days of bad smelling sunscreen are over! It’s not at all greasy, water resistant and organic. I have been using it on my face and it is also very moisturizing. Verdict: I’m hooked, why does the full size have to be $32? My dad cringed when I bought a $9 sunscreen. He’s going to faint when he sees this.


The Beauty Protector Protect and Detangle is a multi-functional product. Wait until you hear this list: instant detangler, thermal protectant, UV protector, seals cuticle, smoothes hair, locks in color, adds shine, weightless and not greasy. That’s basically everything you could want from your hair. I have noticed a HUGE difference in my hair’s health after using this. Verdict: I love it, someone buy me the full size immediately.


The last item that I got was the Mally Beauty Evercolor Shadow Stick in the color Copper Rose. This stuff is amazing. The color is gorgeous on its own or as a base. It also applies really smooth. Verdict: It’s awesome, I don’t think I would repurchase for the price but I will enjoy the one that I have.

If you live in or visit New York and like beauty, I definitely recommend building your own Birchbox. It’s just a fun experience and helps you try new things since I often get stuck in a cycle with my go-to products. If you visit, please let me know with #offdutyonstyle.


Kelsey Knepler

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s