As I check out at Sephora, a satisfaction approaches as they ask me if I am a beauty points member. I casually rattle off my phone number as my eyes wander towards the displayed samples. “You have 5075 points, would you like to exchange any today? A sense of pride suddenly makes me stand straighter, gives me a little swagger, as I pop a hip, in my sweatpants. In my imagination, all the customers around me have heard my number and are in envy, waiting with baited breath to see me pick the teeny treasure being offered to me alone.
When I get home, I immediately dump out my new products to play with them like a kid on Christmas morning. There is never more twinkle in my eye than in that moment when extra products come trickling out after the tissue paper and receipt. But here in lies the problem, the receipt. How often am I doing these shops to gain these great pleasures, and at what cost? Generally, a big one. What is it about product samples that is so satisfying? Coming from a serious commitment phob like myself, it should seem fairly obvious, but it’s more! These little packets of joy hold a special place in my most treasured makeup case. The fuller it is, the more fulfilled I feel. When I look into that bag, I feel like the world is my oyster, my options are limitless, my problems could be solved with one dip in.
Every so often, I spread out the contents of this beauty bag onto my bed, and do an inventory, detailing what to try next and dividing it into categories. It's like re-organizing the t-shirt drawer, but better. There are the eye creams (my most coveted), the mascaras (my most used), and then there is the travel section. The travel section is comprised of a start to finish routine that is TSA approved. While I have yet to ever do carry-on, I have great aspirations for me and my travel sets. There is the hands and feet department, which often make it onto my bedside table, since this is an area I sadly ignore when purchasing products, and then there is the one and the only mini red lipstick. I have never made it through a full lipstick before I lose it. Either that, or I have so many it would take a makeup army to go through them. Either way, the more the merrier. The mini more the merrier.
Birchbox just gets me. Birchbox gets all of us. There are way too many amazing and fun products out there to buy them all. My poor bathroom cabinets are so frustrated with the overcrowding situation they often evict glass jars as soon as those mirrored doors open. Birchbox offers a monthly subscription of 5 favorite sample products, personalized per person. It’s like the sampler platter of cosmetics. The movie previews of products. The stocking stuffers of beauty. Not only have I discovered some of my favorite items from these little boxes of heaven, but it’s also saved me buying the giant and costly bottles of things I use sporadically, like hairspray and hand cream.
By Kira Cohen.