Over the past two years I’ve changed a lot of things in my life and how I live it, one of those being my grooming habits. In my early 20′s it was way easier and cheaper to just always rock the self done buzz cut than to actually go to a barber. Combine that with an affinity for beat up sneakers, torn jeans, and unruly beards and you’ve got yourself a good description of how I chose to carry myself.
I think a lot of it has come with the weight loss and getting in shape, I now take pride in myself and how I present myself to others and want to at least make my best effort to be the best I can be. Some recent proof of this new mindset includes personal triumphs such as buying a pair of leather dress shoes that didn’t come from Pay Less, learning the art of shaving with a straight razor, buying shaving cream that costs more than $5, and getting to know my barber on a first name basis.
This dabbling in the land of grooming/fashion has been a cautious one partly because it can be expensive and secondly I’m a bit oblivious and chatting it up with a store clerk about exfoliating soap just isn’t a priority of mine. This is why I was so pleased to find out about a Service called Birchbox for men. They are my sherpa in the lands of manly products, sending me a monthly medley of goods for me to try and then providing a store front for me to acquire full sized versions of said products online, often times at a discount and with free shipping.
Here is the general idea of how Birchbox works, you pay $20 a month and in exchange Birchbox sends you a box full of samples to try out accompanied by some literature giving you a heads up to what exactly you’ve got before you. I figured I’d give it a shot and just recently received my first box of samples, not only was the presentation stellar but the products were actually awesome and useful.
Allow me to take a moment to go over what was in my first Birchbox and give a brief review of what I thought about each product.
Behold the Birchbox, a box that opens like a drawer and is full of things to better yourself. Upon opening my first shipment I found a pair of socks, a bar of soap, some shaving gel, and some face wash. Challenge accepted Birchbox, I shall try out all these products and I shall decide if they are something I would like to include in my life or not.
Richer Poorer Socks – The first thing I noticed in the box was a pair of socks, maybe because they were the largest item or perhaps because I was surprised to randomly be getting a new pair of socks. The pair I got were red and had some stripes, the card accompanying the box said that I should wear my new socks with pants that I roll a bit to proudly display my colorful ankles (they said it a lot better, but that was the gist of it). So I took my new socks for a spin at a friends barbecue this weekend not only were they lightweight and breathable but they were comfortable and looked pretty slick. To make things even better while sitting around chatting with some friends one of them complimented my cool colorful socks, that alone made the test worthwhile. These socks had scored me some cred and gave people the impression that I actually had some fashion sense. Well played Birchbox, well played indeed.
Kiehl’s Ultimate Man Body Scrub Soap – Next up was a bar of soap, the claim that it would make me the ultimate man had me intrigued so I tossed it in my gym bag as I had been meaning to pack a bar of soap so I wouldnt have to use the weird pink body wash that came from dispenser in the men’s locker room at the gym. I’ve got to admit this stuff is pretty awesome, after my work out I was showering and tried it out, it smelled good and exfoliates your skin as you use it so you really feel like you’re cleaning yourself while using it. This was probably my favorite sample from this box and I fully intend to pick up a bar once this one runs out. Something about soap that feels like sandpaper seems to right, this is what cleaning should feel like!
Billy Jealousy LiquidSand Exfoliating Facial Cleanser – I come from the school of thought that you wash your face with the same soap that you wash the rest of your body with, skin is skin, and soap is soap. But since I had a bottle of stuff specifically made to wash my face with I figured I’d give it a shot. I’d like to take a second to just point out that this is the beauty of Birchbox, I was trying out something I would never have tried on my own. This stuff is like gritty body wash, I used it on my face rinsed and was left feeling the same way I would any other day. The real revelation came about an hour after my shower when I noticed my face was smooth and soft feeling. I had never realized it didnt feel smooth or soft until I had something to compare it to! All this time I was living in the dark, and now had my eyes opened to the world of a properly cleansed face.
ZIRH Shave Gel - The final product in the box was some shave gel, now as I had mentioned earlier I’ve already dabbled in the world of higher quality shave products so I wasnt expecting to be blown away by this stuff. Right now I’m rocking my mid spring beard so shaving is just a matter of cleaning up my neck line and cheeks. This also means I’m shaving a little less frequently as I can get away with it a bit. Anyways I used this shave gel instead of my normal gel, it worked like most of the other stuff I’ve used and gave me a nice close smooth shave. But something special happened about 3 days later, my girlfriend asked me if I had shaved the night before telling my that my cheeks were nice and smooth. My girlfriend has never made a comment about the state of my facial hair or lack there of ever, was this a grand coincidence or had the shave gel worked magic on my face? In any case it certainly left me feeling confident that this shave gel was no joke and worth using again.
There you have it, my thoughts on the first four products to arrive via my Birchbox subscription. Two resulted in compliemnts or praise of some kind, some opened my eyes to things I’ve never used before, and all of them left me feeling satisfied and confident that next month’s Birchbox will also hold a medley of products designed to further help my journey in bettering myself as a man.
Want to give Birchbox Men a try? It’s as simple as going to their site here and signing up. As long as they have space for you at the time you’ll just have to fill out your info as well as answer some questions to help them decide what products would be best for you and you’re good to go. It is probably worth noting that they also have a Birchbox Women if you’re a gal and want to get in on the sample fun as well. For the sake of full disclosure, the links I’ve used on here include my referral ID so I get some cred for sharing Birchbox with you guys.