Saturday, September 14, 2013

Birchbox Man with Mr. Cookie - September

BIRCHBOX MAN - Featuring Mr. Cookie

The Hubby - aka Mr. Cookie

Hello again ladies (and possibly gentlemen). Thanks to everyone who liked last month's review! Sorry it's been such a long time since the last post. If you don't like this month's... just remember...I'm here 'cause you asked for it ;) You'll notice this month I review a shaving balm and I have a beard in the picture above. Yes this is not quite a current picture. I promise I'll get you a good one next month. Once again I've submitted my face...and body....and fashion science in order to bring you an opinion of the September Birchbox.


There's more to being a good traveler than stocking your bag with the correct number of socks and underwear. It means careful packing, sure but also physical readiness and a heightened presence of mind (even when in the throes of jet lag). This month the editors at Men's Health are helping us hit the orad with a collection of supplies (as well as plenty of tips and tricks) worth of the truly inspired traveler - the man who prepares for every trip like it will be his greatest journey."

Birchbox Man

I received: a body/face wash, a face cream, a shaving lotion, a city guide, and a scarf.

So many interesting things, so much potential (except maybe the scarf???). The products packaging is all very clean and intriguing, let's see if the contents can live up to their wrappers!...


"Low-lather shave cream in a flexible spill-proof pouch (read: no carry-on explosives)." - from 2013 September Birchbox Man card

I approached this product with great skepticism. Over the last couple of years I've grown very comfortable with my badger hair brush and Mach3 Turbo razor. No bother, on with the test! The packaging was rather clever, with a neat little screw top inserted into the foil. It allowed me to get two full shaves out of the sample without having to worry about storing a ripped packet in my bathroom drawer. When applied to damp skin, I instantly felt the cooling effect. This would be from two of the first ingredients listed: alcohol and cetyl alcohol. It delivered a decent shave with little razor burn or redness.  I expected my skin to feel dried out after use, but luckily this was not the case. My skin was surprisingly soft.  I'd say this stuff is great if you're in a hurry; say you woke up late for the interview and have to look your best. I did, however, get the first ingrown hair that I've had in years. Correlation does not equal causation, but it's enough of a concern for me that I won't be adding this to my list of man maintenance products.


"Potent antiaging facial treatment powered by linseed extract, caffiene, and salicylic acid." - from 2013 September Birchbox Man card
I'm not used to using anything other than shaving cream and aftershave on my face, so this product was a new experience for me. It's fairly thick and not much more than a fingertip's worth is necessary for covering the entire face. It absorbs into the skin quickly without leaving any oily residue. I didn't really notice any difference in my skin during the duration of use. However, I used the product for about 3 days prior to this review, so I'm not sure that it had enough of a chance to kick in. My skin was surprisingly blemish free before I started using it, so I can't profess as to the effectiveness on the skin clearing properties of the salicylic acid in the mix. I can only assume that it must work somewhat, as I continued to stay pimple-free through its use. I'll continue to use this product as long as this sample lasts, so I'll have to let you know the final verdict on a later post. Temporary conclusion: couldn't hurt to add to your regime if you're over 30.


"Multitasking face and body cleanser to keep your dopp kit streamlined." - from 2013 September Birchbox Man card

For those that don't know (I didn't), THIS is a dopp kit. I can see how having one cleanser for your face and body would take some of the mass out of a toiletry bag. I've gotta give the designer for the logo props. The font alone made me feel manly and futuristic. That feeling kind of evaporated once I squeezed some of the soap onto my body brush. The pungent tangerine odor instantly filled my nose. While this is an enjoyable and refreshing scent, I typically don't associate fruit with masculine smells. There was a bit of an edge to the scent, so I wouldn't recommend it for the ladies either. Onto the function: It did lather nicely and didn't leave my skin with the slimy bar soap disaster that was last month's cleansing sample. Luckily that scent (at least to me) only seemed to last for about the duration of the shower. Once I toweled off I really didn't notice it any more.  I don't know that I'd use this on my face every day, but if you're just jetting somewhere overnight this stuff will would be a good way to add lightness to your crash bag.


"Lightweight year-round scarf to add panache to your onboard outfit." - from 2013 September Birchbox Man card

This is a very will made and attractive scarf. The fabric is light and tightly woven and the stitching has some very interesting designs. That being said, I would not be caught dead wearing this particular garment. I'm think that Birch Box assumes that anyone who has their subscription is quite fashion forward. I try to dress nicely, but this item was a bit over the top for me. I think Johnny Depp would like it. I think quite a few girlfriends would like to steal it. I think Mrs. Cookie will get some lovely use out of it in the future.

for Los Angeles

"Pocket-size roadmap on where to stay, eat, and play in the world's top cities." - from 2013 September Birchbox Man card

This little pamphlet is chock full of awesome ideas about L.A. It tells you about great places to eat, awesome places to stay, where to shop and get your hair done. If you do plan to use this as your travel guide, make sure you have some serious coin saved up in the bank. Almost every single place in this book would rate $$$$ on Yelp. There was one fairly practical idea that I spotted: It's a great way to find a unique place to stay on your trip. I spent part of my childhood in L.A. and never really got to explore it past Hollywood Boulevard. I'll probably hit up one or two restaurants mentioned (and be dragged into quite a few of the stores by my darling wife) next time I go out there to visit.

to Men's Health Magazine

Yet another thing that I won't be using from this month's box. For some reason, I've never been even remotely tempted to pick this magazine up off of the shelf while perusing PopSci or MotorTrend in the grocery store. It's a great value for those who like this sort of thing. I would have figured a subscription to GQ or Esquire would have made more sense for a fashion and beauty oriented service like Birch Box. I would also assume that getting a deal like this with those magazines would be quite a bit more difficult.


 Ernest Supply Cooling Shave Cream: 
  • Full-size (3.0 fl oz) - $25
  • I received a 0.3 fl oz sample -  $2.50
Kiehl's Facial Fuel "Heavy-Lifting" Anti-aging Moisturizer:
  • Full-size (1.7 fl oz) - $36
  • I received a 0.25 fl oz sample jar -  $5.29
VitaMan Face and Body Cleanser: 
  • Travel size (50 mL) that I received is -  $19
Apolis Global Linen Scarf:
  • I received a full-size scarf -  $42
Luxe City Guides - Los Angeles:  
  • I received a full-size guide -  $9.99

Total Paid for Box:   $20

Total Worth of Box:   $78.78

I'm not quite sure what the manufacturers of VitaMan were thinking but their product is NOT worth $19 for the size that I received. Same goes with the scarf. The face cream and shave gel seem to be reasonably priced given the length of time that they will likely last. I don't mind paying the $20 for these products but realistically I'd say that's about what everything in this box is actually worth. The Men's Health magazine subscription would be a nice addition to the value of the box, if I was actually interested in the magazine, bringing the total value of this box to what I'd estimate to be about $30 or so.


Once again, I am left with a resounding "meh" in response to this month's box. Cookie got so many positive responses to last month's post that I'm going to give Birchbox one more try to impress me next month. I'm going to collaborate with the Mrs. to tweak my Birchbox Profile. If this fails to make next month's box more appropriate, I'll have to find a different service to review for the blog. Until next time!



  1. Aww your hubby is so cute and you guys look so great together. What an interesting post for all the guys out there! We often forget about the men when reviewing all these girly products lol.

    1. Aw, thanks girl! He's pretty darn cute, I'll admit...I think I'll keep him around for a bit LOL

      Haha, I'm just so excited he's enjoying writing this (or at least tolerating it!) as like you said, we forget about the guys sometimes!

  2. He's one tough Cookie!

    Doggie Daddy