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The Mail I Actually Love to Get

How do you take time for yourself? How do you build in a few moments of ‘you time’ among work, school, kids and all the hectic parts of life? Lately, I’ve been really into Birchbox, the monthly subscription box that brings the best of beauty to your door…

Among the pile of boring junk mail, bills and jury duty notices, it’s so nice to discover my Birchbox waiting for me. Each month, I’ll get home from a long day and spot it in the mail — it feels like a surprise present from yourself! I enjoy the ritual of opening up the box and discovering what’s inside.

Here’s how it works: You take a quick and easy quiz, so Birchbox gets to know your preferences. Then, every month, they send you five beauty products they think you’ll like. It’s easy to get stuck in a beauty rut — I’ve worn the same bronzer for a decade — so I love being able to try new products without having to go to stores or read through a million reviews. It’s like getting a monthly reminder to take a moment for yourself.

Birchbox curates fantastic finds — for makeup, skincare and hair — so it’s almost like a little spa shows up at your door every month. (They also sell tools, body care and wellness supplements.)

In my box this month, I discovered this cool lip balm, which looks clear but actually reacts to your body’s chemistry to create a beautiful pink that enhances your natural lip color. (Look at the before-and-after!)

You can sign up for one month, six months or a year. Starting with your second box, you can choose one of your samples each month. It’s a great way to try whatever you’d like without committing to buying the full size. But when you do find something you love, you can purchase the full-size straight from Birchbox and earn rewards points for every dollar you spend.

I love the self-care ritual of Birchbox. And wouldn’t a Birchbox subscription be a great gift for a college student, new parent, or anyone who could use a pick-me-up each month?

Great news: Birchbox is offering Cup of Jo readers $5 off your first Birchbox using this code. Thank you so much!

Have you tried Birchbox? What are the little ways you take care of yourself? I’d love to hear…

(Photos by Christine Han for Cup of Jo. This post is sponsored by Birchbox, a brand we love. Thanks for supporting the brands that keep Cup of Jo running.)

  1. Kaela B says...

    I have been getting a birchbox since 2011! Longtime user, box repurposer.

  2. Lynn says...

    Been a subscriber for years! They recently changed to $13 a month and now you get six samples, although you also have the option to just get one full size selection, which is a great idea! Helps wIth getting less of those little samples, which I actually use and ❤️ love!

  3. Owl says...

    Just a thought: Most make-up stores have beauty consultants who put makeup on for you, so you don’t have to use all that single-use packaging. Or, consider using less/no makeup! (Personally, I only wear it for very special occasions. Very, very special! Lol) It’s the best thing for your skin, actually! Without make up, your skin can breathe and maintain a natural balance. Plus no tugging at your skin to apply and remove products. Best of all: no makeup = no packaging at all! And less $ spent.

    All that said, I understand that in your line of work, Joanna, it’s a little different… samples are probably quite useful. Anyhow, I agree with all the comments… you are looking stunning!! Xo

  4. Awads says...

    i tried Birchbox a few years ago, maybe for a year? i loved it at first, but then found myself inundated with sample sizes of stuff I didn’t know what to do with! It took over my bathroom. I had to let it go…now i’m into FabFitFun! Full sizes of stuff on a quarterly basis. Worth every penny, too!

  5. jod says...

    love this as i always do….there are so many subscription boxes out there now…it would be fun on another post to see what people are getting and enjoying…fabfit…some for new moms..some for calming..earthlovebox..etc..

  6. Ellen says...

    I don’t think of putting on makeup as self-care! But…I also basically never wear makeup. When I occasionally do, it feels like something I do to fit societal norms–period–not something I’m doing for myself.

    • Laura says...

      Joanna, your hair looks SO PRETTY in this picture. Are you coloring it? What are you asking for? Have you guys thought about a follow up for that post that discussed what to do about going grey?

  7. Fiona says...

    I long for some nice surprise mail but have SO many samples I haven’t used – I would love to hand over a box of my random things to a friend and have her mail 5 or so to me once a month, so its not new items, i have them in small enough amounts I don’t get overwhelmed, and I still get a surprise! maybe one of these days…

    • KC says...

      That is an absolutely brilliant idea! :-) And with USPS prepaid priority mail boxes, you could hand over the box o’ samples and a pack of small priority mail boxes and it’d be free for the friend aside from time. :-)

    • E E Faris says...

      Just an idea, maybe you could donate samples to a domestic abuse shelter. People may leave their homes with nothing more than the clothes on their backs, so they are starting from scratch.
      I end up with too many samples too, so this is an idea for me to implement also.

  8. Keagan says...

    My mom subscribed to Birchbox for years. She, too, delighted in getting something lovely just for her in the mail once a month. After she died my dad called the company to cancel her subscription. They were very kind on the phone, but just another in a litany of calls you make after someone dies. He didn’t think of it again until Birchbox sent the loveliest bouquet of flowers with a simple note. It was such a thoughtful gesture from a company that truly gave my mom a little joy every month.

    • Kat says...

      Agh. That is lovely. Big hugs about the loss of your mama.

    • Jane says...

      That is indeed a very nice gesture. I am sorry for your loss and thinking of you today.

    • sugarcactus says...

      Wow. Sending flowers?! That is pure class.

      I lost my mom, too. (And my partner in beauty crime!) So sorry. Nothing replaces a mom.

  9. Hannah says...

    What sweater are you wearing? It looks like j crew

  10. Kristen says...

    I get that for some people like Joanna these samples work and really get used, but I wish people would think long and hard about whether the environmental consequences are worth it — especially where the small samples get discarded in the regular trash. Ask any school aged child taking place in the climate strikes this Friday about what is choking our planet and they will immediately respond with “single use plastic.” It’s real, heartbreaking, and scary.

    • Karen says...

      Kristen this is exactly what I wanted to say. On one hand, trying out a smaller version of a product you’re not sure of might be better than buying the full size and then discarding it if you don’t like it. But people are probably more careful about trialing new products when it costs more – so this mindfulness would result in less waste. Also, Joanna mentioned using the same bronzer for a decade, but, what’s wrong with that? I have products I’ve used for years and if they are exactly what I need, why change? For those who do like trying out new products, a lot of stores (department stores, Sephora) have beauty consultants who will do a quick makeover for free, and you can try out new items that way – no single use packaging required :)

    • Hilary says...

      SAME! Did you know you can make your own Birchbox by going to your local bulk-fill shop with a few small jars?!

      My 2019 goal has been to try out new beauty, skincare and clothing but with a twist…it has to be handmade, woman-owned, and/or sustainably produced. That means I now shop for beauty items at Whole Foods, the bulk fill shop and at Beauty Counter. I buy clothes only from Athleta, Everlane, United by Blue, Nisolo or the thrift store (my fave!) or by swapping with friends.

      I am all for beauty treats, but this strikes me as just unnecessary when you can take a spin through Sephora or Nordstrom and test for free and without creating more trash.

      It’s taken some getting used to shopping this way – investing, browsing, asking, all sloooowly – but I know that what I’m doing is worth it. Down with single use plastics! We don’t have a Planet B!

  11. Carrie Jones says...

    Joanna, where is that cream bucket bag from in the second photo?? I love it!

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      thank you! it’s from claire v. xoxo

  12. Rachel says...

    What a sweet mug!

  13. Beth says...

    I got my mom hooked on this a few years ago. As she says, “What else can you buy for $10 a month that brings you this much happiness?”

  14. Jilla says...

    I think Birchboxes are fun! I stopped getting them because although I loved getting the cutest little surprise box every month, I’m not a huge makeup/product person and I felt like I was swimming in sample size things. For a while before I canceled the subscription I would take the things I wasn’t interested in and give them to one of my nieces or donate them to the women’s shelter. The nieces also appreciated those cute-ass boxes! On a completely unrelated note… I love that blue sweater…the color is terrific on you! Where is it from?!

  15. Katie Larissa says...

    Hellooooo, Duchess Catherine hair!! 😍🔥

  16. Jessie says...

    I noticed Birchbox is placed on top of the jury duty summons. Subconsciously trying to escape that stress? 😆

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      hahaha yes! i had jury duty last week — i was picked for a civil case about a car accident and it was actually really fascinating.

  17. Caitlin says...

    I have so much fun with my subscription box! But if you are looking for something with cruelty free/ vegan makeup, I would recommend Petit Vour! They also lean a little more towards cleaner beauty products and some smaller brands. It is very similar box as far as price point, type of items, and an online store with points back. I first got this box as a way to try new items as I was switching to vegan/cruelty free and definitely recommend it for this! If you are willing to pay a little more and get full sized items, Kinder Beauty is also great!

    • Abbey says...

      I can second that recommendation! Petit Vour is a cleaner, 100% cruelty-free treat!
      I do think these subscriptions are fun for the short-term, but as a lot of people here have said you can end up swimming in little samples after a while. And the cumulative effect of the environmental waste is tangible.

  18. Gaby says...

    Let’s talk about your hair. Gorgeous!

  19. Sam says...

    I love Birchbox! I tell my friends the same thing, it’s my monthly “good mail”. I love having something to look forward to once a month.

  20. MB says...

    I live in the UK and last year for Xmas I received a monthly book subscription from Hatchard’s, a bookstore which is over 200 years old on Picadilly. I filled out an initial questionnaire as to which authors, genres, etc. I liked/disliked and each month one of their staff members hand picks a new book for me. I receive it mid-month and with the lovely wrapping and element of surprise it totally makes my week. To be honest, the picks have been mixed but it’s been totally worth it for the books I never would have chosen but ended up really enjoying.

    • Julie says...

      AH! I live in the US, but this sounds like the kind of book subscription I could get behind, hand picked for you! I love that idea.

    • Pru says...

      Oh this sounds like the perfect Christmas present. I will look into this. Thank you so much.

    • Lisa says...

      THIS IS AMAZING

  21. Kate says...

    Amen on your hair. Re: Birchbox, one of the most satisfying experiences I’ve had over the last year is settling into a new skincare routine. So, I can 1) empathize with others who’ve said the notion of Birchbox is frustrating, because it is a lot of waste and let’s be honest, it’s a business model that prays on impulse, 2) see how when you’re ready to get out of a rut, Birchbox might be the temporary means to a new regimen. For now, I have enough unused samples probably nearing their expiry date. :)

  22. Mette says...

    Haha yes, I agree. Hair looking fab. I thought the first photo was Anne Hathaway:-)

    • tina crisas says...

      Same here!!! Anne Hathaway!

  23. Trish says...

    Do I spy your Fjallraven bag? Still carrying it? What is the other cute bucket bag? Sorry…my eyes always go to the bags.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      yes, i will use that fjallraven bag for work until it falls apart in my hands haha. and the white one is the petit henri bag from clare v.; i use it for date nights or adventures with the boys.

  24. Maddie says...

    A few years ago I swept away all my make up products/creams/lotions etc that were not being used – and now I have only the simplest and very few items that I love, are pure, reliable and
    cruelty free.

    With any subscription box of ‘more more’ I would feel depleted rather
    than happy and thoughtful about what I choose to purchase, need and use.

    Packaging, containers, products – too much. Fun for a brief ‘saccharine’ rush but
    then a tumble of excess in drawers.

    Now, of course – if this was a box of books of poetry….I might be swayed:)

    Your hair IS beautiful !

  25. Sarah says...

    Re Junk mail…the app PaperKarma has changed my life. You take pictures of your mail, catalogs, etc., and with a few easy steps, the app unsubscribes you automatically. So blissful.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      ooh, thank you, sarah!

    • What took mo so long? Thanks for the suggestion!

  26. Sheila says...

    I first got Birchbox as a gift from my brother and his gf for my birthday, and loved it! I found a few products that I really love and now use regularly. Last year they ran a promotion and I got a 12-month subscription for really cheap. My last box came in August. I decided not to renew, because I have so many samples that I can still use. I just gifted a subscription to my boyfriend for his birthday, and he’s super excited about it too!

  27. I think this is a box I would like to get, man, I’ve tried them all and my teenage Daughter has tried a few as well. This one seems more well rounded and fun. too many are so specific. Thanks!

  28. Nannette says...

    I generally don’t comment but just felt I needed to let you know how beautiful your hair looks and so complimentary to your coloring (also the lipstick) and I see that I am now part of a chorus all singing the same tune…well done!

  29. carole says...

    I’m so sad they don’t ship to Canada… this box sounds amazing!

  30. Sasha L says...

    A little girl I used to nanny collected Birchbox boxes. (Her Mom must have had a monthly subscription forever, they had so many boxes). She used them to keep her *collections* – pom poms, random crayons, shells, rocks, pinecones, plastic figures, cotton balls, wiki stix.

    I don’t wear makeup or use products or even like the idea of buying things that I haven’t picked out, but the boxes (the actual printed box, they are a different beautiful pattern every month) are pretty neat.

    • Yulia says...

      I love the boxes too! I get them from my sister and use them organize my drawers KonMari-style. :)

  31. Sarah says...

    I stopped doing Birchbox because I wasn’t using up the products and ended up with lots of clutter, but for a true makeup junkie or someone who likes experimenting, it’s fun and makes a great gift! I got a subscription for my cousin in college for Christmas one year and she was thrilled.

  32. Shirley says...

    I agree with you, Sara. I am thinking of Paco and her financial advice about *not* buying what you don’t need and this would be a perfect example. As a present to yourself, why not save the money and instead…. enjoy taking a long walk, turn off the tv and read a great book from the library, do a free youtube video of Yoga by Adriene, take a bubble bath, etc. etc. I’m also thinking of the environmental impact of all the samples and plastics, plus all the waste of the items you don’t want (do you return them? Not even sure how it works). I totally get that they are a sponsor and Joanna has enjoyed their products but I also remember the MANY comments on the financial posts about how many readers are in debt and need to save money. This is definitely one of those extras that will pull you further into debt if you let it, especially since the company has very strong and clever marketing….

  33. Joey B. says...

    Yes I love my Birchbox subscription! I care more about skin products than makeup which I noted in my initial quiz, so now I get try new samples of moisturizer or face oils every month and love that I can try really expensive brands like Sunday Riley in a Sample Choice. I’ve also found my favorite hair styling products (Davines all-in-one milk!) that I’ve ordered the full-size of. It’s such a fun thing to look forward to plus I save all the pretty boxes :)

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      yes, i love that you can tailor the samples to your needs. we re-use the boxes for my kids to organize their things — pencils, crayons, puzzle pieces, etc.

  34. Erin says...

    hi, I am also wondering how you get those soft bouncy curls? thanks

  35. D says...

    Totally unrelated to the post, but your hair color is looking fabulous!

    • D says...

      OMG and I wrote this before I saw everyone else saying the same thing!

    • Allison Leedie says...

      I was going to ask what shade it is. I love it!

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      awww, thank you so much! i really appreciate it. that’s so nice of you to say. i’ve been getting it colored lately at this cute place, Birdhouse, in brooklyn.

    • Sarah says...

      I just Googled Birdhouse Brooklyn and saw this great service:

      CHEMO PATIENTS
      If you are at any stage in the process of undergoing chemotherapy, please visit us for a free haircut. We know just how difficult it can be to prepare for and to experience losing and regrowing your hair because of chemo, and we hope to make that process just the slightest bit less difficult for you.

  36. Megan says...

    I subscribed to Birchbox for about two years post-grad when I had NO idea what I wanted make-up wise and walking into Sephora was too intimidating (on a social level and also my wallet). While I did feel like I ended up throwing a lot of samples away after a few uses, it was a fab way of figuring out what I liked and how to apply makeup (looking at you, liquid eyeliner). I canceled it after I felt like I didn’t have use for it anymore and when I decided to transition to makeup/skin care without toxins, but there was definitely a time in my life where I lived for Birchbox mail day!

  37. Diana McNeill says...

    Your hair is def giving me Duchess of Cambridge vibes!!

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      omg that’s literally the nicest thing anyone has ever said to me, haha. thank you!

  38. Joanna G. says...

    I agree with the others on how gorgeous your hair looks!!! Love reading your pieces!

    • Erin says...

      Your hair IS gorgeous, but what about that plummy grasscloth wallpaper in the entryway? Can you share the brand/colorway? (Can you tell I’m more of an interior design junkie than a makeup artist? Ha!)

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      erin, i’m not sure! the previous homeowners put it up and we kept it because it’s such a lovely color! wish i had more info, sorry! xo

  39. Amanda says...

    Your hair!!!!! It is proper Kate Middleton hair!! So shiny!!! That color suits you so well!!! Sorry for the excitement but you look FABOLOUS!

  40. agnes says...

    I agree, your hair looks great! Happy good hair day to you!

  41. Kate says...

    So I read this today (https://www.fastcompany.com/90400807/the-real-cost-of-not-wearing-makeup-at-the-office?partner=feedburner&utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+fastcocreate%2Ffeed+%28Co.Create%29) and couldn’t help wondering what Cup of Jo would think of it! Then I see this beauty post and thought I’d share it with you all. You too, like the article author, express a great balance of beauty as expression/play/something women do and critique of beauty expectations. What do you think of this article? How would you host this conversation?

    • Tamara says...

      Interesting article. In our monthly budget conversations, I often have to remind my husband of the reality of the “female tax” I have to pay: aside from personal grooming expenses there are the costs associated with my monthly cycle along with the fact, given my hard to find size, I can rarely pay less than $80 for a bra.
      It IS expensive to be a woman. Even when you consciously choose to opt out of consuming certain things. Thank you for sharing the article. It’s a good conversation to start.

    • Emily says...

      This was such a fascinating read, thank you for sharing!

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      ooh, can’t wait to read this, thank you, kate!

    • Kari says...

      I’ve never come across a take like this, looking at the costs we face for grooming and the possible “costs” of opting out. I feel so heard, ha! I consider myself fairly “low maintenance” (I hate that term) and I still feel like I can’t keep up with the costs. Cosmetics, super basic skin care products, hair cuts, waxing… it adds up. I also constantly feel like I’m not putting enough money/time into my grooming. All of my friends and colleagues regularly get their nails done, facials, Botox, hair coloured… yeesh it costs a lot!

    • nadine says...

      Such an interesting article, thank you for sharing Kate! I’ve been trying to reflect on it too and the article adds more material to my thoughts.
      This phrase especially resonated to me: “To be taken seriously, women must look attractive, but not so much that they veer off into the “untrustworthy” category.”
      I work in visual effects, it’s a very casual (think lots of star wars t-shirts) male dominated tech field. Compared to many other office jobs the general clothing/grooming expectations are quite low, but I still need to think everyday how to look nice but not too nice. I find that when I dress more casual I get mistaken for younger/inexperienced. While when I dress in a more flattering way I feel I’m not taken seriously, and in some cases there are weird comments and stares. Ugh, actually the problem seems to be there: in the male dominated field.. :-/
      Anyway I’m very curious to hear other thoughts.

  42. Sara says...

    I have strong feelings against this kind of subscription boxes. Maybe it feels like a present for yourself, but you are actually buying stuff you don’t need. It’s consumerism at its worst: now it is not even about what you buy (you don’t know what’s in the box), it’s about the pure act of buying. No thanks.

    • Sondra says...

      Eh, I kinda disagree. I don’t think these subscription boxes are that great, but for other reasons, such as product/packaging waste and the excess resources used to make/distribute them. I’m sure there’s some fun here – it’s like getting a present, and it’s a surprise. Treating yourself to buying something nice shouldn’t be a consumer crime.

    • Alexis says...

      Agree with this – I had a Birchbox subscription years ago when they first came on the scene and STILL have a ton of unused product wasting away in my drawer. I prefer shopping in person (Sephora, Khiel’s, Credo Beauty) and sampling in store. Sephora and Khiel’s are also pretty good about giving samples if you ask for specific ones. That way you can be a little more intentional about the samples you take home.

    • Colleen Davies says...

      Agree 100%! The packaging alone is just so much.

    • Rachel says...

      Totally agree with this – I actually just cancelled my birchbox subscription. It seems like a nice pick-me-up, but I’d rather save that $12 for a single full-size product that I actually need (and that I can research in advance). And don’t get me started on the packaging! You get a box, within another box, that contains a foam insert and 5 plastic things that are either too small to recycle (anything less than 3 inches usually falls through the sorting system at recycling plants and goes into the trash) or is straight-up non-recyclable.

    • Anonygirl says...

      I agree, Sara. I subscribed for a while, but there was so much stuff I didn’t use. My hair is very short so hair stuff, beyond shampoo, is lost on me. I don’t wear makeup, beyond lipstick. The only subscription box I have is BioClarity.

    • Adley says...

      Don’t mean to be a Debby Downer but I must say I agree. Trying to create more of a conscious zero waste lifestyle definitely does not include this kind of consuming with many little plastic containers that (90% of the time) end up in the landfill or our oceans. We all have to start saying “no” to plastics!

    • Jackie says...

      Sara, I totally get this and used to feel the same way, but I’ve realized it actually helps me make smarter choices as a consumer. I’ve bought so many products in the past that ultimately didn’t work for me and now they’re just gathering dust in my bathroom – it’s such a waste. What I like about Birchbox samples is that they’re a low-stakes way of trying something so I can make more informed decisions when I’m ready to purchase the regular sized version (or not). Basically, you’re only buying things that you know work for you (and the monthly boxes are an efficient, cost-effective way for me to figure that out). I know it’s kind of counterintuitive, but that’s my takeaway.

    • Kristin says...

      Completely agree. I dislike these for the same reason.

    • Amy says...

      I have the same problem with these boxes. Yes, it’d be fun, but the odds are that I wouldn’t need or want 80% of the stuff that arrives.

    • Stacey says...

      Yes, I ended my stitch fix subscription for the same reason.

    • CS says...

      I totally agree, Sara. I am so sorry for the criticism, but the environmental crisis is real. Seriously. I love Cup of Jo, but please consider what you are really endorsing here. Getting a bunch of stuff (remember tgis includes the delivery, the packaging, the production, the actual product) and throwing out most of it feels very irresponsible, and not something we should be encouraging millions of readers to do. We have about 12 years to get our act together is what Leading Scientists all over the world are warning us. The consequences of ignoring this responsibility will be dire, and it is our children who will suffer the most. Saying no to these kinds of products can make a huge difference for the better, just as saying yes can make a difference for the worst. Again sorry, but it has to be said.

    • Joaquina says...

      Agreed 100%with Sara.
      This creates so much waste and feeds our over consuming habits.

    • A. says...

      Totally agree with you Sara. I think we all should genuinely rethink how much stuff we buy or surround ourselves with. Is it really necessary to try out new products every month? I support a more critical approach to ‚me-time is beauty-time‘ in this materialistic sense. I believe feeling beautiful/good in your body doesn’t necessarily involve (new) beauty products.

    • Steff says...

      @Jackie. You can just go to Sephora and ask for a sample of any product you’re curious about.

    • Agreed, Sara. And all the plastic—no thanks!

    • Laura says...

      If you’re not someone who buys makeup/skincare/haircare then why would you get this subscription? However spending $10 to test out different products seems pretty economical to me since I do use all the samples and they help me make smarter choices when I go to buy full size products. I’m constantly looking for a new hair product or to test out new makeup, so I would be spending money on full size products if I didn’t do birchbox etc

    • I feel the same way! It’s a lot of things you wouldn’t have bought in the first place, a lot of packaging thrown away… In France, we have a website where for a small fee you can buy decants & samples of things you want to try, and they reimburse it to you if you end up buying a product. I now do this whenever I’m looking for something new, like the perfect bronzer. Otherwise, I now religiously follow the advice of my facialist and stopped reading about & buying anything else. Oh the free time!! (for the record, I had a birchbox subscription, but after a couple of months, I couldn’t deal with all the clutter)

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      thank you for these thoughtful notes! for me, i wear all kinds of makeup daily (mascara, bronzer, lipstick, hair serum, etc) so these samples don’t go to waste for me. i’ll always use 99% of them, and if there’s ever one thing that doesn’t seem like a fit, i will give it to my colleagues or friends to use.

      i love the smaller sizes for travel.

      hope this helps! i know it’s not for everyone, but as laura says, for beauty/makeup/skincare enthusiasts, it’s such a great way to try things out.

    • Marie says...

      I totally get why people enjoy these boxes, and that some may even use almost 100% of their contents, but that does not address the point being made. If we really care about reducing plastic and caring for our world, we have to learn and be able to tell ourselves no to products that create so much waste.

    • Suzie says...

      Hi Joanna,
      It’s great to hear that you are using 99% of the samples that you receive. You may already know this but Origins and L’Occitane (there may be others as well) will take back any cosmetic empties and recycle them, so if you have anything in a little plastic sample sized container, please collect them (and your full-sized cosmetic empties) and take them back so that even if the product has been used, the containers do not pollute. Of course this doesn’t work with little plastic sample packets which are unfortunately trash (I believe).

      I am with Sara and most others on this string regarding choosing items that are thoughtfully produced not only to be clean products but to reduce packaging waste. So it’s not just about using up the samples (which many already have trouble doing, including myself), but the waste that the empty samples create.

      I am also striving to be better at this myself, it’s a struggle with so many samples that come your way these days.

      Thanks for listening!

  43. Bobby says...

    Are you highlighting/coloring your hair now? Looks gorge!

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      yes! i just started coloring it to cover up some grays. i’ve been going to birdhouse in brooklyn! :)

    • Laura says...

      Joanna, everyone is so right about the duchess vibe of your hair. Love that you go to The Bird House! I went to college with Brooke back in the day. Isn’t she great?

    • Kris says...

      Hi Joanna,
      Can you please write a post on hair coloring? I’ve been debating hair color to cover my grays too. Thanks!

  44. Laura says...

    OMG, your hair and makeup look so gorgeous/glowy in these photos, Jo! (Can you let us in on your lipcolor and mascara details?) Also that blue is beautiful on you. Just had to gush. :)

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      thank you so much! i’m wearing laura mercier lip glace in poppy and my mascara was the one from this month’s birchbox — i’m blanking on the name, but i can check tonight!

  45. Roxana says...

    Oooh! This seems fun. I always want to try new products, but don’t want to blow all the money on the full-size version, especially if I’m not sure it’ll work for me. Great idea!

    Also, your hair is really beautiful! It’s so shiny and healthy and bouncy looking :).

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      oh my gosh, thank you, roxana!

    • Hannah says...

      Agreed, your hair looks great! any secrets or tips? lol