Note: Sorry some of these pictures are blurry, my glasses are completely broken, so I'm using my prescription from 6th grade. *shudders.*
One of the main draws to Choix (pronounced shwaaah) for me is that you get to pick every sample that comes in your box (yes every sample, you heard me right fellow control freaks, it's a dream come true, I know.) from a pretty extensive list of mid-range to high-end makeup. This makes it kind of hard to review, because you won't be getting the same samples as me in your box, and it's almost impossible to estimate the retail value of these samples. But I do like to review them to show how they re-package different kinds of products (something that always fascinates me).
Choix is an at-home makeup counter sampler. (No more swatching foundations unreliably on your hand or using disgustingly overused and under-sanitized makeup in-store. Also, no more asking overworked, sometimes disgruntled associates to dish out multiple samples at a time). Their website says you get enough product to use it once, maybe twice, but if you're an indecisive cheapskate like me, you find a way to make them last much longer, especially the high-end stuff.
The box normally costs $20 a month, but I signed up for a year-long subscription around Black Friday, so I paid $120 for 12 boxes, or $10 a box. Currently, annual memberships run $200 for 12 months, or $16.67 a month. I think it's worth it to pay in advance for the discount in most cases, but for this box I think it's especially great. Use this link to get 10% off your first order.
So when you open the box there is a smaller box in a cute Choix sleeve that holds your samples, and a little cardboard pouch that has disposable applicators. Sometimes these are *very* necessary to use your samples. AKA don't throw them away! (I once got a concealer in a little tube and couldn't get the product out without the little doe-foot applicator they provided.)
Here's the mascara wands and blush applicator. (Wands: necessary, blush applicator, not necessary.) It came with four wands.
On the lid, they give you a print out of everything in your box, which is really nice, considering every box is different. I always am a little touched by this. They printed this just for me! How nice.
Every pressed powder comes in a magnetic tin, and they all come sealed with a clear plastic sticker, which I appreciate. If you order more than two pressed powders, they come in these plastic "palettes." I don't suggest traveling with these little cases though; I had a blush break in it. The tins can easily be slipped into real palettes, so it's no big deal.
Each product has a sticker on it telling you what it is, so that when you do ultimately fall in love with a it, you're not kicking yourself for forgetting what it was.
So this month I tried two setting powders, two mascaras, and a blush. If I fall in love with all of these products, it's going to cost me to $322 buy them all. Expensive habit, makeup is. I decided not to swatch any of these this time around, because the blush and setting powders don't really show up well on the hand.
As you can see, you will definitely need the wands they provide you to use these mascara samples. This is my first time sampling mascara, and I think that could be a problem, as sometimes the wands make a huge difference. Or sometimes I really want to try a wand, like the heavily advertised Roller Lash wand by Benefit, but I'm assuming you'd get the same kind of thing if you'd asked for a sample from Sephora. I think the point is to sample the formula not the wand.
Verdict: Choix has been great for me, a shy, introverted, concerned-about-cleanliness, subscription-loving control freak. At first I wasn't sure how I felt about it, but after receiving 6 months of samples I would have never known about/ had the guts to try, I am completely sold. Especially at the price I paid. I'm an online shopper at heart, and the monthly email to go shopping is always a really fun treat (even more so because it's already paid for)! Although, if you don't have time to hand-pick samples, they do have a "surprise me" option.
I've purchased a few products I tried and loved from Choix (specifically concealers), and I am planning to buy a few more. You may ask, "why buy them through Choix's website?" Well, they have a rewards program, and with every box you get points. You can then use those points to either redeem gifts or get a discount on these tried-and-true products. They advertise points as cash, but they're really like coupons. ($5 off $25, $10 off $50, $15 off $75, $20 off $100. So there isn't much of an advantage to saving points in that regard.)