I discovered through a makeup message board other subscription services besides Birchbox. I'm not going to review them all (as tempting as it sounds), but there was one, The Look Bag, that I decided to try, based on having seen others posting what was in the bag. Contrary to Birchbox, this one is more uniform in what it sends subscribers so, since I liked what others were posting, I purchased. I also discovered that it is a re-launch of their sample program. So we'll see what will happen (and if I'll keep the subscription).
What swayed me to purchase the bag were the full size nail polish and the full size Stila eye shadow. The Pixi is also a full size item so it felt like it might be a good value.
The subscription is 12.95$ per month. I had a coupon to get 20% off (coupon code: TLB) so that made my total like 9.71$. At that price, it seemed like a real good deal. The difference with other subscriptions (besides a slightly higher price) is that the next billing is on your anniversary date in the month vs. the 1st of the month for other subscriptions. The advantage? If you troll message boards, you should be able to see what those who are getting their subscription early in the month are getting and, if you're not happy, you could cancel your subscription.
Through the same message board, I discovered, though, that the Stila eye shadow and the nail polish are actually discontinued items. So that was a bit of a bummer. It's not like you're trying them out and can purchase them later. Then again, they are full size so you'll have plenty of those for a while. It also means that the value should be technically less.
Do I still feel like it was worth spending the money on it? I do, actually. But, again, I was making an educated decision when I purchase, instead of going in blind. I suspect that I will keep the subscription for at least one more month. But, yes, I will check what others are receiving before letting the charge go through. ;)
The Look Bag:
makeuptalk (message board; linking specifically to the one about general monthly subscriptions):