Saturday, March 15, 2014

Michelle Styles: Birchbox and me

It started with a phone call about my birthday from my sister. For a number of years she has given me a subscription to the Smithsonian magazine because basically it saved her sending me interesting articles but she wanted to know if I wanted something different – a subscription to Birchbox as they had just expanded into the UK (Birchbox UK).
Luckily I had heard of Birchbox. Birchbox is the brainchild of two Harvard Business School graduates who liked cosmetics. They had a friend who worked for a fashion magazine and who used to share cosmetic samples which they loved getting. The great idea was why not run a company which sends out samples of beauty products as well as having a website where people can buy the products. It sort of sounds like desperation when you are faced with a deadline and then having an idea which turns out to be pure genius. 
 These are the high end beauty products which are often featured in magazines but hard to find unless you know where to go. They pitched it, got the funding and the company was born.  It has gone from strength to strength and now has something like 400,000 subscribers as well expanding internationally. It sounds like it is straight from a romance novel in many ways – plucky women start company and succeed against the odds.  (I have no idea about their love lives but the whole company sent my imagination soaring but I don't do contemporary romance...). A true success story.
Anyway,thanks to my sister and her birthday present, I have signed up and am now getting my Birchbox box every month. It includes about 4 or 5 good sized samples. The quality has impressed so far.  Last month, among the goodies was a great anti-aging cream and the eyeliner  that Alexia Chung uses, plus instructions of how to put on eyeliner.  I am in love with the eyeliner. My 20 year old daughter nabbed the lipstick and loves it. This month, the box was edited by Lulu Guinness so they included a sample of her favourite eye primer as well as a stick of rock (a type of old fashioned boiled sweet) which helped to inspire Lulu’s Spring collection. I particularly like the Mouton Brown hand cream as it cleared up my dry elbow problem.  And I look forward to getting more boxes.
It is a great idea and I love getting my box. Anyway, I thought I’d highlight it as it is fun and other people might like to know about it.
In other news:
Earlier this week, I found out from the editor that the Viking setting is doing so well, my September release Saved by the Viking Warrior will be a North American Retail release  as well as being an ebook release.
Because Return of the Viking Warrior is released in May, I will be doing a contest next month for Tote Bag readers.
Michelle Styles writes warm, witty and intimate historical romance in a wide range of time periods. Her next book Return of the Viking Warrior will be published in May. You can learn more on about Michelle and her books on

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