I’ve been treating myself to a monthly beauty box subscription. It’s a great concept because for a relatively small cost you get a fun gift every month, an excuse for a bit of me-time, and a chance to try out samples of new products. I’ve been getting Birchbox since the beginning of the year, I thought I’d try that first as it’s one of the most well known. Birchbox is £12.95 per month including P&P. The boxes tend to be a mixture of makeup, skin care and hair products.
Packaging: In previous months the Birchbox boxes have been gorgeous, little drawer style boxes which are really pretty to re-use as dressing table storage. However as you can see the March 2017 box has a plain retro feel because they are marking their anniversary. So I found this box a bit boring, but it’s not the norm, and I do like the little cloth drawstring bag inside holding the products.
Products: In my March box I got these (from left to right in the picture):
Korres Santorini Vine shower gel. I was a bit disappointed to get a shower gel to be honest, it doesn’t scream luxury product to me at all, and it was a tiny sample bottle. This shower gel does smell really lovely and citrussy. It was fine to use but not very lathering so I needed to use quite a lot. Not massively impressed, and I wouldn’t buy this.
Marcelle makeup remover. This is a nice little product, and exclusive to Birchbox. It is an oil based makeup remover that removes waterproof mascara and is suitable for sensitive eyes, which is great for me as I do tend to have sensitive eyes. I wouldn’t use it as a standard makeup remover as it’s very oily and I prefer to use a cleanser, but for waterproof eye makeup this is a really handy addition to my bathroom cupboard.
Benefit They’re Real Double the Lip. This is the ‘buzz’ product in the March box – they usually announce one product beforehand to get the subscribers interested, and this was really hyped, with a choice of shades. I chose the Lusty Rose shade which is a lovely dark dusky pink. This was a ‘deluxe sample size’ rather than a full size, which is a shame as it won’t last long. This product is a lipstick and liner in one, as it has a slightly darker shade combined into the stick with a pointed tip. Clever! I really liked this lipstick, and thought the shade suited me well and will be great for everyday. However – it didn’t have much staying power, and the liner tip was worn down after the first application. So it’s not quite a game changer, but a really nice inclusion in the box.
amika The Shield style extending spray. This was a sample size spray that is supposed to hold your hair style for longer and also protect against heat, pollution and other nasties. You use this product on damp hair before styling, so its not a traditional hairspray. I used it before my usual messy blowdry, and I can’t say I noticed much difference in how it held the style. I prefer to use a volumising spray which helps give my really flat hair some body, and then a blast of usual hairspray afterwards.
BalanceMe instant lift primer. I am in the market for a new primer as my old one is pretty ancient! So I was quite excited to get a primer in my box. I enjoyed using this – it has a lovely creamy texture, and isn’t greasy at all. It seems to sink into the skin but does plump it up a little and help my foundation sit better, but not as well as my ancient one! And most disappointingly, the tube, which was small to begin with, seemed to be half empty.
Overall impression: this is my fourth Birchbox and probably the one I’ve felt was least good value. The product sizes were just too small and some of them were literally one or two uses. They usually have at least one full size product in each box, so this seemed pretty stingy – for example last month’s box had a Spectrum eyeshadow brush and a full size eyeshadow trio. With the exception of the Benefit lipstick, there weren’t any products that I thought were particularly exciting or high end brands. Added to that the rather flat packaging, and it just didn’t give me that lovely feeling of getting a little luxury box. However – the previous boxes have generally been great, so I might give Birchbox another month to see if April is better!
If you want to sign up for Birchbox (and I would still recommend giving it a try, even though this month wasn’t amazing!), you can use this link to get £5 off your first box, and if you do I get £5 worth of points to spend in their shop.