Birchbox April 2016 - Birchbox x Rifle Paper Co - Blooming Marvellous

BIRCHBOX x RIFLE PAPER CO // APRIL 2016 // REVIEW AND UNBOXING!

Hi guys!  As if it’s the APRIL Birchbox already….at risk of sounding 80 years old, where is this year disappearing to?!  As usual, if you’re a new reader, you can find out all about how the subscription works and the cost in this post.  Otherwise, stick with me and we’ll get right into it! If you’re tempted to sign up, and use this link, you will be credited £5 of points to be spent in the Birchbox online shop.  I will also be credited with points for referring you.  Of course there is no pressure to do this, you can just Google them and sign up that way, but of course you won’t get the £5 free points yourself.  Just wanted to be totally upfront about that! :)

Birchbox April 2016 - Birchbox x Rifle Paper Co - Blooming Marvellous

Birchbox April 2016: Birchbox x Rifle Paper Co – Blooming Marvellous

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Birchbox UK March 2016

Birchbox // March 2016 // Review and Unboxing!

Hey guys

If you’re a regular reader, you’ll know I’ve been getting the Birchbox beauty box subscription for quite a while now.  If you’re a new reader, firstly hi!  Secondly, here’s a little bit about how the subscription works.  Birchbox is a monthly subscription box, containing 5 beauty samples (and sometimes full sized products) delivered straight to your door.

Each month’s content is curated by them, so you do not choose any of the samples yourself.  The majority of products will be received by everyone, however you might get one or two different products every so often.  This is because you are asked to fill in a profile when you join up, giving details such as your skin and hair colour, your skin concerns and preferences for bodycare, skincare or makeup etc.  Although boxes aren’t totally personalised to you, it does steer them in the right direction.

Subscriptions cost £12.95 a month, which includes postage, for a monthly subscription where you can unsubscribe at any time.  If you can commit to 6 months or a year, you can save around £25.  If you’re tempted to sign up, and use this link, you will be credited £5 of points to be spent in the Birchbox online shop.  I will also be credited with points for referring you.  Of course there is no pressure to do this, you can just Google them and sign up that way, but of course you won’t get the £5 free points yourself.  Just wanted to be totally upfront about that! 🙂

So!  The bit you’re all actually here for – here’s what came in the March box:

The theme this month was ‘Word Up!’  The box design is a beauty-related word search as Birchbox want to help us search for, and find, our ultimate beauty discovery.

Birchbox Accessories Hair Ties

Birchbox Accessories Hair Ties

These two blue hair ties are from the Birchbox brand, which they seem to be expanding on a lot recently.  They are just soft, snag-free hair ties so although not that exciting, they’re definitely something I’ll get lots of use from.  I like the fact that these look slightly nicer on your wrist than a standard hair tie (come on, as if you don’t always end up walking around with an ’emergency’ hair tie on your wrist!)

ModelCo More Brows

ModelCo More Brows

Oh gosh I love this!  I’ve surprised myself as I’m not even that into brow products – I use them about half the time, and just leave my brows natural the rest of the time.  They’re naturally black and don’t really have sparse bits so I don’t always feel the need to use anything on them.  But this has probably changed all that!

This is a little tube of brow gel that contains hair-like particles, to give the illusion of thicker brows.  The tiny little brush is the perfect size for precision application.  What I like is that although the product is dark, the brush doesn’t over-apply it and leave you with crazy brows like a lot I’ve tried!  Although I’ve never tried it, it seems pretty similar to Benefit Gimme Brow.

Arrow Boost Color Enhancing Lip Balm

Arrow Boost Color Enhancing Lip Balm

This is the second Birchbox-own product in the box.  Arrow is the new paraben-free, cruelty-free, vegan brand from Birchbox!  I’m really pleased to hear they’ve launched a cruelty-free brand, as I know it’s something more and more people are looking for these days.  If this product is anything to go by, I’m going to like it!

The mango seed butter infused lip balm changes colour depending on your own skin’s PH level.  I thought that was a bit gimmicky, but it’s actually quite nice as it changes to a colour which suits each person (although it’s still very sheer and natural).  I tested it on my husband/guinea pig and I can confirm it definitely does change to different colours, as it was a lot lighter on him than me!  It’s also a great lip balm (and believe me, I’ve tried them all, as a dry lip sufferer!), it lasts a long time and is really smoothing.  Good job, Birchbox!

Beauty Protector Beauty Cream Body Lotion

Beauty Protector Beauty Cream Body Lotion

I’ve had a few different products from the Beauty Protector brand and have always liked them, so I was pleased to see this (although a bit surprised as I thought they were a hair brand!)  It’s a rich moisturising cream which can be used on both the hands and body.  The booklet said it has their signature scent (which is a gorgeous, sweet toffee smell) but I don’t think it is as far as I can tell.  This one smells quite floral and a lot like a Lush bathbomb (which is always good!)

Crea-m Antiaging Serum

Crea-m Antiaging Serum

This serum is described as a ‘real-life Instagram filter in a bottle’… which can’t be bad, as we all know how much better they make us look! 😀  To use, just upload a photo to… wait, hang on, no… to use, just apply 2-3 drops to your face after cleansing and then follow with your usual moisturiser.  The serum should leave your skin illumiated and lifted!

I like that this serum is a gel texture, as I find the oil based ones leave my skin a bit too greasy (my skin is oily-combination).  It dries into the skin really quickly and has a fresh smell.  I like it!

Ok so this is the bit where I should be reviewing a hair mask, except for some reason I didn’t get one!  It’s in the booklet but not in my box.  This is the first time that’s ever happened so I don’t mind too much – I’ll get in touch with Birchbox and see if they can send me one out.


 

Overall, this was another really good box.  My favourite item by far is the ModelCo More Brows (which is full sized and worth £13, so great value)!  What do you think of this month’s box?  Did you get anything different to me?  Or are you tempted to subscribe?  Let me know in the comments!

Birchbox February 2016 - Contents

Birchbox // February 2016 // Review and Unboxing!

Hi guys!

Sorry this one is a little bit later than usual – I haven’t been too well (even more than usual!) so it’s taken me a while to be able to photograph the box and write this.

Birchbox February 2016

Birchbox February 2016

This month’s Birchbox theme is ‘shine bright like a diamond’.  In line with their 2016 theme of ‘best year ever’, they want this box to remind us how brilliant we are, and how to shine.  Alongside the diamond theme, 2 boxes this month also contain real diamond necklaces!  Unfortunately mind didn’t… But here’s what was in it!

Birchbox February 2016 - Contents

Birchbox February 2016 – Contents

Spectrum Tapered Powder Brush

Spectrum Tapered Powder Brush

I was so excited about this!  Spectrum are a great makeup brush company, as they make good quality, cruelty-free makeup brushes.  Plus… just look at it!  Isn’t it so pretty?  This tapered brush can be used for any powder products – setting powder, highlighter or bronzer.  There’s not much to say about this other than I love it!  It works really well.  I’m planning to get one of their eye brushes in the near future, to replace a non cruelty-free brush I already have.

Value: £7.99.

Love of Colour (LOC) Shadow Stick in Perfect Cents

Love of Colour (LOC) Shadow Stick in Perfect Cents

You may not recognise the brand LOC… that’s because it’s Birchbox’s brand new in-house makeup brand!  There will be more products to come, but this is their first released one.  We actually had a choice of two colours prior to receiving the box – a champagne colour and this copper colour, which I chose.

This is a creaseless, waterproof eyeshadow crayon which claims to last for 11 hours.  The idea is that it negates the need for primer, brushes and blending.  Although that’s a good idea in theory, I’ve never come across an eyeshadow stick that truly doesn’t need priming or blending (the closest I’ve come is Maybelline Color Tattoos, which are amazing!)

The stick glides on easily, but does need a little blending out around the edges – which is not a problem at all, as it can be done in literally 10 seconds.  The colour of the one I chose is beautiful (see the swatch above) – I love wearing copper so I’ll get tons of use from this.  I’ve already worn it as eyeshadow, but I’ll probably give it a try smudged under my eyes too.  This is a great first product, so I look forward to seeing what LOC release next!

Value: £8.

Eslor Firming Collagen Day Cream

Eslor Firming Collagen Day Cream

I’ve never heard of Eslor before.  They seem to be relatively new from what I can tell (although their website doesn’t have an actual ‘About’ page).  They are all about paraben free, science-driven, naturally derived products.  My first impression was… the tub is beautiful!  It’s a beautiful rosy-copper colour that will look really pretty on my vanity desk… priorities right?

This day cream contains hydrolysed marine collagen (which seems to be a big thing in skincare these days – Elemis and other high-end brands use the same ingredient).  The cream aims to lock in moisture, restore elasticity and boost radiance.  Although it’s called a day cream, the instructions say to use morning and evening.  Personally, I found it a little bit on the heavy side to use in the morning (especially before makeup, as I like a very matte finish), but it’s great as a richer night cream.  If you had dry skin it may be fine as a day cream, but mine is combination/oily.  It is creamy white with a very light lotion scent. It’s not something I would purchase just because of the price – it’s £50 full size.  However it does contain quality active ingredients.

Value: £50 full size (we received a 10ml sample).

The Balm Cosmetics Frat Boy Blush/Shadow

The Balm Cosmetics Frat Boy Blush/Shadow

I’ve had a few The Balm samples before and I currently own a full sized Mary-Loumanizer (best highlighter ever!)  I’ve never tried this blusher before.  It’s a baby rose pink, meant to replicate the look of a natural flush.  It’s fairly subtle in colour, but actually quite pigmented, so a little goes a long way.  This is exactly the sort of blusher colour I suit, as I’m very pale, so I love this!  It reminds me of Benefit Hervana but more pigmented.

They say it can also be used as an eyeshadow but I really can’t see myself using it as that – I don’t think it’d be a very flattering tone on the eyes for me (although could look gorgeous in contrast to darker skin I reckon).

Value: £15.50 (we received a small sample).

Ayes Body Butter in Patagonia

Ayres Body Butter in Patagonia

This is a luxurious, plant-based body lotion containing shea butter, vitamin E and antioxidants, to soften and hydrate the skin.  It smells lovely, with a mix of jasmine, lavender and ylang-ylang.  I actually really dislike lavender, but it’s not too strong in the scent of this.

The packaging has a very traditional, old-fashioned apothecary style.  Again, it’s a brand I haven’t heard of before.  Although we got a small sample, it goes on nicely and spreads quite a long way – I reckon you’d get 2 full body uses from this tub.  What I really like is that it doesn’t leave any greasy residue on my skin.  I hate body lotions that leave you all sticky for ages after applying!  This is another one I wouldn’t actually purchase myself as it’s £19.50 – there are so many great, cheaper body lotions out there.

Value: £19.50 (we received 28g).

Catherine Malandrino Style de Paris Eau de Parfum

Catherine Malandrino Style de Paris Eau de Parfum

The beauty bonus item was a perfume sample.  If you’re a regular reader, you’ll probably know I hate getting perfume samples.  I’m not that fussy but for some reason I usually dislike about 90% of the ones they send!  Luckily, this one is actually quite nice!

It is created by fashion designer Catherine Malandrino, and is described as sophistocated yet fruity.  It contains notes of mandarin, red grapefruit and pear (sounds like breakfast, lol!)  It’s quite a strong, heady scent but the citrusy fruit notes save it from being too old-fashioned.  It’s probably something I’d keep in my bag in case I needed to freshen up whilst I was out, but I definitely wouldn’t buy it.  Hey, it’s progress though, at least I don’t hate it!!

Value: £50 (we received a mini sample vial).


Overall, another great box!  I always really enjoy my Birchboxes.  It was nice that they went for a slightly different theme this month, instead of going for the obvious of love and Valentines.  The box is gorgeous, with the quote in gold script, so yet another box I’ll be keeping!  I’ll run out of room for boxes soon haha.  Most of all, I LOVED getting a makeup brush in the box – that’s something I’d love to see again in future.


What did you think of this month’s box?  Have you tried any of the products?  Let me know in the comments!

 

 

Birchbox x Pinterest // January 2016 // Review and Unboxing!

Hola!

I’m back with another beauty box review – it’s been a great month for beauty subscription boxes!  Birchbox have pulled it out of the bag with this month’s box… the box itself is gorgeous and I absolutely love most of the contents too 🙂

January 2016 Birchbox x Pinterest

The theme for January’s box is ‘best year ever’, which is really positive and uplifting.  Birchbox have collaborated with Pinterest this month to bring us inspiration and help motivate us for the year ahead.  How gorgeous is this box?

My favourite thing about this month’s box is the adorable postcards!  I’m a big stationery lover anyway, but the designs and positive quotes on these are great.  I think I’ll frame a few of my favourites to go in my beauty area.  I’ve photographed the products with a different postcard behind each one so that you can see them all.

This month’s goodies (I’m loving the pink theme)!

January 2016 Birchbox x Pinterest

January 2016 Birchbox

 

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Beauty Protector – Protect & Detangle

I was really happy to get this as I already use their hair oil (in fact, it was them that finally converted me to liking hair oils!)  This leave-in conditioner is in their signature gorgeous scent which is like toffee or caramel, yum.  I use leave-in conditioner every time I wash my hair.  It helps to brush through my wet hair before drying it as it cuts down on knots and tangles – definitely useful if you have long hair!  As a plus, this also helps reduce damage from heat styling and protects against UV damage.

Beauty Protector - Protect & Detangle

Whish Body Butter Almond

I have to admit, I never get that excited when I receive body lotions in beauty subscription boxes.  I don’t use body lotion as often as I should – having M.E, I find showers pretty exhausting and painful, so I usually have to go and lie down as soon as I get out.  Then the last thing I want to do it stand around stretching to reach all my skin lol!  I do use it, but probably should try and be more consistent.

Anyway… back to the Whish lotion!  The best thing about this is the smell…mmmm – if you like bakewell tart, this almond scented body butter is for you!  It contains organic aloe, shea and raspberry butter.  It does leave my skin silky soft, even with my sporadic use, haha.  It also works really nicely as a hand cream, as I discovered when I was too lazy to go and get my actual hand cream!

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Birchbox #NoFilter Compact Mirror

This month’s ‘beauty bonus’ is a #NOfilter pink compact mirror.  I found the #NOfilter slogan a bit surprising, as I thought that was more of an Instagram than a Pinterest thing (but maybe I’m not down with the kids!)  Aside from that, it’s really cute and perfect for your handbag (even a clutch bag, as it’s really slim).

Birchbox #NoFilter Compact Mirror

Benefit They’re Real Tinted Primer

Now, I wasn’t overly excited when I saw this eyelash primer, as I’ve recently tried the Estee Lauder Little Black Primer and didn’t love it.  I’m so glad I gave it a try, as I much prefer this one!  Unfortunately it is in ‘Mink Brown’ and my eyelashes are naturally black, but the colour is easily covered when I put my mascara over the top.

If you haven’t heard of them, lash primers are intended to be used just before your mascara – they should lift, lengthen and separate your lashes, meaning more impact once your mascara is on.  This primer certainly does all that, which I think is due to the awesome brush!

Primer wand

It is just the right shape and flexibility to get every lash, and it has this little spiky tip to the wand, which looks a little intimidating but is actually perfect for getting into the inner corner lashes where it’s easy to miss.  The primer can also be worn alone, giving just enough length and definition for a natural look.

Absolution L'Eau Soir et Matin

Absolution L’Eau Soir et Matin

This cleansing water seems to work much like micellar water, removing makeup and leaving your skin clean.  It contains hazelnut oil and aloe vera, which are kind to skin.  Although it contains hazelnut oil, it doesn’t have an oily texture at all – the liquid is thin and watery like a micellar.  It doesn’t seem to leave any residue on the face.  It has a nice, light fragrance and is really pleasant to use, but at £27 for the full-sized version, I definitely wouldn’t buy it!

Jelly Pong Pong Lighten Up Brightener and Waterliner

Jelly Pong Pong Lighten Up Brightener & Waterliner

My heart sank a little when I saw this, as I really didn’t like their Highlighting Pencil (see why here), and actually found it quite irritating on my eyes.  I so nearly didn’t unseal this as I thought it would be similar, but in the name of blogging, I risked sore eyes for you guys! 😀   And I’m glad I did, because this brightening pencil is so much better.  It is a lovely natural nude colour and really creamy in consistency, which is great because it doesn’t drag the skin like the highlighting one.

It is really pigmented and I actually prefer it on my waterline to my Rimmel Nude Exaggerate liner.  It’s also nice as a subtle brow-bone highlighter. I tried it under my eyes as suggested and it was ok, but I wouldn’t swap my actual concealer for it.  I wouldn’t actually buy it at £14.95 (we received full size!) but I’ll definitely continue using this one.


Overall, another Birchbox that I’m really happy with.  I will get a lot of use out of the contents and it was a nice mixture of skincare, cosmetics and hair products.  I reckon this will be another box that I keep to use as well, as it’s really pretty (although I’m running out of uses for all my saved boxes haha)!

What do you think of this month’s box?  Have you tried any of the products?  Let me know in the comments or on social media!  Tweet me at @KClifewithME

 

Birchbox // Beauty Subscription Box // December 2015 – Review and Unboxing!

Hey guys

Sorry this post has taken a little while to get to you.  The spoonie in me has been struggling with the lead up to Christmas, as there is much more to be done and people wanting to see me, so I haven’t had a lot of spare energy left to blog.  Hopefully I’ll get more rest and blogging done come January!

So this month’s Birchbox was actually a…Birch BAG!  I’m not sure if they’ve done this for previous Christmases as I didn’t subscribe last December, but I know they did a bag back in the summer (a waterproof orange washbag you could use on holiday).  The bag is a little clutch bag with three different fabrics – black leather effect, gold glitter and green velvet.  It’s very festive!  Some people have fed-back that they really don’t like the green velvet and it’s old-fashioned, but I have to say it’s so dark that it’s actually very subtle (as you can see below).  Also worth noting – Birchbox are selling a gold chain which fits on this bag, if you prefer a strap over a clutch bag.  It is £3 or free with any purchase over £20.

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As you’ll know if you’ve visited me here before, I always fully test and review beauty subscription products for you each month so I can give you as much information as possible.  Unfortunately, with how unwell I have been in December, I just haven’t had the energy to play around with everything.  I will be back to reviewing things fully in the new year, but for this month, I’ll just show you what came and give you my initial impressions.  Hope that’s ok guys!


 

The first thing I noticed was… we got Benefit!  Not just one but two Benefit samples! First was They’re Real Push-Up Liner, which I have tried before and found really hard to use.  I’ll definitely give it another go and see if this one is any better.  Second was Puff Off! – an under eye gel to instantly soothe the look of puffy eyes.  I use eye cream twice a day so I’m happy to give this one a try.

Next up is a Roloxin Revitalising Facial Treatment sachet, which you massage for 20 seconds to ‘activate’.  Apply to your cleansed face and allow to dry for 7-10 minutes and then rinse off.  It claims to smoothe wrinkles and boost radiance, which will be great as my skin is playing up at the moment and really not looking its best!

There was also a Skin & Co Sicilian Shower Gel, which is packed with ingredients directly from Italy, including Sicilian oranges.  I was excited to smell it as I expected it to be really fruity and citrusy but I actually don’t like the scent very much, which is a shame.  It is quite a masculine scent, with a hint of aftershave.  I know a lot of women like unisex scents, but I prefer something a bit sweeter or fruitier, so my husband will be lathering up with this one!

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Next up was Balance Me The Breakout Warrior… which is exactly what my skin needs right now, as I’ve broken out all over my chin *sigh*.  It is a soothing serum containing chamomile, aloe vera and lavender, to calm and balance the skin.  I can’t wait to cover my face with it!

Finally we have a product which is missing from all the photos above… basically I grabbed it out of the bag and used it the same day, then put it away, totally forgetting it came from the Birchbox!  Oops.  It’s a Ciate Mini Mani nail polish in Tweed, which is black with silver strands of glitter.  As an apology for forgetting to photograph it, here’s the polish (plus loose glitter on my ring finger) on my actual nails…

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Sadly it chipped really quickly but I think that was more the Essence Latex Matt black polish underneath not the Ciate.

I hope you’ve enjoyed unboxing this month’s Birchbox with me.  You can find more details about how the actual subscription works here.

Hope you had a lovely Christmas and are still enjoying lots of chocolate and mulled wine!


What did you think of this month’s box?  Have you tried any of the products?  Let me know in the comments or on social media!

Birchbox November 2015 // Beauty Subscription Box // Review and Unboxing!

Hi guys

I can’t believe another Birchbox has arrived already… this last month has absolutely flown by!  November’s Birchbox is in collaboration with lifestyle brand Skinnydip London.  I had never heard of them, so I had a read around.  Apparently they are a London-based company, launched in 2011.  They are now stocked in Selfridges, Nordstorm, ASOS & Topshop.  Their signature style seems to be fun, young and kitsch.  Apparently Zoella is a fun, which is always good by me!

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This box is themed around the much-loved current phrase ‘squad goals’…described as an inspirational term for what you’d like your group of friends to be or accomplish.  The idea is that this box will contain tips and tutorials which you can share with your friends, together with a chance to win Skinnydip London prizes by sharing photos of you and your best friends.  At 30 and spending most of my time in bed ill, this is not exactly relevant to me, but I’m sure some of the younger subscribers will like this month’s theme.

Let’s get into the good stuff – what was in this month’s box!


REN – Wake Wonderful Night-Time Facial

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I have heard of REN but don’t think I’ve ever tried any of their products until now.  This nighttime treatment contains a blend of glycolic and lactic acids to trigger cell renewal whilst you sleep.  Use once or twice a week, applying straight onto clean skin.  Due to the acids, it may tingle a bit at first but that is normal and nothing to be worried about (although it is not suitable for sensitive skin).  My skin tends to respond well to acids, so I think I’ll enjoy this product.

Value: £32 full size, we received deluxe sample size of 10ml.


Lord & Berry- Silhouette Neutral Lip Liner

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I love Lord & Berry lip products and am always happy to see them in my beauty boxes, however I’ll be swapping this with a friend as I already have several similar products.  If you don’t already have something similar though, this is great.  Invisible lip liners seemed to start appearing on the market a few years ago, and are a great idea.  They are basically translucent lip pencils, meaning they line the lips and stop smuding/increase wear, but are not coloured – so you can use them with any colour of lipstick!  Genius.

Value: £9.


Cowshed – Cow Pat Hand Cream

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Reeeeallly not the nicest name for a hand cream, but I get that they’re sticking with a theme!  Cowshed make lots of body products which contain botanical blends, which are naturally paraben and sulphate free.  I’ve had this exact hand cream in the past before and it’s really nice.

Made with rejuvenating essential oils, this cream contains grapefruit to uplift and coriander to soothe.  I’m really not a fan of coriander but I don’t think you can really smell it specifically in this blend (luckily!)

Value: £8.


Number 4 – Lumiere d’hiver Super Comb Prep & Protect

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Ooh I was so excited to see this!!  Birchbox first introduced me to the brand Number 4 when I received a sample of the Lumiere d’hiver conditioning masque, which I absolutely adored, and featured in this everyday heroes post.

This time, we’ve received a leave in conditioner spray, which not only detangles but also strengthens and repairs the hair.  I believe the claims, because their masque is a miracle worker and has improved the condition of my hair no end!  The smell is a bit odd when you spray it, but settles down to be fairly light and unobtrusive.  You just spray into towel dried hair, before drying and styling as normal.

Value: £20 full size – we received a deluxe sample size of 30ml.


Delarom – Creme Acquaconfort

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This is a rejuvenating face cream, containing almond, apricot oils and Vitamin E to nourish and soothe dehydrated skin.  My skin tends to respond well to Vitamin E (I use a lot of the Vit E range from Superdrug) so hopefully this will work well for me.  My skin does have a tendency to be a bit dehydrated due to all the medications I take so hopefully this will help!

You just use this cream like any other moisturiser, after cleansing.  It smells really nice, a bit like a banana milkshake (random, I know!)

Value: £34 full size – we received a deluxe sample size of 15ml.


L.Erickson – Grab & Go Ponytail Holder

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This month’s bonus ‘beauty treat’ item is a metal free hair tie.  Designed to be carried around on the go, allowing you to put your hair up at any time, without risk of snagging it.  I’ll definitely use this, as I wear my hair up a lot.  I don’t think I would ever repurchase though, as they cost over £11.50 for a set of 15, which I think is quite a lot considering how quickly I manage to lose them!

Value: £11.50 for 15 – we received one.


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I’m a bit confused about the overall feel of this box – the design and some of the contents have a really summery feel to me, but of course we’re now in November!  The design is really bright and beachy, and the label on the hair tie says, “it’s hot outside, keep your hair up”…!  Saying that, I absolutely love the look of the box, it’s beautiful.  This photo doesn’t do it justice, but the colours are really pretty and the gold foiled text is gorgeous.  Definitely one of the boxes I’ll be keeping on my vanity!  Overall, another box I’m happy with.  Good work, Birchbox!


What did you think of this month’s box?  Were you feeling the summer vibes?  Let me know in the comments or on social media!

Birchbox October 2015 // Beauty Subscription Box // Review and Unboxing!

Hi guys!

The months absolutely fly by don’t they?  I can never believe another month has passed when my new beauty subscription boxes drop through the letterbox!

If you’ve been reading these posts a while now, you’ll know the drill… I don’t want to bore regular readers with the nitty-gritty about prices and how the box works; but if you’re a new reader, you can find that here!

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This month’s Birchbox was done a little differently than normal.  All subscribers received an email telling them we had a choice between two boxes this month.  One box was curated by Stylist Magazine’s Associate Beauty Editor, Joanna McGarry, with each item having been chosen by her.  The other box was called ‘back to basics’, featuring cult beauty products that are already known and loved by many.  Unusually, we could actually see all the products we would be receiving, so I knew I would get more use out of the Stylist box than the back to basics.

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So without further ado, here is what the Stylist curated box contained:


100% Pure – Fruit Pigmented Lip Glaze (Peach Bellini)

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Oh my!  The packaging on this product is beautiful.  It has an outer cardboard tube which is pretty in pink.  Inside the tube is …erm, how do I put this delicately?  You know Ann Summers bullet vibrators?  Yeah….  It has growing flower/vine patterns in white on the silver bullet and honestly does actually look really pretty!

The tube twists up to reveal a pink stick lipbalm, which has a very light, delicate pink pigment (which doesn’t show much on the lips, just enhances your natural lip colour).  The formula contains avocado and cocoa butters to nourish the lips and fruit pigments for the colour.  The only thing that surprised me is that it doesn’t really smell of anything – I was expecting it to smell fruity!  Great for those who don’t like fragranced products though.

This lipbalm is 100% natural, vegan and also gluten free!  It was made in France by Purity Cosmetics – a company I haven’t heard of before,  but who seem to sell a range of natural, cruelty-free skincare etc.  I’m really pleased with this full-sized product, and think it would actually make a nice gift, due to the lovely packaging!

Value: £19.  Find it here.


Bioderma – Sensibio H20 (Micellar Water)

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Most people will have heard of Bioderma – used by many makeup artists, this is the original Parisian micellar water.  A few years ago, most of us in the UK hadn’t heard of micellar water.  Now, it’s a staple in a lot of people’s skincare arsenal!

To use, simply squeeze a small amount onto a cotton pad and wipe gently across the face.  You can repeat the process if required, as it’s a very gentle product.  A lot of people use micellar water to clean off their makeup, which is totally fine.  I personally tend to remove my eye makeup with a separate remover, then cleanse with micellar water and then hot cloth cleanse.  Sounds like overkill, but honestly, even when I think I’ve removed all my makeup, hot cloth cleansing still seems to find more!  If you don’t really wear makeup, micellar water would be totally sufficient for your cleansing routine.

This product is paraben-free and hypoallergenic, so should be suitable for most people with sensitive skin.  I really like this sample and will definitely use it – the only downside for me is how small it is (20ml).  It won’t last long but at least I’ll get a feel for the brand and whether I want to repurchase in future.

Value: £10.20 for 250ml (meaning ours is worth around 80p).  Buy it here.


PARLOR by Jeff Chastain – Smoothing Blow Out Spray

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Subscribers have received a product by Jeff Chastain in a past box (a sea salt spray I believe).  This one is described as a ‘cult miracle tonic for blotting out frizz, protecting against heat damage, making hair more manageable and helping hair to hold a style for longer’.

To use, simply spray 4 to 6 times through the lengths and ends of the hair and blow dry as usual.  I don’t ‘style’ my hair as such because it’s naturally totally straight, but I do blow dry it to almost dress each time I wash it.  I will give this product a go, but I tend not to like having products in my hair as they don’t feel very nice.

Value: £17 or 147ml (we received a deluxe sample size of 30ml, worth around £3.40).  Buy it here.


Rituals – Yogi Flow Foaming Shower Gel

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We received a Rituals Fortune body scrub in the August Birchbox, which I love, so I was fairly confident I would like this shower gel!  The product begins as a gel but transforms into foam on contact with the water.  This is a very luxurious feeling body wash (a bit like the Imperial Leather Foambursts), with the scent of rose and almond oil.

I actually find the scent a bit disappointing – it smells like those generic mini hotel soaps you get!  However it feels lovely to use and leaves your skin feeling really soft after your shower.  A little also goes a very long way!

Value: £8.50 for 200ml (we received 50ml, around £2.10 worth).  Buy here.


When – Travelmate Sheet Mask

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I was pleased to receive a sheet face mask, as I only tried them recently for the first time and found them quite fun to use!  For those who don’t already know, a sheet mask is basically a cotton or fibre mask in the shape of a face, that has been pre-soaked with the mask.  You literally just take it out of the packet, place it carefully on your face and then remove as per the instructions (in this case, after 30 mins).  They will leave a little bit of residue on your face which you need to wash off, but are generally much ‘tidier’ than normal face masks.

This ‘Travelmate’ mask is designed for when you are on the road and can just take it with you (their website suggests using it after a flight or after you’ve been in the sun.  Chance would be a fine thing haha!)  It contains gentle, moisturising ingredients such as chamomile and arnica, to  help your skin recover from sun, wind and dry air.  I have a few tubes of face mask on the go at the moment so I haven’t yet used this one, but I’m sure I will enjoy it!

Value: £25 for a 4-pack (we received one, at a value of £6… which is actually really expensive for a face mask!!)  Find it here.


English Laundry – No7 Signature For Her (Bonus Item)

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I already received this sample in the June Birchbox, so I will just repeat what I said then, as my opinion hasn’t changed!

I’m not a huge fan of getting fragrance samples in beauty boxes – perfume is such an individual thing and there will never be a scent that everyone receiving the box likes, but I suppose that is the gamble you take with a subscription box.

This sample is apparently tweaked from the original No.7 blend for men.  It is described as bright, fruity, flirty and fun with hints of musk.  Now I’m not a big fan of anything with musk in it – it always just reminds me of using Body Shop Musk body spray when I was a tween!  It always smells a bit old and musty to me – a sort of powdery scent.  I won’t be using this perfume as it’s not to my taste but I’m sure I can find someone who will like it.

Buy it here.


Overall I’m pretty pleased with this month’s box (and would only have myself to blame if I wasn’t… I did choose it after all!)  It was a nice broad range of cosmetics, toiletries and skincare.  Obviously I’m not keen on the perfume sample but I’m sure I’ll find someone who will like it.

The total worth of this box was over £30, so at just £12.95 for the box, I think that’s really good value.  It was fun choosing between the boxes as a one-off, but I like the usual surprise element of not knowing what we will get each month.


Want to Subscribe?

If you fancy subscribing, you can use this link, which will give me 100 Birchbox points – there is no pressure at all to use my link and you can just google the website yourself, but I would be very grateful if you did choose to use my link!  As a bonus, you will also receive £5 worth of points yourself!


What did you think of this month’s box?  Fancy trying any of the products?  Let me know in the comments or follow me on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram!