Updated: Jul 13
Something I've always been intrigued by but never had the opportunity to properly look into is Birchbox.
Not because I don't like the concept or think it's worth the money, more because I'm incapable of finishing products no matter the size.
I don't think I've ever finished a can or a cup of coffee and I'm not sure why, I just can't bring myself to see things empty.
So with Birchbox I know I'm spending money to get 5 products that I'll use a couple of times then resign to my shelf whether I like them or not, purely because I don't like to finish something. However I do really love the idea of receiving a selection of new products to try each month!
I will apologise in advance for the shocking images in this post - the winter has taken it's toll on my creativity!
Last month, Birchbox ran a promotion where if you bought the latest box for £5, you'd also get a throwback box free. Including postage this meant that you got 10 products for a fiver.
A lot of them are minis, but it's still a really decent deal.
November's box was Frozen themed to coincide with the release of Frozen 2 - so I thought I could do a quick run through of what I received and what I think.
I guess my first thoughts on seeing the theme were that I expected a lot of blue mascara and frosty lipgloss, but I think I was taking it too literally.
1. First up, is a moisturing lipstick in 'gingerbread' from Lise Watier. Birchbox describes it as 'punchy pigment without the fuss of a gloss or the dryness of a liquid lip'. For me, this is a massive draw. There's nothing worse than doing your makeup and stepping outside and getting your hair caught on your lipgloss, but I'm also a habitual lip biter, so being a non-drying formulation really appeals to me. I liked this lipstick on, however I can't say that the colour was bang on for me - but I loved the feel of it.
2. The next item in this month's box is a full-size lip pencil in 'heatherberry' by Bodyography. This isn't a brand I've ever come across if I'm honest, but from the description I've seen it sounds cracking. Formulated with coconut oil and vitamin e, it gives even coverage while preventing any bleeding or feathering. A nice thing to know is that Bodyographys ethos is 'beauty with a conscious', meaning that their products are all cruelty-free, paraben-free and sulphate-free. (I know what one of those means...)
3. Next up, is a full size sheet mask - this is something I'm excited to receive as my dry skin means that I take advantage of any moisturising products I can get my hands on! With flower extracts, hyaluronic acid, collagen and vitamin e, it's claimed to 'smooth, refresh and protect'. As much as I like a sheet mask, I do have my concerns about the waste involved.
Most masks come in a metal packaging, but as they're coated in serum I'm never sure whether these are suitable for the recycling bin. The mask itself generates waste as it's a single use product, so I do use these sparingly and generally rely on a select few creams, this mask doesn't specify, but some boast that they contain a whole bottle of serum - to be honest, this seems excessive and a little wasteful.
4. The fourth product in my box is Blancrème's 'Blue Lagoon exfoliating shower gel', just from reading it's description, I'm excited to try it! Being an exfoliator, it's great for clearing dead cells from skin and simultaneously cleansing. The light citrus scent makes it ideal for a morning shower as it energises and with it being made from all natural ingredients, it's doing good too. I don't get drawn in particularly by packaging if I'm honest, but having looked at the Blancreme site their whole range just looks absolutely divine!
5. So, confusingly the fifth item in my box is from the brand Number 4. This blow dry lotion combines thermal protection with a leave-in treatment to help keep hair smooth and sleek while speeding up the blow dry process by up to 50%. The full size bottle of this retails for £26, so this is a great opportunity to try something a little more high end without the price tag!
As part of the deal offered by Birchbox, I was sent a throwback box for free.
The one I received was June's Paperchase box. From the intro to the box, the aim of the products included is to encourage wanderlust while getting you summer-ready.
1. First up is a Lip Stix pencil from Laritzy. Not a brand I was aware of, but from the description I was well on my way to becoming their next biggest fan. A lip liner and lipstick in one, the buildable product gives the effect of a standard lipstick without heavy product. Described as 'lightweight and hydrating, with a gorgeous satin finish', I was keen to try this out. Another great benefit of this brand is that their products are cruelty-free, vegan-friendly and free of bother parabens and phthalates. I need to do some more research on this... The good news was that the Lip Stix was as brilliant on as expected.
2. next up is a product I'm super keen to try. Gimme Brow by Benefit is included, I've never been a huge fan of benefit products due to their mascaras irritating my eyes most of the time - so it'll be interesting to see how I react to this. I recently had my eyebrows tinted for the second time EVER, so I'm loving not needing to use a lot of product - this may replace my clear brow gel while filling in any of the bare patches. As the number 1 selling brow product in the UK it'll be interesting to see whether or not its worth the hype.
3. The third product in my box is another raved about item, being shortlisted for 'Best Base' in Birchbox's 2018 Beauty Awards. The Paul & Joe moisturising foundation primer contains orange water flower and hyaluronic acid to deliver deep moisture, banish excess oil and assist in keeping makeup in place all day. Simple to use, just apply to clean skin with fingers before foundation. I'll be keen to see how this looks on skin during this particularly cold weather.
4. My favourite time to use face masks is early morning when it's too early to be productive but there isn't a hope of getting back to sleep, so receiving another product to add to my stash is great. The pair of 'baggage claim gold eye masks' from Wander Beauty hydrate, depuff and brighten under eyes, making them an ideal remedy for the morning after a heavy night. The masks suggest being applied for 10 minutes, so a perfect quick pamper when you aren't able to spend the day in your bed!
5. The last product in my box is a Birchbox exclusive, meaning that you don't find this brand in the UK. Amika is an ultra-cool Brooklyn brand, their 'Bust Your Brass blonde shampoo' included in my box typically retails at £18 for a full-size, so its great to get a sample of this before committing to a full product. A wild concoction of sea buckthorn berry, wild cherry bark extract and avocado oil, the products work to combat brassiness while injecting moisture, elasticity and shine.
Between both boxes I recieved a real mix of products with a couple of full-size babies thrown in too which is great. However it hasn't swayed me from my original judgement - this is a lovely treat and would make a great gift, but I'm just not totally sold on it.
This doesn't mean that I won't look out for a similar deal in future to take advantage of though!
Have you used Birchbox in the past? What did you think of the products you received; are you a fan of using lots of items or do you share in my problem?