Based on a comment on social media from one of my friends in the states about the monthly beauty subscription box Birchbox, I decided to sign up to see what the fuss was about. (I hope that he got referral points!) My first box was the June 2014 box. For those of you who are not aware, Birchbox is a beauty box subscription service and its members get between five to eight sample-size beauty-related products each month to try. Members can rate the products and earn points. There is a monthly fee, and there is a short questionnaire when you sign up so that they can gather information about products that would best suit your skin type and colouring.
Overall, I do enjoy the element of surprise each month when the box arrives, and I would have never tried most of these sample-size products. The result is that I either find a really nice product that I want to buy or I discover another product is not for me. My August box just arrived yesterday evening, so here are my three reviews from the last three boxes: June, July and August (2014) in reverse chronological order.
August 2014 Birchbox (UK)
This box is inspired by summer getaways. Actually, I was not inspired by this box when I opened it and saw what was inside. My box was mainly all skin-care products with one hair product and a beauty product. I already have and use different brands for most of these products (exfoliator, sun-protection cream, and conditioning hair-spray). I've seen other subscribers get eye shadow and perfume. I love perfume, so it would have been great to sample that. This is the second month where I have preferred what other subscribers receive, so I am going to see if changing my preferences in my questionnaire helps.
Number 4 Super Comb Prep & Protect: This is conditioning hair-spray that protects your hair against sun damage. I already use a different brand when I style my hair, so I am not sold. It does leave my ultra-fine hair feeling soft.
Chella Highlighter Pencil: This highlighter pencil is to be used on the brow, corner of the eyes, and other places where the wearer wants to add some light/dimension when applying make-up. I did find this one to be useful and have wondered in the past if there was a product for this. Turns out there is! This is my favourite product in the box.
Nude Progenius Omega Treatment Oil: This nourishing oil hydrates skin and is to be used in the morning and in the evening. I have tried this on a couple of dry patches on my skin, and it did clear those up and left my skin feeling fresh. This product worked on those dry patches where other products failed. I recommend it, and based upon continued use, this may be a joint favourite product in the box.
Vasanti BrightenUp! Enzymatic Face Rejuvenator: This exfoliator is to be massaged into damp skin 3-5 times a week to give the appearance of a refreshed face. The product seems to do the trick and does not seem hard on my skin like some exfoliator products that I have previously tried.
Supergoop! Daily Correct SPF 35 CC Cream: This is a sun-protector cream. I received a similar product in my June box, and I still have some of that remaining. However, this one is tinted to match skin tone. I received the "light to medium" colour. This product confused me. Is it foundation and sun-protection cream in one? I would use it but would use my standard foundation on top as this cream was too dark for my fair complexion.
A chapter of the book "The Proposal" by Tasmina Perry: This is a chapter of a book. While I love to read, I dislike reading only part of a book and cannot get excited about that. How can one judge a book by one chapter? Nonetheless, I did read the chapter on my way to work already, but I would never purchase any book by reading one chapter of the book. A complete book would have been nice, as sometimes magazines give books away.
This month's products also came with a cute summery plastic make-up bag with popsicles (ice lollies) on it.
Apologies for the poor lighting on this month's products; I get home late and the weather was stormy.
August 2014 UK Birchbox
July 2014 Birchbox (UK)
The Birchbox is inspired by summer, and a lot of the products are made travel size and to take away in the summer months. This box's items were a mix of ones that I have tried previously and new ones, but I was not wowed. I preferred what other subscribers got.
Balance Me Wonder Eye Cream: I simply do not use eye cream or could see myself using it in the future. I sampled the product around my eyes, and it does make the area around my eyes feel more revitalised for a time. The sample size is a good size, considering that only a grain-sized drop is needed.
LAQA & CO Sheer Lip Lube in Bees Knees (Coral): A very light lip colour and a slight hint of peppermint taste. I do not think this suits my colouring at all, and I was not impressed with the way it felt on my lips. The application seemed a bit lumpy to me.
Gilchrist & Soames Mineral Bath: This can be added to a bath or used as a shower gel. I tried a little bit in the shower, but it did not lather up so I used the remainder in the bath. The product does smell nice, but other than its smell, what is it meant to do? It left me confused as my skin did not feel any different (moisturised) after the bath.
Whish Three Wishes Lavender Body Butter: I love lavender; it reminds me of my holiday to Hvar, Croatia a few years ago. This product smells and feels lovely. It doesn't smell much like lavender, and the scene does remind me of cinnamon - Cinnabon rolls (for some reason). It was not greasy and thick. It melted into my skin. I would buy this, but I have a lot of body lotion to use up. This was my favourite product that I previously had never used.
Benefit Porefessional: I have used this product and other Benefit products before. The product allows foundation to be smoothed over your face evenly. I like this product.
The Chia Co. 'Chia Shots': Instead of growing furry green plant sculptures, these chia seeds are made to be added to your breakfast or salad (a tablespoon a day) and they add vitamins to your diet. They do not have much of a taste and can be used on salads or on cereal.
July 2014 UK Birchbox
June 2014 Birchbox (UK)
The Birchbox was inspired by the World Cup, hosted by Brazil. The bag that the products came in was decorated in Brazil's colours of blue-green and yellow, and it came with a branded Birchbox and World Cup sandal keyring. Here is a little description and review of what I have received in my first ever Birchbox:
Aromatherapy Associates 'Relax or Revive' Bath & Shower Oil: There was just enough in the tiny bottle for one shower (or bath), and I used this in the shower. The smell was grapefruit, and I liked it. It made my skin feel soft and kept it scented.
OPI Brazil Collection (Nail Polish): I have used OPI nail polish before, and I've always found it to be a good product. The nail polish that I received is the green-blue colour; when dried this matches the colour of the Brazilian flag (the same shade as the Birchbox bag). The polish dried quicker than my older OPI polish that I own, and I like the shade. The polish does not tend to chip like some brands do, and this is always a plus. I hate chipped nail polish; it looks so tacky and I have a habit of picking at it when it has started to chip before it should.
Jane Iredale 'Just Kissed' Lip and Cheek Stain (in Forever Pink): This was my favourite product in the box. When I saw the colour, which is very pale, I did not expect it to do much of anything on my pale complexion. However, I was surprised to see in the mirror that it coloured my lips a nice shade of red. The product adapts to everyone differently and uses body chemistry to create its colour to suit each individual. I loved this product and will be buying the full size sample.
Silk & Honey 'Shea Butter Hair Mask': There is enough of this product for two washes, and the instructions recommend using it once a week. This product is meant to work as a deep-cleansing hair conditioner. I used the first sample, and it left my hair looking (and feeling) extremely greasy, so I will not be using it again.
Caudalie Vinoperfect SPF15 Day Perfecting Fluid: Ignore the fancy name. This is a sun cream moisturiser for your face, and it is meant to "brighten and correct and retexturise skin", according to the label. I have used other brands, but this is a product that I do not use regularly.
June 2014 UK Birchbox