I know there are one million reviews on beauty boxes out there, some of them a bit hard to trust as people are sent boxes for free. I decided to try Birchbox after seeing a Christmas promotion where you got a free full size Ciate eyeliner pen. Yup, I want that, and as it’s the same price as a box, I’ll give it a go for a few months. Here’s my thoughts on the first four boxes I received.
Since taking these photos, I’ve gotten another couple boxes, (April’s, and just today actually I got May’s) so my review is basically on the variety of products that I’ve gotten so far, how well suited they are for me, and value for money. As someone who does not regularly go out and buy products, these boxes are perfect for me to try new things regarding skincare (which I put in my Birchbox profile that I was interested in) and I’ve also gotten a fair few hair products that I’ve loved. Would I repurchase the more expensive ones? Not particularly, as they haven’t swayed me away from what I’m currently using. I have however enjoyed using different products, and mini’s are great as I travel quite a bit! December was the first box I received, and normally you receive four sample sized products and a full size, but along with the eyeliner (RRP £15) they were also including a code for a red lip lacquer from Smith & Cult. I’ve heard of the brand but as I’d never had anything from them I assumed you got this as it had a dinted lid. Little did I know this is how all their packaging comes. Weird to me as it just looks like a product off cast and they aren’t cheap. As you can see in my photo my eyeliner has lost all of it’s markings as I use this ALL THE TIME. This is my new holy grail makeup item, and I’ve already bought a backup for when it runs out as I don’t think I can live without it now. The felt tip end makes it easy to wing eyeliner and it stays in place even through busy bar shifts.
The other products that came were a
-Little vial of Benefit’s bene-tint (RRP £24.50), which was nice as I’ve actually wanted to try this.
-Elemis Hydra-boost day cream (RRP £39), which I’ve already used up and while it was nice, but I wouldn’t pay the £39 price tag for the full sized product.
-Percy & Reed Perfectly perfecting wonder balm (RRP £18), I’ve also used almost all of this, and I actually do quite like it and would consider buying the full priced tube at £18. I noticed a big difference in the softness of my hair, and it didn’t fade my dye.
-Anatomicals coconut and mango body lotion (RRP 3.99), I’ll use this up, but to be honest I hardly ever purchase body cream as I get tons in gift sets and never use them up.
All in all I was quite happy with my first box, it had a variety of things, and especially some items I really enjoyed using. January’s box I loved the design, and thought it had a good mix of products. The full sized item was a Lord & Berry conceal-it crayon in beige (RRP £12) and while this is a nice idea, it was waaaay to dark for my pale skin, so I’ve found another home for it.
Also included was
-Nails inc mini polish (RRP £15 for full size), I love nails inc normally, and I love this pastel feather glitter so I know I’ll use it.
-Ren Glycolactic Radiance Renewal mask (RRP £32), I was excited to get this to try as I read a lot about REN skincare, but because my skins so sensitive, I haven’t wanted to shell out for full sizes. Will have to see how I get on with this.
-Merci Handy hand cream (RRP£4.90), I was kind of annoyed to get a hand cream, because I have quite a lot of it, but the small size of this one means I can toss it in a bag easily to use up. It’s also got a nice smell.
-Kebalo clarifying shampoo (RRP £13.95), I was most excited for this, as because I have brightly coloured hair, it takes a lot to maintain. I thought I’d use this before putting fresh dye on it and it would prepare my hair. Never again. This stuff was horrible and made my hair feel so much like straw I had to deep condition it. Maybe if you use a lot of styling products and don’t dye your hair this might work, but I wouldn’t recommend it.February’s box you got to pick a box design before it came to you as they were doing a collaboration with Papier. I love this idea. I’ve also saved all my prettiest boxes to use as dividers in my drawers to store all my new samples while I get through them. The full sized item for this box was the Spectrum eye contour brush (RRP £5.99) and it’s a decent enough brush that I’ll get use out of.
Also in the box was
-POP Beauty eyeshadow trio in Champagne mocha (RRP £15,50), I was a bit surprised as I thought the eyeshadow was a full sized product, but it’s just a few shades out of a bigger palette available in the Birchbox shop. I really like the three shades as they are what I most often wear.
-Vasanti Brighten up! Enzymatic Face Rejuvinator (RRP £26), again, I love a bit of skincare, especially if it promises to rejuvenate my face. I was super confused though as the menu with the items touted this as a shaving cream for your legs, someone clearly put the wrong description in there!
-Beaver Professional daily moisture conditioning spray (RRP £21), a decent spray, I’ve been using it and it doesn’t seem to be as nice as the wonder balm above but I’ll use it up.
-KEEOME hydration mask therapy (RRP £29 for 6), a sheet mask! I’ve wanted to try one of these for ages but not been that bothered about buying one. I don’t think I’ll be splurging on any in the near future either as this was super uncomfortable, kept sliding off my face, and didn’t seem to make any bit of difference! Got the scary sheet mask wearing photo though, so worth the try. The last box is in this review is March’s box. I liked the idea that the items came in a reusable bag inside the box, good for toiletries on the go. The full sized item this month was Benefit’s They’re real! Double the lip (RRP £16.50) which was available in two shades, Pink Thrills and the one I chose Dusty Rose. I’ve been using this and it’s really nice! It’s really tiny though, so not sure it’s worth the slightly high price tag. I do love the colour though, so might try to find something similar.
Other items in the box/bag inluded
-Caudalie vine[Activ] Glow activating anti-wrinkle serum (RRP £36), I love a good serum, and have heard a lot of good things about this one so while I’m happy I’ve got it to try, it’s probably not something I’d buy right now.
-Batiste Dry shampoo and conditioner (RRP £4.49), I always see people complaining about getting loads of dry shampoo in their boxes, and while normally I’d agree, the travel sizes are handy! So as long as I don’t get it every month, I’m fine with it and will use it.
-Balance Me instant lift primer (RRP £22), I’m always dubious about primers because my face hates them, so I was happy to see a sample so I don’t have to worry about wasting money on a full sized product that might not even agree with my skin. Do I think they blur pores? Hell no, but this also promises to tighten the skin, we’ll see!
-Rituals Sakura Foaming shower gel (RRP from £4.50), so this comes in different sizes to buy as well, and while I haven’t tried it yet in the shower, it smells amazing, like fresh cherry blossoms.
The last couple months boxes I’m decently happy with, but I don’t think that a long term subscription is particularly useful for a lot of people. I can see how you can get burnt out on body lotions and dry shampoo, but so far I think there’s been a really good variety with Birchbox. So for now, I’ll keep paying my £12.95 a month until I get bored. As I said, I don’t tend to go out and buy new makeup and products all the time, so to have some samples delivered to my door suits my lifestyle. For those who are constantly on the prowl in the drugstore or department store, these might not be for you as chances are you’ve already got or at least tried most of the products.
Do you subscribe to any beauty boxes? What’s your favourite?