Review: Birchbox July 2014 Beauty Box

Birchbox Beauty Box July 2014 

Where did the love go? Yes, only a few months ago I was professing my love for Birchbox to anyone that would listen. However the last couple of boxes have left me feeling as though something was missing…then July’s box happened. It’s been a crazy mixture of squished boxes, poor customer service and everything in-between. Let me tell you what was in my box first though, before I bore you with my decision for finally unsubscribing from Birchbox.
Inside my box was…
Benefit – The Porefessional
Balance Me – Wonder Eye Cream
Laqa & Co – Lip Pencil in Menatour
Models Own – Nail Polish in Rocket

This month’s box was very underwhelming, but maybe I should first mention how it turned up in such a state…and completely by surprise! For the past two months I haven’t been receiving any dispatch emails from Birchbox, meaning I didn’t know if my boxes had been sent. Now this isn’t a terrible thing by itself, however the (always disgruntled) courier has delivered my box to other people in my apartments before, without letting me know. Therefore knowing when my box is on it’s way is helpful. Thankfully I have lovely neighbours who noticed the mistake and didn’t nab my box for themselves. Anyway, I mentioned that it turned up in a state. All of my products were ok, but I think I got lucky. Even so, this is really not the way you want your product to turn up or how you want to represent your brand. I did tweet and message Birchbox about both of these problems. In hindsight I should have emailed them, but when they asked me to message them on Twitter I thought the problem might be solved pretty quickly. However it took forever to receive any kind of reply from them, and they completely ignored the dispatch email problem. They did apologise and said they would investigate the courier situation though, so hopefully no one else will have this problem.

As for the contents of the box itself, I can honestly say that there isn’t one product I can be certain I’ll use. I did appreciate that some of the products such as the full-size Models Own polish (not a great shade) and the decent sized The Porefessional (shade is too dark) are well-known and loved products, but they’re also nothing new. The eye cream, nail buffer and body butter are products I have coming out of my ears (thanks to pr samples and beauty box products) and I haven’t heard anything about these ones that make me want to jump to use them. Finally, the lip pencil – the quality seems good but this shade is really not me. I plan to give everything away, minus the nail polish and the eye cream, in the hopes that I will eventually use them at some point. All in all July’s box left me feeling pretty “meh” and along with all of the other problems, I have decided to unsubscribe from Birchbox. Maybe if a future box takes my fancy I may start my subscription again, but right now I really don’t need anymore beauty products that I won’t use.
Sorry for the downer – check out my more optimistic Birchbox reviews.

You can subscribe or buy this month’s box at Birchbox.
Using my link will give you (and me) £5 worth of points to spend in the store.

Review: Birchbox ‘World Cup’ June 2014 Beauty Box

Birchbox ‘World Cup – Brazil’ June 2014 Beauty Box

This month’s box had a lot to live up to after last month’s Harper’s Bazaar collaboration box. 
I was actually surprised when the ever enthusiastic delivery guy (can you feel the sarcasm leaking through you screen?) turned up with my box, due to a lack of correspondence from Birchbox themselves. Still, I’m not going to complain about a box turning up without a dispatch email when it could have easily been the other way round. Opening up my box I didn’t really know what to expect. I hadn’t seen any mention of a theme, and honestly, my heart dropped a little when I saw the green and yellow. I’m not a football fan and lately every brand out there is trying to be included in the World Cup glory. 
The branding was clever with this box, but I wasn’t drawn in by the theme.
Inside my box was…
Embryolisse – Lait Crème Concentre
Silk + Honey – Shea Butter Hair Mask
Birchbox – Brazil Inspired Keyring
I’m not one to judge a book by it’s cover, however my dismay at the month’s theme did translate to the products slightly. I don’t really know where to start. Maybe I should talk about the products I’m happy with first. The reasonably sized Silk + Honey Shea Butter Hair Mask is certainly something I will use and enjoy, so I’m more than happy to have it in my box. I was excited by the Yves Rocher Lipstick, but when I tried it on it was no different than a lip balm, as the ‘tint’ of colour wasn’t present. I was also a bit sad that the YR logo had scratched off my tube slightly, making me think these were seconds. The OPI polish is a lovely shade, and certainly something I’d wear, but I have a love hate relationship with OPI. I’ve found some of their polishes to be poor quality, but I have high hopes for this one. The Naobay lotion, and the Embryolisse moisturiser are items I could take or leave. I already have a bunch of moisturisers and sample size lotions, so these will just go into my ever-evergrowing pile. Finally, the keyring. Maybe I’m a buzzkill but it reminds me of the tacky souvenirs found at so many British seaside resorts. I do see the fun in it though so I can’t hate on it, I just won’t be using it.
Overall I’m a bit disappointed in this month’s box, and if it wasn’t for the quality of the
previous boxes I’ve received I would be unsubscribing. Here’s hoping next month’s Birchbox gets back to form!
You can subscribe or buy the ‘World Cup’ box at Birchbox.
Using my link will give you (and me) £5 worth of points to spend in the store.

Review: Latest in Beauty x Beauty Mart Beauty Box

I don’t know about you guys, but do you think this is something to do with beauty? Well if the well-known names above haven’t convinced you maybe the photos will? Yes this is another beauty box, although this time it’s from luxury sample site Latest In Beauty. They’ve collaborated with Beauty Mart, a store well-known for selling cult beauty products. Think crème de la crème (best of the best) and you’ve pretty much summed up this box.
I won’t lie, it was the full size Balmain Silk Perfume that drew me in. I’d previously tried the hair perfume in Beauty Mart, and fallen in love with the scent. The perfume doesn’t only smell divine, but it contains argan oil to help condition your hair. This is £24.50 by itself, so that was the beauty box paid for twice over, all by itself. Shall I just end it here? No! I’d never do that to you. Next up was the Bronze Buffer, which I’d heard plenty about, thanks to some rather aggressive social media tactics. I will actually be passing it on to a friend as I don’t tan. The Astalift (review here) and Maybelline BB Cream (too dark) samples will also be passed onto friends. I’ve found there’s always one or two unwanted items in every beauty box, so I’m not unhappy. Yu-Be & Weleda Skin Food are both well known moisturisers that I can’t wait to try out. However I’m a little scared of the DHC Cleansing Oil because the thought of anything oily near my face just makes my skin scream. I may be brave and try it sometime though because I do love DHC. The perfume sample looks promising and has been added to my collection. The Kevin Murphy Colour Bug (sorry Kevin, but my English heritage refuses to call it ‘color bug’) is a wipe-on wash-off hair colour in candy pink. I miss my pink hair so I can’t wait to try this out! It has to be the most intriguing item in the box too. Finally, the Model Co Masacara. I left it until last as it was an incentive to buy the box and came as a freebie when you entered a special code, so some boxes won’t have received it. I’m always happy to try new mascaras, and this is full size so I’m content with it.
I’m always impressed with Latest in Beauty’s beauty box collections and this box is no exception to their winning streak. This is the perfect buy for a beauty addict, or even as a gift. In fact I think that this is the perfect gift for a beauty lover or someone who wants to be introduced to some new products and brands. Even though I see a condom every time I look at the Astalift sample (yes I did just say that), I’m thoroughly impressed with the box. It was brimming with delectable products that certainly fed my beauty obsession.
You can find most of the items from the box at Beauty Mart. Unfortunately the box has sold out, but you can check out the other boxes available at Latest in Beauty.

Review: Harper’s Bazaar x Birchbox Collaboration Box May 2014

So soon after the Lulu Guinness box, we have been gifted with another collaboration from Birchbox. This time round it’s with the ever popular women’s fashion magazine Harper’s Bazaar. As soon as the email declaring May’s box fell into my inbox, I was giddy with excitement. Back when I bought magazines (before I started blogging) I would always buy Harper’s. The thick glossy pages were always alluring, offering articles in a similar vein to Vogue. Maybe that will help you understand the expectations I had for a collaboration with such a well-known and established brand. 
Inside my box was…
Soigné – Nail Lacquer in Crème au Beurre (full size)
Aromatherapy Associates – Revive Morning Bath & Shower Oil
Beauty Protector – Protect & Shampoo/Condition
Well done Birchbox, my hat goes off to you! I don’t easily profess my love for beauty boxes, so you know that this one has got to be something special. When I first looked inside I was saddened at the lack of a lifestyle product, but then I gazed down upon the contents and my eyes glistened with excitement. Inside were a variety of beauty products that I would be proud to have grace my shelves. In fact I already owned some of them, so I was extremely happy to have travel size versions to add to my collection – I really can’t get enough of my favourites in travel size. The two products I owned already were Benefit’s They’re Real Mascara (what beauty obsessed blogger doesn’t?) and Liz Earle’s Hot Cloth Cleanser (do I really need to repeat myself?). Not only are both products desirable must-haves, they are also a decent size. They went straight into my travel case for the next time I need trusty favourites, but don’t have the space for full size versions. A product that was new to me was Beauty Protector’s Shampoo & Conditioner, which is free of all those nasty parabens etc. and is vegan friendly too! I can’t wait to try these out! But for me, the stand out product in this box is Soigné’s Nail Polish in Crème au Beurre (Buttercream). You know I can’t get enough of nail polish (I have an ever growing collection of about 100+), and this is one brand I’ve been wanting to try for quite a while. The shade is absolutely perfect (there is a selection of 4) and the packaging is très chic! I am so so happy with it, and I can’t wait to get it on my nails!! I have to be honest though, and as much as I love this box I will admit that I won’t use the Aromatherapy Associates Bath & Shower Oil. I’m not a fan of oils although I’m sure this one is lovely. I’ll just pass it on to a friend instead.
Bath oil aside, this has to be the best Birchbox I have received to date. The box matches the theme perfectly in my opinion – higher end established beauty products that you can definitely imagine gracing the pages of Harper’s Bazaar, if they haven’t already. I predict that this box will be a sell out! This has cemented my feelings that Birchbox is the Queen (& King) of beauty boxes. All hail Birchbox!

You can buy the Harper’s Bazaar box at Birchbox.
Using my link will give you (and me) £5 worth of points to spend in the store.

Review: Lulu Guinness March ’14 Birchbox

It’s safe to say that I was very excited for this month’s Birchbox. I’m a fan of Lulu Guinness and couldn’t wait to see what the collab would bring. This box was based around LG’s cheeky and fun outlook, with 2 products picked by Lulu herself. Her choices? Her favourite Benefit eye primer, and the monochrome candy that inspired her Spring collection.
So what else was inside the March box?
Benefit – Stay Don’t Stray Eye Primer
Dr Brandt – Pores No More Pore Refiner
Aroma Works – Serenity Body Oil
English Laundry No.7 For Her
Stick o’ Rock (Candy Rock)
Molton Brown – Rhubarb & Rose Replenshing Hand Cream
It’s certainly a cute box this month, and I’m pretty happy with all of the contents – minus the candy rock, which I don’t eat. However the fiancé gladly nabbed it off me, so no tears there. At first look it did seem slightly underwhelming though as I was hoping for something that cried out “Lulu Guinness” slightly more than this did. I think I would have liked to see maybe a LG colour coordinated box, or some fun items that linked to her designs? Still, the packaging of the box was adorable and very fitting. I’m more than happy with the Molton Brown addition as I’ve been meaning to find a handbag-sized hand cream, and I love Molton Brown products. The two primers seemed like a bit of overkill, although I know one is for your eyes and the other face. I’m still looking forward to trying them both though. I adore the scent of the perfume, and as for the body oil, I could take it or leave it. All in all, I’ve discovered some new brands and products that I’m looking forward to trying, which is why I subscribed to Birchbox in the first place, so I’m happy.
ETA: This month’s box also included a discount code to use at Lulu Guinness, and a coupon for a complimentary makeover featuring the new Benefit Gimme Brow!
You can subscribe to Birchbox here – using my link will give you (and me) £5 worth of points to spend.

Review: Birchbox February 2014 – New Subscription!

You may have thought I’d sworn off beauty boxes forever – especially after this debacle.
Well as the title of this post confirms, you’d be wrong – last week I started a new subscription with Birchbox.
I’d been wanting to start up a subscription again but didn’t know which beauty box brand to choose.
The answer was really there all along though as Birchbox have impressed me in the past.
Inside my box was…
Nail Rock – Nail Glitter
Beauty Protector – Protect & Oil 
Eyeko Skinny Liquid Eyeliner
Urbanveda Radiance Exfoliating Facial Polish
Gilchrist & Soames The London Collection Shower Gel
Green & Black’s Dark 70% Mini Chocolate Bar
Birchbox didn’t resort to the usual Valentine’s theme, which I appreciate.
Instead they’ve released a box full of genuinely good products that I can’t wait to use.
They included one full size product – Nail Rocks, which retails at £6.99 – great value.
Also included is a 1.2g Eyeko Skinny Liquid Liner (usually 2g for £12), which works out about £7.20.
With those two products alone you have made your money back, with a little bit of pocket change too.
Both are products I’ve been wanting to try for ages, and am very excited to receive in my Birchbox this month.
I can take or leave the shower gel, as it’s useful to have travel size, but it won’t get used all too often.
The hair oil falls under the same category as the shower gel, useful but really only for travelling.
I’m looking forward to trying the facial polish as it’s a product I’ll definitely be happy to use.
And finally, who is ever going to complain about receiving chocolate? It’s always a good thing!
I loved this box and can’t wait for next month’s special collaboration with Lulu Guinness!!
You can subscribe to Birchbox here – using my link will give you (and me) £5 worth of points to spend.

Review: L’Occitane Hydration Cream

L’Occitane Creme Radieuse Hydration Cream*
It seemed that my search for a moisturiser fit for using on my face was forever ongoing.
That was until I found this little gem – the L’Occitane Creme Radieuse Hydration Cream.
I received this sample size in a Birchbox last November and wasn’t sure what to think of it.
In fact, I was pretty convinced that I would never use it, in fear that it would make my skin breakout.
I have combination skin that is too dry for certain products and breaks out with other rich ones.
That in a nutshell is why I don’t like to use a lot of facial moisturisers as part of my routine.
So I was delighted when I took a chance and started using this.
+ Not too rich
+ Smells lovely
+ Works well as a primer
+ Moisturising & Hydrating
+ Only a tiny amount is needed
– Scent isn’t for everyone
– May not be rich enough for some skin types
Ok, I think you can see that I was stretching with the cons there.
Personally I have no cons for this product, but I tried to think of others.
I’m just happy to finally find a moisturiser that is moisturising enough and not too rich.
The sample size of this is perfect, as I only need to apply a little every morning and evening.
The full size is a little pricey at £30 and honestly I don’t think I’d be able to use it all before it goes out of date. That said, L’Occitane also feature the sample size in a travel set with the cleanser & toner, so I’ll definitely be taking advantage of that when I run out of this one.
You can purchase the full size version online here.
Or you can find the travel kit in L’Occitane stores.