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: 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: Birchbox April 2014

This month’s Birchbox has a food theme.
Products are inspired by natural ingredients, candy colours and more.
You know I’m a foodie so this box is incredibly enticing for me. 
Inside my box was…
TheBalm Cosmetics – Cheek & Lip Cream
Lord & Berry – Kohl Eye Pencil
Color Club – Gala’s Gem Nail Polish
Tommyguns – Pomegranate & Orange Flower Shampoo
One Love Organics – Skin Saviour Waterless Beauty Balm
Propercorn – Fiery Worcester Sauce & Sundried Tomato 

I’m going to give you the bad news first: It’s my third month in with my Birchbox subscription, and how am I feeling? This is the first box that has left me on the fence, and feeling a little bit “meh.” I have far too many lip balms/stains already and I don’t like cheek creams so I will probably gift the ‘TheBalm Cosmetics’ product. The packaging is cute though and reminds me a bit of Benefit. Next up, the ‘Lord & Berry Kohl Kajal Eyepencil’: I haven’t used an eye pencil since high school, and after converting to liquid eyeliner I probably won’t be going back to them. It’s a shame as I have wanted to try out a Lord & Berry for a while. Now I love ‘Propercorn’, so was glad to see them included as the ‘lifestyle’ item this month, however I can’t handle spice…at all, so these were too much for me. Sadly the other Propercorn option was my favourite – Sweet & Salty, but it was a 50/50 chance I’d get it, so I’m not upset. It’s not all bad though as the fiancé said he will gladly take it off my hands.
Now, for the good news: I am always happy to add another nail polish to my collection, especially when it’s a cute pastel shade. So the ‘Color Club Nail Polish’ was a welcomed addition. I also loved that we were able to choose the shade that went in our box this month. Usually you end up with a generic shade (like red) that everyone else also got. That’s not how Birchbox roll though. They asked us to choose which colour we would like to receive, out of 4 possible pastel shades. I choose the baby blue as I don’t have a similar shade – I know, shocking! This month introduced me to ‘TommyGuns Shampoo’, which smells amazing. I already have a ton of shampoos but I’m eager to try this. Now if only I had the conditioner too…! Birchbox have also introduced me to ‘One Love Organics Beauty Balm’ with this box. The packaging is simple and is different from what you receive if you buy a full size version, but it’s cute. It sounds like a pretty awesome product. I love natural, organic products, and I love skincare – it’s a match made in heaven.
So as you can see the box is pretty much split 50/50 for me this month. I may have received 3 products I’m not keen on/won’t use, but I also received 3 that I will! I understand that I won’t always receive a super amazing box with 5-6 products I adore, so I’m cool with this. Even then, the products I won’t use are still good quality samples that will make someone else very happy. Of course I do wish I’d received items I would get some use from, but I’m sure my friends will be happy. After all, what I don’t use gets given to them or donated to charity. After all folks, you’ve got to look for the silver lining!
You can subscribe or buy a one off 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.