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Beauty Boxes

Birchbox May 2014 Review

May 13, 2014


It seems Birchbox have stuck with their minimal packaging and have now taken to a smaller cardboard package in favor of their previous outer box. This is somewhat of a shame, since I reused mine for storing lots of different bits and bobs, but this month has made up for it, because the Birchbox itself is absolutely gorgeous, they have teamed up with Harper’s Bazaar and packed it full of lovely items.


Benefit – They’re Real! Mascara – 3g sample – £19.50 for full size

I admit I already knew this was on it’s way, because I spoilt the box for myself when I was catching up on my Lazy Days Beauty posts during flu recovery! You can check out her post here. I already own a full size They’re Real as well as another mini, which I usually take to gigs with me, so I’m pretty ecstatic about having another back up mini to stash in my overflowing makeup drawers, now I don’t have to be so thrifty with my current ones! For those that haven’t tried this yet, I suggest you do. It’s absolutely wonderful, with minimal clumping and accentuated lashes and I often reach for this during the days I can’t be bothered with a full face of makeup.


Soigné – Nail Lacquer in”Crème au Beurre” – Full size product – £11 for full size

My first thoughts on pulling this out of the box, was how beautifully packaged it was. Not that this was neccesary for a varnish, because the boxes tend to go in the bin once the pot joins it’s brothers in arms on the dreaded overfilled nail varnish shelf of destiny. None the less, ten out of ten for effort. It gives it a very luxurious feel to it, as does the colour which is a slightly shimmer pink-nude shade. It definitely harnesses a Parisian feel to it. Application wise, it took three coats, but actually I really like the colour and think it will pair perfectly with black. I’m full on into nude shades and black at the moment and have been for quite a while. A full size Varnish too which is always a bonus along with the promise of being non-toxic and made with up to 85% of natural origins, I’m excited to see more from this brand.


Aromatherapy Associates – Revive Morning Bath & Shower Oil – 3ml sample – £39 for full size

I own a few bits from Aromatherapy Associates, but nothing I’ve had has really stood out of wowed me. This is another oil to add to my increasing collection, but this one has a little twist. It can be added to the bath or smoothed over the body before showering. Yes, that’s right, before showering! Now I really like body oil and I also use this when I somehow bribe the other half into giving me a nice back rub, but one thing I have never done, is oiled up and then showered. It seems a little backwards to me. Kind of like brushing your teeth before bed and then eating a chocolate cake or moisturising your face before having a wash. Having said that, I’m open to suggestion so perhaps will give this a try. It smells lovely and I may even squeeze 3 or 4 uses out of the 3ml sample. As for repurchasing, it’s going to have to work miracles in order for me to spend £39 on something that essentially goes “straight down the drain”


Beauty Protector – Protect & Shampoo, Protect & Condition -two  samples – £14 each for full size

I have a weakness for miniatures, and these are just the cutest. Granted buying miniature products isn’t the most cost effective way of me staying clean, especially since my hair is so long it usually takes 2 bottle of Conditioner, but still I’m pleased these came as a pair. The best thing about these is they are advertised as sulfate-free, as well as being Vegan, having UV protection and colour safe. Hopefully this should be perfectly safe to use on my incredibly bright, yet prone to fading pillarbox red locks.  Depending on how I get on with these, I may even be prepared to empty my wallet and purchase some full size bottles. I was my hair once a week and rarely use Shampoo to preserve my colour, so spending a little extra on Shampoo and Conditioner is acceptable when it lasts so long!



Liz Earle – Cleanse & Polish Hot Cloth Cleanser – 30ml sample – £13.25 for full size

I’ve seen a few people raving about this before, so when I discovered people receiving this in their box this month, I was definitely a little excited. A relatively decent sized 30ml sample compared to some facial cleansers I’ve received, and it comes with a muslin cloth. Apparantly this is suitable for all skin types, and leaves the skin feeling beautiful when used daily. The Liz Earle website have also released a video here with some more info. Although the only difference with my morning face routine here is that I will be switching my trust flannel for some muslin cloth and slightly more expensive facial cleanser, I’m looking forward to giving it a go and seeing whether this could be part of my 2014 skincare regime. (I know I know, we are almost 6 months into the year already!)

Yet again, Birchbox have delivered a spectacular box and leaves me ever hungry for the next. (One day Gem and I will end up in rehab) If you want to try your hand at Birchbox, you can get hold of yours for £10.00 a month plus £2.95 P&P here.


Totally hellbent for all the best brands, crammed into one brilliant box



Beauty Boxes

Birchbox February 2014

February 13, 2014


This month’s Birchbox has certainly come around quickly. The first thing I noticed however, is that they have reverted back to their old ways, with the little drawstring bag and the Birchbox cards, bound together by a cute strip of paper. Don’t get me wrong, I love their quirky cards and the drawstring bags have had their uses, but I am beginning to build up a vast collection of these and fast running out of ways in which I can use them, other than for sitting astride my dressing table, waiting to be put somewhere else. Alas, on with box:


Beauty Protector – Protect & Oil – Full Size: £16 (Small glass vial sample)

An oil that promises to battle UV rays, heat and hair breakage. Perhaps not too suited to the current British Winter we are having, but I’ve recently become a little bit of a “hair oil” fan. Only needing 2-3 drops of this, means it will last me a good while and is teeny enough to sneak into my festival bags for the Summer. It smells nice and has the typical Oil texture you find in these hair products, but if used correctly, hair oil can make your locks look a treat!


Eyeko – Skinny Liquid Eye-liner – Full Size: £12.00 (1.2g sample)

Gem and I have done pretty well at picking these up in magazines, see Gem’s post here. I love the Eyeko Skinny Mini, it applies beautifully and lasts all day. My only gripe with pen eye-liners is that they don’t last too long. Having said that, the tip is so wonderful, there is nothing stopping you from dipping it into one of your older liquid eye-liners if it fits. I have a fair few lying around that I don’t use because I hate the tip. This is definitely an eye-liner to give a whirl, especially if you aren’t overly confident at applying it – the pen shape is such a helpful addition. This was the smaller version, but still packs a punch and should last me a while.


Janjira – Argan Oil Concentrate Serum – Full Size: £49 (Small Sample)

At first glance, I thought this was -another- hair oil product, but this is actually Argan Oil for the face. Allegedly to plump and protect the skin, pat this into cleansed dry skin and follow with day or night cream. I’ve been using facial oil a lot recently which has helped my dry skin (thanks to all the humid air – courtesy of the heating being on), but I’ve read a few other beauty blogs that advice applying the oil on top of your regular cream, because this seals in the moisture. Anywhom, after trying this for a few weeks it was a great success and my skin felt much better so I’ll give this a go both pre and post facial moisturising. The smell is a little clinical though, and unless this transforms me back to my youth, I’m not sure I would spend £49 on facial oil. Saying that, it’s nice to have a little luxury in my beauty box.


Leighton Denny – Nail Colour in “purely plutonic” – Full Size: £11 (Full Size Bottle)

Wow – Just wow … I love receiving Nail Varnishes, especially when the colour is as stunning as this. I bought a similar colour from Elf last year, but unfortunately the coverage was rubbish and I ended up with streaky, sticky and bumpy nails. Although not quite the same colour, this is a beautiful gun-metal. I applied two coats to the nail wheel, but I really didn’t need to. I’ve been heavily prompted into removing my red nails and exchanging it with this for today. Oh did I mention how utterly gorgeous the bottle is? My mind is already conjuring up images of other colours in the collection, lined up neatly next to each other.


Gilchrist & Soames – The London Collection Shower Gel – Full Size:£13.75 (45ml sample)

This is probably my most disappointing product out of the box. A paraben-free formula with red tea, grape seed and milk thistle (unfortunately milk thistle reminds me of steroid abusers, who like to take this as a supplement to prevent themselves from growing moobs). Honestly, I need to stop receiving shower gel. I’ve reached the point now where I can no longer squeeze the tiniest bottles into my very large bathroom cabinets, and my box of “festival minis” is also overspilling into several other boxes. I think if this had a more alluring smell I’d be more excited, but on opening the bottle it was more reminiscent of sitting at the hair dressers – an array of random synthetic smells filling the air. So beauty boxes – for the next year, please refrain from sending me Shower Gel, unless it is L’Occitane as featured in my February’s most wanted.


Lifestyle Extra – Green & Black’s Dark Chocolate Mini Bar – Full Size: £2.29

I’ve received one of these before as my Lifestyle Extra and I can’t really complain. I love dark chocolate and these little samples are just enough to satisfy a sweet tooth, without you having to have the willpower to cut yourself off at half a bar and save the rest until later. My last bar sat untouched in the cupboard for months, but this one however was munched on, enjoyed and even shared with Brains as I typed out this review.

Halfway through yet another month in 2014. If’ you’d like to try Birchbox out, head on over to their website here. It’s £10 a month with £2.95 P&P. You also have the added bonus of collecting points when you complete surveys on your products, which you can spend in their shop on all the lovely products you get in  your box each month!


Totally hellbent for deep rooted nail varnish issues





Beauty Boxes

July 2013 BirchBox

July 22, 2013

July birchbox

Oh you sneaky beauty box companies! Just when I decide it’s time to curb my spending for a little while you send me an email offering free delivery and two extra products…

BirchBox is a monthly subscription beauty box of 4-5 beauty products and one lifestyle sample. The packaging is decidedly less glamorous than the HBFL favourite Glossybox with a smaller sturdy brown (but eco-friendly looking) box and a fabric drawstring bag inside containing all the spoils.


July birchbox inside


Well in honesty I’m not sure how I feel about this box. I received two make-up products, two skincare, one hair and one lifestyle which is a very good mix…I just wasn’t particularly excited by any of it.


July Birchbox Detangle

Beauty Protector protect and de-tangle

Cute packaging, and a product I get through quite a lot of. I really like the scent of the spray, but on first testing it seems a little thicker than my usual de-tangle sprays. I’ll be taking this to Wacken with me to put it to the test!


July birchbox the balm blusher

TheBalm Cosmetics InStain long wearing powder staining blush in Swiss Dot.

What a mouthful! This was probably the most exciting product for me. I love the little magnetic close book packaging, and the colour is one I would definitely pick for myself.

There is a lot of pigmentation, but it blends out quite easily, again this will be going in my festival cosmetics bag as it is absolutely tiny at 0.5g. It will have to really impress me on my face to make me buy the full size at £21.50 though!


July birchbox cashmere


Blanc Cashemire Creme de hour protectrice

First up I love the smell and texture of this day cream – it feels every bit a luxury skincare item. It left my skin feeling fresh and soft and was completely non-greasy which is a must for my horrid shiny skin.


July birchbox eyeliner


Laura Geller Beauty inkwell gel eyeliner

I’m a huge fan of gel eyeliners, and I don’t have a purple so this will fit in to my make up collection nicely. The colour is very metallic and rich, and it applied much easier than I thought it would at first glance.

It comes with a small brush in the lid of the pot, however I couldn’t find out online if the brush was synthetic or animal hair so I shant be putting it on my face any-time soon (If you know either way please do let me know!)

It set very quickly, but didn’t feel dry or stiff as some gel liners can, however it doesn’t come close to the Elf gel liners that are £20 cheaper.


July glossybox weleda


Weleda Skin food

With a long list of natural ingredients and a very strong herby, plant based scent I thought I would love this, but it feels a little too oily for my skin unfortunately. I will give it another chance when I’m having a less shiny day as I’ve heard so many good things about this brand and it’s results!


July birchbos Chia shot


The Chia Co shots

I love me a good superfood, and as a vegetarian was very happy to see that these seeds are packed with Omega 3 and protein. Rather tasteless, I found that sprinkling them over breakfast gave me a burst of nutrients without even noticing!

I think I may get my hands on some more of these, as I’d much rather get my extra vitamins from food then tablets.



Overall I think I was just a little underwhelmed with this box, despite liking almost all of the products. It feels a little more grown up than Glossybox, but I think that’s where part of the fun is missing.

I’ll be giving BirchBox another month to impress me, and if next month isn’t an improvement I might just have to cancel my subscription and find something more fun.


You can get your very own BirchBox here for £10 (+ 2.95 P&P)


Totally hellbent for my new mini blusher at least!

– Gem