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Beauty Boxes

Birchbox July 2014 Review

July 10, 2014


Birchbox is my only long standing beauty box to come this month so I was hoping for something spectacular after I finally decided to cancel my Glossybox (we’ll see how long that lasts!)

I’d seen a few spoilers for this month, but nothing that was overly exciting – this theme for this box is Sun, Sea & Sand but I can’t say there were many products that instantly made me think of any of those.


Weleda – Nourishing Shamppo – 18ml sample | £8.95

I’m pretty sure I have one of these from a previous box lying around in one of my samples drawer. It’s natural and organic, but mostly it’s a tiny tube of Shampoo – which I don’t use often – and is marketed at “normal” hair (whatever that is?). It smells Okay and I suppose it will be useful to take on my travels to some upcoming festivals. I really don’t think there’s much more I can say on this one though.


Balance Me – Wonder Eye Cream – 7ml sample | £20

I rolled my eyes a little at this and had to bring myself back to reality with a hard shove. I’ve tried Balance Me products and actually, I bloody love them! So what’s my problem? It’s a decent sized sample that will last me a while and I was literally thinking a few days ago about which eye cream I’d treat myself to next.


LAQA & Co. Sheer Lip Lube Pencil in “Menatour” – 2g | £14.43

Another brand I’ve received from Birchbox in the past, but last time I ended up with a vile pink colour – this is quite a bright purple colour. Usually being one to roll my eyes at a colour that isn’t red, I’ve recently branched out and tried experimenting with some other shades (thanks to Gemma’s latest Lime Crime obsession and Makeup Revolution’s crazy colours) so I’m pretty psyched to start using this. It glides on beautifully and is a pretty similar formula to the other Lip pencils available at the moment (Clinique, MUA, Rimmel etc). It has a gorgeous minty scent, is retractable but still the right size to throw into your bag.


Gilchrist & Soames – English Spa Sea Kelp Extract Mineral Bath – 40ml sample | £11.25

Ugh – I really don’t know what the hype is about this brand. I recently finished a previous sample of theirs (review coming in my empties later on) and I was not impressed. A lot of their toiletry products remind me of those cheap bottles you end up with in hotels. Anyway, directions for use is to pour under hot running water and enjoy a luxurious mineral bath. Unfortunately I hate baths and can not remember the last time I had one. It’s a shame as it smells quite nice and is a fairly decent sized sample. I’m guessing it will end up as “hand wash” when I’m at festivals or a self-catered hotel where they neglect to provide these things.


Whish – Three Wishes Lavender Body Butter – 22ml | £14.50

This is actually pretty cute. The packaging is quite retro in a modern kind of way – the ingredients all seem pretty natural and above board and since I’ve seen this brand reviewed on a few Vegan beauty blogs I think it’s safe to assume it’s … well … safe. It smells absolutely gorgeous, the consistency is lovely and again the sample size is pretty darn good. I really love lavender, but I know it has a bit of a bad rep and some people associate it with ageing, but I don’t care. Top trumps for this new brand discovery!


Ultradex – Oral Spray – 9ml | £3.65

This was the lifestyle extra and it helped pull me out of today’s little beauty box grump – Ultradex was formerly “retar DEX” – excuse my immaturity here but when I was a wee lass, this was advertised regularly and would give me and my ‘tween’ friends such a giggle. Blast from the past aside, it has a lovely Vegan stamp on the back and I can imagine it coming in hand for festival season, in between getting up and having the energy to brush my teeth in the morning, a little freshen up should make me feel the world of good.


I mentioned my little beauty box grump – I think as I opened this month’s Birchbox I was still feeling the hit from my rubbish Glossybox last month and struggling to get into the groove of things again. Having said that, after shaking myself a little and opening my eyes to this month’s contents, I’m rather pleased. I received a great eye cream from a trusted brand, discovered another, added to my growing collection of bright lip products and I can almost get over my growing irritation for Gilchrist & Soames and their public toilet soap dispenser products! Not to mention the tiny card telling me what I might expect to see in next month’s box (an adorable bag to squeeze my mini toiletries into) I have enjoyed the box thoroughly and I didn’t appreciate it enough until I started writing this review.

If you’d like to pick up a Birchbox, you can do so here via their website for just £10 per month and £2.95 p&p. What did you think of your box this month?

Totally hellbent for taking a second look at seemingly boring products and discovering their hidden beauty!



Beauty Boxes

November 2013 Birchbox

November 15, 2013


Seems like this Birchbox came around really quickly! Not that I’m going to complain – Birchbox have had a winning streak of amazing boxes recently and this one is no different!

November birchbox


For the uninitiated, Birchbox is a monthly subscription beauty box that tends to have between 5-6 beauty products and a lifestyle (usually some kind of delicious snack!) extra.

This month is another big one with seven products and an overall worth that’s way above the price point.


Welda Replenishing Oat Shampoo


Welda Replenishing Oat Shampoo

I’ve been keen to try more from this brand since falling in love with the Welda Skin Food (which I received in a previous Birchbox) so this was a nice treat! It claims to smooth hair, reduce breakage and improve suppleness and is enriched with lots of yummy natural oils!

18ml Sample

Full size £8.95 from


Laura Mercier Long Lash Mascara

Laura Mercier Long Lash Mascara

You can never have too many mascaras right? I tend to be less adventurous with seeking out new mascaras, so it’s always great to get to try out samples in beauty boxes. I fell in love with the Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturiser last month, so fingers crossed the mascara is just as good.

5.6g Sample

Full size £18.50 from John Lewis



 Matriskin High Performance Cream

Containing 47 different peptides to plump, regenerate and restructure the skin, and I’m guessing it needs every single one to be worth £80.50 a jar! I think I’d like to do a little research into it’s contents before I put it near by face, as a quick google search couldn’t ascertain if this was animal friendly or not. At any rate I doubt it will be a repurchase at that price unless it really does work miracles!

15ml Sample

Full size £80.50 from


Chella Highlighter pencil

Chella Highlighter pencil in Ivory Lace

I’ve never once considered a pencil as a viable medium for highlighter before, but this is gorgeous! A lovely pinky shimmer that will be just at home on the cheekbones as it will for eye make-up. This is one of the reasons I really love beauty boxes, not only a new brand to be discovered but also a whole new world of highlighters in pencil form!

Full size

Available for £15.95 from



English Laundry Signature For Her Eau De Parfum

English Laundry Signature For Her Eau De Parfum

Oh that old complaint of perfume samples in beauty boxes. I don’t really mind when you get the odd one, though I much prefer the adorable miniature bottles to a standard sample card. I’d put this down as a very feminine floral scent, very summery though not too light. Not sure if I’d go for the full size but it might just grow on me.

2ml Sample

Full size £47  from



BirchBox Pencil Sharpener

BirchBox Pencil Sharpener – Bonus Goodie

It’s always handy to have a pencil sharpener to hand, and this is actually much better than the one I’m currently using. Not super-exciting, but definitely useful! It has a clip off top so you could keep it in your make-up bag and not risk bits of pencil going everywhere, and accommodates both thinner and jumbo pencils.

Full size

Available for £3 from



Pukka Herbs tea


Pukka Herbs Selection of Teas – Lifestyle Extra

Is it okay to get excited about tea? I’m English, of course it’s acceptable to get excited about tea! I smelt the delicious Three Cinnamon the moment I opened the box, then quickly spotted Gorgeous Earl Grey and Elderberry & Echinacea beneath. They are all organic and made from the most delicious (mostly) fair-trade ingredients.

3 x 2g tea bag

£2.39 per multi-pack from


Yet another great box from Birchbox! If you like what you’ve seen, you can get your very own monthy box of treats from for £10 & P&P.

Totally hellbent for tea? OOOOOOH TEA!

– Gem

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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