Wednesday, 19 February 2014

Review | Birchbox February 2014

I received this late last week and just couldn't find the time to review it, so now I've had a few days to get to grips with the products I thought I would give you a run down.

Birchbox costs £10 per month plus £2.95 P&P. I have been signed up since October. I know you're probably thinking I'm a bit of a moaner who doesn't like anything I receive, but I really do like a LOT of beauty and makeup products, but I know what suits me, what I will use and what I won't. Perhaps I am hard to please, but is that such a bad thing?!

My first thought was oooh, interesting!

Well played Birchbox, well played. I love Lulu Guinness and I imagine it means they're designing the next box, so no matter my thoughts on this one, I am sure to keep my subscription (see, told you I can be pleased!)

This month's "lifestyle extra" was a lovely dark chocolate bar. It was tiny weeny and pretty much bite sized, so I ate it straight away. I normally choose this brand myself when I fancy some dark chocolate, so this was much appreciated!
At first glace I can honestly say I was massively underwhelmed.

Protect & Oil from Beauty Protector. A full size version of this retails on the Birchbox website for £16 but it doesn't tell you how much you get for that. I had to look on the US site to find that you get 100ml. I reckon this sample is about 10ml so it's worth roughly £1.60. The blurb states "this lightweight sweetly scented hair oil shields against UV rays and heat damage." I won't be using it because my hair has a tendency towards being greasy if I use any form of oil on it. This will be gifted to a colleague's teenage daughter.

Next up is a 10g sample of Erb Asia's Eastern Treat Hand Cream, which contains jasmine, rice cream and mint to do all the things a hand cream is designed to do. Apparently Thai Airways give it to their business class customers for free! Oooh. So basically a hand cream you can get free on an airline. Am I excited? No. Why? I have a million and one hand creams and I don't like the smell of this one at all. A 75g tube costs £19 so this sample is worth £2.53. As I'm typing this I just put some of the cream on to try it again and my husband asked "urgh, what's that funny smell?!" It's the hand cream dear...

Do you want your eyeline to look like Alexa Chung's? Is the answer yes? (Or, in my case, "who?!") If the answer is yes, then you're in luck because she's teamed up with Eyeko. This Skinny Liquid Eyeliner looks fantastic and it makes me wish beyond wish that I both wore liquid eyeliner and wore black eyeliner. I don't. I can't wear anything that requires mega precision because I have poor eyesight. Again, this will be given away. The full size product retails at £12 for 2ml. This is a 1.2ml sample so is worth £7.20, which is really good.

The box for the Coryse Salome Ultimate Anti-Age Restorative Night Cream is quite large, but this was deceptive, see:

This "nightly boost for a smooth revitalised complexion" has a nice texture and a little goes a long way. It does however have the most disgusting smell. It is very acidic smelling and I have used it a couple of times and been asked what the disgusting smell is. My husband is beginning to think everything I'm sent reeks! Birchbox claim that this is £14.95 for 50ml which would make the 7.5ml sample worth £2.24. However, you can buy this right here, on Amazon for £5.99, which would make this sample worth 90p. As someone who will always hunt out a bargain I'm going to use this figure when calculating the value of the box. I won't use this. The smell puts me off too much and I have other night creams to use up. I will give this to a colleague.

Now on to the saving grace of this month's Birchbox: Leighton Denny Nail Colour  'Message in a Bottle' It's an iridescent grey / purple which the brand themselves describe as "a sensational nude, is a subtle sandy grey that adds a modern twist to any look, thanks to its understated shimmering glamour." I love it. The only problem is two coats are not enough! You can see from the photos below (first in natural light, the second with the flash) that you can still see the white tips of my (all natural) nails underneath. I didn't have time to do a third coat.

It took two days before the ends started to chip but I love the colour, and the application is very easy. I would love more from this brand. This is a full size item worth £11.

Cost of box: £10 + £2.95 P&P
True value of items: £23.23
Value of items I will use: £11
I can understand why a lot of people are very happy with this box, but in January and February I've received a LOT of eye products in various boxes that I just can't use. I feel like the items in this box were ok, but not amazing, and as I can't or won't use all bar one item I am disappointed. Luckily for Birchbox they got me in to English Laundry's perfume so they'll always have a small place in my heart (that, and the next box is in collaboration with Lulu Guinness, yay!)


  1. Yippee!! I can finally read your blog because I have a new phone which will load this website properly :D

    I'm also excited as your cosmetic reviews will keep me up to date with the 'adult' world *LOL*...but seriously I don't have any time or money to spend on keeping up to date with fashion & cosmetics otherwise.

    Last note... Dont let that sample put you off the 'Eyeko' brand in general. I am loyal to thier curvy mascara, it lasts all day, not waterproof but yet has never come off in the rain! And comes in a fab toothbrush like tube so you can always ensure even wand coverage and get out every last bit before throwing it away :)

    Looking forward to your next beauty product review :)

  2. Thank you for sending me the link to your blog over on twitter :) I signed up for BirchBox in January and found myself being completely underwhelmed too. I am struggling to decide whether to give it one more chance or stick with it. I have reviewed my boxes over on my blog, and found Feb's being much better than Jan's. Should I stick with it from the experience you have had?

    All the best,

    Tayla xo

    1. I'm sticking with it for now, because there are always a few glimmers of hope. Checking out your blog now, thanks for the link Tayla!x


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