Tuesday, 13 May 2014

Review | Birchbox May 2014

I'm a huge fan of subscription boxes but in the past few months I've found most of them to be hit or miss. Birchbox has been, in my opinion, consistently good. Of course "good" is subjective and we all want different things from a box. From time to time we all receive things we already own, will never use or are downright confused by!

I knew that Birchbox were collaborating with the women's lifestyle magazine Harper's Bazaar for their May box and the spoilers on their Facebook site meant I was already aware of some of the goodies that awaited me.


First and foremost the box itself - wow! The last collaboration Birchbox did was with Lulu Guinness in March and the box just had a removable sleeve. This month's box lid actually has a pretty design which made me "ooh" when I opened it (not aloud, just in my head!)


This month's box seemed to be bursting at the seams which is always a pleasant surprise! This month my box contained 6 items - one of which is classed as a "lifestyle extra" but seems to be of a much higher quality than the usual eyelash curlers or sleep masks I've received.

Benefit Cosmetics They're Real! Mascara (full size 0.3oz £19.50 Birchbox size 0.1oz worth £6.50)
I'm pretty sure this needs no introduction; it's the UK's best selling mascara after all! I have never tried this because I don't wear black mascara unless I'm going for a night on the tiles (as all my previous reviews harp on about over and over!) so I didn't want to invest. This is why this sample is perfect for me - I get to try a well loved product without committing to the full size first.

Soigne Nail Lacquer in 'pomegranate' (full size received worth £11)
This nail polish came in a classic and chic box reminiscent of Chanel No. 5. The shade is a daring red and although I've not had the chance to test the formula I'm impressed that up to 85% of the ingredients are of natural origin and its formula is free from nasties such as formaldehyde and toluene. This couldn't have come at a better time because I've just thrown away a couple of red nail polishes because they'd dried up. I'm sure there's something you can buy to revive them but I can never recall the name (if you know please leave me a comment!) Random fact: Soigne, in French, means elegantly dressed / well groomed!

Aromatherapy Associates Relax Light Bath & Shower Oil (full size 55ml £39 Birchbox 3ml worth £2.13)
This is probably the item I'm least excited about receiving. Although it states it can be used in the shower it's probably more suited to pouring under running water for a relaxing bath. I don't have a bath. We had it removed to make way for a gigantic walk in shower. The oil contains, amongst other things, coconut, lavender and ylang-ylang oils and it has a very intense smell that I'm not sure I like. I might put this in my "give to colleagues" pile!

Philip Kingsley One More Day Dry Shampoo (full size 200ml £13.50 Birchbox 50ml worth £3.37)
I've loved dry shampoo since the late 90s when I was a frequent festival goer. I always made sure to pack a can of Batiste and nothing has changed! I tend to get greasy hair if I wash it too often so this spray, which contains Zinc PCA, Allantoin and Bisabolol, is perfect for cleansing the hair on those days when you just don't have time to do a full and proper wash. My hair is very thick and frizzy so it takes a good hour to wash, dry and straighten it. Dry shampoo is my must have product. I have used this a couple of times since I received it and it has worked just as well as Batiste. I wouldn't say it's any better, which is why I wouldn't pay £13.50 when I can buy a large can of Batiste in Home Bargains for under £4!

Liz Earle Cleanse & Polish Hot Cloth Cleanser (full size starter pack 100ml with two muslin cloths £14.75 Birchbox 30ml with one cloth worth approx £4.40)
I was delighted to find this item in my Birchbox but it stung slightly as only two weeks ago I actually invested in the full size product for the first time. I had always been tempted but I reviewed a similar product from N-Spa earlier in the year and was happy with that. It seemed typical that I would get this sample mere weeks after buying it! Still, I'm going camping in July and this sample is perfect to take away with me.

Imedeen Derma One 30+ (Full size 60 tablets £37.99 Birchbox 30 tablets worth £19)
These anti-ageing supplements are designed to improve skin's clarity, elasticity and overall smoothness. They're for folk showing the first signs of ageing. I am actually 30 years old so I just fit into the target market for these, but I can't buy alcohol in a supermarket without being asked for ID (and then being mocked/pitied/congratulated for looking so young) so I'm not sure that I really need them yet! I wonder if only us "oldies" received this lifestyle extra or if everyone did? Anyway, you're supposed to take 2 tablets per day with food for at least 12 weeks in order to see results. The main ingredients are a marine complex (basically fish oil!), vitamin C and zinc. I've scrutinised the ingredients list and there's nothing in them that the Bassett's multi-vitamins I already take don't include although Imedeen claim their Marine Complex (fish oil) is trademarked. Hmm. You can read more about Derma One here. I don't mind receiving these and I'll give them a try in place of my usual multi-vitamin.

Total value of the items in the box: £46.40
Cost of Birchbox: £12.95

It doesn't take a genius to work out that you're getting a lot of bang for your buck with the May edition of Birchbox and although some of the items are a little odd (the supplements), or something I might not use (the oil), I am pretty impressed with the range of items and the diversity of brands available. Of course I am happy to admit that it won't be to everyone's liking, as many of the other beauty boxes aren't to mine. Do you subscribe to Birchbox? If so what did you think of this month's offering? Which other boxes would you recommend?

Have you entered my giveaway yet? To celebrate my new blog layout I'm hosting a giveaway where you can win prizes from MAC, NARS, Yankee Candle and Models Own. Enter here!


  1. That's a great value box :)

    I couldn't have been happier with mine, a very good Birchbox month (going to be a lot for Glossybox to live up to!)

    Laura - http://www.petitmoi-bigworld.co.uk - xxx

  2. We got really similar boxes (except I got the Laura Mercier facial polish instead of Liz Earle). It's a great box and there's only one thing I won't use, the dry shampoo. Think I will keep this subscription going and cancel my Love Me Beauty one as their box this month was a real disappointment.

  3. This looks brilliant!

  4. This looks like a pretty good Birchbox! I love the high value of the contents and the variety of products is impressive!

    The Miss Beauty Saver Blog

    P.S. I've got a Wantable Beauty Box Giveaway up on my blog atm!


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