Birchbox Review

So, I'm back with a big one. It's my Birchbox review! And when I say Birchbox review, I mean I've got three separate boxes to talk about so I better make this quick (I would recommend setting yourself up with a cuppa, we're going to be here a while). I've been reviewing some of the most popular beauty box subscription services available right now, starting with Glossybox (read my full review here) last time and now Birchbox! I loved the value for money of Glossybox, you get a good amount of full-sized products and a great selection of skincare but I thought it was only fair that I gave Birchbox a whirl. If you haven't heard of Birchbox, first of all: you okay, hun? More importantly, you need to get acquainted. So, let's talk about Birchbox! Birchbox is a beauty box subscription service as well as online shop that stocks all the brands you could ask for. You just have to choose a monthly, six monthly or yearly plan (from £12.95 a month including p&p which you only have to pay for the first six months), complete your 'beauty profile' and you'll start receiving these gorgeous tailored beauty boxes right to your front door. Each box has it's own unique style and feel and contains five products (one full-size) chosen especially for you. Well when I signed up there was offer to get an extra box and I've also got February's so I figured I'd show you what I received in all three boxes so you get a real idea of what you get when you subscribe to Birchbox - here we go, starting with the mystery box: September 2017: Birchbox X Oliver Bonas! 

Each and every Birchbox has a theme, this one's 'Work hard, play hard & be kind' and was created with Oliver Bonas, which just happens to be one of my favourite stores to shop in. Oliver Bonas is all about beautiful designs, they're always ahead of the trends and offer gorgeous, unique items for affordable, high street prices. The box also comes with a discount code to use at Oliver Bonas and (very excited about this one) stickers!!! Those into decorating their bullet journals will appreciate these a lot I feel, I just love sticking them all over my notebooks, phone case, laptop... The theme for this box is pretty perfect, September is definitely the month we're all getting down to business (I always think how strange it is that life still revolves around the beginning of the school year) so it's a good thing this box is jam packed with goodies to get you through those early mornings and late nights. One of the best things about Birchbox is the handy information guide that comes with the box like a kind of newsletter for beauty enthusiasts - the guide tells you what it is and how to use it so it's pretty much idiot proof! 

Of the five products I received I'd only tried one before, Dr Paw Paw's Original Clear Balm (£6.95) - it's a multipurpose soothing balm made with natural ingredients to keep your lips smooth and hydrated. Apparently you can also use it as a moisturiser, to smooth split ends or to soothe a sunburn, it's truly multipurpose! I've picked this up in Urban Outfitters before and seen a few different flavours but this is a tried and tested fave. Believe it or not this arrived just as my lips started to get chapped as a result of the seemingly never-ending cold I've been suffering with at the moment so it's a win from me! The other skincare product I received was the IcyMagic Instant Eye Contour Energiser (£22) from Polaar. I've never heard of this brand before and I've never really used any of the roll-on gels before so I was VERY interested to give this a go. At first I didn't really love this product, I loved the concept but in practice I found that very little product seemed to come out of the roller ball making it very difficult to feel like it was really doing anything. However, having tried it a few more times I'm having a bit more luck. I really like using it alongside my eye cream to really massage the product into my skin without having to use my fingers. It's really cooling and feels very gentle, it's one of those things I know I'm going to be obsessed with come summer. 

There's a good mixture of products in this Birchbox, from skincare to hair care to beauty they've got it down. Something I often end up neglecting is my hair, I am really into make up and anything I can use in the bath but I've never really been into doing my hair so getting the High Drive Moisture & Shine Cream (£23) from R + CO was a nice surprise. I've got very fine, frizzy hair at the best of times, particularly when I've been colouring my hair. This cream keeps flyaways at bay and can be used as a really decadent leave-in conditioner when applied to towel dried hair. I haven't tried this too much yet but again, absolutely love the concept - another spot on choice from Birchbox. I'd say how do they know but I did fill in a beauty profile... Along with this is something I'm VERY excited about, the Bronzing Glow Liquid (£51) by Rouge Bunny Rouge in 'As if it Were Summer Still...'. Can we talk about this please? This unbelievable bronzing 'glow liquid' can be mixed in with your moisturiser or body lotion to add a little holiday glow all year round - if there was one thing I needed in life right now it's sun. Alternatively, you can use it as a highlight or eyeshadow, the glow-up possibilities are endless. It's important that I also mention the packaging the Bronzing Glow Liquid came in. It's everything you'd expect from a company called Rouge Bunny Rouge. The luxe black box really just made the sample size feel extra special and it's touches like that that I really love. The only thing I would say is that this product is pretty pricey, the full-size certainly is out of my budget - I don't know about you? 

Last but certainly not least (from this box anyway, told you it was going to be a long one!), it's the Fantasy 3-in-1 Blush, Highlighter and Eyeshadow (£15) by Manna Kadar (full-size). Did I have some reservations about this at first? Yes, yes I did and let me tell you why. When you're looking at the blush/highlight/eyeshadow it doesn't actually look like a very workable colour - it's okay but certainly not the 'champagne-pink' that was promised in the description. It looked like quite a cheap eyeshadow to me to be perfectly honest. But then I swatched it. It really is the most gorgeous champagne colour, it's really subtle but could also be really buildable which I think is so important in any highlighter or powder product in general. It's a pretty universal shade that would suit pretty much any complexion and really lights up the skin - highly recommend having a look at this, it's very pretty and would particularly suit someone who was just starting to experiment with universal products. I think it's great that you always get a full-size product each month with Birchbox considering how affordable it is. 

Birchbox Number Two: January Edition is another collaboration this time with the cutesy stationary brand Ohh Deer. Now already I'm in love because I absolutely love stationary and everything about this box screams adorable to me - I even ended up buying a gift alongside purchase with my January box because I couldn't leave the Ohh Deer Weekly Planner (£5.95) behind. It's pink, it's gorgeous, I love it, let's get on with it. Are you still with me? So Birchbox x Ohh Deer is the 'Stand Tall' collaboration which I think we can all agree is a pretty wonderful way to kick off 2018 so thank you for that Birchbox. Ohh Deer are all about embracing the things that make you different and champions creativity so Birchbox have created a box which embraces you! It's a fun, 'be yourself' kind of message and I'm here for it. The January box is a combination between luxurious and functional, they're items that can be used on a daily basis but still make you feel like you're undergoing a spa treatment - it's everything you need to be your best self!

I'm not gonna lie this might be my favourite box so far... and there's one reason for that, it's this bloody conditioning spray. I've never used anything like it! The Professional Daily Moisture Conditioning Spray (£11.50) from Beaver is one of the Birchbox discovery brands is apparently particularly popular - it's a detangler (which is ESSENTIAL for me) and hydrator that you spray onto damp hair before styling and honestly, it's a game changer. I LOVE this product, it prevents those annoying flyaways, reduces frizz, nourishes your hair aaaaaand prevents against breakage. Sound good? Yeah, I thought so. I noticed such a huge difference in the quality of my hair after using this alongside my normal routine. Suddenly my hair was shinier, softer and stayed looking freshly washed for longer. I will definitely be repurchasing this the moment it runs out. To top it all off, it also smells amazing!!! Another popular product is the Amazing Makeup Remover (£5.50) from Afterspa, it's a make up removal cloth... I don't entirely know how this works but this is kind of like a reusable make up wipe. All you have to do it run it through the washing machine before using it and you're good to go. Apparently it lasts for up to 1,000 washes! 

I wasn't as keen on the other products in this box, Lord & Berry's Concealer Stick in Beige (£12) doesn't really compete with some of my favourite concealers (which isn't surprising because you can't beat perfection), I really like cream or liquid concealers as opposed to pencils but each to their own! The Paul & Joe Beauty Moisturising Foundation Primer S in 01 Dragee (£24) smells lovely, it keeps your make up in place and leaves your skin with a really radiant glow but again I just don't love the texture - I really like gel like primers and this just doesn't float my boat. Last but certainly not least is the NUXE Prodigieux Shower Oil (£10.50), like everything else, this smells delicious but I haven't got toooo much more to say about it - if you're looking for a luxe shower gel you'll love this basically (and it leaves your skin with a pretty summer glow). Honestly the thing I loved the most about this box was the discount codes that came with it! Birchbox always include a little freebie from the brand they've partnered with, this one included 20% off Ohh Deer as well as something I'm REALLY excited about, 50% off your first 'Papergang' box. That's right. It's a stationery subscription box. I didn't even know you could get these! For about £12.50 a month you can have all sorts of gorgeous stationery sent right to your door. Even better? For every four boxes sold they'll plant a tree! If you're anything like me and you're obsessed with anything stationery related this will be right up your street, it looks like you can get a collection of everything from notepads to calendars to greeting cards to washi tape and each box comes gorgeously packaged. Papergang are giving you 50% off your first box if you subscribe now - unfortunately that offer is only valid if you subscribe to three months at once which I prefer not to do so I'm going to have to wait a while to order my first Papergang box but I'm seriously into the idea. 

Okay guys, we can do this. Say it with me: ONE. LAST. BOX! This time we're talking about February 2018, Beauty Through the Decades. This one's a Birchbox original, focusing on the message that 'true beauty is timeless' Birchbox are throwing up back to 90's with this box (I'm a 90's baby, which design did you think I was going to choose?) The first product that caught my eye was the Pixi Shea Butter Lip Balm (£8) in Pixi Pink, I've never tried anything from Pixi before although obviously I've heard so, so much about their products - particularly the Glow Tonic, a cult favourite, so I was pretty excited to have something from them to try. Unfortunately, the idea behind this - that it's a grown up chapstick really just doesn't do anything for me. I don't really love chapsticks all that much, I 100% prefer to use something like the Dr. Paw Paw Balm I talked about earlier but if you do like chapsticks this one is a very pretty shade and it does the job (although I think £8 is a little much to pay for chapstick). In terms of make up, I also got the Eyeshadow Trio (£7) in Love You So Latte from The Beauty Crop. Aside from having an adorable name, this eyeshadow set is actually kinda like coffee for your skin. The rich neutral tones are enriched with caffeine to brighten your skin, when used together these colours create a gorgeous smokey eye.

Finally, I received a couple of different hair products; the Quite Frankly Flawless Finishing Polish (£10) from Percy & Reed and Coconut Milk Hair Mask (£32) from Luseta. These are both lovely products, I love anything that's going to make my hair feel that little bit more luscious and well cared for. I don't really think you can go wrong with moisturising hair products - they pretty much always do the job but these two are especially lovely. And FINALLY (yeah, I know I said that already... this is the last thing I swear!!), we have the Wonder Eye Cream (£20) from Balance Me. This is a really natural eye cream filled with all sorts of goodness, think chamomile, coconut and rosehip. Again, this is just a really lovely product from a brand I never would have thought to try but actually luuuuuurve. All in all I'm really happy with every single product I received in my Birchboxes even if some weren't quite to my taste, it's SUCH good value for money and you really can't beat it in terms of design and just all-round feel. It has a certain personalised touch that makes it really worth subscribing to, so much so that I'm definitely not going to be cancelling mine. If you've tried any of the products I've talked about or have a favourite beauty subscription service (suggestions of new ones to try are very welcome!), please let me know in the comments!
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