UNBOXING: Birchbox August 2014 – Away We Go!…the one with a mini-book


This month’s theme was Away We Go!…we tend to find summer-themed boxes an excuse to skimp on luxe products and this Birchbox was sadly no exception. A slim offering from Birchbox…

Instead of the usual drawstring liner, this month’s offering came in a handy zip lock pouch.

BeautifulTruthsBlog1408BirchboxDreamDestination_8887 BeautifulTruthsBlog1408BirchboxDreamDestination_8888

NUMBER 4: Super Comb & Protect, 30ml
Value: £3.00


“A leave-in conditioning spray to detangle and protect against heat and sun damage.”

BT INITIAL OPINION: Useful purse-sized spray. That’s about all we can say about this. Not particularly exciting.

VASANTI: Brightenup! Enzymatic Face Rejuvenator, 20ml (it says grams, but I think this is a typo)
Value: £4.34


“A multi-action exfoliator to ensure a renewed, refreshed complexion.”

BT INITIAL OPINION – Also a useful but not particularly exciting item.


NUDE: Progenius Omega Treatment Oil, 5ml
Value: £9.66


“This nourishing oil is rich in omegas 3, 6, 7 and 9 for hydrated, smooth skin.”

BT INITIAL OPINION – The one item that piques our interest in this box. For a luxe product, the sample packaging feels very cheap, but we look forward to giving this a try and seeing how it performs against other recovering/miracle oil treatments.

SUPERGOOP! Daily Correct SPF35 CC Cream, 3ml x 2
Value: £4.09


“A natural shade-adjusting CC cream with SPF to smooth fine lines and even out skin tones.”

BT INITIAL OPINION – These samples are so tiny, they had to include two! We like BB/CC creams, so don’t mind trying more out, but even with two tubes, it’s a small sample.

CHELLA: Highlighter Pencil
Value: £15.95


“Highlight the brow bone, cheekbones and inner corners of eye with this chunky pencil.”

BT INITIAL OPINION – We’ve already given this one a quick whirl. We’ll trial it more extensively and report back, but initial try was very disappointing.  We like the idea of this product, but its performance was poor akin to a product from the 80s.

“Chapter One of this spellbinding and romantic novel, which spans 1950s London and present day NYC.”

BT INITIAL OPINION – we don’t mind this being included in the box, but it shouldn’t be in the place of a lifestyle extra as in effect, it is just advertising. If it were a complete short story or novella, then this could be considered an extra…




This is the worst box we’ve ever had from Birchbox! A combination of a poor selection of products, tiny samples and a poor lifestyle item makes for a disappointing box. They did at least source unusual brands. We have serious reservations about the value of the Chella pencil being £15.95 – we wouldn’t even shell out £2.00 for it. Without this, the box seems pretty poor value.  The inclusion of a book sample as the lifestyle sample in addition to such a poor offering added insult to injury. No advertising dressed up as free gifts please Birchbox!

Box price: £10.00 plus £2.95 shipping (rolling month by month subscription) – although we got this on a discount offer
Total value: £37.04

Note: We paid for this Birchbox with our own hard-earnt pennies

Like the look of Birchbox? Subscribe at www.birchbox.co.uk and you’ll get £5 worth of points! You’re welcome 😉

UNBOXING: You Beauty Discovery August 2014 – Summer Essentials


The theme of this box was Summer Essentials.

The selection varied wildly in value this month. We were lucky enough to get the premium products we wanted which was lucky as they were the only two we would have been really happy with. Hopefully YBD will improve the options in future.




EUCERIN: Sun Mattifying Face Fluid SPF50, 50ml
Value: £15.00 (full size product)

“A sun fluid for the face that has a three-dimensional protection system: It provides high UVA protection, UVB protection and biological cell protection which strengthens skin’s own cell protection and DNA repair mechanisms. The light fluid is suitable for combination to oily skin, and provides a non-shiny and non-sticky feeling, leaving a mattifying effect on the skin. Also suitable for sun sensitive skin.”

BT INITIAL THOUGHTS: We’re interested to see how this performs and how it looks/feels on the skin. We’re not entirely sure why you would want this above any other skincare product with high SPF or a normal sunscreen.

THE BEAUTIFUL TRUTH (review): This seems both a good product undergoing identity crisis…after using it during a period of 3 weeks alongside a normal sunscreen on our bodies and with and without makeup, we are not really sold on it. Mainly because we are not sure when/why to use it or therefore why anyone would buy it. Maybe we are missing something?. It is not without its merits – it is not oily and feels great on the skin (compared to an ordinary sunscreen). You can apply makeup pretty well on top of it, but it does feel heavier than a lotion with SPF and with continued use, made our combination skin slightly more oily. If it were waterproof, then we’d totally understand the benefit as it would be perfect for the beach, but as it is, we’re not sure why you’d use it in place of a high SPF BB cream or moisturiser, especially at the price. £15 for a relatively small bottle (which is plenty enough for a 2 week holiday)? we’d rather buy some Clarins 🙂

Score: 3/5…mainly because we can’t figure out why you’d buy it


GAZELLI: Triple Youth with White Oil Duo, 10ml (5ml x 2)
Value: £16.00
“Gazelli’s Luxury Discovery Set is the perfect one-week introduction to the Triple Youth Range, and includes an Ultimate Firming Serum and Intensive Age-Repair Cream to give your skin the ultimate rejuvenation.”

BT INITIAL OPINION – This has to be our first beauty product made in Azerbaijan! Just on this basis and the product’s luxe feel, we are excited to try this 🙂



JIMMY CHOO: Eau de parfum and MAN Eau de toilette (2ml x 2)
Value: £3.59 (£1.92 + £1.67)

“Luxury in a bottle.”

BT INITIAL OPINION – We’re always happy to receive mini-sprays as these are useful when travelling and much better than tiny one-use samples. We like the inclusion of both the men and women’s variants. Nice touch 🙂


4-way Nail Buffer
Value: Unknown, £2 estimate

“On-the-go nail perfection.”

BT INITIAL OPINION – Some people got a lipstick instead of the nail buffer. As it’s just an added extra, we’re pretty happy with this nail buffer as it will get used, even if it is a bit bulky.


FACED 3-LURONICS: Instant Effect Cream Serum, 2ml
Value: £1.66
“Visibly reduced wrinkles and expression lines”

BT INITIAL OPINION – What a crazy named company! This product might be good, but doubt we’ll be wowed by this little sachet. Still, a nice extra.


Peggy Sage: Nail Polish (Summer & Nude Collections)
Rose & Co: Cherry Kiss Lip Balm
Daniel Sandler: Long Lasting Waterproof Eye Liner (Aqua)
Marsk: Gold Eyeshadow “Rich List”
Louise Galvin: Sacred Locks Treatment Masque
Justbe: Hydrating Serum


We think if we hadn’t got the items we’d really wanted, we would have been slightly disappointed with YBD this month. Not because it doesn’t deliver value for money, it always does – but because we’ve been so spoilt in previous months that we’re used to having a hard time making a decision between lots of fabulous products. As we managed to get the Eucerin and Gazelli, our luck was in this week…together with the 4 extras! The summer theme was tenuous, but we loved our box regardless. We would never have tried products like the mattifying sunscreen or potions from Azerbaijan without this service and YBD remains our favourite subscription beauty box.

Box price: £6.95 inc shipping
Total value: £38.25

Note: We paid for this You Beauty Discovery Box with our own hard-earnt pennies

Like the look of You Beauty Discovery? Sign up here http://www.youbeautydiscovery.co.uk

UNBOXING: MeMeBox Superbox #47 IOPE Box 2


What’s this? A MeMeBox Superbox dedicated purely to Korean IOPE skincare products! What is a Superbox? Superboxes contain full size products only. We usually don’t like the idea of having a lot of full size products that might go to waste if we don’t like them, so usually buy the usual MeMeboxes that offer a mix of samples and full size products.

Having not heard of IOPE before, but we googled for reviews and saw that it was generally well-regarded, somewhere between highstreet and high-end. MeMeBox released two IOPE Boxes and gave you a picture of each of the contents – the only difference between the two boxes seems to be this one also had an Air Cushion and therefore cost a bit more. We were keen to try an air cushion as well as some better quality Korean skin care than you typically get in MeMeBoxes so we went ahead and ordered a box!

This is an unboxing, we’ll list the items and come back and review them later 🙂



IOPE: Essential Skin Boosting Serum, 40ml
Value: $84 (full size product)

“This boosting serum instantly hydrates the skin when used as the first step of skincare routine, preventing any possible dehydration after cleansing. It also works to maintain just the right balance on your skin by strengthening the natural healing power and moisture lock-in capability.”

BT INITIAL THOUGHTS: Serum’s usually work well with our combination skin – moisturizing without causing oiliness or dryness so we look forward to this.


IOPE: Essential Tone & Wrinkle Care Eye Cream, 25ml
Value: $86 (full size product)

“Enriched with shea butter and jojoba oil, this moisturizing eye cream will fill in between the fine lines and wrinkles around the eyes and create a protective moisture layer on top to prevent further sagging and wrinkle formation.”

BT INITIAL THOUGHTS: This might not be a great match as we tend to get along better with eye gels than eye creams. We’ll try it and report back!


IOPE: Lip & Cheek 01 Rose Pink, 4g
Value: $42 (full size product)

“A dual item for both lip and cheeks, this rosy lip & cheek stain comes in a neat, compact packaging with a mirror as well. Blend it into your lips and cheeks to add more colour and radiance to your overall complexion.”

BT INITIAL THOUGHTS: We don’t usually go for items as pinky as this, but will definitely try it. The build and look of the compact was not ugly, but not very sexy either!


IOPE: Essential Face Oil, 30ml
Value $90 (full size product)

“This thickly spreading yet quickly absorbed facial oil creates a thin, protective layer over the skin for a softer, smoother skin tecture. Organic argan oil and macadamia oil contained also deliver deep nourishment and hydration to the skin.”

BT INITIAL THOUGHTS: We have yet to try a regular facial oil (just rescue treatments) and have been wanting to try one for a while. We look forward to this one!


IOPE: Air Cushion CP SPF50+/PA+++ N.21 30g: 15g x 2
Value: $48 (full size product)

“Packed with highly concentrated mineral water and skin beneficial nutrition such as Vitamin B5, Vitamin E and Vitamin P, the latest edition of IOPE’s famous Air Cushion works to cool and moisturize reddened, stimulated skin and it’s a quick, easy-to-pat-on item for in-between fix-ups. Experience a nturally glowing skin with IOPE’s all time bestseller!”

BT INITIAL THOUGHTS: One of the main reasons why we bought this box…the compact is a bit bulky and comes with a replacement cushion. We don’t get along that well with foundation in general, so will be interesting to see how this performs.


IOPE: Essential Moisture Relief Cream, 50ml
Value: $87 (full size product)

“A light-textured moisturizing cream especially suitable for the summer time, the Essential Moisture Relief Cream soothes, moisturizes and tightens up the dried, worn-out skin overnight for a refreshing revitalized condition the next morning.”

BT INITIAL THOUGHTS: This sounds good, looks like we’ll be doing lots of skincare layering. We find lightweight lotions good for carrying the richer products into the skin.


OVERALL VERDICT: This seems like a well-rounded colleciton of skincare products. We think the inclusion of the lip/cheek colour is a bit random though and would have preferred a moisturising toner/lotion for the full layering effect. The truth with this collection will be told in the performance though so watch this space! As with all skincare, it will depend on whether the range is a good match for us, but the products seems on-target so we are optimisic 🙂

Are IOPE products really worth the stated prices? If two of these products perform well, the box will have more than earnt its money back. As a final point, the packaging isn’t ugly, but didn’t feel at all luxe…think IOPE would do well to work on this.

Box price: $78.99 + $6.99 shipping
Total value: $437.00

Note: We paid for this MeMeBox with our own hard-earnt pennies

Interested in trying out MeMeBox? Use the link below to get $5 off all orders over $100 or check the referrals & deals page for other offers on specific boxes.