UNBOXING: Birchbox September 2014 – Happy Days…the one with the Benefit Eye Cream

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This month’s theme was Happy Days – the booklet inside was missing and the theme tenuous at best. But we hoped for something better that last month’s poor summer-themed offering.

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KORRES: Citrus Showergel, 50ml
Value: £1.60

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“This get-up-and-go citrus body wash helps ensure skin stays hydrated all day long.”

BT INITIAL OPINION: Fresh and modern-smelling. This will get used and Korres is a reliably good brand, but the inclusion of this hardly sets the world alight…reasonable at best.


AGAVE: Healing Oil Treatment, 4ml
Value: £1.07

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“A lightweight oil to smooth hair, build resiliency and boost shine and colour.”

BT INITIAL OPINION – Look forward to trying this as hair oils really suit oriental hair. We could do with a much, much larger sample though!


 

BENEFIT: It’s Potent! Eye Cream, 3g
Value: £2.03

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“Banish dark circles, smooth fine lines and protect against free radicals with this light peptide-packed formula.”

BT INITIAL OPINION – We get along better with eye gels and serums for our combination skin, but always happy to get to sample Benefit.


SKIN & CO: Truffle Therapy Serum, 5ml
Value: £7.00

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

BT INITIAL OPINION – This is interesting! Luxe price, but non-luxe packaging. Will see whether the serum has luxe results or not. Probably the most interesting thing in the box this month..


MODELCO: Lip Lacquer in “Morocco”, volume unknown
Value: estimated £5.00

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“A sumptuous lip gloss that provides long-lasting colour and hydration – plus, plenty of shine.”

BT INITIAL OPINION – Nice. We will use. That is all.


LIFESTYLE EXTRAS:

URBAN FRUIT: Magnificent Mango 35g
Value: £0.80

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“A yummy 100% fruit snack to add to your work lunch and keep you feeling virtuous.”

BT INITIAL OPINION – Love Urban fruit and have yet to try the mango. Great lifestyle extra!

BIRCHBOX: Happy Days Photo Clip
Value: N/A

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“Brighten up your desk or bedroom with this colourful photo holder!”

BT INITIAL OPINION – as a second lifestyle extra, receiving something not-too-obviously-Birchbox-branded is not too bad.


 

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OVERALL VERDICT:

All in all, this was a very mediocre box. It suffered hugely from the the samples being weeny, the value of the box on the low side and (surprisingly for Birchbox) they didn’t curate a very exciting or creative box, nor was there a ‘star product’. However, they have still chosen a variety of items combining higher-end luxe brands as well as new brands to discover.  This is just about passable – I know other versions of this month’s box have been better..If we hadn’t got this on the LivingSocial deal, then we would have been pretty miffed.

Box price: £10.00 plus £2.95 shipping (rolling month by month subscription) – although we got this on a discount offer
Total value: £17.50

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

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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.

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

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“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

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“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

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“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

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“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

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“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.


LIFESTYLE EXTRA:
“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…


 

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OVERALL VERDICT:

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: Birchbox July 2014 – the one with a Porefessional (if you were lucky)

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This month’s theme was Sun, Sea & Sand…very loose theme we felt!

We forgot to cancel our second Birchbox subscription, so ended up with two of these boxes and are able to do a side by side comparison! They were slightly different and we do have a favourite. See what you think…

BOX A:


 

Weleda: Millet Nourishing Shampoo 18ml
Value: £0.85

“Keep hair in top condition this summer with this natural organic fortifying shampoo.”

BT INITIAL THOUGHTS: Weleda is a good brand that we’d like to try, but this isn’t really a useful sample size, other than for perhaps a night or weekend away. We don’t think it will be enough to determine how good the shampoo is, but at least it’s still useful!


 

Balance Me: Wonder Eye Cream 7ml
Value: £9.34

“A light, hardworking formula to brighten the eye area and keep wrinkles at bay.”

BT INITIAL OPINION – This is a great brand, but we tend to find that eye creams don’t work as well as eye gels or serums on combination skin. We will still give this a try anyway.


 

Laqa & Co: Sheer Lip Lube Pencil, Bees Knees 2g
Value: £14 (full size product)


“A high-gloss pencil to add a pop of sheer, nourishing and wearable colour.”

BT INITIAL OPINION – We were really looking forward to trying out this chubby stick-esque lip tint. However, we were dismayed that Birchbox clearly ignored profiling as both the boxes we received had this colour tint, which was lighter than our own lips, rather than the dark pink that was going around and would have been much better. Sad pandas!


 

Gilchrist & Soames: English Spa Sea Kelp Extract Mineral Bath
Value: £1.91

“This delightfully foamy gel contains marine nutrient sea kelp to invigorate the skin.”

BT INITIAL OPINION – Erm. This is like OK…the kind of thing you get at an OK hotel? Not really at all exciting, but it is at least useful.


 

Compagnie de Provence: Mediterranean Sea Hand Cream 30ml
Value: £0.85

“This luxe, hydrating lotion direct from Provence hydrates hands and leaves them silky-soft.”

BT INITIAL OPINION – Again, just OK. Pretty indifferent towards this…but we’ll try it.


 

LIFESTYLE EXTRA:

ULTRADEX: Fresh Breath Oral Spray
Value: £3.65 (full size product)

“A handbag-friendly spray that kills harmful bacteria and keeps breath minty-fresh.”

BT INITIAL OPINION – Lol. Breath spray? Really? This would be an OK extra if the other items had been more exciting.


 



BOX B:

Whish: Three Whishes Lavender Body Butter 22ml
Value: £2.13

“Not your granny’s lavender – this sweet-scented antioxidant-rich lotino nourishes skin.”

BT INITIAL THOUGHTS:


 

Balance Me: Wonder Eye Cream 7ml
Value: £9.34

“A light, hardworking formula to brighten the eye area and keep wrinkles at bay.”

BT INITIAL OPINION – This is a great brand, but we tend to find that eye creams don’t work as well as eye gels or serums on combination skin. We will still give this a try anyway.


 

Laqa & Co: Sheer Lip Lube Pencil, Bees Knees 2g
Value: £14 (full size product)


“A high-gloss pencil to add a pop of sheer, nourishing and wearable colour.”

BT INITIAL OPINION – We were really looking forward to trying out this chubby stick-esque lip tint. However, we were dismayed that Birchbox clearly ignored profiling as both the boxes we received had this colour tint, which was lighter than our own lips, rather than the dark pink that was going around and would have been much better. Sad pandas!


 

Gilchrist & Soames: English Spa Sea Kelp Extract Mineral Bath
Value: £1.91

“This delightfully foamy gel contains marine nutrient sea kelp to invigorate the skin.”

BT INITIAL OPINION – Erm. This is like OK…the kind of thing you get at an OK hotel? Not really at all exciting, but it is at least useful.


 

Benefit: The Porefessional 7.5ml
Value: £8.36

“An award-winning primer that magically erases pores and leaves skin velvety.”

BT INITIAL OPINION – A great sample that we look forward to trying! Have heard great things about this and given we have combination skin, this is bang-on target for us. Yay!

LIFESTYLE EXTRA:

CHIA SHOT
Value: £0.49

“Bonafide superfood, packed with health-boosting omega 3, protein and more.”

BT INITIAL OPINION – This is a nice little extra that we’re curious to try. Would never had thought about buying this, so a great inclusion!


 

OVERALL VERDICT:

Well we only ended up with two boxes by accident but am pretty surprised by the marked difference in the boxes…the actual value weren’t too far apart, but Box B was so much more exciting in general, not just because it had a Benefit item, but because the actual selection was a well-rounded box, whereas Box A came across as containing unimpressive small samples of no particular quality.

We used to like Birchbox because everyone got the same thing – our general feeling is it that it’s fair enough for people to get different things but that should be in accordance with their profiling (didn’t get lipglosses that suit our colouring). But the products that differ should be of equivalent quality/value – here, rather than a Porefessional, in box A we got an 85p moisturiser (the equivalent in Box was the handcream!) Terrible.

Considering both boxes – this was an average offering from Birchbox. Judging solely by Box A, this was a lame month. Judging solely by Box B, this was a pretty good month!

Box price: £10.00 plus £2.95 shipping (rolling month by month subscription)
BOX A total value: £30.60
BOX B total value: £36.23

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: Birchbox June 2014 – the one with the Beauty Blender

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This month’s theme was Global Strikers. I think it pretty much lives up to this title – it’s definitely a heavyweight box!

The promise of a Beauty Blender (guaranteed with an offer) was enough to tempt us back onboard to Birchbox, who we felt offer a great service, but we found hard to justify in addition to the impossible-to-not-subscribe to You Beauty Discovery Box and Korean Service MeMeBox.

Anyway, we are very happy to be back with Birchbox and although we know we received one of the best variants (most but not everyone got a Beauty Blender), this box was a corker!


 

Naobay: Body Radiance Lotion 30ml
Value: £1.68

   

“A lemony fresh organic body lotion with shea butter, olive and avocado oils for soft skin.”

BT INITIAL THOUGHTS: Not amazingly exciting, but seems decent quality and a great size for popping in your handbag. We’ll use this.


 

Silk & Honey: Shea Butter Hair Mask 50ml
Value: £2.75 (£55 for a DIY kit to make 5 x 200ml tubs)

“This deeply nourishing mask protects and softens hair, while fortifying its elasticity.”

BT INITIAL OPINION – Interesting that this is a DIY kit, but the sample provided is already mixed. Again not too exciting, but have never heard of this brand and look forward to trying this natural product.


 

OPI: Nail Lacquer – The Brazil Collection (mini) 3.75ml
Value: £3.65

“A vibrant polish inspired by Brazil’s tropical rainforests and sandy beaches.”

BT INITIAL OPINION – love these little bottles! We would have preferred any of the other shades, but this is still a fun shade for the summer. Thanks Birchbox.


 

BeautyBlender: Beauty Blender + BlenderCleanser Solid
Value: £26.00

“An ingenius egg-shaped make-up sponge to ensure a flawless base – plus, a solid soap to clean it.”

BT INITIAL OPINION – BEAUTY BLENDER! Enough said. Lol. Love this…have never had the chance to try one, but know it’s a Holy Grail type product. We’re SUPER excited to use this 🙂 🙂 If it lives up to its reputation, this coule be the best item ever received in a beauty box…


 

Caudalie: Vinoperfect SPF15 Day Perfecting Fluid 10ml
Value: £9.03

“A light oil-free facial moisuriser to hydrate, brighten and even skintone.”

BT INITIAL OPINION -We don’t usually get along with Caudalie (the products do not seem to do much/justify the price), but we are happy to receive a decent sized sample in our box as we’ve not tried this product yet. Great to have more than one decent brand in a box.


 

LIFESTYLE EXTRA:

“A fun flip-flop keyring to brighten up your bag!”

BT INITIAL OPINION – Well it’s cute, but not giftable as it says Birchbox on it. Unlikely to use it because of this too.


 

OVERALL VERDICT:

The Beauty Blender alone makes this a standout box. Add in the Caudalie and it makes it amazing. OPI too and it could be the best box ever? The other items are all decent quality too…this is a very, very strong offering. Keep it up Birchbox. Seeing as you’ve won us back, hope this will be just the start of a beautiful long love affair.

Box price: £10.00 plus £2.95 shipping (rolling month by month subscription) – although we got this on a discount offer
Total value: £43.11

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 😉