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: Glossybox July 2013 – Seaside Splash

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We got this box free with our gorgeous September 2014 Karen Millen Glossybox. Using the code LUCKYDIP, Glossybox were offering a free past box with minimum 3 month subscriptions.

This is a sun/holiday themed box.  Upon opening, we were pretty excited as this box is stunning. With the matching tissue and ribbon, Glossybox really excel with their presentation.

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

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INECTO: Pure Coconut Refreshing Dry Shampoo, 150ml
Value: £2.49
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“Looking for a quick pick-me-up on your way from the beach to the bar? Inecto’s Coconut Dry Shampoo instantly refreshes hair between washes, adding body and texture and – most importantly – leaving your hair smelling irresistably fresh and exotic”

BT INITIAL THOUGHTS: Blah. The inevitable dry shampoo that comes with summer-themed boxes. Whilst this will be used, this is terribly un-exciting. The irony is that a sample-size would be more useful than the full-size product.


ALTERNA HAIRCARE: Bamboo Style Boho Waves Tousled Texture Mist, 25ml
Value: £4.60
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“Your perfect “Seaside Splash” summer companion! FOrget perfectly primed hair, and instead opt for effortlessly tousled, “just-back-from-the-beach” waves with this weightless mist. Adds texture, volume and healthy shine to all hair types.

BT INITIAL THOUGHTS: We look forward to trying this as we love beach and salt sprays, and this is a handy purse size – will be interesting to see how this performs for the money.


CIATÉ: Paint Pot, 13.5ml
Value: £9.50 (full size product)
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“We’re excited to feature one of our all-time favourite nail brands, Ciaté. WIth a range of on-trend summer shades, you’ll be hitting the beach in style. Ciaté‘s wide range of amazingly pigmented and long=lasting shades guarantees a flawless, even finish every tme. The cherry on top? We can’t get enough of the iconic satin bow gracing each beautifully designed bottle.”

BT INITIAL THOUGHTS: Wut? Who wrote this copy? Glossybox cannot get enough of the ribbon on the bottle?!! Well we do actually love Ciaté, but this metallic orange-red-coral colour is pretty hideous.


COOLA ORGANIC: Mineral Face SPF20 Unscented, 7ml
Value: £0.92
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“We love this tough but gentle multi-tasker. Coola Organic’s Suncare Collection is hypoallergenic, free of parabens and packed with antioxidants. It provides complete UVA/UVB protection and fights free radicals, while soothing, toning and minimizing pores. Organic Acai Oil delivers powerful anti-ageing benefits, while organice Evening Primrose And Linseed Oils reduce inflammation and balance moisture. We’ve truly fallen for this suncare hero.”

BT INITIAL THOUGHTS:  Hard to get excited about this one – this sample is too small to really test a sunscreen. A waste of space, even if the product might be good.


ILA SPA: Face Oil for Glowing Radiance, 1.75ml
Value: £1.50

“Winner of Harper’s Bazaar Hot 100, ila’s Face Oil for Glowing Radiance has become a cult product worldwide and has been named ‘a little miracle’ by celebrity make-up artists. It’s easy to see why!” Argan oil and rosehip seed oil are high in anti-oxidants, repairing skin cells while combatting premature ageing. You will soon notice a healthy glow to your face with visibly improved texture and radiance.”

BT INITIAL THOUGHTS: This is a product we’re pretty happy to try to see how it compares to Kiehl’s Midnight Recovery and the like. However, the sample is very tiny!


 

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OVERALL VERDICT: Whilst we absolutely LOVE the design of this box, we would have been sorely disappointed if we had paid any money for it. Whilst the selection of the products is pretty good, the two premium products being absolutely tiny samples (one being useless) really makes the box redundant. We were unlucky with the nailpolish colour, but this is a prime example of why we left Glossybox in the first place. We got this free with the Sept 2014 Karen Millen box – which is a million times better, hopefully a sign of good things yet to come.

Box price: Free with the Luckydip promotion (usually £9.50 on a 3-month subscription + £3.75 shipping)
Total value: £17.97

Note: We received this Glossybox free as part of a promotion

Interested in trying out Glossybox UK? Click this link or the banner below.

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UNBOXING: Glossybox September 2014 – the Karen Millen one with the Mythic Oil

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We’ve not been fans of Glossybox UK in the past. The reason for this was tri-fold…the focus on makeup rather than skin/haircare, the poorly curated selection of low-value products, the wildly varying boxes (some people getting very poor, low-value boxes and others getting superb high-value boxes). In the past, You Beauty Discovery and Birchbox have reigned as our UK subscription boxes of choice.

Other than the gorgeous box design (we think we would actually pay just for empty Glossyboxes!!) However, we have been wanting to try Mythic Oil for a long time. This box came with the guarantee that you’d get Mythic Oil or Mythic Oil Mask to try. This would pay for a good proportion of the box and we’d heard that Glossyboxes had started to improve recently, so we decided to take the plunge.

We took up a Glossybox offer for a free past box by entering LUCKYDIP at the checkout (valid on 3-month+ subscriptions). Ours turned out to be the not-very-good-but-gorgeously-boxed-Seaside-Splash-Box (click to see the unboxing)

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


 

L’ORÉAL PROFESSIONNEL: Mythic Oil, 45ml
Value: £5.75

“This lightweight oil cares for and pampers all hair types. The formula leaves your hair looking shiny while feeling nourised and supple.”

BT INITIAL THOUGHTS: Available from salons only, we’d been wanting to try this oil for a while as our skin and hair responds better to oil and serums. We’d heard really good things about this oil. This is a generous sample that should last a while. We had taken a bit of a gamble, hoping to get it so we were delighted to see it in my box!


 

MODELCO: MORE BROWS Fibre Gel, 3.5ml
Value: £14.95 (full size product)
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“This innovative brush-on fibre gel gives the appearance of fuller, thicker browns instantly.”

BT INITIAL THOUGHTS: We’re not really into the HD brows looks, so whilst we’re curious to see how well this product works, we’re glad we don’t have to pay for the privilege! A decent inclusion for the box though.


 

NAILS INC: Westminster Bridge Matte Top Coat, 10ml
Value: £12 (full size product)

“This matte effect top coat gives you two very different looks for every one of your nail polishes. The perfect way to add a unique twist to your favourite shade.”

BT INITIAL THOUGHTS: We’re super excited to try this out! This is bang on matte trend and can be used with our existing nail polishes. Plus we’re Nails Inc fans…what’s not to like?


 

GOSH COSMETICS: Silky Cream Blusher
Value: £6.99 (full size product)

“The texture of this smooth cream blusher leaves the surface of the skin with a flush of soft colour and a comfortable silky feeling.”

BT INITIAL THOUGHTS:  Whilst we rarely wear blusher day-to-day and this is not a brand that excites us to much, this is a useful inclusion that we will put to use. Full size, great for popping in your handbag – we’ll see if the colour suits. Nothing to complain about.


 

SKINPEP: Enzyme and Acid Peel + Peeling Gel, 7ml + 2ml
Value: £9.50 (£3.50 + £6)
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“This highly effective peeling gel uses Pineapple and Papaya extracts to create gently exfoliated, soft and bright skin.”

“This powerful dark circle eraser uses anti-oxidant ingredients to boost collagen in the delicate undereye area.”

BT INITIAL THOUGHTS: What incredibly expensive tiny sachets! Nice to try some high end products, however we are sceptical whether a sachet can ever give you enough product to really know if it performs well.


 


OVERALL VERDICT: This box was a strong all-rounder. With hair, skincare, nail, eye and face makeup products that we REALLY want to try and can probably afford (bar the sachets) to incorporate into our regular routines. We like that these products are all on trend and do not rely on being gimmicky. The products fitted with the ‘classy highstreet’ Karen Millen brand too.  This is probably our best ever Glossybox – well done guys! If Glossybox are able to maintain this kind of standard, then we will consider extending our subscription past the initial 3 months.

Box price: £9.50 (on a 3-month subscription) + £3.75 shipping
Total value: £49.19

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

Interested in trying out Glossybox UK? Click this link or the banner below.

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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: Memebox Luckybox 7 – the one with two of the tiniest samples in the world

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So excited to have my 3rd MeMeBox on the same day as receiving Global 13.

This is my first Luckybox – they are billed as being a selection of the most popular products from past boxes…seemed a good place to start as a relative newcomer to both MeMeBoxes and Korean Beauty.

This is the box  http://us.memebox.com/luckybox-7#.U9MB5rHLLEQ – it’s probably sold out, but they do restock boxes now and again so if you’re particularly interested in a box that has already been released, then it’s worth signing up for updates. We’ll do a proper feature on Memebox services in general soon

We’re so excited to share this box with you that we just wanted to post the blog – and we’ll come back and review them later.


 

Illi: Green Tea Brightening Mask
Value: $3 (full size product)


“This 100% cotton mask drenches the skin with green tea, amino acids, minerals and organic acids, while working to revitalize, comfort and provide intense hydration. It immediately replenishes dehydrated skin, leaving it refreshed and cool.”

BT INITIAL THOUGHTS: What’s a Korean box without a sheet mask? Lol. This will get used, even if it doesn’t excite us all that much


 

Botanic Hill: Boh Radiant Youth Ampoule Essence & Boh Moist Youth Ampoule Essence 4ml
Value: $6.40 ($3.20 x 2)

“Touch up anytime with this sebum control convenient compact, specially is an anti aging essence that combines ampoule, essence and oil all at once”

BT INITIAL THOUGHTS: So what’s the difference between an ampoule and an essence. We don’t know but look forward to finding out! Tiny samples tho…


 

Hanskin: Bio Origin Royale Ampoule BB SPF 30 PA++ 5ml
Value: $7.72

“Hanskin’s famous Royal Ampoule BB cream is packed with rich nutrition from royal jelly extracts and it lightly glides over your skin when applied, leaving a visibly silkier, brightened complexion.”

BT INITIAL THOUGHTS: This sounds like a hardworking product that has a lot of great buzz words in the description. We look forward to seeing whether it delivers!


 

Charm Mud: Green Pearl
Value: $70 (full size product)

“This mud pack is composed of mud extracted from ancient bedrocks and thus extremely rich in all sorts of natural deep sea minerals. It works to deep cleanse and tighten up your enlarged pores, leaving your skin silky soft and without visible pores and excess blackheads.”

BT INITIAL THOUGHTS: We’re not mad about mud packs, but like them more than sheet masks! 😛 Will give this one a whirl. Generous size product.


 

Mise en scene: Curling Essence 2x 150ml
Value $12 (full size product)

“Enriched with argan oil and cedar wood oil, this two-in-one hair essence provides deep nutrition and helps define your curls all at once. It will instantly make your sagging curls bounce with luster and elasticity.”

BT INITIAL THOUGHTS: We’re excited to try this! Especially if this product suits Oriental hair more than UK products.


 

Illi: Cleansing Oil & Foam Set 15ml
Value: $2.93 ($1.65 + $1.28)

“Illi’s total age care Cleansing Oil and Foam set is infused with oriental medicinal extracts that brightens skin tone, enchances skin elasticity and provides a healthy glow to your skin. The powerful yet gentle cleansing oil dissolves all traces of makeup and impurities and the gentle cleansing foam rinses off all oil and makeup residue.”

BT INITIAL THOUGHTS: Having combination skin, we are fans of oil cleansers. We love the look of this, but it’s such a tiny sample! 🙁


Elle Girl: I Say Tint You Say Gloss 5.5ml
Value: $23 (full size product)

“I say tint you say gloss is a sheer ultra-moisturising lip gloss with less thick texture that also gives a lip tint feel to the gloss.”

BT INITAL THOUGHTS: This will be our first Korean lip tint. Yay! We love the sassy design and the gorgeous deep red colour.


 

23Yearsold: Air-laynic Pore Mask
Value: $14 (full size product)

“This unique pore mask is in the form of a syringe which contains gel-type ampoule for tightening enlarged pores and fighting against any blemishes on the nose and the cheeks, the most sensitive and oily part of your face. It’s different from other pore masks in that it’s actually a 20 minute long home therapy for a cleaner, more resilient complexion.”

BT INITAL THOUGHTS: Exactly the kind of quirky Korean-ness that we buy MeMeBoxes for!


 

OVERALL VERDICT:

We doubt the claymask is really worth $70, so the stated value of this box isn’t as brilliant as other MeMeBoxes. Having said that, we think this is a really great curated selection of items that we are really looking forward to trying. It excited us much more than the Global 13 which was worth a lot more money. Everything will get used. Although a couple of the samples could have done with being bigger, we’ll definitely be ordering more Luckyboxes in future as they seem a great way to sample Korean trends without taking too much risk as they are tried and tested products.

Box price: $23 + $6.99 shipping
Total value: $133.05

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.

UNBOXING: MeMeBox Global 13 – the one with the tampons

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MeMeBoxes are all the rage at the moment. They are Korean non-subscription boxes that you buy blind based on a brief description. They release themed boxes as well as Global collections of which this is one.

My first ever MeMeBox was the Global 12 Collection and I have to say, I was disappointed. I’ll write a review of that box soon and link it so you can see why. Having ordered a ton more, I was hoping that MeMeBox would live up to its reputation.

So this is the box I am writing about http://us.memebox.com/memebox-global-13 – it’s probably sold out, but they do restock boxes now and again so if you’re particularly interested in a box that has already been released, then it’s worth signing up for updates.

As this is an unboxing, I’ll just list the items in the box and come back and review them later 🙂 The box seemed to be focussed mainly on skincare which was great for us, but this box will always be remembered as the one with the tampons!!


 

23yearsold: CX Detoxifying Air Therapy
Value: $50 (full size product)

“Made from carbonated water, this Carboxy pack creates sparkling bubbles on your face, minutely massaging the skin while you’re wearing the mask pack. It may prickle a little bit as the bubbles penetrate deep into the skin and cleanse away all the impurities clogging up the pores. The mineral-rich carbonated ater also helps brighten and firm up your overall skin for a revitalised feeling after use.”

BT INITIAL THOUGHTS: You syringe out the product and apply it to your face and put a mask sheet over it for half an hour. I’m interested to try this just because it looks fun and quirky. I wonder if it will perform better than a standard mask – hugely pricey for one application!


 

Donga: Tempo Eco Natural Super x 3
Value: $2.07

“Dating back to the 1970s, Donga was the first Korean brand to product women’s tampons – for providing busy, outgoing women the freedom and comfort to engage in their lives even through their monthly periods. Tempo Eco Natural is made from 100% purely organic cotton and thus very gentle and comfortable.”

BT INITIAL THOUGHTS: Seriously…tampons? Useful, but unless the Koreans are doing something no other tampon manufacturers are doing, what is the point of putting these in the box?


 

CNP: Derma-Scalp Shampoo 25g
Value: $2.70

“It only takes 4 minutes a day to maintain your scalp healthy and well-nourished! The CNP Derma-Scalp Shampoo will deep cleanse into your scalp to unclog the pores, remove excess impurities, and cool and refresh with tea tree oil extracts. Suitable for sensitive, troublesome scalp.”

BT INITIAL THOUGHTS: Not too excited by this, but it will be handy for travels. It is not really a large enough sample to see whether it will help scalp issues. I have long hair and it’s good for two treatments at the most. It has a fairly pleasant menthol smell.


 

CNP: Tone-Up Protection Sun 15ml
Value: $10.20

“An SPF42/PA+++ sun block for protecting yoru skin under the scorching sun, this smart sun block contains powdery components for maintain your skin silky soft while the deep sea water works to prevent skin dehydration in the summertime”

BT INITIAL THOUGHTS: Not too excited by this one either but at least it’s also practical. This can also be used as a makeup base, which is a bit more exciting than having a little tube of sunscreen that won’t even provide a full application


 

Yufit: Eon Wheat-Germ Cream 75ml
Value $48 (full size product)

“Over 75% of the cream consists of organic wheat bud extracts which work to hydrate, firm, brighten and fight signs of aging all in one! It’s gentle and lightly absorbing texture does not irritate even the most troubled skin, and instead helps to tighten pores for an overall healthier and younger-looking complexion”

BT INITIAL THOUGHTS: Always interested to try new skincare. This is a generous (full size) tub. Have never tried a wheatgerm cream so pretty happy with this! If it’s not a great face moisturiser, can always use it as a body cream.


 

Soy Bio Plus: Fermented Lumpoule 5ml x 2
Value: $24.86


“This ‘lumpoule’ is a word combining two words – ‘lump’ and ‘amoule’ – and is basically a facial ampoule made from real Korean fermented soy bean lump. It’ll work to prevent formation of fine lines and wrinkles and also brighted up your overall complexion.”

BT INITIAL THOUGHTS: We’re excited to try this! We’ve never tried any fermented products and would love to see if this works particularly well with oriental skin…hoping that the two lumpoules will be enough as they’re usually sold in sets of 14.


 

Nuganic: Customised Sun Base Colour Control Cream 40ml
Value: $54 (full size product)

“Enriched with snail mucus extracts, aloe vera leaf, lemon and various plant extracts, this easy to use CC cream works to balance out the skin’s oil/moisture level for a silky smooth finish to your makeup! It will cover up major skin imperfections and leave your skin glowing with a natural shine. Also, the high SPF helps protect your skin from the scorching sun for a long period of time.”

BT INITAL THOUGHTS: This product claims to do a lot! We love a good BB or CC cream and as Korea is the home of BB creams, we’re excited to try this and see whether it lives up to any of its claims.


 

OVERALL VERDICT:

This is a great box, even if they did play it a bit safe. We’re skeptical about whether the products are worth the stated value, but it’s a good mix of fun (items we don’t usually come across here) and functional products (things we will use!) A couple of samples were on the small side, but were still practical, so nothing will go to waste in this box. Our faith is restored in the Global Boxes! We’ll get back to you with reviews of the products soon.

Box price: $23 + $6.99 shipping
Total value: $191.83

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.

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

Standard

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 😉