Birchbox Review - January 2017

Monthly Birchbox Review:

January 2017 'A Sprinkle of Happiness'  

I love beauty products, in fact, I'd probably go so far as to say I'm a bit of a beauty obsessive and have been most of my adult life.  I'm not a makeup artist or a trained beauty expert, I'm just a normal 30 something year-old girl in search of the most perfect skin, natural yet beautiful makeup and the shiniest of hair.  I love shopping in Space NK, department store beauty halls (Liberty and Selfridges are firm favourites), indulge many an evening browsing Cult Beauty and it's fair to say Sephora is a must do on any foreign holiday.  It therefore came as no surprise to my nearest and dearest when I started talking about the wonder of monthly beauty subscription boxes and Birchbox in particular. 

What is Birchbox?

fullsizeoutput_5b3.jpeg

Birchbox is a monthly beauty subscription box where you receive 4 sample size products plus one full size beauty product every month.  Products range from cosmetics to skincare and from haircare to bath & body. You can also customise your personal profile to ensure the mix of products you receive is more suitable for your skin type, skin care and general preferences.

Prices start from £10 per month plus £2.95 P&P. If you take out a 6 month  subscription then the first month's P&P is free.  If you take out the 12 month option then you get 12 months for £100, saving you £20.

OK, I get the idea but what's so good about Birchbox?

I said at the beginning this article that there are a number of beauty subscriptions available.  Many companies exist offering slight differences dependent on their target customer.   Popular ones include Look Fantastic, Glossy Box and Cohorted.  For me, Birchbox was the first one I wanted to try because of the range of brands they work with, the format of their online shop and the cool collaborations they've done (including Tatler and Skinny Dip).  I haven't ruled out trying the others after my year is up though.

I also like the 'community' aspect of Birchbox.  They have a magazine section on their website which includes a blog featuring unboxing videos, 'how to' tutorials and articles that Birchbox think their customers might enjoy, such as movie reviews & health advice.

fullsizeoutput_5b5.jpeg

Finally, I like the format of their online store.  Subscribers can earn points by reviewing products in their box and referring friends.  100 points turns into £10 to spend in the online shop.  The shop itself is well laid out and split into the expected categories (makeup, skincare, tools, etc) but also sections including What's New, Best Sellers and Exclusives.

The January Box

Each month there are a range of 12 products that Birchbox will circulate amongst its subscribers, five of which will be sent to each individual, based on their profile preferences.  Since I received my box as a gift for Christmas I wasn't able to update my personal preferences until after I received my second box.  Personally, I thought this was a bit of a shame as as only three of the five products suited me this month.  As feedback to Birchbox I'd suggest they include profile set up instructions to gift receivers with their first box.

The products I received were:

  1. Lord & Berry Conceal-it Crayon in Beige.  RPP £12.00.  Full Size received.  Birchbox Exclusive.

  2. Nuxe Huile Prodigieuse.  RRP £17.00 (for 50ml size).  Sample 10ml received.

  3. Merci Handy Hand Cream in New Wave.  RRP £4.90 Full Size received.

  4. Beauty Protector Protect & Detangle.  RRP £18.50 (for 236ml).  Sample received.

  5. Nails Inc Polish.  RRP £15 (for 14ml size).  Sample 4ml received.

I loved....

Merci Handy's Hand Cream 

I thought this was lovely.  I've got dry hands all year round but they are especially dry in the winter.  This hand cream is light, fast aborbing, non greasy and incredibly effective.  It healed my sore, dry hands after just two small applications over the course of one hour and didn't sting or cause any rashes.  The size is perfect for my handbag and the packing is simple yet effective - no leaks and easy to get out every last drop.  I'll be buying this again.  The only (slight) downside was my boyfriend commented that it was very sweet smelling "like Blackpool rock".....but what do men know?!

Beauty Protector's Protect and Detangle 

I have blonde, bleached hair which is prone to dryness and the occasional tangle.  I use Davines OI shampoo and conditioner which are great but I then tie my hair in a towel to put my make up on so by the time it's time to brush it for drying it's a bit of a tangled mess.  I used to use an oil for the dryness and a heat protector to protect against styling but this lovely formula does both.  Who doesn't love to have less to pile into the bathroom or in a travel bag?  It smells lovely, applies nice and lightly and I can comb through with ease instantly.  It does exactly what it says on the tin.  After two weeks I've used all the sample but my hair is in better condition.  A definite purchase!

I wasn't convinced...

Nuxe's Huile Prodigieuse

This product was ok - not bad but but not great, but, not one I'd purchase considering the price.  It was a nice oil in terms of texture but I wasn't keen on the sweet scent and didn't feel that it did much in terms of my hair, my body or my face.  The sheen on the skin disappeared very quickly and after using the Protect and Detangle, I didn't feel it did much to my hair.  However, I have been curious to try this brand which is why Birchbox is so genius - you don't need to love every product to have a positive experience.

Lord & Berry's Conceal-It Crayon

I've read a number of reviews on this product and it seems to be very popular for concealing, especially on the go.  However, my skin is just a little too dry and showing early signs of ageing so this really didn't suit me.  I tried it in a number of ways and with different blending techniques but the formula just didn't suit.  I did however like the concept and I know this is something that a lot of people have enjoyed.

I didn't even try (but a friend did!)

I get my nails manicured with gel polish every two weeks and have done for years.  I like to feel professionally groomed and I go to a fantastic local salon which I just love.  Therefore, to receive a nail polish in my Birchbox really wasn't for me.  I did however give it to a friend who was excited to try it!

In  Conclusion

So far, so good.  I'm enjoying the thrill of receiving my box (January was very exciting), love the community and have found some great new products that I may not have come across before.  Next month Birchbox have collaborated with Papier (www.papier.com) which is a very cool stationery company founded in London in just 2015.  I've been liking their products for a while now so I thought the collaborative partnership was cool.  Birchbox have offered subscribers the chance to chose their box design (which I did) and also buy one of the collaboration notebooks (which I opted out of as I'm 'bullet journalling' - see last blog).  I'm excited to see what happens when next month's arrives.

If you're a Birchbox subscriber or are thinking of becoming one, feel free to get in touch or  comment below.

Thanks again for reading and enjoy the week!

Kirsty x