Beauty · Beauty boxes

Birchbox UK review – January

Hello everyone and welcome to 2015!

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This month’s Birchbox theme is ‘Hit Refresh’ and the box is partnered with Women’s Health magazine. Jump inside with me and we’ll take a closer look…

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As you can see we have another one-off box design. In my opinion it doesn’t really compare to last month’s jewelled Sophia Webster design but it’s still pretty cute. So without further ado, let’s check out the samples shall we?

First out of my box this month was a tube of Phillip Kingsley shampoo for flaky/itchy scalps.

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I love Phillip Kingsley haircare products but they are a bit pricey, I’m far more likely to invest in the Elasticizer or another hair mask to give my hair the occasional treat than in a day to day shampoo but the shampoo is wonderful. It smells lovely and left my hair feeling ultra soft and smooth. It’s a decent sized sample too so I’m saving the rest for when I go to Morocco next month for a long weekend with the girls.

My second sample this month was Caudalie’s Vinoperfect Radiance Serum.

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The team at Birchbox are all big fan’s of Caudalie and even went to visit their headquarters in France a while ago. We first saw the brand last year but I sadly didn’t receive the sample in the spoilers so I was excited to finally get my hands on some Caudalie magic. The sample is 10ml, which for a serum is a very generous sample size. The full priced (£45) item in the birchbox shop is only 30ml so I was pleasantly surprised.
The serum itself smells fresh and clean, and soaks quickly into skin which makes it good for application under makeup in the morning. It also packs a good hit of moisture so is great for layering with your actual moisturiser if like me you suffer from dry skin in the winter. It’s been a life saver for me this month.

Sample number three was body lotion from HealGel.

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The brand has a strong fan base and a quick search will show hundreds of reviews extolling its virtues. I’m not sure the sample was really big enough to tell whether I’m a convert or not. The sample smells a bit medical which I don’t like and there’s no real moisture after application.
I started a new exercise regime this month and I tried the sample on my achey muscles in the first week, unfortunately the sample was all gone in one go and I couldn’t really tell if there was a positive effect from just one application. This is another one that’s very expensive (at £39.50 for 100ml) and the sample did nothing to convince me it’s worth it.

The next sample was a ‘Feel great shower concentrate’ from activbod. 

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The packaging was clean and well presented and the sample smells invigorating and almost citrus-y to me even though the description says the notes should be green tea and almond oil. It’s a great post-workout shower gel and really does leave you feeling fresh and squeaky clean.

The sample I was most excited about from my box this month was the lip glaze from Stila.

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I love a full sized sample like any good birchboxer and my lip glaze came in Gleam which is a very neutral pale pink with hints of sparkle. It’s a pretty gloss but unfortunately the texture lets it down. It is so thick and sticky! I felt like I was using the kind of lipgloss you used to get free in teenage magazines. Sadly this one was disappointing for me and I probably won’t be making much use of it.

This month I also received a sachet of green tea from Embrace Matcha.

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Although it looks like a green tea bag, it is actually a sachet of concentrated green tea powder. You can blend with hot or cold water to make a green tea drink, or add it to smoothies for an antioxidant boost. I really like this stuff and I’m just sad that there wasn’t a bit more in my sachet. There’s a place in Reading that does a great iced green tea and so that’s what I tried to replicate with my sample. It tasted pretty good so I was very happy.

The last object in my birchbox this month was the pilates band.

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I’m always a bit annoyed when any sport or exercise kit or equipment designed for women comes in pink and pink only and the band is obnoxiously pink. I got over it though and have been playing around with the band a bit in the house. It’s not really something that fits into my new workout plan so I doubt it’s going to become part of my routine. If you’re keen to use it the Birchbox team have put together an article on some good exercises to try here.

That’s pretty much a wrap for January’s box. My favourite sample was the serum from Caudalie and my biggest disappointment was the Stila lip glaze.
Although this box had some nice samples in I wasn’t a huge fan of the theme and didn’t really find it a very exciting month.
I would probably have to give January’s box a 6/10.

What samples did you get and what were your favourites? Let me know what you thought or if you disagree with me in the comments!

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