Beauty · Beauty boxes

Birchbox UK review – October

Hi Everyone,
This month Birchbox collaborated with Stylist to send us one of two boxes. The Back to Basics box or the Stylist Guest Editor box. The contents were released in advance which was meant to help you make a decision but I had issues with each of these boxes. Let’s take them one at a time:

Stylist Guest Edit Back to Basics
  • Bioderma micellar water
  • English Laundry No. 7
  • Foaming shower gel
  • When. Travelmate sheet mask
  • Parlour by Jeff Chastain Smoothing blowout spray
  • Purefruit pigmented lip glaze
  • Eyeko fat liquid eyeliner
  • Bioderma micellar water
  • Regenerate Enamel Science Advanced Toothpaste
  • Seche Vite Dry Fast Top Coat/li>
  • Beaver Professional Hydro Nutritive Moisturizing Shampoo
  • Beaver Professional Hydro Nutritive Moisturizing Conditioner

My problem is basically that any loyal Birchbox subscriber will already have had samples from each of these boxes. In the first box I’ve had the Bioderma and the perfume sample, in the second box I’ve had the Bioderma again and the regenerating toothpaste in my Selfridges Birchbox.
So I really felt like my choice was between two disappointing options.

I picked the stylist box because I love Rituals products and wanted to try the cellulose sheet mask and I also didn’t want another shampoo and conditioner sample. I hoped I might get something slightly different in my box as I’d had two of the samples before but no, I got the standard one.


Anyway, enough of my whinging, let’s talk about the samples themselves.


The box had a bit of a pink theme going on and I do actually like all of the samples. We’ll start with the ones I’ve had before just to get them over and done with.


Bioderma Sensibio H20 is a micellar cleansing water which I first received in September 2013. I like this sample, it’s gentle on my skin and gets all my makeup off, it was also one of the first on the market when it came out in France but similar products by Garnier and L’Oreal are just as good and a fraction of the price.
I always buy Garnier’s cleanser which is £3.33 for 400ml from Boots. I would highly recommend a micellar cleanser for removing makeup as it’s so gentle and not greasy like some makeup removers can be. Then use your normal face wash to cleanse your skin.


The second repeat sample is English Laundry No. 7 For Her which I was first sent in March 2014 by Birchbox.
It’s very sweet smelling, which isn’t a complete turn off for me as I like sweet and fruity perfumes but I find it doesn’t really last either. Plus the sample size is so small! I wasn’t too impressed with this the first time and I definitely wasn’t impressed with receiving it again.


One of the samples I was really excited about trying this month was the sheet mask from When. It is a cellulose mask infused with moisturising product mean to help protect your skin from the detrimental effects of travelling. You press it against your face and leave for 30 mins then rub any residue in well. No rinsing required. I liked this mask, it was very cooling and left my skin feeling nice but it doesn’t really fit your face very well and is quite heavy so is constantly sliding off.
All in all it’s not that practical and for the price of a pack I would expect a far superior product.


I was also eager to try the foaming shower gel from Rituals. The last sample of theirs Birchbox sent was the Rice Scrub in my August box and I really liked it. This doesn’t disappoint either. It smells wonderful and leaves my skin feeling clean and soft. It is also a generous sample size as the gel expands into foam as it exits the canister so you get a much larger volume.

The 100% Pure fruit Pigmented Lip Glaze was a nice surprise. The packaging was lovely and the sample must be full sized. It’s a sheer wash of colour for your lip and leaves them feeling nice and moisturised too. Perfect for a casual day or an undone look. I really loved this one and it has a permanent home in my bag now, coming everywhere with me.


My last sample in this month’s box was the Smoothing Blowout spray by Jeff Chastain for Parlour.
This is another brand Birchbox had sent out before. I received the sea salt spray in my May Birchbox and really didn’t like it as it left my hair feeling horrible. This is a much better product but still not a patch on other blow dry sprays and leave in conditioners I’ve tried. The smell is okay, it smells a bit on the artificial side but I rarely blow dry my hair, choosing to let it dry naturally instead so it’s not very useful for me.

And that’s it. Although there are some good products in this box my overall feeling is basically disappointment. For the last 3 months I’ve been comparing Birchbox to Glossybox every month and so far Glossybox is winning by a mile!
I’m so close to cancelling my Birchbox subscription.

What did you guys think of this box? Is anyone else in my position of being a customer so long that it’s looking like repeats are going to become an issue?

Cesca X


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