Thursday, 14 August 2014

August 2014 Birchbox Review

It's the middle of the month, & that means it's time for another Birchbox review! Before we get started though I just wanted to quickly apologise for being a bit MIA recently. A few weeks ago my partner & I moved out of our student flat & back in with his parents while we continue to look for a new place to live. It honestly hasn't been that bad, but with almost no space to myself blogging & making content for my Youtube channel has kind of fallen by the wayside. Fingers crossed we'll be moving out soon & things can finally get back to normal!


The theme for this month's box is Away We Go! & with no vacation plans this summer I was excited to see if any of the products could give me that holiday feeling without the price tag.

The first thing I noticed when I opened up this month's box was that all my products were neatly packed into this really cute & summery little travel bag. Now the zip doesn't look particularly sturdy so I probably won't be using this as my main makeup bag any time soon, but it would be great for holding all your day-to-day essentials inside your handbag & it's nice to finally get an extra in my Birchbox that's actually useful!

The first product I pulled out is this Dead Sea Spa Magik Refreshing Bath Shower Gel (full size, £7.15). I actually recently purchased one of the new Original Source Shower Scrubs which I've been loving so this probably won't be getting much use any time soon, but I love having miniatures of things like shower gel on hand for travelling - plus this claims to double up as a bubble bath. It is quite heavily scented with chamomile, lemon balm & rooibos extract, which some people might find overwhelming, but I personally think it's fairly inoffensive - great for leaving in the guest bathroom if you're having people to stay.

Next up is the No. 4 Super Comb Prep & Protect leave-in conditioning spray (full size, £20). My hair's been a bit of a nightmare recently - probably down to the fact that I don't take particularly good care of it! - & in a few days time I'm getting it cut up to a shoulder length bob to hopefully make it more manageable. So, when I saw this product I was excited to give it a try but so far I haven't been particularly impressed. Despite being 100% vegan the scent is anything but natural - it almost smells like alcohol - & I didn't think the results were particularly noticeable either, although perhaps it just needs a few more uses.

A year ago I would have quickly swept over this product; my acne-prone skin was one of the biggest knocks to my self-confidence & I didn't feel comfortable with anything less than a medium coverage foundation. More recently however there have been a couple of days where I've popped on my concealer & been perfectly happy to walk out the door with nothing more than mascara, blush & a swipe of lipstick, so I was pretty excited to try out this Daily Correct SPF 35 CC cream from Supergoop! (full price, £32). That being said, I'm not massively impressed, especially considering the price-tag is higher than most high-end foundations. I received the shade Light-Medium & it's far too warm for my skin tone, & the other big selling point - the SPF35 - is basically nonsense (you can find out why from Veronica Gorgeois on Youtube).

The next product is the Vasanti BrightenUp! Enzymatic Face Rejuvenator (full size, £26). Essentially this is an exfoliating cleanser, with highly concentrated "micro-crystals", & despite having fairly tough skin I actually found it almost too abrasive - I certainly wouldn't use it 3-5 times a week like they suggest. On the bright-side, the product also contains moisturising aloe vera & I can definitely see it being nice as part of a once-a-week pamper session.

The final product is a full size one, & it's the Wild About Beauty Powder Eyeshadow in Shade 05 Fern (full size, £13). Created by Louise Redknapp & Kim Jacob, the Wild About Beauty line is completely paraben free & aims to use natural products to create high quality yet beneficial beauty products. Personally, while this eyeshadow compact is nice - the deep gold shade with a hint of shimmer is pretty much universally flattering - I don't feel like it's anything special, in fact I have an almost identical shadow from Topshop which was at least half the price of this one & is far more pigmented.

This month's lifestyle product is a sample chapter from Tasmina Perry's new book The Proposal. It's a nice thought - some light holiday reading which you can just throw in your suitcase - but as with most of the lifestyle items I'm super ambivalent to this.

Overall this month's box is a bit nondescript - there are no stand-out stars, just some alright basics that could easily end up negelcted at the bottom of my makeup box. Personally I'd really like to see more makeup products in these boxes rather than the endless pricey skincare items, as well as fewer neutrals - I feel like there are unlikely to be many Birchbox subscribers who don't already own a basic gold eyeshadow, so it would be good to see them take more risks in their product choices.

What did you think of this month's box?
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