Saturday, 13 September 2014

September 2014 Birchbox Review

It's time for another Birchbox review, & this month's theme was an interesting one: happy days. The focus was all on making & capturing sweet memories, although I'm not really sure how well that translated into the products... The packaging was a big hit though, with a cute mint box covered in little white emoticons, & mint accents on the drawstring bag.

The first product I received was this healing oil treatment from Agave which retails for £16. This oil claims to "build resiliency and boost shine", although I'm not convinced this is for me as I generally struggle with oil build-up in my hair. That being said, all the reviews I found said the oil is super lightweight & sinks in quickly, so maybe it's worth a shot. By far my favourite thing about this product is the scent: it's sweet but not sickly, great for people who find the scents of coconut or nut oils too overwhelming.

The next product is a Benefit favourite that I was excited to try, having seen a preview on the Birchbox Instagram: the It's Potent eye cream which retails for £25.50. Honestly, this is out of my price range & not the kind of product that I'd consider spending my Birchbox reward points on, but it's always nice to have a chance to test out cult products. The packaging is predictably cute, with a vintage-style glass pot - although, I'm generally not a fan of pot moisturisers as they can easily get contaminated with oil & dirt if you use your fingers to remove the product. It has a light almond scent & sinks into the skin quickly, feeling cool & refreshing when you first apply it. Obviously having only tested it out once I can't confirm the claims that it banishes dark circles or smooths fine lines, but it's an enjoyable product to use & I'd definitely recommend checking it out if you've got the money to spend.

Next up is a Mild Dermabrasion Face & Body Scrub from the brand Premae, which retails for £25. For such a pricey product I'm pretty disappointed in the packaging - it just doesn't feel like a particularly luxury product & the branding's nothing special either, although this seems to be a pretty common issue with Birchbox products. On the plus side, the scrub is pretty much scentless, always a bonus with scrubs as I find that the combination of a heavy scent with a mechanical exfoliant can irritate even my tough skin. The exfoliant in this vegan scrub comes from olive granules (+1 for not using microbeads!), & although the granules are fairly large, because they're not particularly concentrated this scrub still feels gentle enough for use on your face.

I really like the look of the packaging on this Korres Citrus Little Body Milk - which retails for £9.50 - although I am worried that you could end up with a lot of product wasted as it could easily get stuck at the bottom of the tube. The scent is also a strange one, certainly not what you'd expect from something labelled as citrus. To me it smells like a mix between Boots' Evening Primrose scent & men's cologne - strange, but could be good if you're not a fan of more "feminine" floral scents. It feels very wet on the skin, & is definitely more suited to being a lightweight Summer moisturiser than a richer Winter product.

The final beauty product & a surprise favourite for me is the ModelCo. Lip Lacquer in Viva, which retails for £15. Would I buy this? Hell no! Give me £15 for a lip product & I'll be grabbing a MAC lipstick, no questions asked. That being said though, this is one of those products I'm happy to have in my collection. It's a beautiful true peach shade, with great buildable colour. While I'm not usually a fan of either lip glosses or bright nudes, this lacquer isn't heavy or sticky, & I can definitely see myself layering this on top of a darker nude to give it a nice shine. The only downside is the fruity, bubblegum scent which makes it feel a little cheap & childish.

I received two lifestyle products this month, although I could have easily skipped on this first one: Urban Fruit's gently baked strawberry pieces. I'm not a huge fan of dried fruit at the best of times, excluded raisins & the odd dried apricot, but these strawberry chunks just don't look appealing. The smell is super sweet, similar to jam, which I guess makes sense but the texture just isn't for me.

Having just moved into a new flat with my partner I've been looking at getting some photos printed to make it feel a bit more homely, & this cute photo clip will definitely come in handy. It's nothing special & does feel a little cheap, but when combined with the money off vouchers for Photobox which were also included in the box, it's a nice touch.

This month's box has me a bit conflicted. It's not that the products are bad necessarily - I'm sure I'll get through most of them, with the possible exception of the Korres Body Milk because that scent just isn't for me - but equally there's nothing in there that particularly excites me either. At this point I've kind of made peace with the fact that there will always be more skincare than cosmetics in these boxes, but that's harder to accept when it feels like the same type of products are showing up again & again.

Let me know in the comments what you think of this month's box & as always, let me know if there are any products you'd like to see me review.

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