Birchbox: A Review

picture taken by Long Tall Ally

Birchbox are the latest beauty box on the block. For those not in the know, beauty boxes are the current favourite ‘monthly fee for fun pushed through your letterbox’ craze following on from Graze and Not Another Bill. New to the UK having scooped up previous company Joliebox, Birchbox have a monthly subscriber base of more than 300,000 in the U.S and are finally bringing their beauty and lifestyle discovery service to the UK starting with this January 2013 offering. There was no mistaking what it was when this landed in my lap – that hot pink just screams rip me open and look at the goodies, doesn’t it.

So, what’s in the box?!

picture taken by Long Tall Ally

When it arrived the bow was perfect however yours truly couldn’t wait to be reunited with a camera to take pictures so I dived in straight away and then had to attempt to re-tie the bow as best I could. I was bemused by the Birchbox branded magnifying glass, I thought perhaps it was a dig at my advancing years and looming birthday however the strapline on the press release was ‘Discover Beauty Better with acclaimed US experts BIRCHBOX’, so grabbing the magnifying glass and stroking my imaginary Sherlock Holmes beard, I dived in.

picture taken by Long Tall Ally

I might sound like a bit of a geek but I really like the packaging, it feels good quality and it looks classy enough for me to re-appropriate the box to store earrings in, although I’m not really sure why they felt it necessary to include a drawstring pink bag – unless they knew that I would do this with it:

I know, I'm amazed I'm single too...
I know, I’m amazed I’m single too…

Lurking inside my new rainhat (It totally suits me, right?) were six sample sized products to help me start the new year on the right foot and a postcard telling me what each product was for, and how much a full sized version would cost me.

Pic taken by Long Tall AllyFrom left to right we have,

  • KMS California FREE SHAPE Quick Blow Dry which apparently leaves hair bouncier and shinier than ever and promises to cut down on blow drying time by 50% thereby giving me even less time to try and master blow drying my own hair. I’ll be honest, I’m more likely to spritz this on and then not bother with the blow dry but it smells nice and might give me an extra ten minutes in bed in the morning.
  • Wei Jujube Age Control Serum (no, I’m not sure how it’s pronounced either), a tiny tube but a little goes a long way I hope, particularly as it’s supposed to soften the look of fine lines which appear to be setting up home on my face.
  • fresh Sugar Rosé Lip Treatment SPF 15 – bit of a mouthful here, and I’m hoping it will give me a bit of a mouthful (that boys want to do smooching on). This is the product I’m most excited about trying as it exfoliates, has a hint of colour, smells divine and contains SPF15. What more could you want? What’s that? You want it to apply itself? Well there’s just no pleasing some people.
  • Wild Romantic Body Butter with Shea and Marula. I’m not going to lie, I actually recoiled in fear of losing my nasal hair when I smelt this. It certainly packs a punch given the size of the sample (my pot is about a third full) and whilst it claims to be lightly scented (I beg to differ) it also claims to conquer dryness in a snap. I’m tempted to keep it in my handbag to use as smelling salts, but if you’re a fan of heavier scents than I am, this might just be your thing.
This might bring all the boys to my yard...
This might bring all the boys to my yard…

In addition to those four main items were two ‘extras’, some I Coloniali Deep Massage Body Cream with Myrrh which looks like a standard sample you could probably blag from the counter directly and a Teapigs Tummy Tonic caffeine free peppermint leaves packet. Teapigs are a brand that I’ve heard a lot about which is unusual given that I don’t drink hot drinks and it smells absolutely scrumptious, even though I know it will probably taste like dishwater. Not that I’m dissing Teapigs, I just can’t bear the taste of herbal tea.

Pic taken by Long Tall Ally

In addition to all the goodies there is a Birchbox magazine which takes us behind the Wei brand, gives tips on using some of the products in the box and introduces a monthly ‘Birchbox Crush’, this first honour falling to Gemsmaquillage a YouTube guru and blogger.

pic taken by Long Tall Ally

If you’re in the market for a sample subscription service, I don’t think Birchbox have done too badly with this first offering, it’s not promising the world and delivering far less and it’ll be interesting to see what they come up with in the following months. To get your very own Birchbox will cost you £10 a month plus £2.95 P&P from http://www.birchbox.co.uk

*press sample

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