Birchbox UK – March 2018

Birchbox UK March 2018 unboxing

I have no complaints with Birchbox UK March 2018 telling me to sit back and relax.  We started this month with SNOWMAGEDDON (or ‘the beast from the east’ vs storm Emma). If you, like me, were one of the unlucky souls who tried to drive in this insane weather, then you’ll know the beauty of just sitting back and relaxing at home.  (Thank god for working at home, hallelujah technology!)

Of course Birchbox have a slightly different slant which is behind this month’s theme.  Instead of looking back (like last month’s 70s, 80s, 90s theme), this month is all about looking within.  A bit hippie-ish yes, but this box seriously has you sorted for a proper pamper sesh.

Birchbox UK March 2018 unboxing

I’ve already spoken a bit about the theme behind Birchbox UK March 2018, but officially it’s named; Be Present, Not Perfect.  Basically this is telling us the importance of ‘me time’ and being more mindful.

I can’t find any important dates in the month of March that can explain Birchbox’s move on this.  (Maybe International Woman’s Day, at a push?)  But who cares, obviously caring and looking after yourself should be a priority all year round.

Birchbox UK March 2018 samples


So how does being more mindful relate to beauty products?  Birchbox lays down the first step which is to sit back and relax with the following five beauty treats:

    • Benefit BADgal BANG! Mascara
      Birchbox and Benefit have a good thing going on – meaning they basically treat Birchbox subscribers to a sample of their latest product!  Benefit mascaras are considered the best (they’re certainly a strong contender).  I liked this mascara, but I wouldn’t agree that it was volumising though.  Regardless, this still gives a big impact to lashes.
    • BLAQ Peel Off Mask
      We were given a choice this month between two Blaq products; a peel off mask or an eye mask.  The peel off mask was a winner for me because logically I’ll get more uses out of it (over the eye mask) and oh my god these charcoal masks look just so satisfying to peel off.
    • GLAMGLOW SUPERMUD Clearing Mask Treatment
      Another OH MY GOD moment.  I noticed Glamglow sliding into the Birchbox shop, but I didn’t expect to receive a sample in my box!  I am so stoked to receive this, honestly.  If you’ve not heard of Glamglow then you’ve missed out on one of the biggest cult beauty products in the last year.  I can’t wait to try this!  (This might even deserve its own separate review on here.)
    • Nuxe Reve de Miel Body Scrub
      Every Nuxe item I’ve received has been a banger.  Since receiving the Nuxe Crème Prodigieuse Enrichie (moisturiser) in my Birchbox in November 2016 (whoa, that was ages ago), it’s become one of my skincare staples.  So I have high hopes for this scrub!
    • Oribe Apres Beach Wave and Shine Spray
      Did you see the result this left my hair in the video?  Need I say more…

I was also lucky to have received the Smith & Cult Lip Lacquer.  Although this wasn’t explained anywhere in the box, I think I’ve received this as an extra because someone couldn’t resist signing up to Birchbox through my referral link (which I will leave at the end of this post, if you’re interested).

Smith & Cult Lip Lacquer Hi-Speed Sonnet

Box round up

WELL, Birchbox UK March 2018 has been the BEST Birchbox of the year so far, imho.  No seriously, every product here has been so strong in terms of branding and type of product.  I’ve been so excited about receiving these products I’ve written this post without even trying some of them yet – just because I wanted to get this out to you asap!

SPOILER ALERT!  We’ve already received an April sneak peak at the back of our leaflet this month, which reveals the choice of a ModelCo Baked Highlighter.  Spring is definitely on its way in our April box judging by our two choices (between Frose or Moonshine).  Can it beat this month’s box, though?

Here’s my Birchbox referral link, where you can get 50% off your first box!


I have not been paid by, sponsored by or asked by Birchbox to make this blog post or video in any way – I just do it for the love!

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Visiting the Birchbox shop in Paris!

Birchbox shop front in Paris

It’s always a treat going to Paris, but on my third visit to the city (shameless brag) I had the extra treat of visiting Europe’s first ever Birchbox shop.  From a tiny subscription box to their second brick and mortar store – now that’s a pretty big deal. (In fact I used the same words when first seeing the news of its opening too!)

As a Birchbox subscriber from 2014, I felt it was my duty to give the Birchbox store a visit.  Although one is partial to bit of beauty shopping anyway, especially when one is in Paris!  So for any subscriber or non-subscribers out there who might be interested in just how a beauty subscription box has flowered into the physical retail store, here’s a bit of a run-down.

Birchbox store front in Paris

Where is the Birchbox shop in Paris?

Even I was impressed when I realised the Birchbox shop in Paris is located in the 1st Arrondissement.  Sitting in a trendy shopping area on Rue Montmartre, the Birchbox shop won’t be the only shop you’ll want to have a look around in the area as it’s in quite a trendy spot.

The nearest metro stations are Marcel Etienne and Les Halles, that are both on line 4.  In fact, as always in Paris, you are never far from some art and culture too; Centre Pompidou is just a 5/6 minute walk away.  C’est bonne!

What is in the Birchbox shop?

The exterior of the shop certainly suits its surroundings (in other words; it has a Parisenne style to it.)  The interior has a welcoming ambience, with an open layout and classic ‘clean’ decor.  It could easily be mistaken to be one of the classy French pharmacies I love dipping into whenever (and wherever) I am in the country.

There’s a lot of white, with a splash of pastel colours in places, with wooden shelving and floors.  Non-surprisingly, it feels quite ‘on brand’.

Counter inside Birchbox shop

Inside view of the Birchox Paris shop

What’s in the Birchbox shop?

All of the brands we’ve seen neatly packed into our Birchbox adorn the walls and shelves in the shop, but all in full-size of course.  Although there are some other brands too that we may never see in our subscription (namely Lancôme, but this is a French brand and I was in France, so I guess this makes sense.)

Towards the back of the store were sweet dispenser-like storage boxes that were filled to the brim of more beauty samples!  This is where you can create your own Birchbox in store – a temptation I didn’t resist and I just love the way this was presented.

Creating my own Birchbox

How could I not delve in and pretend – quite literally – that I was a kid in a (kind of) candy shop.  For €15 I jumped straight into making my own box, which consisted of 5 samples (as usual) to be handpicked by me!  Each category (face, body, hair, make up and surprise) had a choice of three items to choose from.

Birchbox Paris shop

As is tradition when I write Birchbox unboxing posts, I give a lowdown on each product I received.  Here’s the items that stood out for me (and those I took back home to the UK!):

  • Face choice:  DHC Deep Cleansing Oil
    I’d never tried a cleansing oil before, so this sample caught my eye immediately.  As expected it leaves my skin feeling quite supple and lovely.
    Other choices: An anti-ageing cream by Huygens or a cream for sensitive skin (brand forgotten – sorry!).
  • Body choice: L’Occitane Cherry Blossom Hand Cream
    L’Occitane’s hand creams are an absolute dream. I was lucky enough to receive another one in my Birchbox subscription, but I wasn’t to know that yet.
    Other choices:  I think I remember seeing a Spectrum Wonder Sponge and sadly I can’t recall the other choice!
  • Hair choice: Minu Shampoo and Conditioner
    This was an easy choice for me!  This is where I think I got more ‘bang for my buck’ as I could pick two items for one category.  Minu aren’t a brand I’ve heard of but I’m looking forward to trying these out.
    Other choices:  Baptiste Dry Shampoo for Brown hair (not my hair colour) or a Jeff Parlor spray (I had already received).
  • Make up choice:  Ciaté Nail Varnish
    This choice nearly had me stumped, but I’m a sucker for glossy reds and so I had to pop this nail varnish into my box.  (And lucky I did too because I received the other items anyway!)
    Other choices: Paul & Joe Hydrating Primer (I received here) or Eyeko Fat Eyeliner (I received here).
  • Surprise choice:  A scarf
    In an attempt to pull off Parisienne style, I had to go for the scarf.  I’m not usually a scarf wearer but I thought it’ll always remind me of Paris. (Ahh…)
    Other choices:  Some badges or toothpaste.

My created box from the Birchbox Paris store

Where next for Birchbox?

It’s clear to see I enjoyed my Birchbox Paris store visit!  At the time of writing though of course there is a Birchbox shop in London now too, which announced its opening just as I returned from Paris!

The Birchbox shop in Paris is permanent, however the Birchbox London store won’t be around forever and is currently only a pop up shop (open until Thursday 29th March 2018).  I am hoping this will either be extended (again) though, or decide to stick around more permanently.  Especially as I’m yet to make a visit too!

Nevertheless if you do find yourself in Paris, schedule some time for a browse around the Birchbox shop.  The look and feel of the space is relaxing and I didn’t feel pressured to buy, unlike some other beauty halls.  It’s nice to see how far this brand has come and more importantly, what its created in a physical space.

Have you been to the Birchbox shop in Paris or London?  Tell me your experiences in the comments below!


I have not been asked to write this blog post, as I said, I just wanted to check out the Birchbox shop while I was in Paris!

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New Purchases Show & Tell – February 2018

New Purchases Show & Tell February 2018

February may be the shortest month of the year, but I’ve still made some interesting purchases within it.  In fact, my New Purchases Show & Tell February 2018 could be the most random mix of purchases yet.  You’ll see why in a minute.

In my attempts to spend my money more wisely, I can say at least one of the items ticks this box.  This may not seem a lot, but I do only have four items to discuss, so one out of four isn’t bad, right?

New Purchases Show & Tell February 2018 video

Although I was still on the tight side this month (thanks to our boiler needing a new pump), here’s what I’ve been buying with the cash I had spare…

GoPro Wrist & Hand Strap – 22 seconds in
I was spoilt at Christmas by David, with my main present being a GoPro!  So looking ahead, we both have a big holiday coming up (which I’m yet to announce/talk about) and it’s about time I get some accessories for this baby!  I can definitely see a hand and wrist strap being useful on our trip and they both feel very secure when being worn.  Now I really want to get some more accessories, so please fill my comments box with recommendations!

GoPro Wrist Strap being worn

Thermal Curtain Lining – 2:06 minutes in
This is what I meant by my New Purchases Show & Tell February 2018 being random.  Thermal curtain linings?!  Yes, I know.  I’m not sure I would’ve known about thermal curtain linings before buying our house, or even buying our curtains!  After getting curtains from Ikea, because of cheapness (oh the cheapness!), they needed altering and lining sewn in too.  Luckily my mum is a whizz with a sewing machine, so she managed to alter and sew in these £22 curtain lining that I bought from Dunelm Mill.  Thus, saving us a lot of money on curtains.  Thanks mum!

Liz Earle Botantical Shine Shampoo – 3:53 minutes in
You’ve probably heard me mention this product before, but it has never featured in my New Purchases Show & Tell videos.  To tell the truth, I haven’t been too loyal to Liz Earle in the past year or so, mainly due to the price hike on it.  (A hike of £4 from a few years ago, when I bought it for £8.)  I have shopped around but I still really like this shampoo, so I treated myself by spending my Boots points on it.  (Still a bit annoyed about spending £12 for it though…)

New Purchases Show & Tell February 2018

The Body Shop Matte Clay Skin Clarifying Foundation – 5:00 minutes in
Although I’m aiming to spend my money on more “important stuff”, I want to try and treat myself to a little beauty gift per month, to hopefully keep me from splurging!  So this month I gave The Body Shop Matte foundation a whirl.  I usually don’t like matte foundation (as it doesn’t suit my skin type), but this doesn’t dry me out, gives a natural coverage and, despite being a liquid foundation, doesn’t need a powder to finish.  Lovely!

Next month…

I was planning to spend more money on homely things this month, like getting our first house plant (so rock n’ roll).  Sadly though we spent money on the house in another way (thanks to the boiler, as I said).  Alas, at least we’ve got the curtains sorted.

There’ll be more home purchases to come next month and sadly my car MOT.  (Please pass, please pass, please pass…)  March is a longer month too, meaning more time to spend money on more things!  Spending wisely though, of course.


I have not been asked, sponsored or paid to review any of these products. I just like to shop!

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Birchbox UK – February 2018

Birchbox UK February 2018 unboxing

Where are we in the year?  February is the time of the year when L O V E (Valentine’s or Galentine’s) and pancakes start getting our attention. But Birchbox UK February 2018 wants to point us towards beauty in decades past.

From 70’s bronzing, 80’s neon colours and 90’s glitter – there’s plenty of beauty looks to look back on and inspire us.  (Or to avoid at all cost.)  After all, some beauty looks really have stood test of time.  Find out which of those might be included in this month’s box!

Birchbox UK February 2018 unboxing

True beauty is timeless is the theme behind the three different box designs this month, representing three different decades that we were given the choice between.

Usually I’d class myself as a 70s girl (based on my music taste and style preference).  Surprisingly though I felt more drawn to the 80s box by its design, so that’s the box I chose.  But it’s okay, the 80s still has David Bowie.  (Plus Modern Love, my favourite David Bowie song, was born in the 80s after all… Oh and I was born in the 80s too, come to think of it.)

Birchbox UK February 2018 samples


With a theme that looks back on beauty through the ages, will this be reflected in the sample selection for Birchbox UK February 2018?  There’s only one way to find out:

  • The Beauty Crop Eyeshadow Trio (FULL SIZE!)
    I’m not surprised to see an eyeshadow trio to represent beauty of this decade, but it’s a shocker that there isn’t a neon purple or pink shade!  (Proper 80s eyeshadow shades!)  Thankfully Birchbox have brought more wearable colours from past decades for us to wear in the modern day.  Although I do see a hint of purple in the darkest colour of this set!  (It wouldn’t be 80s without some purple…)
  • Pixi Shea Butter Lip Balm (FULL-SIZE!)
    I knew a bright fuchsia pink would be somewhere in this box…  I’m just relieved it’s in a lip colour!  Regardless of colour, being a lip balm too makes it particularly useful for me at this time of year.  (80s themed or not!)
  • Percy & Reed Finishing Polish
    Hair.  Another big 80’s look and it was all about the BIG hair.  Again another surprise from this box was that the hair product wasn’t either a hairspray or mouse!  But to be honest, I’d have preferred a finishing polish anyway.  Luckily I curled my hair before filming my unboxing, which perfectly shows how this little number can add a final sheen to a styled look!

Birchbox UK February 2018

  • Luseta Coconut Milk Hair Mask
    I’m pretty sure hair masks weren’t a thing of the 80s, but by now I’ve realised a lot of these products were in the other decade’s boxes, so these samples aren’t specific to the decades.  Well, the majority of them aren’t anyway.  Besides, it’s always nice to try a spendy hair mask…
  • Balance Me Wonder Eye Cream
    Balance Me have been impressing me recently with their products.  Although it’s a brand we see regularly in Birchbox that’s not to say I don’t enjoy their products.  Since receiving this eye cream I’ve been applying it day and night and my tired winter eyes already feel and look ‘smoothed’.  Maybe I do need some eye cream in my beauty regime…

Box round up

Hold the phone – do you remember in last month’s box round up I spoke about the full-size Keeome silicone buff makeup applicator as the February sneak peak?  Well looks like that never materialised…  (Anyone know why?)

I’d class this box as satisfactory, although I should give it more merit as I did receive 2 full-size items totalling over the price I paid for the box.  I am quite looking forward to next month’s box though, namely because the March sneak peak shows that we’ll be receiving a charcoal face mask, which looks like the kind that will be an absolute pleasure to peel off! (And I wonder if that full-size Keeome applicator will show up too…)

New to Birchbox?  Subscribe here to get 50% off your first box!


I have not been paid by, sponsored by or asked by Birchbox to make this blog post or video in any way – I just do it for the love!

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What I ate in Belgium

Moules Frites in Bruges Belgium

You might remember back when I went to Paris, I started a new post series on what I ate whilst I was there.  Half of the holiday is based on the food you eat anyway, right?  So it’s a series I’m going to continue for every trip abroad.

Soon after I arrived home from Paris, David and I set off on a road trip to Belgium!  Another country known for its dishes, more than you might realise.  But, I must warn you, my ‘what I ate in Belgium’ post might not be nearly as ‘cultural’ compared to the dishes I ate in Paris.  This country is believed to have invented ‘frites’, or chips to you and me, after all.

So forgive me and have a little read on things to eat in Belgium if you’re visiting soon…

A Burger from Ypres Burger

Ypres Burger

And now you must know what I meant by this post not being very cultural.  But we all go on those kind of holidays where we just eat a lot of junk and blob out.  (‘Blob out’ – I love that phrase.)  So here it is; I don’t live a perfect life or eat perfect food all the time and my god I love a good burger, I’m not ashamed to admit it.

So when I looked up the best cheap eats in Ypres on TripAdvisor Ypres Burger was number one.  Located in the central spot in town and after our early start, me and my boyfriend went for it.  A simple burger and chips meal is hard to get wrong anyway.  Ypres Burger could certainly give McDonalds a run for their money.  (Speaking of which, we didn’t see a McDonalds anywhere in Ypres!)

Cheese & cold meat nibbles in St. Arnoldus

Things to eat in Belgium

Before heading to Menin Gate for the Last Post, we slinked into one of the cosy bars that lined the street leading to the memorial.  There must have been over a dozen Belgian beers on tap in here – but not a drop to drink for me… I was driving.

Regrettably I did miss out on some Belgium beers and good beers they probably were too.  But to keep me going I was pleased to see a selection of nibbles on the menu.  We munched our way through some local cheese and cold sausage meat.  Although, for the life of me I can’t remember the name of the sauce (maybe a kind of mustard?) and that sprinkling over the cheese? That was David’s handy work…

Another burger from Paul’s Boutique

Paul's Boutique in Ypres interior

I can feel the judging already.  Don’t you judge me.  Paul’s Boutique was another cheap eat favourite, as voted for via TripAdvisor.  Not only that but it made me feel like a kid again.  (Thanks to its decor, similar to that of an indoor laser tag’s.)

We did manage to fit in some culture here though.  Despite it not being a Belgian dish, the Netherlands isn’t too far away and we dipped into some ‘Bitterballen’; deep-fried and crispy breaded balls with a meaty centre.  They weren’t too bad, but I know, still unhealthy.

Bitterballen from Paul's Boutique in Ypres

Moules Frites in Singe D’or

Moules Frites with Belgian beer

Bruges is a cosy city, especially in winter. The weather can be bitterly cold, but it offers two ways to warm up; sightseeing around the city, walking rather briskly, or nipping into one of the snug little restaurants to warm your belly and soul with Belgian beer and Moules Frites!  (Translation: mussels and chips.)

This was my third time in Bruges but my first time eating one of Belgium’s most famous dishes in the land of which it came.  The Belgians are brilliant aren’t they?  Mussels and chips. Simple yet so satisfying.  (We were sat next to a roaring fire too and felt especially cosy.)

Although I didn’t check TripAdvisor this time and to my horror discovered this restaurant’s 2 and a half star rating half way through my meal.  I was shocked for a second, then just carried on chomping on my mussels.

A Belgian Waffle, from anywhere

Belgium waffle and other things to eat in Belgium

I thought it would be quite apt to end the post on a Belgian waffle, should this post even exist without the mention of a Belgian waffle? Again I paid no attention to TripAdvisor this day (to my detriment or not) and we just swooped up a Belgian waffle from the nearest takeaway cafe.

We sat and munched over the bridge from the Beguinage, next to Horse Head Drinking Fountain whilst horse and carriages trotted by.  Which made me think, I’m glad I didn’t check TripAdvisor, because sometimes you just need to buy whatever food from whichever lovely setting you’ve wandered within.

We plonked down here for a few minutes, rested our tired feet before finally heading back to the car to head home.  You were good to us and our bellies, Belgium.  (We’ll be back.)

Have you ever been to Belgium?  Tell me your favourite meal you had there, don’t let me miss out on the good stuff!


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