Birchbox UK – April 2018

April is the first full month of spring and conjures up images of blooming flowers with clear blue skies. But at least we have a heat wave of sorts on the horizon (BBQ anyone?). Oh look, I’ve started a Birchbox post describing the weather again. (Sadly last month it was the beast from the east that introduced my post!)

My point is… Birchbox UK April 2018 have all the springtime feels wrapped up in its box this month. With a totally appropriate brand as the bow on top, too.

Unboxing: Birchbox UK April 2018

Officially, this month’s theme is ‘Brighten Up Your Day’. But the bigger deal is that Birchbox UK have collaborated with Cath Kidston to celebrate their 25th birthday! Spring time, flowers and blue skies? Cath Kidston’s prints are ALL about that. It’s no wonder the brand were born in this month.

Samples

In their promises to deliver ‘a little sunshine to your month’, Birchbox UK April 2018 have delivered us 5 unique beauty treats…

  • Cath Kidston Hand Cream
    Well I wasn’t expecting this! Although I’m fully aware of Cath Kidston, I’m not a regular customer to their brand (no diss, that’s just the way it is) so I had no idea they made hand cream! This smells lovely, with a fragrance of with jasmine and orange flower, which is a Birchbox exclusive too.
  • ModelCo Baked Highlighter
    Now this sample I was expecting, as Birchbox subscribers were given the choice of two colours before receiving the box. I went for Moonshine, which gives a subtle rose pink glow.
  • Lumene Overnight Bright Sleeping Cream
    Since receiving the Thermaliv Night Cream in January’s box, I’ve grown accustomed to night creams. This sounds just as dreamy too with Cloudberry seed extract, vitamin C and hyaluronic acid. (Hmm I feel sleepy all ready…)
  • Hask Coconut Oil Deep Conditioner
    Just what my hair needs right now; a ultra-restorative, revitalising, re-hydrating deep conditioner! (My weekend pamper session is sorted.)
  • Beautaniq Beauty Fill + Tame Brow Gel (FULL SIZE!)
    And to top it off… a full-size product worth £8.60, just short of the total price of my box. What’s great about these brow gels is that they keet your brows neat and tidy, whilst the colour adds structure to your face too.

Birchbox UK April 2018 samples

Added little extra: As is the usual protocol when Birchbox collaborate with brands, we’ve been treated to 15% discount at Cath Kidston! In-store and online, with plenty of time to peruse any treats. (until 31st May).

Box round up

Birchbox UK April 2018 has continued to add a little sunshine to our month… but I knew last month’s box was going to be hard to beat. (Still the best box this year so far, IMHO.) I think they’ve really delivered on the brand collaboration front though, and there’s the right balance between beauty, hair and skincare.

SPOILER FOR NEXT MONTH: Our May sneak peak printed on the back of the accompanying leaflet see’s the return of New York brand Doucce. We received their punk mascara (way back in May 2017), which delivered on lashes with VOLUME. This time we’ll be given a choice of two different coloured lip stains. Let’s hope they can deliver on lip colour too…

Not a subscriber? Get 50% off your first box here.

FOLLOW ME:
    

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!

Continue Reading

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

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!

FOLLOW ME:
    

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!

Continue Reading

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!

FOLLOW ME:
    

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!

Continue Reading

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

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!

FOLLOW ME:
    

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!

Continue Reading

Birchbox UK January 2018

Birchbox UK January 2018 unboxing

It’s a new year already and Christmas celebrations (with all the feasts and parties) passed long ago.  Diets have begun, gym memberships are back to being active and even my Birchbox UK January 2018 is on a New Year kick.  It’s time to focus on the year ahead.

Most people are done with getting all glammed up this month, unlike last month when we received a number of sparkling treasures from Birchbox. But that’s not to say we can’t make time to pamper ourselves.  Find out what I received below!

Birchbox UK January 2018 unboxing

Birchbox UK January 2018 kick starts the new year with the theme Stand Tall.  (Figuratively speaking of course, as I’m only 5ft 2.)  And as it’s the time of year to get organised, Birchbox UK have teamed up with British stationary brand Ohh Deer.  Namely because stationary = getting organised!

As for resolutions, instead of the usual babble like ‘get fitter’ and ‘quit this or that’, Birchbox urge us to ‘rip up the resolution rulebook’ and embrace something we really enjoy.  If that means making a habit of trialling new beauty products then count me in!

Samples

This is what we’re all here for; the samples.  Birchbox subscribers knew they’d be receiving a full size Lord & Berry Blusher Crayon since being given the choice of two colours.  So let’s get down to the details!

Birchbox UK January 2018 samples

  • Lord & Berry Blusher Crayon (FULL SIZE!)
    I’ve owned blusher sticks before, but blusher crayons?  Trying it straight out of the box it’s surprisingly creamy and quite blendable too.  There’s no going overboard with it either, I drew a few lines on my cheeks (something I never thought I’d say) and used my fingers to blend, which left me with a natural-looking flush that was quite easy to master.
  • Marcelle Waterproof Eyeliner in Charcoal
    Here’s another product that’s soft and smooth to apply.  Grey is a welcoming twist on the classic black for me, being so pale le noir can look too harsh at times.  I don’t often wear pencil eyeliner on my upper lid out of frustration from making a mess.  However, this glided on and, more importantly, stayed on.
  • Thermaliv Night Cream
    I usually reach for oil (over a cream) for my night time regime.  But this could be a game changer.  The collagen production boosting and vitamin E ingredients are what drew me in and oh my word, it’s a pleasure to apply.  Waking up the day after my skin felt blissfully smooth and I couldn’t wait to apply it again the same evening.
  • Paul & Joe Beauty Primer in Dagree
    So, after some leaflet confusion I discovered what this product is and its intrigued me even more.  A hydrating beauty primer (I’m listening) with 3 types of hyaluronic acid (yes, my skin loves that stuff!) that absorb into the skin at different times during the day to keep my complexion hydrated and boosted at all times (okay – sold!).  On first impressions, it definitely does what it says on the tin (bottle) and packs a dewy glow to boot.
  • Afterspa Amazing Makeup Remover
    Amazingly – get it – this works!  Admittedly, I was dubious at first whether a cloth and just water could break down and remove ALL of my make up.  (Including foundation.)  Even my usual makeup remover still leaves me with panda eyes in the morning.  But I was proved utterly wrong when I woke up without looking an inch like Robert Smith.  (Joy!)  This will come in handy when I stumble in after a night-out and can’t be bother to cleanse, tone, zzzz….

Added Little Extras

When I hear the tune of a Birchbox collaboration, I always look forward to the added little extras and there’s been a few this month.  Of course we, as Birchbox subscribers, have come to expect a little discount with the brand collaborator – 20% off at Ohh Dear can tick that off nicely.

On top of that however, for a discounted fee we were also sent the flamingo adorned weekly planner as well as some stickers that are both fabulous.

Birchbox UK January 2018 added extras

The added LOC Shadow sticks were a thank you for recommending a friend who signed up.  Another bonus if you managed to recruit more Birchbox subscribers!

Box round up

Well I think it’s fair to say I’m quite chuffed with this box.  Having tried all of the items already I don’t think there’s one weak link in here.  Birchbox UK January 2017 – you have started the year on a happy note!

The fun hasn’t ended here either (spoiler alert for next month coming up).  Another full-size product will be waiting for us in February’s box in the form of a Keeome (remember them?) Silicone Buff makeup applicator.  Give me some of that South Korean beauty good stuff!

Not a Birchbox subscriber?  Sign up here and get 50% off your first box!

FOLLOW ME:
    

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!

Continue Reading