June 2014 Birchbox Review

Those of you who have been following my blog for a while will know that I was previously subscribed to Glossybox, but ended up cancelling my subscription due to a combination of money getting tighter & not feeling like I was getting value from the boxes. My main complaint about Glossybox was that the products either seemed super cheap, or so expensive that there was no way I’d ever purchase them. I loved the surprise each month but it just wasn’t working out, so when I finally got enough money to resubscribe I went on the search for a new subscription service. 
Birchbox was the obvious choice, it being Glossybox’s main competitor in the UK & after some research I signed up. The main plus for me was the fact that Birchbox’s reward points can’t just be redeemed for boxes, but can also be used in the Birchbox store meaning that some of the more expensive products would be more affordable. I was also impressed by the range of big brands that Birchbox had partnered with in the past, as I found Glossybox rarely included brands I’d heard of excluding a couple of high street names.

Like Glossybox, the Birchbox has an outer delivery box & then a smaller inner box which actually holds the products. The difference is that the Birchbox inner box then contains a drawstring fabric bag. I know a lot of people love these bags & I can imagine they’d be great for holding toiletries when travelling, but after a couple of months I feel like I’m going to run out of uses for them, meaning they’re just another bit of unnecessary packaging. Also in the box are the product card, a welcome note, & strange cardboard concertina which I assume is the equivalent of Glossybox’s magazine. My June box contained six items, all but one of which I believe are sample size, although it’s difficult to tell as the product card doesn’t list the full size for the products.
 
First up is a beauty box staple, the Beauty Blender, which retails for £26. I actually recently purchased the Real Techniques Miracle Complexion Sponge, which I’ve been loving but which is a lot cheaper than the Beauty Blender, so I’m honestly a little skeptical. However, it will be interesting to see if there’s a noticeable difference between the two products, so look out for a review comparison post coming up soon. The package also contains a BlenderCleanser Solid which is basically a cleaner for sponge itself, & a welcome addition as I’d been struggling to clean my Real Techniques Sponge without damaging it.
 
Next up is a tiny sample of one of OPI’s Nail Lacquers from the Brazil Collection, the full size of which retails for £11.95, in shade You’re So Flippy Floppy. This shimmery yellow – almost mustard – shade is definitely a step out of my comfort zone (ever since it got seriously warm here I’ve been wearing black polish as a massive fuck you to Summer) & I’m a bit bummed out since the other colours available are more my style. That being said, maybe once I get more into the Summer-time spirit, I’ll crack this open.
This Claudalie Vinoperfect Day Perfecting Fluid with SPF15 is the most pricey item in the box at £38 but it’s a good example of a product I might save up my points to buy as from my quick test I really liked it. It’s a light, oil-free morning moisturiser that claims to “hydrate, brighten and even skintone” & I can definitely believe it. It sank it beautiful & has a bit of colour which means that if you have clear skin you could probably get away with using it as a tinted moisturiser & skip foundation. The one downside is the scent, which though lovely is pretty overwhelming for a facial product – luckily it fades fairly quickly.

I’m always torn on the inclusion of body moisturisers in beauty boxes. On the one hand they’re always useful & it’s rare to find one that I actively dislike, but on the other hand they can feel a bit like filler, especially if you’re getting one in every box – I’d rather take the risk & get an actual item of makeup, y’know? This Naobay Body Radiance Lotion is a solid pick but nothing special. It’s “lemony fresh” scent isn’t really for me, & I definitely don’t feel like it’s worth the £14 price tag.

This is another product which is not really for me, but I’m glad to have had the chance to try a fairly well-known brand & it certainly doesn’t hurt that this item is super cute. It’s a tiny sample of one of the products from the TheBalm Cosmetics How ‘Bout Them Apples? Cheek & Lip Cream Palette. I got shade Pie which is a pretty coral & perfect for Summer. Personally I’m not a massive fan of either lip balms or cream blushes, but thanks to its size I can see myself slipping this into my bag whilst travelling for a quick & easy makeup hit.

I’m honestly loathe to even include this item in my review. It’s a keyring. It looks cheap. It’s basically tat & I’m just not feeling it. Whatever.

Overall I’m really happy with this box. I’m not madly in love with any of the products but there are a couple of things I’m excited to try, & even the items which aren’t for me are from reputable brands that I’m pleased to have got the chance to sample. 
What did you think of this month’s box? Would it convince you to subscribe if you’re not already, & if you are a subscriber, is this box pretty representative of the usual standard?

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