Birchbox April 2017 was a collaboration with Boden, a British fashion brand, and the theme was “The bold and the beautiful”. I love the design of the box but I didn’t feel that the theme had anything to do with the products included. I was expecting coloured makeup or nail varnishes, something with colour, something actually bold. Their examples of how you can be bold this month include wardrobe choices like “add a splash of print to your jeans” or wear “a floral dress” which are all valid options that we should all consider however, it appears as if this months theme is more of a promotion for Boden than it is for Birchbox April.
Their reference to this month box extend only as far as “how will you use your products in this very box”. Sure there are many ways one could use makeup. But the products in this box, lets face it, there’s only so many ways you can use a body cream, a face scrub, an anti ageing serum, a translucent powder and an eyeliner. The eyeliner and powder being the only products that you could possibly use in more than one way, safely.
So as mentioned above, the products included this month were, from left to right as shown in the picture, a body cream, a face scrub, an anti ageing serum, a translucent powder and an eye liner, so let’s go in a little more detail as to how each product performed.
Bear in mind that these are my personal opinions and as beauty is a very personal thing, we all have different skin, requirements and DNA which can influence things. What worked for me might not work for you and vice versa, please leave your comments below!
- Baija Paris Creme Moana in Fleur de Tiare – the body cream.
This cream smells like a floral bouquet. If you look at the packaging design print and imagine a smell you are spot on. And while I admit, I did like the smell I did not fancy it as a body moisturiser. It is very flowery and in my opinion, intense flower smells like that work better for hand creams. Additionaly, the consistency was on the thinner side (not like a body butter) which is expected since it is in a squeeze tube, the formula and cream texture have to be more “runny” and therefore, easy to get out. As a result, this cream behaves more like a hand cream than a body cream. I would have actually used this as a hand cream but I ran out in two uses. This is a very good example of one of those times when Birchbox gives out products that look sizable but are not full! There was no oily residue left behind and the cream was absorbed fully. The packaging is nice and it definitely reflects the flowery smell.Overall, this was not a bad product but I didn’t feel that my skin was as soft and hydrated as when I use other creams. I have dry body skin (and oily face skin, go figure) so if yours is not very dry then you might not mind not having intense hydration. Although if your skin is not as dry it is also possible that the cream would not fully absorb. Combined with the annoying, for a body cream, floral smell I would personally not buy this product. SCORE = 5/10
- Baija Paris Creme Moana in Fleur de Tiare – the body cream.
- Polaar IcePure Gentle Scrub with Arctic Cotton – the face scrub.
I actually ran out of face scrub so I was very excited to get this and I must say it does the job nicely. My skin was amazingly smooth and soft afterwards even by using a tiny amount of product. As expected, it is a white thick cream with blue non water soluble beads. Will be interesting to see for how long beauty companies will keep these type of beads in products as there is some evidence that they affect marine life and some countries are already campaigning to make them illegal.
You can read some interesting articles on this here: http://voices.nationalgeographic.com/2015/10/06/the-microbeads-dilemma-does-your-facewash-harm-wildlife/
http://www.beatthemicrobead.org/science/Back to the scrub, I use this once a week until I feel that my skin’s softness is decreasing and texture is starting to build up, so this tube will last a while. The packaging is ok, not too ugly but a little too basic.The only criticism that I have on this product is the scent. Yes I smell everything, don’t you? Smell is actually a very easy way to “hook” someone up into liking a product as it is one of our sensory feedback mechanisms so I value it quite highly. The smell of this product I can only describe as a male shaving cream kind of smell and while I love those smells, and actually find them attractive, I don’t like them on me! The smell combined with a slight cold effect really make me fell like I just had a shave which as you can imagine didn’t make me feel very feminine or pretty at all. Besides that it was quite a good product and the skin smoothness and softness is unbelievable and it lasts a few days. I would definitely buy this product and I would especially love to try other scents. I cheekily also tried using this product directly on makeup to see how well it can take makeup off, even though the product does not claim to be a makeup remover and it does specify you should use it on clean skin. It did take the majority of my makeup off but wiping my face using a makeup wipe it afterwards, showed that there was a little foundation left behind. So definitely clean your face first before using this product and don’t try to be cheeky like me.
Finally, this product has an ingredient called “Arctic Cotton” which is apparently known for it’s moisturising properties. I will definitely put this in my to do list, investigate the science behind this and let you know in a dedicated post if there is any scientific evidence on this and if it worth seeking this ingredient out, specifically, in products you buy in the future. SCORE = 8/10
- Crea-m Antiaging Serum – the antiaging serum.
This was one of the “personalised” products so not everyone received this. What are you trying to tell me Birchbox? Either way, I love anti ageing products as prevention is the best way to control wrinkles. Once you get a wrinkle it is almost impossible to “erase” it unless of course, you have more intrusive procedures done. So prevention is key and since our skin starts its ageing decline, IN OUR TWENTIES, lets have a little cry here, everyone could benefit from this. However, skincare products of whatever function, usually need weeks to a month of daily application to have an effect. I have been using this product for two weeks now and I can’t say that I can see a difference, on the other hand, if this is a prevention product, you’re not supposed to see much anyway!It has a very watery consistency which is not necessarily bad and it felt nice on the skin. No oily residue was left behind and it was absorbed fully. The packaging is fine but because of the watery consistency, the serum leaks out if you hold the tube open and upside down. However, the full size product is a tiny cute bottle with a pump on top so you don’t have to worry about these problems.The “the older the smarter” writting on the packaging is cute and I 100% agree with that statement. However, I don’t really want to be reminded that I’m getting old so I have mixed feelings as to whether I liked the packaging or not. I also can’t really say much about this product’s effectiveness really. It was an ok product with a faint, cosmetic, but nice, smell. I use it every night before I apply my moisturiser and I will definetely use it until it runs out. I don’t feel that there is anything special or extraoridinary about this though, so I wouldn’t go out of my way to buy it. SCORE = 6/10
- Crea-m Antiaging Serum – the antiaging serum.
- Manna Kadar Cosmetics High Definition Powder – the translucent powder.
With an oily face complexion I use translucent powders to set my T zone in order to control oil production and by result, shinyness (if thats even a word) as well as to keep my makeup in place longer. I also use them to set my under eye concealer (in small amounts not like the baking technique) and avoid creasing. I prefer compact translucent powders from loose ones because you can control, so much better, how much product you pick up. However, there wasn’t much product coming off this one. The pay off was too thin even for a compact powder. The packaging is ok but for a full size product it is small. Yes, this was aparently a full size product that retails for £27. Let me tell you now, for a full size product this is very small and for £27 pounds, which I would easily and happily spend, I would go for a higher end brand that also has more product inside.The powder appeared slightly beige, but was white when swatched. I like that it comes out white and not slightly pigmented like a lot of translucent powders because this way you don’t add colour to your face but rather brighten the areas you applied it to. I didn’t really think it did anything amazing. It feels silky smooth when swatched but there wasn’t much on the brush or beauty sponge to apply on the face, so I can’t say I noticed anything amazing. There was also a strange “leopard” print on top of it which I can only assume was there to make it look more fancy. It definetly didn’t help with getting more product on the brush or beauty sponge so it only served a presentation purpose. SCORE = 5/10
- ModelCo Eye Define Crayon Liner Black – the eye liner.
I was super excited to get this because I am familiar with ModelCo but also because I wear an eye liner every single day! Due to my eye liner obsession, I went through quite a few eye liners, especially black, so I consider myself a bit of an expert. Unfortunately, I was very disappointed with this. Firstly, it is not a proper black colour, I would describe it more of a dark grey, even if you line over it a few times. It is more black on your hand when you swatch it and less on the eye. This is something that I have come across many times with pencil eye liners obviously because the texture of your skin on your hand and your eye is very different. I even found many pencil eye liners that write on the hand but not on the eye, at all (yep total waste of money), but thankfully this was not the case here.The liner does smudge which is both good and bad. If you accidentally touch your eyes, your liner is ruined, but if you want to create a more smokey look then this would work well. It is marketed as “waterproof” and it indeed does not come off when placed under water, unless you actually wipe it, and even then it doesn’t come off in one go but rather slowly fades. So I guess it is kind of waterproof but not fully.It is unfortunately very streaky and as a result, it doesn’t apply evenly on the eye. This would definitely not work well as a liner above eye shadows since it is streaky and the colour is not solid. It works fine on the waterline and it seems to last a fair amount of time there due to it’s waterproof property.This product does not even come close to liquid eyeliners so I would only use this to line my waterline and not as my main eye liner. I did like the sleek packaging though. Finally, this was also a full size product which retails for £11. SCORE = 5/10
Overall I wasn’t too amazed by this month’s box, neither when I first opened it nor when I tried out the products. The box’s contents definitely did not compare to the prettiness of the putter box but I did like that two out of 5 products were full size.
Initial box score, in terms of products and first feelings = 6/10
Overall box score after product testing (a sum of product scores) = 5.8/10
Star product = Polaar IcePure Gentle Scrub with Arctic Cotton.
Did you get this month’s Birchbox? What did your box contain? What did you think of the products? Have you tried any of the products listed? Let me know your experiences!
For general Subscription Box reviews see my: Birchbox, Glossybox, Look Fantastic and Cohorted general review posts. For help on how to choose the right subscription box for you check out “Which Subscription Beauty Box is right for you?”.
For more in-dept individual product reviews, if the product has interesting ingredients or science behind it, see the individual product review, titled by brand and product name.
I am not affiliated with any company or brand. These are my views and experiences.