First Birchbox of 2018! Birchbox also managed to arrive before the Look Fantastic box this month. What is going on this year? Look Fantastic was almost always the one to arrive first last year!
Anyhow, the January 2018 Birchbox is absolutely gorgeous. It has the typical Birchbox drawer type box and an OHH DEER writing in golden letters to showcase this month’s collaboration with the stationary brand. The box design is absolutely gorgeous, I love the artistic touch and the colour combinations and I love the baby blue drawer even more. It goes well with the top lid design and it has the most appropriate January inspiration on it: Stand tall and be fabulous. Love it!
This month’s theme is about ripping up the resolution rulebook which admittedly I think is genius. For January I would expect a skin care box like the January Glossybox because self-care is very important and it is very fitting during the winter months and especially after the New Year resolutions. We all have a little rebel in us and I’d love a “rip the resolution rulebook” themed box but I didn’t think that the products included fitted the theme. I was expecting some craziness, product alternatives, strange new products, tools etc but it was actually, disappointingly, a very normal box. Usually, that wouldn’t be a problem, but it is the first box of the year and the theme set the bar high.
I do love that they included stickers though. It’s an extra little touch that goes a long way. The stickers are super cute and bring out the playful girly side, a great addition for my Too Faced diary (post coming soon)! It doesn’t matter how old you are, there are little, fun things in life that bring our playful and creative side out and stickers are one of them.
Birchbox always comes with a little leaflet that explains what the products inside are.
This month’s box contained 5 products as always of which 4 were full size and one travel size! The products were, as seen in the picture, from left to right: a hair spray, a shower oil, a blush pencil, an eye liner and a wash cloth.
Let’s have a look at the products in more detail. Bear in mind that these are my personal opinions and as beauty is a very personal thing, we all have different skin, requirements and biological build which can influence things. What worked for me might not work for you and vice versa, please leave your comments below!
Parlor Moisturising Sea Salt Spray
This is a hair styling and moisturising spray with sea salt, sweet almond extract and vitamins.
The bottle looks nice and sleek and it definitely looks like a hair product. It has a subtle but sweet scent which surprisingly, suits a hair spray.
It doesn’t make the hair particularly softer or harder, sticky or anything negative really. It is a very subtle hair styling product, it’s not obvious, other than the nice scent, that there is anything on the hair, which is actually a good thing in my opinion.
However, at the same time I also didn’t really notice any benefits either, other than the nice scent. I can’t really say that it styled my hair or that it moisturised my hair but bear in mind that I have very thick, unruly hair. I’m also not convinced that I want to put sea salt on my hair, it reminds me of the beach days when hair gets especially harsh and rough feeling and I’d definitely not want to recreate that. With that being said, my hair didn’t feel like that when I used this spray but it still leaves me wondering, why would I want to put salt on the hair? Perhaps the brand should have explained the benefits or specialty of this product on the bottle to make things a little more convincing.
It is apparently particularly good for styling waves and it is sulfate, paraben, gluten and cruelty free while being safe for coloured hair.
This is a travel size, Birchbox exclusive product. It’s full size version retails for £17 which is definitely a steep price tag considering I am still not sure why I would want to use this over other nourishing and styling products. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not a bad product but it is very forgettable and its special purpose is not clear. SCORE = 6/10
Nuxe Prodigieux Shower Oil
This shower gel tube is of very good quality. It is so sturdy, it would survive travelling with no problems whatsoever. Admittedly, it doesn’t look like your typical shower gel, I had to actually read the label to figure out what it is, I would probably think it is a hair product if I just saw it on a shelf somewhere. It becomes even more confusing when you squeeze a bit of the product out of the tube, as it looks like a glitter highlighter!
It feels really nice and soft on the skin though and since it looks so gorgeous, it is the kind of thing that you do want to rub all over! Glitter shower incoming!
It has a floral meets cosmetic gel scent and it leaves the skin feeling soft and cleansed. All that glitter pays off as well as it leaves a “shiny” but naturally looking finish on the skin. The finish would look lovely in the summer months but it almost feels wasted during winter.
It contains sweet almond oil and some other interesting ingredients. It definitely feels and looks like a luxury product but it also comes with a luxury price tag. This is a travel size tube but the full size one retails for £10.50. It’s not a lot of money in terms of “cosmetic price tags” but it is a steep price tag for a shower gel. SCORE = 8/10
Lord & Berry Blusher Crayon in Camelia
This crayon blush actually looks very sleek and of high quality. The glossy finish on the pencil’s body and the thick cap definitely give it a sense of higher quality. It smells like a typical pencil, not a makeup item but that’s ok.
I love the colour but I found it very difficult to use. It’s a pencil and it is not overly creamy which means it is difficult to spread and work in. The original line you make to apply it, is very difficult to diffuse completely and it just looks like a line on the cheeks. A pencil like this is very unpractical for a blush and therefore, I’d expect the formulation to be much more creamy and easily spreadable. It didn’t really work for me, I had to put a lot of “rubbing force” to diffuse the colour, patting alone didn’t really work and so I ended up messing up the foundation underneath.
I’ll probably use this on the lips or on the eyes but it’s not a blush for me.
It looks like a travel size pencil but it is actually full size and apparently a Birchbox exclusive. This blush pencil retails for £15 which admittedly, I think is a little expensive, considering it is difficult to use. SCORE = 5/10
Marcelle Waterproof Eyeliner in Colour Charcoal
Who doesn’t love a good eyeliner? Eyeliners add so much definition to the eyes, they are almost an absolute must!
I was very impressed by this eyeliner. If I’m honest, I wasn’t expecting much, simply because it is very difficult to find a good eye liner, but this one is very good indeed.
It looks sleek and professional and the cap is fairly sturdy. It feels like quality and it definitely is. The colour is definitely a grey, not a black, but that’s ok there are times when you might want to use a grey, especially for creating the illusion of a shadow on the eyes or even for smudged up smokey looks, where a black might look a bit too aggressive.
It is smudge proof and waterproof, tested! There are a lot of pencils claiming to be waterproof when they actually aren’t but this one definitely was. The line will complete disappear if you rub it for a while but that’s normal. It’s not meant to be friction proof!
It feels soft on the eyes and writes easily. Most importantly, it works on the eyes. There are so many eye liners that write perfectly on the back of your hand but not on the eyes. Have you ever experience that? It’s ridiculous!
This is a travel size pencil but the full size retails for £10.99, not a bad price at all. This product is also a Birchbox exclusive. SCORE = 9/10
Afterspa Amazing Makup Remover
We must be living in the area of makeup removing cloths. I’ve received so many of these in the last two months! They seem to be becoming quite popular with cosmetic companies but I’m not so sure how popular they actually are with people. Do you use a makeup removing cloth? Let me know in the comments below!
Personally, I must admit I don’t use them very much. Most of them work really well and so does this one too, but I find them a little unpractical. I prefer a wipe that I can use and throw away. You have to clean these cloths and you might even need to clean them between, if you are removing a full face of makeup.
You might argue that this is a greener, more environmental option, you don’t have to use lots of wipes which you then throw away and you can wash and reuse the cloth multiple times. However, you do need to wash this cloth and use a cleaning product as well as water, so really how much more money are you actually saving and is it really more environmentally friendly? Also, is it as sanitary as using a wipe and throwing it away? There’s definitely some questions and doubt on my side, I might have to look into this further.
The cloth itself has the shape and size of a blindfold. It looks really cute and it feels super soft. You might have to wash it a couple of times before using it, as it loses a lot of fluff at first. All you need to do is wet it with water and use it to remove makeup. It does work, but it takes a couple of attempts to completely remove a face full of makeup but that’s acceptable. Even wipes or other cleansers need a couple of cleaning cycles.
If you like the idea of this give this cloth a try. This is not a full size product but the full size one retails for £5.50 which is not a bad price at all. SCORE = 7/10
Overall, I loved the box design and the collaboration with Ohh Deer. The stickers were a super cute addition to the box and although the box contents were not disappointing, they were a little too normal, not what I would expect in a January box.
Initial box score, in terms of products and first feelings = 7/10
Overall box score after product testing (a sum of product scores) = 7/10
Star product = Marcelle Waterproof Eyeliner in Colour Charcoal
Did you get this month’s Birchbox box? 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 all the details on how Cohorted, Glossybox, Look Fantastic and Birchbox performed in 2017 and which one is worth your money, check out “Battle of the Beauty Boxes – Conclusions from the 2017 unboxing and reviews on Cohorted, Glossybox, Look Fantastic and Birchbox!”
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?”.
I am not affiliated with any company or brand. These are my views and experiences.
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Influenster: Bonds B