Birchbox June did not come in the standard draw-like box. Instead, it came in a nicely designed tin with a blue and white print. It looks gorgeous and I love the idea of the tin, it’s actually a lot more useful and practical than a draw-line cardboard box. The print also reminds me of Amsterdam and the Dutch in general, as they have very similar blue and white prints. I love it!
The theme this month was a celebration for the Birchbox UK 5th birthday. Happy Birthday Birchbox UK! I am actually a little surprised, I would have thought that Birchbox has been in the UK longer than that.
Anyhow! To celebrate the occasion they have added a tin instead of a box and three bags of tea, as it is a very British thing to have cookies (stored in a tin) and tea! I love the idea, it suits the British birthday, I only wish they included some celebration in the products contained too, like for example, larger sized products.
This month’s box contained 5 products as always (+ 1 bonus), of which none were full size but most were travel size. The products were, as seen in the picture, from left to right: an eye shadow, a hair conditioner, tea bags, a pore minimiser, a highlighter pencil and an SPF cream.
Let’s have a look at the products in more detail. These are short reviews that cover first impressions and experiences from using the products. For full reviews, including ingredient analysis and if I would recommend a product or not, check out: Bonds of Beauty (all articles here). Bear in mind that these are my personal opinions and that 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!
Ella Eden Compact Eyeshadow in Julia
VIP Birchbox users had the choice between two offered colours of this compact shadow, Faith (a dark brown) and Julia (a more neutral pink). I chose Julia as it is more easily wearable and I thought that I would personally get more use out of that colour but of course, that is a completely personal choice.
Even though I personally don’t like and would never buy single eye shadows, because they always get forgotten in a drawer and never get used as much as an eye shadow palette, I actually wasn’t disappointed in receiving this one. However, that’s only due to the colour which I thankfully could choose. It’s an everyday and easily wearable colour, even without adding any other colour or shadowing etc (just to give the lid some colour). So there is a good chance I might use this and not forget about it. Fingers crossed.
I really did like the colour. It’s a soft pink with a shimmer texture but metallic results on the eye, yet it is still very easily wearable on a daily basis without looking like you’ve overdone yourself. However, it does fade with wear and the colour becomes less and less standout shimmery and more natural.
This shadow applied easily and did not crease but bear in mind I always used an eye shadow primer. The texture is somewhere between creamy and powdery but it works well. The shadow has a very, very faint cosmetic scent and lasts for an impressive 36M.
The outer packaging is the only “drawback”. It’s made of cheap plastic and it looks and feels fairly cheap. It has a screw lid which at least gives it some character.
This is a full size, 3g, single shadow which retails for £12.99. Although the shadow was good and the colour was nice, the price is way too high for what this is. Save the money that you would need to buy 2-3 of these and get a full size high-end palette. SCORE = 7/10
Number 4 Jour d’automne Smoothing Balm
This hair balm is essentially a hair conditioner. It is meant to minimise frizz, restore softness and protect against humidity and heat damage.
It comes in a very plain looking white bottle with black writing. The branding and design is minimal and so the product doesn’t really stand out or look particularly interesting.
However, this white cream smells nicely sweet, something between sugar meets a hair spray but in a pleasant way. It has a thick consistency and it feels nice on the hair.
It definitely reduced frizz and made my hair softer but I cannot say if it truly protects against humidity or heat damage without a detailed ingredient analysis which is outside the scope of this post.
This rinse off conditioner is a travel size (30mL) which lasts for 12M, is vegan, gluten free and does not contain sodium chloride (which by the way is just table salt). Interestingly, if you find this item on the Birchbox website and look at the ingredients, there is one called sodium chloride! I’m not sure how accurate the ingredients stated on the Birhcbox website are, but if they are correct then this smoothing balm has some interesting ones. SCORE = 8/10
Whittard of Chelsea Tea bags
This month’s Birchbox included 3 tea bags from Whittard which is a lovely addition. I got the flavours: 07 Mango and Bergamot, 35 Lemon & Ginger and 33 Earl Grey.
It’s a nice extra item for the Birchbox UK birthday and it suits the theme. I thoroughly enjoyed them but won’t be scoring them here as they are not a beauty item.
Benefit POREfessional Pearl Primer
If you have pores the size of craters like me then you have been out looking and trying pretty much any product that mentions the word “pores” in one way or another. As a result, receiving this product was exciting! However, this is Birchbox’s biggest drawback, they fact that they often contain samples. I know it’s only £10 a month but still, samples are free if you go to the brand’s counter, so it’s a disappointment to pay for a beauty box and receive what you could otherwise get for free.
Anyhow, this pore minimiser looks cute and has the typical Benefit branding and design.
The product itself is a pale pink cream which spreads nicely and is absorbed quickly. It definitely covered all of my massive pores upon application, even after I put my foundation over it. However, like with many cream pore minimisers, it didn’t last all day. About 1 hour later when my pores “breathed”, they opened up and became visible again. It’s one of those products that is a lot more impressive on the hand or when you first put on your face, but if you have big pores, the results might not last you long. It’s light pink colour is also meant to brighten but I didn’t notice any of that.
Benefit already has some other pore minimisers which also worked for me for a short amount of time and then stopped working. It does beg the question though, if Benefit’s pore minimisers were that good, why are they still bringing out new ones?
This is a sample size tube containing 3mL of product. It has a very, very, very faint smell of cream which is pleasant and it is oil free. SCORE = 7/10
Lord & Berry Strobing Highlighter Pencil
I’ve criticised Lord & Berry before for looking a lot like Bobbi Brown products or the other way round. Either way it still annoys me that the two brands use the same colour scheme and the same or very similar font! Branding, branding, branding!
Nevertheless, this travel size pencil is meant to be a highlighter pencil. It writes beautifully however, it’s not a face highlighter for me. How many lines do I need to create to highlight my cheeckbones, a pencil is just too thin, and how much blending will I need afterwards to remove the appearance lines. It’s just not practical.
I’d use this to highlight eyes or inner eye corners but not as a proper highlighter. This pencil has a medium pencil smell which is neither pleasant or unpleasant and lasts for 36M. SCORE = 7/10
Polaar Velvety Sun Fluid Face & Body
You should always have an SPF product in your beauty kit but even more so in the summer. This product is well placed and appropriate for it’s time. It is a face and body SPF30 (both UVA and UVB) which is a good amount, although I’d recommend SPF50 for the summer months, especially if you are in a hot country where the sun is low.
This cream applied nicely and worked well under makeup too. It doesn’t leave any sticky residues behind and it is very lightweight. The ingredients contained are neither bad or amazing and it is pretty close to many other SPF creams out there. However, it does it’s purpose and not all products need to be skin nourishing etc, even though this one does contain a small amount of some goodies.
This is a travel size 20mL tube and this product lasts for 6M. SCORE = 8/10
For my recommended face SPF cream that protects and nourishes at the same time check out: Paula’s Choice Resist Youth-Extending Daily Hydrating Fluid SPF 50 – In Depth Review and Ingredient Analysis
Overall, I loved that this month Birchbox went for a tin instead of a box. I like the theme, Happy Birthday Birchbox UK, and I liked the products. They were all worth a try, exactly what a beauty box should do by offering you beauty discovery, but I was still disappointed to find that some of them were sample size.
Initial box score, in terms of products and first feelings = 8/10
Overall box score after product testing (a sum of product scores) = 7.4/10
Star product = Number 4 Jour d’automne Smoothing Balm
To subscribe to Birchbox UK and get £5 off your first box click here.
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