Beauty Product Discovery – Birchbox Beauty Box August 2018 – Unboxing and Product Reviews

The second box to arrive this month was the Birchbox. Even though it’s the least favorite of mine, it’s still a good way and value for money for exploring new beauty products.

Birchbox August 2018 3

This month’s theme was “Live a life beautiful” and it was a collaboration with Etsy. Birchbox collaborated with 10 Etsy sellers to create a collection of 10 different Birchbox designed boxes where each box shows a design of the seller’s passion and creativity. I love the idea but I was a little disappointed that as a VIP I didn’t get to choose which design I like best (VIPs get to choose box designs or products sometimes). Nevertheless, the one I received is actually the one I like the most (did I choose this and I don’t remember?!). It’s very simple but it’s a suitable design for a box and I love the colours. This design is made by Hannah Richards Design @hangracerich.

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This month’s box contained 5 products as always, of which all were travel size despite the fact that Birhcbox labelled two of them as full size! The products were, as seen in the picture, from left to right: a face mask, an eye shadow stick, a lip stain, a face cleanser and a shower gel.

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To subscribe to Birchbox UK and get £5 off your first box click here.

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!


Dr Botanicals Pomegranate Superfood Regenerating Sleeping Mask

I’ve been wanting to try out this mask for a while now but somehow didn’t get round to it. So many masks, so little time. I’m not only happy that I finally got it but I am even more happy that Birchbox is perhaps starting to include products that are a little bit higher-end? Not just drugstore stuff? Maybe? We will see but good job Birchbox for this one!

This mask has some interesting ingredients but at the same time I can’t say that this is the best mask and that you should definitely buy it.

In terms of actual results, this mask felt nice on the skin, was absorbed quickly and my skin just felt hydrated the next day. That was pretty much it. If I had forgotten I used a mask I wouldn’t have noticed any visual differences. I know I always say that skincare takes months and you shouldn’t judge a product from a couple of uses but the reality is when you do a mask you are looking for something more than just feeling a little moisturised. I’m not disappointed, just underwhelmed. It feels like a mediocre mask.

It has a cream texture and it smells like…I guess pomegranate? It’s a faint and refreshing type of scent. The bottle is plastic of good quality and I even like the branding. I assume it’s a play on the Chemistry elements on the periodic table, with this one being a Po for Pomegranate. Geeky but I like it.

This is a travel size product (not full size Birchbox!) that retails for £14.90. The full size 20mL product comes in a tub and retails for £24. It’s not the most expensive mask in the world but this product lasts for only 3M. As much as I’d love to do a mask every other day to manage to use this up in the 3 month time frame, reality says I likely won’t manage and if I did I wouldn’t want to be using the same one all the time. The 3M feels a little low and limiting. SCORE = 7/10


Birchbox August 2018


Dirty Little Secret Eye Shadow Crayon in colour Gold Plated

As a VIP Birchbox subscriber I was able to choose which colour of this product I wanted and out of a pinky and gold one, I went for the gold one. I love pinks more than I love golds but when I was given the option to choose there were also 2 pictures of a lady wearing them both and I thought they were both barely visible. As a result, I went for the mold bold colour, gold, hoping that I will be able to do something with it.


I have to say Birchbox, those pictures did not do the product justice! The gold shadow at least is not boring at all. It won’t blind planes in the sky but it is still is a nice gold colour which looks great, especially in halo effects.

This shadow was very easy to use and it lasted all day without creasing (but bear in mind I always wear an eye shadow primer).

Dirty Little Secret Eye Shadow Crayon in colour Gold Plated 4_20180808140218842

The outer packaging of the product looks nice but it makes it look like a drugstore or teenager type of product. The actual packaging of the product is also acceptable, neither amazing looking but not bad either. The product comes out by twisting the back of the stick and that’s the worst part of it really because there you can see the cheapness of this product. The crayon comes out as the back twists without even touching it, just by picking up the crayon.

I am also not a fan of the brand name – Dirty Little Secret. Sure it sounds fun and we probably all have a few of those, but what does this have to do with makeup? Makeup should definetely not be your dirty little secret, everyone should use it as they like. (see post: Why do we use make up…and should we?) It again sounds like this product is targeting the younger audience. Gosh I feel old now (I’m in my 30s).

This is a full size product that retails for £10.50 which is a good price. This product doesn’t state how long it lasts for. SCORE = 7/10


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Clè Cosmetics Melting Lip Powder in colour Red Cherry

Well who knew that a powder can instantly turn into an actually good stain! Ok fine this is a very basic process that the ancients used to..but still I’m impressed. This product comes as a pink powder that turns into a stain as soon as you put it on your lips or work it into your skin. You can use it as a lip tint or a cheek blush or even an eye shadow probably!

I’ve only tried it out on the lips and it worked great. The colour was actually a lot more intense than what I would call a lip tint but the texture was like a tint and not like a lipstick. So perhaps think of it as a very pigmented tint or a lipstick with a tint texture.

Clè Cosmetics Melting Lip Powder in colour Red Cherry 3_20180808140729630

The colour is a gorgeous shade of hot pink and it lasts a while. It comes off in contact and when drinking or eating but it’s a tint and so that’s ok. You can always re-apply where necessary.

The product comes in a plastic tube with a wand applicator of standard quality. It’s a cute little product overall that has definitely captured my interest. It’s better than the Benefit tints! SCORE =8/10


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Philosophy purity 3-in-1 cleanser

I know I’m not the person to say this, as my posts are always long, but this product is just…too much writing! Even I wouldn’t design a product like that and I always have a lot to say. I must admit though that in a strange way I like the contrast of the black writing and black cap on the off-white bottle. Still too much writing though!

And then there’s the company name and branding, Purity which is defined at the front of the product as “purity is natural” in philosophy. I mean…it hurts me as a scientist. Purity is actually not that natural, nature is full of mixtures, unless perhaps they are referring to this in a philosophical sense that this product contains purity aka it will cleanse your face? Or perhaps this product contains pure ingredients? Just…doesn’t work for me as a Chemist, I’m sorry but it sounds like a lot of marketing to me.

Ignoring the painful branding though, the product works well. It cleaned a face full of makeup nicely. I had to go over the face twice to get it all off but that’s true for almost all cleansers out there. It didn’t leave any residues behind and it didn’t dry out the skin either. It has a lemon-like refreshing scent but it is very faint.

This product lasts for 24M which is an amazing amount of time. If you don’t use this product in 2 years you will never use it and it’s probably gone off anyways.

I will happily use this product up but you won’t catch me buying a full size of this…for purity reasons (see what I did there?). I like products with more pure branding – not convoluted complex meanings! SCORE = 7/10


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Rituals Happy Birthday Budha Foaming Shower Gel

If you ever tried any of the Rituals shower gels then you know what I’m going to say. If you haven’t tried them then brace yourself, they are very addictive. They are gorgeous!

They are more like a foam than the traditional gel texture but the foam is silky smooth, spreads easily and doesn’t leave any sticky residues behind. The skin is left soft and clean without feeling like all its natural oils have been striped out.

The packaging is made of metal and the design is simple but elegant. The bottles come with a pump that is very easy to use.

These shower gels come in different coloured bottles depending on the scent and unfortunately, I have to admit that this scent, Budha, is actually my least favorite one so far. It’s an awakening type of scent but it almost smells like a mixture of male deodorant with flowers and something cosmetic. It’s meant to be sweet orange and cedar wood but I think it sounds nicer than it is. It just didn’t do it for me.

Nevertheless, this line of shower gels is great. They contain no parabens or mineral oil and that’s about how much I can tell you about the ingredients as the writing at the back of the bottle is so long and squashed up that it’s giving me a headache to just by looking at it. SCORE = 8/10

Birchbox August 2018 2

Overall, I thought that this was a very good Birchbox indeed but I am concerned. Birhcbox does have really nice boxes every now and again but then a lot of “filler”, not as interesting ones in-between. I hope that’s not the case and the next one is interesting too.

Initial box score, in terms of products and first feelings = 8/10

Overall box score after product testing (average of product scores) = 7.4/10

Star product = Clè Cosmetics Melting Lip Powder in colour Red Cherry


To subscribe to Birchbox UK and get £5 off your first box click here.

Did you get this month’s Glossybox? 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 the: BirchboxGlossyboxLook FantasticCohorted and My Little Beauty Box 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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