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

This month’s Birchbox was a beautiful purple draw-like box with some soft coloured shape pattern. It’s definitely one of the most pretty Birchboxes and one that I’ll likely keep for a while. Love it when the box is pretty and you can utilise it too!

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The theme this month was “On top of your world”, as September is the month of new beginnings. Never heard of that before but I guess it makes sense, schools and Universities start now, the summer is over and autumn is here. Truth is though, you can have a new beginning whenever you want, don’t forget that!

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The September Birchbox contained 5 products as always, of which none were full size. Three could potentially be classed as travel size and 2 as sample size and this is typical of Birchbox. It’s very rare to get a full size product and a lot are often sample sizes. The products were, as seen in the picture, from left to right: a blush, an eye liner, an exfoliation treatment, a face cream and a hair spray.

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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!


Benefit Box O’ Powder in Galifornia

As a Birchbox VIP (=subscriber for more than 6 months) you got to choose last month which, out of two, shade of this blush you wanted. I went for the golden-pink colour but admittedly I feel a little disappointed as it just looks orange to me!

I definitely wouldn’t have described this colour as pink or golden in any way. I initially thought that Birchbox sent me the wrong one but the sticker at the back of the product says “sunny golden-pink blush” so it’s either correct or someone put the wrong product sticker on.

Anyhow, this blush works well and it has a pleasant subtle scent. Even though this is not the full size product, it’s still a decent size that will last for a while. I’d call this travel size even though strictly speaking it is a sample, as you cannot buy it as a travel size. The full size product retails for £25.50.

The blush is powdery but works easily into the skin and lasts for a while. I really didn’t find any negatives on this other than this isn’t the colour I expected. Strangely enough, I also really like the floral-meets-cream-meets powder scent. It makes you want to use it.

This product lasts for 12M. SCORE = 8/10


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Eyeko Skinny Liquid Liner

The Eyeko eyeliners must be some serious beauty-box hitters as I’ve been receiving them left right and centre. I’ve got pretty much every type now (the skinny one the fat one as they call it etc), all from beauty boxes! They are all very good eye liners at least, but funnily enough since I keep getting them from beauty boxes it means that I’ll never buy one myself!

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Nevertheless, this skinny eye liner is very good as well. It writes nicely thin and proper black and it doesn’t smudge. It dries quickly and lasts all day. The pen is very easy to use and it looks nice too.

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You can also control the thickness of the line by the angle you hold the liner. If you write with the tip straight down then you will get the thinnest possible line and the more you tilt it to the side, the thicker the line will become (see swatch picture). It’s a nice multi-use property that shows that this eye liner is not just for skinny lines.

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This is a travel size eye liner pen which lasts for 6M. The full size retails for £9 which is a very good price. SCORE = 8/10


Sand & Sky Australian Pink Clay Flash Perfection Exfoliating Treatment

This is a sample size product, it even says “sample not for resale” at the back of it which I’m sure it upsets many Birchbox subscribers out there. You pay for this box, granted not much, but still you don’t pay to get samples that you could have gotten for free from the brands themselves. It’s very disappointing and I believe it is the number one reason why people unsubscribe to Birchbox. I’m getting close to that point myself.

However, on the plus side this sample tube came with a seal and it is full which is something that is not the case all the time! The product is a grey cream which turns pink while you use it and contains black little exfoliating “seeds” which do not dissolve in water. It also has a light lemon-like, refreshing scent.

It works well and like any exfoliating products it cleanses your face and leaves the skin soft afterwards. While I don’t really have anything negative to say, I also didn’t feel particularly interested or excited by the product which means that I’ll likely use it up but not buy it, especially since the full size product retails for £34.90.

In all fairness though, it’s possible that a major part of my disinterest is due to the fact that I was disappointed straight away to find a sample size product. That’s both Birchbox and the brand’s fault really for not giving the product the best chance it has to shine. Birchbox or beauty companies if you are reading this, sample sizes in beauty boxes more often end in disappointment! I know because I’ve unboxed and tried beauty boxes and products from more than 100 boxes so far and I’ve also been reading user comments! Also, how can you know if you like something after 1-2 uses? Give us travel size products minimum please!

This exfoliator doesn’t specify how long it is meant to last for but it does say it is not tested on animals. It claims to mattify and invigorate but to be frank that’s almost true for any exfoliator or cleanser out there. Sadly, this is just a mediocre product for me. SCORE = 6/10


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Marcelle City 24H Anti-Pollution Day & Night Moisturising Emulsion

When creams claim to be “anti-pollution” what they often mean is that they contain anti-oxidants. However, if you invest your money in a good day or night cream, it will contain anti-oxidants anyway, without even claiming to be “anti-pollution”. As a result, strictly speaking, this is not a separate cream type that you need to squeeze into your skincare routine. Phew!

However, this cream feels nice on the skin and is absorbed quickly without leaving any sticky residues behind. It doesn’t smell of anything which is a positive, as fragrance doesn’t provide anything to your skin, it only makes you feel nice (which granted is not a bad trade-off but we’ve got makeup for that).

It contains some good ingredients but overall it is not the most nourishing cream you could get and since it doesn’t contain SPF, you will need to add that extra.

This product is fragrance and paraben free, hypoallergenic and non-comedogenic. It claims to protect from pollution for 24 hours and it lasts 12M. This product is a Birchbox exclusive and the full size retails for £23. SCORE = 7/10


Beauty Protector Protect and Volume

This little travel size hair spray is meant to give your hair some volume but also protect it from heat styling. It feels weightless and doesn’t leave any sticky residues behind. It has a strong hair-product-meets-floral-meets-spray smell that is actually fairly pleasant and feminine and it lasts for a while. It reminded me a little of dry shampoo smells. It smells “soft”.

It gave my thick hair a little bit of volume, but not too much, which I was surprised about as my hair tends to “find volume everywhere”, especially when it sees water or water containing products. However, I thought this was a positive as this is a product that everyone could use for a little volume, not only for those who are looking for bigger impact looks. It just looks natural which is great.

This product is vegan and paraben free. The full size retails for £21.50. SCORE = 7/10


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Overall, I love the design of the box and the purple colour. It contained the perfect ratio of makeup to skincare to haircare, but unfortunately the presence of smaller samples or product sizes really brought this box down.

Initial box score, in terms of products and first feelings = 7/10

Overall box score after product testing (average of product scores) = 7.2/10

Star product = Eyeko Skinny Liquid Liner

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


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 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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2 responses to Beauty Product Discovery – Birchbox Beauty Box September 2018 – Unboxing and Product Reviews

  1. zakeeyak says: there’s some very interesting information in there regarding Benefit boxed blushes and the full size Vs minis, especially in relation to the shade issue. I’d go to a benefit counter and swatch a full size Galafornia….
    Also, out of curiosity, have you ever unsubscribed from a beauty box? Would love to know which one and why!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks i’ll check it out. I have unsuscribed from health and fitness boxes not, yet from beauty boxes but I was actually *spoiler alert* going to ask my readers which boxes they prefer to read about as i am thinking of covering only 2-3 and increasing the in-depth reviews/ingredient posts. Must admit Birchbox is number 1 on my chopping block but I want to see what others like to read about first.

      Liked by 1 person

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