Thursday, 26 March 2015

What's inside my Birchbox this month?

So yes - I went a bit mental with subscription boxes this month [well, I say mental - I only subscribed to two. But in all fairness, that is wild for me these days.] You may have read here about my experiences with the YouBeauty Discovery Box last week ... so how did my experience with BirchBox compare?


First things first, let's talk deets for anyone who perhaps isn't knowledgeable about the wonders of BirchBox - after all, I wasn't until a week or so ago!

What is BirchBox?

It's a monthly subscription box, where you sign up to receive five personalised beauty samples through the post every month; giving you a chance to try cult brands, up-and-coming lines and everything in between. You fill in a beauty profile so that BirchBox can get an idea of what you're into and tailor what they pop in your box each month from there. You get little lifestyle / beauty / inspo cards in your box and can [optionally] choose to opt into their newsletter for tips, tutorials, ideas, inspo and all things beauty / lifestyle.

It's £10 a month [on the price plan I'm on, but you can purchase a longer subscription to lower your monthly costs] + £2.95 for shipping. They had an offer on this month for free shipping so obv I made the most of that, meaning that the following products cost me £10, delivered to my door.

By reviewing products, making purchases or recommending a friend you can also rack up Birchbox Points to spend in their online shop on full size products and the massive selection of just about everything that they sell - so what's not to like?



This month BirchBox had an exclusive partnership with Habitat; as you can see in the design of the box above. This means that they popped some discount codes for purchases at Habitat across to me too; which I've had to ignore as I can't even cope with how much I'd buy if I wasn't sensible / so brassic.

Anyway - another massive TICK in the box for BirchBox is that you can opt to have your delivery sent via Royal Mail. You may or may not have noticed if you follow me on Twitter that I have a LOT of beef with Yodel. Like, a LOT. Which was a problem I had when I was both ordering and receiving my YouBeauty box. As soon as I order something and I see a notification which reads 'Yodel have your parcel and it's out for delivery' ... it's pretty much game over. There's a great account on Twitter here, actually, called @yodelHELL which provided me with an outlet for my courier rage and plenty of lols at the same time last week - check them out.

Now onto the exciting stuff - 

This month's box

As well as being in partnership with Habitat, this month's box - to celebrate the release of Benefit's 'Roller Lash Mascara'- allowed new subscribers to pick one of three Benefit mascara samples as part of your box! You had a choice from 'BadGal', 'Roller Lash' or 'They're Real!' and I decided to go with 'Roller Lash', what with it being the newest choice and the masses of great stuff I'd already read about it.




In amongst a few leaflets and offers - and snuggled within a sheet of blue tissue paper - were the following seven mini products.





Benefit Rollerlash Mascara Sample

So, here it is. The mascara I have read about 23234 blog posts on in the past couple of days alone. This little beaut is Benefit's 'Super curling and lifting mascara. 97% said it visibly lifts lashes, 87% said gives long lasting curl, 94% said makes eyes look more wide open.'

And with claims like that, my wispy lashes and all the massively positive press I've seen of this product through other blogs - how could I not choose this sample? I used to use Benefit's 'They're Real' mascara a few years ago and was impressed, before it went AWOL in a drunken 3am toilet episode. One of those 'I can take my best mascara out with me because I won't get that smashed or be out too late...' kinda nights. I haven't even tried this yet - but I'll be sure to report back if I love it.


Mini Birchbox / Habitat Notebook

So, how cute is this? I HEART stationary and I'm ALWAYS making lists, so this super cute little notebook is perfect for me. Pop it in your handbag and you'll never be caught short or forget your plans again.



Three Whishes Body Butter Sample, Lavender

Whilst the inner grammar nazi in me is disheartened by the spelling of 'whish' here, I have to say guys. This little sample has made my life. My first impressions of it weren't great, I'll be honest; I associate lavender with elderly people and scent bags to keep moths at bay. But that changed as soon as popped the lid off. It's just dreamy. It smells like a mix of lavender, baby powder and vanilla. Like, I'm going to have to buy this full size because I can't stop sniffing it. It applies really nicely too; not too heavy or greasy at all. It claims to moisturise, firm and purify and it's made from naturally sourced, organic ingredients; not at all tested on animals. I never thought for a second that this would be the case, but this product has made the box for me.



Catherine Malandrino Eau de Parfum Vaporisateur Natural Spray Sample

So, before I begin here - I am shite at describing perfumes, wines or my feelings. When it comes to fragrances, I can't pick out individual notes or describe using words and not noises how a perfume smells. All I'll say is that I REALLY like this perfume. Like, I'm considering buying it full size. THAT level of like. It smells like a mix of Alien, the purple YSL perfume, the Lipsy - Love perfume and Lee Stafford hair products. And because it smells like all those different fragrances, it reminds me of all different phases and people in my life who I associate this smell with - and it's dead nice. It's like a perfume of nostalgia for me. And despite the fact I try and act 'ard, I'm a bit of a soft lad really.



Lord& Berry #1001 Black Silk Kohl Liner Sample

This little eyeliner is just so cute I can't even. I love the minimal design of the packaging and the font; it looks really clean and contemporary. And the size of this little beaut is ideal for popping in your purse or clutch for a night out. It's the size where you can zip it into a small internal clutch pocket to keep it safe, rather than trusting it to stay safe in the general mish mash of your bag. It's that perfect size where it won't epically shoot out across the ladies loos - never to be seen again - when you're hammered and touching your face up in the mirror at 3am. I have lost so, so much makeup to this fate. 



Philip Kingsley Elasticizer  Sample

So, it's a good job I read the label before actually using this, because I thought this was some kind of moisturiser until very recently! In fact, it's a pre-shampoo, super-conditioning treatment for your hair. Basically, you wet your hair before you shampoo it and pop this on for 10-20 minutes before washing. It doesn't smell like anything at all and it has the consistency and look of a moisturiser. Which it is, I guess! A moisturiser for the hair. My locks have definitely become a bit [well... let's not lie... a LOT] dry and damaged so I will be interested to see if I feel any difference for using this sample.



Chapter Sample - Penny Vincenzi 'A Perfect Heritage'

I thought this was quite a cool idea - something I definitely didn't expect when I subscribed. This chapter sample is from the No1 Bestselling novel 'A Perfect Heritage', in partnership with BirchBox. I'll definitely give it a read - with it only being a sample, I can take it to read in the bath without living in fear I'll get it all soapy and it will be ruined like I do with books! I'll post again if I love it.

If you like it, you can also buy the full version at BirchBox, which is cool.

//

Rounding things up, I have really enjoyed my first ever experience with BirchBox. Although the products are all sample sized [and as of next month I'll have to pay for shipping *sadface*] I really enjoyed the selection I was sent. This is the first time I've ever been sent samples and thought 'MUST. BUY. MORE.' And to cause me to develop these feelings - me, the most skinflint, miserable old hag going - is pretty much a miracle. Well played, BirchBox!

I thought the box itself is really fab and great to store odd trinkets in. It was nice to unwrap, gave me a little 'IT's CHRISTMAS DAY!!!!" euphoria as I unwrapped all its content and also it's allowed me to sample products I hadn't heard of - and never would have had the chance to try otherwise. And,  of course, a sample of the coveted Roller Lash Mascara - which I am dead excited to try out and probably would never have otherwise ended up buying, regardless of all the positive reviews I've seen of it.

I will definitely be keeping up my subscription, provided I continue to keep bankruptcy at bay.

If you fancy signing up, purchasing any of the products I've reviewed or simply finding out more, you can do so  here.

What did you get in this month's BirchBox? What was your favourite sample? I'd love to hear your thoughts and your experiences.

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