Wednesday, 27 April 2016

April Birchbox with Rifle Paper Co.

Regular readers of my blog probably already know that I love a good subscription box. I’ve tried a fair few in my time, from Graze to My Little Box and from Crown and Glory Glitterati to A Beautiful Mess Happy Mail. Recently I decided to end my Happy Mail subscription and try something different. After a bit of research, I selected Birchbox as my next monthly surprise and quickly signed myself up. I was actually just in time to receive the March box, but it wasn’t in the design that everyone else got so I decided not to put it on my blog, and instead start with my April box.

This month, Birchbox teamed up with US cult stationery and lifestyle brand, Rifle Paper Co. We were given the option of choosing one of two box designs beforehand, so I went for this beautiful floral design. There was also the option to pay a little more and receive two notebooks from the brand, but I was very restrained and reminded myself that my notebook collection is getting to be slightly ridiculous!

For anyone that hasn’t heard of Birchbox before, it’s a monthly beauty subscription service. Each box usually consists of five beauty treats from a range of both well-known and emerging brands, and occasionally there is a lifestyle item thrown in too. As well as the monthly beauty box, the website also consists of a shop where you can purchase all the brands that have been featured in their boxes. Every time you shop, you earn 10% of your final total back in Birchbox points, and when you have 100 points; you’ve got £10 to spend! Subscribers also get free delivery on orders over £35, or when you buy any of that month’s beauty treats in full-size.

When I first signed up to Birchbox, I wasn’t quite sure what to expect, but had heard great things about it so had high expectations. If I’m honest, I wasn’t bowled over by this month’s box. It was OK; don’t get me wrong I will definitely be trying out the products, but I just didn’t feel very wowed by the contents.

Kueshi Foot Care Cream – Full size RRP £12

First up in this box was a product from a brand I haven’t heard of before, Kueshi Foot Care Cream. This is a nourishing lotion enriched with sweet almond oil and royal jelly to soothe and soften your feet. It also contains tea tree oil to calm and relieve them, and sinks in quickly for instantly happy feet. I’ve never really used products specifically for my feet before and don’t tend to pay them much attention really. But with summer coming up (supposedly!) it’s probably a good idea for me to start showing them some TLC, so I will give this a try to see if it makes any difference to them.

Balance Me Tinted Wonder Eye Cream - Full size RRP £20

This cream has a dual-purpose formula that not only brightens and conceals dark circles, but gets to work beneath the surface too. It hydrates, plumps, firms and battles signs of ageing – a true multi-tasker! Ingredients include cucumber seed and rosehip oils, which brighten, soothe and hydrate the sensitive skin around our eyes, while arctic cloudberry seed extract packs an anti-ageing punch of antioxidants and vitamin E. It comes in a universal shade containing light-reflecting particles, which brighten and conceal dark circles no matter how many hours sleep you’ve had the night before. I’m actually quite looking forward to using this product, as I have so much trouble with dark circles and would love to find something that helps. I really like the Balance Me products that I’ve tried so far, so have high hopes for this one.

Beaver Professional Hydro Nutritive Repairing Shampoo and Conditioner – Full size RRP from £11.50

This was another new brand to me and I’m not normally particularly adventurous when it comes to hair care. These gentle formulas are set to be your best bet when it comes to reviving tired strands. Both products are packed with moisturising ingredients, like avocado oil and aloe vera, to cleanse your hair from root to tip without compromising on hydration. The shampoo repairs and rebuilds hair, leaving it smoother, softer and shinier, while the conditioner deeply nourishes and strengthens dry, frizzy, or damaged hair, leaving it softer, smoother and healthier looking. I’m definitely up for trying anything that says it will leave my hair looking healthy and shiny, but it’s a shame the conditioner came in such a small sachet, as there’s no way that will be enough for my long locks!

Benefit BADgal Lash Mascara – Full size RRP £17.50

Benefit BADgal Lash boasts a famously big, bodacious wand that has been specially designed to coat each and every lash. The ultra-black formula adds a super dark, sultry colour to eyes while ensuring that your lashes are as full, thick, and voluminous as possible. Now, I’m a big fan of Benefit mascaras (and Benefit in general!) but I was a little disappointed not to have ‘Dew the Hoola’ in my box. Sure, I will use this mascara and I do love the effect it gives me, but it would have been nice to try something new and different.

The last item in the box was this eyeliner, and again, this is a new brand for me. A creative force to be reckoned with in the fashion world, designer Cynthia Rowley has since turned her hand to beauty for her Birchbox-exclusive make-up line. This creamy pencil rivals the best of them thanks to its velvety-smooth finish, smudge-proof formula, and long-lasting results. They come in on-trend shades like rose gold and silver, as well as the classic black. I haven’t really been using eyeliner much recently, but perhaps this will encourage me to get back into it. I’m loving the idea of rose gold eyeliner, so might just have to put in a little order!

Overall I’m kind of split when it comes to this box. I absolutely love the box itself and am now very tempted to check out the Rifle Paper Co. website (not that I need any more stationery!) To be fair though, the box did come with an exclusive 25% off voucher code, so I feel I can justify doing a bit of shopping. It definitely brings the spring vibes with it and was a lovely parcel to receive on a gloomy April afternoon. There is a good range of skincare, make-up and hair care products from both big brands and some less well known, which gives you a bit of variety. It’s also nice that you get at least one full-sized product, although some of the sample sizes (I’m looking at you conditioner) are pretty useless for someone with long hair.

I’m not totally convinced by Birchbox yet, but there are parts of it that I really like so I’m sticking with it for the time being to see how things go. I’m looking forward to seeing what next month brings!

Are you a Birchbox subscriber, and if so what do you think of it? Or are there other subscription boxes that you’d recommend? I’m always interested to try new ones, beauty or otherwise.

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  1. There are SOOO many subscription boxes now its hard to know which ones to choose! I've bought any myself but have been bought them as presents and I always find they are a bit hit or miss, although I hear good things about the Pink Box one.

    Leah x

    1. I know what you mean Leah - there are just so many to wade through! I totally agree though, in general they do seem to be very hit and miss. Interestingly I've been thinking about the Pink Box one for a while now, so if Birchbox doesn't work out I think that's probably the one I'll try next! xx