Birchbox UK: October 2016

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It’s Birchbox time again! The months seem to be going by quicker and quicker this year, which is kind of scary, but also exciting (Christmas!!!). Birchbox were a little more inventive with the box this month, with the theme What’s Your Sign? – all based around astrology. While I believe that astrology is total BS, the boxes this month are all really cute, with one for each element: Earth, Air, Fire and Water, and each element corresponds to three of the star signs – being a Gemini, I fell into the Air category.

The box is a pretty shade of dark purple, with a galaxy-type look and little stars all over (turns out the stars GLOW IN THE DARK, which I got a little too excited about). The box has a drawer format, like last month, so it’s another handy one for keeps.

Looking at the previews for this box, I was totally pumped about some of the possible products – with things like the Eve Lom cleanser and Oribe Dry Texturising Spray touted. However, I didn’t receive either of those, but there are still some fairly good bits and pieces that I’ll be putting to use.

Rituals – The Ritual of Sakura Magic Touch Body Cream

Rituals is a great brand, with loads of luxurious-smelling bath and shower treats. Their “Ritual of Sakura” range is fairly new, and while I’ve tried various bits from the brand, I haven’t had anything from this cherry-blossom inspired range yet.

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Upon opening the box, I was hit with a waft of the gorgeous scent from this body cream – the smell is gentle and floral, but also exotic and not too sweet. The body cream itself has a divine texture, feeling thick and luxurious on the skin, but absorbing quickly. I used it on my legs after shaving, and they felt soft and nourished without being sticky or greasy. I’d love to try more items from this range, although at £19.50 for the full size tub, I might stick to more budget-friendly moisturising options.

Whish Renewing Mud Mask

Whish is another brand that Birchbox seem to favour/partner with – I’ve received one of their body butters in a previous box (it was lovely, but the sample was a bit small). This time, the item is a mud mask for facial use.

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The instructions on the packaging liken this product to a facial peel, which struck me as a little extreme. With other mud masks, I like to leave them on for as long as possible, until they basically dry and crack off my face (attractive, I know).

Following the instructions, I applied a thin layer of this to my face and left it on for a few minutes – it stung a little, but didn’t irritate my skin (however, if you have sensitive or dry skin this might cause more of a reaction). After washing/scrubbing it off – it has little exfoliating particles – my face felt a little tighter, but not drastically different. I think I’ll be staying committed to the other, thicker mud masks in my life, like the new one from L’Oreal (also £29 for 60ml is sadly not in my budget range).

Number 4 Fluoro5 Elixer Restore & Repair Oil

Birchbox do like to stick to certain brands, don’t they? I’ve had several haircare items from Number 4, all of which were fairly OK although I didn’t really use them.

This time, a teensy little bottle of hair oil was included. I’ve always liked the idea of hair oil, but the fact that my roots can get greasy easily is a little off-putting. I decided to try this anyway, and to my surprise, I’ve really been enjoying it!

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The oil is colourless, and has an almost vanilla-like scent. Number 4 advise that you only need a tiny pea-sized amount, and to apply it to wet hair, and then again when hair is dry. The texture felt non-greasy and silky in my hands, and was easy to apply and spread on the ends of my hair. It made a really nice difference to how my hair looked and felt, bringing out the shine and vibrancy (the label says this is good for coloured hair, and although I’ve never dyed mine I can see how it would boost the colour). I’m definitely a hair oil convert now, and will consider repurchasing this despite the high-end price.

Doux Me Pure Spring Mist

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I don’t really  get water sprays – I suppose they’re handy for cooling down in the summer, but as cosmetic products they don’t seem to do much. Everyone raves about the spray from Avene (which I saw in every pharmacy on my holiday to France this year), but at least that one is cheaper than this mist from Doux Me (what a brand name)…

I’ve had one other sample from this brand, which was a face scrub/mask hybrid that I really enjoyed. however, this spray was disappointing – it doesn’t set your makeup (it does reduce the powdery-ness, but so does my oily skin), and it kind of goes everywhere. The best use for this is for dampening sponges and brushes, but splashing your Beauty Blender under the tap will have the same effect.

Overall, I think this is just overpriced water in a can –£16 for 100ml is ridiculous, and if you want to try something similar, I’d go for the Avene Eau Thermale spray (a less painful £7 for 150ml).

Lord & Berry 20100 Maxi Matte Crayon Lipstick in Intimacy

Aha! Finally some makeup! One thing Birchbox is brilliant for is discovering new brands, and having never tried anything from Lord & Berry, I was excited to find this lip crayon in the box.

Crayon or pencil-format lip products are some of my favourite – they’re simple to apply and it’s easier to get a more precise edge thanks to the pointy tip. This super-matte crayon came in the shade Intimacy, a perfect pinky-brown-nude shade for autumn (think MAC Mehr) that will flatter all skin tones and look super on-trend.

The pencil formula itself doesn’t glide on – it’s quite hard, although this does make it more difficult to mess up. I’d advise using a lip scrub and some balm before going in with this, especially if you are prone to dry lips. However, it is fantastically long-wearing and doesn’t budge even when you eat. I’ll be getting plenty of use out of it and would definitely purchase some of the other shades – at £12 each, they’re not too high-end either.

Birchbox Eyebrow Brush

This was a totally random thing to find – a rather cheap-looking eyebrow brush/comb/tool. I prefer spoolies for my brows, so this was fairly pointless and I’m not really sure why it was included. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

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I couldn’t even get a good photo of this

Overall, I didn’t completely love this box, but I didn’t hate it either. I’ve started a subscription to Glossybox (keep your eyes peeled for a review), so perhaps this is the start of a foray into the wider world of subscription boxes…

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