Sunday, 1 October 2017

Birchbox September 2017.

birchbox september 2017

Okay, I know that it's technically now October and that this is clearly very out of date, but I just did a review of the September Glossybox, and it felt really weird not doing one for Birchbox too. So if you could just humour me this time, I'd appreciate it.

birchbox september 2017
birchbox september 2017
birchbox september 2017

This month's Birchbox is a collaboration with the gorgeous homeware brand Oliver Bonas, and I bloody love the box design they've created. It's cute and colourful and has the theme of 'work hard, play hard & be kind'. I love this, it's such a lovely little motto that reminds me of what is actually important. The box also came with these stickers which I've already plastered onto my notebooks. Following this theme, this month's products have been picked as they are supposedly hard workers. What did I make of them?

Polaar IcyMagic Instant Eye Contour Energiser

Polaar IcyMagic Instant Eye Contour Energiser | RRP £22 (30ml) | full-size sample.

I've had quite a few Polaar products in beauty boxes, and when I first saw this I thought it was another bloody multipurpose moisturiser. Thankfully, it isn't (obviously) but I just don't really get this product.
For a start, and this might just be my sample, but this shit hurts. I tend to prefer an under-eye mask or an eye cream if I feel that my eyes are looking particularly tired, but I've tried roll-on products before that were much more gentle than this. The ball itself doesn't seem to move very easily so I feel like it's dragging and pulling at the skin and it is far from soothing.
When I first got it I tried it on my hand to see if that would loosen the ball but I noticed something else - it's sparkly. I suppose this is what it means by the claim that it is 'brightening' but it feels a bit of a cop-out. 
Even though I can't seem to get most of it out of the tube, the actual formula does feel quite nice. It's cooling on application and isn't sticky or heavy. I just think the design of the packaging is flawed which is such a shame.
★★☆☆☆

Dr. PawPaw Original Clear Balm

Dr. PawPaw Original Clear Balm | RRP £6.95 (25ml) | sample size worth £2.78 (10ml).

So I was pleased to be wrong about the Polaar product being a boring balm, until I saw this. I got this exact product in my May Glossybox - I wasn't very impressed with it then, and I am even less impressed with it now.
Don't get me wrong, if you are actually looking for balm that can add moisture to any part of your body (or apparently even your hair) then this is a fairly good one. However, beauty boxes tend to use these kinds of balms ALL THE FUCKING TIME as filler items. This is not the treat I signed up for in any way and I'm so bored of receiving them. 
I don't use these anywhere except my lips as the consistency is way too thick and would just sit on my skin. The concept of putting this anywhere near my hair horrifies me. So essentially it is just an expensive tube of Vaseline.
Also, come on Birchbox - at least Glossybox gave us a full-sized sample. This miniature version is insulting.
★★☆☆☆

Manna Kadar 3-in-1 Blush, Highlighter, Eyeshadow in Fantasy
Manna Kadar 3-in-1 Blush, Highlighter, Eyeshadow in Fantasy

Manna Kadar 3-in-1 Blush, Highlighter, Eyeshadow in Fantasy | RRP £15 | full-size sample.

Again, this is a brand that has featured in a few of my recent beauty boxes and so far I've been really impressed with their products. This is another to add to my growing collection!
As you can tell, this versatile product can be used on your cheeks, your eyelids, and even on your brow bone or cupid's bow. It's a gorgeous peachy-gold shade with lots of shimmer (although I keep seeing it described as champagne pink which I'd disagree with).
This product is super buttery and soft to the touch, blends out amazingly well and stays put for ages which is ideal. I use this mainly on my eyelids as it's a little bit dark to be just a highlighter for me, but it's also beautiful as a shimmery blusher.
I'm really impressed with this and with the Manna Kadar brand in general, definitely worth checking out if you haven't!
★★★★☆



Rouge Bunny Rouge Bronzing Glow Liquid in As If It Were Summer Still... | RRP £51 (50ml) | sample size worth £5.10 (5ml).

I don't usually tend to use bronzing products as with my pale and red skin a glowing tan can look completely out of place. However I gave this a shot in the interests of fairness.
Firstly I mixed it with moisturiser to give my face a glow. Erm... I'm sure lots of people could pull this off, but I cannot. While it feels very light and soft, I just looked like I hadn't washed my face for a month. 
I tried a little bit mixed with body lotion on my legs and I much preferred this, although again this is not something I'd usually bother with. My favourite use for this was as a cream eyeshadow colour, as it was about the only place that I could pull off this colour. 
I do think if you weren't fluctuating between a milk bottle and a tomato like me, this is a lovely product. It feels hydrating and the glow isn't too outrageous. It's just a shame the colour isn't for me. However, even if it was my shade I'd find it incredibly hard to justify the price tag. It doesn't do anything unbelievable, so it's an extremely expensive option. But it was lovely to try out a higher end brand.
★★★½

Chirp Body Softnest Hair Mask

Chirp Body Softnest Hair Mask | RRP £17.95 (100ml) | sample size worth £3.59 (20ml).

I completely rolled my eyes upon spotting this. I don't have the best of luck with hair products in general, and I thought that this would be yet another hair mask that promised the world and did very little.
Thankfully, I was wrong. This mask is absolutely packed full of pure oils: coconut, grape, castor, olive, argan, jojoba, avocado, grapefruit, bergamot, lemon, tea tree and ylang ylang. These oils are so good for helping to hydrate and nourish, and worked an absolute treat on my dry hair.
I do have to say that I only really used this on the ends of my hair as the sample was just too small to cover my fairly long and very thick hair, but the results were still excellent. My hair felt much softer, smelt amazing, and actually looked healthier.
I was really impressed with this, and if my hair was shorter or thinner I'd probably buy the full-size. However, I feel like I'd only get 2-3 uses out of it (rather than the 5 they claim) and it's just a bit too expensive at that price. My quest to find the perfect hair product continues...
★★★★☆

Total Box Worth: £48.47
Total Box Price: £12.95 (£10 + £2.95 p&p)
Overall Rating: ★★★☆☆

birchbox september 2017

So, another Birchbox unboxed - and what a shimmery box it was. I'm so, so disappointed about the Polaar eye roll-on. I really wanted it to work as I am very much into skincare lately, but the fact it actually hurts to use is so upsetting. Couple that with yet another multipurpose balm and I was really not that impressed with this box at first glance. Luckily the Manna Kadar 3-in-1 and the hair mask really performed well for me and saved this box from being truly awful. Compared to this month's Glossybox though, it was a little disappointing!

What products from this Birchbox would you be keen to try, and which would you avoid?
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