Saturday, 17 September 2016

September Beauty Boxes - Birchbox vs Glossybox.

You might remember that last month I shared my first impressions of my August beauty boxes in a battle to the death, and I thought I should probably do it again now that it's September! As I said before, I'm usually most impressed with Birchbox, but last month my favourite was Glossybox. Who will it be this month?


As usual my Birchbox arrived first, and I dug straight in. Again it's less of a box this month and more of a drawer. I really like the design though, and I'll probably keep it in my room for future use! Apparently the theme this month is 'Heroes', so I assumed the products were some must-have faves. What did I get?

ModelCo Highlighting Trio, RRP £17, full size sample.
Occasionally as a beauty box subscriber, you get to choose what sample you'd like. This month it was a choice between this highlighting trio and a creme rouge for lips and cheeks. I feel like I have a lot of those 2-in-1 products and I rarely use them, so this trio of highlighters was a better shout. I like cream highlighters and I like the variety of colours in this, but it seems quite expensive - you can get a Sleek highlighting palette with much more product for just a tenner. I'll use it but I wouldn't repurchase.

amika Bombshell Blowout Spray, RRP £14.99, sample size worth £1.87 (29.6ml).
I feel quite 'meh' about this. It's another one of those 'styling/smoothing/volumizing/texturising' products that's probably going to do next to nothing for my thick, heavy hair. Sea Buckthorn is meant to be one of those miracle products though so maybe it'll be a real Hair Hero (see what I did there) but I don't hold out much hope.

Jane Iredale Smooth Affair Facial Primer & Brightener, RRP £36, sample size worth £5.04 (7ml).
I tried a bit of this on my hand and good golly it's thick. It feels much more like a moisturiser than the primers I use but it smells really nice and felt nice and soft on my skin. I can imagine that this probably does work quite well on fine lines and pores as it claims, and I'm sure it's slight tackiness helps with make up application. I am looking forward to giving this a go.

NUXE Prodigieux Shower Oil, RRP £10, sample size worth £1.50 (30ml).
I can't get past the smell of this, I hate it. It smells like my granny's bathroom and it just isn't for me at all. Also perhaps it's just me but I dont get the point of something that's meant to clean you having a shimmer to it?

Polaar The Genuine Lapland Cream, RRP from £15, sample size worth from £5.48 (25ml).
Again I'm not blown away. It's a hydrating cream which is fine, I do get dry skin so no doubt I'll use it. I just don't think it's very exciting. I also think that it would've been more appropriate in a winter box than what's essentially the end of summer.

Total box value: £30.89 Total box price: £12.95 (£10 + £2.95 p&p)

I'm disappointed again! I just don't think this captures the essence of Autumn for me, which is what I'd have liked to see in a September beauty box. I am getting a bit bored of generic creams in tubes being thrust (ooer) at me quite this often. Couldn't they have gone for a berry lip colour or something?


I wanted to start by mentioning the eyeshadow palette. As you may remember from last month I received an eyeshadow palette I thought I'd chosen. During August I received an email and turns out I didn't choose that one at all (who knew, not me lol) so the babes at GB included the shade I did pick with this month's box! Look how pretty! It's a full size MUA product worth £4 which is an absolute bargain.
After my Birchbox I wasn't expecting much from the rest of this Glossybox. GB had teamed up with Red magazine for this month's box, hence the bright red box design. Let's see what was inside...

The Body Shop Himalayan Charcoal Purifying Glow Mask, RRP £15, sample size worth £1 (5ml).
I can't for the life of me work out if I was meant to get this - it's not mentioned on the card, I can't even see this item on the Glossybox website, but I'm not complaining. I love face masks and I know how good charcoal is at giving a deep cleanse, so I'm excited to try this. I also think the price is fairly reasonable so if it's good I'd quite likely repurchase. I do really enjoy The Body Shop products, so this will be nice for a pamper evening.

Vitamasques Hydro Face Mask, RRP £7.99, full size sample.
As you may have guessed I tend to use the kind of face masks you paste all over your mug, and I've actually never tried a sheet mask. However it's promising me 120 hours of hydration which I can get on board with. I really enjoy anything that feels like it's really pampering and luxurious so I'll give this a shot for sure. Probably wouldn't repurchase though as I have a lot of masks as it is!

Rodial Smokey Eye Pen, RRP £17, full size sample.
I don't really get why this is called a pen when it's a kohl pencil, or what in the world justifies that price tag, but I am sure I'll use this. I tried it on my hand and it glides very smoothly and is a really deep black. But ­£17 is extortionate, there are loads of high street options that work just as well.

The Organic Pharmacy Antioxidant Lip Balm, RRP £12, full size sample.
I know it's not the point but nothing nips my head more than an expensive product in boring, cheap looking packaging. If you want to try and charge me over a tenner for something that a 99p tin of Vaseline could probably do (minus the antioxidants to be fair) then I expect it to look a little bit classier. Again though, it's a basic item that I'll probably chuck into my handbag.

Revlon Gel Envy Diamond Top Coat, RRP £7.99, full size sample.
At first glance I thought this was going to be like a silver version of those black cracked nail polishes that were really popular last year, but no, this is a humble top coat. For someone who absolutely detests doing their nails, I do it fairly regularly, so I've tried this on one nail and I really like it. It claims to have Diamond Flex Technology (???) which helps to stop your nails chipping. I did notice it was a bit thicker, more of a gel formula, than most top coats I've tried, but dries really quickly. It's also got a really subtle but pretty hint of shimmer in it. I like it a lot.

Too Faced Better Than Sex Mascara, RRP £19, sample size worth £11.40 (4.8g).
I'm so impressed with this as a sample - this is the kind of high end product I was promised by both these beauty boxes in the beginning. The sample is over half the size of a full size product too, so it's not like you're getting a stingy amount. I've wanted to try this mascara for ages and I'm so pleased it's in my Glossybox. 

Total box value: £57.38 (£61.38 if you include the eyeshadow palette) Total box price: £13.25 (£10 + £3.25 p&p)

I liked this box, it seemed packed full of bits that I'll definitely get use out of. Not every product was my favourite, but overall it felt like good value for money - who can complain about four full size items?!

The Winner

Clearly it's Glossybox. I can't even pretend. When I look at the photos of the two boxes it just is clear to me that Glossybox delivered so much more this month, even if you take away the eyeshadow palette (which, actually, they didn't have to give me at all). In terms of design I prefer the Birchbox, it's just a little bit more thoughtful, but the products inside are disappointing. I'm still confused by this - for months I've considered cancelling Glossybox because I thought it was that poor. The fact it's outperforming Birchbox is so strange! Birchbox - you're on your last warning! October is my birthday month too, so you better try harder next time...

Did you get either of these boxes? What were your thoughts on what I got?



  1. Thanks for your comment!

    Just the kind of post I was looking for! I was debating about ordering the Birchbox this morning and I decided against it and I'm glad I did. I received the August Glossybox last month and I am waiting for my September box, and I am SO excited. I love everything about Glossybox! Great review :)

    Em x

    1. Birchbox does have its strengths, like the fact it's point system means you can get things from their shop, but the boxes lately have been really disappointing. Glossybox has really stepped it up a notch - hope you enjoy your box when it arrives! Xx

  2. Better than sex is my favorite mascara ever so far - such a good sample size! :)

    Lovely post, Beth!xx


  3. The Glossybox definitely won there! I used to love Birchbox but sometimes felt I had loads of fancy little samples I would never use. Glossybox has so many more useable things, I've heard good things about the Hydro Face mask but didn't realise it was £7.99!! xx

    Tamz |

  4. I always prefer Glossybox - completely agree! Great post :)


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