February Birchbox

‘Shine bright like a diamond’

Welcome back! This week’s blog is about the Birchbox beauty box, which is a monthly beauty box that you can subscribe to and they send out full size and sample size goodies to you. I love things like this because you don’t know what you’re going to get each month and it’s a bit like Christmas when it finally arrives!

The first thing I noticed was that this box always arrives right at the beginning of the month which is great cos I’m impatient and want everything 2 minutes ago! lol

The goodies come in a cute little box with a lid which, every month has a different theme and this month’s is diamonds and is probably my favourite, it’s really clean and simple, with a quote from Rihanna’s No. 1 song Diamonds, ‘Shine bright like a diamond’ love her, and love the box! 

Inside you get a bag with all the goodies hidden inside and a little booklet with a description of all the products that are inside, how to use them, the retail prices and some other fun facts and info for you.

Normally you get an email and get to pick the packaging style you want to receive but this month was a little different, and we got to choose the colour of the FULL SIZE LOC shadow stick! So let’s start with that one.

So excited…….

LOC One and Done Shadow stick

Ok so this is the shadow stick, I chose the Perfect Cents shade which is the golden one, the other choice was Champagne Problems (I love that name) which is the pink one. This retails for £8 and this is a full-size item. The booklet says to apply and blend in with your fingertips (the website says to blend within 30 seconds – sounds promising that this is gonna last the day) or use as a bold liner and don’t blend.

This is so soft and smooth to apply. It doesn’t drag across the skin at all. The swatch on the left is just the shadow, no blending, the swatch on the right is with blending, you can see once blended, you don’t lose any of the colour payoff. I also waited 30 seconds and tried to blend the one on the left, and it didn’t budge! I think I’m gonna love this eyeshadow stick! Creamy shadows can crease on my lids so I’ll test that out and update you.

UPDATE: This did crease when I used it with no primer but lasted much longer when used over primer and setting powder (even when I cried - my boyfriend made a really sweet video of us on Valentine's day!)

Derm Eyes Makeup Remover Wipes

So far, really happy! Next item I pull out of the bag (oooh it’s like a lucky dip!) is a sachet containing a makeup remover wipe by Derm Eyes. The booklet says these are hypoallergenic, and perfect for sensitive peepers. Made with a super soft fabric to cleanse and hydrate the eye area. This sounds good, I do find makeup wipes to drag across my eyes as I’m rubbing so hard to get the eye makeup off. I will test this out on a day I’ve got the whole shebang going on with liner, mascara primer, shadow, fix plus and will update you guys. Have to say I’m quite excited to try this out, though. This retails at £9.50; it doesn’t say if that is for one or a pack, I hope that’s for a pack! Will find out and add that to my update!

UPDATE: These were very soft on my eyes, softer than regular wipes. Very moist, smells of essential oils but a bit mustier. I don’t get on with wipes as I have sensitive skin and always get a slight burning feeling after I’ve used them. I did have a bit of that with this one, but it was much nicer around the eyes than the others I’ve used. So it gets points for that, but at £9.50 for a pack of 12 wipes, I’m gonna stick with my cotton pads and liquid removers, nothing personal to this brand, these wipes are the best I’ve tried so far, but wipes just aren't for me.

Spectrum Collections Brush

Next out the bag is this super pretty tapered powder brush. It’s got a baby pink handle and a black ferrule (metal bit that hold the bristles together) and blue to purple ombre bristles! So so pretty, I don’t own any brushes like this so I LOVE it, the bristles are super soft too. The tapered head is a really nice small size, so would be perfect for highlighting and I think this would also make a great contour brush, even setting the under eye due to how soft it is. Oooh I don’t know what to use this for first!

This retails at £7.99 and is a full-size product.

UPDATE: I tried this brush as a contour brush, highlighter and also an under eye setting brush. Firstly as the contour brush, because of the small size and the tapered tip this gave a really nice contour line, it was pretty sharp, I was worried that the softness of the bristles would make it difficult to blend the contour line out, but you just have to press the bristles really hard into the skin and blend and it blends out beautifully, because the bristles are so soft, it actually feels quite nice pressing it that hard lol

Next as a highlight brush, also really good, I currently use the Real Techniques setting brush for my highlight which I really like as it’s small but the Spectrum brush is so good to apply highlight with, I like a lot of highlight I put it everywhere, so the fact this brush is bigger made it better, for me anyway, it gives a nice light application that you can build up.

Lastly, as a setting brush, I currently use the Sigma F35 highlight brush (yes I use the setting brush for my highlight and the highlight brush as a setting brush! Lol – the Real Techniques brush is too firm and the bristles poke me so can’t use it under my eye!) Anyway, the F35 has now been made redundant, as this Spectrum brush is now, my under eye setting brush! I love it! The F35 is a little pointier and a bit skinnier, and I liked it, but whenever I used it I was always thinking that something was missing from it, but I wasn't sure what. Now I can tell you, I like the softness of the Spectrum brush because I like to press the setting powder in and really get it in there and this brush is so good

for that and I like the fact it’s a bit wider and fluffier, It’s SO FLUFFY! (love that little girl from Despicable Me!)

Verdict: I highly recommend Spectrum brushes. I will 100% be purchasing more of these. Already eyeing up the Under Cover B03 brush :) Plus they are so cheap! Seriously, go try this brand.

No. 4 Lumiere d’hiver Super Comb Prep & Protect Spray

Next is the Prep & Protect spray. One thing I like about Birchbox, is that they have brands that not everyone has heard of. So it’s good to try out new brands and give them a go. I’m really excited about trying this as I had a sachet sample of their reconstructing Masque before and loved it so much I bought the full-size one. I know I like this brand so very happy to see another one of their products in this month’s box. This is supposed to strengthen and repair tired strands, and detangles and tames flyaways too. Sounds too good to be true! With no sulphates or parabens. So you gotta spray this through towel dried hair and comb through, easy. Just washed my hair a couple hours ago so will need to update you on how well this bad boy works. Stay tuned! This retails at £20 so you’ve probably guessed this kiddie isn’t full size.

UPDATE: I used this after washing my hair with no conditioner and I have to say it made my hair easier to comb and once dried left it looking really healthy and soft, it even had a slight shine (my hair never looks shiny since going blonde!)

Ayres Body Butter

Next is a body butter by Ayres, mine was Patagonia. Yes! I love body butter’s. I have hundreds around my house! Patagonia is with essential oils Jasmine and Rosemary, along with ylanh ylang and fir. Jasmine is my absolute favourite smell, let’s give it a good ole sniff…it definitely smells of essential oils I can smell more of the Rosemary than the Jasmine which is a shame, but still smells really good (if you like essentials oils anyway, which I do!) It looks really thick in the pot but it’s not too bad, it’s definitely not as thick as the Body Shop Body butters. It feels a little greasy on my hands after applying it but not on my arm where I applied it. The smell isn’t over-powering at all which I was worried about when I read about the essential oils. It’s actually very subtle, which I’m pleased about. I get quite dry elbows and this has softened them up already. I’m quite liking this. The booklet says this sinks in fast and it really does. It contains shea butter, Vitamin E and antioxidants to soften and hydrate. Ok just tested the areas I applied this to and it already feels like there’s no layer of cream on the skin, so it does sink in fast! This retails at £19.50 so this isn’t full size, but you get a good 28g (1oz) pot, so great to throw in your handbag!

Only Fingers + Toes Nail Polish

Last thing in the bag is a full-size nail polish by Only Fingers + Toes, mine is in a bright pink with tiny silver glittery sparkles. And is called Tickle, cute, I like the name. This retails at £16 and is full size, so that’s great! The booklet says to apply a base coat and then 2 layers. I didn’t apply a base coat cos I’m lazy and that’s in the other room! So 1st layer on, and it’s a bright colour but quite sheer, so definitely need another layer. I keep getting a hint of a flowery scent but I think that might be from the body butter! Lol You can see the little glittery sparkles throughout on my nails, which is good, it gives the colour a bit of depth which I like. Ok second layer on and this looks gorgeous. There’s nothing special about the brush shape, but this goes on really well and dries with a really good shine to it and the sparkles really set the colour off. I like this polish a lot.

So overall I’m really pleased with this month’s beauty box from Birchbox. The monthly subscription is £10 + £2.95 postage per month so a total of £12.95. Now with all the full-size items on their own you’ve already gotten £31.99 worth of products, plus the sample sized items, so you get lots for your money. Also, if you add your own reviews to products on Birchbox’s site, you can earn points which you can then take off your shopping if you want to shop on their site. I just recently knocked £10 off of my No. 4 Reconstructing Masque I was telling you about earlier, and thank the Lord I did cos that stuff was expensive!

Thank you for reading, and I’ll see you in my next blog.

PS, you might be interested to know this was written in my famous unicorn onesie ;) lol