Thursday, 3 March 2016

BIRCHBOX : The Beauty Subscription Box That Had Me Return

I started with Feelunique, followed that with Glossybox and I finished with Birchbox. That was my beauty subscription box story... until now!

Back when I was subscribing to all the above I had to make a choice. Were my beauty box subscriptions actually worth the money I was spending on them. In fairness, the products always cost more than the subscription but I found I wasted so much product, I gave the majority away to friends and family after deeming them unsuitable for me. After a while it seemed silly to keep paying out money for samples and products I simply wasn't using. Made more sense at that stage to treat myself to one or two full size products from my wish list instead.

Then Birchbox teamed up with Spectrum Brushes and the game changed.

Birchbox, The Beauty Subscription Box that had me return, Beauty subscription box

And so I returned to Birchbox. I'd been toying with the idea of a return for a while, I'd missed the little box full of surprises popping through my postbox every month like a little gift to myself.

February's Birchbox had one seriously fantastic highlight so it was a welcome return. I was excited!

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Birchbox, review, beauty blog, NI blog, Irish Blog, review blog

And so I re-subscribed and the wait began... Delivery did take longer than I had anticipated but it arrived in one piece and I couldn't wait to get stuck in.

In the February Birchbox:
- Spectrum Collections Tapered Powder Brush (full size) RRP £7.99
- LOC One and Done Shadow Stick (shade perfect cents) (full size) RRP £8
- Only Fingers + Toes Nail Polish (shade Azure) (full size) RRP £16
- Number 4 Lumiere d'Hiver Super Comb Prep & Protect RRP £20
- Pommade Divine Nature's Remedy Balm RRP £19.80

Beauty Bonus
- L. Erickson Grab & Go Ponytail Holder RRP £11.50 (for a set of 15)

OFAT nail polish, nail polish for spring, Birchbox, beauty subscription boxes

I can safely say there aren't many products I would invest in outside of this box regarding the brands involved. A few seem hideously over priced for the full size versions (for what they are) and I wasn't hugely in love with the contents of this box. The Azure nail polish is not my kind of shade whatsoever, I wish they'd included an option to choose a shade (if it's not red or black I find it hard to raise any interest), I'm not hugely into shadow sticks though it was nice to see Birchbox's first in-house brand, LOC, it's just not a product I'm excited by. I don't particularly like to see hair products in a beauty box, simply because everyone has their own hair type and I can be a little fussy about what I use in mine. The Pommade Divine sounds great though and seems to be already making waves being heralded as a hero product so I look forward to giving it a go. Lastly, a go go? Really? You can call it a ponytail holder as much as you like... it's a go go. A big, thick, grey go go that I just do NOT get the point of if I'm being honest. I'm particular about hair bobbles / go go's / ponytail holders. Some can be wrapped around 3 times when I'm tying my hair up and some only make it 2 times. This L. Erickson makes it round my ponytail 3 times but it's still a little loose. It's also hideously unsightly in my ginger hair (I usually stick to black elastic go go's) so this wasn't for me at all and it did leave me scratching my head a little. Such a weird product to include...

The shining star? The reason for my return to Birchbox? The saving grace of the whole box?

Spectrum collections makeup brushes, review, Birchbox, The Style Guide Blog

The (full size) Spectrum Collections Tapered Powder Brush! I was SO excited when I saw this popping up in unboxing videos and had been wanting to get my hands on some makeup brushes from Spectrum for a while now so really this just seemed like fate, right!?

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Can we just...

Isn't it GORGEOUS!?

Better than that, it's fantastic to use as well. Extraordinarily soft yet firm at the same time. It's a brilliant sized powder brush for setting underneath the eyes and contouring, a real multi use brush. The only problem is now I really, really, want to add to my lonely Spectrum brush. Must. Have. More.

In all seriousness, if it hadn't been for the brush, I would have been left with a bit of a bitter taste in my mouth after this box landed. I have seen the variations that others received and I have to admit to having a little envy. I'm sat here looking at the contents of my February Birchbox and I'm disappointed. There's maybe one other product, aside from the awesome Spectrum brush, that I'll maybe use and that's the pommade. The rest? Well... I bet my sister will be happy with her next care package...

I've decided to hang in there with Birchbox though. Bet you weren't expecting that! I find it takes a few months to adjust to beauty sub boxes so I'll be fair and let my subscription carry on for a little while longer. It's on the line though and I doubt it'll take many more pointless products (for me) to cancel. For now though I'm delighted with my new makeup brush and it was nice to get a little surprise through the post, even though it's a surprise you pay for yourself!

If you were considering a return to Birchbox or perhaps you've not yet tried the subscription beauty box, I'd recommend giving it a month or two and see how it goes. It's not hideously expensive to sub to and, luckily, I have a special code you can use, this will give you £5 to spend in the Birchbox store against any of their products (I'll pop it down at the bottom of this post). And for all my Irish readers, Birchbox now SHIP TO IRELAND! YAY! I have heard of some delays in getting the boxes to Irish subscribers but I'm putting that down to teething issues as they've just launched in Ireland this year, worth keeping in mind.

Subscribe to Birchbox here

Where do you stand on beauty subscription boxes?

(If you'd like a sneaky peek of the March Birchbox, keep an eye on my Snapchat: seraemily as I'll be doing an unboxing when it lands!)
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