My First Birchbox Review (May 2016)

Okay guys, I know I am super late with this. As you may have seen in this post, I decided to start up a couple of subscription boxes with Birchbox and GlossyBox in order for me to try some new products out there.

I actually received this box the same day I wrote up my first GlossyBox review, but I’m only just getting around to writing this now. The reason why I received the May box so late is because I ordered at the end of May, by which time everybody had already received it. As with Glossy, Birchbox also had a special edition box in May which I missed out on, presumably because it was sold out. But I will still talk through what I did receive and the way in which it was packaged.

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My box arrived by courier. It was inside a cardboard packaging box and I paid £10 + £2.95 which I think is pretty good. As I said with Glossy, if you get products you will use the boxes will pay for themselves because the price of the products always outweighs the price you pay for the subscription.

This is the May “For the Dreamers” edition, although as already mentioned, I didn’t get the special edition box.

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Birchbox, like Glossy, comes packaged in cardboard, but with a sturdy box inside. Birxhboxes are smaller than Glossy and look more modern in design, in my opinion. They are a brighter pink and come with a booklet of the products, as opposed to a leaflet.

With Glossy, your products are like opening a present: wrapped inside tissues paper and ribbon and on a bed of shredded tissue. With this particular Glossy box, my products were in the box inside a lovely little drawstring bag:

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I thought this was a nice little touch, and I am all about reusable stuff, so the fact that I’ve got a little bag I can use for travel or popping in my handbag is really cool to me.
Opening a Glossybox is like opening a present. This doesn’t give you that same feeling, but it’s still exciting.

So onto the products:

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Spectrum Collections Unicorn Tears Blending Sponge in Lilac (RRP £4.99)

This was, I think, the product that people were most excited about this box. Blending sponges are still very much in and have changed the way that people apply makeup (it certainly did for me), the two biggest brands being Beauty Blender and Real Techniques.
Spectrum is a company I’ve had my eye on for about a year, as they are vegan and do the most beautiful brush sets which I have been coveting.
The sponge was actually a bit smaller and stiffer than I expected it to be, however once it has been dampened it grows considerably and softens. It does not seem as porous to me as my Real Techniques sponge, and does feel much stiffer to use on my face. I actually don’t have any commentary on whether this is better or worse, just an observation. One of the things I do like about my Real Techniques sponge is the flattened end, but I have easily adapted to the full teardrop shape of this one.
I have been using it this week and I think it is as good as Real Techniques, however I’ve never used a Beauty Blender. The only difficulty I’ve found with it (potentially because it is not super porous) is that I wasn’t easily able to clean it. Maybe I need a new technique for doing this. But for the price of the sponge and the way it performs, I would definitely order it again in the future.

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Parlor by Jeff Chastain Moisturising and Repairing Shampoo (RRP £16)

This wasn’t a brand that I had heard of before. The booklet states that “it smells of the brand’s signature scent – ripe peach and freshly-cut grass”, however I haven’t opened it to smell it yet as I’m gonna take it on holiday next Saturday.
I’m hoping this one is moisturising as I have very dry hair. I received shampoo with my GlossyBox last week, and I haven’t been impressed in its use at all, so hopefully this one will do me a bit better.

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The Balm Cosmetics Stainiac Lip and Cheek Tint (RRP £10)

I haven’t used a lip and cheek tint since I was in high school and BeneTint was all the rage, so this makes this product quite exciting to me!
I haven’t used The Balm products before, however I have been keeping an eye on them for a while now as I love the fun packaging and ideas behind their products, such as How ‘Bout Them Apples? or Nude Dude. 
This stain actually looks like it has a jelly-like consistency in the tube, however it applies very light smooth. It has a lovely light raspberry colour and dries very quickly. It would be great under a light colour gloss just to highlight the lips even more. The one day I tried it it stayed put for a long time and I actually didn’t notice it wear off, though it did eventually. That’s good because it means it didn’t dry my lips out, or go patchy or flaky like you would find with a lipstick. It just is a really nice long-lasting tint. It has a doe foot applicator and because of the consistency you wouldn’t be able to drip it everywhere and stain things, which is a very real problem with Benetint, and it is also much cheaper.

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Vasanti Brighten Up! Enzymatic Face Rejuvenator (RRP £26)

Okay, I’m a little bit sad writing this one. I wasn’t struck by this product at all when I pulled it out of my little Birchbox bag, however I took it with me into the bath just to give it a go, and then I was hooked. This is a microdermabrasion cleanser, but it is incredibly gentle and smells amazing. The reason why I’m a little sad is because of that little RRP tag up there. That’s a lot more than I usually spend on a product, but this is definitely one of those rare things I find that’s worth that kind of price.
I have adult acne and very dry, sensitive skin, however I used this with no problems whatsoever, and after my very first use my skin felt much smoother and lovely. I’ve used it about 3 times now since I received the box and my face does actually feel much better. It may be entirely coincidental but I haven’t had any major new outbreaks since using it. I’ll continue to use this until this sample runs out, and I will definitely consider purchasing it if I continue seeing results.
Not bad at all for a company I hadn’t heard of before.

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Benefit Specialist Dream Screen Facial Sunscreen SPF 45 (RRP £25)

It’s nice to see a facial sunscreen with an SPF so high. Usually makeup and other products for the face provide a low SPF at around 20, but that just isn’t high enough for someone as pale as me. This will be great for me as the weather in my part of the UK has been reaching 25 degrees C for the past week.
I’m actually really bad and don’t use sunscreen on my face very much unless I’m on holiday, and it’s just simple because I hate the feel on sunscreen, particularly on my face. So maybe I’ll be good this summer and be able to use a sunscreen with a high spf with an application that won’t make my makeup slide off. I also love the look of the packaging of these products on the website, with the cork like tops and mint green bottles.

Overall Birchbox May Review:

I thought this was a fantastic box. The products I received were I think overall smaller than the ones I had gotten in my Glossybox, however I felt they were of higher quality.
Of the products I received, I will be keeping and using them all, which I wasn’t able to do with my Glossyboxes, so maybe that’s the biggest difference in the subscriptions. For now, I will be continuing my Birchbox subscription, and look forward to what they have coming up in the future.

K xo


  1. I’ve wanted to try one of these boxes for ages but i’ve been so scared that they would be a waste of money – but you have proved me wrong! Your blog is right up my street, hopefully mine is up yours too – – remember to follow me! Bella x

    Liked by 1 person

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