Birchbox

Birchbox August 2014

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This month’s Birchbox theme is Away We Go, celebrating everything that makes summer getaways magical, whether you’re counting down to a fun-packed fortnight away from home or day-tripping your weekends away.  Whatever your holiday plans may be Birchbox have your travel essentials sorted in this very handy travel toiletry bag.  The toiletry bag is cute, I love how they have replaced the drawstring bag for this month with this handy bag.  It has three cute blue, yellow and green ice lollies on one side, it is just ideal for putting in your hand luggage or popping into your beachbag.  The only problem I find with it is that it keeps opening, the seal isn’t very strong when you close it.

Birchbox is £10 + £2.95 P&P a month, or you can subscribe for 6 or 12 months, which would save some money.  But I prefer not being tied into a subscription and being able to cancel at any time.  Each month you receive approximately 5 beauty samples and an added lifestyle product, and they all come in a handy drawstring bag.  You also receive Birchbox points for each box you receive, and then if you fill in surveys for each product you have been sent you get more points.  100 Birchbox points are worth £10 to spend in the e-store, which is probably one of the best parts of being subscribed to this beauty box.

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Number 4 – Super Comb Prep & Protect

This is a 30ml sample worth £3, full size is 200ml for £20.  This is a leave-in conditioning spray which detangles and protects against heat and sun damage.  It is always handy to take a leave-in conditioner away with you on holiday, especially if you are in the sun all day.  I always need something to protect my hair from drying out in the sun to stop it drying out.  This comes in a handy travel sized bottle with a spray nozzle which makes it easy to use.  You spray this onto damp hair before drying and styling.  I also find these handy to use when I come out of the sea, as I find the sea water dries my hair out and if you can’t wash it straight away while you are on the beach, then this can be handy to help prevent it from drying out.

birchbox nude progenius

Nude – Progenius Omega Treatment Oil

This is a 5ml sample worth £9.66, full size is 30ml for £58.  This is a nourishing oil which is rich in omegas 3, 6, 7 and 9 and helps hydrate, nourish and smooth skin.  Simply warm 2-3 drops in your hand and apply to your face after cleansing and before moisturising, or before applying foundation for a smoother application.  Use this product daily to increase your skin’s natural radiance.  This makes my skin feel nice and soft and absorbs in nicely, but I should hope so for a product with this price tag!  Don’t think I will be spending that much on the full sized product.

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Vasanti – BrightenUp! Enzymatic Face Rejuvenator

This is a 20g sample worth £4.33, full size is 120ml for £26.  This is a multi-action exfoliator which ensures a renewed and refreshed complexion.  Brightens with powerful papaya enzymes to give radiance, exfoliates with dermatologist grade micro-crystals and gently cleanses with aloe vera, coconut and panthenol.  The papaya enzymes break down dead cells while evening out your skin tone.  This is definitely a product I will be using before and while I am on holiday to keep my skin looking fresh and radiant.  To use this exfoliator use 3-5 times a week, wet skin and apply a pea sized amount of the product over your face and massage in, the rinse off with warm water.

 Birchbox supergoop cc cream Birchbox supergoop cc cream

Supergoop! Daily Correct SPF 35 CC Cream

If you got this in your Birchbox then you got two mini 3ml samples.  So the total 6ml is worth £4, full size is 47ml for £32.  This seems a bit expensive for a CC cream to me, especially when in America this seems to be $32, so I don’t know if Birchbox has just got their prices wrong, but I can not check as I can’t find anywhere in the UK that sells it.  I got the colour light to medium and I think this will work for me quite well, it blends easily and doesn’t leave my skin feeling dry.  I just wish that this was a larger sample as I don’t think two 3ml tubes is going to last me very long, or be enough for me to trial sufficiently to make a decision on whether I would buy the full size product.  It is a natural shade adjusting CC cream with SPF, it helps to smooth fine lines and even out skin tone, so this makes it ideal for a variety of skin tones.

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Wild About Beauty – Creme Eyeshadow – Matilda

This is Full Size and is worth £13.  This is a long lasting, satin finish shadow from Louise Redknapp and Kim Jacob’s paraben free range.  You can apply this with your finger tips or a brush and blend, I tend to prefer using my finger tips to apply creme eyeshadow and then blending with a brush.  You can also use this over powder shadow for a more intense finish.  When I first opened this I thought it would be too dark for me, but when you apply it and blend it it looks like a nice dark bronzey brown and it also has a subtle shimmer to it.  I love the colour and it would look really nice used for a smokey eye.  It feels very nice and light when applied to the eyelid, and you can build the colour up nicely.  You can tell this is a high quality creme shadow and I love the mirror which is in the lid.  The packaging feels like a high end product, I am so glad I get to add this to my make-up collection.

Birchbox august 2014

Lifestyle Extra – The Proposal by Tasmina Perry

This is a bit of a different lifestyle extra for a beauty box, it is one chapter of the book ‘The Proposal’ by Tasmina Perry, the full book is available at the Birchbox store for £7.99.  This is a spellbinding and romantic novel, which spans 1950s London and present day NYC.  This isn’t really the type of book I would normal read, I prefer crime, thriller and horror books, but I will probably give it a try as it is only one chapter.  I can see how it is a good idea, and gives you a taster to see if it is something you would be interested in reading.  I can not value this though, as it is a bit hard to value a book that has one chapter.

Overall I am actually quite happy with this month’s box.  I love the handy toiletry bag included in this box, it will be great for when I go on holiday next month.  This month’s box was worth £33.99 (excluding the book sample), this is more than my box was worth last month.  I will use everything in my box so nothing will go to waste, which is always good.

If you want to subscribe to Birchbox and give them a try, you can do so by clicking HERE.

You can also get your first Birchbox for £10 (free shipping) by entering the code NEW14, so why not give it a try.

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Birchbox July 2014

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This months Birchbox is all to do with the Summer.  Its theme is Sun Sea & Sand.  So it is packed with samples which are ideal for the warmer weather and for taking away on holiday.  They are decent travel sizes, which is great if you have a holiday booked.  There is a variety of skincare, make-up, body and hair care products, and a lifestyle product as well.  So there is a good variety of products in this months box.

Birchbox is £10 + £2.95 P&P a month, or you can subscribe for 6 or 12 months, which would save some money.  But I prefer not being tied into a subscription and being able to cancel at any time.  Each month you receive approximately 5 beauty samples and an added lifestyle product, and they all come in a handy drawstring bag.  You also receive Birchbox points for each box you receive, and then if you fill in surveys for each product you have been sent you get more points.  100 Birchbox points are worth £10 to spend in the e-store, which is probably one of the best parts of being subscribed to this beauty box.

weleda shampoo

Weleda – Millet  Nourishing Shampoo

This is a none lathering shampoo, so this maybe a little weird the first time I try this one out, as I do like my shampoo to produce a good lather!  I received an 18ml sample worth 85p.  The full sized product is 190ml for £8.95.  The full sized product is not too expensive.  What I like about this product is the fact that is it a natural organic shampoo, so this is also suitable for anyone who is vegan.  This is designed for normal hair, and it helps prevent hair from drying out whilst keeping it supple.

This shampoo is sweet and vibrant, with extract of grapefruit and peppermint, layered with mild, woody amyris. With macadamia nut oil to add a caring, lightly conditioning element, this shampoo is ideal for all the family.

balance me eye cream

Balance Me – Wonder Eye Cream

This is a sample size 7ml worth £9.33, full size is 15ml for £20.  So this is quite a decent sample size.  This eye cream is a triple action cream, which helps to soothe, brighten and lift.  It is meant to help reduce the dark circles around the eyes and help keep wrinkles at bay.  Couldn’t really ask for me, something I should definitely start using more of.  It is a light weight formula, and it feels very fresh when you apply it.  You only need a very small amount as a little definitely goes a long way.  I do own eye creams, but I always tend to forget to use them.  But with the years passing by it is probably something I should start using regularly.

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Whish – Three Whishes Lavender Body Butter

This is a 22ml sample which is worth £2.16.  Full size is 150ml for £14.50.  This is quite a light weight body butter and it absorbs very easily.  It doesn’t have a very strong lavender scent, it is more sweet and is relaxing at the same time.  It is an antioxidant-rich lotion, which moisturises, firms and purifies all in one.  It contains organic shea butter, organic raspberry butter, organic aloe, organic seaweed extract and organic rice bran oil.  It is also paraben and sulfate free, and it is also not tested on animals.  So there are definitely some good points to this body lotion.  I do tend to use body oils rather than lotions, but this is a nice lotion to use and it is a handy size to take away on holiday.  Think I’ll need more holidays to use all the samples I own! 🙂

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Gilchrist & Soames – English Spa Sea Kelp Extract Mineral Bath

This is a 40ml sample size worth £1.90. Full size in 236ml for £11.25.  This gel contains marine nutrient sea kelp to invigorate the skin.  The good thing about this product is that it maybe used to create a foamy bath, but you can also just use is as a shower gel.  So even if you don’t have a bath, or you prefer showers, then this item can still be used.  It is paraben and phthalate free.  It has a nice fresh and not overpowering scent, and will be nice to use when I want to treat myself to a relaxing bath.

lip lube swatch laqa & co

Laqa & Co – Sheer Lip Lube Pencil in Bees Knees

This is a 2g sample worth £7.57.  Full size is 3.7g for £14.  You either received this colour or you got a purple colour.  I was hoping to get this one, but once I actually tried it I wished it was just a little bit darker, as it is just a little bit too light for my skin tone.  It is a very nourishing lip pencil, and it is glossier than I expected it to be.  It is very easy to you, and very handy to just pop in to your bag so you can grab it when needed.  When you apply the pencil it has a kind of minty scent, so it is slightly cooling to your lips.  This is great for the summer weather.  This colour Bees Knees is a nice coral colour, and is an ideal colour for the summer, just unfortunately not quite the right colour for me.

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Ultra Dex – Oral Spray

This is a Full Sized product 9ml worth £3.65. It is an oral mouth spray in mint flavour, and there is 130 sprays worth of product, so it should last a while.  It eliminates odour and is anti-bacterial to help prevent tooth decay, gum disease and plaque.  It says you only need one spray and you really do, I sprayed it twice the first time and it was quite strong!  It says it delivers 12 hours of freshness, but I guess that would all depend on if you eat etc.  I was a bit unsure on whether I was happy about getting this in a beauty box, but it is a handy thing to pop into your handbag.  I don’t currently own a fresh breath oral spray so I guess getting one isn’t really going to hurt.  Who knows, it may come in handy one day.

So overall my box this month was worth £25.46, again not bad considering I pay £10 + £2.95 p+p.  I am quite happy with this months box, there is nothing I dislike.  The only thing I would really change if I could would be the colour of the lip pencil, but they can’t always send things that will suit everyone.  I will just have to get used to the colour.  I would definitely recommend Birchbox, I have been very happy with the products I have been receiving recently.

If you are interested in signing up to Birchbox you can do so HERE.  You will also receive £5 worth of points to spend in their shop.

If you want to purchase any of these products from Birchbox you can do so by clicking below.

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Birchbox April 2014

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I must say I do love this time of the month, where I receive all my beauty boxes.  BIRCHBOX arrived very quickly this month, and was surprisingly a lot heavier when it arrived, so that got me very excited.  Also they have changed the other packaging, instead of the inner box being in a bigger box, there is just a cardboard wrap around the actually box its self now.  So that makes it a lot easier for recycling. I explained how Birchbox works in my previous Birchbox post, you can check that out HERE.  It costs £10 + £2.95 p&p a month and you receive approximately 5 samples and also a lifestyle sample.  I also received an email off them as I have been subscribed for 6 months now, so I got 20% off purchases from the online store.  Which was great, and meant I could purchase the English Laundry Perfume.

It was fantastic to see a lot larger samples in this months box, I have been a bit disappointed with a few of my boxes and I also found the sample sizes to be ridiculously small, especially compared to other monthly beauty boxes.  So hopefully they have taken this on board and this is a start of whats to come.  This months theme is ‘Good enough to eat’.

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Tommyguns – Pomegranate & Orange Flower Shampoo

I was made up to see this full sized product in the box.  I received a conditioner from the same brand a couple of months ago, Fig, Plum and Marshmallow Conditioner, which smells amazing and I love the conditioner.  So it was nice to receive a shampoo to accompany the conditioner I already own, even though it is a different scent.  This is full size 250ml and is worth £5.50.  It is a daily shampoo and it is suitable for all hair types.  Its is a gentle shampoo which is why it is suitable for daily use, it gently cleanses your hair.  It smells fantastic, just as i expected it to.  I have used it a couple of times, it is very light and not thick at all. My hair feels very clean after using it and not covered with product, like some shampoos make it feel. It is a great shampoo and I will definitely get more when I run out.

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Color Club – Gala’s Gems Nail Polish in ‘Breakfast At..’

This nail polish comes in a set of four for £15, we got one which has a value of £3.75.  We got to pick what colour nail poilsh we wanted to receive a few weeks before we received our box.  I chose the colour ‘Breakfast At..’ which is described as an emerald pearl colour, and it also has a striking resemblance to a certain iconic jewellery box.  I must say I wasn’t very excited about the idea of receiving nail polish, as it is just something I don’t really use that often.  I prefer Gel polishes.  I did  like being able to choose the colour though, as that meant there was more of a chance I would actually use it.  So when it arrived I thought I would try it out to see what the colour was like.  The first thing I noticed was that it was very quick drying, which meant that I didn’t have to wait for ages to carry on doing my day to day things.  So this was a massive bonus! Also I absolutely loved the colour, I don’t actually own a nail polish like this at all.  One reason I am not a fan of nail polish is that I find it tends to chip within 24hrs!  Well this does not chip! I am amazed! I have finally found a nail polish I like!  It has finally started to look a little bit shabby on my nails, but it has been several days, so for me this product is definitely a winner for me.  I’m not sure how much I will use it, but seeing how fab it is I know I will definitely use it again!

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One Love Organics – Skin Savior Waterless Beauty Balm

Now this little tub I received is just magic! This is 15ml in size and is worth £11.54, full size in 39ml and is £30.  It is a waterless beauty balm, and it has so many uses! It can be used as a cleanser, moisturiser and can also as a custom treatment foundation.  It has a very nice orange scent, and I love it.  It is organic, and not tested on animals, and is made of plant based ingredients.  To use this balm as a cleanser, you need to warm some balm in the palms of your hands, and then gently apply to your face and massage in using circular movements.  Then with a cloth and warm water wipe off.  If you want to use is as a moisturiser, use a small amount and apply to the area you want moisturised.  You only need a small amount for this.  The other use this balm has is it can be mixed with your favourite mineral powder to create a custom foundation, which helps moisturise your skin at the same time! Which I think is fantastic!  You can even use this balm to tame any flyaway hair as well! This balm has so many uses, and i’m sure people will come up with many more uses as well.  I am very glad I received this sample as I get the chance to try such a versatile product, which has that many uses that everyone will be able to use it for something.  My skin feels so soft after using this product and smells amazing.

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The Balm – How ‘Bout Them Apples? Cheek and Lip Cream

This is a very cute little sample from The Balm Cosmetics, it is a sample of one of the colours from their cheek and lip cream palette.  It is worth £4.33 (if i’m correct) as it is one sample out of the six, full size is worth £26.  Firstly I love the packaging, it comes in the style of a little book, and it is very cheeky packaging with topless men next to each picture of the colours available.  I received a sample of the colour Pie, so apple pie.  Every name of the colours has something to do with apples.  The colour is great, it’s like a pinky red.  This is not a product I tend to use a lot of though, but it does work well.  It is easy to apply and blend, and doesn’t dry your skin out.  It isn’t something I would buy the full sized product of, but it is something nice to have and try none the less.

2014-04-14 17.10.37Lord & Berry – Silk Kajal Kohl Eyeliner Pencil

This is a 0.6g sample worth £1.50.  The full size is 4g worth £10.  This is not the first time I have received an eyeliner from Birchbox, but thankfully for me I use eyeliner everyday!  I tend to prefer liquid and felt tip eyeliners though, but this is still handy to use, and ideal to pop into your bag and take with you when you go out.  This eyeliner is like many other eyeliners, it is a nice colour and is easy to apply.  But I tend to find liquid eyeliners and longer lasting for me.  I will definitely get use out of this product, but it is not my favourite eyeliner I have received from Birchbox.

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Propercorn – Fiery Worcester Sauce & Sun Dried Tomato

With this months theme being ‘good enough to eat’ I guess it only made sense that you actually received something that you actually could eat! A full size bag of this is worth 90p, but as I have already munched my way through this pack and thrown the wrapper away, I can’t remember what sample size I received, so it was probably worth around 40p.  I was very intrigued by what these would taste like, and I found out a lot spicier than I was expecting! I don’t think I could have eaten a bigger bag of this though, but it was tasty.

So the overall box worth this month was £27.02, Birchbox price is £10 + £2.95 p+p.  Again it is very much value for money.  I am a lot happier with this month’s box and I can’t wait to see what we get next month, and whether they have large samples again.

If you are interested in signing up to Birchbox you can do so HERE.  You will also receive £5 worth of points to spend in their shop.

If you want to purchase any of these products from Birchbox you can do so by clicking below.

BIRCHBOX

Birchbox March 2014

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 This is one of the first beauty boxes I tried.  I have been getting BIRCHBOX for about six months now, and this box was the start of my addiction to getting these beauties sent to me in the post.  When you sign up to Birchbox you fill out a beauty profile, which they are meant to use to base what products you get given in your box.  I’m not sure how much they actually go by what you fill in, as I have been given several products which are too light for my skin even though I have stated my skin tone.  Also it appears that everyone gets nearly the same products, with maybe one or two being slightly different.  With Birchbox you don’t know what products you will be receiving each month, as it is kept as a surprise.  I quite like that about this box, but I also like other boxes where you get more of a decision as to what you will receive, such as Love Me Beauty and You Beauty Discovery.

Birchbox is £10 + £2.95 P&P a month, or you can subscribe for 6 or 12 months, which would save some money.  But I prefer not being tied into a subscription and being able to cancel at any time.  Each month you receive approximately 5 beauty samples and an added lifestyle product, and they all come in a handy drawstring bag.  You also receive Birchbox points for each box you receive, and then if you fill in surveys for each product you have been sent you get more points.  100 Birchbox points are worth £10 to spend in the e-store, which is probably one of the best parts of being subscribed to this beauty box.  I already have a lot of points saved up and I can’t wait to spend them on some luxury full size products.  Right well that is the box explained, so before I go on too much I will get on with reviewing this months box.

This month Birchbox collaborated with British brand, Lulu Guiness.  So this month the box had a funky stripy sleve over it, also some products were picked by Lulu herself.  But I must confess I haven’t actually heard of Lulu Guiness until now.

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Benefit – Stay Don’t Stray  

This first sample from Benefit is 2.5ml in size, which may seem very small but as you don’t need to use a lot at a time it should last a while.  This sample is worth £5.13, which is already half the price of the box! The full sized product is £20.50 for 10ml.  This product is a primer for eye make up and concealer, so it makes your eye make-up stay put all day long.  All you need to do is apply 3 small dots below your eye and also on your eyelid, blend in, let set and then apply your eye shadow and concealer as usual.

This is also great to wear alone, for those days you really don’t want to wear much make-up, but also need that little something to hide those pesky under eye circles.  You may expect this to dry out your skin, but it really doesn’t! It actually hydrates, which is great.  It also contains Vitamins C and E which help fight signs of aging! Can’t complain with that.  It comes in two different shades; Light & Medium, Medium & Deep.  I received the Light & Medium, when i really should have received the Medium & Deep shade if Birchbox had read my beauty profile correctly! But that isn’t really a massive issue, as by the time I have finished applying all of my make-up you don’t really notice what shade has been used.  All in all it is a great little product to try, and is a very handy size to pop in your handbag.

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Dr Brandt – Pores No More

This sample is from Dr Brandt, I have tried their products before but only through Birchbox.  This sample is 7.5ml and is worth £9.75.  The full sized product is £39 for 30ml.  Pores No More is a pore refiner, which absorbs excess oil, minimises pores and blurs fine lines.  It has a nice silky soft feel when applying to your skin, and glides on effortlessly.  I love the way my skin feels after using this product, and it also mattifies the skin reducing shine.  It also contains Tea Tree Oil, which has antibacterial properties to help keep your skin healthy.  This can be applied before make-up and also after make-up, so that means you can re-apply it throughout the day when you feel it is needed.  I think this is going to be a must to add to my holiday bag, to help against humidity and it is also resistant to sweat! Always handy when going to a hot country, and when you don’t want to look a sweaty mess in all your holiday snaps!

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Molton Brown – Replenishing Hand Cream

This sample is for Molton Brown Rhubarb & Rose Replenishing Hand Cream, it is 7ml and worth £1.75. The full sized product is £10 for 40ml.  I don’t really tend to use hand creams that often, but this smells divine and I will definitely be using this one.  It contains truffle extract, which ensures you hands stay incredibly soft, and rose extract, which is moisturising.  The thing I like about this hand cream is that it absorbs instantly, I don’t like hand creams that leave your hands feeling greasy after using them.  This is also a handy size to pop in your handbag or make-up bag. So I am quite happy with this product.

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AromaWorks – Nurture Body Oil

This sample for AromaWorks Nurture Body Oil is 5ml and is worth £1.63.  The full sized product is £32.50 for 100ml.  I wish the sample size was a bit bigger, as if you are like me and like to apply body oil all over your body then I don’t think this will last for many applications.  So really you will only be able to try this product once, which for me isn’t enough when deciding whether to spend £32.50 on something.  The smell of this oil is absolutely gorgeous.  It consists of a blend of May Chang, Roman Chamomile & Sandalwood mixed in with coconut oil and helps promote relaxation and mental calm, it also smells very luxurious.  I don’t think this is something I would purchase the full sized product of though, I just couldn’t spend £32.50 on 100ml of this, I use that much body oil that this really wouldn’t last that long.  I think I will stick with my cheaper and larger alternative, which is Baby Oil and does the job, even though it doesn’t smell as divine as AromaWorks.

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English Laundry – No 7

This sample for English Laundry N0 7 is 2ml and is worth £1.88. The full sized product is £47 for 50ml.  Well I received an English Laundry sample a couple of months ago for the Signature perfume, and I fell in love with it and I even received the Full sized product for my birthday off my partner.  So I was quite happy to see another sample from the same brand, and yes I also love this one too! So I think I maybe using my Birchbox points to purchase this.  I can see how people would not like perfume samples as you can just go to a perfume counter and ask for some, but as you can’t get this product in the UK I would never have discovered my now favourite perfume! So thank you Birchbox.  This perfume has notes of pear, jasmine, melon and apricot. Gardenia, jasmine, almonds, sandalwood, vanilla créme and musk.  It has a sweet musky smell, and if probably more an evening perfume compared to the Signature scent.

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The final little extra product is a Lulu Guiness stick of rock, which is apparently her inspiration for her Spring/Summer collection.  Not the most useful or extras but i’m sure I will get round to eating it at some point.  Would have been better if it was something we would benefit from.  There was also a voucher for £20 off when you spend £100 at any Lulu Guiness store, or online.  I won’t be using this as it has to be used by the end of the month, and i don’t really have £80 spare!! So a bit of a waste really! There was also a voucher for a free makeupper at a Benefit Beauty Bar, which also seems a bit pointless and they will do this for you anyway without having a voucher.

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All in all I am still liking Birchbox, but I do wish there were some larger samples in the box.  They seem to be getting smaller each month, it would be nice to have at least one full sized item.  But I do like the fact that they are more luxurious brands than other boxes, so you get to try things you wouldn’t normally get a chance to.  Also as you receive points every month you will then be able to purchase a full sized product, this is probably one of the main reasons I stay with Birchbox.  The total value of this box is £20.14 (excluding the stick of rock), double what you pay for the box without p&p, so you do get your moneys worth out of the box.

If you are interested in signing up to Birchbox click HERE.  You will receive 50 (£5) points.

Use the Code NEW14 for free P&P OR BBXFEBFAVES for Three FREE extra items. (posted separately)

Also – for a limited time only – all subscribers have the chance to win a Mother’s Day Beauty Hamper, worth £500! Packed with luxurious products from brands including Aromatherapy Associates, Laura Mercier and Benefit Cosmetics, it’s such a fantastic treat for any mum in your life. You will be automatically entered if you subscribe while the competition is on.

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