For what feels like years, I’ve been watching Birchboxes fly off their metaphorical shelves, and into the hands and blog posts of girls and boys much lucker than I. Their photos always inspired me, the beauty products looked luxurious and classy, and the box itself just sat stunningly inside the Instagram profiles I poured over in envy.But I was always scared of purchasing one. Maybe it was the price, maybe it was the unknown products inside, perhaps it was the fear that I would never actually get to do anything with it? But after a particularly satisfactory paycheck, earned through a lot of hard graft in the freelance buisness, I decided to do it. It was actually the first purchase I made with my first freelance cheque. And if that doesn’t tell you something about my priorities in this industry, then I don’t know what does.The Birchbox is beautiful – there is no way to deny it. Perfectly inkeeping with the universal blogger aesthetic, it’s marbled surface and pastel pink drawer are lined with ribbons of rose gold, and it truly is a stunning addition to any make up collection. Cleverly disguised cardboard in a beautiful trend-setting immersion, it’s such a lovely storage facility for your favourite make up products that the actual samples inside almost don’t matter. Except they do . They really really do. Inside this box is a collection of uniquely selected and broadly ranging beauty products that, whilst might not help top up your existing archives of make up, are teeny samples of products, designed to explore the unheard of brand names in the worlds of beauty.
In my first Birchbox, possibly my favourite product of the collection was the Marsk eyeshadow, a small pot of deep glittering grey powder, that not only blended beautifully, but was delicate to the touch and light on the skin too. For eyelids as oily as mine, fine powders such as these are a must, and the sulty smoky shade suited my skin tone perfectly. It’s my first recommendation for a dark, seductive look, to be paired with softer, cooler toned shades and palettes – definitely a winner for a classy night out.
Then, following this miniature night time luxury, I drew out the Laura Mercier Radiance Foundation Primer – a product I was in dire need of at the time, and was incredibly excited to explore. Unfortuantely, for dry skin such as mine, facial primers must be oil based and essentially dripping in water to have any effect. Whilst the Mercier primer was smoothing and mattifying, yes, I actually found it a little tacky on my skin, and noticed that, after only a few hours, my foundation had caked and clogged rather unpleasantly. The Radiance effect, though effective when used as a sheen-like product alone, just felt flat underneath even my light layer of foundation.
Appearing next, in a cute monochrome tube, the Whish finishing body butter – a simple little follow up to any warm bath or steaming shower. Drawn from a line of wonderfully cruelty-free body products, the solution itself really was lovely; creamy and smoothing to the touch, quick to absorb and easy to apply. The scent is light and refreshing, the packaging is quirky and modern – whilst perhaps not unique in its purpose, this is still a sweet and handy addition to any nighttime skincare routine!
The penultimate product to be included in my luxury little box was the Beauty Protector Protect and Volume Spray – a product uniquely designed with a duo of hair treatments in mind. Promising to protect drying hair against damaging heat appliance, and to lift and enhance volume in limp locks, this little bottle was actually a rather pleasant surprise for my eager little hands to open. I had never expected Birchbox to include hair care as well as beauty products, so I was more than happy to try out their recommended tresses protection. And, well…it felt a little unfinished.
I love the concept, and the nifty little bottle it appears in, but the actually spray itself actually felt more drying than healing, and left my hair sticky and rough to touch. This may be a personal preference, but I typically favour soft, glossy hair over matte and textured locks, so this was arguably not the product for me.
And finally, my all time favourite product to pull out of my Birchbox drawer: the Doucce Punk Volumiser Mascara. In a slick, bullet casing of hot red and glossy black, the packaging is miniscule, and withdrawn, held back to allow the sheen of the tube to hold centre stage. Although I’m not a fan of the ‘punk’ inclusion, as it felt a little unneccesary in a mascara this universal, the volumising effects were contrastingly impressive. Where one layer will enhance a beautiful natural look, just a couple of brushes more and you’re ready for impact. The wide, broad brush leaves no room for spidery, clumpy lashes, and it’s compact-size places it nicely in any travel bag or make up roll. Out of all five products, this was the only one that actually made it’s way into my daily make up routine, and I love it.
So, overall, would I recommend Birchbox again? Honestly, yes. I had so much unpackaging and exploring these beautiful new products, and it helped me to discover some great news brands away from the mainstream. As a platform for small beauty brands, it’s a unique and aesthically pleasing solution, and I am more than happy to be a part of it.
Thank you so much for reading, and have a great week!