Birchbox: April 2015

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This month’s Birchbox is ‘Royally Good’ and is themed to tie in with the impending birth of the second Royal baby. Birchbox has put together a luxe collection of samples and is also running a nifty competition in which you can win £250 worth of Blue or Pink themed goodies from their online shop depending on whether the bundle of joy is a boy or a girl and if you were lucky enough to receive the correspondingly coloured box. I got a blue one so fingers crossed for a baby brother for little Prince George!

     The first sample I will review from the box is the cult hot cloth cleanser Liz Earle Cleanse & Polish:

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     I have actually been using the full size product for quite some time so I can vouch for how good it is. It works as a 2 step process; firstly you massage onto dry skin as you would any cleanser, then you rinse the muslin cloth in hand-hot water and use that to ‘polish’ off the cream, finishing with a refreshing splash of cold water to close your pores again. This product really makes you feel like you are going the extra mile in your skincare routine and you are rewarded with silky smooth and refreshed looking skin.
     Liz Earle products are suitable for all skin types, even sensitive and this cleanser has a gorgeous fresh scent which makes you feel invigorated as you massage it into your skin.
     This really is a great product worthy of it’s glowing reputation and the sample tube, complete with mini muslin cloth is the perfect size to take on short trips away for luxury cleansing on the go!

Next up is Percy & Reed Volumising No Oil Oil:

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     Percy & Reed is a quality British haircare brand that produces the usual shampoos and conditioners as well as more specialised products like this oil.
Haircare is one area where I lack enthusiasm since I gave up trying to make much out of my short,  fine and naturally wavy hair years ago but when I review samples like this for the purpose of my blog it does make me think that maybe I should be trying a little harder when there are products out there that could actually help the situation! Another problem is that my hair tends to get greasy quickly, particularly if I make an effort to style it properly so I am cautious of overloading it with too much product, but since this claimed to be ‘no oil’ oil I thought I’d give it a go, albeit cautiously.
     As is the case with most hair products, a little goes a long way so I pumped one drop into my palms and worked it through my towel dried hair, smoothing from root to tip as instructed on the bottle. After blow drying as usual my hair did look and feel fuller with no ill effects from having applied oil to it so I will continue using this products to try and get a bit more ‘oomph’ into it on a daily basis.

Next up is Pommade Divine Nature’s Remedy Balm:

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I had heard of this multipurpose balm before but never tried it out so I was quite pleased to find it in the box. Possible uses listed on the back include soothing relief from peeling or flaking due to minor burns, abrasions, scrapes and bruises, a moisturiser for dry, itchy skin and a cure for rough heels and chapped lips. It clearly seems to be a wonder balm!
     Since I have been suffering with really dry skin on the back of my hands lately I decided to try it out on that. After slathering it on I realised that it has a really thick, greasy texture similar to Vaseline and it was probably not the best idea to smother my hands in it in the middle of the day! It’s a handy sized tube to pop in your handbag to use as a lip balm or to apply to small cuts and bruises though, and with the warmer weather coming an overnight heel smoothing treatment would be most welcome so I will keep trying this out on various areas to see where it is most useful to me!

The next item is the Lola Barcelona nail polish in ‘Grazia’:

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This shade has been made exclusively for Birchbox and it’s always nice to feel like you have something unique!
Sadly I don’t get to use nail polish very often since i’m not allowed to wear it for work, but as soon as I get my summer sandals out I love to paint my toenails and this vibrant Fuchsia shade is perfect to make them really pop! Two coats are required to build up a nice strong colour but once you’re done the effect is really striking, particularly against my current, sun-starved skin!

The last sample from the box is a Laura Mercier Eyeliner in Violet:

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Birchbox regularly encourage you to ‘pick your own sample’ ahead of receiving your box and this month it was a choice between the cult Laura Mercier Primer, this eyeliner and a Mascara. Since I don’t usually use a full coverage foundation (my skin is usually pretty clear so I prefer to stick to BB cream) and I have received an abundance of mascaras from other Beauty Boxes lately I opted for the eyeliner. Purple and green hues are my go-to shades for eye make up when I want a pop of colour so the suitably regal violet shade appealed to me too.
     I have to say when I tried to apply it my first impressions were not good. The pencil is unyielding and dragged across the eyelid rather than gliding like a creamy formula or kohl pencil would, so I found it difficult to build up a striking colour. In the end I turned to an old purple Gosh eyeliner to achieve the look that I had my heart set on instead! I will give it another try in the future but for now I’ll stick to my other shades and brands of eyeliner.

This month’s box also contained a bonus lifestyle product which is my case was Imedeen Derma One tablets:

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The promise of improved skin quality, moisture balance and skin radiance as well as fighting the first signs of ageing sounds amazing but since this box contains a 15 day supply and the instructions on the back recommend taking the tablets for at least 12 weeks in order to get the best out of them (they retail at £37.99 for a 30 day supply) I think i’ll have to stick to my lotions and creams to get the same effect!

Well that’s it for the April box and overall I thought it was a strong month, especially with the added fun of the competition that the site is running. The products included make it well worth the £12.95 you pay for the box!

Birchbox is a monthly Beauty Box subscription service, so you will automatically be billed and sent a new box each month unless you decide to cancel (which is very easy to do!)
Check it out here http://birchbox.co.uk

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