I ordered this Limited Edition Birchbox as soon as it was released at the end of March and was told that as I am already a subscriber to the regular Birchboxes it would be dispatched at the same time as my April box. However, this was not the case and after a week passed with no sign of the box and nothing by way of an explanation as to why I hadn’t received it yet I contacted Birchbox customer services myself to chase it up. I was informed that an error at the warehouse resulted in a delay in dispatch and that my box would be with me as soon as possible. I know that things like this can’t be helped but since it took around 3 weeks after my order was received (and my payment was taken!) for the box to actually arrive I feel that a courtesy email explaining the situation and apologising for the delay would not have been to much to ask for from a big company like this.
Anyhow, I finally got my hands on the box about a week ago and have since had the opportunity to try out the products inside. Here’s my verdict:
First up I tried out the Percy & Reed Dry Instant Volumising Spray, which at a hefty full sized 200ml was too big to fit into the cute and compact specially designed box so had to be added to a larger box alongside the main package.
I have tried a few other Percy & Reed hair products in the past and have always been impressed by the cute packaging and the quality of the products so I was eager to give this a go. I always have a can of Batiste Dry Shampoo to hand for second day hair emergencies when my hair starts to look a little greasy or lacklustre but since my hair is very fine it tends to make it look flat and flyaway so I end up having to scrape it back anyway. I was pleased to find an alternative product especially since this spray promises to make my locks big, bold and beautiful! Since I prefer to wash my hair every other evening I used the spray on the morning of the day I was due to wash it and it was starting to look a bit lifeless. The spray goes on similar to a hairspray rather than the powdery formula of Batiste and other dry shampoos and you can instantly see and feel the volume that it creates. It was love at first application for me and I will definitely carry on using this product when my hair is in need of a bit of oomph. Although this spray is not specifically marketed as a dry shampoo alternative it was fit for the purpose in my case. It can also just be used on dry hair as a more lightweight alternative to wax or mousse to add volume to your style at any time. This product retails at £14 so the inclusion of a full sized can with this box is a bargain!
Next up I trialed the Bamford Body Wash:
This is a 50ml sample so it will last for quite a few uses to enable you to get a good idea of whether you like the product enough to invest in the 250ml full sized bottle. The body wash contains Geranium, Lavender and Peppermint and has quite a heady scent when you open the bottle. I used this in the shower with my trusty body puff and a little went quite a long way. It did the job but nothing really set it apart from any other body wash in terms of results. In my opinion there are certain products that it is worth spending a little more money on and others where cheaper brands do the job just as well. Shower Gel and Body Wash is an area where I am not especially bothered which brand I choose. That being said Bamford is a London based company who use organic and botanical ingredients wherever possible in all of their products so if this is a deciding factor for you when choosing products like this then the body wash would be a good choice. I always like the idea of using natural products on my skin but in this case the price tag of £22 for the full sized product is just too steep for me to justify.
After trialing the body wash during my shower I decided to give the Aromatherapy Associates Renewing Rose Body Cream a try:
The cream smelled of Turkish Delight when I took a whiff of it in the tube but when it is applied the scent isn’t quite as nice. The instructions on the tube recommend using this only after cleansing with Rose Body Wash and applying Rose Hydrating Body Gel and since these products are priced between £29 and £36 this would be a costly skincare regime indeed! As with body wash, I don’t really see the need to spend mega money on premium body creams and moisturisers when cheaper products do the job just as well so although this was a perfectly adequate cream and I will no doubt finish off the sample bottle, I won’t be rushing out to buy the full size version.
Next up I tried Dr Jackson’s Face Oil:
I have combination skin and I have developed a few dry patches on my face lately, no doubt from the combination of the many different face products that I have been trying out as well as one fateful evening last weekend when I committed the number one beauty sin of sleeping with my make up on so I was excited to see what this product could do for me. The scientific looking pipette applicator immediately made me feel as if this face oil would really do my skin some good but since I also have grease prone areas on my face I stuck to the lower end of the 3-5 drop estimate when applying it. I was immediately impressed with how well it was absorbed into my skin (it really must’ve been crying out for some moisture!) and although I could no longer see it I could still feel the product on my skin when I touched my face. I really liked this as it felt as though the oil was continuing to penetrate deep into my skin and work it’s magic whilst I got on with my day. Although I felt some slight itching and irritation on my skin, absolutely every product I use on my face has this effect to some degree and this oil did not cause any physical signs of irritation such as redness or spots so I was happy to continue using twice daily to really get a feel for the product. After using it morning and night for two days the dry patches on my face had disappeared and my face looked and felt soft and smooth. I am really impressed with this face oil and I will continue to use it, although probably for occasional use when my skin feels particularly starved of moisture rather than every day. Unless you have very dry skin I don’t think it would be necessary to use it daily anyway.
Next out of the box was a beautiful Ciaté Paint Pot in the vibrant shade ‘Red Hot Chilli’:
Any Nail Varnish fan would want a bright red polish in their arsenal and Ciaté is a well known and well loved brand which is easily identified by the cute signature bow on the front of each bottle. I am the first to admit that applying nail polish is not my forté but this one turned out to be practically foolproof. After giving the bottle a quick shake I unscrewed the lid, wiped off the excess polish and set about applying it to my thumb nail, fully expecting to need about a dozen strokes and at least 2 layers to get an even vaguely acceptable result. As it was, the polish glided on like a dream even between my inexperienced fingers, and just one coat produced a smooth and flawless result. This is a super fast drying polish as well so all in all painting your nails is a pretty effortless experience using on of these polishes. I will definitely consider painting my nails more often using Ciaté shades! This is a full sized bottle worth £9 so it is another bargain addition to this box and a very impressive one in my book!
The final product in the box is the Liz Earle Cleanse & Polish Hot Cloth Cleanser:
If you have read my April Birchbox review you will already know that I adore this Cleanser. I already used it before I received a sample in that box and although I am a little disappointed that I received the same product in this box too, it will most definitely get used because it is a staple in my skincare regime. This is a more generously sized sample than the one I received in my regular Birchbox (at 50ml is is half the size of the full sized product) and it features the pump action nozzle found on the full sized bottle, allowing for precision application. I was also pleased to see a full sized muslin cloth supplied in this box, since you only got a travel sized one with the smaller sample in the April box. This is an innovative 2-step cleansing programme which leaves your skin feeling super clean and soft. All Liz Earle products feature naturally active ingredients and are suitable for all skin types.
Well that’s it for my review and though I didn’t fall in love everything that is included in this box I did discover some gems which I will definitely continue using and they more than justify the price of the box!
The Limited Edition Tatler Best of British Birchbox is still available here https://www.birchbox.co.uk/shop/tatler-limited-edition-box
The box costs £25 and can be bought on it’s own as a one-off purchase. You are under no obligation to subscribe to the monthly Birchbox service. However, if you are already a subscriber or are interested in subscribing, the box can be purchased at the reduced price of £20.