Birchbox October 2017 carried a “Feeling Good” theme. The box was the classic Birchbox drawer type and the design was beautiful, a marble pattern with pink and purple colours. The box design and products contained actually fit very nicely with the theme and the take home message that this box is trying to achieve.
The box came with a £10 discount on the Birchbox store, if you spend £50, and some informational cards on how to check your breasts for lumps. I really like the awareness value of this box and that it even ties in with one of the products contained.
This month Birchbox VIPs could choose from 2 possible ModelCo products: the contour stick and the megalash mascara. As I already have and previously reviewed the contour stick, I went for the mascara. You can also become a Birchbox VIP, for free, if you are a subscriber for 6 continuous months.
This month’s box contained 5 products and they were from left to right as seen in the picture: a hair dry shampoo, a mascara, a wet face wash, a body lotion and a shower gel.
Bear in mind that these are my personal opinions and as beauty is a very personal thing, we all have different skin, requirements and biological build which can influence things. What worked for me might not work for you and vice versa, please leave your comments below!
R & Co Badlands Dry Shampoo Paste
I must admit when I first saw this product I was intrigued. Dry hair shampoos are usually contained in spray cans, so this solid looking paste was definitely interesting to try.
You are supposed to pick up a little bit of the paste, rub it in your hands and then work it in dry hair. It definitely took away some grease and gave a little volume back but it also left a strange, dry paste feeling/texture on the hair. That feeling/texture goes away though after combing the hair, so no problems!
It smells fresh and has a hint of a lemon scent. It was an interesting product to try for sure and it definitely works, but it loses out on practicality for me. Dry shampoos in spray cans are so much easier and faster to use and the product is also placed on the hair a lot more evenly, leading to a better end result. Unfortunately, I just don’t see myself picking this up over a spray can dry shampoo. SCORE = 7/10
ModelCo MegaLash Mascara
This mascara has what I call “a typical mascara” packaging/shape and I actually like it. I also think that the simplicity of the packaging is very nice and it gives it a little extra interest. The black background with pink ModelCo writing on one side and MegaLash on the other is definitely nice looking.
The wand looks plastic and cheap, because of the type and shortness of the bristles, but it actually works much better than it looks. This mega lash mascara definitely gives mega lashes. In length though and not so much in thickness. My lashes were definitely longer but not thicker at all. If you want a long and thin lash look this mascara is it. It is a little sticky though so some eye lash hairs can stick together, you have to be careful when using it.
This mascara lasted for hours but not all day. It dries completely on the lashes and doesn’t smudge but it is not waterproof. It was a much better mascara than I expected but if you want thick lashes as well as long, it might leave you wanting. SCORE = 7/10
Balanceme Pure Skin Face Wash
I am glad that Birchbox included a travel size tube of this face wash and not a sample size. The tube is made of plastic of standard quality and the branding is simple and clean but it fits the natural skin care brand.
This facewash is a white, thin (like a lotion) cream that smells like…Balanceme products. I have noticed that, to me at least, all Balanceme products smell the same. If I closed my eyes and just smelled the products I wouldn’t know which one is which. It gives the brand a very strong identity in terms of, I will immediately know from the smell that this is a Balanceme product, but it strips out the individuality from each item.
Personally, I am not a fan of the smell. It has a hint of lemon but also something else and it’s almost like the product has “gone off”. It’s not a cosmetic type of smell but admittedly that works for the fact that this is a natural skin care brand.
The product did work very well though. It cleaned the face nicely without leaving any oily residues behind or stripping away the skin’s natural oils. My skin felt clean but neutral, neither dry or moisturised and I actually really like that. It did struggle a bit with a full face of makeup, there was still some makeup residue left in some places, but you can solve that by going over the face 2-3 times with more product.
This face wash is free from parabens, clea, mineral oils, sulphates, pegs, petroleum, silicones, propylene glycol, microbeads, artificial fragrances (although it still has fragrances) and colours.
I love the condition it leaves the skin after it is cleansed but personally, I really do not like the smell. SCORE =7/10
Whish Body Butter Almond
My previous experience with a Whish product, the Whish mud mask, wasn’t great so I was a little apprehensive on trying this one.
Boy was I wrong though! I really loved this body lotion, it smells so good I want to eat it! It is said to have an almond scent, which definitely comes through, but it also reminds me of coffee with cinnamon and it’s just lush! Things that might appear minor, like a product’s smell, can be so, so important in cosmetics, so much so that a product that smells nice can be the deciding factor on buying it or using it more over another one. This body lotion definitely falls in that category.
I keep referring to it as a body lotion, instead of a body butter as it says on the product, because for me that is a better description of the product. It is a thin, white cream which spreads and is absorbed very fast and it also moisturisers the skin “superficially”. The skin feels moisturised, but not deeply, and you can easily get away with moisturising again after a few hours.
These are the exact reasons why I think it is a lotion more than a butter, as body butters tend to be thicker and harder to spread and they moisturise deeply. So much so that with some of them your skin might still feel “sticky” until the day after use.
With that being said, it was a very pleasant lotion to use. I am obsessed with the smell and I even like the simplicity and artistic design of the tube. The tube is made of standard plastic but the full size product comes in a plastic can. I actually like that the colour of the packaging is beige/yellow as it suits the smell spot on. It’s the little details that make a product great…
This product is free from parabens, sulphates, phthalates, DEA and TEA, petrochemicals and has naturally sourced ingredients. The formulation is definitely interesting as it contains ingredients such as seaweed extract, raspberry butter, rice bran oil etc.
You have to smell this! SCORE = 8/10
Anatomicals Grab your Melons Shower Gel
Similarly, to the Whish situation, my previous experience with an Anatomicals product wasn’t the best. The product was fine, it worked and did what it said but the branding and product description left me with a slight negative impression.
This shower gel is a clear, yellow, thin, slightly sticky, gel-liquid that smells like watermelon. Although it might sound like a strange smell for a shower gel, it is fairly faint but at the same time, strong enough to give a fresh scent. It foams up when it comes in contact with water, but only slightly.
Although this is a general shower gel that you can use all over your body, it is specifically labelled as a “boob tube” to use when you “grab your melons in the shower”. It even comes with a graphic picture at the back of the product.
I think it is an excellent idea to have a product in the shower that reminds you to check your breasts for lumps. Breast cancer is much more common that you think and you lose absolutely nothing by knowing how to check your breasts every now and again. I even think that the green tube colour, melon smell and melon-boob parody is funny.
However, like with the previous Anatomicals product, the presentation comes across a little strong for me. Great products, great causes and reasoning, just a little graphic at times.
Let me give an example on this specific product. The female body is so beautiful, artistic and sexy but somehow the breast picture at the back of this product looks a little strange. Maybe it’s the fact that the breasts are 360 degrees round or covered with curly lines that I imagine are supposed to be shower gel? Maybe it’s just me but I think they could have done this a little more elegantly.
This product came with a sticker from CoppaFeel that you can put in your shower and takes you through the steps of checking your breasts for lumps. It also came a card that explains some signs and symptoms of breast cancer and also a service that reminds you, by text, to check your breasts once month. All you need to do is text “Boobs” on 70300 for a free monthly sms (UK).
I think that the CoppaFeel charity and Anatomicals boob tube shower gel have great awareness and purposes and I am glad that Birhcbox included them in this month’s Box. The shower gel was good and their association with breast awareness definitely gave me a more positive impression of the Anatomicals products but I just wish they presented them a little more elegantly. SCORE = 7/10
Overall, I really liked this month’s Birchbox, a lot more than usual to be frank and it wasn’t even make up heavy! Maybe it was the pretty box design or the breast lump awareness or the fact that this time all tube products were sealed and full. I really thought that the breast awareness touch was EXCELLENT and I feel that it could be something that becomes a reoccurring theme. Keep it up Birchbox.
Initial box score, in terms of products and first feelings = 9/10
Overall box score after product testing (a sum of product scores) = 7.2/10
Star product = Whish Body Butter Almond but I also want to give a shout out to the Anatomicals Grab your Melons Shower Gel for a great awareness/reminder value.
Did you get this month’s Birchbox box? What did your box contain? What did you think of the products? Have you tried any of the products listed? Let me know your experiences!
For general Subscription Box reviews see my: Birchbox, Glossybox, Look Fantasticand Cohorted general review posts. For help on how to choose the right subscription box for you check out “Which Subscription Beauty Box is right for you?”.
I am not affiliated with any company or brand. These are my views and experiences.
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