Birchbox March had a very unique box design which I can only describe as a “Yoga design”. This month’s box carried a “self-care” theme which definitely fits the Yoga design and it couldn’t have come at a better time.
I’ve recently started appreciating Yoga and therefore the theme and box design speak to me much more than if I received this box a few months ago. If you missed out my Yoga experience post on check out “Coffee Chat: I’ve tried Yoga for 30 days and this is what happened”.
The box itself was the typical Birchbox “drawer” type of standard box quality. Birchbox boxes can be quite beautiful and handy for re usage but at the same time they are not as sturdy or high quality as the Look Fantastic boxes.
If I was to imagine a “self-care” themed box it would probably be a box full of skincare, masks and treatments which wasn’t the composition of this box. Nevertheless, Birchbox March was a good balance of skin care, makeup and hair care. Can’t go wrong with that!
This month’s box contained 5 products, as always, of which 1 was full size and the rest were travel size. The products were, as seen in the picture, from left to right: a hair styling spray, a mascara, a face cleansing foam, a bronzer-highlighter duo and a pair of eye masks.
Let’s have a look at the products in more detail. Bear in mind that these are my personal opinions and that 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!
Amika Bombshell Blowout Spray
This hair spray is meant to do it all. You can use it on dump hair, spraying from the roots to the ends before a blow dry. It is meant to give your hair volume as well as protect it from the heat. You can also use it on dry hair to sprinkle in some lost volume.
This hair spray definitely gave my thick unruly hair some volume. I don’t know whether it truly protected the hair structure from heat but it felt nice on the hair, didn’t leave any sticky residues and it also smelled nice. The smell is difficult to describe, it’s not the cosmetic hair product type of smell. It has a floral meets fruity meets hair spray scent which was pleasant though.
The little bottle is plastic of good quality and the pump works well. The mist is evenly distributed without much pressure. The size and sturdiness of this cute little spray definitely make it travel friendly which is an extra plus.
The spray is also meant to repair the hair, again a claim that is difficult to quantify without laboratory analysis. Nevertheless, it felt nice on the hair without making them look dirty, greasy or unnaturally voluminous.
The product lasts 18M and contains some good ingredients such as vitamin B5 and sea buckthorn berry extract. However, it also contains methyl and propyl parabens and urea. If you choose to avoid those ingredients then perhaps this spray might not be for you. Again, if you missed my previous posts about these, I can tell you, as a professional Chemist, there is no solid evidence to suggest that parabens, specifically, will cause you cancer or any other unwanted effect. However, since there are so many beauty products out there in the market you have a lot of other product options if you wish to just have peace of mind. SCORE = 7/10
Benefit BADgal BANG Volumising Mascara
I’ve heard good things about this mascara from a few different people and so I was quite excited to receive it. Benefit is a huge brand after all, and who doesn’t love trying big brand products!
The mascara contained here is travel size but it is nevertheless quite sturdy and made of quality plastic. I love the branding and the “bad gal” name. I even love the black, silver and pink colour scheme and the BANG design.
Unfortunately though, this mascara really didn’t work for me. I really don’t like the plastic short haired wand and the mascara only held my lashes up for a couple of hours. There was no bang or bad gal for me, I didn’t get the wow factor I was expecting.
Bear in mind that I have naturally long and thick eye lashes and perhaps this is why this mascara didn’t work as well. Maybe if you have thinner and shorter lashes you might see more effect out of this one? I don’t really know why it didn’t work for me but I was greatly disappointed.
This mascara lasts for 6M and according to Benefit it lasts for 36 hours, with 90% of 21 people asked seeing a dramatic volume.
Sebamed Clear Face Antibacterial Cleansing Foam
This is a wet face wash antibacterial cleansing foam product. It is best for impure and acne-prone skin and it is meant to combat pimples and blackheads, cleanse pores and have an anti-bacterial action.
Although I don’t have acne I wish I had this product during my teenage years. It feels like the sort of thing that would make a huge difference for teenagers and young adults in their early twenties, when hormones and acne is at its worst. There are of course older adults that suffer from acne too but it is obviously more common or aggressive in the earlier stages of life.
Nevertheless, I still liked this product. The foam is very smooth, soft and evenly distributed almost like a silky type and it feels nice on the skin. It doesn’t leave any residues behind and it cleans the skin well. I haven’t tried it on a full face of makeup as I think it is more of a “treatment” type of product that you would primarily use on makeup free skin.
Since I don’t have acne I cannot really tell you whether it helps with that or not but it contains montaline C40 which is a molecule with anti-bacterial action. It also contains panthenol which can help soothe irritated or inflamed skin. The product’s 5.5pH also helps promote a healthy skin barrier function. Overall, it is a very simple product, ingredient wise, containing only 8 of them.
The product lasts 12M and it comes out of the pump as a white silky foam. It doesn’t smell of anything and all you need to do is place 1-2 pumps of foam on a wet face while avoiding the eye area. After 5 minutes on the skin you can simply wash it off with water.
The branding and the product looks very clinical and it gives you the impression that this is a treatment, not just your daily face wash. Although I can also not quantify whether it worked for cleaning pores either, I thoroughly enjoyed using this product and I will definitely finish it up. Especially during those hormonal times when pimples flare up! SCORE = 8/10
Manna Kadar Cosmetics Radiance Split Pan Bronzer And Highlighter Duo
This is a bronzer-highlighter duo that is apparently a Birchbox exclusive and a full size product!
The product container is made of standard quality plastic, it feels light and looks a bit like a drugstore type product. It’s very simple and has minimal branding. It also looks more like a small eyes shadow duo than a bronzer-highlighter, I’d expect a bronzer-highlighter product to be much larger than this.
The product has a nice consistency between powdery and creamy but it is unfortunately not very pigmented. This might be ok for the bronzer, you can perhaps create a nice natural look out of it but the highlighter is a little lacking. You are definitely are not going to blind anyone with it and you might struggle to see it yourself.
I would most likely use the bronzer as eye shadow instead and the highlighter underneath the brow bone. The product lasts 12M.
This duo apparently retails for £17 which is in my opinion a steep price. This product looks drugstore like as opposed to high end and the quality of it is also on the same level. I would absolutely pay way more than £17 for a good bronzer or highlighter, but this one unfortunately is not worth this price tag. SCORE = 6/10
BLAQ hydrogel Eye Mask
I love eye masks, the older you get the more you appreciate how much care your under eye skin requires.
This eye mask comes in a typical one use plastic satchel. It lasts about 2 years so you don’t need to use them right away.
The mask contains some interesting ingredients such as charcoal to de-puff and de-congest the under eye and hyaluronic acid, also know as the fountain of youth. For a post on all the science evidence on hyaluronic acid check out “Hyaluronic acid – the fountain of youth?“
It definitely looks like a promising pair of eye masks and even though I didn’t really see a major difference in my under eye skin, they felt nice and pleasant. The funny thing about masks in general is that we tend to expect massive results after one use and they are not always designed to do that. Skin care is a slow process and a lot of masks tend to nourish the skin on a molecular level which we can’t see.
As a result, I can’t really say whether this mask worked or not but it definitely felt nice and it was a needed eye care. Pop these on while watching your favourite show after a tough day at work. They can at the very least feel relaxing! SCORE = 7/10
Overall, I loved the self-care theme even though the products contained were not what I would imagine the theme as. I though the Yoga type design of the box was cute and different than the normal Birchbox designs. The products contained were interesting and even though they didn’t all work for me, I’m glad that I got to try them out anyway. This is the purpose of a beauty box and for that this month’s Birchbox did well.
Initial box score, in terms of products and first feelings = 7/10
Overall box score after product testing (a sum of product scores) = 6.8/10
Star product = Sebamed Clear Face Antibacterial Cleansing Foam
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 all the details on how Cohorted, Glossybox, Look Fantastic and Birchbox performed in 2017 and which one is worth your money, check out “Battle of the Beauty Boxes – Conclusions from the 2017 unboxing and reviews on Cohorted, Glossybox, Look Fantastic and Birchbox!”
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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