Beauty Product Discovery – Birchbox Beauty Box October 2018 – Unboxing and Product Reviews

One more month, one more Birchbox although this one is my last. After a year and a half of being a subscriber to Birchbox and also to other beauty boxes, I have come to the conclusion that Birchbox is the least value for money and the least exciting beauty box to receive. For all the details and further explanations check out:

Coffee Chat: Goodbye Birchbox – Why I unsubscribed from the Birchbox beauty box after a year and a half

I’ve also asked you to vote which beauty boxes you like reading about and Birchbox came last with only 33.33% of you interested. Granted the number of people replying to this poll wasn’t exactly of statistical importance but it shows an overall flavour of what people think, and combined to my experience and other online reviews I think it’s accurate enough for this purpose. If you missed the post check out: Coffee Chat: Which beauty boxes do you want to read about?

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However, I am happy that my last Birchbox is at least one of the best Birchboxes, as this month’s box wasn’t as boring or disappointing as normal, although still, I don’t think that that it competes with other beauty boxes in the market.

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This month’s theme was “Days like these…” and it was all about embracing autumn nostalgia. The box itself was the typical drawer-like Birchbox and had a beautiful floral design. I thought that the box was one of the most gorgeous Birchboxes ever but it looks like a spring box not an autumn nostalgia theme. I also didn’t think that the products contained were autumn specific, or “cosying up at home and indulging” as Birhcbox described them but rather very general, all year round type of products. That’s not bad, it just doesn’t fit the theme.

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This month’s box contained 5 products as always and 1 extra sample, of which 3 were full size and the other 2 were travel size. The products were, as seen in the picture, from left to right: a face mask, a soap, a hair mask, a mascara, a prep and protect hair product and a sample of a night cream.

Let’s have a look at the products in more detail. These are short reviews that cover first impressions and experiences from using the products. For full reviews, including ingredient analysis and if I would recommend a product or not, check out: Bonds of Beauty (all articles here). 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!

 

Beauty Pro Thermotherapy Warming Foil Mask

This self-warming gold foil sheet mask is meant to moisturise your skin in 20 minutes. It feels really nice and the warmth can be relaxing and soothing, and the skin is left feeling softer. Like with any masks though don’t expect dramatic results, masks are meant to be skincare addons not instant solutions.

This mask contains hyaluronic acid, Q10, hydrolysed collagen, soybean extract, adenosine, arginine, vitamin E, raspberry ketone and more skincare goodies. The ingredient list is not exhaustive but it’s relatively small and to the point. This mask will definitely offer your skin some moisturisation and other benefits.

It’s a great mask and the brand is against animal testing. This dermatologically tested mask retails for £5.95 which is neither cheap or expensive when compared to other masks. At least this one has some good ingredients in it. SCORE = 9/10

 

Daily Concepts Multi-Functional Charcoal Soap Sponge

This is a charcoal cleanser which is combined with an exfoliating sponge. All you need to do is wet the sponge, squeeze to create foam, apply to the skin and then rinse clean.

It worked well and left my skin squeaky clean. However, it works with physical exfoliation which is not preferred over chemical exfoliation using BHA or AHAs. For this reason this is not a product I would add in my skincare routine but it was fun to try it out.

To find out why use AHA and BHAs and a cheap but good option check out: Best Exfoliating Products – The Nip + Fab Exfoliate Glycolic Fix Day and Night Pads In-Depth Review and Ingredient Analyses – Do you really need both?

The soap has a herbal type of scent (a bit like eucalyptus) which is pleasant but it’s appearance is not exactly appealing.

Daily Concepts Multi-Functional Charcoal Soap Sponge 3_20181017110740007

This full size soap sponge lasts for 12M, is suitable for all skin types and retails for £6. SCORE = 7/10

 

Amika Soulfood Nourishing Hair Mask

This hair mask is meant to fight split ends and dryness while improving overall hair health and pampering. All you need to do is use it onto the mid-lengths and ends, after shampooing, leave for 5-10 minutes and then rinse away.

It has a light but sweet hair product type of scent which is pleasant and feels nice on the hair. I didn’t really notice any difference to my hair but I have thick unruly hair which is not easily affected.

It was a pleasant experience overall but the ingredients leave a lot to be desired. There are definitely some good ones but overall it’s not the most nourishing hair product you could use. It even contains an anti-static agent which is good but I personally find that it’s the top of my head hair that is mostly affected by static and not so much my mid-lengths and ends, which is were you are supposed to use this product.

This is a travel size product but the full size 250mL one retails for £20. This product lasts for 18M and the brand is against animal testing. SCORE = 6/10

 

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Max Factor 2000 Calorie Mascara

I must admit, as a fitness junkie, I wasn’t impressed by the name but I didn’t fully hate it either. It’s more of a love-hate relationship, I mean it’s sometimes funny and other times it makes me wonder, what is this 2000 calorie mascara supposed to mean? Whatever it means, please don’t try to eat this!

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Nevertheless, I actually liked the simple but durable packaging and the thick hair type wand as well. I thought that the mascara was the perfect no-makeup, makeup mascara as it creates long but thin lashes. It has a typical mascara smell.

This mascara claims to give dramatic volume (300%) but I didn’t notice that. It gave me good length but no thickness whatsoever. However, it also claims to be smudge proof which it is. It applies really easily and doesn’t make lashes stick together or leave black bits.

It lasts for a while and it might actually be my natural mascara! This full size 9mL mascara lasts for 6M and retails for £7.99. Not a bad price at all! I’m actually impressed with this one, I don’t know why but I wasn’t expecting it to be that good. SCORE = 9/10

 

Number 4 Luminere d’Hiver Super Comb Prep & Protect

I feel that Birchbox includes Amika and Number 4 products all the time, although when I go back and look at the boxes, it’s 2-3 times a year which I guess it’s not that bad. Nevertheless, when I opened this box and saw these two products I thought “not again” which is not good. There’s nothing wrong with including different products from the same brand, in fact I like trying out a brand to exhaustion until I find the products I like and don’t like, but there is something about Birchbox that feels repetitive. It’s always a hair spray or a single eye shadow or a mascara, perhaps it’s the type of products contained that needs more variety. Additionally, my dissapointment of receiving yet another hair product might actually bias my opinon about the product which is not good either!

Anyhow, this hair spray is meant to strengthen and repair damaged hair. It’s a leave in conditioner that can help with detangling, colour and UV protection. You are supposed to use it on towel dried hair and leave in.

It has a pleasant but subtle perfume type of scent and it feels weightless on the hair. I didn’t really notice a huge difference on my hair but as I mentioned above, my hair is thick and unruly. It felt nice to use though and sometimes that’s all that matters.

The travel size bottle doesn’t have an ingredient list and unfortunately, I couldn’t find the ingredients online so the score is based only on user experience and feeling.

This product is vegan, gluten, sulphate, sodium chloride and paraben free and is suitable for all hair types. This is a travel size 30mL bottle but the full size 200mL one retails for £26.25. SCORE = 8/10

 

Lumene Hydration Recharge Overnight Cream

It’s nice to include an extra product even if it’s sample size. Sample sizes are ok if they are extra!

However, because this is a sample size I won’t comment on it as it’s not a good idea to judge a product from using it just once, especially if it’s from a sample, which sometimes tend to be different from the actual product itself!

This is a night cream which is meant to moisturise and while it contains some good ingredients I can’t say that I am blown away. However, sometimes it’s not about the variety of good ingredients but rather the quantity present of each of them and the formulation.

 

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Overall, I thought that this was one of the better Birchboxes but unfortunately, still not good enough to change my impression, formed over the past year and a half. This is my last Birchbox but I enjoyed it. Goodbye Birhcbox.

Initial box score, in terms of products and first feelings = 8/10

Overall box score after product testing (average of product scores) = 7.8/10

Star product = Beauty Pro Thermotherapy Warming Foil Mask and Max Factor 2000 Calorie Mascara

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To subscribe to Birchbox UK and get £5 off your first box click here.

Did you get this month’s Birchbox? 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 the: BirchboxGlossyboxLook FantasticCohorted and My Little Beauty Box 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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