subscription box posts

Review: Birchbox January 2014 Edition.

January 14, 2014

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Beauty subscription boxes are a funny one with me: all well and good when you’re in the zone of ordering one and getting excited for its dispatch, but an absolute tyranny of fear and often disappointment when you realise it’s choc-ful with a load of shite you’re not going to touch, ever. I used to subscribe to SheSaidBeauty boxes, but I got absolutely bored to tears with the products in there and realised I could put that £12 a month towards stuff that I’d, y’know, actually use – Christ, I could’ve been laden with Chanel skincare products by now – the amount of blue boxes I have in my room. Kudos though, those boxes are about the best thing that came out of my torrid affair with subscriptions boxes: those little babies come in handy! Anyway, yadda yadda, get to the point Nash. Recently, Birchbox contacted me and asked if I’d like to try out their January box and, being a curious cat and freebie creep that I am, I obliged. Worryingly: I’m not completely disappointed with what they sent me…

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  • Vasanti Detox Nutrient-Rich Purifying Facial Cleanser 20ml – full size (150ml) retails at £18

Christ alive, this product has to win the award for ‘Most Waffly Product Name’, if nothing else. I just tried this stuff and, given its undeniably highly nutrient-rich formula (we’re talking attributes packed with shea butter/fatty acids/grapeseed and omega 3), I’m either placeboing out of my arse – or this product has made my skin reasonably smooth. We’ll see if it helps shift these pesky breakout spots around my chin first, eh?

  • Radial Bee Venom Moisturiser 5ml – full size (150ml) retails (at a staggering) £150

Weirdly, it’s a little bit like Birchbox read my mind on this one. I have been trawling Holland and Barrett stores country-wide trying to get my hands on their Manuka Doctor bee venom moisturiser and, lo and behold, they throw in this far superior little number. Upon first applications, I had flashbacks to getting stung on the bum outside of Boots as a kid – terrifying images of potential allergic reactions and my face blowing up so much that my sizeable bottom lip just decided to combust. Fortunately, this did not occur – but the effects thus far (four days of usage) have been incredibly dull. I’ve had good skin days, I’ve had bad skin days. I wouldn’t pay £150 for that imbalance.

  • Benefit ThePorefessional 7.5ml – full size (22ml) retails at £24.50

I can’t turn my nose up at this product as a devoted lover of Benefit, and the owner of a quickly depleting original sample that this one will proudly become successor to soon. If you’re a beauty blogger, you should really already know how essential this piece is. Nice one, Birchbox.

  • Premae Anatomy Nutrients Instant Renewal Body Oil 20ml – full size (100ml) retails at £9.50

As a pale lady, with a tendency to resemble something on death’s door due to bad circulation, I tend to avoid body oils, as they only seem to exacerbate the problem. However, in the warm, sunny light of my yellow-tinted desk lamp, it looks pretty good on my arms, and they feel soft enough. The sunflower (mate, do sunflowers even have a smell?) and rosewood scent has got me longing for holidays.

  • Itsu Miso Soup 25g sachet – full size (6 pouches) £11

After recently embarking upon a vegan adventure (that is, slightly less dramatically, after doing a month last year – I have decided to go vegan since the New Year), I’m looking for all the vegan friendly nosh I can sniff out. Not sure why that sounded quite so dirty, but we shall continue… I haven’t tried this yet as, after my last packet of Pop Chips that I picked up at an LCM show got devoured this afternoon, they will be going into my emergency food stash. Sounds nice enough to me, anyway. Not sure I could afford to keep that habit up though, so I’m kinda hoping I’m not a fan…

  • Philip Kingsley Moisture Balancing Conditioner 20ml – full size (250ml) £19

This looks remarkably like toothpaste, and I just squirted half the tube up my nose trying to find out what it smells like for you. I hope you appreciate this, guys. It smells pretty high class – but a little too Chanel No.5 for me: absolutely lovely, but not right for my juvenile twenty-year-old self. Good call though guys: I’ve just ran out of Herbal Essences – cheers.

All in all, I’m pretty pleased with the box. I’m half-tempted to opt in for the next one just to see if they manage to pull it out of the bag twice in a row, but I’ll keep you posted on Twitter about that. Everyone else though: what’s in yours this month? Are you happy with it? Link your reviews below!


Ebony. 25. Manchester.
Marketing Manager who likes to mouth off on here about stuff she cares about. Expect mental health, Borderline Personality Disorder, and reviews - from restaurants, to books, to fashion. Talks to cats more than people, but seemingly has a lot to say.
ebonylaurenn@gmail.com