Birchbox August 2016 | Review

Wednesday 10 August 2016

This month’s Birchbox turned out to be a Birchbag – perfect for summer!

As someone who has an obsession with collecting little zipped bags and pouches, I was over the moon with this month’s ‘bag’ – and what was inside.

A while back, I was signed up to a couple of different beauty trial boxes but I just got bored with seeing product repeats and I wasn’t really using the stuff, so I cancelled them.

However, I was tempted back to the Birchbox fold by last month’s collab with Millie Mackintosh and I’ve stuck with it to see what August has to offer.

The bag is a light grey scuba material with a brightly coloured zip and pull tab in either orange, neon yellow, pink or the aqua colour that I received. It’s a decent size without being bulky and super-useful as a make-up bag or to use for toiletries if you’re going away.

The bag is something I would quite happily have paid for, so I was really pleased to receive it as part of this month’s selection.

But what was inside?

Marcelle Waterproof Eyeliner | Expresso |£10.50

First up, all subscribers received a full-size waterproof, smudgeproof, budgeproof eyeliner pencil, in either Mulberry, a dark purple colour or Expresso, a deep brown.

I was so glad I got Expresso as I absolutely would not have used the purple one, whereas this bronzey deep metallic brown is right up my street. I haven’t heard of this brand before, but the liner is hyped to be smooth, blendable, and proof against sand, sweat, tears and anything in between.

Sadly, I don’t have any holidays booked at the moment, but I feel like I’ve put this to the test enough with cycling to work and wearing for a full day at the office. I can confirm there was no smudging, although I did find that it faded quite a lot and definitely needed topping up by lunchtime.

The formula is very smooth and I liked it best when I applied from the pencil but used a liner brush after to wing out the edge and smudge the line a bit. This isn’t exactly indelible, but its about as good an eyeliner as you could hope to find, and the colour is super-flattering.

Phillip Kingsley One More Day Dry Shampoo | £14.50 for full size

You really can’t go wrong with a dry shampoo. As a self-confessed lazy girl when it comes to hair washing, I definitely rely on the stuff to freshen up and stretch out the time between the dreaded washes.

But despite it being a product I use most days, I still haven’t met my perfect match. Some are too sticky, some are too powdery and some don’t smell right. So I’m hoping hair supremo Phillip Kingsley might prove to have the answer.

A travel size can of dry shampoo is always going to come in extremely handy for keeping in your handbag or suitcase and I’m excited to see if a premium brand does it any better than the drugstore.

I wouldn’t necessarily pay £14.90 for a can unless I knew it really worked a lot better than Batiste or whatever, so this is a great way to suck it and see without spending on something that might not be worth it.

Balance Me Radiance Face Mask | £18.00 for full size

Balance Me are one of those brands whose whole marketing strategy seems to consist of either doing magazine freebies or samples in beauty boxes. I don’t think I’ve ever seen them for sale, but I have tried most of the range somehow!

I’ve never been blown away by anything I’ve sampled from them, but perhaps this face mask could be the one to change my mind.

It’s a clay-based mask that cleanses, exfoliates, brightens and boosts luminosity. You pat it on, leave five minutes and then rinse off. I do like to take face masks with me when I go away, so its nice to get one in a travel size.

I tried a similar sort of mask from NSpa that I loved and is such a purse-friendly wonder buy, as well as being an ingredients dupe for GlamGlow Mud Mask,  so this will have to go some to top that!

Anatomicals The Buff Stuff Citrus Body Scrub | £3.99 for full size

Like most girls, I love a good body scrub to leave me feeling smooth and glowing from top to toe. I especially love the grapefruit smell of this one, its so energising and fresh.

Again, a body scrub is something I like to take away with me that’s really hard to find in a travel size, so I was really pleased to see this in the bag.

The name also made me smile, but Anatomicals are well known for their cheeky monikers (I still laugh over ‘Puffy The Eye Bag Slayer’). I think I’m going to really like this product and the full size is great value, so I may have to treat myself when my Rituals body scrub runs out.

Merci Handy Antibacterial Hand Cleansing Gel | £2.90

Despite the popularity of anti-bac hand gels, its surprisingly hard to find pretty scents! Going back to an office environment and having my son in nursery means I’m constantly bombarded with germs and I think being really careful with hand hygiene goes a long way to stopping me getting every cold and cough going!

This gel also has vitamins to hydrate and nourish your skin so its not nearly as drying as some that you find. I really like the super cute little bottle and the scent, so this is a big winner for me and a handbag essential.

The scent is 'Lollipop' and its pleasantly sweet and gourmand without being overpowering. I'd definitely buy this again.

English Laundry Signature for Her | £60 for full size

I think beauty boxes must have been listening to the endless people who used to complain about getting a perfume sample as one of their items, and now they are in addition to the items, which is definitely fairer.

I’m very picky with perfumes and there’s only a few that I wear, so I wasn’t really expecting to like this – but I did!

It’s a scent inspired by blossom filled country gardens, and the top notes are bloom heavy with white flowers and rose geranium. I think that sort of reminded me of home and playing in the garden as a child. There’s also a subtle musk and spice that gives this a gentle warmth.

Even though the ingredients are quite traditional, they’ve managed for this not to smell hopelessly ‘old lady’ and its quite a modern floral. I have tried other English Laundry perfumes before and really liked them, so I think I need to investigate them more.

This would be the perfect scent for summer garden parties, race days and weddings – refined and pretty.

This month’s little bag was packed with useful and interesting treats that I really liked and will definitely be using. It’s a winner!


  1. I haven't purchased Birchbox is well over a year, however it seems like they are still giving out the exact same products as back then. Of the six you received, only 2 were brand new brands and products. Everything else was repeats. And I don't means like once or twice. I had a year subscription and received these several times over the course of that year.
    I feel like BB and other beauty boxes are great for those wanting to stock up on samples, or are new to beauty.
    Regardless, your post was great. Keep up the good work!
    Angie | Chocolate & Lipstick | Beauty, Fashion & Lifestyle Blog

  2. Hmm, I do like the idea of smudge proof eyeliner, but general fading is the main issue I have!

    Extreme Housewifery