Tuesday, 28 February 2017

Birchbox x Papier | February 2017 | Review


My relationship with Birchbox is so on and off, it's ridiculous. I’ll get a couple of bad ones, realise I don’t need a collection of hundreds of mini moisturisers and hair masks that I never use, and cancel. Then I’ll see something amazing in the next month’s box, and sign back up. Everytime I cancel, they decide to roll out the good stuff.

After seeing the February box, I signed back up late, because it seemed like there were a couple of things I really wanted in this month’s collection. So, here it is. Take a peek….

This month’s box design was a collaboration with haute stationery brand Papier, and featured a choice of two beautiful floral print designs, a really nice introduction to the brand,



Beaver Daily Moisture Conditioning Spray


The first product I received was this little bottle of conditioning spray. I don’t really like getting hair products in these boxes, mainly because I hardly ever use them!

I have bags full of little hair oils and sprays gathered from Birchboxes that just don’t make it to my daily rotation. I always think they’ll be useful for taking on holiday, but I have such a backlog now I’d have to go on a hell of a lot of holidays to use them all up!

Conditioning products are good but I prefer them when they offer some heat protection as well, which this doesn’t. Sprays are a nice, easy to use format and perhaps this will perform hydrating miracles on my parched hair, who knows?

I thought the name was a little weird though… I’m not expecting this to wow me enough to want to own the full size, but who knows? Dove do a really nice keratin repair conditioning spray I use sometimes, so this would have to go some way to beat that.

Marcelle Gentle Make-up Remover for Sensitive Eyes


The next item was this make-up remover, which is useful but a little boring. I saw on social media that some other people received a Show Beauty dry shampoo instead of this, and I am a little jealous! I would love to try something from that line, whereas this is a bit of a non-brand.

That’s the trouble with Birchbox and everybody getting slightly different products – I get box envy!This is why I really like Tili, as you know exactly what you’ll receive before you’ll sign up.

I’m more likely to use a micellar water than a separate eye make-up remover these days, so again I can’t see me wanting to buy this. It’s a bit of a boring product, and stuff like this is the whole reason I keep cancelling my subscription. Thankfully, the next couple of items were more up my street…

Spectrum Marbelous Eye Contour Brush


This was the ‘spoiler’ item that everyone knew they’d receive this month, and it was one of the reasons I signed back up. I really like Spectrum and I know that their brushes are great quality, so I wanted to get my hands on this.

I thought you can’t really go wrong with a pencil brush as I love a defined crease. However, I think this brush has the same issue that put me off the Real Techniques Crease Brush -  the head is so large!

I don’t know if my eye crease is just super small, but this size doesn’t work for me at all, I prefer a much smaller pencil brush to do shading work with. I’d be more likely to use this to apply concealer or perhaps contour my nose with.

However, it is a really nice brush in terms of its quality. I really like the rose gold ferrule as its matches in with my Zoeva brushes.

To buy this brush individually is only £5.99 but some of their sets can get pretty expensive. However, I know they are a British company run by two sisters who started off making all the brushes by hand in their garage, so you have to appreciate that level of detail!

Keeome Hydration Therapy Mask


Next up, this hydrating sheet mask. I love sheet masks, and they are at least a product that I use regularly, but I do feel as if beauty boxes have jumped onto the sheet mask bandwagon hard and I seem to have had a fair few lately.

Perhaps they should be mixing it up more and thinking about the next type of mask, like some of the rubber masks you see around.

Keeome is not a brand I’ve heard of before, and the packaging is extremely plain. I like sheet masks that have unusual ingredients like Bee Venom or Caviar, so this one seems a little boring compared to some of the options out there.

But it is some Korean skincare, so it's nice that Birchbox are taking a global approach to sourcing the brands they work with. I know that I will be using this the next time I have a bubble bath, so hopefully it will restore some sparkle to my tired skin!

POP Beauty Bright Up Your Life eye shadow trio | Champagne Mocha



And finally, this was the other item I saw that made me quite want to sign back up for Birchbox. POP Beauty is a brand I used to really love back when I first started getting into make-up. They had the cutest packaging and used to do lots of really innovative products and bright colours that I loved.

But things have moved on since then, and I haven’t actually thought about them for quite a while, so it was nice to be re-introduced. I liked the look of all the shades here – a light, golden peach, a metallic light pink and a purplish brown.

The formulation feels smooth and the colour pay off is okay, although they aren’t quite as densely pigmented as a Makeup Geek or a Mac shadow, I must say. You can do a complete eye look providing a nice gentle wash of colour with this. I especially wanted to try a pink shadow, as I’m interested in doing a look with pink eyes and red lips at the moment, so I’m pretty pleased with this.

This month’s box was a complete mix, a couple of great items but also some duller ones that I’m not likely to use. I wish that Birchbox had less variation in what people receive as I find it super annoying seeing ‘what you could have got’ on other people’s box reveals.

Perhaps they could offer us the choice, like they sometimes do with one product. Next month, everyone gets one of the new Benefit lipsticks – and you could pick your shade online out of a red or a pink – so I’ve decided to stay signed up for now. But a little more choice and less random variation would go a long way.

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