Birchbox Review | May 2017

Monday 22 May 2017

I’ll come right out and say it, I was less than inspired by this month’s offering from Birchbox. I do find that with beauty subscription boxes, they go in cycles. You’ll get a couple of so-so boxes, think about cancelling, and then something killer will come along that makes you want to sign back up.

I was almost going to cancel this month as the May Birchbox pretty much made me want to go to sleep, but I’ve decided to keep it running for next month and make a decision then. Perhaps brighter things are just around the corner!

This month, I felt like there was a lot of recycled stuff in there that’s been in previous boxes, and I hate that. It means you’re essentially getting the same thing twice and that’s lazy. Then there were a couple of the usual suspect – there are a couple of brands that just seem to be eternally popping up in these boxes and you never see them anywhere else, and I get sick of receiving them.

The theme of May’s box is ‘little changes that can make a big difference to your daily rituals’. It remains to be seen if any of these will be game-changers for me, but I’m not feeling positive about it! The box itself is a gorgeous marbled affair with touches of rose gold – very pretty! If only the contents this month were as exciting as the box itself…

First up, there’s the Marsk Mineral Eyeshadow. You could either receive the shade ‘Fifty Shades’ (which is grey, geddit?) or ‘Vanilla Frosting’.

I got ‘Fifty Shades’ and that really annoyed me because I received the exact same product and shade from them before – and I haven’t even used the first one! I really dislike loose powder shadows because they’re so messy and always lead to lots of fall out ruining the rest of your makeup – especially dark colours. So I’m unlikely to reach for this just due to the format.

With the paler shade, I may have used it or even mixed some into my body lotion but you can’t do that with the grey shade unless you’re hoping to look like Mystique from X-Men or something, so I don’t think I’ll be using this.

On the plus side, this is made from all-natural ingredients, so if you have sensitive eyes you might like it. You can use it wet for a more intense colour pay-off. I might use this in the future but it didn’t leave me feeling very inspired.

Next, I pulled out the Doucce Punk Volumiser Mascara. This isn’t a brand I’ve heard of before, but I’m willing to give it a chance, if only for the jumbo brush which reminded me of the brush on my beloved Too Faced Better Than Sex mascara – could this be a dupe?

It promises big lashes with plenty of volume and thickness, which is exactly my vibe, so I must admit I’m quite intrigued.The brush is really jumbo and quite fluffy – which is hopefully also the effect it will have on my lashes.

I haven’t tried this yet, purely because I have three of four different mascaras on the go at the moment anyway, but I’m intrigued. I have looked up a few reviews but people want such different things when it comes to their lashes that I think it will just be trial and error.

Dr Brandt Microdermabrasion Skin Exfoliant was another interesting inclusion. I’m a big fan of regular exfoliation but I generally go for chemical exfoliants rather than gritty scrubs because I don’t really like the feel of them.

This scrub is a step on from the usual ones though, as it's packed with pharmaceutical-grade crystals and lactic acid, so I’m guessing its highly effective. Because of the potency, this should only be used occasionally, but sounds like it will really work to reduce scarring, unevenness and fine lines. I like to do a mini facial in the bath on a Sunday night, so I’m looking forward to trying this out then.

The next two items were the ones that really didn’t appeal to me. The Kueshi Hair Mask Shine & Volume just seemed a bit uninspired. I have tried the brand before in a sub box, but it didn’t lead me to explore any further/ Of course, this could be a miracle product waiting to be discovered, but mostly I don’t like getting hair stuff unless it's majorly innovative. This contains strengthening rice protein, hydrating jojoba oil and moisturising shea butter, so it could be good for dried out post-holiday tresses but I doubt it will beat out my current favourites – the OGX+ range and the Phillip Kingsley Elasticizer.

The Whish Firming Body Cream also failed to impress me. Again., it’s a brand whose wares I’ve sampled in a sub box before, and again, it's just not really for me. I feel like I have a good thing going at the moment with The Ordinary and the new skincare from Beauty Pie I’ll be reviewing on here soon, so this would have to be truly amazing to make any real change for me. It contains organic shea butter, cocoa seed butter and green tea. Promising to firm, smoothe and tone this also supposedly fades marks and blemishes on the skin. I’ll give it a go but again it will have a long way to go to beat out my current favourite body lotions from Dove and Nuxe.

So, my overall feeling this month was that the May Birchbox is a little lacklustre. There’s so much happening in beauty and skincare right now – so many game-changing new brands, and it feels like they’re getting left behind by all that, recycling the same few brands and even the same products!

I’m not impressed so we’ll see what happens next month but it could be curtains for Birchbox after that…


  1. I've wanted to try Birch Box myself for agesss. What a shame to get a duffer this month! I'll have to check out some other months reviews.

    I do really like the idea of exploring new brands though and I guess that's always going to be a little bit hit and miss!


  2. I haven't had birch box in years but recently signed up for the latest in beauty box because you get to pick your own products which is perfect for me because I'm a complete skincare junky but if I received one more hand cream or Lord and Berry eyeliner from birch box or glossy box I'd have been able to start my own shop 😂

  3. I'm not subscribed to any subscription boxes but always like seeing what's inside them anyway! and then judging on the reviews can always decide if I want to buy any of the products separately x


  4. I'm living vicariously through you for subscription boxes. A lot of the fun for me is opening the packaging and it's like a little gift to yourself but I've not really had the disposable income for goodies like these plus I would never use everything up! So I love having a good old nose through what you got!

    Rebecca, xo

  5. I'm not signed up to any subscription boxes but I follow a lot of people who are and they seem to be saying the same as you - the glory days of beauty boxes are gone. It's no longer a way to try new cuttings edge brands and products first. Also someone was saying that Glossy box used to do full size/expensive products occasionally and it hardly ever happens now.
    Maybe you could do a giveaway or something with the products you don't like?
    V <3

  6. I feel like beauty subscription boxes always seem a little hit and miss to me. However, I don't have enough interest in beauty and skincare (outside my regular regime) to be that tempted by the prospect of trying new products. A stationery subscription box, however, it right up my street, and I enjoyed a few months of one before cancelling! <3


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