Birchbox review | July 2017

Monday 24 July 2017

Can you believe another month has gone by? It doesn’t seem live five minutes since the June Birchbox landed in all its candy-striped glory, and now here we are with the July offering.

This month’s box is printed with tropical palm trees, and the theme is definitely high summer – far-flung adventures and getting away from it all. But would the products that made the edit have me dreaming of cocktails on the beach? Take a peek…

The first item to peek out of the box was Benefit ChaChatint.

This was the ‘spoiler’ item last month, and we were offered a choice between this warm coral colour or Gogotint, which is more of a dark pink. As I have yellow undertones, more orange shades tend to suit me better, so I opted to give ChaChatint a try.

Because I’m an old-timer now, I remember when Benetint, the original red liquid stain, became super-popular. It was different to any product that had come before, and people loved the natural looking flush it gave to cheeks and lips. The product has remained a firm favourite since, leading to the launch of Posietint, a lighter pink version, and now these two shades.

The thing that appeals to me about this is that it's an easy multi-tasker for summer. On holiday, I try to go as minimal as my make-up junkie brain will allow, and I love to take products with multiple uses. Dabbed onto the apples of cheeks and the lips, this punchy tint provides a sheer but pretty wash of colour that gets you out the door and onto the beach quicker – and lasts all day.

In this age of insta-perfect contouring, baking and heavy, complicated makeup, this reminds me of a simpler time. It feels good and slightly nostalgic to have rediscovered it.

Next up, Balance Me Flash Cleanse Micellar Water. Now I’ve said this before about Balance Me products – I’ve tried so many of them via sample boxes or magazine giveaways. It feels like you see something from them every month. But nothing from their range has ever made me want to buy it.

Little micellar waters are useful for travel but I’ve had several from different brands in Birchboxes recently, so this feels repetitive and uninspired. The saving grace is that this product is 99% natural, and uses chamomile to soothe irritated skin, and neroli and mandarin oils to regenerate and leave skin glowing.

Time will tell, but I doubt very much whether this will edge the Garnier Micellar water off my bathroom shelf. Lately, I’ve gotten into reusable makeup removing cloths as well, which are working really well for me.

Percy & Reed feels like another brand that are in sample boxes and magazine freebies a lot. The packaging is cute, but I’ve had better results elsewhere so I wouldn’t go to the trouble of seeking it out. The Perfectly Perfecting Wonder Overnight Recovery (is it just me who gets irritated by the needless repetition in the product name? Bad grammar is NOT cute, Adam Reed!) is exactly the same as an Umberto Giannini product that I’ve used on and off for a couple of years – like a night cream for the hair.

You run it through mid-lengths and ends before bed, and it sinks in while you sleep, so you wake up with smooth, silky locks. I love the idea, as it's no hassle and as I used my GHDs most days, my hair could always use an extra hit of moisture.

Unlike the one I use though, this one asks you to shampoo it out in the morning (the Umberto Giannini one just sinks in). I don’t wash my hair every day, and never in the mornings, so that makes this product largely useless to me. The whole point is that it bypasses the hassle of using a deep conditioner in the bath or shower, but this simply wouldn’t work for my lifestyle.

In the past, I’ve found their other products quite heavy and greasy too, and their Frizz Cream did nothing for mine, so I’m thinking this is a bit of a dud for me. One to pass onto a friend!

The smile was back on my face when I spotted Rituals Hammam Delight Foaming Shower Gel. This is a brand that I absolutely love (their Fortune Scrub is one of my all time faves) and everything I have tried from them so far has been amazing – smelt delicious and performed really well. So this shower foam is a treat I’m looking forward to.

It transforms from a gel to a foam on contact with damp skin, releasing lots of tiny bubbles of gorgeousness, and is packed with eucalyptus and rosemary, which not only make you and your bathroom smell like an expensive spa but are really refreshing. Ideal for warm sticky mornings and evenings on holiday when you’re looking to feel really fresh after your shower.

Origins RitualiTea Oolong-La Face Mask was the product that impressed me the most this month. It’s a face mask in a powder form that you mix with a few drops of water. It foams and fizzes when you do this, and you end up with a mousse-like textured skin treat.

When you first apply it, it feels really hot when reacting to your skin,  and you can feel a tingle as it gets to work drawing out impurities. With Oolong black tea and a blend of spices, this smells like a Chai Latte for your face!

Seb and I both tested this out and we really liked the effect on our skin. This mask is more for oilier complexions, and I’ve got pretty balanced skin, while Seb is more oily, but it left both of us feeling refreshed, mattified and smooth. I would definitely try more in the range and consider buying this, so it was a great discovery. I’ve resolved to try more Origins products now, as this was impressive.

And finally, we also got a little sample of perfume – Catherine Malandrino Style de Paris.

Normally, I’m not too fussed about perfume samples, but they are useful for taking away on holiday. Although I tend to stick to the same few scents, I do love to try out a new one on holiday, as it then creates a memory linked to that time and place.

Style de Paris is a fruity fragrance, which is not my usual cup of tea, but for that reason its ideal to take with me to Croatia in a few weeks. With Italian mandarin, nashi pear and ruby grapefruit, it smells summery and energising. Sometimes fruity scents can be a bit juvenile – I prefer a sparking oriental that seems more sophisticated – but this one is a little more of a grown-up scent. Perhaps it will convince me while I’m away!

So this month’s Birchbox contained a few great discoveries and lots of travel-size treats perfect for summer holidays. Well played, Birchbox….

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