As most of you know I love a good subscription box whether it be beauty, crafts or gin. I think they can be great value for money, if you find one that suits you. I have recently reviewed June’s Glossybox which is a beauty and skincare subscription. Since that post, I have had so many requests to also review this month’s Birchbox so people can see the comparison, as they are probably 2 of the most popular beauty subscriptions in the UK and of a similar price. I know many of you are ordering similar subscription boxes during lockdown as is an easy way to try new products without leaving home but also gives you something to look forward to!
Subscription boxes can go up and down in terms of quality, I have cancelled both my Glossybox and Birchbox subscriptions on and off over the years due to money difficulties but also if I have had several boxes that don’t meet my needs then I cancel. That is one of the great things about these, you can cancel anytime! I chose to review this month’s Glossybox because I thought it was so good and deserved a shout out, you can read it here. This is the first time in a while I have had boxes from both companies in the same month – so here is my honest Birchbox review for June!
Birchbox UK costs £12.95 per month including delivery and they have a different theme every month, normally with the box designed in line with that theme. What I love about Birchbox, which Glossybox don’t do, is that there is something personalised each month. It may be you can choose the design of your box between several options. Most commonly it is choosing between products. This month it was choosing between Real Chemistry cleanser or the peel. Next month it is choosing the shade of coloured lip balm for example.
Firstly, I thought the design of this box was gorgeous. The theme this month was ‘Born in the USA’, I love the way the box design reflects this but without being too ‘in your face’. This means all products were from American brands. On one hand I love trying new products so was intrigued by this, on the other hand I prefer using British products as much as possible, but as it was a specific theme, I will embrace it this month! I most love the fact it is a drawer style rather than a typical box, as I find it easier to reuse and integrate into my dressing table/make-up table. I also must say that they were brilliant in recognising the current BLM movement, especially in the US, and how their theme may be construed in different ways. They put a note in each box addressing this and giving advice of ways to support BLM by donating and signing petitions. These companies work hard on these boxes months in advance and I am glad they were honest and addressed the issue head on whilst also taking a good look at how they as a company can do better.
The first item was a pack of Patchology eye gel patches. These retail for £2.80 for one pair, or £14 for a box of 5. I think these are really nicely designed in terms of packaging but also the shape of the gels, they fit my eye area really nicely. They were very cooling and my eyes did look less puffy afterward. I use a lot of eye gels and wouldn’t say they were anything special, but definitely a great product I would use again.
As mentioned earlier this is the product you could choose, with the options being the Real Chemistry cleanser or the peel. I went for the peel as I haven’t used one before and have loads of cleansers! This was not a full sized product with it being a 20ml sample compared to the full sized 50ml. I have used this 3 times since I received it, and honestly am a bit disappointed. Although it does what it says I feel like not much skin or ‘solids’ as they call it comes away. From their description of how to use it I feel as if it should be more effective at removing dead skin. It also doesn’t leave my skin feeling very clean or cleansed afterwards. You know how you feel refreshed after your skincare routine? This didn’t make me feel like that. However, I must say that even if it didn’t make me feel special – it did leave my skin looking clearer and brighter. I also love the packaging and texture of the the product, it is a gel and doesn’t have a chemical smell, which I was pleased about. I will continue using it as I feel results will get better with time. However, I would not buy it as the full sized product is £48, and this sample size therefore works out at a whopping £19.20!! Even though it obviously is doing good to my skin, I really don’t think I would spend £48 on this, but if results improve with use it may be worth it…time will tell! I was happy to receive this product to try it out, but also because I have heard so much about it. This is why these boxes are great as it allows you to be adventurous without paying full price!
So, you can never have enough cleansing cloths in my opinion. you are always going to use them and therefore this is a great skincare accessory to get in your box from Magnitone. It says this brand is from London on the packaging, so why it is in this box with the USA theme I don’t know! This was full sized but you only received one meaning it is worth £10. The normal RRP is £20 but they all come in boxes of 2. They are 100% bamboo so are eco-friendly. Again, I like the packaging and feel of this cloth. It does what it says and is a good, gentle cleanse. However, I feel the colour is bit off putting, I don’t think an off-coloured grey is the best colour for a cloth which is meant to make you feel clean?! Hope you understand what I’m trying to say, but just didn’t blow me away when I initially took it out of the box. I would explore more of this brand based on this product, so is a good addition to the box. As a note of comparison, there were cleansing cloths in this month’s Glossybox too, but are from a different brand and you received 2 fulls sized cloths in a funky vintage design, so in a comparison test I think Glossybox would win on the cloth choice this month. But, honestly they do the same job, it is just a design preference for me!
Amika was a completely new brand for me, I had never heard of it before so was intrigued to give it a go. This was a sample sized tube of their Reset exfoliating jelly shampoo. We got a 20ml sample which is quite small compared to the full sized 140ml bottle which RRP’s at £20, meaning this sample is only worth £2.86. First of all I LOVE the design of their packaging and branding, it is right up my street! I have researched some more of their stuff and it is equally gorgeous, especially the full sized bottles. I used this the first day I received it and it did leave my hair and scalp clean and feeling exfoliated. It has solid abrasive bits in it, similar to a scrub, which act as the physical exfoliant on your hair. I enjoyed using it and probably would look into some of their other products to try as well. My only issue was that because I have long, thick hair I used almost all of this tube. I don’t have enough left for another full wash, so only got one use out of it. But it made my hair feel fresh and look shiny, and a little less frizzy than normal so was very pleased to have given this a go! This is a UK exclusive to Birchbox, so can be purchased on their shop.
So, the final product in the box was this Peeper Perfect Concealer by Winky Lux. As you can see this was a 3ml sample size, the full sized products are 10ml and retail for £14, meaning this sample is worth £4.20. Firstly, I like the packaging, even for the sample! If you take a look at their core products I think they have a good brand theme and cohesive look. I got the medium shade, which is based off my profile I had to fill in on the Birchbox website. If you decide to subscribe, make sure you fill in your beauty profile as they will send you shades and product based on your skin tone and sensitivity etc. I liked the shade and think this is a really good concealer in terms of coverage and pigment. The only thing I don’t like is the texture, it is very heavy and felt it sat on the skin rather than blended. But I would continue using this sample, especially as it is small and easy to take on overnight work trips etc, however would not replace my normal concealer. I think for £14 for a full sized item is a really good price, and although not for me, think this would work for loads of people.
So, this box cost £12.95 and we received items to the value of £39.06. This price I have worked out on the sample sizes received and not on the full sized RRP. So, even that considered it is really good value for money!
Although not all the products received worked for me, I really enjoyed the variety in this box and trying some new brands and products. I think it is a really good value way to find brands that work for you and have a bit of fun with your make-up and skincare repertoire.
I think my only downside is the that most of the products were sample sizes and not full sized. Compared to this months Glossybox, where all items were full sized and had a total worth of over £60. I loved both boxes this month for different reasons. Not every month will be for you, for example last months Birchbox was amazing for me in terms of skincare items and have now integrated each and every product I received into my daily skincare routine.
It is all about what works for you and what you look for, whether that be products you want to instantly love and use forever or just exploring new brands etc. Not every box is going to work for everyone but I think all these are such good value you can’t go wrong. If you know you won’t use a product give it away or I tend to leave a basket in the guest bathroom for people to use when they stay over.
Well done Birchbox UK, a really good variety and I think you have stepped up your game recently to compete!
If you would like to subscribe to Birchbox you can use my personal link here, which gets you £5 off your first box and I will receive money off in their shop for referring. Or you can just check out their website.
If you want to read my June Glossybox review, you can do so here.
Let me know what you thought!