Friday, 9 May 2014

April Birch Box Harpers Bazaar Edition - A Review!

So this is the last one of my 6 month Birch Box subscription and it is a goodie!! Over all I have been extremely impressed with Birch first few were a bit lame with a lack of well known brands and way too many perfume samples but they certainly upped their game quickly including products by one of my favourite brands Benefit and several collaboration/themed boxes. I would really like to try out some of the other beauty boxes on the market there are so many now I would love to see how they compare.

Anyway back to this months box, I felt that this month was all about the packaging....I am a sucker for nice packaging! I couldn't write this review without starting with Birch Box's makeover for this months Harpers Bazar collaboration is stunning after all. I for one was one of the many subscribers who were a little disappointed with the LuLu Guinness collaboration and the fact that the LuLu Guinness inspired design was only a cardboard sleeve that covered just the regular box. I thought a lot more effort could have gone into the box design knowing that a lot of subscribers like to keep and utilise their empty Birch Box's but at least it seemed they have listened! Instead of a sleeve to go over the regular Birch Box the actual box has had a beautiful makeover, the bold colours and pretty floral print just emits exotic summer vibes while still looking very sophisticated in true Harpers Bazaar style....Like I said this one is definitely a keeper!  

As usual the box comes with its menu, a list of included products and their full retail a quick glance I saw my favourite brand Benefit, the iconic brand Liz Earle and Aromatherapy Associates which I know is a quality high end brand, so I instantly got a little excited. The box also came with a little offer for the Harper Bazaar magazine subscriptions something along the lines of 12 issues for only £1 each but I cant say I'm a great magazine lover. The last piece of reading material included is the 'Great Outdoors Beauty Guide' which seemed to be the theme of the box 'products designed to prepare for a season's worth of outdoor adventure. In here it explains how each product relates to the box's theme but I have to admit i flick through these little pamphlets but rarely ever read them and they very quickly get thrown away.

I really liked the mixture of products in this box....not one perfume sample (I say jumping for joy!) and a great balance of make up and skincare from well known brands and new discoveries. I also am impressed with the sample sizes too especially the handy handbag sized mascara and the full sized nail polish. When I said this box was all about packaging I wasn't lying, the samples where really well packaged this month adding a more luxurious feel to the box in its entirety.

Wanting to know what was in this sleek white and black box with a name I did not recognise this was the first product I picked out. After removing the box and inner foam casing out came a beautiful full sized nail polish, like I said I had never heard of Soigne Boutique but I love the sophisticated look of the brand, the box and the bottle itself ooze quality and at a retail cost of £13 it at the higher end of the nail polish category. I seems Birch Box must have been reading my mind when they selected this shade for me as I have been desperately trying (and failing!) to find my perfect nude nail polish for a while and here they go just offering it to me on a plate. This very subtle peach toned nude is so so pretty on the nails and it doesn't have any problems in formula which I found with many other nude polishes. Its easy to apply it still takes 3 coats to become fully opaque but the finish is well worth it. 

Another edition to the box is a sample sized shampoo and conditioner by 'Beauty Protector' again a brand I have not heard of but these would be perfect to pack for summer get aways. I will report back on if they are any good, I received a full sized shampoo in last months box which I absolutely love so I'm holding out high hopes that this will follow the trend. 

Now for an iconic product that every single beauty lover is sure to have heard of the Liz Earle Hot Cloth Cleanse and Polish. I've got to say I'm very excited to try this as it is so talked about and I have a feeling I will be purchasing a full sized sometime in the future especially as I have been on the hunt for a cream cleanser since I ran out of my Soap & Glory Peaches & Clean. This generous sample size even comes with a muslin cloth so it is safe to say I am quite impressed with this edition to the box. 

I am new to the use of oils and its not something I use all the time but after trying a previous Aromatherapy Associates sample in a Birch Box I kinda fell in love a little. This is a bath & shower oil that smells like it belongs in a posh spa, what is somewhat disappointing is the fact that according to instructions this whole little bottle is only one serving so I only get one luxurious bath but as the full sized bottle is a whopping £39 I can understand why!  

Saving the best till last another iconic product from my favourite brand Benefit the They're real! Mascara. Now I have to be honest I already own the full sized version of this and we have a bit of a love hate relationship. Although it does give you beautifully defined and voluminous lashes I'm not all too keen on how it makes my lashes feel, kinda like they are plastic and very rigid. Even so before I had even received this box I had dug out this mascara to give it another shot and see if I have changed my mind about it. For those who don't own it this is a fantastic product to receive its also a handy size to leave in your handbag or to travel with. 

EDIT: After comparing my sample of They're Real Mascara with the full sized I already owned I realised that the reason I hadn't got on with it was because it was a fake! I had suspected because come on it was truly awful and needless to say it is now in the bin! After using my new sample I realise how fantastic this mascara is it really does give you beautiful lashes....So lesson learnt never purchase makeup from Ebay! 

Overall this is a fabulous box I'm quite sad its going to be my last but at least I left on a high! Hopefully I will have another subscription box to start reviewing for you soon I am undecided between Glossy Box or LoveMe beauty.....I would love to know your favourite beauty box subscription??

Thank you for reading.


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