As some of you may already know, October’s Birchbox wasn’t for me (review here). But rather than waste it, I ran a giveaway which was won by the lovely Jenny in Neverland. So November’s Birchbox really is make or break for me, there are lots of other subscription boxes out there and I need five good reasons to stay with this one.
Birchbox have teamed up none other than Vogue magazine this time and the contents have been curated from Vogue’s 100 Beauty Hall of Fame. They’ve been chosen by past and present Vogue Beauty Editors and are products that we should all be able to go out and buy. So, what did I get in my box?
The only Benefit product I’ve ever bought is They’re Real mascara, which I adore. I’ve had a Benefit lipstick and lip/cheek tint in previous Birchboxes, which weren’t bad either. I know Hoola is a very popular bronzer and I was really pleased to get this in my box. It’s a matt powder with no sparkle so you can use it to warm up your face, or you could use it as a contour powder. It goes on smoothly and you can build up the coverage according to how pale you are or how healthy you want to look (!) I do rather miss the slight sparkle of my current drugstore bronzer though, I feel it gives my face the little lift I need (psychologically anyway). And £24.50 for the full size Hoola seems pricey so I don’t think I’ll buy it once this sample runs out.
I’ve been given this hand cream before and I know the combination of shea and aloe vera means it absorbs quickly and easily with no greasy or sticky residue. Sadly, the fragrance isn’t really me and my gardening hands need something more heavy duty than this. Crabtree & Evelyn’s Gardeners Hand Therapy is still my go to cream of choice, for efficacy, botanical fragrance, and price. Price again, I feel £21.00 is a lot to pay for a high street hand cream that doesn’t really work for me. That said though, it’s a product I’ll be happy to re-gift as it would be perfect for a friend who doesn’t spend her weekends grubbing around in the mud.
You may remember how thrilled I was to get the Nuxe Shimmer Dry Oil in my August Birchbox. Well, I’m equally delighted to get the non-sparkly Nuxe Dry Oil with its blend of essential oils and Vitamin E now. This version is better for Winter-pale skin and still works wonders on my dry hair ends, cuticles, under my brows, or across my cheekbones. Plus it smells fantastic and looks very pretty next to the shimmer version on my counter top. A little really does go a long way so I don’t think £17.00 is a lot to pay for the full price multi use version – maybe one for my Christmas wish list!
This is the second Percy & Reed hair product I’ve had from Birchbox (I quite liked the Wonder Balm in July’s box). My winter-frazzled and frizzy hair did seem smoother after using this oil but I didn’t notice any change in volume. I’m not too bothered about that though. My hair didn’t feel sticky either, but I still prefer my John Frieda Frizz Ease serum, which is half the price of this £14.00 oil. A nice one to try but not to repurchase.
If I hadn’t been reading so many other amazing bloggers’ posts I wouldn’t have had a clue what this was just from the box. I only use about five make up brushes and < coughs in acute embarrassment > I don’t remember the last time they were washed – oops. But for £5.00, this is a really cool little item, my fingers fit nicely inside the opening, and the grooves seem to do a good job of cleaning my brushes. It’s small enough to take on holiday too (not that I would want to be cleaning my brushes then but, you know, just in case). I actually think this is my favourite item this month – how crazy is that?
Did I like November’s box?
Ummm, IDK, IDK. I’m happy about the Nuxe dry oil and the little brush cleaner but the other three items, for me anyway, are a bit meh. On balance, after going through all my previous Birchboxes again, I think I’ll probably cancel my Birchbox subscription after Christmas. I’ve had some really good treats but also a lot of products that I would never use. Boxes and Swatches has a great selection of alternative subscription boxes so I might try one of those. Or, I might just give beauty subscription boxes a break altogether and write about the products I actually love and use myself.
What do you think of Vogue’s Birchbox curation this November? Have you got any other beauty box recommendations, or shall I start writing about my own favourites?