Work hard, play hard & be kind: September Birchbox review

Work hard, play hard & be kind: September Birchbox review

My September Birchbox had a lot to live up to – to quote The Killers, “the expectation can be great.”  I like the strapline this month too, we can all do with a reminder to be kind, to ourselves especially.

Recap on August’s box

I absolutely LOVED August’s box (review here)!  Birchbox were spot on with their selection of treats that really matched my profile and I was a very happy girl.

September’s box

This month Birchbox have teamed up with Oliver Bonas, the online lifestyle retailer, and there was a choice of two box styles. I went for the multi-coloured “Lucinda” one in preference to the faces, and I also chose to upgrade my box with the Oliver Bonas candle – of which, more later.

Arrow & Dr PawPaw: September Birchbox review

ARROW BOOST Color Enhancing Lip Balm

I was a little underwhelmed to see a lip balm in my box and very sceptical about its claim to adjust to my pH, and create a colour just for me.  But, wow, it’s absolutely amazing!  It goes on smoothly, feels silky on my lips, and gives them a really gorgeous pinky hue.  Mango seed butter provides the hydration, and the balm is vegan, paraben-free, cruelty-free, and gluten-free.  Plus it has a lovely minty fragrance.  I’m really stunned at how good this product is and, even though £11.00 feels a little pricey for a lip balm, I’ll definitely be buying it again when it runs out.  My first star product.

Dr. PawPaw Original Clear Balm – Yellow

I first heard about Dr PawPaw via Lydia’s review over at MademoiselleWomen so I was really pleased to get it in my box.  It’s a celebrity favourite multi-purpose balm with fermented pawpaw which apparently promotes healing and hydration.  You can use it on lips, dry skin, hair split ends, eyebrows, cuticles, and a whole host of other areas.  As I’m so thrilled with my Arrow lip balm, I decided to try Dr PawPaw on my super dry cuticles (too much gardening!) and it’s worked wonders already.  It puts me in mind of a budget Elizabeth Arden Eight Hour cream dupe and, at just £6.95, I’ll be buying it again when the sample runs out.  My second star product.

Polaar IcyMagic Instant Eye Contour Energiser

I’ve been impressed with the other Polaar products in previous Birchboxes so I was looking forward to trying this one.  It goes on smoothly and feels lovely and cool.  I don’t think the ginseng has any visible brightening and tightening effect but the massaging action of the roller ball is nice.   I like this but at £22.00 I don’t think I’ll buy it again when I can buy a Garnier eye roller for a third of the price.

Manna Kadar Cosmetics Fantasy 3-in-1 Eyeshadow

Another multi-use product – apparently you can use this as an eyeshadow, highlighter, and a blush.  It’s a lovely gold-pink shade and the texture is like silk.  I like it as a highlighter and eyeshadow but it’s a little too sparkly for use as a full blusher, for me anyway.  It looks amazing against my fading tan although I’m not sure how it will look once I’m winter pale again.  Maybe one to keep for the holiday draw, along with the Nuxe oil from last month.  A very pretty product, but quite expensive at £15.  Hopefully, it should last me a long while, as I don’t think I’ll be repurchasing.

Beauty Protector Protect & Detangle

I’ve never heard of this brand but after a week away at the end of August, my dry, curly, coloured, frizzy hair needs all the help it can get!  The product is a vegan, paraben- and sulphate-free leave-in mist conditioner that you spray onto damp hair.  And it also protects against UV rays and heat.  First impressions are that it’s quite sweetly scented but, wow, it leaves my curls sooooo soft and shiny, I love it!  This sample ought to last me at least a month so plenty of time to keep testing it, but it just might be my new go to hair product of choice.  And at £18.50, it won’t break the bank either. A hit.

Oliver Bonas candle: September Birchbox review

Oliver Bonas candle

Every month Birchbox offers the chance to buy something related to their curated box and this time it was the rather lovely Oliver Bonas travel candle.  The bergamot and mint combination smells deliciously fresh and the packaging on the tin makes a very pretty container.  I never need any encouragement to buy nice candles (!) and I really love this one.

Arrow, Dr PawPaw, MannaKadar, Polaar, Beauty Protector: September Birchbox review

Did I like September’s box?

Another good month for me, I really like all my treats and the Arrow lip balm in particular.  I’ll enjoy using the 15% Oliver Bonas discount voucher later this month, and in the meantime, the four cute freebie stickers have gone down very well with my daughter!  I’ve said this before but I’ll say it again, I really think Birchbox is fantastic value for money, and this month I wouldn’t swap anything.

What did you think of your September Birchbox?  What was your favourite treat this time?  Did you like everything or not?


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Such a pretty box this month! I always love it when Birchbox teams up with a designer of some sort!


I wish I’d known they were teaming up with Oliver Bonas, they’re one of my favourite shops! I’m always worried about signing up for a subscription incase I start getting duplicates/dud boxes where I don’t like the products but this one looks so fab!
Tara xo


Hi, what a pretty box with a great selection of products. I would have to choose the Oliver Bonas candle and the arrow boost colour enhancing lip balm. I just love anything mint based.


I have dry frizzy hair too, haha! I’ve actually heard a lot about sulfate free products being good recently.
Aleeha xXx