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13 September 2017

Birchbox X Oliver Bonas: September Box Review

I've been receiving my monthly box of goodies from Birchbox for about 5 months now. I'm a sucker for mini-sized products and was drawn in to the subscription service for the prospect of trying out some new brands. 

In case you're unsure, Birchbox offers 5 tailored beauty and lifestyle products a month to be sent to your doorstop for £12.95 p/m. A big selling point for the company is the promise of personalised products especially for your skin and hair type, tastes etc. This was definitely one thing that drew me to the service as I feel that there're so many brands out there now that it can be hard to figure out what you want/need when choosing new beauty bits. Birchbox offers to take that stress away from you by having you fill out a beauty profile to help them choose products you'll hopefully love and use each month. 

I've been pretty impressed with my previous boxes; as a newbie, I enjoyed the selections I was sent each month- a majority of which centred round skin and hair care (dry skin and bleached hair probs). 

But as I got more accustomed to the service, the magic started to wear off. I was finding my boxes pretty repetitive and filled with things I didn't really care about. Cancelling did cross my mind, but Birchbox managed to grab me for another month by collaborating with one of my favourite brands for the September box- Oliver Bonas.

Oliver Bonas is home decor heaven for me. I'm endlessly scrolling through their website and mentally planning my home that I'll never be able to afford (a millennial can dream right?). I thought that this collab might just have been made for me, so I decided to stick around for another month. 

When my box arrived at my door the other week, I couldn't wait to open it. I already knew my box design as I had chosen from the two options, plus I knew I had a candle as I'd ordered that as an add-on to this month's box. As for the contents, I was so excited to see what should have been the perfect selection of products to accompany the perfect box design. But as I clawed my way through the sellotape and struck gold, sliding the box open, I couldn't be more disappointed.

My box included:

  • Beauty Protector Protect and Detangle: A vegan, paraben- and sulphate-free leave-in mist which conditions, detangles and minimises frizz, while safeguarding colour and adding shine. It also provides protection against UV rays and heat and is suitable for all hair-types.

  • ARROW BOOST Colour Enhancing Lip Balm: A Birchbox brand, this ARROW lip balm adapts to the pH level in your skin to produce a colour tailored to suit you best. Containing mango seed butter, this product will nourish and protect your lips.

  • Polaar IcyMagic Instant Eye Contour Energiser: With Siberian ginseng to tone and brighten, plus a cooling gel formula, this product instantly rejuvenates the under-eye area.

  • Manna Kadar Cosmetics Fantasy 3-in-1 Eyeshadow: A pearlescent pink powder that can be used as a sheen on the eyes and also as a blush and highlighter to give your skin a pretty glow.

  • Dr. PawPaw Original Clear Balm- Yellow: This balm boasts natural healing qualities, giving this product a multitude of hydrating uses. From moisturiser to lip balm and split end-sealer to sunburn-soother, it delivers an instant moisture boost wherever you need it.

The products themselves are fine thus far; I love the subtlety of the eyeshadow and I'm always a fan of a good lip balm. However my problem lies with the fact that the box didn't particularly offer me anything new. Fair enough, it was very skin-care focussed which is great for me as I'm a big fan of a good skincare routine. But looking on Instagram, I found that endless amounts of people had the exact same products, kind of making the whole 'personalised' aspect redundant. 

I felt like I'd received the same sort of products as I had in previous boxes, plus these products felt too repetitive even just in this box; who really needs two lip balms at once? I loved the bonuses of the stickers and the 15% Oliver Bonas discount, plus the candle smells wonderful but that was something I paid extra for (albeit at a discounted price compared to buying from OB directly). I just felt like I wasn't getting my money's worth this month and it made me reflect on how I felt with previous boxes. As much as I love the idea of Birchbox, I think I might have to cancel my subscription as £12.95 p/m can add up, especially if you're not getting what you had hoped for. 

Interestingly, whilst looking through the Birchbox Instagram, I found that many people were commenting on pictures and had similar opinions to mine. I can only hope that the company take these comments on board and have a revamp of future boxes to bring back the initial excitement in the customer.

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