Birchbox January Box

Sunday, January 18, 2015

There is no 'Nails of the Week' post today, as I've been giving them a bit of a break after all the glitter polishes over Christmas and didn't think you'd want to see photos of my bare recovering nails! But, a New Year means a new Birchbox and January's box has now landed on my doorstep.

For January, Birchbox collaborated with Women's Health and with a New Year - and thus a 'new you' - in mind, the box came with a 'Hit Refresh' theme. The theme suited the month perfectly because, as you all know, everyone is on detox after Christmas and the "keep fit", "drink more water" and "eat healthier" New Year's Resolutions are in full swing - despite most of us not admitting that these are most likely to be forgotten about come spring! This box keeps the positive mind and positive body attitude flowing and has been a massive help with me when it came to getting back in to fitness. You could say this was my own personal motivator, so thank you Birchbox!

Due to the collab, the box had it's own funky design and inside it was the usual bag housing the beauty products and three cards. One was the info leaflet (always helpful), the next was a Women's Health Magazine subscription offer and the third was a little booklet full of 12 fitness-focused challenges, that I thought were ace. The challenges are easy and fun to do and the tips section on the back of each challenge card are especially useful.

On to the all-important products and there were a lot of skincare items this month, but I think my body was rather grateful of that, after all of the indulging I did in December!

The first item I received was Philip Kingsley Body Building Conditioner. I didn't have very high hopes for this product, after receiving a sample of dry shampoo in a previous box and not getting on with it at all. However, it pleasantly surprised me! The scent was nothing too special but quite refreshing all the same and despite being of thin consistency, it made my hair feel smooth and sleek after use. Like most people, I get the few fly aways due to too much drying and straightening but the conditioner helped to keep a lock on them without feeling too heavy. The only down-side - and it's a biggy - is the £19 price tag, which I believe is quite a lot of money for a conditioner and seeing as the L'Oreal EVERsleek one is a fraction of the price, I think I'll be sticking to that one.

Next, I pulled out the Glycolactic Radiance Renewal Mask from Ren. My firsts thoughts were "what an earth is 'glycolactic'?" and after trawling the internet for answers, I discovered that it is made with 5-6.5% Gloycolic Acid that claims to "help dissolve the bonds that holds dead-skin build up" - learning something new everyday! I'm not entirely sure how true this is but after using the mask, my skin did feel decongested of dirt, grime and build up, as well as, feeling more toned and fresher from gentle exfoliation. The orange/citrusy scent is yummy too! My face felt radiant and it's certainly a mask I would consider repurchasing in the future.

The third product out of the box was Activbod Cooling Finish Lotion and I absolutely adore this stuff. I went on my first run in about 4 months at the beginning of this week and came home a big-ball of sweaty mess, so after a quick dive in the shower, I used some of this gel-like lotion all over and felt considerably cooler, calmer and refreshed. It also felt moisturising and soaked in to the skin nicely, without leaving any sticky residue behind. I grabbed it pretty sharpish after the second run too and I imagine that'll happen until it runs out! The other bonus is a full-size tube costs only £12 and consequently, it might also be bought once gone!

I then pulled out my favourite item of the entire box: HealGel Intensive. This gel is bloomin' good stuff and despite it's steep RRP (£37.50), it's one I'm most serious about repurchasing - maybe I'll use some of the Birchbox points I've wracked up to soften the blow! Even though I use EpiDuo to fight my acne (see more on that here), I still get blemishes popping up quite often and this is where I've been using the heal and repair gel most. I've got to say, I have been seeing a vast improvement in the appearance of my skin and the heal-time of these pesky spots. The inflammation and redness seems to disappear within a few hours after rubbing a small amount of the gel on and it's not at all harsh on the skin. It smells rather nice too. I can't help but sing it's praises as it's such a great product!

Next up was the only cosmetic item this month and my least-favourite received. I'm talking about Stila Lip Glaze in shade 'Gleam'. The colour, baby pink with glitter particles, is pretty, I'll give it that but how to get the product out and on to the lips is another matter. It has a twisty-clicky mechanism that then allows the product to go in the brush applicator, sounds easy right? For the life of me, I have had such trouble getting any gloss in to the brush, let alone applying it to the lips. It's quite frankly a pain to use. The product itself also feels massively sticky and the glitter is too large so feels horrible to wear. This Lip Glaze reminds me of way back when I had my first ever lip gloss, it feels dated and cheap. Sorry Stila, this is just a big no-no for me.

If you read my November favourites, you'll know that I am partial to tea but green tea can be a hit or miss with me, so when I received Embrace Matcha Green Tea, I was slightly dubious. There was only one sachet, which was fine by me and I tired it the day I received the box. I've never had loose (or ground in this case) green tea but it tasted like any other normal green tea - a strange, bitter flavour - though it was better with honey added. It wasn't unpleasant, but I wouldn't rush out to buy it to be honest; a good and healthy addition to my box nonetheless.

Finally, I came to the lifestyle item and true to this month's theme, I received a Pilates Band. Not really being 'in-the-know' with at-home fitness stuff, I had to do a bit of research on how best to use this and with my Mum and I partaking in Saturday fitness-fun to get in better shape, I imagine it'll come in handy; I'll be sure to let you know how that pans out though.

I had a few mixed feelings about January's box but all in all, it was still pretty great and there were some items that I really did enjoy.

To find out more about the company and to subscribe, please click here.

What did you think to Birchbox's January Box? Do you subscribe to any beauty boxes? 

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  1. Ohh I do not subscribe to any beauty boxes currently~ ^ ^
    But I love seeing what is inside of them! ^ - ^

    1. They're definitely worth subscribing to if you like the monthly treat and Birchbox is by far one of the best beauty box brands around :)

  2. I love that Ren mask! Healgel sounds great!

    1. It's great isn't it! Yeah, it's a really good product :) x

  3. Those products sound great and I love the ''new year, new you'' idea

    1. There were some great products, definitely. Me too! Was a nice, energising box :)

  4. oo I like the look of this box! great pics hun :) x


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Amy Tinson