Goodbye Birchbox | August InStyle Birchbox

18 August 2013

August's Birchbox saw a collaboration between themselves and the magazine InStyle. It is not a magazine I personally read but I welcomed the month's box with open arms and hearing about this box actually stopped me from cancelling my subscription in July. I could only assume that a collaboration box would mean big brands and a good variety of products, but I was wrong. 

Products In Box
S Bluemandarines - SkinLife Energetic Cellular Facial
S Montibe.lo - Gold Oil Essence Amber and Argan Oil
S Gerda Spillmann - Hydro Pearls Make-Up Primer
S LAQA & Co - Lip Pencil in Ring of Fire
S Molton Brown -Ylang-Ylang Body Wash

Lifestyle Extra
S Propercorn - Fiery Worcester Sauce & Sun-Dried Tomato Popcorn

Beauty Extra
F Birchbox - Gel Mask

You know cream you put on your face? This is one. And no matter how many scientific words they put before the word 'cream', it will always be just cream-you-put-on-your-face-to-moisturise. There has been at least one 'cream' in every box and there's a particular point in life when you have too many and wonder how much you paid for these versus it's actual worth and that point, is now. Upon closer inspection I noticed that this in fact stated that it was a 'free sample' and I feel they slapped 'Birchbox Special Edition' to mask the fact that you could just pick this up at a counter. I held the tube up in the light and immediately grew angry at the fact that this tiny free counter sample wasn't even full. I would not pay £35 for this, I would rather collect up 50ml's worth of samples which would only take five visits - oh no wait...ten visits since each 10ml sample is only half full.

I am half pleased and half not about receiving this. I like using oils and serums on my ends but since starting my new job, I've been letting my hair air dry in the car and therefore haven't had the time to add any product to my hair. However, I will be bringing this on holiday with me. I would not pay £22.50 for this though and the smell isn't too pleasant on the nose either. I would rather pick up pure coconut oil in Bodycare for £1 and pretend I'm in a Bounty advert.

I don't know what this even is. I'm aware there are moisturising primers out there but this doesn't seem to prime my skin for anything. My make-up is no different with or without it and at £30, I highly doubt I will be purchasing this. Even if I decided to, it's pretty impossible to purchase anywhere else but Birchbox so there's a huge catch there. Gerda Spillmann are cunning in that their textured bottle is fully opaque so I cannot tell if it's half filled like the Bluemandarines SkinLife Energetic Cellular Propeller Aerodynamic Unicorn Poo Cream.

Pas mal as they say in French, simply okay. It is a red lipstick with a blue undertone so should work well with teeth whitening but I already own too many red lipsticks and have found this to be a little dry compared to its pastel pink counterparts which I have seen from photos to have a Chubby Stick glossy texture which I would've much preferred for my dry lips. While the sample seems a good size, the product literally twist up 1.75 turns before stopping. It's a great size for my handbag, but then again - what lipstick isn't?

I have been wanting to try Molton Brown for a while so I could see what the fuss was about. This body wash is quite luxurious to use and it does for a second convince yourself that you have money in your bank but for an £18 body wash, I can think of many other body washes that smell nice. They may not make me feel rich but it washes my body which is what a 'body wash' is meant to do, right? It is a plus to smell a million dollars but quite something else to pay a million dollars.

Funnily enough, the Propercorn sample was probably the item I was most excited for. I've recently been going through a huge popcorn phase and have tried Propercorn previously and loved it. I also really like spicy food and snacks so this was right up my alley. I was pleasantly surprised to find out it has a good level of spiciness to it as well. A lot of 'spicy' snacks are actually very mild and more peppery rather than spicy. However, even this came with a flaw - albeit quite a tiny flaw. It had a nutritional error and had since been relabelled. I've come across snacks like this previously and have always found it a little sketchy when I've come across relabelling, especially with cheap stickers. To me, this screamed didn't-pas-legal-laws. The original nutritional values suggested the sample was 10g even though it was probably half the size of the full size 80g packet, therefore making the nutritional values quite misleading and...well...wrong! Not to mention, the sticker gathered a lot of dust but hey, we eat dust all the time and the popcorn was delicious.

This is an own brand cooling eye mask and like with any own brand Birchbox product, I was not pleased. Not only that but I already own a cooling eye mask that I much prefer because it has holes to see out of so unless you want to watch Sex in The City seemingly blind and underwater, I would not recommend this. 

I have done calculations for this box and while the Birchbox RRP's are rather accurate, the value of the boxes have gone down over the past couple months. I have not created a Vine for it either, like I usually do nor will I be including an Ideal Box image because this is sadly my last Birchbox. I have come to the decision that paying £12.95 a month for samples irrelevant to me and half full, I'd rather use that money to make my Graze box, weekly. I have many issues with Birchbox which I will outline below but I just want to reiterate that these views are merely my own and if you love your Birchbox subscription then please do continue with it. Don't let my views discourage yours and the same goes for life in general. 

"People too weak to follow their dreams will always find a way to discourage yours."

Birchbox Pros
  1. Discover new brands
  2. Handy samples for travelling
  3. Great stocking fillers or gifts for friends
  4. Surprise every month
  5. Boxes reusable

Birchbox Cons
  1. Limited availability of products elsewhere other than
  2. Constantly receiving moisturisers and body wash
  3. Receiving samples that you can get free
  4. Beauty Profiles that are invalid and in no way reflects the items you'll be receiving meaning you may get irrelevant products
  5. Own brand products to bulk up the perceived value of box
  6. Low value boxes
  7. Products that are unobtainably expensive
  8. Very few full-sized products

Number of Full-Sized Samples Per Box Over The Past Four Months

Per year, you will be spending £155.40 on boxes full of samples that you can get free at the counter or after a consultation. With these boxes, you earn points to spend in the Birchbox shop where you aren't necessarily making savings either. For example, this month's August box, I found the LAQA & Co Lip Pencil for £12 elsewhere whereas Birchbox charge £14 and the Bluemandarines Facial Cream I have found for £20-odd rather than the £35 they are charging. These are just a few examples. Over the past 5 months, I have completely almost all my surveys only to acquire £20 worth of points and the majority of products sold on their website are around the £30+ mark.

Before suspending my subscription, I redeemed my points and ordered two products for a University hamper I am making for my younger brother who will be starting in September. I ordered the KMS California Hairplay Dry Touch Up and the Marvis Classic Strong Toothpaste.


  1. The reasons you listed for canceling your subscriptions were more or less the same as mine. The quality of the service declined over the months and I just felt that my money could go toward better things, like my Graze box too!

    Haha, well at least you'll be getting yummy snacks more often and you were able to get something with your points too!
    <3 Carolyn

  2. really lovely post! your blog is so nice!
    Emma xx

  3. Such a great blog!
    Well done!
    I have only just started mine!
    Any tips would be much appreciated!


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