August Beauty Boxes! | Birchbox VS Glossybox

I’ll level with you guys… it’s Friday night, I’ve got my feet up with a red wine grateful for the weekend, and rather than getting my proper camera out and photographing each individual item, I’d rather sprawl in an armchair rocking my Snapchat resting face, typing up my thoughts on beauty boxes in general and on the merits of each of these. I do want to write more skincare / beauty related posts in the future, though, so please excuse the lack of presentation for now!

There are monthly subscriptions for everything these days, from Netflix to Friction Free Shaving. Because they seem like small and harmless expenses, it’s not long before you realise how many direct debits you’ve got going. There are obvious advantages, though; I definitely feel I get my money’s worth of Netflix and Spotify, and when I have a Beauty Box, I feel less likely to splurge on full-sized new products to try. The other plus point about Beauty Boxes, in my experience, is that you get to try brands you’ve maybe never even heard of and wouldn’t have picked out, and you get a pleasant surprise when that product becomes a part of your routine!

This month is my first ever Glossybox. It’s not, however, the first time I’ve bought Birchbox, but I hadn’t been subscribed for a long time, and the mermaid theme and the offer for a bonus free beauty blender and free nail polished lured me back in, like a siren song…

So let’s start with my reintroduction to Birchbox.

Here are the reasons I cancelled my Birchbox subscription before: they classed being able to choose your box design as a benefit of membership, and whilst I love art and design, I couldn’t care less about which design I get. I don’t often keep the boxes, and for what I’m paying for the subscription, I want as much focus as possible on the products, goddamnit. Furthermore, Birchbox would often send me things I generally have on hand or consider necessities I pick up at the pharmacy, like hand cream, foot cream, antibacterial gel and dry shampoo. These are not things I want to try in beauty boxes. I don’t care how many scents you offer me as a spin on the traditional product… I don’t want them. I’m paying to try out new beauty brands! The occasional hair product or maybe a hand cream brand I don’t see in the pharmacy is nice, but not as a regular occurrence.

When I rejoined this month, I must throw my hands up and say I ordered it pretty late in the month, so the best products advertised were no longer available. Probably why I got hand sanitizer and Palmers body butter. 🙄 So I’m going to keep an open mind about the September box! Hopefully, I will receive items more accurately matched to my profile. I did like that I got a really nice Spectrum brush AND a beauty blender (I use beauty blenders all the time). The LOC eyeshadow crayon was almost impossible to get open, but the shadow is really pretty. I’ve had one of these in a different colour from Birchbox when I was subscribed before and I do think they’re really good – great bold shades which are also very wearable and you can blend them easily, and they stay all day.

A nail polish in a very light colour was also included, and a sample size of Oribe Apres Beach Wave & Shine Spray. I haven’t tried this yet, but I do love having my hair curly / wavy so I can definitely see myself using it. Overall, despite the slight disappointments with the products, I think it was worth it even just for the beauty blender, the LOC shadow and the Spectrum brush. Also, despite what I said about box designs earlier, I did really enjoy the mermaid design on this box and the overall look of it feels like a beautiful farewell to Summer. If you like the sound of the products I enjoyed or want a discount if you sign up for September’s box instead, you can get £5 off your first box with my code.

Onto Glossybox: Like I said, I’ve never ordered a Glossybox before. They have different subscription options, and I opted for the one which allows me to cancel anytime. The box came pretty damn quickly, I have to say, and I was immediately struck by how nicely presented it is. From the pretty box design to the products wrapped up in a tissue paper and ribbon with the Glossybox crown sticker, I just felt like I’d received a high-quality box upon opening it. Almost like lingerie packaging! With the welcome flyer there is also a ‘discover your August edit’ page which has a breakdown of the products, and a cheeky preview of a siligel blender which is going to be included in next month’s box.

As for the contents of the box itself… firstly, there is a Batiste dry shampoo. I don’t use dry shampoos very often but this one is Orange and Pomegranite scented which I personally haven’t come across in a shop before, and it smells absolutely delicious! It’s the perfect size to throw in my bag if I want to take it to the gym or to a friend’s house when staying overnight. Also included for the hair is a Valouer Ice Hair Mask: Total Repair. This also smells very pleasant. I haven’t tried it yet, but as I use a good conditioner and hair serum every time I wash my hair, I often forget to give it a treat every week or so, so this will definitely be one I’ll be using! They also included a cute little ‘Aloha’ hair tie from Purelei.

For the lips there is a Rodial suede lips stick – to be honest, I’m not mad on this. when I swatched it on my arm it seemed very dry and flaky and it’s the same on my lips. But I’m kind of over the whole matte lips thing in general and it just seems like a very dry lip stain which I don’t think I’ll end up using. I also don’t really think I’ll use the Model Launcher Safari bronzer: the bronzer itself a sort of giraffe print colour which isn’t really me, too warm for my complexion, but it’s quite glittery and I don’t personally like my bronzers to have glitter in them. (Rimmel do a really nice matte bronzer which does the job.) To end it on a positive note, they included for the nails a Ciaté London paint pot in Fade to Greige, which has a violet tinge to it so which is really pretty. I tested just a little bit on my thumbnail and the finish is really even and shiny, and I can see it being a nice neutral colour for Autumn, once I have taken better care of my hands and bothered to paint my nails! If Glossybox takes your fancy too and you want to give it a try, you can get 40% off your first box here.

Well, that’s about it. I was pretty impressed by my first Glossybox considering I ordered it as late in the month as I ordered my Birchbox, but I’m going to give the September boxes a shot for both and then make a decision between the two and stop being a filthy beauty product harlot.

(Nah, but I’ll still be a hoe for beauty products. Comment below if there’s a Beauty Box you subscribe to which you’d recommend!)

— Laura

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