So I'm sure most will know that JolieBox was recently bought out by Birchbox, who have replaced the look and feel of JolieBox's black boxes and black drawstring bags with cardboard boxes with a pink trim and a pink drawstring bag. Personally I quite like the look of Birchbox and thus far am not too disappointed that JolieBox is no more - as much as I loved it, Birchbox seems to have paid them much homage in their transition and stuck to the main 'bits' of JolieBox that we all knew and for the most part loved, like the magazine - though that was conspicuously absent from my box, alongside the menu card, so the descriptions are from the Birchbox UK website.
KMS California Add Volume Volumising Spray, full size £14.85
Birchbox say: "KMS California AddVolume Volumizing Spray gives hair up to 70% more volume. Provides your tresses with heat protection and intense fullness. What's more, it's alcohol free."
KMS California is one of my favourite hair care brands and I'm a particular fan of their Hairstay Clarifying Shampoo, which I use religiously two or three times a week. This is something I haven't tried before but have eyed up many a time in light of my disastrously fine hair and my constant struggles to give it a bit of volume. This is something I'm really excited to try, but haven't yet, so I will post a full review in due course. A definite winner for me in terms of its featuring in a beauty box, though.
fresh Sugar Rosé Lip Treatment, full size £15.50
Birchbox say: "Sugar Rosé Tinted Lip Treatment SPF 15 moisturises, protects, and smoothes the lips while leaving a rosy tint with a proprietary blend of moisture-preserving sugar, nourishing precious oils, antioxidant-rich polyphenols, and essential SPF protection. It is proven to provide 6 hours of significant moisture for soft, supple, and youthful lips. The unique formula also offers buildable coverage to customize a sheer or rich hue."
Reverence de Bastien Unguent for nails and cuticles, full size £15.50
Birchbox say: "Caring for your hands and nails beauty, Bastien Gonzalez designed the unguent for nails and cuticles. Its combination of essential oils and medicinal plants nourishes and protects the cuticles from external factors. The key ingredient, Arnica, well-known for its action against bruises and contusions, ensures a good supply of blood to your nails and tissues. Argan oil regenerates the epidermis and the extracts of red berries make your nails look healthier."
I have to say, when I saw this I did recoil a little at its 90s packaging and the fact it looks like a rather pornstar-esque lip gloss. But I was pleasantly surprised; this smells lovely and feels so nourishing on the cuticles. Having finally stopped biting my nails last summer, I'm still a bit of a nibbler when it comes to my cuticles, so hopefully this will get them back to health and encourage me to leave them alone! I'm also a big fan of its two star ingredients - Arnica and Argan oil - so whilst the appearance and packaging leaves a little to be desired, I'm otherwise really pleased with this - and it's a full-sized product, too.
Wei Royal Ming Firming and Hydrating Cream, full size £74.00
Birchbox say: "A rich and luxurious cream formulated with no less than 18 potent herbs that combine to deliver balance and a smooth, youthful luminosity to dry, ageing and lined skin. Dating back 600 years, women of the Royal Ming Dynasty used this herbal remedy to help maintain their silky, porcelain-like complexions. Today, its all-in-one formula firms and intensely hydrates with its restorative blend of active botanicals."
It probably won't come as much of a surprise that I haven't tried Wei products before, for the sole reason they are extortionately priced. I've seen them many a time at Space NK but could never have afforded them, and never bothered asking for a sample because there's no worse feeling than finding a product that works miracles but also breaks the bank. So I was nervous about liking this - and sadly, I really do! This is a 4ml sample which is quite generous given its RRP, and will probably allow for 4 or 5 uses. I've used this twice overnight so far and it is lovely - a very thick texture, so not the easiest to massage into the skin, but it does leave my skin feeling really supple and soft the next morning (but so does my Caudalie night cream, which is half the price). I don't think I'll be purchasing this unless I win the lottery, but it is a lovely product, and I think the packaging of Wei products is beautiful.
Teapigs Chamomile Tea, £3.99 for a box
Birchbox say: "All teapigs teas (particularly the herbal ones!) use the whole leaf or flower, unlike most other tea brands. You’ll find the flavour of this blend much stronger and fresher than regular dusty paper teabags."
This is the lifestyle extra included in this month's box, and it's nice enough. I do love tea, though I'm not hugely keen on chamomile tea - but I'll give this a go. A decent enough extra.
Overall, I'm pretty chuffed with this box and hope it's a sign of good things to come from Birchbox. I'm particularly impressed with the inclusion of products from KMS and fresh, and do like the cuticle cream - the others I could take or leave, Wei for the price, and the tea because...well, it's a teabag.
What did you think of this month's Birchbox?
NB: Full size prices listed are those on the Birchbox e-shop, but shop around a bit if you're looking to buy - KMS products for example are discounted at a lot of online beauty retailers, and the fresh treatments are a little cheaper with this seller on Amazon.