Birchbox June 2015: Step Outside

Apologies that this month's Birchbox post is a bit late - for some reason mine didn't turn up until the end of last week and I wanted to do a proper review of the products before I posted. But it's here now! This month's box was in partnership with the shoe company French Sole, who make the most lovely ballet pumps in every colour and pattern you could imagine, and the theme was 'Step Outside' to coincide with the start of summer and taking advantage of all the outdoor opportunities the season has to offer.

This month Birchbox let subscribers pick their box design, and I went for this adorable 'From Paris With Love' option. I'm a sucker for anything French-themed, red and/or striped so it was a no-brainer really!

Looks like a pretty good selection this month! Here's what was inside...

Beauty Protector Protect & Oil

I've really liked the previous Beauty Protector products I've got in previous Birchboxes and am a sucker for a good hair oil; as I use straighteners on an almost-daily basis I'm always looking out for something that will still leave my hair feeling nourished after heat styling. So I had high hopes for this product - and they were fulfilled. Firstly it smells amazing (sort of like vanilla but in a deep, rich way rather than overly sweet), which alone would sell me, but the fact it left my straightened hair feeling soft rather than the straw-like effect I sometimes get from other heat protector treatments. I haven't tried it for blow-drying yet but am hoping it will make my hair feel just as lovely.

Balance Me Super Moisturising Body Wash

I will admit that initially I was a bit disappointed to get this because I already have a bottle when Glamour magazine did their Balance Me freebie a few months ago - I'd been hoping for the Cowshed body lotion instead so I could try something different. However, for those with dry skin on the body like me, this is a really great product. It's really moisturising but without being too rich or sitting on your skin after a shower, lathers up nicely (is it just me who hates shower gels with no bubbles?) and has a nice scent that's slightly citrus-y but 'clean' at the same time, making it a really great base for summer perfumes. I also found I didn't need body lotion after using this which is always a bonus for me! So not the most exciting product but I'm quite pleased to have a spare - not that I'm short of shower gel mind...

Penhaligon's Iris Prima

I was really excited to get this because Penhaligon's is one of those brands I've wanted to try for years (yes, I'm a nan) but haven't had the budget to stretch to it. However, after trying this I might have to try and scrape together the pennies. Inspired by the English National Ballet, it's a lovely balanced fragrance with a fresh top note and then settling down into a creamy, grown-up scent that's floral from the iris but not overly girly. I think this would be a great all-round perfume; you could wear it to go to important meetings at work in the day and then for a nice dinner or drinks in a bar afterwards. Definitely my favourite thing in this month's box - now I just have to resist the urge to wear it all the time!

Premae Mild Dermabrasion Face & Body Scrub

I'm not normally big on scrubs - I prefer to use flannels for my face and bath lilies for my body - and I'm not quite sure this is the one that's changed my mind. It's quite a 'thin' texture (I suspect because of the olive oil) and the pieces of scrub aren't very big or dense, so it means you have to use quite a lot of it to feel like you're getting a 'proper' scrub. That said, it did feel really gentle on the skin, had a nice sort of neutral scent and wasn't too drying or harsh, so I think if it had a bit more scrub in it it would be ideal for me. Plus it would be really good if you were going on a trip somewhere as you can use it for your face and body.

Mirenesse iCurl Secret Weapon 24Hr Mascara

(Top pictures with mascara, bottom pictures without. Apologies for terrible eyebrows!)

This is the second Mirenesse product in my Birchbox in two months and I have to say they've both been pleasant surprises. In beautiful sleek black packaging, the mascara claims to curl and separate lashes, so I was intrigued to see how it would compare to my Benefit Roller Lash. And so far, it seems to deliver - as you can see in the pictures my lashes definitely look more 'full' and have a bit more curl to them. I also found that it didn't flake off during the day (even though it was really hot when I was testing it!), so bonus points for that. But, as it doesn't have quite the same 'wow' factor for me as Roller Lash, I think this will stay as a sample rather than purchasing the full size.

STYLondon Temporary Metallic Tattoos

This month's extra product was these temporary tattoos from STYLondon. I haven't tried these yet (not sure they're entirely work-appropriate) but I like the simple designs of them - they would be a great alternative to bracelets on holiday or at a festival.

Birchbox x French Sole Shoe Bag

Finally, the box also contained this super-cute shoe bag to match the design. I've been using this to carry my shoes in my bag for work (I usually wear trainers to walk to the office and then change them once I get there) and it's been really useful - rather than scrabbling around for them it means I can find my shoes really easily. It does look a bit less pristine white now though!

Overall I was really pleased with this month's Birchbox; there wasn't anything I wouldn't use apart from maybe the temporary tattoos, and I haven't had any huge disappointments. I really loved the hair oil and the perfume though so those will be going on the 'to-buy' list once I've finished the samples (and all the other stuff I own. I am not looking forward to the pre-move declutter...)

Did you get the June Birchbox? What did you think of it?

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