Birchbox December 2015: All That Glimmers

Birchbox seem to pull all the stops out for the festive season, so I was very excited by the concept of their December edition. Themed around All That Glimmers, it's a tribute to the sparkle and shine of Christmas, which led me to hope for luxurious-feeling, glamorous products - especially after November's box was a little disappointing.

This month the Birchbox has been transformed into a Birch-bag - a beautiful envelope clutch in emerald green velvet with black leather and gold glitter panels. It feels really luxurious and there's plenty of space inside for all your essentials, plus it would go with lots of different outfits as the green is so dark it could pass for black in the right light.

That's the bag - now let's see what's inside...

ModelCo Ultra Long Lasting Lipstick in Kitty

I've tried a few ModelCo products before and have always been impressed - they're good quality and well priced - so had high hopes for this lipstick. Thankfully they paid off! I often struggle with nude lipsticks as they either make me look dead or have too much brown in them, but the pinky tones of this one are absolutely perfect for that 'my lips but better' look. It also feels really nice and moisturising but without 'sitting' on the lips. In terms of durability, I wore it to a lunch with friends and it held up for around four hours, which I think is pretty good going. This is definitely going on permanent rotation in my makeup bag.

Skin & Co Sicilian Body Gel

Shower gel samples are always useful - especially at Christmas when you're likely to be travelling - and I was hoping that this orange and olive oil one from Skin & Co would both evoke the smells of the season and help to relieve dry winter skin. I have to admit I was disappointed. Whilst it did leave my skin in good condition and I didn't need to use body lotion with it, the lack of scent was a real let-down for me, though it does mean it won't clash with any other fragrances you might be wearing. I also felt like it didn't lather up very well and I had to use quite a lot to feel properly clean. Overall, a serviceable enough product but not one I'd fork out my own money for.

Roloxin Lift Instant Skin Smoothing Masque

Maybe I just have too high expectations, but I often find face masks disappointing - it's rare that I find one that lives up to its claims. Initially I thought this was going to be more of the same. It had a very odd smell - a bit chemically, a bit earthy - and rapidly made my face feel really tight as it set into a thick white crust. However, once I'd removed it and applied my moisturiser, I actually noticed a big difference in the depth of the wrinkles on my forehead and it left my skin feeling quite soft. The only thing putting me off buying it is the price but I can see it being good for special occasions if you need something quite heavy-duty.

Elemis Pro-Collagen Marine Cream

This is a bit of a cult product so I was delighted to get to try it. It feels really nice and soft on the skin, sinks in easily and has a nice scent to it - slightly sweet yet a little bit musky, like something your very glamorous mum or gran might use. The blue-green packaging and solid silver lid are nice touches too, making it feel very expensive. I haven't noticed it having much impact on my wrinkles and fine lines yet but then I've only been using it for a few days, so I'll keep you posted on whether it works. However, unless it makes a dramatic difference I think it's too far out of my budget for me to invest in.

Benefit They're Real! Push-Up Liner

I'm still very much a newbie to liquid eyeliner so am keen to try anything that makes it easier. First impressions were good - as you can see in the swatch the line was thick and very black. However I didn't find it particularly easy to use it on my eyes; it felt like it was dragging, the product clumped and was drying on my lids, and I struggled to do eyeliner flicks.. As I said though I'm not very good at doing eyeliner yet so it might be that if you're a bit more practised this is easier to use. It's a shame though as I felt it was a good quality product, just not in quite the right packaging.

Ciaté London Paint Pot in Pool Party

My previous experiences with Ciaté polishes has been really good - super-cute bottles, lovely long-lasting formula and really easy to apply. The fact that Pool Party is very similar to Nails Inc Baker Street, one of my favourite colours, makes it even better in my view. It does need two coats to go fully opaque but once it's on it lasts very well - I did mine on Sunday night and they're still going on Wednesday as I type with only minor tip wear. A nice way to inject a bit of brightness into dreary days and a polish that will see you through until summer (or alternatively whack a glittery topcoat over it to recreate a sparkly winter sky).

Benefit Puff Off!

Luckily for me under-eye bags aren't a major beauty issue, but sometimes I just want an eye cream that's going to perk up the area. This definitely did that - it was incredibly cooling and refreshing but equally didn't feel too tight, and made me look a lot more rested than usual. I love the retro-style candy pink packaging too, and the squeezy tube is great for dispensing just the right amount of product. It's lovely to use and a sample I'm very pleased I've got to try, but as it doesn't do quite what I need from my eye cream so I won't be replacing it when it runs out.

Overall I was really pleased with this month's Birchbox, especially the lipstick and nail polish - the only thing I wasn't keen on was the eyeliner. Plus there were lots of products I'll get the use out of, especially as I'm trying to cut down on my spending next month. Here's hoping the January box is just as good...

1 comment:

  1. Ooh your bag had different products to mine! (I'm new to the whole beauty box/subscription thing) Check out my video here: if you're interested in seeing what was in mine!