Saturday, 13 August 2016

Glossybox July 2016

Reminder: this box is £10 a month + £3.25 P+P.

First impressions:
This month's box is very makeup heavy this time around. With the exception of the face tanning cream and the hairbrush, it's all about the makeup. But it's a summer box, and the makeup is mostly geared towards summer essentials, so that's good. I've only just ordered a Clinique waterproof mascara (sigh. It's the moisturiser all over again!) because I really needed a good waterproof mascara so it's great that there's one in this box too. That's something that I need to have all year round. There's also some very good sized products here. Everything is a full size except the Utan and Tone product and that's still a great size for what it is. The lip product here is seriously huge. For comparison, it's way bigger than some of the samples I get from Birchbox that are intended to be used on the whole face - that Huygens scrub is only 10ml, for instance. I have had plenty of items from both of these boxes that have been smaller than this lip product but intended for use on a much larger area. Definitely pleased with how much you get for your money with that!

I'm not overly thrilled about the inclusion of a hairbrush. A hairbrush is just a hairbrush to me; like the tweezers, I don't really go shopping around for the perfect hairbrush! I have very long hair, I have a giant paddle brush for it and I also have a comb and a few other bits that don't get used very often. If this even works at all, it's still going to go in the "not used very often" pile. I would much prefer it if Glossybox sent hair products for the "hair" portion of the box as that's what I'm more likely to be looking for and therefore keep using. For brands, I've heard of Hairon and Hawaiian Tropic from previous boxes but the rest of the brands here are new to me. 

Here's what I got this month! 




1) Utan and Tone Nourishing Night Crème 25ml - RRP £12.50


5/5
This isn't the full size as far as I can find - the full size is 50ml and retails for £25. I assume the price is just halved because the product is half that size, but I'm guessing it's a large sample as I can't find it for sale like this. As I said at the end of June's post, I was terrified to use this. Ideally I wanted to use it when I had two straight days off but with me working triple my usual hours, that just hasn't happened. I was just going to have to risk it! It feels exactly like a moisturiser to put on. I didn't need a lot - I could probably make this last for a whole summer of tan if I was careful enough with it - and it smoothed over my skin nicely. I put it on my face, neck and décolletage as per the instructions, and was careful to blend it out, particularly around my hairline. It sank in quickly, it wasn't greasy and then I went to bed feeling very nervous. I was expecting to wake up with marked bedsheets, but there was nothing there at all. It really was just like I put a moisturiser on and then went to bed. Best of all though, it definitely works! Far from the orange mess that I was nervously expecting, this looked really natural. It wasn't a huge difference - I don't know if this is because I have a tan anyway - but I had a very subtle and natural looking bronze to my skin. I could tell that it was there, but other people probably wouldn't notice. That's exactly what you want from a product like this. It lasted a few days to a week I think. When I cleansed my face, the cotton pad would come away coloured. Eventually it stopped being coloured. It was a very subtle fade - it didn't just outright wash off - and it stayed looking natural throughout. I would definitely repurchase this and am now really curious about the rest of the range - and this from someone who has never used or liked the idea of tanning products before. It was very easy to apply and really very quick too - I'd have had to go to sleep anyway after all - and I'm really pleased with how it turned out. 


2) Hawaiian Tropic Island Berry Lip Gloss 20ml - RRP £6.99



5/5 
I love this. This is my new favourite thing. I use it every single day. Lip balm, lip gloss and sunscreen all in one and it smells absolutely amazing. I put it on before I leave the house and it comes with me to work for touch ups throughout the day. If I go out, I have this in my bag. Without fail. It's the perfect formula. It isn't too thick or thin, it isn't sticky, it doesn't melt straight into nothing two minutes after applying... this will stay for a surprisingly long time, and will live through quite a few drinks of water while I'm at work. It's not really opaque, so it adds a subtle bit of colour that makes my lips look fuller. It's very moisturising and it doesn't have a chemical taste, it actually tastes exactly how it smells, so that's really nice for something that's so close to the mouth. Way too many of my lip products have a chemical taste to them regardless of what they smell like and it's disgusting if you accidentally taste it, but this isn't like that. I really, really love this. It's so nice to finally get a lip product that I love this much! The MUA one was great too, but I definitely prefer this one for its all-rounder qualities. Perfect for quick and simple makeup days. 



3) Icona Milano Emotion Allowed Mascara 10ml/0.34 fl. oz - RRP £13.04



5/5
This is another new favourite. I am really cursing Glossybox's lack of a shop because in all likelihood, when this is gone, it's gone. I'm assuming from the price that I'd have to import it from somewhere and that's not going to be worth doing for one mascara. It is a really, really nice waterproof mascara though. It's not clumpy, it's very black, and you can hear the brush combing product through your lashes when you use it. It has a very thin formula, so you need to be on your guard when applying it. It can actually leave little splashes of product on your skin if you're not careful. This isn't a huge problem though as I always apply mascara last and this has never ruined my makeup yet. Although it's waterproof I've never had issues with any mistakes being hard to get off my skin. It's easy to remove, too. I've seen so many bad reviews of waterproof mascaras because they're hard to remove and I think those reviewers must be using the wrong remover, because with an oil-based remover for waterproof makeup, this comes straight off. No rubbing or tugging at delicate skin required. I actually bought Clinique's waterproof mascara literally just before this one arrived as I didn't know it would be in the box this month, and I've been reaching for this one over the Clinique one because it's easier to get it looking nice without being too thick on the lashes. It creates a lovely natural eyelash look that isn't going to move if you get caught in the rain or watch a sad film or something. I have showered with this on and it's looked no different afterwards. Definitely love this, just no idea how I'll ever replace it once it's gone. 

4) Hairon De-tangle Brush - RRP £6.99



3/5 
Well. Hm. The shape is apparently meant to be easy to hold as it fits nicely in the palm of the hand. I don't know about you, but I don't have suction pads on the palms of my hands, so I need to grip things with my fingers like a standard human would. I don't understand the shape of this brush at all. It's not easy to hold and I have dropped it a few times. Surely a handle is not asking for the world when it comes to a hairbrush. For what it's intended for, I suppose it does work. I only really get tangles around my hairline if I leave my hair plaited overnight - when I take it out it can be tangled around the top - and at the ends. For the hairline tangles this brush works fairly well and it doesn't tug on the hairs and break them. For the ends of my hair this brush is absolutely useless because of how short the bristles are and how thin my hair isn't. I don't know if the bristles have to be that short in order for the detangling thing to work at all, but they're too short to use on the vast majority of my hair. Separating little bits and brushing them through is the only way that I can use this brush. It's effective, but it's not a quick process. It's also very annoying with the shape of the brush, as I already mentioned. So, as predicted in my first impressions, it works well enough but I still probably won't be reaching for it very often. 


5) Blank Canvas F20 Flat Brush - RRP £11.95




3/5
I really wanted to like this more because it looked so nice. I couldn't decide between a 2 and a 3 just because I've only tried it for liquid foundation and it might be really good for powder or something. For liquid foundation, it was okay. It wasn't great. I did one half of my face with this brush and the other half with the Real Techniques Expert Face Brush and the RT side was definitely better. The Blank Canvas brush required more product and didn't seem to blend as well as the RT brush. It's not as densely packed, and it didn't smooth over my pores in the same way and it looked a bit streaky in places. I got good coverage with it, for that it was no different, but I just liked the look of the RT side better. The kicker is that the RT brush is cheaper as well. I washed the BC brush before taking the photo but as you can see, it's still stained from the foundation I tested it with. The bristles are originally white at the end. I'm not too bothered about this, as I tested it with a foundation that I don't really like (I don't like to waste my nice foundation on brush tests) and I know that that foundation stains pretty much everything, but a few bristles fell out when I washed it and you can see on the enlarged photo that there are some that are sticking out a bit. They aren't loose, I've tried to remove them and they won't budge, so I don't know what's up with that. I know losing a few loose bristles on the first wash is pretty normal, but some fell out while I was applying the foundation as well and I didn't have that issue with the RT brush. This is basically a foundation brush for me to use when I don't have time to wash the RT one. I highly doubt I'd ever reach for it otherwise.


Overall Impression:
Neither of the "beauty tool" products wowed me this month, but I absolutely love the rest of the box. I use the mascara and the lip gloss almost every day and they both look fantastic. Definitely summer beauty staples, and I'll probably love them both in winter too. Very pleasantly surprised by how much I liked the Utan and Tone product as well. It would be perfect to use before a special occasion or something. I was expecting it to be a total disaster, but it's something I'm actually really likely to use. Even though I didn't like the foundation brush or the hairbrush, I really like all the other products in this box. Once again I've got my money's worth even with things in the box that I wasn't a huge fan of. But those things are still usable. The quality of the products has definitely improved from the dud products in the first few boxes. Glossybox haven't sent me a useless product for the last two months now. Look at the box average creeping up.

I still think that Glossybox is more of a makeup box than the Birchbox is. I'd really like it if Glossybox had a better range. They're definitely good at sending quality makeup products, but it'd be nice if the rest caught up a bit too and there was more of a selection. They sent out a survey about products that subscribers would like to see (I think in July, but maybe the very beginning of August) and it was about hair products, brow products (yes please!) and something else, I can't quite remember. Might have been perfume. But it's good that they're trying to work on their range and asking subscribers for things that they'd like to be getting in their boxes. I'm not sure how often these surveys come around - I got one from Birchbox at the same time - but I think it's great that they're actively listening to what people like, what people don't like and what people want from their boxes.

Box average: 4.2/5
Cumulative box average: 4/5

The spoiler for next month is an eyeshadow palette by MUA! Finally some eyeshadows! We've been able to choose which one we got from a choice of 4 different ones and the ones that we could choose from really would cater to everyone: warm neutrals, cool neutrals, pastels and brights. I obviously chose the warm neutrals one. I know I have a lot of palettes already but this will be my first time trying an affordable brand for this. I've used drugstore brand eyeshadows before but a really long time ago, and never a palette. Excited to try it! 

Birchbox July 2016

Reminder: this box is £10 a month + £2.95 P+P.

First impressions:
Hermes, the courier of choice for Birchbox, really screwed me over this month by losing an irreplaceable order from another company. I wasn't on great terms with them, and then to ice that cake when this box turned up it was damaged. It's one of the nicest box designs I've had so far, but one of the corners is smashed in thanks to the idiot delivery driver. Birchbox offered assistance only if the items themselves were also damaged and they weren't, so now I have a damaged box in my collection. Not exactly delighted about that. 

For the products themselves, I was excited to see that I had a sheet mask in this box as I've never tried one of those before and they are everywhere right now. I was also glad to get a facial sunscreen - I have Benefit's Dream Screen but I get through facial sunscreens pretty quickly, so another to lessen that blow was greatly appreciated. I was also happy to get the John Frieda product: we got to choose which one we wanted out of two possible options and this was the one I chose to get. That alone pays for the rest of the box, so this month definitely had a good value. With the exception of John Frieda, whose products I had tried in the past, I know all the brands from previous boxes except the face mask, which is a new one to me. 

Here's what I got this month! 




1) LOC x Millie Ultra-Gloss Lip Pencil in Bohemian Rose 2.5g - RRP £9




3/5
My worries about this suiting me turned out to be correct: this colour does not fit with my colouring at all. It's far too pale and just looked weird on me, in my opinion. It's much paler on the lips than it looks like it would be. Outside of that, I like that the crayon shape made for easy application, particularly on the corners of my mouth. It allows for a more precise application around the edges of the mouth, which I liked. The colour itself is not overly glossy but definitely not matte either: it's somewhere in between. It felt like any other lipstick on my lips, with a little of its own moisture to stop my lips from being overly dry. Unfortunately, it's not remotely long lasting. It transfers and smudges easily. It's harder to tell with paler colours but I think it bled a little too. It definitely would need to be reapplied for all-day wear. I don't wear products like this much. I have a few stick lipsticks already and I do prefer to just use a regular lipstick if I'm going to need to reapply it anyway. Application with the stick may be more precise but it also takes longer and it's harder to do without a mirror to hand, so touch ups aren't as easy as they are with a regular lipstick. I would definitely use this more if the colour was nicer, and I'm curious about the other colours now for sure, but I'm not going to reach for this particular one that often. I'm sure it looks great on people with paler skin or cool undertones but it isn't really me.


2) John Frieda Frizz Ease Forever Smooth Anti-Frizz Primer 100ml - RRP £9.99




5/5 
This is pretty much the size of the Birchbox, which goes to show how many products it's not possible for them to send in their standard size box, since there's plenty of things that would be bigger than this. As you can see from the picture, this product has a pump on it, but this pump is also locking: once you have opened it you can lock it again, so it's absolutely perfect for travelling. I don't keep products like this in the bathroom, they stay in my room, so a locking pump that stops product getting everywhere was very much appreciated. I have tried Frizz Ease products in the past (years ago, though) and honestly I don't remember liking them very much. They definitely aren't something that I buy now. I will be changing that and hunting this down when it runs out though. Even with my ridiculously long hair, I only need to use a pump and a half of this, so it's going to last a while (I've since had 4-5 inches of my hair cut off and now I need one pump, with a bit extra if I feel my hair needs it, so people with shorter hair will get a lot of use out of this bottle). There is a noticeable difference in my hair when I use this and when I don't. It makes my hair so much smoother and softer, even before the cut when the ends of my hair were clearly sick of existing, and this also makes it get less tangled at the ends. Overall my hair is much easier to work with, either if I want to style it or leave it long, and it looks and feels a lot healthier, too.



3) Nails Inc Nail Varnish in Sloane Street 4ml/0.13 fl. oz - full size RRP £15




5/5
First off, this is so tiny! The Nails Inc polish I got in my first Glossybox is a full sized one but this is a little baby nail varnish. I never use varnishes up though, so I suppose it doesn't matter too much. I should still get a few uses out of it. As for the product itself, it's very different to the other one I got. Not just the colour - hot pink! - but the formula, too. The other one is very thick whereas this one is very thin. It dried super fast and instead of being glossy, it has a matte or maybe satin finish. It would probably be glossy with my usual top coat, but I wanted to test it without. I actually really like the finish! I don't have any polishes that dry like this so it's really nice to try one. It's thin but super pigmented: I did two coats but I could have lived with just doing one. It was hard to get a full coating from one dip on my thumbnails but I assumed that was because the bottle is so tiny; however because of the thinness of the formula it was very easy to blend the brushstrokes together. The nails dried flawlessly. I am confused about why it's so different from the other one I have though. This one says it's £15, the other said it was £11, and one called itself a polish and the other a varnish, so I'm not sure if they're from different ranges or not. I definitely I prefer this one, but I'm not sure what I'd need to look for if I were to buy any. I suppose it will now be in the Birchbox shop, so I'll have to have a look when this gets used up. 

4) Caudalie Polyphenol C15 SPF20 Anti-Wrinkle Protect Fluid 15ml/0.5 fl. oz - full size RRP £29




5/5 
I loved this! I need to use an SPF on my face here, even in winter, so I was really happy to see one included in the box this month. I usually make sure that if I'm going out, there's SPF in my makeup, but sometimes I just don't feel like wearing makeup, or I want to use something that doesn't have its own SPF, so things like this are a must. As I said above, I already have and use Benefit's Dream Screen for this purpose, so it was nice to have something to compare it to. This has a thin consistency, similar to the Benefit one, so it will last a while. It's spreads nicely over the skin but you don't need a huge amount of it. I wore it when I went out painting for the day because I hadn't wanted a face of makeup to sit out in the heat all day, and it held up really well. I didn't get burnt and my skin felt nice and soft all day. Even with oily skin, it's not a remotely greasy formula. It feels mattifying and I couldn't really tell that my skin had anything on it. It sinks in really quickly. My face can catch the sun if I'm out all day, but it was fine with this. Sometimes it can feel dry from the sun once I get inside but I didn't get that with this either. I can definitely do a light makeup face for summer with this, a powder, a mascara and a lip balm and I love that. The sample is a pretty decent size - I still have loads left - but it's definitely going on my wishlist.


5) Skin Republic Collagen Infusion Sheet Mask - full size (10 masks) RRP £19.95




5/5
I'd never tried a sheet mask before I got this, so this was a little scary. I can see now why people are practically addicted to them. I used this at night after cleansing my face as a nice pre-bed relaxation thing. The sheet itself was easy enough to unfold even with all the product on it. The product helped it to stick down to the contours of my face so everything was evenly covered. I was worried that the mask would be sliding all over my face, but it's actually pretty well anchored once it's on. I did lie down while I had it on just because I wanted to relax, but I could get up and wander around and it didn't move. I sat up a few times and it didn't fall off or budge at all. It sticks really well. This mask has a few different types I think, and I got the collagen one. Once it was on, my skin started to tingle a little bit. It definitely didn't sting or hurt, it just felt like it was doing something. I kept the mask on for around 20 minutes and when it was time to remove it, it peeled off my skin easily. As per the instructions, I massaged the excess product into the skin on my face, neck and hands. There was quite a lot of product, considering. I had enough to cover my skin and then some, so I did end up wasting some of the serum. My hands feel butter soft after having that on them though. Once I'd rubbed it into my face, when I looked at my hands they looked like I'd been rubbing them into highlighter. They were very, very glowy. The serum is quite oily, so it's definitely not something I'd want to use at any other time of the day. It does sink into the skin to a certain extent, but it definitely leaves a decent glow behind. I only got one mask, so it's going to be hard to tell if it breaks me out or not. It works out at around £2 per mask, though, which is really good when compared to other single use facemasks that I've used before. These are definitely on the wishlist, I'd love to try more of them. It was very relaxing and my skin feels like I've just had a facial. 


Overall Impression:
This was a great box to get in the summer! I love the hair product and the facial sunscreen - I think a good facial sunscreen, especially with oily skin, is much harder to find than a sunscreen for the body, so I'm really glad that I got this instead of the sunscreens that Glossybox went for. I'm also happy about the inclusion of a full size hair product. Haircare seems to be the thing to ignore when it comes to beauty boxes, so it's nice to see that it wasn't ignored here. There's a lot of good quality brands in here as well as good quality products. I can definitely see myself regularly using 4 out of the 5 products in this box.

I really wish Birchbox would send better quality makeup items, as it makes these boxes more about skincare and haircare for me otherwise. They only usually send one makeup item: if you're only going to send one, make sure it's a really good one. I understand that the LOC product was a collaboration, but it's a bit weird that they didn't seem to think that maybe that one colour won't suit a lot of people. It would have been much better if they'd done a few colours and sent them out according to individual beauty surveys, or let people choose like they did with the John Frieda product. The LOC pencil isn't a bad formula, but it's not going to get used very often. I'll probably end up using it out of obligation because I got it in a box and I don't want that product slot in the box to be wasted. The rest of the products are great though. I loved getting a face mask, even if it was just a single use one, and there's definitely a lot of new favourites in here.

Box average: 4.6/5
Cumulative box average: 4.3/5

Sneak peek for next month is that it's a Birchbag! No box this time, it's a white/greyish makeup bag with a coloured zip. There are four colours but we don't get to choose which colour we get, so I really hope I get a blue or a pink one. We also got an email asking us to choose which Marcelle waterproof eyeliner shade we wanted - either expresso or mulberry - and I chose expresso, so I'm excited for that! I have two brown eyeliners I think, a Clinique one and a Bodyshop one, but it'd be nice to get another as I do use brown quite a bit. It's less scary than a black and I'm still very much learning eyeliner. No other previews for other products, so I'll have to wait and see! 

Birchbox and Glossybox 3 month roundup

I've had these two subscriptions for three months now, so I thought I'd write a bit about what I've had so far, what I liked, what I didn't like and what I'd like to have in future boxes.

Box review scores
Birchbox:
April = 4.2/5
May = 4.2/5
June = 4.2/5
Average = 4.2/5
(How's that for consistency?)

Glossybox:
April = 4/5
May = 3.3/5
June = 4.5/5
Average = 3.9/5

Brands received
Birchbox:
Absolution x2
Beaver x2 (technically)
Benefit
Caudalie
Cynthia Rowley
Huygens
Jelly Pong Pong
Kueshi
LOC
Nuxe
Percy & Reed
Philip Kingsley
Rituals
Spectrum Collections 
Whish
Yu-Be

Glossybox:
Absolute New York 
Aussie
Bee Good
De Bruyère 
Emité Make Up
Être Belle 
Hairon
Hawaiian Tropic
Ladival
MUA
Nails Inc
Origins
Proper Corn 
Revlon
So Susan
Spa to You
The Vintage Cosmetic Company 

Product variety
Birchbox:
Mascara
Eyeliner
Cream eyeshadow 
Lip and cheek tint
Makeup sponge
Shampoo
Conditioner
Styling balm
Hairspray
Cream cleanser
Liquid cleanser
Facial moisturiser
Moisturising face mask
Face scrub
Body scrub
Multipurpose moisturiser
Body bronzing cream
Foot cream

Glossybox:
Mascara
Highlighter stick
Liquid lipstick (I assume that's what it was trying to be anyway)
Lip gloss 
Lip and cheek tint
Nail varnish
Facial moisturiser x 2
Eye cream
Suncream x 2
Aftersun
Hair conditioner
Konjac sponge
Hair ties
Tweezers
Popcorn


Beauty box faves
Birchbox:
Benefit Cosmetics BADgal Lash Mascara
* Philip Kingsley PK Prep Polishing Balm
Percy & Reed Reassuringly Firm Session Hold Hairspray
Absolution Le Nettoyant Puret
Nuxe Masque Crème Fraîche de Beauté
* Huygens Le Gommage Visage
Rituals Tao Wai Wang Mild Exfoliating Body Scrub
* Yu-Be Moisturising Skin Cream

Glossybox:
* So Susan Highlighter
* Emité lip and cheek tint
* Spa to You Konjac sponge 
* Être belle moisturising gel 
Revlon lengthening mascara
Bee good moisturising cream

If it has a * on it, then I'm definitely going to be buying the full size version (or trying to, if it's from Glossybox). Love!


Sin bin
Birchbox:
Whish Coconut Milk CC Body Cream - if I absolutely had to pick one. It just doesn't really do much for me. I might as well just use a regular moisturiser if I want the moisturising part. I have 6 large Bodyshop body butters and 3 small Bodyshop body butters (well, they will keep giving them away) so I think I'm good on that front for a while. But it isn't a bad product, so this is kinda scraping the barrel. I haven't really had anything terrible from Birchbox yet. 

Glossybox:
Absolute New York Velvet Lippie - ugh. Nothing much left to say about this product. I haven't changed my mind about that zero.
The Vintage Cosmetic Company Floral Slanted Tweezers - still never got these to work, given up on them. Maybe they'd come in handy for trimming the herb garden we have going on in the kitchen, who knows. Useless for tweezing eyebrows though.

Things I'd like to see
Face products - foundation, powder... There haven't been any at all, and while I can maybe understand why there's no foundations (perhaps a little hard to get shades for everyone), translucent powders exist. I would have thought I'd have one in the summer products box craze, but there's been nothing so far. I don't really have a holy grail face powder and with my oily skin I really need one, so I was hoping to see something along these lines.
Blush - not had any! I own precious few blushes so it would have been really nice to get one (or any).
Lip products - lip balms, glosses, lipsticks, lip scrubs, you name it. I know I got a few but one was unusable. I didn't get any lip scrubs or lip treatments. A lip pencil would be nice. I'd like one of those clear ones that can be used with any lipstick colour. I'd also like to have gotten a liquid lipstick that wasn't horrendous. Considering how on-trend they are and how many brands have released them now, it's a bit weird that they weren't more of a thing.
Single eyeshadows - again, not had any eyeshadow products at all. I suppose a decent palette, even a compact one, is pushing it for the price I'm paying for the boxes, but I'm surprised there haven't been any single shadows yet. Did want.
Contour - along the lines of the above, I was surprised to not get any contour things. I got one highlight from the Glossybox starter box, but it does seem odd that there's been no contour powders or sticks or creams or anything. Maybe that trend has passed over and we're all supposed to be stocked up already (I'm not).
Face oils/serums/masks - I don't have any facial oils or serums and it would have been nice to get some deep skin treatments. Because there's so many different ones out there, it can be hard to find ones that work for my skin and very expensive when they don't work out, so this is definitely an area where I feel that I need samples.
Perfume samples - I know people complain about getting these, but I actually kinda wanted to get some. I've burned straight through the majority of my perfume collection and I don't have a lot left now, so getting new ones to try would be nice. It's a bit difficult to buy a new perfume when the majority of things you have has to be bought online. I can hazard guesses at foundation shades but I can't smell a perfume over the Internet.
Hair products - leave-in conditioners and serums especially, but it would be nice if there was a bigger variation on hair products in the boxes. Glossybox in particular seems to be focussing on hair accessories: I can pick those out myself thanks, it's the products that I need a bit of a hand with. As with the skincare equivalent, there's so many out there that it's hard to find any holy grails. 

Overall thoughts
Birchbox has definitely been more consistent with good products for the last three months compared to Glossybox, but more of the things that Glossybox have sent me have found their way into my daily routine (though that could be a by-product of Glossybox sending more full size products than Birchbox does). Birchbox send more luxury brands, so I'm a lot choosier about what I use regularly because it's costlier to replace. However, it's also possible to replace. Birchbox having their own shop is really convenient and a great idea, but the fact that Glossybox doesn't can be very difficult when they insist on sending brands that are not readily available in the UK. The exchange rate is all over the place, websites are not always in English and postage and customs charges are a lot of extra hassle. 

Despite it being in my first box, I still have a lot left of the Être Belle moisturiser. It's definitely something I want to try and replace if I can, so I'll have to see what that's like when I get to it. I am looking to overhaul my skincare "routine" - at the moment I don't really have one - so it's nice that I can use these boxes to help me find new products to use. I'm happy with the variety of products and brands, even if there are some omissions that I would have liked, and so far I think both boxes are worth the money. Glossybox still seems like more of a makeup box compared to Birchbox, which I think is more of a skincare box, but maybe that will change as the seasons change.

Both subscriptions send regular emails with discount codes, product tips, reviews, how-tos, etc so those are very helpful, and they also send surveys to try and improve their services and tailor them to what people want to be getting, which I think is great. I thought there'd be a clear dud box by now, but although Glossybox have sent a few bad products, as I said I use more of the things they send me more often, so I think they've cancelled the useless products out. I'll be sticking with both subscriptions for now.