Time really is flying by at the moment, and its already March - that means we are already a quarter of the way through the year!!
Another month of course means another Birchbox, and this one is just beautiful! I love the 'be present, not perfect' slogan this month as much as I love the aesthetic of the box itself.
So, lets get stuck in and start shall we?
Rituals of Sakura Foaming Shower gel - £8.50
First up in my box was a full size Rituals of Sakura foaming shower gel.
This starts off as a gel, and quickly turns into a foam upon contact with water - you can even see it start to change on damp hands! The foam has a wonderful sweet, cherry blossom scent to it, that isn't too overpowering, and leaves the skin feeling soft and clean. I trialed this without using moisturizer after my shower (as is my usual routine), and found that my skin wasn't left feeling tight or dry - the sign of a good shower gel for me.
This will foam up absolutely fine with just your hands, but it's amazing when used with my body puff!
The bottle is quite small, considering its full size, but a little does go a pretty long way. I like the product a lot, so depending how long it lasts me, will dictate if I look to buy again or not. I usually use Crabtree and Evelyn shower products, so I'm quite happy to spend extra if the product is worthy or long lasting, which I think this one is.
Benefit BADgal BANG Volumising mascara - £21.50
When I saw the release of this new mascara from Benefit, I was eager to try it out, so was extremely excited when Birchbox announced we'd all be getting a sample in our March boxes.
This volumising mascara is packed with aero-particles, derived from space technology. Making for a super light formula that with create full volume and length without weighing lashes down. The custom 'slimpact' brush is designed to coat every lash from root to tip, and I must say, its fantastic at holding product - you don't need to double dip the wand to get more, you get plenty - maybe even a little too much.
In terms of pigment and longevity, this mascara is fantastic. I even wore it for a 3 hour American Football training session (in the wind and rain I might add) and it didn't budge, or leave me with massive panda eyes. It does create great volume and length, just as promised.
However, I did find that you get a lot of product on the wand when applying, which made it very difficult to avoid clumps. After some practice I found a method that worked for me, and prevented the dreaded clumpy, or spider lashes. Reading some reviews, some people seem to have found the mascara incredibly difficult to remove (which I guess is testament to the long lasting formula!?) I found that a swipe of Clinique 'take the day off' makeup remover on a cotton pad did the job absolutely fine, so as long as you are using a quality makeup remover, there should be no issue.
BLAQ peel off mask - £14
Next up was another product I knew I was getting, the BLAQ peel off face mask, which I chose when we were given the option between this mask, or charcoal eye masks.
This activated charcoal mask is designed to target toxins and draw out impurities from the skin, instantly.
It was a little difficult to apply, as the formula is pretty thick, and doesn't spread very easily. I kept mine on for far more than 20 minutes, as I still had slightly tacky patches where I hadn't spread the mask out very well. I applied onto to my nose and chin, as I'd heard the mask is painful to peel off. It wasn't really. Kind of like pulling off a plaster, nothing major.
I'll admit, I got a lot of sanctification in pulling this off my face, and whilst a little dry, it did leave my skin looking very clear afterwards. I had so much fun in fact, I decided I would target Mike's face with it next...
Whilst my Sand and Sky clay mask is significantly easier to work with in terms of application, I would buy this mask again. It dries the skin more than Sand and Sky, but seems to penetrate a bit deeper when it comes to removing impurities. I'll probably keep both on hand, and use as and when my skin needs different things.
Absolution Le Nettoyant Purete - £26
My first thought when I pulled this out of my box was "eh??" I really couldn't identify from the packaging what it actually was, and had to refer to the product booklet. Not something I've ever needed to do, and not the best first impression I must say.
It transpires, that this is a face cleanser designed for sensitive and tight skin. Infused with extracts of Roman Chamomile, white willow and oat protein, this is supposed to remove traces of makeup and dissolve impurities, leaving a smooth complexion.
The first thing I noticed when using the product was the smell, I'm not a fan. At all. When it comes to products you cover your face in, I think an appealing scent is very important, and frankly a bit of a deal breaker for me.
Whilst it did remove my Estee Lauder Double Wear, it didn't do it as effortlessly as my usual Estee Lauder cleanser. I think if I were to continue with this product, I would use as part of my morning routine, and not my evening routine where good makeup removal is needed.
R + Co Badlands Dry Shampoo Paste - £22
Dry shampoo is something I use often. I use if for those 'second day' hair days, I carry a bottle in my gym bag, and my football kit bag (there is nothing worse than hair that's been in a football helmet for a few hours, trust me). It's insanely handy to have around, but I've always used sprays, and never contemplated using a paste before.
Formulated with Hawaiian volcanic ash, to keep your scalp clean and balanced, as well as zeolite powder to absorb excess oil, this paste claims to 'elevate your bedhead look'.
Whilst this product smelled really lovely, I can't say I was overly impressed with the results. It left a bit of a residue in my hair, that was incredibly difficult to get rid of, and looked a little greasy. It was difficult to heat the product enough in your hands to make it workable, and lacked the flexibility of a spray. In fact, given that the product has to be warmed with your hands prior to use, I highly doubt I'd actually be capable of using it after football as I usually have very cold, numb hands by the time we've got to the end of a training session or game.
I won't be buying this product, and consider the price to be a little extortionate for what is ultimately, just a dry shampoo.
Overall I was pretty pleased with this months box. I got to try a few things I've been wanting to, as well as a few brands I haven't heard of, which is kind of the point of these boxes! Even if I won't be purchasing everything I got in this months box, I remain pleased with the contents.
Are you a Birchbox subscriber? What did you think?