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Beauty: Birchbox v Glossybox April 2013

If you have followed other blog posts you will know that I love getting surprises through the post. Foodie penpals is something I love doing and actively do most months. So when I started writing about beauty and saw there are schemes out there that send surprise samples for a minimal cost I was sold!

There are so many boxes out there to choose from, there are even more available to our American friends! I picked the one I had heard most about and one that was recommended to me.


So if you have ever googled a beauty product you are likely to have seen an advert for glossybox. The adverts pop up everywhere including on most of the blogs I read. This month’s box is a limited edition inspired by Pearl Lowe and it did make me wonder what the box would be like normally. The box itself has a lovely floral design as you can see and is really sturdy. I’m going to use it to keep all my samples in from now on!

glossyboxapril 2013

I wasn’t keen on the leaflet that came in this box. It is just a piece of A3 paper folded into 4 with a couple of quick interviews on and information about the samples that I had been sent. It seems a bit of a cop out to me, they could use more space to try and encourage me to buy full sizes of the products? That said, I like that they say what options there were so I can see if I got the one I would have chosen had I got the choice.

So here is what I got:

 A-Derma Intense Repair Lip Balm – £7.95

The packaging on this product is all in French so I struggled to tell what it was trying to tell me. This is a thick gel-like balm that does create a film on the lips to nourish and smooth. I don’t really suffer from dry lips at this time of year so I think this would have been better trialled in the winter months but it is a nice size tube and the applicator is designed to be used straight on the lips meaning you don’t have to use your fingers to put it on. Less mess and less wasteage!

Nip + Fab Dry Skin Body Butter – £9.95

I was really pleased to see this as I have eyed up Nip + Fab products before and not purchased. I’ll definitely give them a try now! I was lucky enough to get the mango body butter in my box and it is so fruity. The butter is a lovely light consistency unlike the thick cream like butters I have tried in the past. This also melts into the skin without too much effort which is perfect for when I have just jumped out of the shower and am in a rush.

Sleek Make Up Blush – £4.49

I hadn’t heard of this brand before and being a make up junkie I was chuffed that there was something like this in my box this month. And after me saying I don’t have many blushes on my previous post too! I don’t think the colour is right for my skin tone as a blush… I got ‘suede’ which you can see on the swatch is an apricot peach tone. My skintone is medium and tanned at the moment so I think a brighter shade would have suited me better. Still, I layered it under my Bourjois blush and it sculpted my cheekbones nicely.

Yves Rocher So Elixir Purple – £44

This sample size was 5ml so fairly generous compared to the tiny vials I have tried before that end up everywhere other than where I am trying to apply it! I wear Viktor and Rolf Flowerbomb normally so this was a good scent for me with tuberose, vetiver and patchouli. I know others were disappointed with this fragrance but I really liked its floral tones. I don’t think I’ll be swapping my Flowerbomb but it was nice to try something along similar lines.

Essie Nail Lacquer – £7.99

Now this is exciting, as any of my Twitter followers will know I am THE biggest nail polish geek… I’m normally a Jessica fan but have purchased a few Essie’s in the past couple of months. I got rosebud in my box which is a pinky red colour. I love the brushes Essie use, just the right buy generic cialis india rx size to sweep quickly over my nails. I got away with one coat of this lacquer too which is a bonus. I didn’t think it was my colour but have had so many nice comments on my nails the past few days that I think I am a convert.



The day after I opened by Glossybox I received my first Birchbox! The box isn’t as sturdy or pretty but it served its purpose perfectly well. I also love the pink drawstring bag that the products came in. I’ll definitely be taking this when I go away again as an addition to my wash bag. I also like the magazine that came with this box. You get a card with a list of products and a brief write up but then there is also a 20 page magazine with more information about the products (take note Glossybox, this is how you sell them and encourage your customer to buy more!) and some interesting articles including a ‘how to’ guide for floral nails. I can’t wait to try it! So lets go to the products themselves:

La Societe Parisienne De Savons Soap – £8.50

This is the first thing I could smell when I opened the box… unfortunately I am not a fan of soap. Yes it is in funky retro packaging but this is not for me. I’ll give it away as part of a package at some point as I am pretty sure one of you can make use of it.

Gerda Spillman Renaissance Age Serum – £69

I’d never heard of this brand and am not a huge fan of trying small samples of this type of ‘super’ product as I feel you need to try something for a fair while to see whether it is working for you or not. That said, I like the feel of this serum, it smoothed on my skin perfectly and left it feeling fresh.

Mirenesse Glossy Kiss – £17.50

I’ve heard a lot about Mirenesse recently so was pleasantly surprised to find this in my box this month. The smell is fabulous and the minute you remove the lid you are hit with a waft of vanilla, a lovely experience from a mere lipstick. The texture is so creamy it just melts into the lips. This colour is too bright for me, it is quite a bright pink with flecks of gold creating a shimmer. I used it really lightly and topped with a lip balm to give a more sheer colour that works better for me. This is a full size product too which is handy and can be sharpened to use again.

Nick Chavez Plump n Thick Leave In Thickening Mist – £13.90

I’d heard of Nick Chavez from many a late evening when I find myself watching QVC, yes I am that sad! I’m yet to try his products but was happy to receive this as I do have quite fine hair. I’ve not tried it yet but I am certainly going to and will get my use out of this product. If I am impressed I’ll order some of his curly hair range that popular on QVC, or so they say 😉

Weleda Skin Food – £8.95

When we are told the one and only Victoria Beckham likes a product who are we to argue? This moisturiser is all natural and for very dry skin, something I don’t have. That said I do get psoriasis on my elbows so I smoothed some of this there to see what it was like. It instantly soothed and took the angry itchiness away that I had yet to ease with anything else. A winner for me and I’ll certainly be buying some when my sample runs out.

Paname Paris Mirror – £7.50

The ‘extra’ in this month’s box is a pocket mirror. It looks like a badge at first glance with its metal casing but it is quite nice to chuck into the bottom of my makeup bag without taking up too much room. It is never worth £7.50 though, that is just a ridiculous estimate!

So I’m a bit torn this month… I think Glossybox edged it for me with the products being the most important part of these schemes although I do think Birchbox are winning on the magazine side. What did you get and which do you prefer?

Both of these items were paid for.

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  • Reply Claire Stephen April 24, 2013 at 9:41 pm

    I (sadly) got the birchboxes, as they made an error as id actually suspended it but their system over rid it and so they sent me 2 boxes that i didnt!! My birchbox was exactly the same…and no, i dont know what they were thinking with soap…i hate soap!!
    I wish id got the Glossy as ive seen so many good reviews on it now, but knowing me if i went for it, id get the scrapings of the barrell now!!
    fab review!

    • Reply phatcupcake April 24, 2013 at 9:52 pm

      I don’t think I have read a single review saying they appreciated the soap… such a shame! x

  • Reply Anne Cater April 24, 2013 at 10:17 pm

    I’ve been watching out for this, to see which one you preferred. I’m thinking about trying one of these and think I may go for the Glossybox. I love Flowerbomb too!

    • Reply phatcupcake April 24, 2013 at 10:23 pm

      Go for it Anne I found this perfume slightly woodier but a nice twist. Glossy definitely wins for this month 🙂 x

    • Reply phatcupcake April 24, 2013 at 10:23 pm

      Oh and make sure you let me know if you decide to go for it as I can refer you 🙂 x

      • Reply annecater April 24, 2013 at 10:25 pm

        Will do. Will I need a code or a link or something?

        • Reply phatcupcake April 24, 2013 at 10:26 pm

          Yeah it’s just a referral URL x

          • annecater April 24, 2013 at 10:28 pm

            Good, that’s easy. I like easy – I’ll give you a shout

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