In Beauty by Gemma Tomlinson14 Comments

It’s finally here! After the exciting announcement last year that US beauty box powerhouse Birchbox would be acquiring Joliebox in the UK I’m excited to finally get my hands on their first box. I’ve had a couple of the US Birchboxes to play around with, but couldn’t make a real comparison, since the price point over there is much lower than what Joliebox charged (although I did make a video last year showcasing what you could potentially expect – you can see that here, pardon the awful lighting). I was intrigued to see how the launch would take place, would it be a regular box? Or would they go all out and spoil us with full-size products from luxury brands? The latter tactic is of course a potential danger zone when you set an expectation for your sophomore offering, and looking at the contents of the box that isn’t what Birchbox have done here. It’s a strong, but not overwhelming box that sets the standard but doesn’t set an expectation to over-promise and under-deliver in the future.

So what will Birchbox be like? I spoke to their US and UK teams quite a bit last year to get a feel for where they want to go in the UK and the union seems like it will bring us the best of both worlds. I’ve always admired the little touches that made Joliebox different – the drawstring bag (which, by the way is my saviour when travelling) and the magazine full of genuinely useful tidbits. I was pleased to see those elements remain but also excited at the prospect of bringing harder to reach brands to the UK not only in the box but to the online store as exclusives. I think this box is a great reflection of the company as a whole and I definitely like the inclusion of the lifestyle items too. You may also notice that yours truly features in the magazine as their first “Birchbox Crush” in the UK!

So what’s inside?

KMS California Freeshape – I’ve tried another sample from this brand and was impressed so I’m looking forward to testing this potion that promises to dry hair quickly. I’m always intrigued by KMS products when I pass by salons and see them in the window!

Fresh Sugar Rose Lip Tint – I’ve always had this on my list of things to try so I’m pleased to get my hands on this. Fresh have a London store but the brand isn’t incredibly easy to get in the UK so this will introduce people to the brand. Smells great, incredibly moisturising and I love that the small sample has the same lovely packaging as the full size.

WEI White Lotus Moisture Rich Eye Blend – I’ve never tried this line but their fusion of Eastern tradition and Western technology intrigues me so I am excited to give this a whirl. Although this is a small sample it should last a while since it’s an eye cream.

Wild Romantic Body Butter – I’m all for moisture in these colder months, and whilst this is nice and handy for travel, I’m not super excited about it, but it smells divine!

Teapigs Tummy Tonic – I’m ashamed to say that despite being a tea fanatic, I have yet to try this raved-about brand. The tummy tonic sounds perfect for January and I love the inclusion of wellbeing and lifestyle extras!

I Coloniali Deep Massage Body Cream with myrrh – Again, this looks nice but one body lotion would have been enough in the box for me, I’ll keep this for travel!

Overall I like where Birchbox are going and I think they were smart to give out a well-rounded but realistic box for their UK debut. Apart from the slight niggle with two body lotions I’m really happy with what was in my box and I’m excited to see what will happen with the brand on our side of the pond.

You can find out more about Birchbox UK on their site here.


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