January Birchbox

After the delay in getting December’s Birchbox delivery, it was a lovely surprise to arrive home during my first week back at work to find January’s box waiting for me. This month’s box is sponsored by Women’s Health, and has a vaguely healthy feel to it.

Soviet Winner The Pooh stands guard over this month's samples...
Soviet Winnie The Pooh stands guard over this month’s samples…

I was just discussing with my boyfriend how pleased I’ve been with some of the products, and how it’s nice to be able to try so many things in reasonably sized samples without having to shell out for the full sized product, especially as I’m confident that I’ll buy some of the products I’ve tried when the samples run out. Sometimes there’s just too much choice out there, and if you can’t afford to try everything (and who can??), then it’s great to have it narrowed down for you. stilaaprstila Lip Glaze (normally £15)
What: A coveted, suits-all-complexions colour – this sheer gloss is a cult classic for a reason!
Thoughts: Ugh! Ugh, ugh, ugh! So sticky! Apparently I am no longer a lip gloss person. I was excited about trying this out, but now I can’t get it off my lips. The colour failed to suit my complexion, actually just bringing my lips down the match the pale yellow shade of my skin, but with additional shine. Oh, and I don’t know which shade I have, because they didn’t mention it anywhere – I reckon it’s Kitten.
Would I buy: No. I’ve given this to my brother’s girlfriend, who will hopefully like it more. 
beauty-protector-protect-and-detangle-excluBeauty Protector Protect & Detangle (normally £14)
What: This sweet-smelling spray detangles, adds shine and protects from both UVA rays and heat damage.
Thoughts: This is the second product I’ve tried from Beauty Protector, and I’m impressed once again. While the hair mask I got in November is seeing some use, I think this is more likely to make it into my everyday routine, because I am L.A.Z.Y. It’s got a lovely smell to it, and it left my hair very manageable and sleek. The sample came in an interestingly textured rubber bottle.
Would I buy: Potentially. It’s on the pricey side for my tastes, but if it continues to impress I will be tempted. 
rad_glyco_mask_on_may13_clip_rgbREN Glycolactic Radiance Renewal Mask (normally £30)
What: Radiance in a tube! A fast-working, exfoliating treatment that improves texture, tone and combats congestion
Thoughts: This has an orange tonic smell to it which I’m not sure I like. The consistency is quite thick, and it feels warm once on. I was skeptical of the exfoliating claims, since it’s got such a smooth texture, but actually, once it came off, my skin felt ever so smooth and clear. It didn’t magically erase the spots which have reappeared since I returned to work after Christmas (I literally got a huge spot on the train to work on my first day back), but it definitely caused them to progress a little.
Would I buy: It’s expensive for me (Mrs. High Street), but I’m going to keep using this tester weekly and see how I feel when it runs out. It says to apply generously, but a little goes a long way, so I think it would last a long time (partly because I am crap at establishing a beauty routine).
sw-the-cool-fix-2pzShaveworks The Cool Fix (normally £11)
What: This genius cooling gel lotion treats ingrown hairs, razor bumps and redness after hair removal
 This stings like a thousand bees after shaving, but once that pain has subsided, I was left slightly less likely to scratch all the skin from my legs. My skin felt quite nice after I’d stopped swearing, and I think that if I was a bit better at moisturising generally, this would work even better. 
Would I buy: I have used it twice despite the pain, so maybe.activebod-feelgreatshowerconcentrateactivbod Feel Great Shower Concentrate (normally £5)
What: Refreshing sea minerals and green tea mingle with soothing almond oil for an energising post-workout shower
Thoughts: I liked the smell of this (sort of mint and lime, a bit like a mojito), and it didn’t seem as drying as the Original Source skin quenching (ha!) shower gel I have been using.
Would I buy: Maybe, I’m not super excited about it, but it’s fine. 
em-greentea_eshop-exclEmbrace Matcha Green Tea (normally £24.99)
What: Our new favourite superfood, matcha is 100% natural with 10 times the antioxidants of regular green tea!
Thoughts: I was a bit disappointed to receive a teabag in this box, but I tried it and it reminded me of Japan, which made me happy. It’s not actually a tea bag, but a sachet of green powder, which leads to a bit of a claggy situation towards the end of the cup, but if you power through and think of the antioxidants, then it’s ok. I didn’t think I liked green tea, but this was surprisingly nice.
Would I buy: It’s 24.99 for 30 servings, which seems expensive… but it works out at about 83p per serving, and maybe that’s ok. Maybe for a health kick. 
pilatesband-eshopBirchbox Pilates Band (normally £7.99)
What: Tone, increase strength, and improve muscle endurance with this stretchy resistance band
Thoughts: Always useful to have a resistance band, and I haven’t managed to break it during a first exploratory workout. Anything that encourages people to do a bit of exercise is great in my book.
Would I buy: I’ve thought about buying them in the past, but I’d go for a set of bands of difference strengths with interchangeable handles. My brother is a personal trainer, and that’s what we’ve used for workouts in the past. 

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