Monday, 21 July 2014

Hair & Beauty Review: July's Birchbox



My July Birchbox has arrived and I'm very excited about the contents.


Whish - Three Whishes Lavender Body Butter



This lotion did not smell particularly of lavender to me, which was slightly disappointing but it did have a light and pleasant fragrance, not too overbearing as lavender can often be, and I like the soft,, sweet vanilla-y scent which lingers after use. I have not tried this item properly as yet, however the little bit I tried on my hand absorbed well and left my skin feeling silky smooth without any stickiness, which can sometimes be a problem with body butters. The fact that the product is sulphate and paraben-free is a big bonus for me.

According to the website write-up, Three Whishes Body Butter contains repairing and rejuvenating antioxidants and is available in pomegranate, almond, lemongrass, lavender, blueberry, coconut and limited edition seasonal scents.

Balance Me - Wonder Eye Cream



Yet another natural and organic product, Balance Me's Wonder Eye Cream is designed to firm, lift and soothes the delicate eye area. It claims to help combat fine lines, dark shadows and dull skin.

Wonder Eye Cream contains botanical ingredient including witch hazel, virgin coconut, jojoba, cucumber, rosehip, spruce knot (anti-oxidant), cloudberry, aloe vera, lavender, Roman chamomile, lemon and carrot oils.

It has a pleasant smell and feels quite lightweight and non-greasy. I look forward to seeing whether there is any noticeable difference to my wrinkles and dark circles after a week or two of using this item.

Laqa & Co - Sheer Lip Lube Pencil in Bees Knees



Laqa & Co Sheer Lip Lube Pencil is a pigmented lip balm that is perfect for everyday wear. The peppermint-shea butter formula gives a lovely minty fragrance whilst moisturising the lips. It is packaged in a handy twist up pencil, so no need for messy sharpening.

The colour is slightly too pink for me. I prefer a more natural colour with a hint of shimmer and I find that Sheer Lip Lube Pencil in Bees Knees is, as with a lot of lip pencils, slightly too matte for my taste.

I applied it before I left for work, at around 7.30am and the colour was still faintly visible at 9am.

Whilst the colour is not quite right for me, I'm sure one of my sisters will make good use of this item.

Benefit - The POREfessional



This was the product I was most excited to find in this month's Birchbox.

Benefit's The POREfessional is, apparently, the no.1 primer sold in the UK at present. It's formula is designed to "quickly minimise the appearance of pores & fine lines for smoother-than-smooth skin!" The lightweight serum can be applied either under or over makeup. The oil-free formula is supposed to help makeup stay put for longer.

I tried this item for the first time today. It comes out of the tube in a skin-toned shade, which is unusual for me as all other primers I have tried have been a clear gel. It went on easily and was of a lightweight non-greasy consistency. I will have to wait until the end of the day to know whether my makeup stayed on all day, however it did seem to reduce some of the more visible pores on my nose.

Gilchrist & Soames - English Spa Sea Kelp Extract Mineral Bath




What can I say, it's bubble bath. I can't imagine that it will be drastically different from other bubble baths. However, I like the fact that Gilchrist & Soames English Spa Sea Kelp Extract Mineral Bath contains natural ingredients and is both paraben and phthalate free. The formula is stated to be a blend of English botanicals used at the turn of the century.

The Gilchrist & Soane website describes the Spa Sea Kelp Mineral Bath as  "Delightfully rich & foamy, the Spa Sea Kelp Mineral Bath contains therapeutic marine nutrients, vitamins, and extracts that invigorate the body as the warmth of the water releases it's fresh fragrance of citrus and herbs."

Certainly, it has a pleasant fragrance and I can happily imagine myself relaxing in the bath, glass of wine in hand and surrounded by Gilchrist & Soame citrus-scented bubbles.

The Chia Co Shots




Finally, as a little lifestyle extra, a pack of chia seeds, the latest 'superfood' to arrive in Britain. The Chia Co, an Australian company, claims these tiny seeds have 'more omega-3 and dietary fibre than any other food from nature'.

According to an article in The Daily Telegraph 'What's so super about chia?', chia seeds are from a plant in the mint family (Salvia hispanica) which was originally a crop grown by the Aztecs. When the seeds are mixed with water, they swell to a thick gel, somewhere between caviar and tapioca in texture. In America, chia health drinks are sold, suspended with seeds like raspberry jam. 

On a practical note, chia seeds are a plant source of omega-3 and has a less obtrusive taste than flax seeds. The Chia Co recommends a 15g daily portion in porridge, over cereal or included in a number of other recipes.

Whilst I am happy to try these seeds, I will not be purchasing them. The health benefit would have to be proven and pretty spectacular for me to justify the cost of £4.95 per 10 shots. In addition, I imagine that in the quantity I would eat them there would be no significant health benefits over and above a usual healthy diet, certainly not enough to justify the cost.

What do you think of your July Birchbox? Did you like the selection of products? Were there any products that have surprised you, in a good or bad way, when you tried them?

Ginger Cat x

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