I have dabbled with My Little Box, which was a favourite for a long time but is perhaps a little too cutesy for my taste now, but Birchbox and Glossybox have very kindly been sending me boxes each month for a good while now so I've been able to get a feel for what they're about and how they curate their contents. I haven't been as diligent as I should have been with my posting this year, but I thought I'd show their December boxes, followed by a little yearly round up...
D E C E M B E R G L O S S Y B O X
→ Cheeky Nail Polish
→ So Susan Highlighting Crayon
→ Etre Belle Eye Gel
→ Darphin Essential Oil Elixir
→ Essence Liquid Lipstick
→ Starskin Hydrating Mask
First impressions: the products don't feel particularly festive or special, although I suppose I do have higher expectations for the December boxes and perhaps that's unfair. With that being said, the Hydrating Mask helped my skin out hugely after two flights and the Eye Gel is incredibly soothing.
The Essence Liquid Lipstick is a stunning colour and the Nail Polish is a very sweet light pink shade. Not hugely festive, but wearable nonetheless. The Darphin Elixir looks very fancy and I've passed it along to my mum who I think is enjoying trying it out. And finally there's another So Susan/Jelly Pong Pong product, which I must admit I'm a little bored of seeing now as there have been so many, but it does look to be a pretty cream highlight.
D E C E M B E R B I R C H B O X
→ Rituals Shower Gel
→ Mini Ciate Nail Polish
→ Model Co Lipstick
→ Mini Benefit Push Up Liner
→ Mini Benefit Puff Off
→ Embryolisse Concentrate
→ CM perfume sample
This month's Birchbox was more of a Birchbag and not a bad quality one at that. It could very easily be used as a little party clutch - hooray for a bit of gold glitter! It's always a pleasure to see a Rituals Shower Gel, the foamy texture feels more luxurious than typical shower gels and that's always nice. The Ciate Nail Polish is a festive sparkly silver, and the Model Co Lipstick is a beautiful red shade.
The perfume sample was neither here nor there for me, but the Embryolisse and the miniature Benefit products more than made up for that. Birchbox have rounded the year off as they started, very well indeed. Seasonally appropriate, plenty of variety, and a cute little extra touch in the clutch bag.
Y E A R I N G L O S S Y B O X
Glossybox have had a pretty good year, I think. While I don't think any of their regular boxes have stood out as being especially amazing, I do think they did well with their limited edition NARS box a little while ago. I've come to see Glossybox as an introduction to brands I'm less familiar with, or products I wouldn't necessarily pick up on my own, with a few recognisable things here and there. The Essence Princess Lash mascara wouldn't have been something I would have picked up in store, but I ended up really liking it, and had a similar experience with the Sleek Pout Paints and Pout Polishes.
Y E A R I N B I R C H B O X
While Glossybox have had a good year, I think Birchbox have had a great year. Sure there has been maybe one dud box, but overall they have been consistent in their variety and their balance of already well known brands and slightly more obscure ones. They've had everything from Benefit, Rituals and The Balm, to REN, Philip Kingsley and Aromatherapy Associates, with much more in between. It's entirely down to Birchbox that I gave the Liz Earle Cleanse & Polish another try and I ended up falling head over heels for it, so finding a new beauty staple is entirely possible.
I'm often asked which beauty box is the best, or if I could only recommend one which would it be? Sounds like a simple question, but honestly all surprise subscription services are a bit of a risk each month because they can all be hit or miss. If you like cute lifestyle things and a little bit of beauty I don't think you can go far wrong with My Little Box, but for solely beauty either Glossybox or Birchbox are great for different reasons. So although Birchbox have been a little more reliable and consistent throughout 2015, that may all change in 2016 if Glossybox pull out all the stops.
Are you subscribed to any beauty boxes?
Are there any that you would recommend?