I know what you're thinking.. isn't the last day of the month a bit late for a review? Yes, it absolutely is but I've been following this month's theme of work hard, play hard & be kind, or at least the first part, so I've been away from you guys! On the brightside, it has meant that I've had a couple of weeks to really put the products in the September Birchbox to test.
This month's box is a partnership with Oliver Bonas, who I've heard of but honestly know nothing about, but I do like the design of the box (there were 2 options to choose from). Now onto the products:
1. The "special" product for September is the Manna Kadar Fantasy 3-in-1 Blush, Highlighter and Eyeshow FULL SIZE £15. I'm always intrigued by products that claim to do more than one thing, because unless you have a very specific skintone it's probably only going to be helpful for one area, and that's true of this product for me. I could use it as a bronzy eyeshadow but blush or highlighter? I think not, possibly bronzer but it's a bit rich for me to use it that way. The formula is nice and smooth, but opening the compact was hell I had to use scissors to pry the lid open after breaking 4 nails, no I'm not exaggerating. The colour is pretty but it's not really a standout product for me and not one I'd go out of my way to purchase.
2. Polaar IcyMagic Instant Eye Contour Energiser £22, hmm I am conflicted about this one. It's designed to be a soothing roll-on that brightens your undereye and makes you look and feel better. On paper that sounds perfect to me, in practice it didn't quite work. If you're using a roller under your eye you want something smooth that rolls easily, this didn't. It took a lot of work to get product to come out and even then it dragged, which is the opposite of what you want on the delicate undereye skin. When you eventually do get some product out, it was cooling but didn't make any visible difference either straightaway or after multiple uses. The cooling part was nice, the application wasn't and I don't actually think it worked. So a pass from me.
3. Dr PawPaw Original Clear Balm £6.95, this seems to be one of those products that I've heard about for ages but never got around to using myself. Billed as a "multitasker" it's basically meant to bring hydration to anywhere you need it from your lips to split ends. I wasn't keen on it as a lip balm, it was a bit greasy for me, but as a quick moisture boost to some patches of dry skin or on split ends it worked really well. I know keep this in my bag at all times and I'll definitely be repurchasing when it runs out!
4. ARROW BOOST Color Enhancing Lip Balm FULL SIZE £11, this is my firm favourite in the September Birchbox. I was a bit sceptical but it really does work. It's designed to "adjust to your unique PH to create the perfect, just-for-you hue" and it actually does. For me, on top of bare lips it gives me this gorgeous rosy tint that is still super hydrating. I've reached for this every day since the box arrived and I will be buying it again and again in the future. Big thumbs up!
5. Beauty Protector Protect & Detangle £18.50, the final product in the September box is this hair heat defense and detangler spray. After reading that it should smell great, reduce fizz, detangle and add shine as well as protecting from heat damage I couldn't wait to try it, but it just didn't impress me at all. It didn't detangle or tame frizz and my hair felt drier when using this than my usual heat protection spray before styling. The only noticeable difference is that it left the ends of my hair feeling a bit sticky, which obviously isn't a good thing, so I'll be sticking with my Alterna (review here).
So final opinions? I like the lip balm, the Dr PawPaw works well and I might use the 3-in-1 as an eyeshadow every now & then. The eye roller simply isn't good enough and the Beauty Protector spray just doesn't work. I'm a little disappointed that only two of the five products are ones that I will be using regularly, but hopefully the October box will make up for it!
Do you subscribe to Birchbox? I'd love to know your thoughts on this month's box, or if you subscribe to a different beauty box let me know if you think I should give it a try!
Stay safe, x
* I subscribe to Birchbox and pay for it myself, all thoughts, opinions & photos are my own*