Battle of the Beauty Boxes: August Birchbox vs Glossybox Review

August 18, 2016

This is quite a lengthy blog post in which I compare the August Birchbox and Glossybox. I was really keen to start a beauty box subscription and narrowed Glossybox and Birchbox down to my two favourites but I struggled to choose between them. I couldn't find much online comparing the two services so I have decided to do my own comparison full of unbiased reviews about the products and service. Hopefully this is of use to some of you.

This month's Limited Edition 5th Anniversary Glossybox and summer Birchbag.

Birchbox -

This month's Birchbox was in fact a Birchbag in a grey scuba fabric with a bright zip in varying colours (mine came in pink). The bag is a good size and comfortably fits the 5 products with room to spare and it makes for a handy makeup or travel bag. That being said, I have much more attractive makeup bags and the grey material isn't the best looking and doesn't hold its shape well - this seems like a good idea on paper but not the best upon execution. I've reviewed below what was inside.

What's in my bag?
Marcelle Waterproof Eyeliner (in either Mulberry or Expresso) - FULL SIZE - I got the Mulberry shade in my Birchbag which is a shimmering deep purple colour. I would've probably preferred the Expresso shade as I'd be more likely to wear it, but the purple Mulberry could look good teamed with a cooler smoky eye. It is indeed waterproof and smudge proof and glides on smoothly with a good consistency. This is a good quality eyeliner and if you're looking for a coloured shade that stays on all day than this could be worth a shout. The full size product is available with August's Birchbox and it's RRP is £10.50.  I'd probably rate this product 3/5 as it is a long lasting, waterproof, smudge proof, good quality eyeliner - however, the colour is just not for me or something I would regularly wear. Perhaps I would be more likely to purchase in a classic black which I'm sure is available.

Marcelle Waterproof Eyeliner - Full Size - £10.50 - 3/5
Philip Kingsley One More Day Dry Shampoo - SAMPLE SIZE - I am a big fan of dry shampoo as I am often too busy (or sometimes just too lazy) to wash my hair as often as it needs, so dry shampoo provides the perfect fix for those times when my hair is looking rather greasy. I am a big fan of Batiste dry shampoo as it does the trick for a great price, however, I was keen to try this Philip Kingsley product when it arrived and it didn't really disappoint. It leaves hair looking and smelling a lot fresher and you can tell that it is a good quality product. The full sized product is priced at £14.50 which isn't too bad considering they tend to last for a good while and this does make a difference, that being said that is 6 times the price as the Batiste dry shampoo and I don't think it is 6 times better. I said the product didn't disappoint but it didn't particularly wow either and I'd be much more likely to stick to Batiste. The 50ml sample size found in the Birchbag is worth £6.50 and is ideal for holidays due to it's size. I'd probably give this product a 3.5/5.

Philip Kingsley One More Day Dry Shampoo - Sample Size - £6.50 - 3.5/5
Balance Me Congested Skin Serum - SAMPLE SIZE - I am lucky enough to have pretty good skin and have never had any problems with acne or other skin conditions I do, however, get the occasional, very annoying, cluster of zits. This product is aimed as a sort of SOS for these moments packed full of natural ingredients to help tackle blemishes. I managed to use this product a couple of times on a small break out and it did leave my skin feeling cleaner and healthier, it's a light formula and a small amount goes a long way. I'm sure it will also prove beneficial in the long run as is suggested by the great reviews I've read online and I think it really does make a difference to help leave skin feeling refreshed and healthier. This is probably the best sample in this month's Birchbox, that being said it's not something I'd rush out to buy and I'd rate it at about 3.5/5. I'd estimate the cost of this product to be around £8 as it's half the size of the full sized product which is £16.

Balance Me Congested Skin Serum - Sample Size - £8 - 3.5/5
Anatomicals The Buff Stuff Citrus Body Scrub - SAMPLE SIZE - I'm not a very regular exfoliator but have been meaning to make it more of a habit especially as I am partial to a bit of fake tanning and know that exfoliating is important prep work. I am fond of the anatomicals brand, I like their packaging and their prices - this scrub is £4 for the full size product, meaning this sample would cost about a quid. It smells fruity and fresh and is good value for money, it's not the best scrub in the world and I think you'd get through it pretty quickly as you need quite a lot to not do very much, but for a few pounds it does the trick and leaves skin feeling like it's had a bit of TLC. Another positive about this product is that it is microbead free which makes it better for the environment and our lovely planet. If you're an exfoliating aficionado then I'm sure you'd go for a more high end, effective product but for the occasional scrub this is great. The size is perfect for travel and a quick fix on holiday and I'd give it a 3/5 rating.

Anatomicals The Buff Stuff Citrus Body Scrub - Sample Size - £1 - 3/5

Merci Handy - FULL SIZE - This antibacterial hand gel comes from French company Merci Handy, Birchbox were offering assorted scents and I got Cherry, to be fair I think it smells like a typical antibacterial gel and you can't detect the cherry at all. It's more attractive than the typical antibacterial gel, mine's pink with blue shimmering flecks and doesn't give off the usual hospital cleanliness vibe. Even so, I don't really wear antibacterial gel very often so it's not something I buy or even own for that matter. I am off to Leeds Fest later this month and I will defo be needing cleanliness wherever I can get it from when I'm there so this is useful for me, but if I wasn't headed to a festival then I would be rather underwhelmed by this product. The gel costs £2.90 which is hardly expensive and I suppose it could be something useful to have in your handbag and I'd give this product a 2.5/5.

Merci Handy - Full Size - £2.90 - 2.5/5
English Laundry Signature for Her Eau de Parfum - SAMPLE SIZE - Annoyingly I love this scent, this is annoying because the sample is miniscule and the RRP is £60 which is rather expensive. It smells amazing and I really wish there was more of it. However, I do appreciate that this is just a "little extra" from Birchbox and that this month's box (or bag) did have a good number of products in it. I'd have to give this product a 3/5, it would be higher if it was bigger.

English Laundry Pour Femme - Sample Size - £2 - 3/5

Total Score of August Birchbox: 18.5/30
Total Cost of Products: (approx) £32.80 - you pay £12.95.
Top Product: Balance Me Congested Skin Serum

Glossybox - 

The boxes from Glossybox are always well presented and feel more luxurious than the Birchbox when it arrives. This box also contained a makeup bag and this was counted as one of the products which I did find rather annoying, which gets me started on my reviews.

When opening your Glossybox it's like a lil present

This month's goodies
Rae Feather Mini Monogram Pochette - FULL SIZE - This makeup bag is cute, yet it has the Glossybox GB initials on it so deems it rather useless to anyone without the initials GB or you're some sort of Great Britain Olympics megafan. It does cleverly tempt you to order your own monogram pochette with a 10% off discount on your first Rae Feather order. The bag's RRP is £20 which I find quite expensive for it's size but Rae Feather is popular with celebs and her products are actually quite lovely so I can see why she gets away with it. I'd have to give this product a 2/5 as I will very rarely use it, if at all.

Lucky for anyone with the initials GB
MUA Eyeshadow Palette - FULL SIZE - Glossybox offered the chance to select which palette you wanted, however, by the time I'd signed up then I'd missed the chance to pick my own so got given one at random. Unfortunately I got a palette I don't think I'm going to use as it is primarily rather bold colours which I'm not so keen on. However, this is a really fun product to receive and I'm sure if I could've picked the one you wanted then I would've been very happy and got some good use out of it and for that reason I'm giving this 4/5. I'm not that familiar with Makeup Academy but was amazed that this cost just £4 and it makes me more inclined to check out this brand in future.

MUA Palette - some nice shades but a little bit too vibrant for me
Mudmasky Facial Detox Purifying Recovery Mask - SAMPLE SIZE - I used this mask today for the first time and it did leave my skin feeling incredibly soft and well nourished. This is a proper mud mask and feels very natural, it dries incredibly quickly and can leave skin feeling quite tight and tingly. Leave on for around 10 minutos and you are left with lovely soft skin and a bit of a muddy mess in your bathroom (note to self, don't use white towels when dealing with this face mask). The full price of the product shocked me and made this feel like a bit of a luxury treat, the full size product costs £53 normally meaning this sample size is worth approximately £17.60. I'd have to give this product 3.5/5, it feels like it does make a difference and is an expensive item which is always nice to receive.

Mudmasky Facial Detox Purifying Recovery Mask
Spa to You Deep Pore Facial Cleansing Brush - FULL SIZE - I'd been hearing good things about cleansing brushes so was pleased to receive one in my Glossybox this month. The brushes are soft to touch but when you're rubbing in your cleanser with this then it does feel pretty rough on your face. However, I think this is the point and lets you know you're face is getting a proper thorough clean and a bit of exfoliation as well. I'm defo going to stick with using this as I am impressed with the results, although you do feel a bit strange scrubbing your face with a odd looking brush. This is a full size product and normally costs £6.99, I would give it 4/5.

Spa to You Deep Pore Cleansing Brush
Cowshed Wild Cow Invigorating Body Lotion - SAMPLE SIZE - I'm a big fan of Cowshed products so it was a nice treat getting one in my Glossybox. This body lotion smells great - really fresh and natural; it is non greasy and leaves skin feeling soft and healthy. I do think that this sample probably won't have more than two full body uses as it's rather small and you need to use a fair amount of it - perhaps it would be best for targeting particularly dry areas of skin. The full (300ml) product costs around £20, although you can defo purchase it for less so I would estimate this sample to cost about £2 and I would give this product a 3/5.

Cowshed Wild Cow Invigorating Body Lotion

Total Score of August Glossybox: 16.5/25
Total Cost of Products: Approx £50.59 for £13.25
Top Product: Spa to You Deep Pore Cleansing Brush

Overall I think that the better beauty box for August is Glossybox for a number of reasons. The products are of a higher quality and are ones that I am much more likely to get use out of and perhaps even buy again. Although Birchbox offered more products in total, the Glossybox was much better value for money and I would therefore recommend the Glossybox over the Birchbox this month.

And the winner is...Glossybox

Can't wait to see what's in store in September!

Soph x

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  1. Hiya, I found your review really interesting as I also was keen to sign up to a beauty subscription but could not decide between Glossybox and Birchbox so ended up subscribing to both back in July. I'm still struggling to decide as I feel Birchbox is better tailored to me in terms of the products I get, but I do like the fact that Glossybox tends to have more full size and high value products that I would never have otherwise used. I think my favourite this month was the eyeliner, I received the expresso one which is a more useable colour, and likewise, I love the dry shampoo as it's handy for my handbag, but will probably stick with Batiste due to the cost. I was a bit disappointed in the Rae Feather Pochette as it is a lot of money for what it is... and I was also expecting the Birchbag to be white rather than the dull grey colour it is as it would have made it much nicer. Otherwise, I was pleased with everything else :-). I'm looking forward to reading your thoughts next month!

    1. Thanks for your comment Charlotte! I completely agree with you and will defo need a couple more boxes to fully decide which I like best x