Battle of the Beuaty Boxes: September Birchbox vs Glossybox Review

September 12, 2016

You may have read my beauty box review last month; it's now September and I'm ready to give my thoughts on this month's beauty picks from Birchbox and Glossybox. My reviews are completely honest and unbiased and I've really been looking forward to doing this post. There have been some really great products this month, I hope you enjoy reading and find this helpful.

September Glossybox vs Birchbox

Birchbox - 

Birchbox is always the first to arrive, it gets dispatched on the first working day of the month. This month's theme of "Heroes" is a bit random and not very well tied together. I like the fact that the box has been designed by a subscriber and is a drawer rather than a box, it's a cute pattern and looks good. Let's see what's inside...

Birchbox September

Model Co Highlighting Trio - FULL SIZE - This highlighting trio has three lovely, shimmering shades that are easy to apply and blend. It's a good travel size and easy for application on the go, the results only last for a couple of hours but, like I say, can be easily topped up when out and about. This is a really good product for day wear as it's not too dramatic but gives the face a warm, subtle glow. At a RRP of £17 I am happy Birchbox included it as I wouldn't rush to buy it, but I like this product and would give it a 3.5/5. It's a handy little addition to my makeup bag and I'm sure to get some good wear out of it.

Model Co Highlighting Trio - £17 - 3.5/5

Amika Bombshell Blowout Spray - Sample Size - I have very naturally thick hair which I prefer not to blow dry, so a spray designed to make hair appear thicker after blow drying is rather lost on me. As a texturising and styling spray I find it underwhelming but I feel like this spray was not intended for hair like mine. I have read some really good reviews online for this product and think for people with thin, flat hair this is a little gem to have. The full size 200ml version of the spray costs £14.99 so I'd estimate this sample to be worth about £1.90, it's a good travel size and looks pretty cute. I'd probably give it a 2/5 as, for me personally, it doesn't do very much.

Amika Bombshell Blowout Spray - £1.90 - 2/5

Jane Iredale Smooth Affair Facial Primer and Brightener - Sample Size - With the full size version of this product costing £36 (sample is worth £5) I was kinda hoping this would be the best primer ever. Of late I prefer to use a setting spray rather than a primer to keep my make up in place for longer but I was keen to give this a try. The primer has a nice creamy consistency and is easy to apply makeup on to. It's a good base for any look, and minimises the appearance of pores well. I wouldn't say this wowed me any more than a standard primer and I'll probably be sticking to the setting spray to keep my makeup, I'd give it a 3/5.

Jane Iredale Smooth Affair Facial Primer and Brightener - £5 - 3/5

Nuxe Prodigieux Shower Oil - Sample Size - I can appreciate that this is a nice shower gel, it comes out as a golden shimmering gel and the labelling looks fancy and French, it has a mature scent and feels good on the skin - but at the end of the day this is just a glorified shower gel. The full size product at 200ml costs £10 so I would estimate this sample product to cost around £1.50. A little does go quite a long way so the price is slightly justified but it doesn't leave my skin feeling any different than my Imperial Leather shower gel (of which a full sized bottle costs less than this sample). I think I'll be sticking to that and save this for holidays due to it's travel size. I'd give this product a score of 2.5/5.

Nuxe Prodigieux Shower Oil - £1.50 - 2.5/5

Starskin Eye Catcher - Sample - I've been curious to try some eye masks for a while; my under eye area is a more troubled area of my face, often sporting dark bags or red puffiness, so I was keen to see how these would work. To be honest I was not hugely impressed, I followed the instructions on the back of the pack but they didn't seem to correspond with the contents too well. I pulled out two slimy pads which were really difficult to apply smoothly and place in the correct position. They have done what they set out to achieve and brightened the skin around my eyes and left my skin feeling soft; but it took around half an hour for the gloopy serum to absorb completely and the results weren't that noticeable or long lasting. I would possibly use this product again but you have to be in the mood to put up with the faff of putting them on. This is a sample size and I was quite surprised to find out that the full size products only include two eye masks - the recommended use is 1-2 times a week so that's £8.50 a week...I don't think anyone will be arsed with doing that. This sample is worth about £4.25 and I'd have to give it a 2/5 purely cos they're a total bugger to apply and I don't think they're worth the money.

Starskin Eye Catcher - £4.25 - 2/5

Total Score of September Birchbox: 13/25
Total Cost of Products: (approx) £29.65 - you pay £12.95.
Top Product: Model Co Highlighting Trio

Glossybox -
This month's Glossybox was bright Red rather than the usual pink, that's because it was brought to us by Red magazine with each item selected by the Beauty Director of Red. I love unwrapping the tissue on my Glossybox and revealing the treats inside and this month did not disappoint.

September Glossybox

Vitamasques Hydro Face Mask - Full Size - This is a similar product to the under eye masks in this month's Birchbox but this is intended for the whole face. Due to the struggle I had with the eye masks I had rather low expectations for this. However, it was better packaged on the inside and therefore easier to apply due to less of a slime factor. It did give off a total cannibal I'll-cut-off-your-skin-and-wear-it-as-a-mask vibe once applied but it stayed in place far better than the under eye masks. It's recommended you leave the mask on for half an hour so it's best to use this on an evening where your only plans are watching tv as skin still feels quite sticky even after removal. This is a full sized product costing £7.99 and again it is suggested you use these twice a week, which I think is quite excessive, although I would probably use this mask again every once in awhile as a hydrating treat for my face. It vows to leave skin hydrated for 120 hours, I'm not too sure but we'll see. I'd give this product a 3/5, I enjoyed using it and it has brightened my skin leaving it feel very refreshed, my main issue is that skin does feel on the greasy side for a while after removal.

Vitamasques Hydro Face Mask - £7.99 - 3/5

Rodial Smoky Eye Pen - Full Size - This is quite possibly the best eyeliner I have ever used. It's so easy to apply and super long lasting but what really impressed me is the great bold colour it gives. I'm really excited to use this product more and am v happy to have received it this month as I would never have come across this brand, or even bought it, normally. I love discovering new brands and beauty treats and this really enforces why I love beauty boxes. This is a full size product and would normally cost £17, I'd have to give this a 4/5, it's a brilliant eyeliner which gives great definition.

Rodial Smoky Eye Pen - £17 - 4/5

GOSH Long Lasting Lip Marker - Full Size - This GOSH lip marker looks like an actual highlighter (the stationery kind, not the makeup kind) which is a bit weird when applying. It has a really nice smell and gives lips a rosy pink colour. I'm not sure if I'd use this regularly but it does the trick. I don't know how long defines "long lasting" but I wouldn't say that was this that long lasting unless you don't really drink, eat or talk. This is another full size product and would normally cost £8.50, it's a nice addition to the box and I'm glad to have tried it. I'd give it a 3/5.
GOSH Long Lasting Lip Marker - £8.50 - 3/5

Too Faced Better Than Sex Mascara - Deluxe Sample - This was the product most hyped about by Glossybox, it's a cult favourite and I was excited to try. It's not a full size product (actually the only non full size product this month) but it is a deluxe sample and will last a good time. I'm happy I got the waterproof sample as I feel like that's always an added bonus with mascaras. It's a great mascara, it makes lashes look thick and luscious and it's really long lasting - teamed with the Rodial Eye Pen it creates a very dynamic eye makeup look. This sample is worth about £11.50 with the full sized product costing £19, I'm not sure if I'd pay that much but there's no denying it is an excellent addition to this month's Glossybox and I'd give it a 4/5. 

Too Faced Better Than Sex Mascara - £11.50 - 4/5

Revlon Gel Envy Diamond Top Coat - Full Size - Yet another full size product, this is actually super useful. At first I thought it was a black nail polish but was relieved to find it is in fact an excellent top coat that makes nail polish last longer, be more resistant to chipping and gives a gorgeous gel like shine. It's really quick drying and I will definitely be topping off my nails with this in the future. This is quite an expenny nail polish at £7.99 so it's a great addition to the Box and I'd give it a 3.5/5.

Revlon Gel Envy Diamond Top Coat - £7.99 - 3.5/5

Bonus: Body Shop Himalayan Charcoal Purifying Glow Mask - Sample - The Body Shop are very keen to get people trying their new range of face masks, I was unable to get my sample through o2 priority so it was a nice surprise receiving one in my Glossybox. I love a good face mask and this is a good one. It's quite gross looking, you apply a chalky, muddy paste to your skin but the results are great. To be honest, it has a very similar effect to last month's (expensive) Mudmasky Facial Detox Purifying Recovery Mask but at a fraction of the price. The full size 75ml version of this mask costs £15 (so I'd estimate this sample to be worth £1) and I think it is worth that price and would consider buying this in future. I'd give the product a 3.5/5 (I wish there was more of it!)

The Body Shop Himalayan Charcoal Purifying Glow Mask Sample - £1 - 3.5/5

Total Score of September Glossybox: 21/30
Total Cost of Products: (approx) £53.98 - you pay £13.25.
Top Product: Rodial Smoky Eye Pen

The Verdict
Glossybox is a definite winner this month and I would recommend purchasing the box. You get a great selection of products, most of which are full sized which is amazing, and the total value of the box is almost double that of Birchbox. I was very impressed with all the products inside the September Glossybox and will definitely get good use out of them in future. The best product in this month's Birchbox was definitely the Model Co highlighting trio, however, this was almost the only genuinely good product. 

Thanks for reading guys, please let me know what you thought of the products! 

Soph x

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  1. I am loving these comparison reviews! And I completely agree with you, Glossybox was the definite winner for me this month also. My favourite this month has to be the mascara and I am almost certain that I will be buying the full size version (when it is on offer of course, and it currently does have 10% off in Debenhams at the moment). I only needed one coat and my lashes looked amazing! Very different to the cheapie mascaras I am used to. Instead of the Gosh lip liner though, I received some antioxidant lip balm from the organic pharmacy. I'm pleased with it as I do have a tendency to get dry lips, but at £12 I will probably buy something cheaper when it runs out.

    I am still pleased with my Birchbox this month - being a drawer makes it far more useful compared to the boxes. I received the Nuxe Shower oil which is lovely but like you said, essentially a shower gel, and I also received the highlighting trio, but my other three products were different to yours. I got the Laura Mercier primer, the Batiste XXL volume spray and the Polaar Genuine Lapland cream. I love the Lapland cream as it's a lovely moisturiser however the volume spray would perhaps suit someone whose hair actually needs a volume boost. The primer was very good, it felt like a moisturiser but with the benefits of a primer, so I imagine it would be good to use when wearing foundation on a daily basis as it would be better for the skin. However, at £29 it's not cheap!

    Looking forward to seeing what we get next month!!

    1. I really loved the Too Faced mascara and never want it to run out! I'm so jealous you got the Laura Mercier primer, it sounds like such a good product. My October review will be coming soon xx