Reading in Heels August Box

The third and final of my Reading in Heels subscription boxes arrived yesterday – making up slightly (though not totally!) for the fact that a friend had sent me a gift and the envelope had come unstuck in the post, meaning all that came through my letter box was a sad, empty padded envelope. Wah! (The gift was handmade, too, so I was doubly crushed).

Still at least I had some pretties. The new Reading In Heels box wasn’t bad at all, although not enough to convince me to renew my subscription. One of the sweets had nuts in and I don’t drink tea, so the fact that they send teabags every month is wasted on me. The ‘beauty’ element was an overnight masque that looked nice, and the book looks interesting, so while I think the box is decent value for money and would be great for some people, there’s not enough to keep me buying.

Still, was glad I gave it a try.

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July Birchbox

July’s Birchbox is the prettiest yet – a gleaming silver box adorned with ‘Born Unicorn’ that I sort of wished hadn’t got the Birchbox logo on it, as it would make a good gift box. Inside the contents were pretty good, too: a travel sized mascara and This Works pillow spray (which I have been dying to try, but was too pricey for me to justify), another make up brush (the second in three boxes, which seems excessive, though I suppose they never go to waste), a hair fragrance spray and an eyeshadow – this arrived broken, though not unusably so, which is a bit disappointing. Overall, I’d say this box for me was good value, since I’ll use most of the stuff.

Reading in Heels July Box

My second Reading in Heels box arrived when I was away. The book is a Norwegian novel I have heard good things about, and the rest of the goodies were nice enough: candles, a lip gloss, vegan wine gum and some tea. Again, probably not so amazing I’ll renew my subscription after my 3-box purchase runs out – there’s been nothing in either box I’ve received so far that’s made me squeal in delight – but certainly a nice thing to get in the post.

June Birchbox

I arrived back from Scotland to find my new Birchbox had arrived. As my trip fuelled my desire to travel more – which has been on hold lately due to work, moving, life and all the usual suspects – I’m keener than ever to get some cute travel sizes, so was excited to receive it.As tends to be the case with subscription boxes, it was a mixed bag of usefulness. A lip pencil and brow brush will be going straight in the ‘stocking fillers’ box, and though the body lotion looks great, I have a massive excess of body moisturiser at the moment, so am unlikely to use it for a while. An exfoliating cloth will get more immediate use, and a travel size bottle of shampoo is already in my toiletries bag for next week’s weekend jaunt.

Reading in Heels Subscription Box

As I mentioned in my earlier post about trying Birchbox, as few weeks ago an insomnia-fuelled shopping spree led me to sign up to a couple of subscription boxes. I love the idea of subscription boxes – a present to yourself in the post every month – even if the reality of them tends to pall quickly (a lot of useless tat included, excessive packaging, money that could be better spent on things I actually choose). So as a result I have a habit of signing up for them for a few months then getting bored and cancelling. It’s a trend which, if I am honest, I don’t see changing anytime soon, but at least I am committed to enjoying those I have bought while I am paying for them.

I admit I was slightly disinclined towards Reading in Heels. Their earlier ‘strictly no chicklit’ tagline felt a bit sniffy to me (maybe I’m over sensitive, being, y’know, a chicklit author, but genre snobbery is a real turn off) And, I dunno, the whole thing felt a bit ‘middle-class-white-lady idea of sophistication’ to my tastes. But, hey, it came up on my Instagram at 3am when I couldn’t sleep, so I thought what the hell and signed up to a three month package.

My first box arrived this week, and I was (mostly) pleasantly surprised. The contents included a book I didn’t own and hadn’t even heard of (given how many books I buy, duplication is always a concern when I sign up to book boxes), Social Creature by Tara Isabella Burton, which looks interesting. A herbal tea sample was given away quickly (as I detest tea, but that’s hardly their fault), and some bookmarks went onto my ever-increasing pile of bookmarks, but the cookies were tasty, if somewhat crumbled in delivery.

The surprise treat for me was a cuticle oil pen which I would have said was something I would never, ever use but actually smells divine and makes my nails feel great and I have become mildly addicted to.

So, the overall verdict: pretty good value, and a nice way to try an author and a product I wasn’t familiar with. Win!

In which I try Birchbox

I admit I am a sucker for subscription boxes. I love getting things through the post (and am lucky enough that I have lovely friends who regularly send me things!) and subscription boxes feel like a little present you buy yourself. The magpie nature of them – ooh, a box of tiny treats! – appeals, even though it’s usually that which also ends up frustrating me. The year before last I tried out several book and stationery subscription boxes, but in the end cancelled all of them because I felt like the joy of receiving a box of goodies was outweighed by adding more clutter and tat to my home. So why sign up to another?In part, for no better reason than I had insomnia and an ad for Birchbox came up on my Instagram with a special offer for 2 boxes, so on a sleep-deprived whim I signed up. In part, though, my commitment to getting out of my comfort zone hasn’t extended to my beauty routine (in which I am, to say the least, a Basic Bitch), and I thought being nudged to try some new products might be good for me. Also, I have a disproportionate love of travel sizes. Yes, my fear of commitment extends even to products (“I have to use that whole bottle?”) and while I know it’s not that environmentally friendly, it’s an indulgence I allow myself.My first delivery was this week – two boxes as per the special offer. My thoughts were initially mixed. Of course I expected to get some things that wouldn’t apply (a lipstick and a lip liner have gone into the ‘present box’ and will be added as a stocking filler to someone’s birthday or Christmas gift), but both boxes contained a hair masque, which seemed overkill. Still, there were definitely some goodies I would use: I love Nux oil, and mini mascaras and shimmery eyeshadows are very me, plus a full size shower gel won’t go amiss. And since in fairness my hair gets very little attention, maybe the hair treatments aren’t a bad idea: I tried one this morning, and my hair does feel rather silky!Will I stick with it? In truth, probably not: I’ll give it a few months then get bored or sick of my bathroom becoming cluttered, and it’ll start to feel like a pointless expense. But in the meantime, I might as well have fun experimenting. And I do so love getting a parcel…