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.

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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…