Beauty, Cruelty Free, Lifestyle, Makeup, Tutorial, Uncategorized

Birchbox vs. Glossybox | AUTUMN BOXES

Hellooo, everyone! I hope you’re all fine and dandy. Winter is drawing to a close (hurrah!), so in true me style, I thought I’d share my impossibly late thoughts on the Autumn offerings from Birchbox and Glossybox before moving on to their winter boxes in a post I PROMISE won’t be as delayed as this one is! Let me know in the comments below if you subscribe to any beauty boxes and whether you’d recommend any.


beautybox september 1

For September, Birchbox teamed up with the gorgeous lifestyle brand, Oliver Bonas, to deliver a super cute and fun design under the theme of Work Hard, Play Hard & Be Kind. So what was inside?

Beauty Protector Protect and Detangle Spray | RRP £21.50

This is a sweet, glorious little product that I absolutely loved! It detangles your hair, protects it from heat damage and leaves it feeling oh so silky. I can’t find anything solid on their animal testing policy, just lots of other bloggers referring to them as cruelty-free, so I won’t be buying it until I can confirm their stance on animal testing, which is a tad upsetting. 8/10

Polaar IcyMagic Instant Eye Contour Energiser | RRP £22

I was quite impressed with this little eye cream at first, but their animal testing policy is a little shady; they say they’re cruelty free, all their products are manufactured in France under “strict quality control”, then they throw a spanner in the works by saying none of their ingredients are tested on animals “to the best of their knowledge”. This just seems like they’re trying to cover their backs and haven’t done enough research into where they’re getting their ingredients from. 4/10

Manna Kadar Cosmetics Fantasy 3-in-1 Eyeshadow | RRP £15

This is one of those products that’s utterly BRILLIANT for when you’re on a weekend away and can’t take your entire makeup collection with you – especially if, like me, your beauty collection is practically large enough to open a mini department store. This little wonder is a pearly bronzed pink hue that works wonderfully as an eyeshadow and blusher, but I found it a touch too dark to use as a highlighter. 8/10

ARROW BOOST Colour Enhancing Lip Balm | RRP £11

This is a beautifully moisturising lip balm that keeps your lips feeling super soft whilst adding a pop of tingling colour, which is unique to each wearer as it adapts to your own pH, which is pretty darn cool. It’s also cruelty-free, paraben-free, gluten free and vegan – winning! 8/10

Dr PawPaw Original Clear Balm | RRP £6.95

I bloody love this stuff. It’s a multipurpose balm that soothes cuticles, split ends and minor skin irritations so it’s a real box ticker. It’s one of those products that should live in your bag! I was a little disappointed by the size of the sample, especially after getting a full size edition in a Glossybox a few months ago. Still, it’s magic! 9/10

TOTAL: 37/50


beautybox september 2

A classic pink box was on offer from Glossybox way back in September (honestly, I can’t cope with how long ago September actually was) under the theme of New Beginnings, which was a lovely way to welcome the change in season. But what were the goodies like?

Taylor’s 32 Natural Whitening Toothpaste | RRP £5

I love the idea of this product; it’s a natural toothpaste free from artificial flavours, parabens and sweeteners, which is an effective way to clean your teeth without overloading on harsh chemicals. Having said that, I just didn’t feel like my mouth was completely clean. It may have been the grapefruit flavouring, which was bitter and left an odd aftertaste. I would like to try their mint one, especially as they’re cruelty free, and I love incorporating natural products into my daily routine. 7/10

Pixi by Petra Brow Tamer | RRP £12

This product is AMAZING. It finishes off your eyebrow game perfectly whilst also adding a bit of extra volume. It can be used alone, but if your brows are weak and fine like mine, then its great for plumping them up a touch. Pixi ftw. 10/10

Monu Firming Fiji Facial Oil | RRP £21.95

What’s not to love? A lightweight, moisturising facial oil that leaves your skin looking and smelling divine. It has a gorgeous calming effect and softly sweet fragrance, which I just loved. 9/10

Skinfix Inc. Eczema Hand Repair Cream | RRP £17

This was a bit rich for me, but I imagine it’s great for those that do struggle with eczema. It does contain natural ingredients, which is always good, but I couldn’t find any confirmation that they’re a cruelty free brand, even with an entire FAQs page on their website, which doesn’t look too encouraging! 6/10

STYLondon Siligel Blender | £5.99

This is a new addition to my makeup tool collection and I have to say, it’s pretty darn good. It’s easy to clean, works well with all the foundations I own (i.e. A LOT) and the application process is smooth. It does take some getting used to, and I do prefer a sponge blender or brush but I think that’s just because I’m more familiar with them – plus, their pointed or narrower ends are better at reaching tricky areas like under the eyes. 7/10

TOTAL: 39/50

September winner: Glossybox! But only just, it was really close that month. Don’t forget, if any of these products appeal to you, then you can still get them online and add them to your collection.


beautybox october 1

The October box was created in partnership with the incredible charity Coppafeel!  in honour of Breast Cancer Awareness month, which I thought was brilliant. It’s so important we are familiar with our bodies so that any changes are immediately noticeable. I love that Birchbox used their platform to help raise awareness of what we should be looking out for! So what did I get?

Biore Deep Cleansing Charcoal Pore Strips | RRP £8.99 (for a pack of 6)

I used this solo strip and it was a total superstar at unclogging troublesome pores across my nose – seriously, I’m almost 27, I didn’t think I’d still be battling teenage skin grievances! Then I researched Biore and found that they aren’t cruelty free, which is a major shame because I would’ve bought this. 4/10

BalanceMe Pure Skin Face Wash | RRP £16

I love this brand and their ethical approach to effective skincare. This face wash is gentle but it works well at getting rid of makeup and daily build up after a long day. I would 100% recommend this for anyone who wants a decent clean without having their skin feel stripped down. 10/10

ModelCo MegaLash Mascara | RRP £16

This little cutie provides dark, full lashes without making them look like battered spider’s legs. It does take quite a few coats to really add volume, so it’s one for the weekend when you have more time to devote to your lashes. 8/10

amika: Perk Up Dry Shampoo | RRP £20 

I LOVE this stuff! I always find dry shampoos a tad disappointing as they never seem to work the way I want them to. Not this one, my friends. It leaves my flat hair feeling fresher, fuller and effortlessly messy. It’s perfect for those rushed mornings! A total must have. 10/10

anatomicals grab your melons Shower Gel | RRP £1.50

This fresh and zesty shower gel was designed to help raise awareness of breast cancer, so do as it says on the package and grab your melons! It lathers up brilliantly, smells amazing and encourages you to coppafeel – a great little product! 9/10

TOTAL: 41/50


beautybox october 2

The October Glossybox had a spectacular theme; mermaids vs. unicorns. Much to my delight, I got the mermaid box and I was overjoyed with the majority of the contents! I actually unboxed it in my first ever YouTube video, which you can watch if you fancy:

If that’s not your thing, here’s what I think of the products a few months down the line…

Makeup RevolutionMermaids vs. Unicorns Eyeshadow Palette | RRP £4

This discount cruelty-free brand have so many cool products out right now – they have gotten into hot water for some of their dupes (I know Too Faced inspo when I see it…), but this palette is gorgeous, fun and perfect for releasing your inner Ariel. The colours are a little out there, but who doesn’t love to experiment when it comes to eyeshadow?! Plus, it’s £4 which is an absolute STEAL. 8/10

SleekCreme to Powder Blush | RRP £5.99

I received the shade Gerbera which just doesn’t suit my complexion. It’s far too coral toned for someone as deathly pale as myself, which is a shame as it’s a gorgeous, reasonably priced product. I’d definitely be up for trying a more suitable shade. 7/10

Lord & BerryMagic Brow Pencil | RRP £14

As this was just a miniature, it only contained the pencil side and not the brush applicator that’s incorporated into the full size version. It’s a decent eyebrow pencil but I wasn’t blown away, as I didn’t think the colour was pigmented enough to perfect my brows. I’ve been using it as an eyeliner instead. 6/10

Bang BeautyCreme Colour | RRP $22

This was another case of receiving the wrong shade, unfortunately. I also find cream based blush products a little faffy, as there aren’t many tools you can use to apply them and I hate getting garish colours all over my fingertips! That’s the Monica Gellar in me, I suppose. Bang Beauty are a trend-following cruelty free brand though, so they’re definitely worth keeping an eye out for! 6/10

Kawaii EnterpriseBrush Cleansing Egg | RRP £6

As somewhat of a clean freak, I loved getting this handy little makeup brush cleanser! The grooves are great at creating a lather to rid your brushes of product build up and have them looking and feeling brand new. It’s easy to use, too. I use a drop of Superdrug’s baby shampoo (99p, cruelty free and super gentle – SCORE) and swirl the ends of brushes over the knobs. It’s a must have for any beauty lover! 10/10

TOTAL: 37/50

October winner: Birchbox! I loved both October boxes, but Birchbox definitely had the edge that month with their Breast Cancer Awareness campaign.

WOW, again I rambled on for 18 pages front-and-back (#Friendsfanforever) so my sincere apologies! If you made it to the end, then you deserve a hot chocolate with ludicrous toppings. Thanks so much for reading, chums! Until next time…

Much love,

Jessa XO








All photos are my own unless otherwise specified. I have only included links to brands that claim to be cruelty-free

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