Life, it seems, has taken over … again. And we've fallen behind a tad with our promised reviews of the products sent out in the monthly Glossybox and Birchbox packages. So, here's a brief catch-up of some of the products we've missed sharing with you!


have uber-sensitive skin. Most facial exfoliants either cause redness, or over-stimulate my skin until it becomes oily. Because of this I put off trying this product. Then I read about the supposedly 'miraculous' effects of rice powder in the raft of 'new' exfoliators. And, I have to admit, I was a tad swayed by reports that certain celebrities swore by these products. And so I tried it. I didn't think it was something my skin would tolerate every day, but decided to proceed that way and see how I went on. Six days in and my skin looked fresher, and cleaner, and took in my other products much more easily.  It's easy to use: you shake some of the powder on to wet hands and mix into a paste. It is light and easy to apply and really pretty mess-free too. I now use it every three days, since I don't want to over-stimulate my skin and, at that rate, the size I was supplied will probably keep me going for some time to come!


This product is pleasant and easy to use. However, the sachets supplied only allowed for one treatment and, in that time, I did not notice much of a difference in my skin. That being said, it did not irritate or over-stimulate my skin but to draw a proper, and useful, conclusion, I would need to use it more than once.


Like many of us, I know I should use a facial exfoliator more often than I do, but I have super-sensitive skin and several I have tried in the past have made my skin redden. It puts me off the entire process. You can imagine I was a little reluctant to try this. However, I found it effective and enjoyable to use. Because of my sensitivity, I would only use it once a week and not on days when my skin was flaring up. It feels 'rougher' than the Dermalogica product and, while not being scratchy, you can certainly feel a gentle 'scrub' action. That being said, it does what it's supposed to, smells and feels expensive and is a real treat to use.


For a while now I've been noticing those pesky crows' feet were getting more and more obvious and I realised that, once my current eye cream ran out, I would need to move 'up' a gear. When this product arrived in my Glossybox I decided to give it a try and hopefully stretch out my beauty budget a little longer. I am so glad I did, since I made a discovery about my skin. Those crows' feet are not really wrinkles, or age-related lines at all - they are dehydration lines and, having used this product pretty much since the day I opened the January box, they have all but disappeared! In fact, I could see a marked difference inside two days. Of course there are other sophisticated ingredients in there, from peptides to collagen, but whatever they may be, they have worked extremely well. When 
this pot's used up, I'll definitely be purchasing a replacement!


This product certainly did what it promised - it thickened up my fine strands of hair, but without bulk. It gave my hair more 'guts' too. However, in common with most of the hair thickeners I've tried in the past, while it made my hair smoother, it also took out a lot of the 'kick', leaving it straighter. That's not, of course, entirely a bad thing. Some of us want to de-kink our waves so that we can swish our hair more easily. On this occasion, having recently had my hair cut into a choppier look, I found that an unwanted side effect. That being said, I was able to go longer between shampoos and restyles, since the product didn't seem to become sticky over time. And it kept my style in 
place and shape for a couple of days longer than my normal products. Even if it wasn't quite the look I'd wanted.

The key benefit of this product was not it's gentle pick-me-up, nor the pleasant and fresh orangey flavour, but the lack of the ingredient guarana. That particular natural product seems ubiquitous in anything purporting to boost our natural energy. Unfortunately, in me it also boosts something else –  a general jangly tingliness that I find most unpleasant. I have tried guarana products three times, only the first two times deliberately, and it's an experience I'd not wish to repeat. So, if like me you find guarana just too much of a 'buzz', I would recommend this product. 
Much gentler, much nicer and, for me at least, side-effect free!

I have to say that I am very picky when choosing a foundation, not least because of the challenges of finding a foundation to match my very pale skin. Having filled in my details with Birch Box, I was a little surprised and dismayed to open the compact and see the rather dark and golden product. I was supplied with the colour "Praline" which the Gerda Spillman website describes as 'golden beige'. I am a porcelain-alabaster and would certainly have been happier with the "Weekend" shade ( a couple of shades fairer and less yellow-based) However, since the Birch Box shop only offers three  shades, I am assuming that "Praline" was the lightest available. That being said, while the colour did not match that well, it wasn't so bad as to look ridiculous. Because of the slightly poor colour match, I elected to try out the product  on a day off. And applied it before a Zumba session. It went on smoothly and evenly, which for a thick cream-based product was something of a surprise. It's pretty opaque in its coverage, but, while I could feel it on my skin, it did not feel as uncomfortable as I expected.  Perhaps most markedly, it remained in place, unaffected by my sweaty workout. And that's not something I'm used to! I'd never normally bother with makeup for an exercise class, preferring the reddened 'glow' of nature to the dripping, slipping, greasiness of sweat-affected makeup. So, if I did want to have some coverage during physical activity, then this would be the perfect product. Just not in that shade.