I can’t actually believe I am sitting here writing about a beauty box. I stopped subscribing to beauty boxes some time ago as over the last few years I had subscribed to a few different ones. I wised up pretty quickly though and realised that despite the excitement each month when you received one in the post and despite the fun of discovering new products and new brands more often than not the main feeling I was left with was disappointment once I opened the packaging and precisely what the box contained was revealed to me. I cancelled all my subscriptions and since then had managed to stay strong and resist enrolling to any others. However, I have to admit that I completely folded this summer when I saw a picture of a beauty box that I had never heard of on Monogram, a french beauty bloggers, Instagram account. The box contained soooo many dreamy products, all of which I was desperate to try, from brands like de Mamiel, Nuori… so you could imagine how gutted I felt realising I had missed this wonderful beauty box!
So what was this amazing box I hear you all cry? It was the Botanika Box from Alice&White, a Scandinavian e-boutique that sells natural and organic beauty products…..as well as beauty boxes obviously! Each quarter you receive a selection of 5 natural luxury products selected carefully by the Alice&White team. The selection includes both full size and sample sizes. So as I had missed the amazing summer box I made a snap decision and ordered the autumn one in the hope that it would be equally as impressive. From my increasingly unreliable memory I believe i ordered it around the beginning of August and received it by the 30th of September. The box cost 399 SEK and the shipping fee was an additional 100 SEK (within EU countries) so it cost in a total approximately £45, 52€. The package arrived in the most beautifully wrapped box and I was so thrilled when I saw it! Once I opened the box I realised that I hadn’t tried any of the products included in the box and two of them I had never even heard of before! This is truly an exceptional and exciting moment for me when I get introduced to new products and ranges. So enough chit chat as I know what everyone wants to hear, what was included in the box:
Antonin B Serum du Desert aux Ceramides £6.3 ,€7,25 5ml (travel size) – This is a certified organic hair strengthening serum designed for dry or colored hair. I have very dry hair so I was happy that this product matched my needs so well. I was also very pleased to see that it was made from loads of different botanical and essential oils. When I opened this little bottle I could straight away spot the strong smell of ylang ylang which is one of my favourite essential oils to use in my homemade hair recipes. My first impression just from checking the ingredients list is that it seems like a pretty good quality hair product, it’s just a shame that it is such a small quantity. It does say that you only need to apply 2 to 3 drops so I am seriously hoping that it will last quite long.
Ingrédients INCI Balanites aegyptiaca (Desert date) oil*, Brassica abyssinica (Abyssinian) oil*, Bertholletia excelsa (Brazil nut) oil*, Carthamus tinctorius (safflower) oil*, Corylus avellana (Hazelnut) oil*, Aleurites moluccana (Kukui) oil*, Caprylic/Capric Triglycerides, Simmondsia chinensis (Jojoba) oil*, Borago officinalis (Borage) oil*, Coco-Caprylate/Caprate, Coconut Alkanes (and) Coco-Caprylate/Caprate, Cocos nucifera (Coconut) oil*, Triticum vulgare (Wheat) flour lipids, Tocopherol, Cananga odorata (Ylang-ylang) oil*, Brassica oleracea (Broccoli) seed oil*, Citrus limonum (Lemon) oil*, Citrus aurantifolia (Lime) oil*, Cymbopogon martinii (Palmarosa) oil*, Pelargonium rosae (Geranium) oil*, Benzyl benzoate°, Benzyl salicylate°, Citral (geranial and neral)°, Citronnellol°, Eugenol°, Farnesol°, Geraniol°, Limonene°, Linalool°.
Intensae Nail Polish in color Heathers £14.7, €16.95 (full size) – I had never heard of this brand before which is great as I always like a new discovery! This is a ‘7 free’ nail polish which comes in a deep pinky/red color that I would describe as an autumnal color, perfect timing for the season. I decided to try it straight out of the box and was really impressed! It has a nice wide brush, applies very evenly and only needed one coat for full opacity. However, it’s not the kind of color that I wear so I really wish I had received another one but this sort of thing is one of the drawbacks of beauty boxes that made me stop subscribing originally. I will definitely have a look at the rest of the range and see if I can find one that suits me more as it was great apart from the colour
Kaunis Facial Cleansing gel 13£ 15€ 30ml (travel size) – This Finnish certified organic brand is another new discovery for me but I am going to get straight to the point. I was not at all convinced by this product from the moment I checked the ingredient list. My opinion was that it was quite expensive for such a simplistic composition that contained no seemingly pricey ingredients. It’s a mix of cornflower water, Aloe Vera, Glycerin, some preservatives and a cleansing agent. I really would have expected this product to be far more affordable from its ingredients list. On the plus side it did smell very nice though so I will report back comprehensively once I have done some proper testing.
Ingrédients INCI Aqua (water), Centaurea Cyanus Flower Water* (cornflower water), Decyl Glucoside (sugar based cleanser), Xanthan Gum, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Extract* (aloevera leaf extract), glycerin, Citric Acid, Potassium Sorbate, Sodium Benzoate, Parfum**, Geraniol**, Linalool**, d-Limonene**
Night Delight Super Hydrating All over Balm £42,5, €49 30ml (full size) – This product had really nice luxury packaging that was very appealing but I found it such a shame that it turned out to be a multi use balm :(( I have so many multi balms already that I don’t know what to do with them! I mean that literally and metaphorically, I actually don’t know what you are supposed to do with multi balms! I can’t even seem to finish any of them as apart from using them as a lip balm I really can’t find many other uses for them. Multi use balms are supposedly designed to repair dry skin but my body oils already do a great job of that. Of course this is entirely personal choice but I just wish they could have supplied me with something else from this brand. If you do have really dry skin and are having a hard time finding a good product I think this mix of shea butter, cera alba wax and rosehip oil would really help. Perhaps the idea is that if you have very little budget you can just buy one product to cover everything.
Ingrédients INCI Helianthus annuus (sunflower) oil, Butyrospermum parkii (shea) butter, cera alba wax, Cetyl alcohol, Rosa canina (rosehip) oil, Zea mays (corn) powder, Citrus dulcis (orange) oil, Tocopherol, Lavandula angustifolia (lavender) oil, Vanilla planifolia oil, Rosmarinus officinalis extract, *Limonene, *Linalool, *Citronellol
Ila Body Wash 150ml £10 €11.5 (full size) – The last product is a shower gel. I have tried several products from this brand before and absolutely love them, especially their absolutely gorgeous bath soak. This product smells divine and is so refreshing. It seems to awaken your sense thanks to the mix of Lemongrass, Vetivert and Patchouli essential oils.
Ingrédients INCI Aqua, Potassium Cocoate, Potassium Oleate, Lauryl Betaine, Glycerin, Sodium PCA, Quillaja Saponaria Extract, Prunus Armeniaca (Apricot) Kernel Oil, Decyl Glucoside, Potassium Citrate, Vetiveria Zizanoides Root Oil, Citrus Aurantium Amara (Bitter Orange) Peel Oil, Pogostemon Cablin Oil, Pelargonium graveolens Flower Oil, p-Anisic Acid, Glyceryl Caprylate, Sodium Benzoate*, Geraniol*, Limonene*, Linalool* (*Allergens)
Photo from Alice&White Instagram
The total combined price of the all products in the box would be £86.5 €99.7 but it only costs you £45 €52 when you order the box. You get 3 full size and 2 travel size products for half price. I can’t deny that is quite bargain but overall nothing really excited me in this box and I still feel that the summer box was far more interesting than this one. I have put a photo of it below for you to have a look and compare to see if you agree. As I said earlier when I opened the box I was sadly quite disappointed. My first thought was that there was a distinct lack of the fancy niche beauty brands that I had seen in the previous box and had interested me enough to order this one. I also had assumed, incorrectly it turned out, that I would definitely be receiving products that were available to purchase on the Alice&White online boutique. This was another of the main reasons I bought the box because I saw that they only sold very interesting and high quality beauty brands……but nope, none of the brands that were in the box are available to buy on the site. So even if I had absolutely loved what was in the box I wouldn’t be able to buy the full size versions from their site which seemed crazy as surely they should be using the boxes to advertise their great selection and be driving more sales on their website. Basically it all felt quite confused and muddled and totally reinforced to me why I stopped buying beauty boxes in the first place. However the experience wasn’t a total wash out so I will give them one more chance and order the winter one! Lets hope it will be better than this one and change my less than glowing opinion of beauty boxes!
Let me know if you bought this box as I would love to hear what you thought about it?