My test is a 6-month Birchbox subscription, receiving beauty products through the post monthly.

There is nothing quite as exciting as getting a present in a box through the post. Got my first box of goodies in the last week in November. Was just a shame that I received my second in the first week of December, just four days later. Tip one, choose carefully the time of the month you subscribe. I was cheated of the suspense. You receive an attractive box with five samples - a mix of skincare, makeup and sundry items, which are advertised in advance on their website. A feature of Birchbox is that you can tell them what you think of these samples by reviewing them on their site which builds up reward points that you can put towards a full-size product.

My November box was a beautiful peacock feather design, and don’t forget you can use the boxes afterwards. I received a half-size detangling brush, something called lip tar, a face cream, BB cream and a hair detangling spray. As a person not hugely into makeup or styling, I had to look up what some of these products were for and how to use them. After trialing them all, I can say that the brush is brilliant, the BB-cream a miracle worker and the detangling spray dreadful. I still haven’t rubbed tar into my lips yet!

The December Box contained a hair balm, exfoliating polish, a pore primer, a Bobbi Brown mascara and a full-size eyeliner. The mascara, exfoliating cream and hair balm are things I would use again, whereas the eyeliner was not for my taste and has already been re-gifted.

Mostly they’re sample sizes, some of which are minuscule (the pore primer is 3ml, about 2 inches big) but when you look at the prices for full-size items you can understand why. But at around £12.50 per box (inc shipping) you need to look at value for money if you only like one or two items. If you remember what this actually is a way to get you to try a multitude of products you didn’t know were out there and didn’t know you needed, and to buy full-size products from their website, you can’t go wrong.  I have already been introduced to a few items that I do benefit from and would possibly consider getting in future (definitely, if I make up the points on the website) and will keep you posted when I have evaluated the next boxes and tested the website out.

I have just received an email to say my January box is on its way and I’m genuinely excited.

Anne Pothecary