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Glossybox: September 2013

The theme for Glossybox this month was “The London Edition” to honour the arrival of London Fashion Week.  There’s all kinds of great thing inside to highlight some of the upcoming seasonal trends.  As with the other Glossyboxes that I’ve gotten, this one contains some things that I’m looking forward to trying and some things that are totally new to me.  The only brand included in my box that I am familiar with is Toni & Guy.  It’s exciting when I get to try new brands and totally new products (fake lashes!!) thanks to Glossybox.  I mean, that really is the whole reason I wanted to sign up for a beauty box in the first place.  Also in the box was the inaugural issue of the Glossybox magazine.  Previously, the “magazine” was just a print out, sort of like you did it on your home printer, and didn’t contain that much useful information.   This month though, the magazine is glossy (appropriately, I think) and contains interviews and information on the trends for AW2013.  It’s a big improvement and I’m looking forward to reading it.

The box this month is adorable!  It is dressed up with a Union flag lid that makes it cute and fun, all at the same time.  Plus, naturally, it fits in perfectly with the London theme.  The cuteness continues when you open the door and see the great red tissue paper designed with little drawings of London (phone boxes) and beauty (perfume bottles) shapes. It’s all just very cute and is the perfect look for a London themed box.  I must admit that I like the themed boxes because the box designs are so sweet, though the regular pink boxes are nice too.  I use the boxes to tidy up all of the assorted little bits in my makeup collection and the office area; they’re perfect for getting rid of the clutter.

I received five items this month that are quite good and all are things that I’m looking forward to trying out.  Four of them are full-sized, though one of them seems really small (the lip balm).  The items in the box this month certainly paid for the subscription and shipping price though.  So, that makes me happy.  I get cool stuff and save month.  What’s not to like about that?

Eylure Pre-Glued Lashes

Eylure Pre-Glued Lashes

Eylure Pre-Glued Lashes; full set of lashes. Okay, I’m going to start right with one of the totally new to me things in the box.  I know they are all the rage, or at least they seem like they are to me, but I’ve never, ever had on a pair of false eye lashes.  I’m a little apprehensive about trying them because I don’t want it to all go horribly awry and have them end up on my cheek mid-way through my evening out.  I like the idea of having lovely full, fluttery eyelashes though and can’t wait to try these out.  The box claims that they are ultra lightweight, latex free, and safe for contact lens wearers such as myself.  They’re also reusable, which seems nice.  I’m not sure how the reusable thing works though since they are pre-glued.  I’m wondering if I will need to resort to additional adhesive to actually reuse these.  I will say that they also look kind of fiddly to put on, so not the super simple process they act like on the box.  I also think that including a printed sheet in the box that explains how to apply the lashes might be better than just putting four little tiny illustrations on the back of the box.  At least for newbies like me, more instruction would be a plus.  Luckily, on the Glossybox page for the September box, they have tips for application, as well as caring, for your lashes.  Of course, that means you have to find the September page on the Glossybox site and I can’t seem to find it; the last one they talk about seems to be the July 2013 box.  In any case, the style of the lashes looks really natural and like it will enhance my real lashes without making me look like I’m seeking that drag queen look.

Clearly, the box includes a single full set of lashes, since it would be almost impossible to include just one or something.  Eylure are actually the creators of commercial false lashes and have been selling false lashes since 1947.  So, they’ve had quite a while to work out the kinks. They offer a number of different styles of lashes, including some celebrity lines.  I think their website could provide some better videos or tutorials for applying the lashes,but there are always several places to find that information online.  While looking through their site, I was a bit annoyed to see that they say to see the included instructions in the box with the strip lashes for information about how to remove them and store them so that you can reuse them.  Where’s my instruction sheet in my box?  A good tip from them though, is to not use mascara if you want to use your lashes again.  Also, they suggest that you apply the pre-glued lashes before any oily makeup so that they will actually stick, which is counter to what they suggest for other lashes.  According to Glossybox, a single set of these lashes are £5.06 but I think you could find them for a bit less at Amazon.  Annoyingly, they have different style numbers on each set of lashes, but there’s no number (at least not clearly identifiable) so I can’t match them up with certainty to prices on Amazon or even the actual Eylure website.   Based on the images on the Eylure website, I believe they are style 116, which means they would be £3.97 at Amazon.  Despite all the negatives with the packaging lacking instructions and such, I’m still looking forward to trying these out sometime when I’m feeling brave and really coordinated.

Be A Bombshell Onyx Eye Liner

Be A Bombshell Onyx Eye Liner

Be A Bombshell Onyx Eye Liner; full size product.  Okay, this is definitely the scariest item in the box for me.  I’m not very comfortable with really obvious makeup, so this kind of eyeliner that seems made for a dramatic look scares the bejesus out of me.  First of all, this doesn’t look like your standard eyeliner, it looks like a marker.  I can’t help myself from feeling like it is a permanent marker every time I pick it up because it even has that chunky marker look to the tube.  I guess this is considered a liquid liner.  I’ve always shied away from these in the past because they seemed like something I would need to have more skill and technique to put it on without getting it all over my face and making a bit mess of things.  However, since this is formatted like a marker, it seems like it should be easier to put on.  According to Glossybox I should be able to use this to create a thick line for a super dramatic look or a thin line to create a more natural look.  Since it is waterproof and long lasting, no matter what type of look you use it to create, you can count on it sticking around all day and all night.  You apply this just like you would draw with a marker, except it is around your eye instead of a piece of paper.  It is actually pretty easy to apply, though if you are a big fraidy cat like me, it might take you a few passes to build up a line wide enough to achieve a dramatic look.  It goes on very smoothly and is super pigmented, resulting in a full-on black liner.  I was worried about it not being feasible for creating a more natural line but you can use the very pointy tip to create a quite thin line without too much trouble at all.  Also, if you immediately use a cotton bud on it you can remove some of the colour and give a more subtle or more smudgy liner look.  All in all, it is easier to use than I had thought it would be, plus I might finally be able to get a little more dramatic with my eyeliner now.

Funny enough, Glossybox put the wrong URL for this company in the list of products in my box.  It is actually BeABombshellCosmetics.com (they left off the “cosmetics” part of it).  In any case, this seems to be a US-only company.  I can’t find this eye liner anywhere in the UK.  If you purchase it in the US, it is $14.00 at the Be a Bombshell Cosmetics website.  Unfortunately, they don’t ship anything outside of the US.

Dr. Lipp Original Nipple Balm for Lips

Dr. Lipp Original Nipple Balm for Lips

Dr. Lipp Original Nipple Balm for Lips; 3 ml; 20% of the full sized 15 ml product.  So, I was really disappointed when I pulled this out of the box because it seems so teeny tiny.  And at just 20% of the full sized product, it definitely isn’t huge.  However, it is quite thick and just a small amount is enough for your lips.  Of course, they say you can use it for all types of dry skin, in which case it would be too small I think.  However, this is a good size to try it out over several weeks for use on your lips.  I’ve used it a couple of times and it does a good job of keeping my lips moisturized and supple.  Since winter is coming up, this is a great addition to the Glossybox.  The one negative about this might be that it isn’t completely scent free.  Luckily, the somewhat mediciney smell is toned down quite a bit and unless you have a super nose (like I do) you probably won’t notice the scent enough to be bothered by it.   The balm is very thick and goes on very smoothly.  This thick texture really makes it great for keeping your keep hydrated for a long period of time.  This small size is perfect for adding to your travel bag and that is what I intend to to with it.  Nothing dries out my lips faster and more uncomfortably like being on a long plane ride.

You are probably thinking “does that say nipple balm?”  And indeed it does.  It was originally used to soothe nipples on breast feeding women.  But since then it has caught on with makeup artists and regular people, like you and me, for use on their lips and other dry, chapped or irritated skin.  This vaguely reminds me of some stuff in the US called “Bag Balm” that I’ve used on really dry skin before, and has a similar origin, only for milk cows instead of breast feeding moms. On the information from Glossybox, they say you can use this to: heal chapped lips, burns, abrasions, minor incisions, cuticles, eczema, and extreme dry skin.  You can also use it for mixing pigments, eye glitters, shaping eyebrows, and last minute shoe polish.  It’s able to do it all!  It’s the jack of all balms, apparently.  The full sized product is 15ml and will cost £11.50 at most places including Amazon, or if you have super dry everything you can get a two pack at BeautyBay.com for £23.00.

Toni & Guy Classic Shine & Gloss Serum

Toni & Guy Classic Shine & Gloss Serum

Toni & Guy Hair Meet Wardrobe Classic Shine & Gloss Serum, full sized product.  This looks small at just 30ml, but that is actually the full sized product.  In any case, this is a product I am happy to see turn up in my Glossybox.  This controls frizz and adds shine with just a couple of minutes of effort.  I have lots of things that are supposed to control frizz or add shine or add volume, but they’re mostly things that you add before you dry your hair.  I’m not sure that is as good at adding shine, or keeping the frizz in check even, as adding something to dry hair.  So, clearly from that, you get that you use this on dry hair.  You put a pump or two of the serum in your palms and then work it through the length of your hair making sure to get the ends as well, just make sure to avoid the roots.  The serum is rather liquidy and has a kind of fruity scent that is rather nice. Luckily, it isn’t too overpoweringly scented though so it won’t compete if you actually want to wear a scent somewhere aside from your hair. The feeling of the serum once you rub it in your palms is very smooth, like silicone type of smooth.  I’m not up on my chemistry since it has been quite awhile since my last course in that field, so I can’t really decipher the ingredients list to determine what accounts for that extra slippery feeling.  With that feeling it is quite easy to see how this adds shine and controls the frizz.  I’m looking forward to trying this out on a really humid day.  My hair is naturally curly but very fine so it can turn into a hugely frizzy mess quite quickly with the humidity.  Luckily, here in London, I shouldn’t have long to wait for the humidity to pick up so that I can give this a full testing.  I have noticed that it adds a nice amount of shine though, even to my curly hair, without weighing it down or making it look greasy.

Toni & Guy have been a salon in London since the early 60s, so they have a number of years of experience at making hair look good.  This particular version is a limited edition due to the packaging design created by Lulu Kennedy.  It’s not as special or fancy as you might expect from a limited edition.  However, the product is good so it doesn’t really matter how the package looks.  I am guessing from amount used that this bottle will last quite some time.  You can buy the full sized 30ml product for £7.19 from Boots or Toni & Guy directly, however,  you can get it for £6.00 at Amazon.  None of these comes in the fancy packaging, so you might as well save the £1.19 and get it from Amazon.

HD Brows Bronzer

HD Brows Bronzer

HD Brows Bronzer, full size product.  Of course, this would be included in my box because I just bought a bronzer the week before I got this Glossybox.  Oh well, now I will have lots of bronzing options, I guess.  I’ve never heard of HD Brows before and when I first opened my box I thought this was something for, surprise surprise, my eyebrows.  The bronzer has a really nice sunkissed colour that looks great on my pale skin.  This is a good bronzer for those of us that are rather pale because it doesn’t seem to have as much red in it as others, which means that it looks more natural on your skin and less blush-like.  It does have a little bit of a shimmery look in the package, however, that doesn’t seem to be noticeable when I blend it.  The colour is perfect for adding a touch of summer glow to your face, as you would assume from a bronzer.  However, I find it useful for highlighting and contouring.  In a pinch you could also use it for a nice shadow.  Glossybox also suggest that you use it as a highlighter.  Their easy way to accomplish this is by applying the bronzer in a “3” shape.  Easy to do if you start at the temple, sweep it under your cheekbone, and then lightly blend over your jawline.  If you want an outstanding video tutorial on highlighting and contouring, you have to check out this one from MaskCARA.  She makes it seem so simple and tells you all of the products and the exact brushes that she uses to get the perfect look.

I love love the packaging though.  It comes in a compact, which is actually kind of large I will say.  However, this means that the mirror on the inside of the lid is big enough to actually be of some use.  But what I really like it the little interior “lid” that fits right over the bronzer, which keeps it from flaking all over the compact.  This design also provides a little indented area that is the perfect place to keep the sponge without it rubbing around in the bronzer the whole time.  It is the best compact design, even if it is a little bigger than most.  I will gladly trade off the larger size for the nice design.

HD Brows was created by makeup and brow artist to the stars, Nilam Patel.  They originally started out with just a line of brow makeup and styling products, but due to requests and demand from customers they have started to expand their product range.  They started with powder bases, bronzer, and blusher, as well as a range of brushes but early next year they are planning to unveil a much wider range of must-have cosmetics.  This bronzer, as well as their other products can be purchased through the HD Brows website for £19.96.  They have the best price that I found, so you might as well get it direct.  I also noticed at their online store that the blush and powder base both have the cool compact design.

That seems like a pretty good amount of stuff for £12.95.  I have to say, I wasn’t sure if the Glossybox subscription would really pay for itself, but it clearly has so far.  Everything in this month’s box was full size except for the Dr. Lipp lip balm.  The price for the four full sized products would have been £38.66 if I had had to purchase them all, and that’s even using the less expensive prices found at Amazon where applicable.  That is well over the subscription price, over by a very considerable £25.71 actually.  That difference pretty much pays for my next two boxes as well.  I feel like I am definitely getting the most out of my Glossybox subscription!

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