I was so excited to see this special edition luxury beauty box from Glossybox and Net-A-Porter, that I just had to have it! It was more than the regular Glossybox at £20.00 plus an additional £5.00 in shipping. So, my real worry was that it completely wouldn’t be worth it. And to be honest, I’m not sure it was. There were only two full sized products in the box, so that was a bit of a let down, but I do really love one of those and it is certainly something I wouldn’t have tried otherwise.
The box came really quickly, which is great since I had to pay £5.00 for shipping, and was beautifully presented in true Net-A-Porter style in a sleek black box with their black and white ribbon. Very stylish and lovely. Inside it held six different products, two of which were full size, and and four that were small or miniscule samples. Again there was a fragrance sample which isn’t necessarily something I was overjoyed by, but at least they had it in a clever roll-on bottle which seems much better than the normal little tubes they send for perfume samples.
ilā Bath Salts for Inner Peace; 50 gram sample size. I’m really more of a shower girl, especially since the flat we are renting now would require me to fold myself quite a bit to take an actual bath. However, if I were to ever take one, I would love to add these bath salts. I’m not sure how they work in the water but they smell divine. The package in the Net-A-Porter box is in a pretty little sachet (it came lovingly swathed in bubble wrap and a zip top bag), so you can easily smell the salts and enjoy the scent without needing to put them in your bath water. I currently have mine in one of my drawers and it absolutely wonderful every time I open my drawer. It does actually make me wish that I had a decent sized bath (or that I was a few inches shorter). The remarkable thing is that the scent is truly relaxing. It is hard to believe that a scent can have such an immediate impact on you, but they really can instantly make you feel some specific emotion. It’s pretty impressive really. Here’s what they have to say about them on the ila website:
These pampering Bath Salts are a light in the dark for those in need of greater serenity.
- Himalayan salt crystals are rich in ionic minerals and trace minerals for easy absorption
- Promotes well-being and restores and strengthens the bio-energy field
- Softens and nourishes the skin
- Sandalwood is meditative and soothing to the nervous system
- Jasmine is deeply relaxing yet uplifting to the whole system
- Beneficial for the treatment of eczema and psoriasis
Imbued with rich healing minerals, they restore balance to body and mind, strengthen wellbeing and revealing skin’s soft youthful glow.
Reading all of that really makes me want to try them out fully. Maybe I’ll have to try to fold myself in half to give them a true test. Since you use a tablespoon or so per bath, I think I would have enough for at least 3 baths with these wonderful bath salts, which is a reasonable sample size I think. The full sized 500 gram container can be purchased through the ila website for £49.00. Their prices can seem quite expensive, but I think they seem to make really high quality products that are worth the higher prices. If you could smell this, you would definitely know what I mean.
Joya Âmes Sœurs (Scent of Soul Mates) Roll-On Parfum; 1.5 ml sample size. I do like the smart roll-on style applicator for this scent. And it isn’t just the sample that has that format, but the regular size does as well. The reason I don’t like or wear a lot of fragrances is because they often seem to heavy and usually have at least some hint of something that I don’t like. However, I must say that this Joya scent has a really lovely fragrance that makes me feel like I’m on some exotic island holiday. Here’s what they have to say about it on Net-A-Porter.com:
Evoking memories of exotic destinations, Joya captures the delights of rich Orange Blossom and Cedarwood in a convenient travel size. This perfumed oil features a roll-on design for easy application during globe-trotting adventures.
- Top notes: Tamarind, Grapefruit, Cypress
- Heart notes: Rose Bulgar, Ginger, Orange Blossom
- Dry down notes: Cedarwood, Incense, Amber, Sweet Musk
I would not have thought that this would have suited me at all but the citrusy notes are something that really does appeal to me. There is just a lightness to the fragrance that is gorgeous and relaxing. I am actually considering buying the full size product even. And for me, that is really saying a lot since I haven’t bought a fragrance in I don’t even know how long. It seems a little more oil based than most fragrances I’ve tried and that gives it a bit of a lasting power that I don’t always get from perfume; obviously my body chemistry wants to resist all attempts to make me smell like a flower. The fact that it is a roll on would also make this really great for travel. Though it would still need to go in your baggie of liquids, it is far less likely to spill or spray everything else.
You can buy the full sized 10 ml size at Net-A-Porter in the UK for £20.00. Or, you can purchase it through the Joya website in the US for $28.00. I don’t know how long that 10 ml would last, though it doesn’t seem to take very much to have a lovely scent all day, but I think £20.00 seems pretty reasonable for something this lovely.
Natura Bissé Diamond White SPF 50 Oil Free Sun Protection; 10 ml sample size. Okay, I called this sun protection but Natura Bissé refers to it as “Brightening Shield Treatment Cream” which sounds so much more upscale. But basically, it is a sunscreen that also will work to moisturize your skin, minimize dark spots and improve skin tone while protecting you from the nasty UVA and UVB rays as well. So that all sounds like one heck of a multi-tasking product. I haven’t tried this out yet because I am trying to use up my current moisturizer so that I can find something else that works better for me, but I’m also trying out the Lancome DreamTone, so I didn’t want there to be any chance of getting my dark spot correction products entangled. However, I am looking forward to trying this out. I like that it is oil free and from what I have read elsewhere gives your skin a more matte finish. Usually with these types of creams that have a high SPF you get that greasy or sweaty look, either way it is unattractive and not the way most of like to look. Plus, the oil free formulation probably means you are less likely to get clogged pores that will lead to a breakout and/or a sweaty face. Here’s what they say about it on Net-A-Porter.com:
Harnessing the power of depigmenting agent Ellagic Acid – a component of Pomegranate Extract – it fights the signs of premature aging by preventing the appearance of dark spots and minimizing existing marks. This brightening formula improves skin tone and maintains hydration levels, too.
- Oil-free formula suitable for all skin types
- Lightweight texture
- Contains antioxidant Vitamin E
So, you can see that it does actually have some good stuff in it that should really work. I’m just always skeptical of these grand claims as to brightening and correcting dark spots. As you might have guessed, this is not an inexpensive product and you are really going to have to want to splash out to purchase it. The full size 30 ml product can be purchased through Net-A-Porter in the UK for £75.00. If you’re in the US, you can get it from Natura Bissé directly for $97.00, but clearly you’d be better off getting it from Amazon for $85.20 for the same 30 ml/1.0 ounce tube. I’m really going to have to love it and think that it is a miracle product to pay that much for that little bit of product though.
Philip B Maui Wowie Beach Mist; 150 ml full size. I have curly hair already thanks to nature and genetics, which means that I wouldn’t normally even consider buying these texturizing type of sprays. So, I’m quite glad that I got this one in my Net-A-Porter box. I usually just use a dab of Aveda’s Be Curly to get lots and lots of nice curling from my hair, but every once in a while it is nice to change things up and get a bit of a different look. With the Philip B mist I get a softer curl that really does look like I’ve been at the beach all day. Clearly, this isn’t a look for all the time, but when I’m going for that casual oh-I-just-woke-up-and-look-this-great look, this is perfect. The times I have tried it I have used the Philip Kingsley Maximiser spray because I MUST have it with my super fine hair to get a little oomph. And the combination of the two gives me really great volume. I think I’m going to pick a day when I will try just the Philip B mist to see if that gives me lots of volume by itself too. Since my hair is so fine in texture, it is great when I can use just a single product and not take the chance of weighing down my hair or having it end up looking crazy; bit of a double edged sword to have fine hair that is also really curly. I wonder what it would do when I straighten my hair. I might have to try that to see if it would give it a nice super soft wave but not really full on curl; that’s a look I like but have a hard time achieving. This is what they have to say about it on the Net-A-Porter website:
Gorgeous tousled beach hair is only a spritz away thanks to Philip B’s texturizing formula. Scented with fresh Coconut and Tahitian Gardenia and infused with thickening Sea Salt, this spray creates body and waves while Aloe Vera, Marine Extracts, pure Orchid and Kukui nourish your tresses. A vacation in a bottle.
- Suitable for all hair types
- Leaves hair bouncy and soft
- For fine hair creates lift, volume, and texture; for thick hair creates definition, texture, fullness and bounce
Reading that reminds me that I should mention the gorgeous smell. I’m sure it is the gardenia and coconut but it really reminds me of being on the beach in Hawaii. They have definitely gotten the scent of Maui down perfectly. I almost felt like I should put on some sunscreen! Aside from evoking such memories, it just really has a nice pleasant smell that was even around by the end of the day. You can find this at Net-A-Porter for £22.00 for the same 150 ml bottle. It is a bit cheaper at Amazon where it is only £19.57, plus they don’t charge for shipping so that is the better way to go.
Elizabeth Arden Prevage Anti-Aging Daily Serum, 5 ml sample size. Okay, I should probably start off by saying that I want to try this because after looking at the price for the full size 50 ml bottle, it is highly unlikely that I am going to actually buy it for myself. However, if I use it and start to look so much younger and fresh faced, well, I might be forced to change my tune. When I first started to use serums I thought it seemed like something beauty companies had dreamed up to make us all pay even more money for the elusive promise of looking younger. However, I’ve been using the Lancome serum for a year now and I have to say that there really is something to it. I can tell when I don’t use it and it definitely does make my moisturizers work better. I’ve also tried a couple of other serums along the way and I’ve softened my cynical attitude towards them as a result. The Elizabeth Arden Prevage serum is, much like others, designed to protect your skin against damage and signs of aging. Here’s what they have to say at Net-A-Porter.com:
Guard your skin from environmental damage and signs of aging with Elizabeth Arden’s serum. Powerful antioxidants including Idebenone protect against free radicals while dramatically improving the look of your complexion.
- Infused with a soothing blend of Green, White and Yellow Tea
- Lightly scented
- Dries to a matte finish
I don’t know what Idebenone is but they act like everyone should know it, so I feel a little uneducated. So, naturally I looked it up but there’s no real evidence to suggest that it does anything when applied topically for anti-aging. Interestingly, it was originally formulated as something to fight against Alzheimer’s and also for neuromuscular conditions. That’s quite an interesting range of uses. In any case, I haven’t tried it so I can’t really judge it at this point. What I can judge is the price. For the full size 50 ml bottle you will pay a shockingly high £160.00 at Net-A-Porter or £136.00 at FeelUnique. Either way, that is way more than the Lancome Génifique that I like, so it is going to have to be stupendous whenI try it for me to want to pay that much more. Skin care is one of the few ares that I will spend a bit more because without good skin care your makeup, no matter how expensive and expertly applied, won’t look its best. We shall see.
Ellis Faas Mascara E401; 8.2 ml full size. Mascara can make such a huge difference in your appearance, even if you practically have no makeup on it can give you a pulled together look. If it is good mascara at least and doesn’t get all clumpy and make you look ridiculous instead of polished. I like Lancome’s Définicils mascara for a light coverage that looks very natural and just accentuates your lashes without getting them too over the top. For that more over the top super lash look, I like Benefit’s They’re Real! mascara. Those are the two mascaras that I buy regularly and keep coming back to, no matter what else I try. But now there’s a new mascara in town and it has won a spot in my makeup kit. If you want a subtle look it can do that but if you want the big lash look it can also do that too. It looks sort of unassuming because it doesn’t have anything that super special with the brush. In fact, the brush, which seems to be where most mascaras differentiate themselves, appears to be nothing special at all and looks like what we’ve all been using for years and years and years. Though when you really look at it, you can see that there is a bit more to it because it has a spiral design and seems to have more bristles (I’m not really sure what to call them) that are very tightly packed together. I think this is probably what allows it to give your lashes such great volume and curl. Though, the formulation of the mascara also seems a bit different to me too. I can’t really put my finger on it, it is maybe thinner. I think it seems like it could be a creamier mascara because it glides on and layers beautifully and doesn’t seem as prone to clumps as some mascaras that I have used. It definitely looks more moist when compared to the mascara from either Benefit or Lancome. Here’s what they say at Net-A-Porter:
Fuller, longer, more voluminous lashes are just a stroke away with Ellis Faas’ versatile mascara. The slim, pointed brush lifts and separates, while the creamy pitch-black formula glides on smoothly and evenly. One sweep creates a natural, wide-eyed look while two or more coats offer a glamorous finish worthy of any red carpet – or important date.
- Elongated wand for easy, precise application
- Formulated with natural Carnauba Wax
Maybe it is the carnauba wax that makes it so nice. I don’t know exactly but I do like it. I also like that I can pretty much get two different looks out of this one mascara too, which is definitely not possible with the Lancome and is only possible with Benefit if you have a super light touch. The other nice thing about the Ellis Faas mascara is that it gives you great curl, even without the eyelash curler. I often forget to curl my lashes before I put on my mascara but this makes it far less necessary. It really seems to give that perfect curl to your lashes that will have your eyes looking fabulously open and glamorous. This is definitely something that I will be buying again when I run out. I think it will replace my Benefit mascara probably because this does the same thing only better, I think. I’m going to give it a bit more time testing it out though before I decide. I will have to see how it stands up to my long party on Friday night here in NYC. You can buy this at Net-A-Porter for £20.00. If you are in the US, you can find it at Sephora for $34.00. I like this so much I might try some of the other Ellis Faas products, I especially like the look of the foundation pens.
So, all in all, I think that despite the higher price of £25.00 for the Net-A-Porter special edition box that I have come out okay on it. But as always we’ll have to see how the numbers stack up:
- Ellis Faas Mascara, full size: £20.00 value
- Philip B Maui Wowie Beach Mist, full size: £22.00 value
- Elizabeth Arden Prevage Anti-Aging Serum, 5 ml sample: £16.00 value
- Natura Bissé Diamond White SPF 50, 10 ml sample: £25.00 value
- Joya Âmes Sœurs Roll-On Parfum, 1.5 ml sample: £3.00 value
- ila Bath Salts for Inner Peace; 50 gram sample: £4.90 value
- Total Value: £90.90
Wow! I definitely got my money’s worth out of this box. The crazy expensive sample values for the the Elizabeth Arden and Natura Bissé seem shocking, don’t they? I did my math more than once on those because I just couldn’t believe that those little tiny products were worth so much. But the two full sized products, that I do actually like, really made this box a great value. And I’ve found a wonderful new mascara that is so good I’ll certainly be getting it again.
If you are interested in getting this special edition Glossybox, you can still order it at Net-A-Porter.com for £20.00 plus £5.00 shipping.