Glossybox: July 2014

The July box is a celebration of American beauty brands.  You might have guessed that it had something to do with the US given the stars and stripes box.  The items in the box are all from American beauty brands, and not really the big ones that you might expect, which is nice.   This was the first month without a printed magazine included, which I must admit I do somewhat miss.  However, the switch to an online-only magazine means they can do videos and things and update it too.

My July box had four full sized products and the other product was a decent sized sample too. I love it when they include the full sized stuff because I really feel like I’m getting good value for my Glossybox, plus, there’s enough of something to see if it works and you like it.  I like or at least can use all of the items this month, so this seemed like a decent box to me.  As usual, the lipstick and nail polish colours aren’t necessarily ones that I would have picked for myself, but it’s fun to be forced to try some new things.  The box though, is adorable with the stars and stripes theme and definitely one I’ll be keeping.

Bellapierre Mineral Lipstick
Bellapierre Mineral Lipstick

Bellapierre Cosmetics, Mineral Lipstick in Ruby, 3.5 gram full size tube.  This is definitely one of those lipstick colours that I never would have chosen for myself because it is bright, very bright.  It seems such a huge departure from my normal rose coloured selection of gloss and lipsticks, that I was thinking I would really hate it.  However, I gave it a try and found that it actually doesn’t look too bad on me and that I can handle the bright colour, occasionally.  I’m not saying this is going to be my new go-to colour, but it certainly makes for a nice change.  It also kind of brightens up my whole face, which is great for those days when you are feeling kind of blah.  The formulation is really nice though because it goes on very smoothly and doesn’t feel at all drying.  There’s a lot of pigmentation too, it seems, so the colour is very rich looking.  It lasts quite well too, even if you are eating and drinking.  Since this is a mineral lipstick it’s got nice things like Vitamin C and E in it too.  Along with natural waxes and mineral pigments, the vitamins will keep your lips in great shape, as well as give you a bit of sun protection.  Despite the colour freaking me out initially, I actually really like this lipstick because the formulation feels so nice on your lips and doesn’t make them get that dry, caked on feeling you get from so many lipsticks.  I’ve also found that I can tone down the colour a bit if I blot it after I put it on, which makes it a bit more like a lip stain.

While you can find some Bellapierre cosmetics at Amazon, for the full range of colours and products, it is best to just go directly to the source via the Bellapierre website.  They have six different colours of the mineral lipstick: Ruby, Catwalk, Envy, Fierce, Luminous, and Mandarina.  But no matter what colour you get it is going to be £20.00 per tube, though the shipping is £5.00 for FedEx next day.

Absolute New York Eyeshadow Primer
Absolute New York Eyeshadow Primer

Absolute New York, Perfecting Eyeshadow Primer, 0.28 ounce full size tube.  I like the texture of this quite a bit because it is very creamy and smooth feeling.  It goes on feeling totally silky smooth and glides across the very delicate skin around your eyes without even the slightest bit of pulling or drag.  And of course, that is so important when dealing with your eye area.  The primer is a light flesh tone, so it can even out your skin tone and brighten the eye area a bit, while giving you the perfect base for your eye shadow.  I’ve tried it a couple of times now and have to say that I find it easy to apply and it does make my eye area look a bit better even.  I don’t have a huge problem with my eye shadow creasing anyway, but this did seem to make my eyeshadow go on better and stay on longer; it was like the shadow colours seemed better/richer really.  This being Summer, and kind of humid recently, I’ve also tried this without eye shadow over it just to even out my eye lid area for a really super light makeup look and it worked perfectly.  It just gave my eyes that more even and finished look without needing anything else, plus the light formula feels like you are wearing absolutely nothing which is perfect for a hot, humid day.

Unfortunately it seems like you can only get this from US sites, and the international shipping rates might not prove worth it.  Glossybox lists Nicka.com as the place to get the Absolute New York primer for $4.99, which is a great price.  Since they don’t list international shipping rates, and their website quotes for shipping rates doesn’t seem to actually work, I’m reluctant to think of this as a viable source.  I haven’t found a place in the UK that sells this, so I don’t have any suggestions on where to get this product.

Carmex Lip Balm
Carmex Lip Balm

Carmex, Lip Balm, 7.5 gram full size pot.  Carmex has been around since 1937 probably because it works so well.  I remember this from being a kid when it was pretty much either this or Chapstick to soothe your chapped lips.  It’s got a really distinctive vanilla with a hint of camphor smell about it too that every time I smell it, it just magically transports me back to being a kid.  Carmex is made with menthol, camphor, and lanolin to keep your lips moist and healthy, no matter what time of year it is.  It has a fairly thin consistency but it reallyprotects your lips to keep them moisturized and chap-free.  You can also use it on any rough or dry patches, like elbows.  Presumably you could use it on minor cuts or scrapes too because the camphor would act as an antimicrobial.  It’s great on lips though and really will get them feeling better fast, even when they are super chapped and dry.  I tend to go for thicker lip balms because I feel like they work a bit better, but they are usually more pricey than this.  So I guess you could just keep reapplying it and probably still come out ahead money-wise.  The only other problem I have with Carmex is the little pot that it comes in which has just always seemed unsanitary to me.  You have to put it on with your fingers and that means germs in the pot and then on your lips, all of which seems a bit too germy for me.

You can find the original little pot of Carmex at Graftons Beauty for £2.60.  If the original pot creeps you out like it does me, they also have a variety other lip balm products now too, like flavoured balms, like cherry and green tea, plus they even have tinted lip balms now all of which are in sticks or tubes.

Color Club Glossy Seal Polish
Color Club Glossy Seal Polish

Color Club, Glossy Seal Polish, 0.5 fluid ounce full size bottle.  Color Club is a New York-based company and this deep blue colour, Glossy Seal, was created solely for the July Glossybox. Though it does look quite similar to their Chelsea Girl polish colour.   The nice thing about Color Club is that their polish is made with only non-toxic, cruelty-free ingredients, so you can have pretty, guilt and worry-free nails.  This colour fits in with the latest nail polish trend for darker colours and blues in particular, so that’s nice.  It’s definitely not something I would have picked up for myself, but I actually think it is a fun change.  I was worried it would look weird against my paleness but it doesn’t.  The polish is really nice though because it goes on very smoothly and dries pretty fast.  I also was impressed with how long it lasted without chipping or peeling or anything bad.  I was impressed that even with all of the typing that I do during the week it lasted for a week without looking ratty by the end of seven days.

This is another item that I can’t seem to locate in the UK, just the US.  I’ve read a couple of places that there is a Color Club website in the UK, but I can’t get it to work for me.  Glossybox directs me to buy this at the Color Club site in the US, unfortunately, they don’t ship internationally.  So, the $8.50 price in the US is great, but you have to live in the US to get it apparently.

Dr. Bronner's Lavender Bar Soap
Dr. Bronner’s Lavender Bar Soap

Dr. Bronner’s Magic Soaps, Lavender  Bar Soap, 34 gram sample bar.  I love the smell of lavender and find it immediately relaxing and destressing.  The smell of this soap is really nice too because it is a gentle lavender, not too potent or over the top.  Aside from the gorgeous smell, it is actually good for your hands and skin too.  The soap is made with organic coconut, palm, olive, hemp, and jojoba oils to leave your skin feeling lovely and soft.  The soap is great and I actually think I might get the big bar for my shower.  This would be so great to shower with right before bed to just get a head start on relaxing and resting.  The soap is nice and so is the company.  Dr. Bronner’s soaps are made with organic and fair trade ingredients, plus they use a lot of recycled materials to create their packaging too.  For instance, the lavender soap comes wrapped in 10% hemp-flax / 90% post-consumer recycled paper from Living Tree Paper Co.

The full sized bar is 140 grams/5 ounces and you can get it at the Dr. Bronner’s website for £3.99.  It’s certainly a bit more than regular bar soaps, but the ingredients and overall quality of the soap warrant it, I think.  If you like lavender, they have a whole range of cleansers and lotions that are made with the same types of organic, fair trade ingredients.  I might get some of the liquid hand soap next time I run out after enjoying the bar soap so much.

How do the numbers stack up for the box this month?  Here is the breakdown:

  • Bellapierre Cosmetics, Mineral Lipstick in Ruby, 3.5 gram full size tube: £20.00 value.
  • Absolute New York, Perfecting Eyeshadow Primer, 0.28 ounce full size tube: £2.95 value.
  • Carmex, Lip Balm, 7.5 gram full size pot: £2.60 value.
  • Color Club, Glossy Seal Polish, 0.5 fluid ounce full size bottle: £5.03 value.
  • Dr. Bronner’s Magic Soaps, Lavender  Bar Soap, 34 gram sample bar: £0.97 value.
  • Total Value: £31.55

The mineral lipstick more than covers the cost of the Glossybox, which is great.  I think the box this month was quite good because I like pretty much all of the products.  I’m a little on the fence about the Carmex but it will work great for keeping next to my bed.

Glossybox: March 2014

Well, after getting so much full-sized goodness in the February box, I am a bit disappointed in the March Glossybox.  Oh well, not every month is going to be filled with really terrific, and full-sized products, I guess.  But at least I’m getting to try some new stuff and so far it seems that the Glossybox subscription has been worth it.  I’m thinking of getting a second subscription to Birchbox or YouBeauty, just to see what some of the other boxes are like too.

The theme for the March box was “Beauty Blossom”, seemingly perfect to say so long Winter, hello Spring.  I think most of the products I received fit into that theme, but the eye shadow in dark blue I’m not so sure about that being “Springy”.  They had just the regular box design this month, I was hopeful for a cute one with flowers or some other seasonally appropriate design.  Of the five products, three of them are things I will probably use and two of them less so.  There’s a perfume sample included and I’m not thrilled with it, to say the least.  And then there’s the dark blue eye shadow that I will try but doubt that it will look right on me.  Three of the products are full sized, and one of them is at least a good sized sample.  And I’m pretty much just going to pitch the perfume, so it doesn’t really matter how big that sample is, but at least this way it won’t take up too much space in my rubbish bin.

Mitchell and Peach Body Cream
Mitchell and Peach Body Cream

Mitchell and Peach Body Cream, 40 ml sample tube.  This body cream contains lovely essential oils and contains honey, organic cocoa, vitamin B5, and shea butter.  The body cream has a texture that is somewhat thick – kind of between thick and thin really – and makes my skin feel really soft and lovely after I’ve put it on.  Since it is made with shea butter, it absorbs into the skin really easily and doesn’t leave you feeling sticky or almost wet like some creams, it just leaves behind soft skin.  It seems to do a good job of leaving my skin moisturized, with the additional benefit of a really nice scent.  The scent is really interesting and unique, with a kind of sweet smell but definitely not floral at all.  Perhaps that is the honey and cocoa coming through.  Though, they have quite a combination of essential oils and extracts that could be responsible too:  sweet almond oil, lavender oil, rose extract, vanilla extract, sweet violet extract, and ylang ylang oil.  I’m not doing a good job at all of describing the scent, but it is nice and I do actually like it. It’s funny that there are so many flower extracts in the cream because I swear it doesn’t smell flowery at all.  I had a second nose opinion from my husband and we both think it must be primarily the honey, cocoa, and vanilla that we pick up.  In any case, it is sweet and almost fruity, but certainly not flowery.

This is just a 40 ml sample tube, however, that is a pretty nice size for trying it out.  And would be great to throw in a travel bag.  The full sized product is 180 ml and costs a not insubstantial £36.00 at the Mitchell and Peach online shop.  I like it, but I’m not sure I like it enough to pay that price for it.  Of course, I might change my opinion after using it a few more times.  In any case, I’m loving the sample.

Sleek Make UP Pout Polish
Sleek Make UP Pout Polish

Sleek MakeUP Pout Polish in Bare Minimum, full size 10 gram tub.  This is another brand that I was totally unaware of before it arrived in my Glossybox this month.  I like lipgloss and have a ton of it, so it’s nice to get something that is more of a protective balm instead.  The balm comes in a really generously sized tub that you can easily get your finger, lip brush, or cotton bud into without a problem, but it is still slim enough that putting it in your bag isn’t going to seem like a big deal either.  Since this is a balm, it is more protective and nourishing for your lips than your run of the mill lipstick or gloss.  The balm is made with almond oil, shea butter, and vitamin E to keep your lips moisturized and supple.  The balm also has an SPF 15 so that you don’t have to worry about the sun, should you happen to see some.  A lot of balms are just clear in colour or have such a faint colour that you can barely even notice it.  However, the Pout Polish in Bare Minimum does a good job with adding just the right amount of colour so that you get a subtle colour enhancement along with a bit of sheen but not so much that it is highly noticeable.  This is perfect for the natural/no-makeup makeup look.  The balm has a super light texture which is a positive and a negative, in my opinion.  It’s great because it feels like you don’t have anything on but your lips are protected, however, it also seems to get absorbed quicker than a thicker product.  Oh yeah, and there’s a rather strong vanilla scent too.  If you’re not a fan it will smell like you ate a candle, if you like vanilla you’ll probably really enjoy it.

Overall, I like this and think it will be a good to add into the mix of my other glosses, balms, and lipsticks.   You can buy the full size, 10 gram tub of Pout Polish for £4.49 through the Sleek MakeUP website.  I had the Bare Minimum colour, however, there are eight other colour choices available some of them much more vibrant too.

Dave Hair Therapy Intensive Repair
Dave Hair Therapy Intensive Repair

Dove Hair Therapy Intensive Repair 60 Second Treatment Shot, full size 15 ml tube.  This is pretty much the same as a Tressème version I had gotten in my December 2013 box.  These are the perfect way to give your hair a quick and easy revival.  Since it takes just 60 seconds it is easy to apply during a shower that way you don’t have any mess or hassle of essentially taking two showers, as you do with some other treatments for damaged hair.  I like anything like this that is simple and quick, but still gives me a good result.  I haven’t tried the Dove product yet, but I’ve used their shampoo and conditioner before and felt like they did a good job, so I expect to get a good result when I try this one too.  I think that these are a great idea for anyone that colours their hair, be it in a professional salon or at home.  It is important for your hair to be really well moisturized before you colour for you colour to work the best.  But it is also imperative to keep your hair in good shape after you colour it as well, because your colour will last longer if your hair isn’t fried and damaged.  Not to mention, your hair will actually still look shiny and healthy, instead of dull and dry.  These treatment shots are really easy to use.  After you shampoo, just work this through the ends of your hair making sure to avoid the roots.  After about a minute, or so, rinse it out.  I have fairly short hair (chin length) that is pretty fine in texture, so when I tried a similar sized product, I was able to get two treatments out of it.  When you tear off the little thing at the opening just save it and stick it back in the opening to secure it for the next use.

I’ve tried similar products before and like them because they are fairly inexpensive and give your hair that little helping hand it needs every once in a while.  You can buy these little 15 ml tubes of Dove Hair Therapy Treatment Shot at Sainsburys or Superdrug for £1.49.  The price might seem a bit steep at first, but you need to keep in mind that this isn’t something you are going to use all the time, just occasionally.  Or, if you’re like me and can get two uses out of it, it is even more reasonable.

Bellápierre Cosmetics Shimmer Powder in Starry Night
Bellápierre Cosmetics Shimmer Powder in Starry Night

Bellápierre Cosmetics Shimmer Powders in Starry Nights, full size 2.35 gram container.  So, it could just be me but I don’t feel like a deep blue eye shadow is particularly Spring appropriate.  I feel like this is more of a Winter or Fall thing, and should be something that I’m putting away for the season, not just getting out.  In any case, aside from the colour this is a nice eye shadow.  It is very fine in texture so it goes on really quite smoothly.  It gets the shimmer from the 100% pure Mica formulation.  On the Glossybox card they suggest blending it into other things like blusher or lip gloss to create a custom colour or product.  Yeah, I’m guessing those suggestions are for people that got a different colour.  If I did that I think I would just look like I had hypothermia.  Nothing says unhealthy like a bluish tint to your lips.  LOL  I don’t often feel like I got the short end of the stick from Glossybox, but this is definitely one of those times.  This colour is just one of 56 that is on offer from Bellápierre, so why would this be in boxes for Spring?  It doesn’t make much sense and is sadly probably going to sit in my drawer until next Fall.  Or, I might just have to give it to someone else because the very blue colour isn’t really the best match for my eye colour of hazel.  They have colours in earth tones to super vibrant and colours; clearly, with that many colours you can have quite a range.  The shadow does go on very nice and smoothly and has good pigmentation too.  I did find that if I just put a single, light coat on that it could probably be used in the crease for creating a smoky look because it tends to look more blue-grey at that point.  And of course, if you want that full on blue colour you just need to apply it with a bit of a heavier hand.

I like the shadow itself, but hate the blue colour.  It doesn’t work with my eye colour at all, unfortunately.  Many of the other 55 colours would have been preferred.  However, I will keep them in mind for any future eye shadow purchases because the formulation is nice.  You can purchase one of the 56 colours of Shimmer Powders from the Bellápierre Cosmetics website for £12.99.

Juicy Couture Malibu Collection
Juicy Couture Malibu Collection

Juicy Couture Malibu Fragrance, two, 1.5 ml sample sprayers.  Yeah, I don’t think I’m going to do a very long review of this because I found it far too strong and far too repulsive as far as scents go.  I’m not really a perfume person, however, Glossybox has introduced me to a couple that I do really like.  This Malibu fragrance is definitely not in that category.  It is supposed to be evocative of LA and beachy Malibu, but unless it is the worst part of LA and Malibu, like the parts found under highway overpasses,  I just don’t see it, er, smell it.  I’ve been to LA, I like LA even, but this is just gross.  My husband used to live in LA, so I asked him if this reminded him of anything there, after it made him sneeze and pull a face, it was clear that it didn’t remind him of anything good.  So, needless to say this will be going directly in my rubbish bin.  Perhaps it is some hideous interaction with my personal body chemistry that makes the fragrance so unappealing, but I think it is probably just overpowering and not so well created.

If my review has made you feel like you need to rush out and buy a bottle of this for your very own to repel all of your unwanted suitors, you can get it at Debenhams for £47.00 for 75 ml.  I think it could be better and more effective than pepper spray.

So, how do the numbers stack up for the box this month?  Here is the breakdown:

  • Mitchell and Peach Body Cream, 40 ml sample: £8.00 value
  • Sleek MakeUP Pout Polish, 10 gram full size pencil: £4.49 value
  • Dove Hair Therapy Treatment Shot, 15 ml full size tube: £1.49 value
  • Bellápierre Shimmer Powder, 2.35 gram full size container: £12.99 value
  • Juicy Couture Malibu Fragrance, 3 ml spray samples: £0.00 value (because it is so yucky)
  • Total Value: £26.97

So, despite the fact that I am totally discounting the value of the nasty Malibu from Juicy, the total value of this month’s box was much better than I had anticipated.  The value of the box is certainly greater than the Glossybox subscription, however, I don’t really feel like I’m getting that much value out of it this month.  Probably because of the blue Shimmer Powder, without that figured in the total value is just £13.98, barely more than the cost of the subscription for the month.  I wasn’t thrilled with the box this month, so I’m hoping that the April box is really great to make up for it.