Glossybox: September 2014

I feel pretty good because I’m actually getting caught up on all of my beauty box reviews by the end of September.  Okay, just barely, but it still counts.  I’ve even had a chance to use most of the products in my September box.  I used some of my Glossydots (1,000) to get this box for free, which is always excellent.  As a result of that, my box came pretty early in the month, probably a week before it normally would have, I think.  Sadly, I got an email from Glossybox the other day saying that they were revamping some things, including how many Glossydots you get for filling in the surveys.  That is going from 50 points to a measly 20 points, but to get a free Glossybox you still need 1,000 Glossydots.  So, I feel a disappointed by that, since it more than doubles the amount of surveys you need to fill out to get a free box.

In honour of London Fashion Week, the September Glossybox was a partnership with Karen Millen.  The box featured a sketched version of the London skyline with all the iconic architectural highlights, like St. Paul’s and the Gherkin.  In addition, there was a voucher for £25.00 off a purchase from the Karen Millen Autum 2014 collection totalling more than £150.00, as long as you make your purchase by the end of September.  Aside from that, there were some nice products in this month’s Glossybox, but just two full sized ones (and one of those is pretty tiny and not great).  However, there were two decent sized samples too.  This wasn’t my favourite Glossybox I’ve ever received but it wasn’t a total loser either; somewhere in between.

Nails Inc Matte Top Coat
Nails Inc Matte Top Coat

Nails Inc Westminster Bridge Matte Top Coat, full size 10ml bottle.  This is probably my favourite product in the September Glossybox.  This allows you to give any of your existing nail polishes a completely different non-glossy look with just one coat.  I’ve found that this not only gives your polish a matte finish but also does a good job at toning down really vibrant colours.  I have a couple of polishes that are just a little too bright for me, so this has worked really well to make them more wearable by just taking the brightness  down just a notch or two.  Plus, the matte finish is kind of cool.  I like the polishes from Nails Inc because they always go on very smoothly and dry super quick, and this one is no exception.  When you put it on initially, it looks shiny just like any other clear coat, but when it dries it turns matte, and is completely shine free.  It dries really quickly too, in less than a minute I’d say.  I’ve put this over OPI and Ciaté polishes and haven’t had any problems with bubbling or peeling or anything weird like that.  The other way this product works really well is as a single coat right on naked nails for a healthier, more finished look to your non-colour manicure.  It keeps your nails looking nice and healthy but without the shine or colour in other polishes.  This would be perfect for men who want to have decent looking nails but don’t want to have shiny “girlie” looking nails.  It could put the “man” in manicure, really.

You can buy your Matte Top Coat directly from Nails Inc for £12.00.  Even though they have Nails Inc products at FeelUnique, I couldn’t find the matte top coat.   I really like this and think that this is a a great way to add a little something different to your normal nail look.

ModelCo More Brows
ModelCo More Brows

ModelCo More Brows, full size 3.5ml tube.  This is an interesting brush on fibre gel that gives you the look of fuller brows with the sweep of a brush.  Well, that is how Glossybox describes it at least.  I would say that it isn’t as good as other brow gels that I have tried, like the ones from Anastasia Beverly Hills, because it is seems thick and glumpy rather than going on smoothly and adding to your brows in a natural way.  Plus, the Medium/Dark colour that I received way comically dark for my brows, which are quite dark actually.  I have dark brown hair naturally, and my brows are pretty full and pretty dark, so I just need something to add a bit of control and fill in a bit.  But the More Brows made my eyebrows look like they should be attached to my glasses and a funny nose.  Not good.  If you’re trying to use this to fill in where you have less hair than you would like, it totally doesn’t work at all.  It just kind of sits on skin and looks messy.  I haven’t been impressed.  I was going to give this to my mom because she is always looking for something to help fill in her brows that are thinning as she ages, but this will certainly not work for her.  Or for anyone else I know.  I think some of the problem might be the brush that they use.  The tube is like a mascara tube with the same type of brush, but it has very wide gaps in between the twists so I think that makes the gel go on clumpy and look less natural than if the brush had a finer bristle pattern.  But that’s a moot point, because it is what it is, and what it is isn’t very good.  Really, I looked like I was getting ready to do a Groucho Marx impersonation.

You can buy More Brows from ModelCo’s website for £14.95 for this quite small 3.5ml/0.12 ounce tube.  I’m just not impressed at all with this product though and I would suggest that a better use of your money would be to add a couple of Pounds and get the Anastasia Beverly Hills tinted gels at Net-A-Porter that are better quality and are even bigger tubes at 9 grams/0.32 ounces.  There’s just no reason to get a product this bad and overpay this much for it.

Origins Plantscriptions Anti-Aging Power Serum
Origins Plantscriptions Anti-Aging Power Serum

Origins Plantscription Anti-Aging Power Serum, 15ml tube.  Even though this isn’t a full size tube, it is a half size sample and that is great because it means that I’ll have enough of this to really test out their claims.  Their claim is that in just two weeks, I’ll be able to see a visible reduction in lines and wrinkles.  So far I’ve only been using it for a couple of days and I don’t look like I’m 20 yet, but my skin does look nice and this isn’t causing me any issues. I’m hopeful.  The feeling is quite nice and leaves my skin feeling really soft and smooth, but so far it works as well as most of the other serums that I have tried without anything exceptional.  Origins is all about the natural stuff and this serum is made from several plant extracts, such as Anogeissus from Ghana, Africa, Bamboo and Pea Extract from Australia, Crithmum from France, and Commiphora from India.  When it first goes on it is more fragrant than my other serums that I use regularly, but that doesn’t really bother me because it isn’t a bad smell or even that strong.  I do like that just by itself my skin feels really nice, but of course, I always follow up with a moisturizer because I’m a good kid.  The other thing I really like is that it absorbs rather quickly and doesn’t leave behind a tacky feeling, just smooth skin.

If you want a full size tube of the Anti-Aging Power Serum, I’m sure you can find it anywhere Origins is sold or online at their store.  You can get two sizes, a 30ml size for £48.00 and a 50ml size for £62.00.  I’m not sure if I’ll see any visible changes to lines or wrinkles, but I am hoping that it at least makes my skin look great.  So, I’m not sure if I’ll buy it again yet because I haven’t had long enough to see any results that are going to sway me away from products that I already use.

L'Oreal Mythic Oil
L’Oreal Mythic Oil

L’Oreal Professionnel Mythic Oil, 45ml bottle.  Mythic Oil sounds so grand for a hair oil, huh?  I might have liked this more if I hadn’t tried the Agave Healing Oil Hair Treatment in my September Birchbox.  The L’Oreal version is very lightweight, which is good, but something seems to have been lost in it because it doesn’t seem to leave my hair in as good shape as the Agave oil.  The Mythic Oil is made with a mixture of avocado and grape seed oil, which explains how they can make such a lightweight oil.  Both of those oils are great for your hair, and skin, because they contain a variety of vitamins, essential fatty acids, antioxidants, and Omega 3, 6,and 9.  The bottle has a nice little pump on it that is good and bad.  Good because it dispenses the oil without a mess, but bad because it is almost impossible to just get a partial pump.  So, if you have short or very fine hair like I do, it is difficult to get the right amount without having too much in your hand.  The one bad thing with any hair oil treatment is that it is so imperative to remember to not get it on your roots and that is harder to do than I would have thought.  I think I’m just too used to adding products to my hair all over, so I always have to try really hard to remember not to get too carried away when applying the oil.  The L’Oreal Mythic Oil made my hair soft, but didn’t help combat any of the frizz the way the Agave oil seems to have been able to do.  But I’m still experimenting with the right amount to use.  The sample package is a good size and I like the pump bottle for the most part, but the lack of information or instructions on the bottle is annoying and obviously unhelpful.  At the FeelUnique site they talk about using it before you blow dry, so it might be that I would feel like I am getting better results if I use it when I am going to blow out my hair instead of when I’m leaving it curly and letting it air dry.  I’ll have to mess around with it more to figure out the right combination of amount of styling choice.

You can get the 125ml full size Mythic Oil at FeelUnique for £13.60.  That seems like a really big bottle since you don’t really use that much at a time.  Although, I guess how much you use depends on your hair.  Despite what I think about it not helping with my frizz, the Mythic Oil actually won the Your Hair Awards 2012 Winner – Best for Frizz Styling Product.  This gets great reviews, especially by people with curly hair, at FeelUnique, so I’m going to keep trying it because I feel like I must be missing a trick if everyone loves it and finds it useful in fighting frizz.  And that’s why instructions would have been super helpful, L’Oreal.

SkinPep Brightening Peel & Dark Circle Eraser
SkinPep Brightening Peel & Dark Circle Eraser

SkinPep Brightening Enzyme & Acid Peel and Dark Circle Eraser Eye Cream, 2, 3.5ml sachets and 2ml sachet.  In my last Glossybox I received a bottle of the SkinPep C15 Serum and used it a number of times and thought it was great, so I was excited to see these two items from SkinPep in my box this month.  I use all kinds of masks and exfoliators but I will definitely admit that the term “acid peel” has me a little apprehensive about trying the Brightening Peel.  It just sounds so much deeper than a regular exfoliation product.  And we’ve all seen people with bright red faces from peels gone too far and too wrong.  I’m sure this isn’t going to do that to me, but I’m just going to have to get my courage up and try it out.  I received two sachets of this with what they say is the right amount for a single application for face, neck and décolletage.  The peel is made using pineapple and papaya extracts, which I’ve had in products before, as well as Alpha Hydroxy Acids, Glycolic acid and Lactic acid, that they say will create a gentle exfoliation experience that will target dark spots and dead skin.  All you have to do is spread it on freshly washed, slightly wet face or skin, then massage it into your skin for a couple of minutes, then leave it on for a one to two minutes more, up to five if you want a deeper peel, before you remove it with water.  Simple.  So, I’m going to give this a try, but I have been putting it off.  I don’t have to go anywhere in public for a few days this week so I’ll probably try it out tonight.

I haven’t had a chance to try out the Dark Circle Eraser either.  This has all kinds of active ingredients, 38 to be exact, and is supposed to use the power of antioxidants to boost collagen in the delicate under eye area.  Here are just some of the ingredients in this eye cream: Red Ginseng, Witch-Hazel & Cucumber, Japanese Sea Algae, Collagen, Hyaluronic Acid, Grape Seed Extract, Padina Pavonica Extract, Green Tea Extract, Ferulic Acid, Resveratrol, Vitamin E, C, K, B5 & Retinol.  All of this stuff combines to make the eye cream really effective at targeting puffiness and bags, while increasing moisture and activating healthy circulation for the under eye area.  You use this like any other eye cream, you just pat it on under the eye and hope that it works some magic.  If you have the full size bottle it has a special applicator tip that you are supposed to use to massage your eye area once you have put the cream on to increase the effects of the eye cream.  Unfortunately, the little sachet doesn’t have that, so I’ll just have to use my fingertips to lightly massage the area.  The SkinPep site has just five reviews of this and they are all really positive, so I’m expecting some good results.  I should probably try it today since I barely slept last night and my eyes are looking less than spectacular.

You can buy all of the SkinPep products through their website and you even get free samples and free shipping on orders over £10.00.  There are full size versions of the peel and the eye cream, but you can also buy the same little packets that I got in my Glossybox if you just want to try them out or maybe to take with you when you travel.  The Brightening Enzyme and Acid Peel comes in four different sizes, so you have plenty of options.  You can buy the 3.5ml sachet, like I received from Glossybox, for £3.99, you can buy a 15ml tube for £14.99, a 30ml tube for £29.99, or a big 180ml tube for £89.99.  If you absolutely love this and use it twice a week, then the big tube is definitely the best deal.  The Dark Circle Eraser Eye Cream can be purchased as a 2ml sachet, like I have, for £6.49.  Or, you can buy the full size 15ml bottle with the cool applicator for £44.99.  So, I need to give these both a try, but I’m hoping that they are as great as the C15 Serum that really did make my skin look lovely when I used it for several days in a row.

September Glossybox Value:

  • Nails Inc Westminster Bridge Matte Top Coat, full size 10ml bottle: £12.00 value.
  • ModelCo More Brows, full size 3.5ml tube: £14.95 value.
  • Origins Plantscription Anti-Aging Power Serum, 15ml tube: £24.00 value.
  • L’Oreal Professionnel Mythic Oil, 45ml bottle: £4.90 value.
  • SkinPep Brightening Enzyme & Acid Peel, 2, 3.5ml sachets: £7.98 value.
  • SkinPep Dark Circle Eraser Eye Cream,  2ml sachet: £6.49 value.
  • Total Value: £70.32

That is an outstanding value for this month’s box and the best value I’ve gotten out of either my Birchbox or Glossybox subscriptions in the last couple of months.  Even if I discount the really lousy ModelCo More Brows, the value is still a nice £55.37.  Since I like, or think I’ll like, all of the other products this month I feel like I’ve gotten a really good deal on my Glossybox this month, even more so since it was free!

Glossybox: June 2014

I took a bit of a holiday right at the end of June, beginning of July, so I’m a bit late posting about my June Glossybox.  The June box is all about Summer, as you might expect.  The items in the box have all been selected to help you get that gorgeous, effortless Summer glow quickly and without a lot of products involved.  June is also the last month that there will be a printed magazine in the box because they switched to an online version instead.  This switch is kind of nice because it allows them to add videos and more information than in the print version.  And unlike the print version, they’ll be able to update it and add information all month long.

The June box had four full sized products, which I think it great 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, plus, you have enough of something to actually see if it works and you like it.  Since I’ve been Glossyboxing for about a year now, I also got a special little treat: a Green & Black’s Organic Dark Chocolate Bar.  The bar was not full size, but big enough to enjoy and have a little treat.  I like or at least can use all of the items this month, so this seemed like a decent box to me.

So Susan Cosmetics Universal Blush
So Susan Cosmetics Universal Blush

So Susan Cosmetics, Universal Blush, 4 gram full size container.  I love this blush!  It is the perfect colour for me, even now that I might have a hint of summer colour on my face (probably not, but it’s possible).   The blush works with your skin’s natural chemistry to create a colour that will give you that perfect glow.  Here’s what they say about the blush on the So Susan website:

A micronized, jet-milled blush that works with your skin’s natural chemistry to create a universal healthy flush that is flattering on all skintones. Made with Buriti Fruit Oil to repair the epidermis and improve skin elasticity.

I like how it goes on and looks just right on my skin without any need to break out a second colour for contouring or highlighting.  There’s just a touch of shimmer in the blush, so it gives you just a nice subtle glow that doesn’t look over the top or too shiny.  I also like that it is free from mineral oil, phthalates, and fragrance.  Plus, no animal testing.  They’ve added Pink Kaolin Clay into the blush, so that you can use it if you have sensitive skins or dry skin, since the clay doesn’t draw oils from the skin.  And if that all wasn’t enough, it is also made with Buriti Fruit Oil to nourish and repair the epidermis as well as improve the skin’s elasticity, plus it is also known to reduce redness and offer sun protection from harmful UV rays.  It’s obviously a hard working blush. And of course, it looks great on too.  I’ve found myself reaching for this all the time now because the colour is so nice.

You can buy this directly from So Susan Cosmetics via their website for  £17.95; free shipping on orders over £50.00.  I’m not positive, but I think you can only buy it directly from So Susan actually.  I haven’t been able to find it at Amazon, FeelUnique, Boots, or anyplace else either.  I would say that the Universal Blush is comparable to the Stila Custom Colour Blush (5 grams) that you can buy at FeelUnique for £13.00, which I also have.  The So Susan blush is a bit more expensive, but I like the formulation better and the colour and result on your cheek is just more flattering.  While I was on the So Susan website, I did a quick look around and have to say that they have a great selection of gift sets and products at pretty reasonable prices too. I will definitely have to check out the website in more detail next time I’m looking for some cosmetics.

QV Skin Lotion
QV Skin Lotion

QV Skin Lotion, 15ml sample bottle.  As I’ve mentioned a number of times on here, I’ve got a bit of a picky skin situation.  I have a little problem with eczema on my hands especially, and my skin usually flips out and gets a nasty outbreak (red, scaly, gross looking rashy type thing) when I change lotion or use certain products, but luckily not with the QV Lotion.  The QV line of skincare products was created by dermatologists for everyday use by everyone, even those with skin issues.  The QV products are all suitable, and gentle enough, for people with eczema, psorisis, or dermatitis, as well as babies.  Their products are free from sodium lauryl sulphate, fragrance, colour, lanolin, and propylene glycol.  

I have been using a combination of Elizabeth Arden Eight Hour Cream and L’Occitane Shea Butter Hand Cream for a while now to keep my hands from having eczema issues and that combo has been great.  However, neither of those are exactly low cost and they are both creams which means they have a very thick texture which can take a while to absorb and the Eight Hour Cream can sometimes leave you feeling a bit sticky if you don’t let it absorb or you put too much on.  Plus, I can’t really use either of those for other areas on my body either without it costing a fortune.  So, the QV Lotion is a great alternative to find.  It is a lotion, not a cream, so the texture is pretty light, especially in comparison to the other two products.  It is especially nice for summer because of that lightness since you don’t feel like you have anything on your skin after it absorbs.  And it absorbs into the skin easily and quickly and just leaves you skin feeling soft and well moisturized.  I’ve also read that you can use this to remove makeup but I haven’t tried that since I have plenty of great products for that purpose.  However, if you have really sensitive skin on your face you might want to try this out as a makeup remover.

I’m thrilled that this hasn’t caused my skin an issue, especially after I saw how reasonably priced it is.  I can buy a big 500ml pump bottle of this at Amazon for just £9.45, and it is a Prime item, so if you have Amazon Prime you can get it shipped to your front door by the next day for free.  Glossybox directs you to purchase it from Crawford Healthcare, where the 500ml bottle is a bit higher at £9.61 or you can get a 250ml bottle for £6.06, but you’ll have to pay around £5.00 for shipping, so it’s definitely more pricey than Amazon when that is included.

Schwarzkopf go2b Rise 'n Shine Soufflé
Schwarzkopf go2b Rise ‘n Shine Soufflé

Schwarzkopf got2b Rise ‘n Shine Soufflé, 100ml full size container.  Rise n’ Shine is a new line from got2b that is supposed to give you lots of textured volume while still allowing your hair to be sleek and shiny.  The texture of the soufflé is light, as you would expect, and it has a nice fruity kind of smell.  The product is a little sticky feeling on your hands but doesn’t seem to feel that way on your hair.  I have curly hair, unless I blow it out, and I have used it to give my curl a bit more volume while keeping the flyaways at bay.  That flyaway, furry look can happen quite a bit here in London because of the humidity, so I’m always looking for something that will help my hair stay shiny and tame that frizzy humidity look.  I’d say that this had okay results, it isn’t great but it isn’t horrible either.  It did work much better/effectively when I blew my hair out.  The Rise ‘n Shine managed to give it some extra oomph while still keeping my hair shiny.  If you want really big volume you can work a bit into your roots too.  I have found that this works really great if you want to put your hair up because you can keep it still really natural looking but the texturizing properties of this product makes your hair stay put much better that shellacking it into place using hairspray.  I do like that you can get good volume, but still have some shine, and not have to involve hairspray.  I’m not a huge fan of hairspray in summer, it just seems to get sticky or weird feeling.

This is a pretty inexpensive hair product that you can pick up at places like Boots or Superdrug.  Right now you can get the Rise ‘n Shine Soufflé at Boots for just £2.00 for the 100ml tub; they’re having a 1/3 off sale so it is normally £3.00.  At Superdrug it is £3.99 regularly, but right now you can get two selected Schwarzkopf products for £5.00.  Seems like a better deal at Boots.  I doubt I’ll buy this again, but it is nice to have a little variety in my hair product lineup.

Nip+Fab CC Eye Fix
Nip+Fab CC Eye Fix

Nip+Fab CC Eye Fix, 1.8ml full size dispenser.  I’ve heard a lot about how great Nip+Fab products are, so I was really looking forward to trying this out.  And what woman my age, doesn’t want something that will make their eye area look better?  Unfortunately, my relationship with this product didn’t start off on a good foot.  This is one of those pen type dispensers with a little brush on one end, where the product comes out, and you twist the other end to get the product to actually come out.  Well, I don’t know if I got a bum applicator or what but I twisted and twisted and twisted and twisted and kept doing it for way more twists than I should have needed before anything came out.  And even then, barely any product made its way into the brush area; I could just see the barest hint of colour.  So, I twisted some more and even shook it a bit.  I was holding it with the bristles pointing down too, to try to get some help from gravity.  I finally managed to get some of it out but it was at the point where I was ready to just chuck it right into the bin.  I’ve had a couple of other products with this same type of pen applicator that you twist or click to get the product to come out, and none of them has worked so poorly.  So, yeah, not an auspicious start.

The actual product, once I could get any out, is pretty good but not outstanding.  CC Eye Fix is an eye cream and concealer in one.  It’s  made with oat extract and light diffusing pigments which are supposed to brighten and lift the appearance of the eye area.  It also contains beeswax to help protect the delicate, thin skin under the eyes.  I think it does do the brightening and refreshing part but where I think it falls down is in longevity.  Something about the formulation starts to settle into the fine lines that we all have under our eyes (unless you’re super young, but then you are probably not using this), after a couple of hours, which doesn’t look so great.  I tried it with a very light powder over it to see if that would help and it did seem to stop the settling a bit.  I’ll try a few different methods of application to see if I can get better results though.  Unfortuantely, the product doesn’t really work so spectacularly that it can overcome the truly annoying packaging issues for me.

You can find Nip+Fab directly through their own website.  The CC Eye Fix is £9.95 from them.  However, you can also get it at Superdrug for that same price normally, though right now you can get it for 50% off, so £4.97.  You can also find it at Boots and Amazon, but it is a better deal at Superdrug.

Teeez Trend Cosmetics Flat Eyeshadow Brush
Teeez Trend Cosmetics Flat Eyeshadow Brush

Teeez Trend Cosmetics, Beautiful Flat Stiff Brush, full size.  Um, yeah, I’m not really a fan of the decorative motif on the handle of this brush.  At all.  The brush is nice enough, but the design is not.  I think it is the disembodied eyes that freak me out and make it unappealing to me.  The bristles on the end of the brush are quite soft and made from natural hair.  The bristles are short enough that they don’t have a lot of fluff to them, so this is great for putting your eye shadow just where you want it.  I think this is a little more gentle feeling than the other eye shadow brushes that I have with this same flat and stiff (ish) design.  I would like it better if the handle were a either shorter or longer though because at least for me it is a bit of an awkward length.  Of course, if it were longer there’d be more of the ugly, creepy design, so I guess shorter would be my preference.

Glossybox says that you can find this brush at Nelly.com for €19.00, however, I wasn’t able to find it at all.  Nelly.com does have a lot of other products from Teeez, so maybe I’m just somehow not looking in the right place or something.  I also haven’t been able to track it down anyplace else either, so I’m at a bit of a loss on where to tell people to look if they want this brush.  I think you can find makeup brushes that are just as good, or better, at a host of places from a wide range of brands, and they won’t have the ugly design on them.

Glossybox Anniversary Treat: Green & Black's Organic Dark Chocolate
Glossybox Anniversary Treat: Green & Black’s Organic Dark Chocolate

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

  • So Susan Cosmetics, Universal Blush, 4 gram full size container: £17.95 value.
  • QV Skin Lotion, 15ml sample bottle: £0.29 value.
  • Schwarzkopf got2b Rise ‘n Shine Soufflé, 100ml full size container: £3.oo value.
  • Nip+Fab CC Eye Fix, 1.8ml full size dispenser: £9.95 value.
  • Teeez Trend Cosmetics, Beautiful Flat Stiff Brush, full size: £15.08 value.
  • Total Value: £46.27

Overall this was a pretty good Glossybox, like every month there are some hits and some misses.  Thankfully, this month was much more hit than miss in my opinion.  The price of the So Susan blush that I really love, more than covers the price of my Glossybox subscription for the month, so I’m really happy with the value of the June box.   Plus, I got an extra little chocolate treat.

I think I’m going to post a little review of how well the Glossybox subscription has worked out for me this past year.  I know that there are several new products that have been introduced to me through my Glossybox subscription that I have gone on to buy, so that is great.  I just want to be a little more exacting about it all.

Vichy Liftactiv Serum 10 Eyes and Lashes

Since the eye area is so delicate and is often the first to show signs of ageing, I’ve always been good about using a quality eye cream as part of my skin care routine.  For years that has been Lancome products of various types.  Unfortunately, recently I’ve noticed that my Lancome Hydra Zen eye cream has been irritating my eyes.  Sometimes they just felt stingy but sometimes they were red, which is never a good look.  So, I’ve been looking for a new product to use that would be compatible with my suddenly sensitive eyes.  Luckily for me I got a sample of Vichys Liftactive Serum 10 for Eyes and Lashes in my April 2014 Glossybox.

Vichy Liftactiv Serum 10 Eyes & Lashes
Vichy Liftactiv Serum 10 Eyes & Lashes

I actually had my sample tube of the Serum 10 for a few weeks before I really started to use it much, but once I did I was totally hooked.  I loved it so much that I decided to get the full sized bottle after just a few days of using it.  One of the biggest differences between this eye product and any other I’ve tried or heard of is that you can use it on your entire eye area, including the lid, without it causing your eye irritation or problems.  In fact, that is the way you are supposed to put it on even.  It doesn’t irritate my eyes at all, even when I have my contacts in or haven’t gotten enough sleep.  The best thing, of course, is that my eye area looks better and I have noticed a definite improvement in my eye lashes too.

Vichy has formulated this to fight wrinkles, as well as strengthen your lashes.  The serum contains Rhamnose, ceramides to help with anti-aging in the long term, and instant light reflectors to help instantly with radiance of the eye area.  As with all of the Vichy products, it also contains the Vichy Thermal Spa Water.  It is free of parabens too.  If you’re like me you have no idea what Rhamnose actually is and why you would want it in your eye cream.  Here’s what Wikipedia says:  “Rhamnose is a naturally occurring deoxy sugar.  Rhamnose can be isolated from Buckthorn (Rhamnus), poison sumac, and plants in the genus Uncaria. High-rhamnose extracts from the latter have found use in anti-wrinkle creams.”  Err, okay.  It turns out that Rhamnose, which is an anti-inflammatory, has also been shown to help make skin more elastic and plump by targeting the papillary dermis, a fragile layer of cells found directly underneath the dermo-epidermal junction.  From there it does its magic by signalling all three layers of the skin to do certain things that encourage improved regeneration of the skin, and thus help improve the look of the skin and decrease the appearance of wrinkles.  You can read more about this in this article from Cosmetics magazine.  So, while I’m starting to see some results right now, apparently I’ll really start noticing the improvements after 28 days (full cell regeneration time frame).

Application instructions are on the inside of the box
Application instructions are on the inside of the box

The bottle is really tiny, just 15 ml, with a pump top.  The first few times I used it the pump was really stiff and I certainly got too much out.  Thankfully, it absorbed and I didn’t have to feel like I was wasting it.   The good thing is that the pump has gotten easier to control now so I’m able to dispense the right amount now.  The texture is very smooth and light, so you don’t want to use too much.  All you do to apply it is put a drop on your fingertips and pat it all around the eye contour area, as you do with any eye cream.  After that, close your eyes and smooth it across your entire eye area, from the inner to outer corners, including your entire eye lid and lashes.  The light texture helps it to absorb quickly and leave you with a better looking eye area right aways thanks to the light reflectors.  I’ve been using this for a few weeks now and have noticed a definite improvement in my lashes and I think my entire eye area looks smoother and clearer.  I use this during the day under my makeup without a problem, and I also apply it at night.

My one complaint about the Serum 10 Eyes and Lashes would be that the bottle it comes in is opaque so you can’t see when you are running out of it.  I would love it if it were in a tube with at least a little translucent strip.  I think a tube would be great so that I could more easily control the amount I get out, and be able to fully use the product and tell when it was getting low.  But the product itself is great and I’m glad I’ve found it, as are my eyes.

I purchased mine from FeelUnique, of course, for the full price of £25.00 for the 15 ml bottle.  And while, I feel like it is totally worth that price, you can get a great deal on it right now since FeelUnique is having their French Pharmacy brands sale right now.  Throughout the rest of the month you can get the Vichy Liftactiv Serum 10 Eyes and Lashes for £16.66, with free shipping, during the FeelUnique sale.  I like it so much that I ended up buying a second bottle of it since it was such a good deal right now.   You can also find this at Boots for pretty much the same regular price.  Or, you can probably find it in a host of French (or other) pharmacies on your next trip.

Glossybox: April 2014

The theme for the April Glossybox is “Sweet Treats”.  The box is supposed to be filled with items to get your ready for Summer.  I don’t know about how successful they were in getting products that matched the theme, but there are some decent items at least.  This is the first time I used my Glossydots to pay for my monthly box.  You can get Glossydots by filling out surveys on the products you get in your box each month.  You can also get dots for referring friends too.  For 1,000 Glossydots I got my box for free this month.  I think that’s not a bad deal really.  You get 50 dots for each survey, so I give quick and easy feedback on 20 products and I get a free box.  My box came earlier this month too, which might be due to paying with my Glossydots; whatever the reason it was a nice surprise.

I was hoping for a cute floral box or something Easter-y perhaps, but it was just the regular pink box this month.  This month was all about “Sweet Treats” to get ready for Spring and Summer.  I don’t know about that, but at least everything in the box was interesting and something I’ll try.  In this box, I got two full sized products, two good sized samples, and one kind of small but adequate sample.  One of the full sized products is a makeup tool, a lip brush, so I guess that counts as full sized since there’s really no way to have a sample size of that.  I’m looking forward to trying everything, which is pretty nice and definitely far different from the lousy March box.

Emite Makeup Lip Brush L312
Emite Makeup Lip Brush L312

Emite Make up Lip Brush L312, full size tool.   The Emite lip brush has a long handle and is very soft but densely packed so it can make a nice straight line, for things like lip liner or just making sure you don’t get lipstick where you didn’t want it.  Plus, the head is slightly tapered which makes getting a nice edge much easier.  I have a nice lip brush already that is retractable and thus highly portable.  However, this one from Emite is nice for just keeping in my regular stash of brushes so that I can keep my other one either in my purse or travel makeup kit.  Or, I might just re-purpose this from a lip brush into something for eye shadow or liner or for use on my brows.  It is a nice quality brush though.  I love my Emite Makeup Eye Lash Curler that I received in one of my previous Glossyboxes, so I know that their tools are really nice.  I’m sure whatever purpose I put this brush to, I will like it just as much as the other items from Emite that I have tried.

Emite is a Swedish company started by makeup artists, so they’ve put together a full selection of cosmetics and tools that are up to professional standards but are still accessible to regular people as well; you can find out more about the brand through their website.  According to Glossybox, you can buy this lip brush for £17.00 at Emite Makeup’s website.  However, I couldn’t actually find it when I went to grab a link to it.  And I can’t find anything from Emite at Amazon or any other place online.  So, I don’t know where you can really get this lip brush, I guess you could just keep checking the Emite website.  Since they are a Swedish company, so all of the prices are in SEK/Swedish Krona, however, I do believe they will ship to the UK.

MeMeMe Beat The Blues Pearl Pink Highlighter
MeMeMe Beat The Blues Pearl Pink Highlighter

MeMeMe Beat the Blues Pearl Pink Highlighter, 12 ml full size bottle.  This is quite a bit like High Beam from Benefit, I think.  Beat the Blues is a pearly light pink liquid highlighter that comes in a bottle like nail polish, with that same kind of brush applicator too.  You can use this to brighten up and highlight your cheeks, right under the arch of your eyebrow, or on your cupid’s bow (by your lips).  You can also add a dab to your foundation, primer, or moisturizer to create an all over kind of glow and brighten your whole face.  I have found that this can be a little obvious if you put it on over makeup, but sometimes like for a party or something, that is the look you are going for.  However, if you want a more subtle effect, still the glow but not quite as bright, I have found that it is great to put it on and then put my blush over the top of it.  I get a nice subtle glow that is like fresh, young skin and not quite so in your face highlighter shiny.  I’ve also used a very teeny amount of this at the inside corner of my eye (closest to my nose), to just brighten up the area a bit.  It works great for any place you just want to lighten up a bit like that.  This is really almost exactly the same as Benefit’s High Beam, though, maybe a little more subtle overall.  I think the texture might be a tad more fluid (or watery) so it goes on a bit lighter.  I think it is best to always give the liquid highlighter a few good shakes before you use it though, to avoid any clumps or settling of anything.

You can buy MeMeMe’s Beat the Blues at their website for £5.50 for a 12 ml bottle (the same size I received in my Glossybox).  That price is really great and highlights (no pun intended) the other big difference with High Beam, in that the MeMeMe is way cheaper.  If you are looking for that same type of highlighter effect, MeMeMe is less than a third of the price of High Beam (£19.50 for 13 ml).  With that savings of £14.00 you can buy more makeup!

Tresemmé Instant Refresh Cleansing Dry Shampoo
Tresemmé Instant Refresh Cleansing Dry Shampoo

Tresemmé Instant Refresh Dry Shampoo, 100 ml travel size can.  My curly hair doesn’t always lend itself to using a dry shampoo for anything other than getting some volume.  Curly hair, at least mine, doesn’t really look so great the day after I wash it, no matter how much dry shampoo I use.  Of course, if I have a day where I’m not lazy and actually blow it out, then I can get a second day out of my style by breaking out a good dry shampoo.  More often though, I use my dry shampoo to give my rather fine hair a bit of oomph, especially when I blow it out.  If you use dry shampoo to get more volume, as opposed to hair spray, you can avoid that crunchy helmet head look and have a more natural style too.  The thing I found kind of interesting about the Tresemmeé dry shampoo is that they specifically say it is for normal and oily hair; I’ve not seen anything like that on other dry shampoos before.  I’m wondering why they point that out.  To use this, or any dry shampoo, shake the can and then section your hair and give the roots a quick spray.  Once you’ve sprayed all of your hair, let it sit for a minute and then massage into the roots and brush through and style as you normally would.   I think this seems really good at getting rid of the oily build up that can accumulate (as if by magic or curse) overnight.  This works as well as my current favourite dry shampoo from Inecto made with coconut oil that I received in my very first Glossybox in July.

I received a 100 ml travel sized can, but you can get the full sized 200 ml can at Boots for £5.25 or £4.99 at Ocado.  Of course, you can add this to any Amazon UK order over £10.00 for the low low price of just £2.35 for a 200 ml can, so if you’re going to order it clearly Amazon is the way to go.  I’m going to give this one a try a few more times before I decide which I like best though, but both this dry shampoo from Tresemmé and the one from Inecto (£4.73 for 150ml at Amazon UK) are way better than Batiste.

MONU Spa Warming Ginger Massage & Body Oil
MONU Spa Warming Ginger Massage & Body Oil

MONU Spa Warming Ginger Massage and Body Oil, 30 ml sample size bottle.  I had never heard of Monu before I received my October 2013 Glossybox that included the wonderful Monu Illuminating Primer.  I loved that primer sample so much that I bought the full sized product already.  So, despite the fact that I’m not really a bath oil kind of girl, I’m looking forward to trying this body oil.  This oil is supposed to leave skin smooth and lovely, and all in the time it takes you to bathe or shower.  The body oil is made from a mixture of ginger, lemongrass, and orange essential oils and active ingredients such as calendula, jojoba seed oil and vitamins A and E.  Unlike a lot of oils like this, they say that you can use it when you shower too.  To use it in the shower, you just need to massage the oil into your skin before you hop in a warm shower or you can put it on while in the shower just before you rinse off.  I always prefer a shower to a bath, so this is the method I’ll be using.  Of course, they also make it sound like you can just put it on and leave it on, no bath or shower necessary even.  The oil has that great ginger smell too, which even the smell seems refreshing so I’ve got high hopes for the oil.  The smell is reminiscint of a freshly cut slice of real ginger, and at least when you smell it direct in the bottle is really powerful.   I tried a bit on my hands, just to see what it would be like, and the smell is just as lovely on, of course, I guess you need to like the smell of ginger to feel like that.  The good thing is that it did leave my hands feeling silky soft after washing them.  I’ve been having some annoyance with dry skin on my legs lately, so I’m definitely going to try this on my legs the next time I shower.

You can buy the full sized 100 ml bottle of Warming Ginger Massage and Body Oil directly from Monu for £26.00.  It’s about the same price at Amazon UK, so you could get it from there too if you are ordering other stuff.  But Monu has so many other great products to try as well that you might just want to order directly from them.  I’m a total fan of Monu now because of the primer and can’t wait to see if this oil is as good a product.

Vichy Liftactive Advanced Filler
Vichy Liftactive Advanced Filler

Vichy Liftactive Advanced Filler and Serum 10 for Eyes, 5 ml and 3 ml sample tubes.  This is a new product from Vichy to combat deep and/or vertical wrinkles.  Apparently, it is supposed to be so good that your wrinkles will appear so reduced it will be like you had cosmetic procedure done to fill your wrinkles.  That seems like an amazing claim, doesn’t it?  That dramatic effect is courtesy of pure retinol and LR2412.  They say that it is hypoallergenic, contains no parabens, and has been tested for use on sensitive skin.  And like all Vichy skincare products it also has been enriched with the Vichy thermal water too.  Here’s what they say about it on the Vichy website:

As we age our facial features become less defined and the face can look more sad and tired. This ‘sad look’  can be attributed to the appearance of deep & vertical wrinkles. Vertical wrinkles can be particularly resistant and hard to correct.
Following 10 years of research, Vichy combines for the first time two ingredients: pure Retinol, in very high concentration and LR2412 to:
-Visibly diminish the look of deep and vertical wrinkles as if corrected.
-Give you a happier look.
-Give you a complete moisturiser, suitable for sensitive skin.

The other sample from Vichy is for the Liftactive Serum 10 for Eyes and Lashes.  As you might have guessed from the name, this is a serum for that very delicate and wrinkle prone under eye area, but it is also a lash fortifying serum.  Pretty much everyone I know would like to have fewer under eye wrinkles and lines, and I am no exception.  This serum is supposed to illuminate and lift the look of the eye contours to give you a younger appearance, as well as make your lashes stronger.  The serum contains Rhamnose (whatever that is), ceramides, and instant light reflectors, plus it is hypoallergenic, paraben free, and able to be used with sensitive eyes and skin.  This serum is on the Good Housekeeping’s reader recommendation list for 2013.

I don’t really have deep or vertical wrinkles (yet), but I’m definitely going to try this on my so far very subtle lines I’m getting between my brows.  You can buy the Liftactive Advanced Filler from Boots for £31.00 for a 30 ml tube.  It gets pretty great reviews on the Boots website too. But what I am really looking forward to trying is the Serum 10 for Eyes.  I’ve been looking for a good eye cream again, especially something that actually works and is good for my apparently sensitive eyes.  Plus, it makes your eye lashes healthier and thicker; from reviews I read this does actually seem to happen too.   You can buy the Liftactive Serum 10 for Eyes at Boots for £24.50 for a 15 ml tube.  As with all Vichy products, you can also buy it in their Vichy Pharmacy stores; use their website to find one near you.

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

  • Emite Make up Lip Brush L312: £17.00 value
  • MeMeMe Beat the Blues Pearl Pink Highlighter, 12 ml full size bottle: £5.50 value.
  • Tresemmé Instant Refresh Dry Shampoo, 100 ml travel size can: £2.35 value.
  • MONU Spa Warming Ginger Massage and Body Oil, 30 ml sample size bottle: £7.80 value.
  • Vichy Liftactive Advanced Filler, 5 ml sample tubes: £5.17 value.
  • Vichy Liftactive Serum 10 for Eyes, 3 ml sample tubes: £4.90 value.
  • Total Value: £42.72

I can honestly say that I didn’t see that total coming at all!  I guess the brush is quite a bit of the value, plus it more than pays for the Glossybox monthly subscription price of £12.95 (with shipping) all on its own.  That small little bottle of Monu body oil is quite pricey too.  I guess it all adds up.  In any case, this box was a really good deal and has six products that I can and will actually use.  This box is way, way better than the lousy March 2014 box, so Glossybox has redeemed itself in my eyes a bit.  But we’ll have to see what May holds.  I’m just a few months away from having a full received the Glossybox for a year, so I will have to evaluate at the end of that period and see how good a deal it really is for me