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!