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.

Dior Addict Lip Glow

I really love lip gloss and have probably way too much of it.  However, I always feel like my lips get dry and chapped too easily if they are left bare and unprotected.  Plus, lip gloss tends to give you a more sheer coverage and doesn’t seem like as much of a commitment as full on lipstick, which is perfect for those of us that are into a lighter makeup situation.  I like that lip gloss can be versatile enough for a fresh faced barely-there makeup look or a night out with smoky eyes.  And while looking fabulous, it keeps your lips moisturized and healthy too.  So, needless to say, I knew as soon as I saw the Dior Lip Glow that I would have to add it to my collection eventually.  I feel pretty good that I held out this long until there was a vacancy in my collection.

Dior Addict Lip Glow
Dior Addict Lip Glow

Here’s what Dior has to say about Lip Glow:

A made-to-measure lip balm that beautifies and durably enhances the lips’ natural colour. A customised colour result : thanks to its Colour Reviver technology, Dior Addict Lip Glow reacts directly with the unique chemistry of each woman’s lips before releasing its colour ingredient. Lips seem revived from within, amazingly fresh, full and radiant. In addition, its formula enriched with wild mango and luffa cylindrica continuously protects and moisturises. A universal balm for all lips.

I would say that the Dior Addict Lip Glow is very similar to the theory behind the Dior Nail Glow, but for lips instead of your nails.  It looks very sheer with a soft pink colour in the tube and sort of like the more upscale cousin of something like Chapstick.  When I put it on it feels light and smooth, not at all clumpy or sticky, and it looks softly coloured – neither too bright nor too pale.  It seems to really just enhance and highlight the natural colour of my lips, making them a bit more vibrant but not like I have anything on them really, just kind of shiny and healthy looking.  I find the colour that it ends up being on my lips really flattering with my skin tone, especially for a fresh makeup look.  Plus, it seems to keep my lips feeling very moisturized and healthy.

The other good thing is that it lasts quite some time, even with eating or drinking or lots of talking.  For instance, on Saturday morning I applied some Lip Glow and then went shopping and ran some errands but still could feel and see it on my lips at least four hours later, even after drinking.  I was pretty impressed because most of the time lip gloss evaporates when you drink something or just melts away after a couple of hours anyway (or maybe just one, depending).  After wearing it for a couple of days, I have noticed that my lips have felt smoother and softer too.

I’m totally hooked!  I am a Dior Addict.  I love the Nail Glow and now I love the Lip Glow too.  I love the natural, healthy, polished look and these products are perfect for that.  This is the perfect lip colour/gloss for spring and summer because of its light texture, incredible shine, and natural colour.  It will allow you to have that fresh look that is so right for this time of year.  I’m positive that this will now have a permanent place in my collection of lip gloss.  Honestly, I like it so much that I have been thinking I might get a second tube of it to keep in my purse so I won’t be without it.

I bought my Lip Glow at FeelUnique.com, however, you can find it anywhere they sell Dior cosmetics.  At FeelUnique it is £22.50, which seems to be the price everywhere I looked – Boots, John Lewis, Debenhams, and Harrods – except Amazon where it was about a pound higher.  So, really, wherever you buy your other cosmetics you can probably get this too, as long as they sell Dior cosmetics.

Glossybox: September 2013

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

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

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

Eylure Pre-Glued Lashes
Eylure Pre-Glued Lashes

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

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

Be A Bombshell Onyx Eye Liner
Be A Bombshell Onyx Eye Liner

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

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

Dr. Lipp Original Nipple Balm for Lips
Dr. Lipp Original Nipple Balm for Lips

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

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

Toni & Guy Classic Shine & Gloss Serum
Toni & Guy Classic Shine & Gloss Serum

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

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

HD Brows Bronzer
HD Brows Bronzer

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

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

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

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

Box of Goodies from L’Occitane

Goodies from L'Occitane
Goodies from L’Occitane

Last week I ordered a few things from L’Occitane (lox-e-tan, in case you were wondering how to pronounce it) and when it arrived it felt almost as exciting as getting my first Glossybox (well, my anticipated excitement anyway).  I knew what I had ordered obviously, but really only one of the items was truly familiar to me because the others were things I was trying for the first time.  Plus, L’Occitane gives you a bundle of samples when you place an order online.  So, I got six samples that I was able to choose, plus a special seven day sample pack of another product.  All of this new stuff that I can’t wait to try out.

I’ve never tried L’Occitane really before, except for bath products at a few hotels, but on our recent flights back from Sydney to London the airline had given us a little hand cream from L’Occitane that I absolutely loved and think is perhaps the best one I’ve tried in years.  So naturally I had to get some once we returned to the UK.  That one thing was the whole reason I started looking at their website and browsing through the rest of the products to see if anything else caught my eye.  They were offering free shipping on orders over £40.00, so I was trying to get to that magic number with things that I might like.  As a result I took a gamble on four products that weren’t going to break the bank but seemed like they would be things that I would actually want too.  Here’s what I ordered:

  • Shea Butter Hand Cream,  £19.00
  • Shea Butter Date Bouquet Hand Cream, £4.80
  • Organic Certified Shea Butter Date Bouquet Lip Balm, £5.10
  • Beige Ballet Facecolour Cream Duo, £5.60
  • Envolée Lilas Duo Eyeshadow, £5.60
Date Bouquet Hand Cream & Lip Balm
Date Bouquet Hand Cream & Lip Balm

The hand cream and lip balm with the date scent/flavour is a limited edition item and it does smell as good as I had hoped.  The hand cream is basically the same as the big sized shea butter cream, just with a lovely sweet fruity smell.  The tube is just one ounce, so it is the perfect size to toss in even the smallest purse, or in your carry on luggage, so that you never have to suffer dry hands for a second.  The lip balm has turned out to be really great as well because it makes my lips feel super soft and hydrated but not sticky or oily, plus it too has that delicious sweet fruity smell and taste.  This is also perfect for in your purse or luggage because it is a reasonable 0.5 ounce size.  Both of the hand cream and lip balm are nice and creamy, without feeling heavy, so a little really does go a long way.  These items were on sale when I bought them, always the best time to purchase, so I saved  a bit on each one.  The hand cream was only £4.80 but is regularly £8.00 and the lip balm was only £5.10 but is regularly £8.50.

Beige Ballet Facecolour Cream Duo
Beige Ballet Facecolour Cream Duo

The other two new things that I tried were makeup and I didn’t even realize that L’Occitane did makeup of any kind, I thought they were just about the skin care.  However, the face colour, like a blush and highlighter, is lovely with a creamy feel that goes on smoothly and gives a really natural look to your cheeks.  I think you could use the darker colour for a nice soft bronzer or contouring.  And of course the pearly light colour is great for highlighting.  I used the darker shade as a blush and it looked lovely with my somewhat tan skin.  The lighter colour I used as a little bit of a highlighter on my cheeks but also on my brow bones.  They don’t mention it, however, I am sure you could use that darker shade for a lip colour as well, especially if you pair it with the lip balm to give it a bit of sheen.

Envolée Lilas Duo Eyeshadow
Envolée Lilas Duo Eyeshadow

I also like the eyeshadows, a lavender and a nude colour.  I have been wanting a light purple to try out and this was a great choice because it looks very soft and lovely on and helps to bring out the green tones in my hazel eyes.  I haven’t given either of these the full test yet by seeing how long they last, but so far so good.  I was just looking at the website and realized that I got these items on super sale price.  I paid £5.60 for each of them but now, post-sale pricing is back and they are £14.00 each.  I also love the little compacts that the makeup came in because they have a mirror and a magnetic closure that really does stay put, plus they have a very flat profile.  I can’t wait to give them a bit more of a try; I’ll be sure to let you know if I still like them as much after I’ve used them a while.

Shea Butter Hand Cream (it's awesome!)
Shea Butter Hand Cream (it’s awesome!)

But really, the shea butter hand cream was the main item I couldn’t wait to get my hands on, my very dry hands.  There’s only so long that my little tiny travel size tube could last, but luckily I got the replacement before I was totally out.  The shea butter hand cream contains 20% shea butter and feels so good on your hands and keeps them feeling soft and looking nourished.  The hand cream is rather thick and comes in a tube, like toothpaste, because of that thickness a little bit goes a long way.  Which is good because at nearly £20.00 for the 5.2 ounce tube you wouldn’t want to buy it if you had to use a whole bunch all the time.  The only negative I see is that the tube is metal and I imagine that once it gets down quite low it will be hard to get any more out.  I wasn’t sure why they were selling the “Magic Key” before, so I didn’t bother getting one, but I see now that you really probably do need something to squeeze the tube with more even pressure than you will get with your hand.  Of course, the cream is so completely wonderful I can easily overlook this little packaging issue.  Reviews all over, not just on the L’Occitane website, rave about this cream and once you try it you’ll know why.  Truly, the best at keeping my hands moisturized throughout the day out of all the lotions and creams I’ve tried over the years.  I also have a little rash problem that I’ve been getting from some medication I’m taking, which also dries out my skin terribly, and this is one of the only creams that keeps my hands feeling good and doesn’t aggravate the rash.  This is so good that I’m thinking I might have to try their foot cream as well to see if it can work the same wonders on my dry feet as well.

Now, of course, those are the things that I bought, but I also got lots of great samples too.  I love samples because they are the perfect way to try new things or things that you are unsure of without needing to commit to paying for a big size that you’ll be stuck with if you don’t like the product.  I think beauty product companies are so smart for giving these out when you shop in their stores or buy things online.  Oftentimes when you buy things online they’ll let you pick your own samples, which just makes them even better.

Six wonderful samples included with my order
Six wonderful samples included with my order

So here are the samples that I received with my order:

  • Volumising Shampoo Sample
  • Repairing Shampoo Sample
  • Repairing Conditioner Sample
  • Repairing Shine Mask Sample
  • Angelica Hydratation Cream Sample
  • Immortelle Divine Extract Sample
  • Divine Cream 7-Day Trial

I haven’t tried any of these samples yet but am really looking forward to trying them all after the great results I’ve had with my other items.  Sometimes I like to keep things like shampoo and conditioner samples for when I travel so that I can have decent with me and not have to depend on whatever the hotel has for their bathroom amenities.   However, I think I’ll give these a try sooner rather than later.  I really can’t wait to try out the mask but that will have to wait for some time when I haven’t just gotten a cut and had my colour done.

Divine Cream 7-Day Trial
Divine Cream 7-Day Trial

The Divine Cream 7-day Trial required a special promotional code, DIV7D, to be entered with the order.  This stuff sounds like a miracle cream for anti-ageing and I’m curious to see how I feel after the seven day trial.  It has gotten kudos and awards from Good Housekeeping, Marie Claire, Harper’s Bazaar, and the Anti-Ageing Beauty Bible.  Plus, lots of outstanding reviews on their website.  Here’s what they say on their website:

The Divine Cream features the combination of organic Immortelle and Myrtle essential oils:

  • Immortelle essential oil stimulates the production of collagens and improves skin microcirculation, and also helps to reduce damage caused by time and restore substance and vitality
  • Myrtle essential oil stimulates the action of the longevity protein to help increase cellular vitality and preserve the skin’s appearance.

The formula is enriched with plant oils that contain a high level of omega-3 and -6 fatty acids, for a silky texture and supreme nourishment. Upon application, the sensation of well-being is immediate, while the skin feels wonderfully soothed.

So after reading that you can probably see why I’m eager to try this, right?  Clearly, it is a miracle product.  I especially looking forward to seeing how it comes through on promises to make my complexion more radiant and luminous while reducing any dark spots.  You can assure yourself that I will definitely be devoting a whole post to this trial.

As you can see, I got a lot of goodness from L’Occitane for my £40.00.  I was quite lucky and just happened to hit a time when they were having a very good sale on several items that appealed to me.  All in all, I ended up saving over £22.00 on the sale items, meaning that if I wouldn’t have bought when I did I would have had to part with 50% more of my precious beauty budget pounds.  Plus, I got free shipping for spending just £40.00 instead of the usual £59.00, saving me even more.  I really got lucky with the savings, and I feel even more fortunate that everything new that I tried, I actually like.