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: August 2014

I received my August Glossybox right as we were moving too.  I think I got it the day before we actually were moving all of our junk to our new flat.  It’s amazing that it didn’t get lost in the chaos of moving.  The August box marks the three year anniversary of Glossybox.  It is amazing to think that they’ve only been around three years but have already delivered 6 million Glossyboxes all around the world.  They have subscribers in the US, UK, Germany, France, Ireland, Sweden, Norway, Austria, Korea, and Japan.  And what is maybe even more amazing is that the founder and CEO is a man.  You’d totally think that a woman came up with this idea, wouldn’t you?

The actual box also had a bit of an update in August.  It’s still pink, but a slightly lighter shade, and isn’t actually glossy anymore.  The dimensions are slightly different as well, giving it a more compact size overall.  But there’s still plenty of space inside for big products, though the August box only had three full sized products and two good sized samples, and of course a tiny perfume sample too.  And to be honest, the full sized products were teeny tiny, so it’s not like we’re talking a full sized hair product or something that can be quite sizeable.  Overall, this seemed like a good box to me because I like all of the products in it and will definitely use them all.

Figs & Rouge Rose Berry Hand Cream
Figs & Rouge Rose Berry Hand Cream

Figs & Rouge Mini Rose Berry Hand Cream, 20ml tube.  This isn’t full sized, but is the perfect size for travel, in your desk at work, or in your bag.  The scent is rose and berry and smells great with a fresh and slightly fruit scent.  If you don’t like the smell at all, you’ll be happy to know that it fades to nothingness after you’ve had it on about 30 minutes maybe.  What is really great about this hand cream is the unique light texture that absorbs pretty quickly into the skin.  Once it is absorbed fully, like 30 seconds probably but feels like maybe a minute, your skin feels silky smooth and soft.  And best of all, there’s no greasy residue or feeling left on your skin.  This hand cream is made with shea butter which is really great at hydrating and nourishing your skin, without greasiness and without using a large amount.  I like that it feels so nice and lasts really well too, not like some hand lotions that absorb and then totally vanish leaving your hands feeling just as dry.  The shea butter in this will also help keep your cuticles in good shape and looking pretty.  All of which is great for this time of year when the weather is transitioning and your skin is often left paying the price.

I really love L’Occitane’s shea butter hand cream, but this little tube is making me think about trying a big tube of this when I run out.  And I will definitely be buying the small tubes of Figs & Rouge hand cream to keep in my handbag, travel kit, and anywhere else I want a small sized tube of hand cream.  The 20ml sized tubes are just £3.95 at FeelUnique (they claim that is a FeelUnique exclusive), which is a rather good deal for something that works so well with just a little amount.  If you want the full sized 80ml tube instead, those are £6.95 at FeelUnique, unfortunately they don’t have the same Rose Berry in the big tube, but do have lots of other nice sounding scent options.

Yves Rocher Nail Polish
Yves Rocher Nail Polish

Yves Rocher Pink Mini Nail Polish in Rose, full sized 3 ml bottle.  To look at this little, itty bitty bottle you would not, even for a second, entertain the thought that this was a full sized product.  It is petite.  Minute, really.  But it is full sized.  I kind of like the small bottles because it lets you try lots of different colours without feeling like you’ll need to use it for the next three years before the bottle is even near finished.  The colour that I received was “Rose” and it is a nice neutral pink colour that would work for day or night or with any colour of clothing.  If you were justing wanting a quick polish, not something to last for several days, you could probably get by with just a single coat because it covers really well.  Plus, you can apply it quickly right before you go out because it dries super quick, like within a minute my single coat was dry enough that I could touch things without any fear of it smudging or getting ruined.  However, if you want it to be durable and look its best, you need two coats for sure.  The quick drying, single coat ability of this polish teamed with the baby bottle make it perfect for your bag.  The only problem I have with this little bottle of polish is that it is a bit more difficult to hold the brush because there’s just not that much handle on the applicator, also it is a really slippery plastic so can slip around a bit while you are trying to apply polish.

You can buy your teeny bottles of nail polish on the Yves Rocher site.  Currently, the little 3ml bottles run from £1.95 to £3.60 because they are having some sales.  If you buy from the selection of polishes that are £3.60, you get a free one, so they really end up being £1.80 per bottle then.  They have a pretty wide selection of colours too with everything from clear to bright to neutral to dark choices.

Kryolan Highlighter Cashmere
Kryolan Highlighter Cashmere

Kryolan Highlighter Cashmere, 4.5 gram full sized pot.  I believe this is the same formulation as Kryolan’s Illusion highlighter, which has a similar looking colour called “Cashmere”.  It’s a bit hard to tell though because the Glossybox card says this is “Kryolan for Glossybox” but I think that is just because the little pot has the Glossybox logo on the lid.  In any case, the highlighter is terrific.  The creamy texture is light which means that you can put it on just where you want it.  The creaminess also makes it very effortless to blend in to your skin to give you a very subtle highlighting.  I’m used to either powder or liquid highlighters that can be tricky to blend or go on to heavily and then look too obvious.  I like the colour of this too which is a kind of a pinkish champagne colour with a subtle hint of shimmer.  All of that means that if you are really pale, like me, this blends and looks natural, giving you that lit from within appearance.  The little pot is really nicely compact too which makes it easy to take with you on a trip or on a night out.

The full sized 4.5 gram pot is £12.95 at the Kryolan website.  You might think that’s a bit dear but since you’re not using that much of this at a time, it will take you a while to work through even this small amount.  I find a little smidge of highlighter on my cheekbones and across my brow bone make for a fresh look that doesn’t look shiny, just healthy.  I also occasionally put a dab at the inner corner of my eye to brighten the whole area up a bit.  That’s a trick that works especially well if I haven’t slept so well or I’m feeling less than chipper.  I think you could probably also use this to add a bit of shimmer to a matt eye shadow since the colour of the highlighter is so light.

Philip Kingsley Elasticizer
Philip Kingsley Elasticizer

Philip Kingsley Elasticizer, 40ml tube.  Elasticizer makes me think of a styling product, though I can’t put my finger on exactly what I think it would be doing.  But in reality, Elasticizer is a pre-shampoo treatment to make your hair more bouncy by improving its elasticity while leaving it shiny, all without weighing it down.  I didn’t know my hair was elastic, honestly.  Basically, this is a hair mask that you use before you shampoo to help your hair be stronger and look better, which of course is even more important if your hair is colour treated or damaged from styling or whatever.  I colour my hair so I try to use a few different products to keep my hair looking healthy and I’m certainly looking forward to trying this out.  However, the Elasticizer gets fabulous reviews everywhere I look, plus it is an InStyle Best Beauty Buys winner for 2013 for Best Deep Conditioning Mask.  Here’s what they say about it at FeelUnique, where incidentally it has a 5 star rating from 163 reviews:

Philip Kingsley Elasticizer was originally created by Philip Kingsley specifically for Audrey Hepburn, who wanted a super-moisturising treatment that would repair her hair and keep it in great condition throughout the frequent colouring and styling done to her hair on movie sets. This is a pre-shampoo intensive moisturising treatment that delivers elasticity, bounce and shine to hair. Also provides UV protection even after washing, helping prolong the life of colour treated hair.

To apply this you just dampen your hair and then get a bit of this and work it through your hair from roots to tips and then let it do its magic for about 20 minutes.  If you’ve got fine hair that is coloured, like I do, the suggestion is to only use this once per week and to go light on the middle and end sections of your hair.  If you’ve got a coarse texture or heavier hair, you can use it twice per week.  And you shouldn’t use this for a few days before or after chemical processing.

This isn’t a full sized product, however, the sample size is big enough that you’ll be able to use it a number of times probably (depending on how much hair you have) and get a feel for how well the product works for you.  There are a number of different sizes available at FeelUnique, a 75ml tube for £15.00, a 150ml tub for £27.50, and even a giant 1000ml bottle for £74.00.  I have generally had very good luck with the Philip Kingsley products that I’ve used, and have several of them in my bathroom right now, so I’m sure I will like this too.

SkinPep Super C15 Serum
SkinPep Super C15 Serum

SkinPep Cosmeceuticals Super C15 Serum, full sized 7ml bottle.  This is a Vitamin C based serum, along with a few other things, that will work to reduce the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles and dark spots. So, it sounds like a bit of magic in a little tiny bottle.  This is a really hard working serum though because it has a lot of science behind it and isn’t just sitting there doing nothing much.  The serum is made up of (15%) L-Ascorbic Acid (Vitamin C), Hyaluronic Acid, Ferulic Acid (0.5%), Alpha-Tocopherol (Vitamin E) (1%), and Matrixyl (Palmitoyl-Pentapepde-3); you’ll need a chemistry degree to get through some of those words.  But all of these have a proven benefit to your skin and can help to improve how it looks.  To get the full story on what all this serum can do for you, you’ll have to check out the SkinPep website.  This has a lot of good stuff in it and doesn’t have any of the stuff we all try to avoid: alcohol, artificial dyes, paraben, and perfume.

I haven’t had a chance to give this a big try, just tried it enough to know that it has a nice lightweight texture that feels nice on and doesn’t make my skin feel greasy or like I’ve got something heavy on.  You only need about 3 drops of this to cover your face and neck, which means even a seemingly small 7ml bottle will last a while.  Also, once absorbed, Super C15 can’t be washed or rubbed off and will remain effective for a minimum of 72 hours.  At the SkinPep website you can get two different sizes of the Super C15 serum, either the 7ml bottle for £13.99 or a big 30ml bottle for £49.99.  That big size seems like it would last you a long time since you don’t need to use very much of it.  After reading about this, I’m really looking forward to giving it a good try because who wouldn’t want their skin to look this improved.

Lalique L'Amour Perfume
Lalique L’Amour Perfume

Lalique L’Amour Perfume, 2ml vial.  This perfume has a big floral scent with a bit of a musky note too.  I definitely cannot put it into words as fancily as the description the Boots website:

The fragrance offers an olfactory declaration of love. It targets a woman with a radiant personality, eager to discover the world and enchanting people around her.The citrus freshness of bergamot, the elegant tenderness of a rosebud and the softness of neroli deliciously burst forth at the top. The heart, crucial in a love story, enriches the fragrance with a bouquet of sumptuous white flowers: tuberose, gardenia and jasmine petals. The base highlights dry, warm cedar. The creamy softness of luscious sandalwood rests on a bed of addictive musks.

It’s not my kind of fragrance.  It’s got a lot of floral that makes it have a kind of overwhelming scent that I don’t really enjoy.  I like a very light scent and this is definitely not fitting into that at all.  I do like the little sample vial that the perfume came in though.  Instead of it just having a spray or being open on the end, there’s a little series of holes that allows you to dab it on quite precisely.  I think that’s great for any perfume, but especially with something so potent.  You can buy the 50ml size of this for £67.00 at Boots, but clearly, I won’t be rushing out to buy it.

August Glossybox Value:

  • Figs & Rouge Mini Rose Berry Hand Cream, 20ml tube: £3.95 value.
  • Yves Rocher Pink Mini Nail Polish in Rose, full sized 3 ml bottle: £1.95 value.
  • Kryolan Highlighter Cashmere, 4.5 gram full sized pot: £12.95 value.
  • Philip Kingsley Elasticizer, 40ml tube: £7.33 value.
  • SkinPep Cosmeceuticals Super C15 Serum, full sized 7ml bottle: £13.99 value.
  • Lalique L’Amour Perfume, 2ml vial: £2.68 value.
  • Total Value: £42.85

That is a whole lot of value in one little box and definitely is way more than the monthly subscription fee.  I feel like I got a lot of great products this month that I’m really going to enjoy using, aside from the perfume which is going in the bin.  I would definitely say that Glossybox sent out a great box to celebrate their third birthday.  So, happy birthday, Glossybox and thanks for all the goodies!

Glossybox: November 2013

I’m still trying to catch up on my Glossyboxes for the last couple of months.  And really, I had thought I would be all caught up by now.  But of course I had to get sick when flying home from New York.  The November box had some nice samples that were not necessarily things I would have found on my own, but things I’ve definitely enjoyed.  I really love the perfume sample that they included, so much so that I am seriously considering buying it.

The theme for the regular November box was “The Glossy Wishlist” and included some lovely items to be sure.  The box was just the usual Glossybox look, which means that I’ve got a whole collection of these little boxes now.  I wish they were just a touch bigger so that I could use them for more storage.  In my November box I got a nice sample of Vichy Idealia Life Serum, the small sample of Connock London Kukui Eau de Parfum, a full size Emite Makeup Micronized Eyeshadow, a full size Yves Rocher Cocoa and Raspberry Hand Cream, and a full size Elegant Touch Nail Polish Remover Pads.  I like it when I get more full sized items, it definitely makes the boxes seem worth it.

Vichy Idealia Life Serum & Smoothing & Illuminating Cream
Vichy Idealia Life Serum & Smoothing & Illuminating Cream

Vichy Idealia Life Serum and Smoothing and Illuminating Cream; 3, 3ml sample tubes.  I will say that I have not tried this yet because I’m trying to see how my Lancome DreamTone works out and these two both serve a bit of a similar function.  The Idealia Life Serum is supposed to help your skin quality by evening skin tone and fighting the effects of everyday life on your skin (pollution, stress, bad diet, etc).  Altogether after using it you should have a fresher complexion, with a more even tone, and more refined pores.  I would love to find something that can do all of that (so far, not so great with the Lancome), especially something that can even out skin tone.  I have tried several products that advertise this as a benefit, but I have yet to try one that actually seems to work.  So, I am skeptical, to say the least.  But, as always, I am hopeful that I will find something that delivers on the promises.  Apparently, this has 10 years of research and development behind it, so perhaps that bodes well for it actually working.

The other sample was for Idealia Smoothing and Illuminating Cream, which as you can guess is a daily moisturizer.  This is also supposed to help polish up your skin texture and tone, while also fighting wrinkles.  I haven’t yet tried this either, my plan was to try them together.  I love my current moisturizer, so it has a high bar to get over.  Of course, if it really would make my skin look more radiant, it would be my new moisturizer of choice, for sure.  The biggest problem with this I find, for daytime use, is that it doesn’t appear to have any sun protection.  Why would you make a moisturizer without that now?  So, despite them acting like you can use it during the daytime, I wouldn’t suggest it since it would leave your skin unprotected.  Of course, you could always add another product to give you some SPF.  But why have more stuff on your skin than you need to?

In my Glossybox I received two 3 ml samples of the Life Serum, which is 20% of the full sized 30 ml tube that costs £29.50 at Boots.  I received a single 3 ml sample of the Smoothing and Illuminating Cream, which is only around 6% of the full sized 50 ml tube which you can buy at Boots for £17.00.  I wish that they had given two sample tubes of the cream too since you usually use so much more of that and I feel like you need at least 10 days to really give a moisturizer a test.

Connock of London Kukui Eau de Parfum
Connock of London Kukui Eau de Parfum

Connock of London Kukui Eau de Parfum; 1.5 ml sample.  I love love the smell of this perfume!  It smells like holiday to me.  They were apparently trying to blend something that would capture the “spirit and beauty of the Hawaiian Islands.”  I would definitely say that they have perfected it amazingly well.  The first time I smelled it, before I read anything about it, I thought of being in Maui on holiday.  I swear it even relaxed me a bit just smelling the scent.  The power of smell to evoke memories and feelings is remarkable and Connock have certainly played on that beautifully with this perfume.  Here’s what they have to say about the scent:

Romantic floral notes of gardenia, white jasmine, and calla lily gently fade into a sultry, woody base to enliven spirits with memories of journeys to faraway places.  This elegant floriental fragrance is built around the Gardenia flower and is complimented by a full bouquet of fresh flowers including Italian Bergamot, Moroccan Rose, White Jasmine and Calla Lily.  The scent is further enriched with Sandalwood, Vetiver, White Amber and layers of cashmere and sheer musks, completed with the rich bitter chocolate sweetness of Vanilla Absolute and Tonka Bean.

I have rarely smelled a perfume that I like as well as this one.  It has such a delicate scent that is just beautiful and lush.  There isn’t anything that strikes a sharp or “off” note with me, which is what I like or require in a perfume.  I am certainly very tempted to buy the full size of this.  But it is a bit pricey at £75.00 for the full 100 ml size at the Connock of London online shop.  Sadly, I cannot find it anywhere else for less either.  But since I never buy perfume for myself, this might be my special treat.  Plus, if I get it I might be able to feel that Hawaiian holiday relaxed feeling all of the time.

Elegant Touch Nail Polish Remover Pads
Elegant Touch Nail Polish Remover Pads


Elegant Touch Nail Polish Remover Pads; full sized 20 pads.  These are something that anyone who travels should definitely have in their kit.  Or if you are an avid polish wearer, prone to the needed touchup in everyday life, these would be perfect for your purse.  This is such a better way to have nail polish remover in your purse or luggage because they are just little pads soaked in remover.  When we were returning from Australia and going to be stopping for holiday in Japan for two weeks, I really wanted some of these but couldn’t find any there.  Of course, you can never find stuff like this when you really want it, right?  But now I’ve got these available for my future trips.  These work quite well at removing nail polish and do it all without a horrible smell.  Lately, I haven’t been wearing layers and layers of polish, so I’m not sure how well it would work on thick or difficult to remove polish; you might have to use a couple of the pads to get all of your polish removed.  The remover contains vitamin E as well as other moisturizers to keep your nails and cuticles looking healthy too.

You can buy these at several stores in the UK like Boots and Superdrug.  The full sized container of 20 pads is just £2.00, which is a great price for something so convenient.  Now that I know where to get these I will definitely always keep some around.

Emite Micronized Eyeshadow
Emite Micronized Eyeshadow

Emite Micronized Eyeshadow in Nect; full size 1.48 grams.  This is a lovely eyeshadow in a colour that I would call “champagne” but they call “Nect” as in nectar.  The eyeshadow is highly pigmetized and goes on beautifully and lasts quite well too.  The colour is very soft so it isn’t dramatic but is an excellent base for a variety of eye looks.  I like it for a standard or every day choice because it makes my eye area look brighter and helps create the effortless and uncomplicated look that I prefer.  It does have a bit of shimmer to it but once it is on it doesn’t seem glittery, just enough light catching particles to really open up your eye area, I think.  Here’s what Emite have to say (translated from the Swedish on their website):

NECT is a highly pigmented eyeshadow that is completely nickel, paraben and perfume free. The pigment is micronized to facilitate the application and to create even and fine results. An excellent choice for lens wearers or those with sensitive eyes.  The micronizing process also makes the eye shadow easy to work with and counteracts grainy results. Micronized Eye Shadow is completely vegetable (contains no animal fats) and of course not tested on animals.

In my Glossybox I received the full sized 1.48 gram eyeshadow, which is great.  The compact and size are small and perfect for traveling or your purse.  If this colour doesn’t suit you, you can always pick from one of the other great colours on the Emite website.  The only place I am aware of to purchase Emite makeup is through their website, which is in Swedish but is easily enough translated into English (via a drop-down selection in the upper right corner), but all prices are in Swedish Kroner.  They seem to indicate that they will ship internationally but it will cost you 49 SEK.  For the micronized eyeshadow, with shipping, you will pay 219.00 SEK or £20.53.  For the quality of the eyeshadow I think the price is quite fair and in line with similar brands.

Yves Rocher Raspberry and Cocoa Hand Cream
Yves Rocher Raspberry and Cocoa Hand Cream

Yves Rocher Cocoa and Raspberry Hand Cream; full sized 75 ml tube.  This smells more like dessert than a hand cream.  The raspberry is the overwhelming scent that comes across to me in this hand cream.  To be honest, the smell, while nice, reminds me of a creamy center chocolate.  Even once you put it on, the lovely raspberry scent continues.  The hand cream isn’t too thick or too thin and does seem to do a reasonable job of keeping my hands feeling lovely and soft.  But there’s something that seems to leave me with a bit of a sticky feeling for a few minutes after I apply it.  After a few minutes, maybe five, the cream is fully absorbed and the sticky feeling dissipates.  But I’m not really a fan of that feeling, no matter how luscious the cream smells.

All in all, this is unlikely to be a hand cream that I would purchase but if you have the patience to wait around for the cream to totally absorb, then it might work for you.  The 75 ml tube that I received was full size and can be purchased for a very reasonable £1.95 through the Yves Rocher online store according to Glossybox.  However, when I went to the site I couldn’t find it, so I’m a bit confused.

So, how do the numbers stack up for the box this month?  I would think that it might be pretty good since there were more full sized products than samples.  Here is the breakdown:

  • Vichy Idealia Life Serum, 6 ml sample: £5.90 value
  • Vichy Idealia Smoothing and Illuminating Cream, 3 ml sample: £1.02 value
  • Connock of London Kukui Eau de Parfum, 1.5 ml sample: £1.12 value
  • Emite Makeup Micronized Eyeshadow, full sized 1.48 grams: £15.94 value
  • Elegant Touch Nail Polish Remover Pads, full sized 20 pads: £2.00 value
  • Yves Rocher Raspberry and Cocoa Hand Cream; full sized 75 ml: £1.95 value
  • Total Value: £27.94

I guess that since two of the full sized items were so cheap, the total value of the box was pretty low.  I didn’t include the cost of shipping for the eyeshadow because the price of the eyeshadow all by itself pays for this box; the shipping would add another £4.95 to the total value.   Of course, the total value of everything still more than covers the price of the box.  And I was able to find the lovely Connock perfume, so that might make it worth it all by itself.

Glossybox: Limited Edition Beauty Box

I was so excited to see this special edition luxury beauty box from Glossybox and Net-A-Porter, that I just had to have it!  It was more than the regular Glossybox at £20.00 plus an additional £5.00 in shipping.  So, my real worry was that it completely wouldn’t be worth it.  And to be honest, I’m not sure it was.  There were only two full sized products in the box, so that was a bit of a let down, but I do really love one of those and it is certainly something I wouldn’t have tried otherwise.

The box came really quickly, which is great since I had to pay £5.00 for shipping, and was beautifully presented in true Net-A-Porter style in a sleek black box with their black and white ribbon.  Very stylish and lovely.  Inside it held six different products, two of which were full size, and and four that were small or miniscule samples.  Again there was a fragrance sample which isn’t necessarily something I was overjoyed by, but at least they had it in a clever roll-on bottle which seems much better than the normal little tubes they send for perfume samples.

ilā Bath Salts for Inner Peace
ilā Bath Salts for Inner Peace

ilā Bath Salts for Inner Peace; 50 gram sample size.  I’m really more of a shower girl, especially since the flat we are renting now would require me to fold myself quite a bit to take an actual bath.  However, if I were to ever take one, I would love to add these bath salts.  I’m not sure how they work in the water but they smell divine.  The package in the Net-A-Porter box is in a pretty little sachet (it came lovingly swathed in bubble wrap and a zip top bag), so you can easily smell the salts and enjoy the scent without needing to put them in your bath water.  I currently have mine in one of my drawers and it absolutely wonderful every time I open my drawer.  It does actually make me wish that I had a decent sized bath (or that I was a few inches shorter).  The remarkable thing is that the scent is truly relaxing.  It is hard to believe that a scent can have such an immediate impact on you, but they really can instantly make you feel some specific emotion.  It’s pretty impressive really.  Here’s what they have to say about them on the ila website:

These pampering Bath Salts are a light in the dark for those in need of greater serenity.

  • Himalayan salt crystals are rich in ionic minerals and trace minerals for easy absorption
  • Promotes well-being and restores and strengthens the bio-energy field
  • Softens and nourishes the skin
  • Sandalwood is meditative and soothing to the nervous system
  • Jasmine is deeply relaxing yet uplifting to the whole system
  • Beneficial for the treatment of eczema and psoriasis

Imbued with rich healing minerals, they restore balance to body and mind, strengthen wellbeing and revealing skin’s soft youthful glow.

Reading all of that really makes me want to try them out fully.  Maybe I’ll have to try to fold myself in half to give them a true test.  Since you use a tablespoon or so per bath, I think I would have enough for at least 3 baths with these wonderful bath salts, which is a reasonable sample size I think.  The full sized 500 gram container can be purchased through the ila website for £49.00.  Their prices can seem quite expensive, but I think they seem to make really high quality products that are worth the higher prices.  If you could smell this, you would definitely know what I mean.

Joya Âmes Sœurs (Scent of Soul Mates) Roll-On Parfum
Joya Âmes Sœurs (Scent of Soul Mates) Roll-On Parfum

Joya Âmes Sœurs (Scent of Soul Mates) Roll-On Parfum; 1.5 ml sample size.  I do like the smart roll-on style applicator for this scent.  And it isn’t just the sample that has that format, but the regular size does as well.  The reason I don’t like or wear a lot of fragrances is because they often seem to heavy and usually have at least some hint of something that I don’t like.  However, I must say that this Joya scent has a really lovely fragrance that makes me feel like I’m on some exotic island holiday.  Here’s what they have to say about it on

Evoking memories of exotic destinations, Joya captures the delights of rich Orange Blossom and Cedarwood in a convenient travel size. This perfumed oil features a roll-on design for easy application during globe-trotting adventures.

  • Top notes: Tamarind, Grapefruit, Cypress
  • Heart notes: Rose Bulgar, Ginger, Orange Blossom
  • Dry down notes: Cedarwood, Incense, Amber, Sweet Musk

I would not have thought that this would have suited me at all but the citrusy notes are something that really does appeal to me.  There is just a lightness to the fragrance that is gorgeous and relaxing.  I am actually considering buying the full size product even.  And for me, that is really saying a lot since I haven’t bought a fragrance in I don’t even know how long.  It seems a little more oil based than most fragrances I’ve tried and that gives it a bit of a lasting power that I don’t always get from perfume; obviously my body chemistry wants to resist all attempts to make me smell like a flower.  The fact that it is a roll on would also make this really great for travel.  Though it would still need to go in your baggie of liquids, it is far less likely to spill or spray everything else.

You can buy the full sized 10 ml size at Net-A-Porter in the UK for £20.00.  Or, you can purchase it through the Joya website in the US for $28.00.  I don’t know how long that 10 ml would last, though it doesn’t seem to take very much to have a lovely scent all day, but I think £20.00 seems pretty reasonable for something this lovely.

Natura Bissé Diamond White SPF 50 Oil Free Sun Protection
Natura Bissé Diamond White SPF 50 Oil Free Sun Protection

Natura Bissé Diamond White SPF 50 Oil Free Sun Protection; 10 ml sample size.  Okay, I called this sun protection but Natura Bissé refers to it as “Brightening Shield Treatment Cream” which sounds so much more upscale.  But basically, it is a sunscreen that also will work to moisturize your skin, minimize dark spots and improve skin tone while protecting you from the nasty UVA and UVB rays as well.  So that all sounds like one heck of a multi-tasking product.  I haven’t tried this out yet because I am trying to use up my current moisturizer so that I can find something else that works better for me, but I’m also trying out the Lancome DreamTone, so I didn’t want there to be any chance of getting my dark spot correction products entangled.  However, I am looking forward to trying this out.  I like that it is oil free and from what I have read elsewhere gives your skin a more matte finish.  Usually with these types of creams that have a high SPF you get that greasy or sweaty look, either way it is unattractive and not the way most of like to look.  Plus, the oil free formulation probably means you are less likely to get clogged pores that will lead to a breakout and/or a sweaty face.  Here’s what they say about it on

Harnessing the power of depigmenting agent Ellagic Acid – a component of Pomegranate Extract – it fights the signs of premature aging by preventing the appearance of dark spots and minimizing existing marks. This brightening formula improves skin tone and maintains hydration levels, too.

  • Oil-free formula suitable for all skin types
  • Lightweight texture
  • Contains antioxidant Vitamin E

So, you can see that it does actually have some good stuff in it that should really work.  I’m just always skeptical of these grand claims as to brightening and correcting dark spots.   As you might have guessed, this is not an inexpensive product and you are really going to have to want to splash out to purchase it.  The full size 30 ml product can be purchased through Net-A-Porter in the UK for £75.00.  If you’re in the US, you can get it from Natura Bissé directly for $97.00, but clearly you’d be better off getting it from Amazon for $85.20 for the same 30 ml/1.0 ounce tube.  I’m really going to have to love it and think that it is a miracle product to pay that much for that little bit of product though.

Philip B Maui Wowie Beach Mist
Philip B Maui Wowie Beach Mist

Philip B Maui Wowie Beach Mist; 150 ml full size.  I have curly hair already thanks to nature and genetics, which means that I wouldn’t normally even consider buying these texturizing type of sprays.  So, I’m quite glad that I got this one in my Net-A-Porter box.  I usually just use a dab of Aveda’s Be Curly to get lots and lots of nice curling from my hair, but every once in a while it is nice to change things up and get a bit of a different look.  With the Philip B mist I get a softer curl that really does look like I’ve been at the beach all day.  Clearly, this isn’t a look for all the time, but when I’m going for that casual oh-I-just-woke-up-and-look-this-great look, this is perfect.  The times I have tried it I have used the Philip Kingsley Maximiser spray because I MUST have it with my super fine hair to get a little oomph.  And the combination of the two gives me really great volume.  I think I’m going to pick a day when I will try just the Philip B mist to see if that gives me lots of volume by itself too.  Since my hair is so fine in texture, it is great when I can use just a single product and not take the chance of weighing down my hair or having it end up looking crazy; bit of a double edged sword to have fine hair that is also really curly.  I wonder what it would do when I straighten my hair.  I might have to try that to see if it would give it a nice super soft wave but not really full on curl; that’s a look I like but have a hard time achieving.  This is what they have to say about it on the Net-A-Porter website:

Gorgeous tousled beach hair is only a spritz away thanks to Philip B’s texturizing formula. Scented with fresh Coconut and Tahitian Gardenia and infused with thickening Sea Salt, this spray creates body and waves while Aloe Vera, Marine Extracts, pure Orchid and Kukui nourish your tresses. A vacation in a bottle.

  • Suitable for all hair types
  • Leaves hair bouncy and soft
  • For fine hair creates lift, volume, and texture; for thick hair creates definition, texture, fullness and bounce

Reading that reminds me that I should mention the gorgeous smell.  I’m sure it is the gardenia and coconut but it really reminds me of being on the beach in Hawaii.  They have definitely gotten the scent of Maui down perfectly.  I almost felt like I should put on some sunscreen!  Aside from evoking such memories, it just really has a nice pleasant smell that was even around by the end of the day.  You can find this at Net-A-Porter for £22.00 for the same 150 ml bottle.  It is a bit cheaper at Amazon where it is only £19.57, plus they don’t charge for shipping so that is the better way to go.

Elizabeth Arden Prevage Anti-Aging Daily Serum
Elizabeth Arden Prevage Anti-Aging Daily Serum

Elizabeth Arden Prevage Anti-Aging Daily Serum, 5 ml sample size.  Okay, I should probably start off by saying that I want to try this because after looking at the price for the full size 50 ml bottle, it is highly unlikely that I am going to actually buy it for myself.  However, if I use it and start to look so much younger and fresh faced, well, I might be forced to change my tune.  When I first started to use serums I thought it seemed like something beauty companies had dreamed up to make us all pay even more money for the elusive promise of looking younger.  However, I’ve been using the Lancome serum for a year now and I have to say that there really is something to it.  I can tell when I don’t use it and it definitely does make my moisturizers work better.  I’ve also tried a couple of other serums along the way and I’ve softened my cynical attitude towards them as a result.  The Elizabeth Arden Prevage serum is, much like others, designed to protect your skin against damage and signs of aging.  Here’s what they have to say at

Guard your skin from environmental damage and signs of aging with Elizabeth Arden’s serum. Powerful antioxidants including Idebenone protect against free radicals while dramatically improving the look of your complexion.

  • Infused with a soothing blend of Green, White and Yellow Tea
  • Lightly scented
  • Dries to a matte finish

I don’t know what Idebenone is but they act like everyone should know it, so I feel a little uneducated.  So, naturally I looked it up but there’s no real evidence to suggest that it does anything when applied topically for anti-aging.  Interestingly, it was originally formulated as something to fight against Alzheimer’s and also for neuromuscular conditions.  That’s quite an interesting range of uses.  In any case, I haven’t tried it so I can’t really judge it at this point.  What I can judge is the price.  For the full size 50 ml bottle you will pay a shockingly high £160.00 at Net-A-Porter or £136.00 at FeelUnique.  Either way, that is way more than the Lancome Génifique that I like, so it is going to have to be stupendous whenI try it for me to want to pay that much more.  Skin care is one of the few ares that I will spend a bit more because without good skin care your makeup, no matter how expensive and expertly applied, won’t look its best.   We shall see.

Ellis Faas Mascara E401
Ellis Faas Mascara E401

Ellis Faas Mascara E401; 8.2 ml full size.  Mascara can make such a huge difference in your appearance, even if you practically have no makeup on it can give you a pulled together look.  If it is good mascara at least and doesn’t get all clumpy and make you look ridiculous instead of polished.  I like Lancome’s Définicils mascara for a light coverage that looks very natural and just accentuates your lashes without getting them too over the top.  For that more over the top super lash look, I like Benefit’s They’re Real! mascara.  Those are the two mascaras that I buy regularly and keep coming back to, no matter what else I try.  But now there’s a new mascara in town and it has won a spot in my makeup kit.  If you want a subtle look it can do that but if you want the big lash look it can also do that too.  It looks sort of unassuming because it doesn’t have anything that super special with the brush.  In fact, the brush, which seems to be where most mascaras differentiate themselves, appears to be nothing special at all and looks like what we’ve all been using for years and years and years.  Though when you really look at it, you can see that there is a bit more to it because it has a spiral design and seems to have more bristles (I’m not really sure what to call them) that are very tightly packed together.  I think this is probably what allows it to give your lashes such great volume and curl.  Though, the formulation of the mascara also seems a bit different to me too.  I can’t really put my finger on it, it is maybe thinner.  I think it seems like it could be a creamier mascara because it glides on and layers beautifully and doesn’t seem as prone to clumps as some mascaras that I have used.  It definitely looks more moist when compared to the mascara from either Benefit or Lancome.   Here’s what they say at Net-A-Porter:

Fuller, longer, more voluminous lashes are just a stroke away with Ellis Faas’ versatile mascara. The slim, pointed brush lifts and separates, while the creamy pitch-black formula glides on smoothly and evenly. One sweep creates a natural, wide-eyed look while two or more coats offer a glamorous finish worthy of any red carpet – or important date.

  • Elongated wand for easy, precise application
  • Formulated with natural Carnauba Wax

Maybe it is the carnauba wax that makes it so nice.  I don’t know exactly but I do like it.  I also like that I can pretty much get two different looks out of this one mascara too, which is definitely not possible with the Lancome and is only possible with Benefit if you have a super light touch.  The other nice thing about the Ellis Faas mascara is that it gives you great curl, even without the eyelash curler.  I often forget to curl my lashes before I put on my mascara but this makes it far less necessary.  It really seems to give that perfect curl to your lashes that will have your eyes looking fabulously open and glamorous.  This is definitely something that I will be buying again when I run out.  I think it will replace my Benefit mascara probably because this does the same thing only better, I think.  I’m going to give it a bit more time testing it out though before I decide.  I will have to see how it stands up to my long party on Friday night here in NYC.  You can buy this at Net-A-Porter for £20.00.  If you are in the US, you can find it at Sephora for $34.00.  I like this so much I might try some of the other Ellis Faas products, I especially like the look of the foundation pens.

So, all in all, I think that despite the higher price of £25.00 for the Net-A-Porter special edition box that I have come out okay on it.  But as always we’ll have to see how the numbers stack up:

  • Ellis Faas Mascara, full size: £20.00 value
  • Philip B Maui Wowie Beach Mist, full size: £22.00 value
  • Elizabeth Arden Prevage Anti-Aging Serum, 5 ml sample: £16.00 value
  • Natura Bissé Diamond White SPF 50, 10 ml sample: £25.00 value
  • Joya Âmes Sœurs Roll-On Parfum, 1.5 ml sample: £3.00 value
  • ila Bath Salts for Inner Peace; 50 gram sample: £4.90 value
  • Total Value: £90.90

Wow!  I definitely got my money’s worth out of this box.  The crazy expensive sample values for the the Elizabeth Arden and Natura Bissé seem shocking, don’t they?  I did my math more than once on those because I just couldn’t believe that those little tiny products were worth so much.  But the two full sized products, that I do actually like, really made this box a great value.  And I’ve found a wonderful new mascara that is so good I’ll certainly be getting it again.

If you are interested in getting this special edition Glossybox, you can still order it at for £20.00 plus £5.00 shipping.

Glossybox: October 2013

Okay, clearly I am way, way behind in my Glossybox reviews, but I’m hoping to catch up this week.  The theme for my October Glossybox was “Dark Romance” I’m not really sure about that theme but there were some interesting items included this month.  As with the other Glossyboxes that I’ve gotten, this one contains some things that I was really looking forward to trying and some things that are totally new to me.  The only brand included that I am familiar with is Katy Perry.  I like her music okay, not so sure about her perfume though.  I really do like trying new brands and new products and is exactly why I wanted to sign up for Glossybox in the first place.

As you can see, there’s no special theme for the actual box.  I am getting quite a collection of these nice little boxes though and need to figure out something clever to do with them.  In my October box I received five items, only one of which is full sized.  They included a sample of Katy Perry’s new fragrance, Killer Queen, and that is the one thing that I’m not all that interested in trying.  I’m not much for perfumes, so these types of samples aren’t high on my list of things I want in my boxes.  Oh well, luckily there were a couple of things that are really great.

Katy Perry Killer Queen Fragrance
Katy Perry Killer Queen Fragrance

Katy Perry Killer Queen Fragrance; 1.5 ml sample.  As I said, I’m not all about the scents, but I guess for the occasional time when I want a little spritz of something, it is nice to have a little sample size bottle like this.  Here’s what they have to say about it on the Boots website:

Katy Perry is the New Queen in town, but not just any ordinary queen…She is a Killer Queen. Rebellion is on her mind. Defiance on her playful lips. She takes the throne by storm! And smiles with an irreverent wink. Katy doesn’t play by the rules because… Rules are made to be broken. Addictive Floriental Killer Queen is a charmingly playful yet lethally gorgeous Floriental fragrance. The bottle is inspired by a Queen’s scepter, the distinct jewel-shaped bottle portrays sexy sophistication and lawless luxury. The cap of the bottle is enhanced with a rich gold crown cap showcasing a custom crest capturing Katy Perry’s playful essence – regal cats, a music clef, and a dagger. The carton is the imperial red carton echoes the royalty of a Killer Queen with a tufted textured pattern reminiscent of a throne framed with a fanciful ermine border.

Fragrance Note
Top Notes: Dark Plum, Wild Berry and Bergamot.
Heart Notes: Red Velvet Flower, Rainbow Plumeria and Natural Jasmine Sambac.
Base Notes: Cashmeran, Natural Patchouli Heart and Liquid Praline.
I’ll be honest, I like the way the description sounds better than the actual fragrance.  It’s a little heavy for me and cloying.  But like I said, I’m not really a perfume person so my opinion maybe is less valid on this one than other things.  It does get pretty good reviews on Boots, so maybe I should give it a bit more of a chance.  However, the way perfume interacts with your own body chemistry can change a lovely scent into something really horrible.

If you do want to get this, you can find it at Boots.  For the 30 ml size you will pay £22.99 or you can get the 50 ml size for £26.09.  They also have a gift set that includes a 30 ml perfume, a 75 ml body lotion, and a 75 ml shower gel for just £22.50.

MeMeMe Cherub's Blush Cheek & Lip Tint
MeMeMe Cherub’s Blush Cheek & Lip Tint

MeMeMe Cherub’s Blush Cheek & Lip Tint; 12 ml full size bottle.  I’ve had this in my kit for over a month and still haven’t had the courage to try it.  I’m really afraid of looking like a clown and getting too much on my cheeks because it is a pretty deep colour and my skin is super pale.  I did try a little bit of it on my lips and it seemed to work pretty well but I haven’t been brave enough to try it on my cheeks.  I’m determined to do it though!  I like the idea of a rogue tint like this though because I think it will give fresher look to my cheeks, which let’s face it, at my age I could use a bit of a fresh look.  Plus, I think once you get good at using the cheek tint, you can figure out how to subtly build up the colour to go from a fresh look to a more dramatic look for the evenings.  I really think this will be great for summer when you want a more natural look and don’t necessarily want to have so much makeup on either.

In the Glossybox they have included a full sized 12 ml bottle with a brush applicator included.  It’s a bit like a nail polish bottle really.  The applicator worked well on my lips when I tried it.  However, they suggest you use your finger to blend it in an upward motion along your cheekbone.  You can find this cheek and lip tint at the MeMeMe Cosmetics website for £5.50 or you can get it on Amazon for the same price.

Vita Liberata Illuminating Skin Finish
Vita Liberata Illuminating Skin Finish

Vita Liberata Latte Illuminating Skin Finish; 2, 0.1 ounce sample packets.  I may have mentioned that I am pale, like Casper the friendly ghost kind of pale, so anything that promises to knock the glare back a bit, is something I am interested in trying out.  The good thing about this is that it gives you a bit of nice bronzing but it also offers you SPF25 coverage.  It also has little shimmery particles to give you a bit of optical illusion to make you appear even more flawless.  I haven’t tried this yet though, because I haven’t really had a need to try it yet.  It is in a little sealed foil packet, so unfortunately I can’t see how dark this might be before I put it on. But after looking at their website I can see that this is the darkest version of this product. Yikes!  Thinking that will be way too dark for me.   In any case, this is part of the Vita Liberata Capture the Light Collection and here is what they have to say about it on their website:

The Capture the Light Collection comprises illuminating skin finishers with Opaque or Translucent coverage which can be used as stand-alone skin perfectors, or alongside the Vita Liberata tanning range to accentuate a natural bronze tan.
Capture the Light Opaque illuminating skin finishers are considered by beauty experts to be “better than a BB Cream for the Body”.  Translucent illuminating skin finishers offer exceptional iridescence without the coverage.

This is like a lot of bronzers or self-tanners in many ways.  You definitely will want to exfoliate your skin quite well before you apply this or else you’ll just end up looking weird and patchy and no one wants that.  They say that you don’t need to use very much to get a nice level of bronzing, but you do need to blend well to get the best even coverage.  The good, or possibly bad depending on why you want to use it, is that it washes off with soap and water.  So, that means that you aren’t going to have your lovely bronze colour for too long.  This is really designed to make your skin look lovely and flawless for a big night out or big event, not to look tan really.

You can buy this at the Vita Liberata website for £18.00 for a 30 ml bottle currently.  Through 8 December they are having a 40% off sale, so after that the price will go back up to the normal £29.95.  They also have a variety of colours or shades, so you don’t have to get a colour that is way too dark because one colour does not fit all!  Personally I think that the buttermilk or rose colours would be best for me because it would give a bit of illumination and perk to my skin without adding colour.

Premae Harmony Multi-Vit Smoothie Serum
Premae Harmony Multi-Vit Smoothie Serum

Premae Harmony Multi-Vit Smoothie Serum; 20 ml sample size.  I have tried this once and really liked it so I’m looking forward to trying it out a bit more.  Premae is a totally allergen-free brand, so their products are quite good for your skin and shouldn’t cause you irritation or problems.  This serum is really nice if you have skin problems or combination skin because of its great bunch of ingredients.  This is what they have to say about it on Glossybox:

The grape seed blended formula offers a comforting barrier cream to soothe redness, and smooth the uneven texture, perfect for applying makeup on top. Gently provides a protective second skin barrier and shields the skin against free radicals, environmental changes and chemicalised makeup. Leaves skin healthy, fresh and smoothed. Directions: Morning and night as a daily primer to prep and protect skin. Mix with liquid foundation to create a shine-control natural BB cream!

The way that you use this is is just like any other serum you might have tried.  After you have cleaned your face, apply this before your moisturizer in the morning and night.  I usually prefer to just use my serums at night because most of the ones that I have tried thus far have been kind of heavier than I want on my face for daytime.  However, I might try this during the day because it does seem to have a lighter consistency than other serums.  Since it seems to be good at keeping the shine down, it seems like it would be great for using under makeup.

You can buy the full size 50 ml serum at the Premae Skincare website for £22.50 in the UK or $35.18 in the US.  It seems like when you go to the website they pick your country for you, so whether you are in the UK or the US it will show you the correct pricing for you.

Monu Illuminating Primer
Monu Illuminating Primer

Monu Illuminating Primer; 20 ml sample size.  I love love love this primer.  I will definitely be buying this in the full size sometime soon.  To me this is the star of the October Glossybox.  I like everything about it from the texture to the smell to the way it feels on my skin to the way it actually works.  I have this with me in New York right now because this is the perfect travel product.  Here’s what they have to say about it:

A primer formulated with light reflective and soft focus technology to brighten the complexion and add instant sheen and radiance. May be used alone or under make-up or tinted moisturiser for a flawless, illuminating finish. Will help to prevent sun damage and premature ageing at cellular level. Light reflective Mica adds natural sheen and radiance. Zinc Oxide provides a physical barrier against the sun’s harmful rays. Cassia Alata Leaf Extract reduces the visible signs of photo-ageing and protects the skin against UV damage. Vitamin E, an antioxidant, fights free radicals. Used alone, gives skin a smooth flawless finish. Provides an excellent base for make-up. Paraben free formulation.

There are a few reasons to like this primer, like the fact that it is paraben free.  However, I just seriously like how it works and how fabulous it makes my skin look.  I have used it both under makeup as well as just as a moisturizer on a day when I wanted to be makeup free.  Both ways it really enhances my skin and seems to give a healthy glow without being too shiny or sheeny.  It just looks really natural and healthy.  While it is great for everyday wear, it is perfect for travel because it is a multi-tasker.  It works as a primer (obviously), has an SPF 15 and is a good moisturizer.  Since there are restrictions on liquids in your carry on luggage, this is the perfect way to take one product instead of two.  I was a little worried initially that it wouldn’t work so well as a moisturizer, but it keeps my skin feeling nicely hydrated all day long without getting greasy looking anything untoward like that.  I’ve never found a primer that I have like this much, I must say.  It really helps my foundation look flawaless and gorgeous in a way that my usual stuff does not.  It is definitely something I will be buying.

You can buy the 50 ml full size product at the Monu website for £24.95.  You can also get it at Amazon but it’s pretty much the same price so there doesn’t seem to be any advantage to that.  I’m planning on ordering this when I get back to the UK or maybe time it so that I will get it by the time I return home.  I want to make sure that I have it for our holiday trip in December.  I like this so much I’ll have to check out some of the other products from Monu, I think.  I wonder if their tinted moisturizer is as wonderful as the primer because it seems to have a lot of the same ingredients.

I think that the Glossybox subscription is working out okay, even though there was only one full sized product this month.  Here’s the breakdown of what I got for my £12.95 this month:

  • MeMeMe Cherub’s Blush Cheek and Lip Tint, full size: £5.05 value
  • Premae Harmony Multi-Vit Smoothie Serum, 20 ml sample size:  £9.00 value
  • Monu Illuminating Primer, 20 ml sample size: £9.98 value
  • Total Value: £24.03

I didn’t include the other two products because the sample sizes were so small that it wasn’t that big an impact.  But it doesn’t really matter in any case because just these three products more than pay for the monthly subscription fee.  And I found a new product that I love which is priceless.