I’m going to skip the GlossyBox introduction this week, as I’ve already done it, if you’re interested refer to the First Impressions post.
My July box is here, it’s the Stars and Stripes edition this month with lots of American goodies. This month the focus is less on the service in general, and more on the individual products, so here’s a quick unboxing picture set, mostly because I like how they look, and then I’m going to get more in detail about the products I received. As mentioned last time, there is now no GlossyBox magazine, as it’s now all digital, but we do still get the little card with information on it.
This month promised at least 4 full sized products on the website, and wonderfully…luckily…whichever word you want to use, all five of my box items are full size.
First off is a product everyone is supposed to receive – Bellapierre Cosmetics Ltd Mineral Lipstick. Mine is the shade ‘Ruby’, which is a bright, bold red. There isn’t much in the way of extra packaging or information on the actual lipstick, just addresses, weight (3.5g), and the shelf life (24 months). Bellapierre is our first American brand and is part of a larger company The Exite Group Inc in Los Angeles, California, though they do have a European address too, and are available online.
From the little card description the impression I get is this lipstick is supposed to be bright and long lasting while also being good for your lips, as it’s enriched with vitamins. It’s a nice, rich, thick consistency that’s on the shinier side, but by no means a high gloss finish. I get the feeling you could put it on in differing thicknesses and/or paired with a lip gloss to achieve different looks.
Would I buy it full price? Honestly, probably not. But that’s more to do with the shade rather than the product quality. I tend to stay away from bold lip colour, and focus on having bolder eyes. But then this box is at least partially about trying new things so maybe it will be good to leave my makeup comfort zones – I’m going to try and use it at least.
Price: Full item (3.5g) £20 / from Bellapierre
Next I have the ABSOLUTE New York Perfecting Eyeshadow Primer. Like most primers it is a pale pink/peach colour that fades as you blend it in where you want to prime for makeup. Again there is no extra packaging, but the label is more informative, with addresses, weight (7.9g) and shelf life (12 months) – as well as ingredients. The company/brand is actually Nicka K New York, and is an American only brand, with no European availability usually. It seems like a smaller, lesser known brand and generally the prices of their other cosmetics aren’t expensive looking either.
The primer is oil free which is a great bonus to me, as I have oil prone skin and like to use mostly oil free makeup. It’s a pretty straight forward product that’s supposed to make your eye area smoother and less red, if you choose to wear it on it’s own, and will also make your eyeshadow last longer and wear better. Against my last primer (Urban Decay Potion) it’s pretty comparable, working straight away to make the area look nicer, and then the eyeshadow look nicer. It has the same type of applicator I think most primers have, the slanted sponge thing on a stick.
Excuse the blueness/darkness of my under eyes, this was done with no other makeup.
Would I buy it full price? Like last time, with products that aren’t easy to get in the UK, it is a bit of a moot point. For the price it is a great primer, and I’ll be using the whole thing. What I suspect will happen in the future is that I’ll buy a bigger, more general purpose primer, such as the Revlon PhotoReady primer, and use it where I need it.
Price: Full item $4.99 (converted to £2.92 using Google) (7.9g) / nicka.com
Next up is the Carmex lip balm. This is a very basic seeming item, as it’s a very simple petroleum based lip balm. It did come with full packaging this time, so we have lots of extra information. There is a little history about the product, it’s a fairly old brand – since 1937 – originally in Wisconsin and is now readily available outside America. I’ve walked past it a number of times in Boots, but never actually tried one. You also get directions, ingredients, addresses, weight (7.5g) and shelf life (12 months).
It looks slightly yellow toned in the pot, but it’s actually clear. It has a thin, slightly oily/waxy feel to it, which I’m not a huge fan of – but in terms of how lip balms actually work to protect your lips is pretty much necessary to create a barrier between your skin and the wide world. It has a very distinct smell, which is sort of citrus vanilla and a little bit like Vicks Vapour Rub interestingly (my other half says it smells like boot polish.) Weirdly enough it contains Salicylic acid, spotted in a bunch of stuff recently, which has antibacterial and pain relief properties.
Would I buy it full price? I don’t see why I wouldn’t to be honest. I’ve tried many different types of lip balm: Nivea, Lush, Palmers, and it certainly compares. It doesn’t specifically say it’s SPF like others I have, though it does mention wearing it in good or bad weather, which would be the only niggle for me.
Price: Full item £2.69 (7.5g) / from graftonsbeauty.co.uk
My fourth item is the Mary Kay Cosmetics Lash Love Mascara. It is described as a volumising mascara that also conditions your lashes with vitamin E. Not only is this a full sized item, but it also comes boxed and with a small leaflet. It isn’t a brand that I’ve ever heard of, but that’s mostly been the case this month – the company was founded and still has its headquarters in Texas. On the packaging we have ingredients, description, addresses, weight (8g), shelf life (6 months), and a printed expiration date as well. This line is available in many countries, including the UK.
The colour I received is ‘I heart Black’, and is a very strong black. It has a good sized, thick tube that’s easy to hold, and is very slightly ergonomic. The wand inside is the rubber/silicon type with the shorted style bristles that I actually quite like, and it has a flexible neck – which is something I’ve never tried before again. It’s quite easy to put on, and does make the lashes look longer and volumised. It is very slightly clumpy, but looks nice overall. It’s also a non waterproof mascara, and washes off very well with my Boots makeup remover – a good thing too, as while I like makeup to have staying power, it needs to come off easily too.
Would I buy this item full price? For the price, and compared to other mascaras I own probably not to be honest. I can get something comparable for much cheaper. Added to this, the general advice I’ve read elsewhere online – that your mascara is an item to not feel guilty over saving money on, as this makes it more disposable. Mascaras actually have pretty short shelf lives and you need to be careful it’s not being used when it’s dry, gone off, and or has the risk of irritating your eyes. So even a 20, 30, or 40 pound mascara should only last you a few months.
Price: Full item £16 (8g) / from marykay.co.uk
Finally, I received Broadway Nails imPRESS Press On Manicure. This is also a full item with full packaging. Press on nails are essentially a variant of fake nails wherein instead of a set of nails and a bottle of glue, each nail has adhesive already on it. You uncover and press to your nails. They are actually complete, plastic like nails, rather than a nail sticker more like a nail wrap. Like all our other items, it’s American based, though very widely available in other countries, including the UK. It was a little harder to find anything out about the brand, but I finally discovered its parent company is KISS USA, which produces a variety of different makeup and nail lines.
You actually get twenty four nail covers, two sets of twelve in the same shade, mine is ‘So, So Stellar.’ This is nice, as you can try and get the best fit for your nails, as well as practice with the first pair and wear the second if it’s your first set, or have two sets if otherwise. The box claims they will last upto a week when applied well, won’t damage your nails, and are easy to remove. It has both written and picture instructions on the packet, as well as a QR code linking directly to a YouTube video showing you how to do it as well, which is a nice touch.
The nails are contained within the nail polish bottle like case, which is nice and compact so it’ll keep everything together without being a pain to store. Alongside that you get a single nail prep sachet and a tiny emery board. It would have been nice if there were two prep sachets, one for each of the two sets of nails, but the main ingredient is Isopropyl alcohol, which is an alcohol based solvent, so nail varnish remover will do in a pinch.
Would I buy this item full price? Again, honestly I’m not sure I would – I’ve never really been a fake nail person. But these are relatively inexpensive for two separate uses, and nice to have a try. I’m viewing it more as a fun to try item than anything else, and I will give them a go.
Price: Full item £7.99 / Roughly £3.99 per set (though some colours are £5.99) / from superdrug.com
So, it’s pricing and final verdict time. Overall, I recieved 5 full sized items, for a total retail value of £49.60. All of the items are nice quality and I will use them, though perhaps only two or three would I actually buy for myself or buy again. On the face of it there isn’t a lot in actual size/weight for your money (the total value, not the subscription), and I suppose part of this is because I tend to lean towards more value or drugstore type products that just do. I do think it has been worth it in terms of value for money compared to the subscription price paid.
I don’t actually have nails selected on my beauty profile so it would be nice to not receive a nail item next time, but it’s very understandable that it’s the luck of the draw in terms of the low price paid. I’ll keep with it, and see what I get next time.