So, when my September GlossyBox arrived nearly a month ago now, I did a quick un-boxing video, showing what I received, how much it was, and my initial thoughts. I’ve now had some time with each of the items, and can give a more in-depth opinion, as well as some better pictures, as I still like to do these photo posts.
So, here is a quick overview shot of the box, I didn’t take one of the front picture of the box, but it is a rather beautiful watercolour drawing of the London Skyline, a limited edition Karen Millen design for London Fashion Week. Alongside this, the only offer in this box was money off at a Karen Millen store, which is pretty disappointing actually. I don’t live near one of these stores, I won’t be travelling to one of these stores, and while it fits the box design, I prefer the offers to have more to do with the actual box contents, in case I really like something. Ah well.
The first item in the box is the ModelCo MORE BROWS fibre gel. This is a full sized item, at £14.95 for 3.5 ml. The shade I received was Medium to Dark. It’s a cute little tube, with a quite short, mascara style brush, and fairly dark brown gel inside. The gel has a very mascara light consistency actually, and the brush works well.
I have a bit of a demo image here, with my face in various stages of using the brow gel. I haven’t used a brow gel before, so it’s been very interesting to try. Usually, I use a brow pencil, and only really to fill in the start and end of my brows where they are a little thinner. The application is very simple, you brush through your brows, making sure not to push it against your skin, or you get it on your skin. If you can use mascara, you can use brow gel.
I actually really like the effect, with a pencil you are colouring in the skin under your brows essentially, to give them a more filled in effect, whereas with the gel, it thickens and darkens your actual brows, very much like mascara – but for your brows. It gives you fuller, darker brows while looking a bit more natural, perfect if you like the full brow look (which I do).
The only think I have against it is the price. at basically £15 for a small tube, it does seem like a lot of money. I haven’t tried another brow gel, but I know Rimmel does one at only £3.99, and MUA for £2, and both actually have more shade options. So I will definitely be trying one of those before considering something more expensive.
The next item is a hair care product. The L’Oreal Professional Mythic Oil. This is a premium sized sample rather than a full size product. The full sized item is £15.95 for 125 ml. The size I received was 45 ml, so proportionally cost £5.74.
So, this is a hair oil you put in after you bathe, to care for your hair and add shine. It didn’t have the clearest instructions, so the first time I sprayed it directly onto my head and put too much in as a result. It works much better if you apply two to three pumps into your hand, and gently run them through your hair, repeating a second time or third time if needed (it’ll depend on how thick your hair is). It does actually feel very nice on, it makes my hair feel like it takes longer to dry weirdly, but once it’s on and fully dried, my hair feels nice, and it doesn’t feel residue-y.
Again, like the previous product, it’s a case of price being an issue. I lean towards more affordable items, and with the power of the internet, it’s easier to find alternative brands, and even things like using simpler oils, such as pure Jojoba oil or Argan Oil even, which is a little cheaper per 100 ml than the Mythic Oil.
The next items are two different sample products from the same brand. They are the Skin Pep Brightening Enzyme & Acid Peel, and the Skin Pep Dark Circle Eraser Eye Cream. You get two of the skin peel masks, which are priced at £89.99 for the full 180 ml size products, or £3.05 for each 3.5 ml sample. And one eye cream sachet priced at £44.99 for 15 ml, or £6.49 for the 2 ml sample size (making it proportionally the more expensive item).
While most people tend to dislike these sachet style products, I don’t mind them too much. The skin peel masks are single use items, so you don’t need packaging to keep them in at least. While there is no image of the gel here, it came out as a thick clear gel with basically no scent, reminding me of the clear primer gels you can get. While I said in my video that I was wary of using it because of my sensitive skin, actually I had no bad reaction to the product, and I think it worked very well.
I had more issue with the eye cream packaging – you only get the one sample because actually it’s enough to use multiple times, as you only need a little on each eye. I’ve gotten at least a week, if not two weeks uses out of the sample size, but obviously that means you don’t want to store it in a little open sachet. I squeezed mine out in to a tiny plastic box I use to store excess face mask from larger sachets. The eye cream is much thicker, and does have a scent, but’s it’s quite pleasant, and almost fruity. It does feel nice and moistening, though my eyes are more puffy than dark. Another issue with the eye cream is the item states to rub it in with the applicator, which refers to the special packaging the full size items comes in, so the directions are a bit useless there – rubbing it in with my fingers seems fine.
Price-wise, I don’t think it’s unreasonable to point out how out of my range these items are. I would never buy them, and I think a lot of people felt pretty similarly.
Another full sized item here, and it’s a nail item. This is the Nails Inc Westminster Bridge Matte Top Coat, and is priced at £12 for 10 ml. Nails Inc is a very recognisable nail brand, and one that most people think is worth the money. It was very easy to use, just a single coat over any nail polish (seen above over Essence Cosmetics Colour & Go Dare it Nude), and it gives the Matte effect. I’ve seen some lovely nail art online where the effect is more obvious if there are sections of nail left shiny and sections made matte.
Getting nail items in the GlossyBox has kind of grown on me over the months, and I can actually see the value in these. Nail varnishes last a fairly long time, especially something that only uses one coat. There are cheaper versions available, Rimmel does one for about £5, and BarryM for about £3.
Finally, we have a full sized cleansing item from Nivea. This is the 3 in 1 Micellar Cleansing Water, priced at £4.07 for 200 ml. It’s a nice big item for a quite affordable price. It’s also nice to get a cleansing item for your skin, I think, to take off all the makeup the boxes of this month and months past are filled with.
Initially, while I liked the brand (I have a lot of Nivea items) and that it was for sensitive skin, I wasn’t too fussed with the product, and didn’t think it worked that much better than my make up remover gel. I’ve given it more of a try since then, and been more and more impressed with it. It does take off heavier eye make up better than what I usually use, which is just from the Boots Essentials line. By better I mean it uses less of the product, and less tries with a cleansing pad to remove the same amount of make up. It also does live up to the promise of cleansing thoroughly without drying the skin, which is great.
Price wise the alternative I found was the Boots Botanics Ultra Calm 3 in 1 Micellar Water at £3 ish for about the same amount. So, this puts the Nivea one at the budget end anyway which is great. I would definitely buy this specific item again.
Finally, we come to the total box value and overall conclusions! The box was worth £49.35, containing 3 full sized items, 1 premium sample, and 3 little samples. A lot of this box value does come from the fact that they are more premium brands which is what the box says it’s all about. For the normal subscription price of about £13 pound that I paid for it, I do think it’s definitely worth it.
While obviously I have said with a number of items that I like the idea and type of product, but not that price point, I don’t think that’s a bad thing. It is introducing me to new product types, I really liked what I received, and will use them up – then consider buying a more budget version. So, I’m overall very happy, and I’m looking forward to the next box.
On the subject of the next box, I was fortunate enough to be able to complete the surveys for these products before the new GlossyDots amounts were applied (as they have changed from 50 GD per survey to 20) so my next box will actually be free. I’m really looking forward to it. I can totally see how people who weren’t able to do the survey before the price change would be annoyed, as in that instance you have some people getting more or less value simply based on how quickly they came to the website. A better idea would have been to warm people via social media and email before it was happening to complete the surveys and giving a date for the change. I’m not sure how terribly angry I am really about the overall change, as I think the boxes themselves are great value anyway. So while it changes the rate at which you get a free box, from a free box for every 20 reviews, to a free box with every 50 reviews – or from roughly a free box ever 4 boxes to a free box about once a year – I do still think it’s still good value. I think we’ll have to wait and see how it goes.
See you next time!