Here is the in-depth written review of the November 2014 GlossyBox to accompany the video first impressions!
So, here is the full overview, November’s box was just a regular pink box, black paper wiggly bits, plain pink wrapping paper, and a plain black bow. It contained five items.
This month we also have the preview cards in the box again, last months trial of a paperless system seems to have proven unpopular with most subscribers based on feedback.
First up is the Lollipops Makeup (or Lollipops Paris as the website now says) eye pencil in the shade 701 Goodbye Moon, which is a very dark black. They don’t actually have any other shades – at least at the time of this article – so I’m not really sure why they’ve bothered numbering and naming the colour.
This is a plastic case style pencil, with the product as a solid stick in the centre you can extend or retract, by spinning the black strip at the bottom end of the pencil. We’ll get the negatives out of the way first – I don’t really like this format. I don’t see personally what is wrong with a pencil format which you simply sharpen. I don’t think the plastic, slightly rattley feel of the body seems very “premium”. I also find it hard to tell how much product is really inside, since the body itself tells you nothing, and the packaging has no weight measurement on it anyway. I’ve also found these types of pencils to be easier to damage, as the inside snaps a lot more readily than in a normal pencil. As a final niggle, the nice eye liner pencil I already have has a built in smudge nub at the end, which I really like – it’s there to use with the pencil if I just want to grab that one thing, and gives you a dedicated smudger – a couple of brands do this, and given the higher than drugstore price of this pencil, I don’t see why it can’t have one either.
On the plus sides however, the pencil itself is actually a nice formula. It’s a nice rich black, it does smudge well (my preferred way of wearing eye liner), and it’s fairly long wearing. The ingredients are also supposed to be good for your skin, with vitamin E, which is always a good thing with something you want to rub on your face. And finally, I do like the cute, pink and girly design on the pencil.
It’s full size (though I couldn’t tell you what size) and retails for €14, which at the time converted to £11.18, and I think is mostly available from the company’s website: www.lollipopsmakeup.fr
Next up we have the Burt’s Bees Lip Shine. And by Lip Shine it means lip gloss really. This is a typical Burt’s Bees type product – it has all natural ingredients, and is pretty good for your skin. I got mine in the shade 060, or Smooch, which in the tube is quite a dark red, but like all of these lip shines the finish, particularly if you use it sparingly, is quite a sheer red colour.
The only downside for this I would say is I don’t really like Lip Gloss (or Lip Shine, or whatever you want to call it) all that much, but I would definitely say that’s a personal preference rather than the product’s fault, to be fair. And honestly, if I had to wear a Lip Gloss, this one is pretty good.
It’s a nice big size, and a tube with a lip style applicator (one of those smooth rounded slanted head things, with a hole that you squeeze the product out of). I don’t actually like to use the end to apply it, but prefer to squeeze it out onto my finger and work that way – it’s a little less messy. The smell is quite nice, and reminds me of fruit jelly sweets, like strawberry laces, I assume because of the natural ingredients. Gloss wise, it is pretty subdued compared to most glosses I think, it’s actually a pretty nice shine. I prefer to use it sparingly, as I don’t like the thick icky feel on my lips, and this works quite well – the colour is more subtle this way, but the feel is more bearable. It doesn’t last as a lip shine for super long, but it does leave a nice sort of moisturising residue for longer. It does feel like it’s good for the lips.
This is also full sized at 14g, and retails for £6.99, you can get it from their own website www.burtsbees.co.uk, but it’s also available in lots of other shops.
Now we have our final full size item in the box, and this is the Umberto Giannini Miracle Worker. This is a very multi use hair product. You can use it as a treatment on either wet or dry hair, you can use it as a styling product, or as it describes as well, as a ‘finishing’ product to neaten your hair. It’s supposed to be really good for dry frizzy hair, and contains argan oil – which is super popular for hair treatment.
So, the negatives. This is the second hair oil/hair treatment item I’ve received so far from GlossyBox, and I haven’t actually used up the last one – it’s only been two months. I don’t really like to swap around between lots of products, but prefer to use just one. It has the added effect, I think, of making the September hair care item, the L’oreal Mythic Oil, look kind of poor in comparison to this. Both of them have the same downside, in that you can easily overuse it, and quickly make your hair look oily or greasy – and while it isn’t, and your hair is probably being nicely pampered and nourished – most people probably feel it and want to wash their hair again.
This is quite a big item, the biggest in the box, so adds pretty good value in terms of the price paid. It comes with a convenient pump, unlike one of the other items in this box (we’ll get to that), it has quite a strong smell that I actually like, it’s very perfumed. The important thing however, is it does work really well. Even just using a little to treat dry hair leaves it feeling silky and soft, and unlike a previous item (L’oreal Mythic Oil, from the September GlossyBox) doesn’t leave a residue feeling in the hair. Because it’s a full sized item, and you use it quite sparingly, it will last quite a while.
As mention before, this is full size at 125ml, and retails at £8 from www.boots.com.
The last two products we have are sample sized. This first one is the H20+ Face Oasis Hydrating Treatment. This is the smallest item in the box, and is a cute little tube of blue gel. It is an oil free moisturiser for the face and neck etc. and says it’s supposed to be good for fine lines. This doesn’t feel like a super targeted product in terms of my GlossyBox profile, as I don’t really care all that much about fine lines.
I would say while a moisture treatment isn’t a super wow type product for me, the only real downside I would say is the price. So far this has been the only overpriced seeming item of the bunch, but we’ll see.
On the plus side, it does work well as a moisturiser. I’ve been using it to treat some of the drier areas of my face, like my jaw line, which tends to dry out quicker than the rest of my face, and sometimes needs a little more moisture. Using this in the morning, it has felt like I don’t need this extra application. It’s very wet (I presume because it’s water based, as it’s oil free) but rubs in very well, and feels nice and cool and soothing actually.
This trial sized item is 8ml, which is just over a sixth of the full sized item at 50ml. This full size costs £27.50, making it proportionally cost £4.40. This does make it prohibitively expensive for me, especially considering my perfectly lovely Nivea Soft (my go to moisturiser) is about £4 for 200ml anyway. So this is nice, but not tempting in the slightest. It’s available from www.marksandspencer.com
Finally, we have the Monu Skincare Refining Capri Facial Oil. This is a little bottle with a screw top, a little over three times the size of the H20+ gel. It’s a blend of oils that you massage into your face – it’s aimed at treating oily and blemish prone skin.
The main problem I have with this, is that I don’t think it works – not for me at least. It’s such a shame because I wanted it to work. I do have oily, slightly blemished sensitive skin, and making sure it is well moisturised does help it, it means the skin doesn’t try and produce more oil itself to combat dryness, which would run the risk of all that extra oil giving you blemishes. For me, keeping the skin gently cleansed, and well moisturised works.
The problem is, as I’ve used this as directed for the three weeks since I’ve gotten it (using just a little big, gently rubbing it in with my hands, using it after cleansing), it’s just consistently given me blemishes – more and more blemishes. As far as I can tell, negative experiences with this brand are few and far between, so it might just be my skin.
The other downside is the packaging, which seems a little trivial compared to the previous point, but it’s just a screw top opening and then you put a little on your hand awkwardly. The full sized item does come with a pump dispenser, which would probably work a lot better, but I can see since this is a little sample why they wouldn’t bother putting one on such a small bottle.
The oil itself feels and smells lovely. It has a very delicious, citrus blend smell, and does feel like it should moisturise and cleanse.
This is 30 ml, just under a third of the full size item at 100 ml. The full size item costs £26 pound, making this size sample cost £7.80. So this is also slightly more on the too expensive side for my taste, but to put it into perspective with the other items this costs roughly the same as the H20+ Treatment gel, but you’d get twice as much – so it could be worse really. It’s available from its own shop www.monushop.co.uk.
So that was the last item. To sum up, this box had five items in total, three full size, and two sample. I paid £13.25 (I prefer having the freedom of a rolling monthly plan) and the total box value is £38.37. This isn’t the most expensive box I’ve ever had which was around £60, but neither is it the cheapest box ever, which was around £29. This hasn’t been a super wow box, but it was a nice box. I’ll use up the nice black eyeliner, and will probably occasionally use the Lip Shine. The hair product and the H20+ gel probably work the best out of everything here, and sadly the facial oil was just a little disappointing.
But, I’m eagerly looking forward to the upcoming December box. We had a sneak peak in this box saying everyone would receive a Bellapierre Lip and Cheek Stain, which sounds super nice, and it’s a nice brand we’ve had before. The box will also be festive looking instead of pink, and should contain five items again, four of which will be full size.
Until next time.