GlossyBox October 2015 Review

So, October is our second autumnal GlossyBox of the year, and I’m not gonna lie – right off the bat I was hoping for a Halloween box, I think there’s lot of things they could have done with that, it would have been totes cool and fun, but sadly – it wasn’t a Halloween box. Ah well. So, to get right into it, this months box is a really nice, high value box. It has an interesting combination of items, with some new brands and all five items are full size. I didn’t get a product card this month, which was a minor annoyance/a bit weird, so I’ve found the prices and information for these items online – it also means if there was a sneak peak for November I didn’t get to see it.


Our first item is the Talika Photo-Hyrda Day. This 30 ml tube is a made in France face specific moisturiser valued at £27 – there is another bigger version (50 ml) but you also can buy this smaller version, so it’s still full sized – the 50 ml version is just slightly better value, as a lower price per ml. It directs you to use it in the morning after cleansing as your regular daily moisturiser – and states that the cream itself uses the power of natural light to moisturise the skin. The cream is light, and a little on the watery side, but it does have a sort of pearly sheen to it – it melts into the skin as you rub it on and leaves it matte and soft. I’ve used it for a while now, and I do think it’s nice – my skin seemed to really agree with it, and it has an almost primer like quality as well, but it doesn’t moisturise enough, and I found my face getting dry and pink after midday, and needing more applied. So while my skin seemed to love it and really felt blemish free, with it costing so much and toting itself as a great moisturiser it really needed to last all day – and it doesn’t. On that alone I couldn’t really justify a repurchase. This item also had the same weird packaging feel that the Lollipops Lip Balm from the July 2015 box had – when it’s full, you can still squeeze the packaging a fair amount and just push out air – this makes it feel like you’re getting a half empty container, but really it’s just that the packaging is too big, and they need to stop trying to make it look like you’re getting loads.


Next up is the Lanolips Golden Ointment – this is a 50 g tube of high grade lanolin ‘treatment gel/cream’ (this is the best name I can think of it) which is an Australian brand and valued at £17.99. It’s a blend of purest grade lanolin, manuka honey, and vitamin e – it has a really mild, yummy honey smell for a product high in lanolin and rubs on kind of slow and tacky (like using beeswax if you’ve ever used that), leaving a really light sheen afterwards. I say ‘treatment gel/cream’ because it isn’t being sold as a moisturiser, but as a very multi-purpose product – you can use it on all the areas you’re dry as you need – face, knees, hands, feet etc. but it also suggests using it in heated and air conditioned environments, and while travelling, as a way to combat the damage those do to your skin. I can see this being pretty useful – I have been using it around my mouth and nose while sleeping – as we now have the heating on since it’s getting pretty cold, but this sadly makes the air dry and painful. I can also see how the same thing can be used during a long flight – I have done a direct flight before from Amsterdam to Seattle (about 10 hours) – by the end you feel dry and shrivelled and like you’ve been sand blasted in the face because of the contained air – it was pretty bad. So while this is pricey, for that price you get a really dense, concentrated product that does work and will last since a little goes a long way – I’ll be using it up over the winter and it’ll be a good repurchase for next winter or any time I travel again.


So, that’s the skincare, and next up are the make up items. First is the So Susan Haute Light – which is a multi-purpose highlighting pencil weighting in at 1.5 grams and valued at £14.95 – it’s also our first repeat brand of this box – we’ve had So Susan three times now (June 2014, October 2014, and February 2015)  . The pencil itself is cute and fuss free, the colour is light cream rather than white, and it has a nice soft consistency. You can use it to highlight wherever you need to highlight, whiten around the eyes and on the water line, as a concealer, and as an eyeshadow base. Just to quickly go through those, it’s probably a little light as a highlighter for me, which is a shame, but it does work really well to brighten up the water line more naturally than a white pencil (I have a white Rimmel pencil that I use like this too), and it lasts really well over the day. I’m not so convinced by using it as a concealer, for my light blue under eye areas it just made them a lighter blue, it didn’t conceal them – however it does work pretty well as an eyeshadow base, working a little bit like a primer. It gives the shadows a soft creamy product to cling to, makes the colours stand out more, and makes them last longer and smoother over the day as well. So, as an eyeliner and eyeshadow base this pencil works great, but whether this will be worth fifteen pound is more subjective – you could definitely get a cheaper cream pencil, but the So Susan brand also produces make up that is cruelty free, contains less know irritating ingredients, and things that are good for your skin too. I really like this pencil, and how well it works personally.


Our second make up item is the Jelly Pong Pong Fairy Lashes Curl mascara, measuring in at 8 ml and valued at £17.95. We’ve had this brand before too in the January 2015 box – it’s just a sister brand/off shoot brand to So Susan. This is a nice, straight forward, black mascara – it has an old style bristle brush mascara wand, and like the So Susan brand is cruelty free, and contains ingredients that are good for your skin. In this case, it claims that Moringa seed is naturally setting and holding the curl of your lashes as you use it, though the ingredients still list the usual wax and beeswax that set and waterproof most mascaras anyway. It is a nice, easy to use mascara, and the effect it gives is really very pretty – the lashes are still thin and natural looking, but a little darker, curlier, and more defined – it would be great for a very pretty ‘no make up make up’ look. Again the price will feel worth it depending on how much you value the ingredients and the cruelty free ethos – it is a nice mascara, but it’s also nearly 20 pound. But like the Haute Light pencil, I also really like it. At some point I really need to buy some more So Susan and Jelly Pong Pong.


Finally, our last item is a make up accessory. This is the Nicka K Airbrush FX Blending Sponge. This is a cute, pink, little, budget beauty sponge – it’s another repeat brand (from the July 2014 box, and the January 2015 box), and this time it’s American. This is the regular pink sponge they do, rather than their larger duo sponge, and it’s priced on their website at $5.99, which I’ve converted for the purposes of the final box value as £3.90 – though obviously exchange rates do vary. This is a pretty small sponge, suited for small areas like around the nose and the eyes, and will take longer to do a whole face than a more regular sized beauty sponge such as the Real Techniques or Beauty Blender. Like those, you’re directed to dampen the sponge, however for this sponge it didn’t really change the size, shape or feel of the sponge – and it is a pretty dense heavy feel. It’s a bit hard for repeatedly tapping on your face around your eyes at a reasonable pace, but at it’s size if you do slow and soft it’ll take a fair while to do everything. It’s so cheap that I probably will use it, but I wouldn’t rebuy this at all, the Real Techniques sponge is my go to make up sponge – it’s the perfect sponge at a reasonable price (unlike the Beauty Blender) and great results – so it’s seems crazy to buy anything else really.


So, that’s the box. We have five full size items, two skin care, two make up, and one accessory. It was a nice mix of items, new brands and repeat brands we know and love. It’s final box value was a crazy £81.79 – making this the highest value box I’ve ever had in the 17 months I’ve now had the subscriptions. These last few boxes have all been really high value, but as I’ve said whether this will feel worth it is more subjective – I know I personally don’t spend 30 pounds on a single moisturiser – but it is still nice to try a selection of interesting, nice things at a small monthly cost. You definitely get more than you pay. I don’t see how the values can keep going up and up after setting the bar so high, but as long as the box value is higher than the cost of the subscription that sounds good to me. Until Next Time.

GlossyBox September 2015 Review – The Style Edition

Our first autumnal box of the year is here, and it doesn’t disappoint. It’s a very high value box – the highest, in fact, that I’ve ever had over the 16 months I’ve now had a GlossyBox subscription. This box has a nice set of five full size items with some pampering products, an accessory, a brush, and some interesting new colours for our autumn make-up.


First off is the Bellapierre Shimmer Powder in the shade ‘Whesek’ – this is a cute, ‘loose foundation’ style container with small holes to tip and tap the product out of. It’s a shimmery silver with hints of greys, blues, and whites, and at 2.35 g in weight it’s valued at £12.99. We’ve had some Bellapierre before – in the form of a popping red lipstick, and a nifty multi use lip & cheek stain – and we’re getting what I’ve come to expect from the brand, a really nice, easy to use product with good colour pay off. You really only need a little to get a vibrant colour. Wear wise, since this is a loose powder it does have fallout i.e. the powder drops all over yoh face as you apply it, but it’s not the worse I’ve seen and you do pretty much expect it from this type of product. You can very easily apply it wet – either getting the product on the brush and then wetting the brush, or tipping some powder into the lid and spraying it in the lid, which is how I tend to prefer doing it if I can. Applying it wet removes the fallout problem entirely, and makes for a very different look. Either way it’s a really lovely eyeshadow/shimmer powder – more expensive for sure than a high street single eyeshadow, but it has a bold colour, it lasts well, and is pretty versatile.


Next up is the Marsk Eyeshadow Brush Pro. It’s a nice, pencil sized eye shadow brush, with a smooth, well made feel, and soft, dense, firm bristles in a packed together, rounded tip that’s great for carefully applying shadows, and can be used for blending – though other brushes are better for that job. Tip to end it measures about 14.5 cm, and the bristles measure about 1.5 cm long. It’s valued at £16.70. We’ve had some Marsk before – a nice single eyeshadow pot, similar to the shimmer powder above – and it’s a nice, premium brand. It’s probably not something I’d buy myself, but it’s solid brush that I will use.


The third item in our box, and this is the lovely pampering one – Maria Nila’s Luminous Colour Hair Masque. It’s another Swedish brand like we’ve seen featured in the last few month’s boxes, and it’s really neat to see these new brands and products in the box – they’re pretty exciting. So, this is a large twist lid tub with a plastic seal inside – full of genuinely lovely hair masque. You get 250 ml, which is a fair amount, and it feels heavy – it’s valued at £18.95, making it the highest value item in this box. It’s a really thick, cream consistency masque with a sweet smell which you’re directed to apply to towel dried hair for anything from three to ten minutes depending on how much pampering you need, after shampooing but before conditioning. And of course like most hair products you’re definitely recommended to use them with the rest in the series. It does really feel good, both as you’re using it, and after – my hair and scalp (’cause I can never be bothered with the whole ‘don’t get conditioning type stuff on the scalp thing’ – I just get it on and rub it through) feel nice and pampered, my scalp doesn’t feel dry, my hair feels really nice and soft. It is a bit of a pricier hair masque, but does seem to really work, so if you were looking for a bit of premium pampering I would recommend this – it’s pretty much my favourite item in this box (in close competition with the Nails Inc Polish), I have short enough hair that this large tub is going to last a good while, so I can see the long term effects, and probably talk about that in whatever empties it ends up in – but so far it’s been a much better experience than the August 2014’s Elasticizer – which wasn’t suitable at all for my fine hair.


Our accessory in this box is a set of Invisibobbles – these are described as traceless hair rings, which you can wear without damaging the hair, pulling at the scalp, or splitting ends but they still hold well. The traceless part I’m a bit confused by – I think it means you can wear it without it showing, but my hair is pretty much too small/too short/too fine to wear it like this, and I have to double wrap them anyway. It’s a shame I’ve gotten something that’s a bit unsuitable to use now that I’ve had all of my hair cut off, but I can see how it would work – it’s a squishy, flexible, telephone cord like material with no metals bits, or sharp, single edge to grip the hair – so these could be good to use if you have the hair for it. I can’t really tell you definitively since I can’t really use them but I will keep them to use when my hair grows out. You get three in a box, they seem pretty hard wearing, and are valued at £4.


Lastly, is the Nails Inc Nail Polish in the shade ‘Battersea Park’ – this month was a coin toss between getting this shade, a kind of grey/green Khaki, or a blush pink colour. I’m pretty glad I got the more interesting colour here, I have a lot of pink and red shade nail polishes already from GlossyBox so it is nice to get something more unusual and more seasonal – it’s a cool, bold, autumn colour. And again, it’s what you can expect from the trusted brand – it’s a rich colour that applies well, and dries fast, staying nice and shiny afterwards, and wearing well. You could get away with a single coat for day to day wear – since most people don’t really look that closely at nails – with the colour being so richly pigmented. With two coats you’re totes ‘Instagram close up of my nails’ ready. You get 10 ml, and it’s worth £11, both of which are the usual deal with Nails Inc – I really like the colour, and I’ve already worn it a few times so I’m pretty happy with this. I’d definitely consider buying it for reals.


So, that’s the whole box; five items with one brush, one eyeshadow, a hair masque, a set of hair bobbles, and a nail polish. In total the box was worth £63.64 – making this the highest value box ever, over taking October 2014 (so nearly a year’s previous) box value which was around £60. I really like this box, and all the stuff in it – though yeah, some of it is more useful than others – but it really is worth way more than the monthly cost of the subscription.


We also have a sneak peak for the October 2015 box, our second autumn box – and it’s full size day cream from a luxury French brand – I’m looking forward to this since our French box we had in July has some really lovely skincare things. Until Next Time.