GLOSSYBOX: October 2013 Review.

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Hey beauty bloggers! You didn’t think I’d forgotten about my GlossyBox, did you? In between all the gory, gruesomely good fun I was having last month, I was also taking the time to try out the five samples I received in October’s box- a collaboration with BYRDIE, whose site is a real treat and definitely worth a bookmark if you’re an avid lover, or even just a casual fan- of all things beauty & cosmetics. I’m loving their “Style Icon” slideshows and step-by-step hairstyle tutorials for different up-dos.

WHAT I RECEIVED:

Fresh Lotus Youth Preserve Face Cream

BVLGARI Eau Parfumée Au Thé Vert – Eau De Cologne Spray

SESHA ReNu Exfoliating Gel

Tarte “Lights, Camera, Flashes” Statement Mascara (*FULL SIZE*)

Balance Me “Shine On!” Tinted Lip Salve (*FULL SIZE*)

Product # 1: Fresh Lotus Youth Preserve Face Cream ($42)

Having briefly read about the “Super 7 Complex” in this daily moisturizer, meant to reduce and prevent signs of aging while boosting radiance and adding hydration to the skin, I was curious and applied it for a few days, day & night, to see if I noticed any difference on my skin. The moisturizer is lightweight, with a very, very faint, somewhat floral fragrance- that is in no way overpowering and doesn’t seem to cause any kind of reaction to the sensitive areas of my skin. It absorbs quickly without leaving a greasy residue or sheen on my face, and in terms of results- my skin was definitely hydrated, and after about two-three days, my complexion seemed to be a little brighter, too.

Would I Purchase?: Yes! I’m pretty set on my ways when it comes to facial creams and moisturizers, but I really liked this one and wouldn’t be opposed to purchasing a full size jar for the colder months to give my skin some extra moisture without making it look dull, or slick.

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Product # 2: BVLGARI Eau Parfumée Au Thé Vert – Eau De Cologne Spray ($85)

I feel like GlossyBox just really, really wants me to like BVLGARI products. I’ve received samples of a soap bar, a body wash, a bath soak, and now this perfume that arrived in a lovely little glass bottle. While the bath products themselves have been very nourishing and luxurious, I’ve almost always had a problem with the fragrance, which I’ve never quite taken to. Fortunately, this perfume was refreshingly light, and very clean smelling. I think it’d be more appropriate for a Summertime scent, but I enjoyed wearing it for the couple of days I tried it. My only problem is that it doesn’t last long at all. I had to re-apply a few times throughout the day since it faded so quickly.

Would I Purchase?: No. As much as I liked the scent, I was put off by it’s lack of staying-power. For $85, I would hope the fragrance would at least last for a considerable amount of time. This one just couldn’t cut it, though, which means I’ll probably stick to my usual Spring/Summer fragrances next year.

Product # 3: SESHA ReNu Exfoliating Gel ($42)

I had a mask similar to this gel peel years and years ago. You would apply and spread a thin layer all your face, wait a minute or two, and gently rub your skin in a circular motion with your fingertips. The mask would bead up, taking dead skin cells and pore-clogging gunk with it, and you’d simply rinse your face, gently pat it dry with a towel, and you were all set. I loved that mask, and was really eager to try this sample to see if it could achieve similar results.

Unfortunately, this gel didn’t exactly apply easily, spreading unevenly if at all, and rubbing it off was even worse. It stuck to certain areas of my face, making it painful to remove, even with water, and causing my skin to get a little red and irritated. The results weren’t even worth the aggravation, as I could get the same, and probably better exfoliated feeling with a regular apricot scrub.

Would I Purchase?: No. This product was just not for me at all. An anything-but-smooth application, a painful removal, and sub par results for something that is a little bit on the pricier side. I’ll stick to what works and what won’t break the bank.

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Product # 4: Tarte “Lights, Camera, Flashes” Statement Mascara ($23)

I’m pretty sure I say this with every Tarte product I receive, but their packaging is really unique. I didn’t think anything could top their wooden lipstick containers, and then I opened this gold snakeskin pouched mascara tube. “Lights, Camera, Flashes” was touted as being an extremely lengthening, volumizing, and intensely dark with it’s vitamin-infused formula and state of the art duel-molded brush that coats every lash. I’ve been wearing this mascara for about a week now, and while it’s definitely dark and it most certainly lengthens my lashes- giving them an almost soft, fluttery look, it leaves a lot to be desired in the volume department. I had to apply a few coats to thicken my lashes to get the desired look.

Would I Purchase?: Yes! I know I am typically the false-lashes-look lover, but there is something about the way this mascara brightens my eyes, gives my lashes sky-high length and curl, and stays in place all day without smudging or flaking that has just completely won me over. I think this is my new go-to for my eye makeup for work, since it’s definitely noticeable but in no way too dramatic looking.

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Product # 5: Balance Me “Shine On!” Tinted Lip Salve ($16.50)

When I first picked up this deep brown tinted lip gloss, I was a little concerned because it looked like there was a good amount missing from the tube, as if it had already been used, but upon closer inspection, it seemed that nothing had been tampered with and the unusual amount of unfilled space in the tube was just how the product comes, which was the first of many let-downs when it came to this salve. The second was the smell. This gloss smelled really weird as I applied it, like Balance Me had tried to go for some sort of cinnamon/mint combo but fell short. It was nauseating, really. My third gripe with this product was how slick it made my lips, and not in a hydrating way. It felt as if I’d applied some sort of oil on my mouth, and rather than moisturize, it just made them really slippery and uncomfortable.

Lastly, while the color looks dark in the tube, it applied as a sheer nude- but it only lasted about ten minutes, tops, before it faded completely (probably because of how oily this formula is.) I ended up just putting the tube back in the box and grabbing one of my hydrating lipsticks, instead.

Would I Purchase?: No. This balm was just bad all the way around. The packaging, which I felt was a ripoff for the price, the scent, the feel, the longevity. I’d steer clear from this salve.

No offense to BYRDIE, but while I usually love the collaboration boxes that GlossyBox does from time to time- this one was sort of a let-down. I did enjoy two of the products I received (the face cream and the mascara,) nothing else in the box really jumped out at me. The perfume didn’t last long enough, the exfoliating gel was harsh on my skin, and the lip salve was disappointing, to say the least. I’m hoping my next GlossyBox is more of an upgrade.

In other news, I decided to bite the bullet and participate in NaNoWriMo this month, beginning my attempt last Friday, and while I’m beyond behind in my word count so far (50,000 words is A LOT harder to write than you’d think), I’m hoping to pick up the slack over the next couple of days with the chapters, dialogue, twists, turns- and a whole lot of editing- that I have swirling in my head.

You can track my progress HERE while I try to complete my book, “The Pursuit of a Purpose,” before the end of the month.

Wish me luck!

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