Where this past December’s Ipsy Bag fell flat for me, capping off an otherwise impressive year with a disappointing holiday bag- GlossyBox went above and beyond for their last assortment of samples for 2014. From four of the five products I received being full-sized, to the variety of what was included, all the way to their lovely and festive packaging (which I will most certainly keep and use for storage or shipping in the future-) I was blown away by the quality and generosity from the subscription service last month, and I hope to see more of it as I begin my third year as a subscriber.
Of course, I have to determine whether or not I enjoyed and/or saw results with what I received in December’s box (enough to re-purchase them in the future, anyway,) so without further delay!
What I Received:
Nuxe Masque Crème Fraîche de Beauté (*Full Size!*)
Bellápierre Cosmetics Mineral Lipstick in “Burlesque” (*Full Size!*)
Ciaté London Mini Paint Pot in “Humbug”
Rituals Cosmetics Miracle Scrub in Ginseng & Ginkgo Biloba (*Full Size!*)
TONI&GUY Hair Meet Wardrobe Leave In Conditioner (*Full Size!*)
Whenever I hear the words “Crème Fraîche,” I always think of the ‘South Park’ episode where Randy is obsessed with The Food Network and cooking elaborate meals. I digress, the colder temperatures and fighting off a nasty little cold has taken a toll on my skin in recent weeks and I decided to treat my face to this mask, which is supposed to be ultra-hydrating and nurturing to skin in distress. The first thing I noticed was that the mask, thin in texture, smelled like plants (and given that many of the ingredients are derived from plants and blossoms, it’s not surprising,) and spread evenly and easily. Once applied, I left the product- which felt more like a moisturizer than an actual replenishing mask- on my face for the instructed time before massaging the rest into my skin.
My skin did feel somewhat better after I used this mask, although it left my face looking a little shiny (which was resolved with powder when I applied my makeup later on,) but the feeling didn’t last for as long as advertised (24 hours.) It wasn’t an awful product by any means, but I wasn’t exactly blown away by it.
Would I Purchase?: Maybe. I think if I re-purchased this product in the future, I’d use it as a moisturizer (and probably over my oil-free one to give my skin an extra boost of hydration,) but as a replenishing mask- it fell a little flat. I think if it had fully repaired my dry skin and lasted longer, I’d be sold on it for sure- because the consistency is nice and it’s convenient enough to use regularly.
In April of 2014, I had received a Bellápierre Cosmetics lip gloss in my GlossyBox that I had been on the fence about. I had loved the texture, the color, the finish- and even the fragrance- but it’s lack of longevity had been a bit of a deal breaker. When I saw this bright, berry lipstick in December’s box- I had been prepared to have the same reaction. Fortunately, this highly pigmented and creamy formula not only went on smoothly, but it stayed in place for much, much longer than the aforementioned gloss without drying my lips out. The color was beautiful and bold- and is perfect for this time of year when I’m wearing darker shades in my wardrobe and on my eyes!
Would I Purchase?: Yes! I’m so glad Bellápierre has seemingly corrected it’s staying power with their lip products, because the quality of their merchandise is otherwise fantastic. I’d definitely re-purchase “Burlesque” again in the future, as well as some of the other available shades, too (especially “Mandarina” and “LA Diva.”)
For New Year’s Eve, I traded in a sparkly (and itchy) dress or top in lieu of a backless, little black dress I’ve had since my teens, but hadn’t worn for a long time. Of course, SOME sparkle is required for such an evening- be it in the form of accessories or makeup. I opted for sparkly nails, however- and this mini paint pot from Ciaté arrived just in time. The perfect mix of black glitter and small, silver sequins- the formula of this polish was a little gloopy, and it took three coats to get the finish pictured above.
As far as staying power- it didn’t take long for the polish, rough to the touch even with a top coat- to snag on random surfaces and fabrics and flake off in certain areas- although it wasn’t as noticeable as when solid color polishes begin to chip and peel. It got me through New Year’s Eve, New Year’s Day- and barely a day or two after that before I had to scrape it off.
Would I Purchase?: No. Even though I liked the concept of this polish, it was a hassle to apply, had an uncomfortably scratchy finish, and didn’t last as long as I would have hoped. Next time, I’ll stick to a metallic finish without all the glitter and sequins- and go back to wearing itchy dresses again- instead.
Every weekend, I like to take a half hour or so to go to my local nail salon and get a manicure. I’m rubbish with applying polish evenly, and keeping my cuticles maintained is a whole other nightmare in itself. My manicurist is quick, diligent, and very talented when I feel like trying a design or otherwise attempting something different- and I look forward to catching up with her about her week while we sit across from each other.
Sometimes, though, I can’t always make it to the salon (such is the case this week,) and I have to take matters into my own hands (pun intended) to get my palms and digits ready for the work week. One of the most relaxing stages of my manicure is the exfoliating scrub, which buffs away the dry skin and leaves my hands super soft. This scrub- designed specifically for the hands- does just that. Lightly fragranced, this product is applied to dry hands and vigorously rubbed in for a minute or so before it’s rinsed off. Afterwards, my hands were left so, so soft and supple. They felt amazing.
Would I Purchase?: Yes! I loved this scrub- which would be perfect for a weekly treatment in between manicures. I plan on re-purchasing this when I run out, and may even bring it into the salon to show my manicurist. It’s a great product!
One of the good things about my hair type is that leave in conditioners work well as both a repairing treatment and as a styling product- since they rarely make my hair look and/or feel oily or greasy. My curls are left healthy and full of volume- so adding extra products afterwards isn’t always necessary. Such was the case with this lightweight leave-in from TONI&GUY. With a mild fragrance that didn’t overpower me, I’ve been combing this product through my hair after showering and letting it air dry. The result is frizz-free, shiny, bouncy curls that aren’t stiff or crunchy to the touch and feel hydrated until my next wash. I’m impressed!
Would I Purchase?: Yes! I’m a big fan of this conditioner. It kept my hair soft, manageable, and moisturized- and with a $14.99 price tag- you can’t really go wrong since a little goes a long way. I’ll definitely be stocking up on more of this product down the line.
With three products I loved, one I wasn’t a fan of, and one I’m still on the fence about- December’s GlossyBox was an impressive collection of value and variety. I loved that so many of the products were full-sized, covered the spectrum of hair care, skin care, makeup, and nails- and came in such creative, cute packaging. I look forward to seeing what the subscription service has in store for this coming year!