GLOSSYBOX: April 2015 Review.

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I think someone at GlossyBox found and read my semi-scathing review of March’s assortment of items- not only because what I received this month was infinitely better in quality, but because my April box arrived WAY ahead of schedule- reaching my door before this month’s Ipsy Bag and Loot Crate even shipped! If that weren’t enough to surprise me, the box itself was really neat looking- featuring a funky, Pop Art styled blonde applying makeup on the top. I loved it- especially because the boxes come in handy when I’m gifting things throughout the year.

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Also included in April’s bag was a neat little makeup pouch with a bedazzled lip print in the same Pop Art-ish style, I was already impressed with how different April’s box was shaping up to be- and that was before I even saw the actual products and samples that were inside!

What I Received:

Julep Gel Eye Glider in “Smoky Taupe Shimmer” (*Full Size!*)

Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics Stained Gloss in “Meta” (*Full Size!*)

Estee Lauder Enlighten Dark Spot Correcting Night Serum

Aerin Waterlily Sun Perfume

Marrakesh Endz Split End Mender & Preventer

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Product # 1: Julep Gel Eye Glider in “Smoky Taupe Shimmer” ($16)

Whenever I write about pencil or liquid liners, I almost always end up comparing them to my favorite liner type- gels. I love the easy, painless, and mess-free application that comes with gel liners. I love how pigmented most versions are. More than anything- I love their longevity. I rarely have to worry about gel eyeliners smudging, fading, or flaking- which is exactly what I need and what I’m looking for since I rarely have time during the day for touch-ups. My only (very minor) problem with gel liners is that carrying around a brush and a pot of the product can be a little inconvenient- especially when I’m traveling since I tend to forget one or the other or they get mixed around and misplaced in my makeup bag. Thankfully, Julep have come to my rescue with this one-step pencil version of the gel liner.

I fully admit I was skeptical at first prior to trying this product, but the second I felt and saw how smoothly the pencil glided across my lids without any nicking or pulling, saw the beautiful charcoal color as I swept it upwards to give myself a nice and even cat eye- and then watched as the liner did not budge in the slightest throughout the day- I was thrilled. Julep completely won be over with this!

Would I Purchase?: Yes! This product combined the best of both worlds for me- all the aforementioned perks of a gel liner, but with the convenience of an easy-to-store and sharpen pencil. I loved the color of “Smoky Taupe Shimmer,” and will definitely re-purchase again once I’ve run out- but I’d love to try some of the other available shades, too!

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Product # 2: Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics Stained Gloss in “Meta” ($18)

The last OCC lip product I tried was a deep crimson and matte-finish Lip Tar that I had liked very much despite how drying the formula felt without the aid of a balm or gloss under/over the product. When I received a similar shaped tube in this month’s GlossyBox, this time filled with a bright pink/coral color- and saw that it was a gloss instead of a matte finish- I was intrigued and hopeful. Unless there’s a serious screw-up with the ingredients somewhere- glosses don’t usually dry my lips out.

Like the Lip Tar, this gloss was highly pigmented and lasted a very long time without bleeding towards the outer edges of my lips or flaking off. A little of this product went a long way, and it looked very bold and vivid once I’d applied enough to my liking. It took a few seconds to adjust to the shade at first, but once I did- I loved it. It’s very Summer-appropriate. When the color did begin to fade after a few hours, it left behind a nice and even-looking stain on my lips- which meant I didn’t have to make a mad dash to the closest mirror to re-apply. .

Unlike the Lip Tar, this product had a shiny finish and wasn’t drying at all. My lips felt comfortable the entire time I had this gloss on- and even long after it had finally come off entirely near the end of the day. I think I’ve found a winner!

Would I Purchase?: Yes! I was so pleased with this gloss for having all the components I loved about the Lip Tar I had previously received, and for also being better formulated to get rid of the drying effect. This is a great, vibrant color that I can and will be wearing for the remainder of the Spring and Summer to give my otherwise natural makeup look a nice and fresh pop of glossy, pigmented color.

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Product # 3: Estee Lauder Enlighten Dark Spot Correcting Night Serum ($62 – $92)

A long, long time ago- in a faraway place that feels like a lifetime away- I worked as a Clinique Consultant within a department store. Across from my work space was Estee Lauder, Clinique’s parent company- as well as a couple of friends who worked as representatives for the brand. During slow days and nights where I would work ’til close, I’d often find myself over at their counter, perusing their makeup and skincare. Being in my late teens/very early twenties at the time, I liked the packaging of Lauder’s products- but I mistakenly thought their skin care was for more “mature” skin (i.e. women in their forties/fifties and up,) and at the time- their pricing was well beyond my available budget. When purchasing Lauder, usually to assist my friends with annual “Gift With Purchase” events- I stuck to lip glosses and bronzers- and that was about it.

Now that I’m a bit older and (a little) wiser- I’m comfortable with experimenting with different brands and products that are outside of my comfort zone or what I’m typically used to. I received this travel-sized jar of Estee Lauder’s “Enlighten” serum and, forgetting my previously mentioned “mature skin” way of thinking- gave it a try. While the box and jar said this is a nighttime serum, I read in the pamphlet included in my April GlossyBox that this product can be used during the day as well before moisturizer and SPF. As is the case with most serums, I only needed a small amount to cover my face- which meant I was able to try this sample for quite a while before I began to run out.

The serum itself is lightweight and absorbs quickly without leaving behind a residue or a shine on my skin. It’s fragranced- which had me a little worried since my skin can be sensitive to perfumes- but thankfully this product didn’t cause any sort of painful reaction. In fact, after a few days of night and day use- my face was GLOWING. I couldn’t believe how clear and even my complexion looked and how soft and smooth my skin felt. It was unreal and had me kicking myself for not trying this product sooner.

Would I Purchase?: Yes! Okay, so the price point- even now that I’m more financially responsible- is a little staggering, I know- but this serum is incredible. It has been working wonders on my skin and I haven’t even had to use a lot to achieve such amazing results. I would, and will- happily splurge on a full-size bottle of this, sooner rather than later. My skin feels healthy and soft, and it looks so much brighter!

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Product # 4: Aerin Waterlily Sun Perfume ($110)

My best friend Sean and I spend a considerable amount of time in NYC- specifically at the McKittrick Hotel, home of “Sleep No More,” where we attend dinners, parties, special events, etc. The place has such a unique vibe, including the way it smells. There’s a certain fragrance in the air whenever Sean and I don our “Sleep No More” masks and step into the performance area. It’s this sort of earthy, musky scent that wafts throughout the rooms as we wander. It’s not awful, but it’s definitely distinctive- and not necessarily something I would want to smell like on an average day at my office, for example…

… It’s also very, very close to how this perfume from Aerin smells. A long-lasting combination of florals and musk, the first thing I thought of when I first spritzed some of this perfume on was the McKittrick. Like I said, it’s not terrible- but I don’t think it’s something I could see myself wearing on a regular basis. Also, $110 a bottle? Yikes.

Would I Purchase?: No. By all means, if earthy musks are your thing- you’d probably enjoy this perfume very much. It’s powerful and stays on for a long time- but I’m a fan of lighter, more floral fragrances. This one was just a little too heavy for me.

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Product # 5: Marrakesh Endz Split End Mender & Preventer ($5.99 – $17.99)

Having recently touched up my red highlights and using heat on my hair to temporarily straighten my curls for a couple of days- my hair was in need of some TLC to repair any damage sustained in the process. I figured there was no better time to run some of this lightweight cream through the ends of my hair and see if it could do the trick. First things first- like the bottle says- there’s hemp oil in this product. Your hair WILL smell like it all day unless you use additional styling products to mask it. I personally like the fragrance- and have been using this cream all by itself. It makes my hair soft, manageable, and even a little glossy looking as it fights frizz and flyaway strands- NOT greasy. Also, the price point is reasonable considering the quality!

Would I Purchase?: Yes! This is one of those fantastic products I never would have known existed if not for GlossyBox. I love the results I’ve been seeing with this cream, the ease of how it’s applied, and sure- the scent. It’s just an overall great addition to my hair care regimen and I plan on ordering a full-sized bottle once I’ve run out of this sample.

Wow, GlossyBox. You really went above and beyond with this month’s assortment of products and samples. With the exception of the perfume, which just wasn’t really my sort of scent- this box was incredible. From the cool design, to the bonus makeup pouch, to the timely shipping- and of course- the great products that were included: I was thrilled. This more than made up for March’s lackluster box, and I’m excited to see what’s in store for May!

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