I’ve been a little lax with my subscription box reviews this month, and with posting in general. I’ve been putting in some overtime at work before everyone in my office takes some vacation time, helping a couple of people close to me move into a new home, and preparing plans for the coming weeks that will see me spending some time out of town. I also recently came back from a Tour de Force around NYC that has left me recovering from a touch of fatigue (I’ll be sharing that story and the photos that accompany it soon!)
I most certainly have received my usual assortment of monthly beauty products and geeky goodies- and I’ll be reviewing them in the order in which they arrived- starting with June’s GlossyBox! May’s box, which garnered a mostly positive review, had consisted of a nice arrangement of makeup, skin care, hair care, and nail polish- and June’s box was very similar to that. There was a nice mix of different things to try and the items that weren’t full-sized were still deluxe samples- so right off the bat I was pretty pleased!
What I Received:
Too Faced Cosmetics “Better Than Sex” Mascara
être belle Cosmetics Aloe Vera Ultra Moisturizing Gel (*Full Size!*)
NEXXUS New York Color Assure Restoring Conditioner
City Cosmetics City Lips Gloss – Clear Formula (*Full Size!*)
ORLY Nail Lacquer in “Red Flare”
I’ve actually purchased “Better Than Sex” mascara in the past, and I’ve loved it- so receiving a travel sized tube in June’s GlossyBox was a treat (I’ve already stored it in my overnight bag for the next time I hit the road for a weekend.) This formula makes my lashes look longer, darker, fuller and more dramatic overall with just a couple of swipes of the hourglass shaped wand- and it doesn’t flake, clump, or smudge all day long.
The only downside I’ve encountered with the full-sized tube I owned was that the handle/wand somehow broke- coming loose and making it impossible to get excess mascara off of the brush. That was a bit upsetting, especially considering the product is $23 a pop- but other than that- I really like this mascara and I recommend it for those who love a good dramatic eyelash look without having to apply falsies.
Would I Purchase?: Yes! I don’t think I’d be opposed to re-purchasing another full-sized tube of “Better Than Sex” (I love the name, by the way,) although I plan on using up this travel-sized one first just to see if I have a similar issue with the handle. If I don’t, then I’ll know it was just bad luck with my first tube- but if this handle comes loose, too- then Too Faced seriously needs to fix their packaging. We’ll see how it goes.
When I was little and took dance classes, aloe vera gel became a lifesaver to my dance troupe and I- especially around recital and competition season. My teacher at the time- bless her heart- seemed to have a penchant for putting us in the scratchiest, most uncomfortable sequined and glitter-covered costumes imaginable. By the end of the day- our skin would be red, raw, sore and splotchy (and our faces wouldn’t look much better, since we’d be crying a lot because of it.) After years of suffering this same fate over and over- our moms FINALLY began bringing aloe vera gel to every class, every rehearsal, and every competition leading up to the final recital in the Summer. Before and after each performance, we’d line up and get some of the cooling gel rubbed onto our skin to soothe us and keep us from itching.
Since then, I’ve rarely used aloe vera gel (maybe because it gives me flashbacks to those agonizing days?) only rubbing some on after I’ve been out in the sun for a while to keep my face from looking and feeling dry- but I liked the way this product smelled (very clean and refreshing,) and felt compelled to use it on my face and neck for a few days just to try it out. Sure enough, my skin felt softer and looked more supple almost instantaneously. Even with makeup applied over it- my complexion stayed bright and youthful- and my skin felt tight but hydrated all day.
Would I Purchase?: Yes! I think I’m finally over my trauma of past uses of aloe vera gel, and it’s all thanks to this product. This is a great moisturizer to keep on hand when you need a boost of hydration (especially in the Summer months when the sun is beating down) or just some fast relief when your skin gets dry or irritated. I also think that every little girl currently suffering through dance recitals in uncomfortable costumes would love this- so take notice, parents out there reading this post!
I haven’t used NEXXUS shampoo or conditioner in a long time- not since my platinum blonde days, anyway- when my stylist at the time swore by them and convinced me to purchase full-sized bottles of their shampoo and conditioner set. After repeated usage, I came to the conclusion that the shampoo dried out my already-damaged hair a bit too much and that the conditioner was overpriced considering how much of it I’d use to hydrate and untangle my thick, unruly curls. I’ve steered clear since then. I always see their products at the pharmacy or at the grocery store- but I tend to skip right over them and go straight for my usual hair care arsenal that hasn’t failed me over the years.
I was surprised to see such a large sized bottle of their “Color Assure” conditioner in June’s GlossyBox, and having recently touched up the red in my hair- I figured what better time to see if this product worked better for me than the NEXXUS conditioner I’d tried in the past?
This product smelled pretty strong, and I wasn’t a fan of how overpowering it was as I worked it through my hair- but thankfully the fragrance didn’t linger for too long once I’d combed it through (with difficulty) and rinsed it out. The other downfall to this conditioner was that it didn’t really soften my hair. I still had a hard time working my comb through my curls while it was wet and my fingers through as it dried.
The perks of the “Color Assure” conditioner was that it didn’t weigh my hair down or make it feel greasy- and my color hasn’t faded since I’ve been using it- which is nice to know when I’m going over products that are safe for my hair and won’t make my red run orange.
Would I Purchase?: No. Like my first try with NEXXUS, I just wasn’t really impressed with this product. It wasn’t the worst thing I’ve ever used in my hair by any means, but it just didn’t give me the softness and manageability I would expect from something that costs close to $20 per bottle. I like that it didn’t fade my color (seriously- I’m always so happy when I find something that doesn’t!) but I can achieve similar, if not better results with what I use on a regular basis for a fraction of the price.
There was a time- long before I settled on the good ‘ol lip liner and gloss method- where I was on the prowl for a certified “miracle in a tube” lip gloss that would give me fuller, almost cartoon-like lips in one quick, easy step. I’m not stranger to “Lip Venom” or any of it’s competitors/imitators- and I’ve toughed it through enough of the warming, tingling sensations the ingredients in plumping formulas provide, so I had no problem giving City Cosmetics’ clear formula a shot.
First, the good: the formula didn’t burn, and it also didn’t feel sticky or tacky on my lips. Because this particular color was clear, it was hard to really get an idea of it’s longevity, but I felt the gloss on my lips for quite some time after I’d first applied it- even after eating and drinking- so I think it’s safe to assume that it stays in place.
BUT (here comes the bad,) this gloss didn’t plump my lips. At all. Not even a little. You can see no difference whatsoever in the above comparative photos I took- or at least I can’t. I essentially applied clear gloss and that was it. For $35 dollars for a relatively small tube, I expected SOMETHING noticeable.
Would I Purchase?: No. This product was a let-down. While I appreciate a non-sticky gloss as much as the next person, that alone is not enough to convince me to throw away money for another tube of this. There were no results. My lips didn’t look any plumper- and I could achieve the same look and feel this gloss gave me with a significantly less expensive balm, instead.
First, I must apologize for the state of my nails. I’m long overdue for a proper manicure and my last attempt at a DIY-job left them little more short and rounded than what I’m used to. I wanted desperately to show off this lovely shade I received in June’s GlossyBox, however- and snapped a quick photo of the color in natural lighting. Although “Red Flare” looks like a bright cherry tone, there’s a bit of purple in there too, which may be hard to notice at first glance. I’m really liking this formula so far, which has been pretty resilient. There hasn’t been any chipping or peeling or anything in the days since I’ve applied it- which is always a good thing if you don’t like doing or can’t find the time to retouch your nails every other day (which I absolutely don’t/can’t.)
Would I Purchase?: Yes! I don’t know if I’d re-purchase “Red Flare” again, not because I don’t think it’s lovely but because I already own a lot of red shades- but I’d love to try some of the different colors ORLY has available. It applies smoothly, dries quickly, and stays on strong- and for $8.50 a bottle- you can’t really go wrong!
With three out of five products being very much to my liking, June’s box- like May’s- wasn’t half bad. As noted above, the assortment of items was good and the sizes of the samples were even better. While I wasn’t a fan of the conditioner or the lip gloss- the other products I received made up for it.
I’m looking forward to seeing what GlossyBox has in store for July. I’m hoping it’s another themed box to commemorate Independence Day!