GLOSSYBOX: September 2015 Review.

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When it comes to subscription services- my favorite ones to receive typically arrive during my favorite time of year (spoiler alert: Autumn.) Of course, September is sort of that ‘still-kind-of-Summer-but-still-Fall-esque’ month where you have to bundle up in a sweater in the morning but are left sweating your butt off by 2 p.m. because it’s so hot out, so I never really know what to expect from beauty box companies like GlossyBox.

Thankfully, GlossyBox took a neutral approach with their assortment of items in September’s box to help those of us who can’t quite commit to one particular seasonal look just yet until the temperatures turn and stay consistent. With hair care, skin care, two rosy hues for the cheeks and nails, and one bold lip color for the daring- I was pleased with the variety of products (three being full-sized!) and couldn’t wait to try them.

WHAT I RECEIVED:

STIKS Cosmetiks Lipstik in “Red Lipstik” (*Full Size!*)

Biossance “The Revitalizer” Skin Serum

Emité Makeup Artist Colour Powder Blush in Shade 108 (*Full Size!*)

12 Benefits “Love At First Lather” Foaming Hair Shampoo

Nails, Inc. Uptown Nail Polish (*Full Size!*)

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Product # 1: STIKS Cosmetiks Lipstik in “Red Lipstik” ($15)

In a box where the makeup selections were comprised of mostly neutral-tones, this fire engine red lipstick in sleek packaging really stood out from the bunch. As an avid lover and longtime supporter of a good, dramatic red lip- this was the product I absolutely HAD to try first.

STIKS Cosmetiks is designed for the woman on-the-go- and per the informative card I received in this month’s GlossyBox- this particular lipstick is advertised as being able to be applied effortlessly in just a matter of seconds. You flip the clear hinged cap open, click the lipstick up, apply, flip it closed- and you’re on your way. I tested this claim more than once- and each time it took a little longer than a few seconds to get my lips looking just right. The angled tip of the lipstick makes an even application a little difficult and awkward at times, but the formula is creamy and non-drying once it’s on- and it stays in place all day. I’ve made it through my morning coffees, lunches, late-afternoon snacks and chai lattes before the color begins to fade. I’m impressed!

Would I Purchase?: Yes! I’d definitely re-purchase this red shade once I run out, and I’d love to try the other colors that are available at STIKS’ website, too. I love the feel of this lipstick, it’s pigmentation, and it’s longevity. Although the application process is a little tricky- this product is a fantastic find and worth the extra effort it takes to get it on evenly.

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Product # 2: Biossance “The Revitalizer” Skin Serum ($58)

I have sensitive skin, so putting any kind of oil on it (except for tea tree oil when I get the occasional breakout) always makes me a bit nervous. I don’t want to exacerbate blemishes or cause any kind of horrible reaction on my skin- so I do my best to proceed with caution with samples or new products. That was the case with these drops, made out of 100% squalane (which the body produces naturally, but also tends to wear down over time,) this fragrance-free hydrator can be applied to the skin, cuticles, hair, etc.

I started with my nails just to test this product- and I liked the way the drops softened and conditioned the delicate skin around my cuticles. From there, I used these drops to tame flyaways when styling my hair- and was relieved there was no weird reaction on my scalp or hairline. Finally, I worked up the nerve to gently sweep 2-3 of these drops over my face with a cotton ball. It took a while for them to absorb, but once they did- my skin looked brighter and felt considerably softer to the touch. I didn’t notice any breakouts or bumps- so I’ve continued using this product nightly after removing my makeup and cleansing my face to keep my skin glowing (the drops can be used in the morning, as well- but I don’t like applying makeup over something like this.) It’s been a few days and I’m really liking the results so far!

Would I Purchase?: Yes! $58 might seem a little steep for something as simple as versatile drops for your skin/hair, I know- but a little goes a long way and the results are noticeable almost instantly. I think this decently sized sample will more than likely last me a while- but I’d definitely pick up a full-sized one when I run out to keep my hair and face soft and conditioned.

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Product # 3: Emité Makeup Artist Colour Powder Blush in Shade 108 ($22)

It’s that time of year again where I trade in my bronzer and peach/golden-hued Summertime blushes for more rosy and brown/neutral shades for my cheeks. I thought this deep pink blush from Emité seemed perfect in it’s packaging, and I couldn’t wait to see how it looked once I’d applied it.

Be warned, however- this powder blush is VERY pigmented- so even the lightest amount on the tip of your brush bristles will apply heavily. I was a bit horrified at first, but once I’d gradually blended the blush until it looked as natural as I could get it- I was quite smitten with the shade. I thought it complimented my skin tone and gave me a nice, warm pop of color that I’ll definitely need in the coming months.

Would I Purchase?: Maybe. This color is beautiful for sure once it’s blended, but I’m still not over the initial shock I get when I first try to apply this blush. It’s so dark and so heavy- and some mornings I just don’t have the time (or the patience) to keep working with it until it looks less garish. That said, I think I may consider this formula in the future- but possibly in a slightly lighter shade to make applying it a little easier.

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Product # 4: 12 Benefits “Love At First Lather” Foaming Hair Shampoo ($7.99 – $24)

I am so unbelievably picky about the type of shampoo I use. I know, and I’m sorry- but I have very curly and color-treated red hair- which is the hardest to maintain and care for. For that reason, I have to be careful about what I use when cleansing and styling it. Too many chemicals can turn my hair brassy or worse- flat-out orange, and not enough conditioning benefits can make my curls frizzy and unmanageable. It’s a tricky line to follow to get the best results possible without having to purchase a dozen products.

I had received a leave-in conditioning treatment from 12 Benefits in another GlossyBox some time ago that I had liked very much, so I didn’t think twice about giving this foaming shampoo from them a try since it’s free of many harmful and color-fading chemicals. The shampoo doesn’t require a vigorous amount of lathering since it comes out of the bottle already foamed up- which blew my mind a little bit- and working it through my hair wasn’t an issue. The problem was that while my hair did feel very hydrated and soft after I rinsed it out- my scalp didn’t necessarily feel clean (if that makes sense.) I even repeated the process, concentrating specifically on my roots while I worked the foam through- but it yielded the same results. My scalp felt sort of slick after the fact- even more-so when I followed up with my repairing mask treatment. I’m not sure how to feel about that.

Would I Purchase?: Maybe. I think this shampoo is pretty innovative and would probably be a great alternative to use in the harsher winters when applied near the dryer sections of my hair like the ends since it’s intensely moisturizing- but when I’m looking for something that will actually clean my hair thoroughly from root to tip- I think I’m going to have to stick with what I’m currently using. Even if I’ll have to get it to lather up on my own.

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Product # 5: Nails, Inc. Uptown Nail Polish ($15)

After a Summer of wearing lots of florescent pinks, purples, corals, blues and mint greens on my fingertips- this toasted rose nail polish from Nails, Inc. was a welcomed surprise that I felt would be the perfect and subtle transitional color from Summer to Fall. The neat thing about this particular polish, however- is that it has the same shiny finish and longevity as gel formulas- but with no harmful UV light required! Nails, Inc. has also infused the lacquers in their gel line with nail-strengthening and cuticle conditioning ingredients- making this a hassle-free and easy manicure that’s actually good for your digits.

The photo above was taken after an application of two coats of “Uptown” and a clear top coat. It’s been days, and the polish hasn’t chipped, peeled, or gotten discolored in any way. I’m a big fan of this formula- which surpasses other and similar polishes that I’ve tried that were also inspired by gel-manicures.

Would I Purchase?: Yes! Not only would I re-purchase the ‘Uptown’ shade again, but I’m already eyeing some of the other available colors in this collection. This polish was easy to apply, rich in color, and has impressive staying power. I love it!

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September’s GlossyBox also came with a 20% off coupon that can be used at BAUBLEBAR (I’ve blocked out my unique code for obvious reasons) which I thought was a nice addition. I’m currently in the process of re-vamping my jewelry collection, so this will come in handy when I’m ready to pick up a couple of new pieces!

Overall, I really enjoyed September’s GlossyBox. There was not one item that I disliked (two of them I am on the fence about, but that doesn’t necessarily mean I hated them!) and the size and value of each item included was really impressive. I’ll be getting a lot of use out of the nail polish, skin oil, and lipstick- and I’m hoping October’s box is just as good!

xx

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