As much as I enjoyed last week’s vacation, and have no regrets whatsoever with the time I took off (except for maybe that one night in California where I thought eating half my weight in Mexican food was a brilliant idea)– it did create a teeny, tiny bit of a problem in regards to my subscription services. To be more specific- they all arrived at the same time while I was away- which made going through them and giving what I received a thorough and proper review upon my return quite a project in itself!
I decided to start with October’s “Viva La France” GlossyBox, an assortment of items inspired by the top products found in French pharmacies that came packaged in the cutest box imaginable- covered with drawings by illustrator Jamie Lee Reardin. Now, being from a spectacularly French family, myself- I was eager to dive into everything right away since it all looked just SO nice (and three of the products were full-sized!) but I had to pace myself so this post wouldn’t be a mishmash of exclamation points and all capital letters.
But I mean- the box is SO CUTE, RIGHT?!
What I Received:
NUXE Gentle Exfoliating Gel with Rose Petals (*Full Size!*)
PHYTO Huile Soyeuse- Lightweight Hydrating Oil
De Bruyère ‘Paris Red’ Lip Gloss (*Full Size!*)
LOLLIPOPS Paris Nail Polish in ‘Voyage à Paris’ (*Full Size!*)
Carven Parfums – Carven Le Parfum
I’m always thrilled whenever I receive any type of exfoliating product in a subscription service- but especially during and/or after traveling- where my skin takes a beating in changing climates and conditions. This gentle, lightly-floral scented, coffee-colored facial scrub definitely came in handy while my pores were attempting to rebound after facing in-flight cabin pressure, Vegas-induced heat, San Diego sunshine, and finally bitter cold New England air upon my return home. My skin was dry, flaky, and bumpy in some areas- like it couldn’t quite figure out what to do or how to recover.
This scrub helped even out my skin’s overall texture and sloughed away dry patches and would-be blemishes without further drying out my skin or causing any kind of awful reaction. My face felt softer, smoother, and looked considerably brighter after each use. If I had to nit-pick (and I do sometimes), I would say the only frustrating thing about this product is the cap- which clicks into place a little too tightly and requires a good amount of pressure to re-open again for each use. I know it sounds silly, and not-at-all-important, but try doing it in the shower when your hands are wet. It’s a feat in itself!
Would I Purchase?: Yes! This scrub is such a nice (and kinder) alternative to harsh apricot scrubs that can cause more damage to the skin or not-strong-enough gentle exfoliants/cleansers that don’t quite clean out pores as much as I’d like. It’s a little on the pricier side, sure- but you only have to use a small amount of this scrub once or twice a week- so buying in bulk isn’t necessary. One tube of this stuff should last you for a while- and it really does give great results!
Like exfoliating products- another post-travel pick-me-up lifesaver that I always appreciate are leave-in conditioners for my hair- which also takes it’s fair share of abuse while I’m away from home. With naturally curly (but color treated) locks, I have to give my hair and scalp some TLC now and then to keep it from looking dry and damaged- but especially after I get back from a cross-country trip.
I liked the consistency of this oil (in a convenient spray pump), which absorbed quickly into my curls and didn’t leave my hair looking or feeling greasy- however I didn’t notice much of a difference in my hair’s overall softness or texture after each use. My strands still looked- and felt- a little on the dry side- and a second product (a hydrating styling cream) was added after and alongside this oil to make my hair look and feel a little more conditioned and glossy. I’m used to using more than one product when styling my hair in the morning anyway, but for a $40 price tag- I was hoping that this oil would give me significantly noticeable results all on it’s own.
Would I Purchase?: No. I think I’ll be sticking with my current collection of tried and true leave-in conditioning sprays and styling creams for the time being. This product- which may be helpful to others with different hair types who try it- was just not a good fit for me. I need something a little stronger- and definitely less expensive!
I love when GlossyBox takes a bold chance with lip colors- especially reds- which I prefer much, much more than the usual “safe” colors of light nudes or barely-there pinks/rose tones. I like to make a statement with my eye color or my lips, after all. I was really excited to try this shiny gloss- which looked fire engine red in the tube. However, when I applied it- the color appeared to be more of a hot pink hue than red. It was still flattering to my skin tone, and definitely stood out- so I didn’t mind the initial deceit that much- and it helped that the formula wasn’t overtly sticky or thick.
Longevity wise, this gloss really packs a punch. I had applied it early in the morning and it stayed in place throughout most of my work day- gradually fading near the end of the afternoon where it left a subtle stain on my lips (which meant I didn’t have to rush and furiously re-apply it to avoid the dreaded “outline-only” look.) That’s always a plus for someone like me who is typically busy running from place to place and can’t always stop for touch-ups.
Would I Purchase?: Yes! I really liked the pigmentation of this gloss (even though it was more pink than red) and I was especially fond of it’s long-lasting, non-drying, and not-sticky-at-all formula. It has all the qualities I like in a decent lip gloss- although the pricing might be considered a little steep for a “drug store” brand. I’d like to try this product in a different color to see if it’s true to the hue in the tube, as well- or if it’s different as advertised, too.
Like my lips, I also like to make bold and bright statements with my nails- so a cherry red shade is perfect for me (and the Fall, and the days leading up to Halloween…) While I’ve heard of LOLLIPOPS polish before, this is the first time I’ve ever been able to try it. The formula applies pretty sheer, so it took about three coats to get the color to look just right- but it’s stayed in place over the course of a few days since I initially applied it. I haven’t noticed any chipping, smudging, or discoloration just yet- which is always nice considering I do a pretty good amount of typing and texting every day.
Would I Purchase?: Maybe. I have quite a few red polishes, and this one didn’t particularly stand out for me. It’s not bad by any means, but it’s not “blow me away/have to have it,” either. The longevity has been great so far and the pricing is fair for the amount of product you get in a container- but I’m in no hurry to buy this in bulk just yet. Also? LOLLIPOPS seems to have a really, really limited selection of other lacquer colors available on their website- which is a bit disappointing. I’d like to see and try more of a variety!
While I am always up for trying new things and experimenting with different brands and products- I admit that I can be a bit picky when it comes to two things: hair care and perfumes. In the fragrance spectrum, I typically like things that aren’t too heavy or spicy but don’t smell sickeningly sweet and floral, either. I wasn’t sure what to expect with this Carven perfume (which came in a cute little bottle) but was pleasantly surprised with the floral/earthy combination of ‘Le Parfum.’ With noticeable hints of jasmine and sandalwood- this perfume smelled incredible and stayed in place all day. I got quite a few compliments on this at the office and out with friends when I wore it- so I’m not the only fan!
Would I Purchase?: Yes! This sample came at the perfect time, since I’m running low on my current perfume and was looking to try something new for the colder months. I loved this fragrance, and it’s available at Sephora (so convenient) with a matching body wash, body milk, and deodorant. I think I’ll be splurging on myself- just a little bit- within the coming weeks!
Although there was one product I wasn’t a fan of and one product I’m still on the fence about- October’s GlossyBox might be one of my favorites I’ve received to date. I loved the theme, the selection and value of the products included, and of course- the design of the box- which I’ll be using in the future for cute storage or to package a lovely gift for someone. This was a great box for the service and I know they’ll only get more impressive within the next couple of months with the impending holiday season!