Friday, June 7, 2013

May 2013 Glossybox - Opening and Review

Hello! This post is going to be all about my May 2013 Glossybox and what I thought of the samples it contained. I'm going to start off by saying that I am pretty disappointed in this box. I'm as disappointed, if not more so, than I was with the April 2013 box.
Especially since this is supposed to be the box that celebrates Glossybox's 1st birthday (in the U.S. at least).
So here's my box unopened (though I took it out of the cardboard box it shipped in) along with my Glossybox magazine. I'm really glad I got one this month; my first month I didn't get a magazine and figured it was just a fluke, and then April 2013 they had the magazine online in honor of Earth Day, so I was still unsure of whether or not I would get the magazine in my next box, but I did. Honestly, I'm not too impressed with it. I know it's just a free little extra, but it just feels too much like advertising than anything actually informative. Every other page is an advert, and the products they DO talk about are mostly brands featured in Glossybox or are incredibly expensive. I'd much rather subscribe to the Sample Society box and get a year of Allure for free.
Here's the box just opened. It started out promising with some extra cards on top.
One is a coupon for Ulta that let's you get a 1.5oz bottle of Shaper or Shaper Plus hair spray with any $15 Sebastian purchase, and the other is for a free wax (brow, lip, or bikini for ladies, brow, ear, or nose for men) for first time customers from the European Wax Center. There's a European Wax Center pretty close to me; they brought a bunch of these cards into my old work once and we gave them out to customers (after hoarding some for ourselves, of course).
This is the front of the card that tells you about all the products in the box. The "theme" (though I wouldn't call it a theme since nothing felt very "birthday" inspired to me) this month is Glossybox's 1st birthday.
And this is the inside of the card showing everything I got in my box. It looks like I got six things, but the items from the European Wax Center are actually foil packets, so it's still only five deluxe samples. I am glad they didn't count the foil packets toward the "five sample" total, since that's supposed to be one of the perks of Glossybox; no foil packets. I'll go through the products in the order they are on the card.
The first product is AmorePacific's Color Control Cushion Compact. This is the box it came in, and this is what the container looks like:
When I first saw this product, I was very, very excited to try it. I'm looking for a new foundation since I don't feel like my current BB cream is cutting it anymore. I think I need something with better coverage and better color matching.This product is from Korea, which got me excited since a lot of the best BB creams on the market come from Korea; there was a time at the beginning of the BB cream craze where the American BB creams were basically just tinted moisturizers with a bit of sunscreen thrown in while the Korean one's did a lot more for your skin. I think things have evened out now and a lot of American BB creams have improved, but I still hold Korean skin products in high regard. Another feature of this product that I really liked was its high SPF; an SPF of 50+ is amazing for a face product (most hover around SPF 25). This product also doesn't have parabens or phthalate, which is always a plus.

What was so disappointing about this product? For some reason, Glossybox sent me the darkest color it comes in, Amber Gold. I thought maybe it was the only color it came in (a lot of things like this come in 1-3 different shades), but it does come in four different shades, with Amber Gold being the darkest. So why on earth did Glossybox send me the darkest shade, when my beauty profile lists my skin tone as "fair"? What was even the point of me filling out anything if they're just going to send me seemingly random colors? I wondered if other people had the same issue, so I looked on the reviews on Glossybox's website, and it looks like other fair-light skin toned people also got this shade. I then thought that maybe these were left over samples and everyone got the same color, but a few people commented that they got the correct color for their light skin tones. I was pretty upset; this product is basically worthless to me. It's so orange and so dark for me that I don't think I could ever make it work, not even for contouring.
It was hard to photograph because of the lighting, but you can see the big orange splat on my arm where I swatched this. I even blended it out as much as possible, so it was as sheer as possible, and you can still how much darker it is compared to my skin, as well as how orange it is. Even though this wasn't a high value sample (it's only worth $8), this is completely unusable for me and thus completely worthless.

The next item I was pretty happy to get.
This is a Collagen and Aloe Vera Hydro Mask. I've been very interested in trying out collagen based products (as well as collagen-fortified foodstuffs; I guess you can buy collagen powder from health food stores and can add it to drinks and stuff. There's even a jellybean candy from Japan that has collagen in it!) and since I've never used a face mask like this one (I've used the "smear on and wash off" types, but this is a sheet mask), I'm pretty excited to try this out. The info card doesn't really talk much about this beyond the fact that it will moisturize your skin, but on the back it looks like the directions are in both German and English, and it's made by a German company, so I'll assume this is a German product. This is one thing I really wish Glossybox would take advantage of more; I wish it would use its ties to other countries (there are many other Glossyboxes in many different countries) and get international products like this one. There are two extremes when it comes to international products, however; there are people who hate getting things that may be hard or even impossible to find in their home countries and then there are people who love trying new things and don't care if they'll never be able to get a full size or a refill. I'm most definitely the latter, though I can understand how some people would be frustrated if they loved a sample but could never get the full size. These come in packs of 10 for $39.50, so this one is worth $3.95.

Next are the foil packets.
There were three different products you could get samples of and you got two of them in your box. It looks like everyone got a sample of the exfoliate (full size is $38, so the packet is worth about $2.50) and then you either got a sample of the Slow It body wash or body lotion (both full size are $20, so the packet is worth $0.34). It got the body wash. I would have preferred the lotion since I don't use body wash that much anymore (I've been into fancy soaps lately. I just got one from LUSH, and I'm waiting for my Fortune Cookie Soap Box to get here!), but they both do the same thing it looks like. The exfoliate is unique in that it doesn't have any abrasives; it uses enzymes from papaya (which is used in a lot of skin whitening products) and pineapple. I'm intrigued by the idea of using enzymes to exfoliate, so I'm interested in giving it a try. The body wash has ingredients that sooth skin and help exfoliate it in order to prevent ingrown hairs, which makes sense considering it comes from a company that does nothing but get rid of unwanted body hair. It sucks that these are in foil packets, especially since they are shower products, since you can really only use these once. If you leave them open in the shower, they get water in them and then they're diluted so you no longer get the full effect. These seem like interesting products, and I wish they were actual, deluxe sized samples in tubes. At least Glossybox was kind enough to not count these towards the "five deluxe samples" total, so these are kind of like extra little freebies.

The fourth item (or fifth, I suppose) in my box was a My Prime Multi-Purpose Mattifying Moisturizer.
This is a combination moisturizer and primer that, as the name suggests, is supposed to be mattifying. As summer approaches (painfully slowly, might I add. It's June 7th and I still have to wear a jacket to work...We're basically having spring now.), my skin does tend to get more oily and shines quicker than in the winter. I've never used a mattifying product before because I do have dry patches and have some issues with my make-up drying my face out in places so it starts to look a little cakey. I'm intrigued that this promises to both moisturize AND make my skin matte. I've only tried it on my hand, so I can't really say whether or not it does what it says it will, but it does leave my skin feeling velvety and, well, primed. It does smell a little odd, but I think most primers do anyways, so it's a non-issue. This is a more expensive product with the full size being $68, making this sample worth $11.33.

This item was also a big disappointment, though it's less Glossyboxes fault this time and more of a personal preference.
This is an Absolute! Perfume Stick by Nicka K New York in the scent Affair 102.
Here's what the actual tube looks like. It's a solid perfume and it comes in a giant lip balm like tube (you can twist the bottom to push up more product). Solid perfumes are great for travel and to keep in your bag since they can't leak (though they can melt, so be careful not to leave it in a warm place or in the sun). I don't own any solid perfumes, so it would have been nice to try one out. But I can not stand the smell of this perfume.

This is going to sound weird, but I absolutely hate the smell of roses. I hate the smell of rose-scented candles, rose-scented skincare products, and even just natural roses. I 'm not sure why, but I just really, really don't like it. It gives me a headache if it's strong enough. The weird thing is that I love rose-FLAVORED things like rosewater ice cream. I don't really understand it either. I went to the Nicka K New York website to see what other scents this came in and I would have greatly preferred ANY other scent than this one. I know it's not Glossybox's fault that I hate roses, but this is another totally unusable product for me.

One thing I do take issue with, is that I don't think this is the kind of "high-end make-up brand" that Glossybox promised to include in its boxes. From what I saw on the website, the cosmetics that Nicka K New York sells are very cheap; their biggest eye shadow palette has 40 colors and is $9. That, to me, sounds more like a drug store quality product. Not that that is bad; there are plenty of inexpensive products that are fantastic, but I feel like it does go against what Glossybox promises to include a product from a brand like this. This is a full-sized item and is worth $14.99 (except not really since I will never use it. I'm actually having a hard time finding someone to give this to. Everyone I ask at first is kind of interested, but once they smell it, they don't want it. The rose scent is very, very strong and it smells very, very fake to me, like what they scent cheap candles with. It's incredibly off-putting).

Finally, my box ends on a high note.
This is Sebastian Volupt Spray and it's billed as a volume building spray gel. I used to really like to use gels in my hair, but switched to using mousse since I didn't like how crunchy the gels made my hair. I've started easing back into using gels (I got a bottle of gel from Ouidad free because of a special Ulta had) and have learned how to better use them, avoiding a lot of the "crunchies" I used to get. I like the idea of a spray gel, since I feel like it will help me apply it more evenly and with a lighter hand. I have very fine hair, but I have a lot of it and its very curly, so volumnizing products don't really do much for me. The best feature of this product, however, is how it smells. It smells amazing; it smells fresh and clean with just a hint of fruity. It smells like what you'd imagine your hair would smell like after visiting a really, really nice salon. I am a little leery since this is the second Sebastian product I've gotten in a Glossybox (and this is only my third box) and while I really like it, I'd prefer to try different products from different brands, instead of different products from the same brands. The full size of this is $19.95, making this sample worth $6.69.

While there were only two disappointments in this box, they were disappointments that are unusable for me, which basically means I lost out on a value of $22.99. This box was worth more than April at $47.80 (April was around $41), but significantly less than March (which was over $70 and had four full sized products). Minus what I can't use, my box is only worth $24.81, which is barely over what I paid for it. I know the point of these boxes is that you don't know what you're going to get and that it technically doesn't have to be worth more than you paid, but if they could make a box like March once, why can't they do it again? Especially since this box is supposed to be celebrating their 1st birthday! This box really made me consider canceling my Glossybox subscription, but I've already been charged for June, so I suppose I'll see what happens.

Thanks for reading! <3!

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