Monday, February 20, 2012

topbox // february 2012

topbox was the 2nd beauty subscription box i received this month. i subscribed to this service in late 2011 but it was sold out until february so i have been watching with rapt interest the previous month's unboxings. i was super excited to finally receive topbox because the brands and samples in my opinion have been top notch.

without further ado, here is my video unboxing of my very first topbox!

and here is what i received (in order of appearance in the video):

1. china glaze crackle polish in cracked medallion

i was super excited to receive this because i love nail polish and i have not tried the china glaze line nor have i tried a good crackle polish. i do have the sally hansen crackle overcoat in snow blast but this was a hideous look on my nails - it turned out like streaky white-out that sometimes cracked and sometimes didn't. i must have been on crack when i bought it.

this metallic crackle polish was much more my style and i love the colour against my skin tone. it's kind of like a goldish-bronzish but sometimes it looks almost copper. really lovely. i didn't feel like having super contrasty nails for family day weekend so i used my revlon sheer pink (old) underneath and layered over the china glaze crackle polish in bronzed medallion. the crackle effect was very nice.

i have to admit that i was a little surprised that topbox sampled the china glaze brand as it is not exactly luxury and topbox has been adamant about including only luxury brands. i can buy this exact polish on sally beauty supply for $2.99; however, that does not factor in shipping to canada of course.

verdict: even though i was happy with this particular polish, i have to say that i am not a huge fan of the look of crackle polish. i think i am going to give this trend a pass. i will repurchase china glaze though. i am particularly interested in the hunger games collection because (a) i love neutral colours and i've been looking for a nice orange tone (riveting & electrify are striking my fancy) and (b) i loved the books and absolutely cannot wait for the movie. :)

full size and sample size // 14mL // approximately $8

2. shu uemura full shimmer illuminating shampoo

i have been interested in trying this brand (more on the make-up side but hair is ok too) so i was pleased to have received this generous sized sample even though i think it was a leftover from previous topboxes. the shampoo is for colour-treated hair but i was happy to try it anyway (apparently shampoo for colour-treated hair is supposed to be more gentle).

the formulation is extremely thin though and i almost spilled half of what i had in my palm as i tried to put the cap back on the shampoo tube. egad, imagine spilling your $45 shampoo. i went through my regular hair washing routine... i washed my hair once and gave myself a pretty good scalp massage... then i used my regular conditioner on the shaft & ends of my hair. my hair felt squeaky clean but when my hair dried, i was surprised to feel residue on my greasy roots. we had to go out so i just left my hair as is... when we got home, the residue was no longer noticeable. erg?

verdict: i have only used this shampoo once so i will continue to use this sample but i probably will not repurchase this shampoo as my perceived value of this product does not justify the price.

update: i have now used this shampoo for over 2 weeks but only after i wash my hair with my regular shampoo. admittedly, i've been afraid to use it alone because, the first time i tried it, my hair became frightfully greasy frightfully fast. i would not repurchase this product.

full size // 300mL // $45
sample size // 75mL // approximately $11.25

3. lilly pilly natural kakadu plum hand & body creme

these samples are teeny tiny and probably represents the first disappointing sample size i've seen in a topbox. i am not sure how these could be even remotely classified as deluxe size. lilly pilly is an australian made brand and the scent is very very nice... but one of the little sample packets was not even enough for my legs. to be fair, i am pear shaped so my legs are on the thicker side... but still.

verdict: i am really loving this lotion! it smells great and the formulation leaves my hands feeling smooth and silky with no greasy residue. i wish there was information in the card on where to purchase this. if you know where i can buy the lilly pilly line of products, please leave me a comment to let me know!

full size // 150mL // $22
sample size // 6mL // approximately $0.88

4. pari beauty eye shadow in #74

i was excited to receive this eye shadow in a bright vibrant purple hue but mine was completely shattered. upon visiting topbox's facebook page, i noticed that a number of people received shattered eye shadows, likely a function of not enough crinkle / tissue paper in the tube. :( i e-mailed topbox and they kindly agreed to send me a replacement so i will provide a further update when i've tried the eye shadow.

the card that comes with the topbox indicates that this is a personalized shade. i have brown eyes so i can see this colour working on me. yay! :)

update: i received the replacement shadow in #35, which is a very neutral shade - i guess i would describe it as a bronze-y peach tone? i am enjoying this eye shadow; however, since i rarely wear eye shadow these days, i am not sure how much use i will get out of it.

full size and sample size // 2 g // $11

5. ysl touche éclat complexion highlighter in #2 luminous ivory

this sample is so tiny, i did not even realize it was a sample! i thought it was an info card. haha, joke's on me. that being said, topbox promises 4 samples and we actually received 5 this month... i'm assuming to make up for the teeny tiny lilly pilly and touche éclat. i received colour number 2, which is luminous ivory. it blended nicely with my skin tone even though i was worried it would be too light.

verdict: i'm not sure i'd notice a difference between this product and less expensive alternatives so i don't think i will be repurchasing this.

full size // 0.1 oz // $50
sample size // teeny tiny // $0

overall, while i am glad to have received the nail polish, shampoo, and eye shadow, i was disappointed at the size of the samples for the lilly pilly hand & body creme and the ysl touche éclat complexion highlighter. i am very happy with topbox customer service though... i had previously e-mailed them to request no mascara due to my eyelash extensions and they were happy to accommodate... which is why i received the china glaze nail polish this month. they also shipped out the replacement eye shadow really quickly!

// approximate value of the products in the february 2012 topbox: $31.13 //

did you receive the february topbox? if so, what did you think of the samples this month?

ftc: i paid for this box and nothing was sent to me for free.

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