Friday, June 29, 2012

june glymm bag - 2012

UPDATE (April 2013): Please read my most recent post on Glymm before ordering from this company.

similar to my topbox, my june glymm bag arrived when i was out of the country so i had to wait to open it. i pretty much ripped into the thing as soon as i came home and started trying the products right away.

i have included my personal rating for each of the products based on the following system:

3 - loved the product - would repurchase
2 - liked the product - might or might not repurchase
1 - disliked the product - would not repurchase

this month's glymm bag was a beautiful royal blue. glymm sells these nylon bags in its beauty boutique for $12. i really love these bags and find them to be an improvement over the cardboard boxes. they are easier to store (smaller) and very useful for travel. i used the fuchsia makeup bag when i went on vacation and it was awesome.

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

1. la fresh acetone-free nail polish remover

i've seen this product featured in myglam bags and it really intrigued me so i was happy to receive a sample in my june glymm bag. in my video, i pronounced the name of the company as "l.a. fresh" but i believe it should be "laa fresh" - oops. i think la fresh is a really neat company - it specializes in convenience wipe products but also tries to be eco-friendly. i would love to try more products from this company - especially the sunscreen wipes and the insect repellant wipes (i get bitten a lot).

impressions: i was surprised by how much i liked this product! one wipe took off my remaining holiday manicure (deborah lipmann nail lacquer in whatever lola wants, which i received in my may topbox)... as a bonus, it also fixed up my dry nails and peeling cuticles! the product claims you do not have to rinse your hands after using; however, i find the pads left an oily residue on my nails so i still wanted to have a quick rinse. this product is a little too pricey for me to use on a regular basis but i am thinking of buying some to bring with me on holidays.

full size // 18 wipes // $9.99
sample size // 2 wipes // approximate value of $1.11
personal rating // 3 // loved the product - would repurchase

2. salvador dali eau de toilette natural spray in it is dream

i'm not a huge fan of receiving fragrances in my beauty boxes but thankfully i only get them from glymm (i chose the scent-free option from glossybox after receiving a fragrance in my first box that gave me a splitting headache). amazingly enough, i have really loved two fragrances from glymm - the ysl parisienne from my first glymm box and the atelier cologne in orange sanguine from the april glymm box. [note: i will be posting more about the atelier fragrance soon!] i had never smelled a salvador dali fragrance so i wasn't sure what to expect.

top notes... grapefruit - black currant - apple
middle notes... rose - magnolia - hyacinth
base notes... white cedar - amber - musk


impressions: the scent surprised me because it was a lot lighter and fresher than i thought it would be. later, i read that a lot of subscribers thought the fragrance smelled like bug spray but i didn't think that. i could definitely detect the floral and fruity aspects of the fragrance. this fragrance is not my favourite but i don't dislike it either. my hubby loves this fragrance (he always asks me what i'm wearing when i try it on)... for that reason, it's kind of growing on me. :)

full size // 60 mL // $54
sample size // 2 mL (estimate as the volume is not listed) // approximate value of $1.80
personal rating // 2 // liked the product - might or might not repurchase

3. harmony by belvada duo lipstick

i was very happy to receive this product for two reasons: (1) i love lip products and (2) i thought the packaging was very interesting! belvada prides itself on being an innovative company and i think this shows through its products. i think it's neat that you can buy refills for the tube but wish there were more colours available (there are only four). i also think the refills should be less than $10 each because there's no financial incentive to purchase the refills when i could buy the full product for $20.

impressions: i really like this product! i found the balm and the lipstick to be average in terms of quality but the packaging really sold it for me, haha. i received the lipstick in soft pink, which appears to me like a pink-mauve - it's quite close to my natural lip colour so i find it flattering on my skin tone.

full size and sample size // 3.5 g x 2 // $20
personal rating // 2 // liked the product - might or might not repurchase

4. vitamine & sea perfect skin solution

initially, i thought this product might be another fragrance sample so i was very very happy when i realized it was a serum. since you only have to use 2-4 drops for your entire face, this sample will likely last a very long time. i love that vitamine & sea's certified blue products contain no dyes, fragrances, synthetics, sulfates, parabens, silicones, or petroleum based chemicals.

impressions: i thought this product was okay but i'm not sure i would use it regularly as i prefer serums that are not oily / oil based. i feel this product does live up to its claims of softening, repairing, and protecting the skin so maybe this would be a good product for me if i can get used to the texture.

full size // 45 mL // $68
sample size // 2 mL (estimate as the volume is not listed) // approximately $3.02
personal rating // 2 // liked the product - might or might not repurchase

5. clark's botanicals smoothing marine cream

when i first set out to try this product, i was a little hesitant for two reasons. i wasn't crazy about the scent (there is something funky about it that i can't place) and the product had a warning not to apply to red or peeling skin. later (read: after trying it), i did a little research and realized that one of the key ingredients, glycolic acid, is used often in chemical peels and essentially strips away the top layers of your skin... i hope i'm understanding this properly. this product's instructions also indicate that you should apply a minimum spf 15 after using this product.

impressions: i initially tried this product on the back of my hands and since i had no reaction, i put it all over my face. it seemed to really moisturize and soften my skin overnight. in the morning, i put on my regular spf 45 and thought nothing more about it until i researched the product. i didn't have any sort of reaction, redness or sensitivity; however, i'm not a huge fan of products that make my skin more sensitive and prone to sun damage so i have stopped using this product for the time being. due to the glowing reviews, i will definitely try it again... but i will wait until the fall when the sun is a little less strong.

full size // 50 mL // $115
sample size // 5 mL (estimate as the volume is not listed) // approximately $11.50
personal rating // 2 // liked the product - might or might not repurchase

overall, i was very happy with this month's glymm bag. i loved the variety of products and i also loved trying new brands. in fact, all the brands included in the june glymm bag were new to me. i thought the products were interesting and i enjoyed trying them all.

// approximate value of the products in the june 2012 glymm bag: $37.43 (not including the nylon makeup bag) //

last thing i wanted to mention is glymm going digital. there is no longer a product description card included in the glymm bag but you can go online to find all the information. i have to say, i am not too happy about this change. while i am all for being more environmentally friendly, i thought the card was an essential part of the glymm bag. i liked the pretty picture, short greeting message, and being able to tell - at a glance - if i received all the products that i was supposed to receive. i find the bag feels a little impersonal without the card. that being said, it's easy enough to find the information and take screen shots so i guess it's no biggie.

if you received a glymm bag, please let me know what you thought! are you enjoying your glymm subscription with all the changes?

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

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

june topbox - 2012

my june topbox arrived when i was away on vacation so i am very very late with my unboxing and review.

starting this month, i'm including my personal rating for each of the products based on the following system:

3 - loved the product - would repurchase
2 - liked the product - might or might not repurchase
1 - disliked the product - would not repurchase

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

1. simple eye make up remover

this is the second time i've received the simple eye make up remover in one of my beauty boxes. the first time i tried this product was when i received a sample in my may glossybox. i've been using this product pretty consistently and it removes all traces of my eye make up. i find it gentle but i accidentally got this product in my eye one day and it stung - lesson learned.

impressions: i like this product but i have a lot of eye make up remover to use up! i'll probably either give this sample to my sisters or put it aside for the next time i go on vacation.

full size // 125 mL // $9.99
sample size // 56 mL // approximate value of $4.48
personal rating // 2 // liked the product - might or might not repurchase

2. garnier miracle skin perfector bb cream in light

i received 3 sample packets of this bb cream in my june topbox. the shade on the packet is "light" but, based on the shades available on the garnier website, i am assuming this is medium light?

impressions: i've used this product for about a week now and i have to say i prefer the marcelle bb cream. with the marcelle bb cream, i actually forgot i was even wearing it - whereas with the garnier bb cream, my skin looked and felt greasy. i had a very shiny nose (pet peeve) by the time i got to work and my skin felt sticky throughout the day. at first, i thought it was due to the heat and humidity (i initially tried this product during the heat wave) but now that the temperature has returned to more seasonal values, it's definitely the formulation and how it works with my skin.

full size // 75 mL // $19.99
sample size // 1.5 mL x 3 packets // approximate value of $1.20
personal rating // 1 // disliked the product - would not repurchase

3. redken all soft argan-6 oil

there were 2 samples of the all soft argan-6 oil included in my topbox this month. i was a big fan of the redken shampoo and conditioner that i received in my march topbox so i was happy to try another redken product.

i was initially hesitant to use this product because it is an oil based product and my hair can get very greasy on days that i do not shampoo. the directions on the packaging did not mention rinsing out the product but, after going on the website, i learned there are actually 6 ways to use this product.

MOISTURIZE: Pre-shampoo treatment
PROTECT: Pre blow-dry shield
SMOOTH: Post blow-dry perfector
ILLUMINATE: Styling shine booster
SOFTEN: Treatment booster
RECONDITION: Overnight treatment

impressions: i chose the "moisturize" route so i could rinse out the product and i was amazed by the difference in my hair. when i initially put the product onto my hair (still dry), it make my hair stick straight. i shampooed and conditioned as i normally do and my hair was smooth and silky for the next 3+ days - my usual frizz & tangles were reduced. i'm excited to try this product in the winter when the ends of my hair get really dry.

full size // 90 mL // $34.99
sample size // 4.7 mL x 2 samples // approximately $2.10
personal rating // 2 // liked the product - might or might not repurchase

4. m. asam 24 hour moisturizing antioxidant cream

i received the m. asam magic fini in my march glymm box. i really liked the product (and finished it) so i was very happy to receive another m. asam sample. this product was difficult to find online and i'm still not sure where it can be repurchased. i've read that there may be m. asam products at winners or homesense.

impressions: i really like this product. true to its claims, it does seem to moisturize for 24 hours. the texture is really smooth and slick (feels somewhat oily) but it goes on very nicely and does not feel greasy on the skin. i also really like the scent of the two m. asam samples that i've tried.

full size // 50 mL // $32
sample size // 5 mL // approximately $3.20
personal rating // 2 // liked the product - might or might not repurchase

5. pari beauty precious glow

next up is a deluxe size sample of the pari beauty eye shadow primer & intensifier. this product can be used under your eye shadow as a primer or alone as a highlighter. i received this product in the colour pg 02, which i believe is called platinum.

impressions: i am pretty happy with this product, although i have only used it as a highlighter. i don't use eye shadow primer on a regular basis so i always forget this step. i've been using this product to highlight my brow bone, just under my waterline, and my inner corners. the texture is really silky and the product does not irritate my eye.

full size // 10 mL // $15
sample size // 3 mL (estimate as the volume is not listed) // approximately $4.50
personal rating // 2 // liked the product - might or might not repurchase

6. stila forever your curl mascara

now that i'm using mascara again, i am happy to receive and test out different formulations. i generally like stila products so i was very excited to try out this mascara.

impressions: unfortunately, this mascara did not do it for me. i found the formulation did not lengthen or volumize my lashes, the brush was too small, the mascara actually straightened my lashes after i had curled them, and to top it off, i had raccoon eyes at the end of the night.

full size // 7 mL // $29
sample size // 3.5 mL (estimate as the volume is not listed) // approximately $14.50
personal rating // 1 // disliked the product - would not repurchase

overall, i was not overly impressed with this month's topbox. i usually like most of the samples i receive in my beauty boxes; however, with this month's box, even though all the products are pretty good, i ended up not liking a couple of them. i was also expecting a lipstick due to the questionnaire that was sent out to customize the june topbox so maybe my expectations were too high.

// approximate value of the products in the june 2012 topbox: $29.98 //

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

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

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

all about dry shampoo

about 6 months ago, i decided to change up my beauty regimen. part of my plan involved washing my hair less frequently - i've always read that you don't have to wash your hair every day but my greasy scalp disagreed. nevertheless, i pushed through a difficult week of having oily hair every other day... and now i am 6 months into a new routine and loving it. in the process, i have tried 5 dry shampoos. this post is all about them!

tresemme quick start
aerosol spray
white in colour
161 grams
approximately $5 to $7

i did not like this dry shampoo. it left an unpleasant residue on my hair, smelled terrible, and was not effective. i only got about half a day of grease control with this dry shampoo.

batiste dry shampoo for dark and deep brown hair
aerosol spray
dark in colour
90 grams
approximately $11

this dry shampoo is one of my favourites. it is easy to use, has a pleasant scent, and is very very effective. i got around 1-2 days of grease control with this dry shampoo. the only issue is that i only got 8-10 uses out of this 90 gram container of product.

batiste dry shampoo blush (floral & flirty scent)
aerosol spray
white in colour
30 grams
approximately $5

very similar to the previous dry shampoo except that the product comes out white in colour. it is still very easy to blend. the scent is very pleasant but i only got about 3 uses out of this canister of product.

principessa beauty notte breeze dry shampoo for darker shades
powder form
medium brown colour
125 grams

this is my favourite dry shampoo out of the ones i've tried. i love this product and consider it one of my essentials. it smells great and is very effective. similar to the batiste products, i get around 1-2 days of grease control with this dry shampoo. the container of product also lasts forever - i apply this dry shampoo with a powder puff so there is very little waste.

cake beauty satin sugar hair & body refreshing powder for darker hues
powder form
medium brown colour - a little lighter and more red than the principessa dry shampoo
50 grams

i found this dry shampoo similar in effectiveness as the principessa dry shampoo but i didn't like the scent on my hair. the cake beauty dry shampoo smells very sweet - too sweet for my taste. pun intended.

the below video contains a few more details and also shows 3 tools that can be used to apply the powder form dry shampoo.

there are a few other brands i'd like to try - my friend uses klorane and seems to like it. a couple of my youtube viewers also mentioned lush's no drought and marc anthony's 2nd day clear dry shampoo.

are you a fan of dry shampoo? have you tried any that you would recommend?

Thursday, June 7, 2012

battle of the beauty boxes - round 2

UPDATE (April 2013): Please read my most recent post on Glymm before ordering from this company.

my inner nerd is coming out. i don't make too much of an effort to hide her because, well, i actually like her. i'm even somewhat proud of her. but sometimes i feel a little silly revealing how over-the-top-geeky she can be.

right now is one of those times.

if you know anything about me (or have been following my blog or youtube channel for a while), you'll know what i'm (a) overly excited about my beauty boxes and (b) crazy obsessed with spreadsheets. this is the post where these two worlds collide.

{companion video}

in the below video, i provide a brief description of this comparison and i also answer some frequently asked questions about the beauty boxes, including:

- what is my favourite box?
- why i am not subscribed to luxe box or beauty box 5.
- why i did not include julep in my analysis.
- do i actually use the products?

{the process}

i have been asked a few times about my favourite beauty box. which one would i recommend? i always provide the same answer but my inner nerd wanted some supporting documentation to back up my response. to achieve this, i decided that i would track the contents of each beauty box on a spreadsheet. i love analyzing data so this seemed to be the logical course of action. the good news is that most of the data did support what i had already believed anecdotally; however, there were a few surprises, which i describe below.

{the analysis}

my analysis is broken down into several categories. first, i looked at an overall snapshot of the beauty boxes. each box promises a certain number of luxury and deluxe samples each month. for the purposes of this comparison, i assumed "luxury" meant higher-end brands and "deluxe" meant larger-size samples. since i've been subscribed to glymm a little longer than topbox and glossybox, i decided to work primarily in percentages. as you can see by the below comparison table, glymm wins out in terms of providing luxury samples (81%). glossybox provides the highest percentage of deluxe samples (88%) and full size products (42%). topbox falls in the middle, with most of the samples being luxury (75%) or deluxe (75%). topbox also provides a high percentage (40%) of full size products.

here is an example of how these figures were calculated: % of deluxe samples = # of deluxe samples received / # of total samples received.

in terms of shipping, on average, i receive my topbox on the 13th of the month, glymm on the 18th of the month, and glossybox on the 26th of the month.

the next comparison table relates to the dollars and cents of each of the boxes. in terms of the average number of samples received, glossybox wins out - this box promises 5 samples per month with a bonus sample every now and then. glymm promises 4-5 samples but sometimes we receive some extra little samples. topbox promises 4 samples per month. the numbers here might be a little misleading because i counted shampoo & conditioner samples separately (for example, the redken samples from my march topbox were counted as 2 samples).

the reason i counted the shampoo & conditioner samples separately is because it made the calculation for "average sample value" more straightforward. glossybox provides the highest average value at $9.93 per sample. i should have added an average value per box line (i will for the next comparison) but i am pretty sure glossybox would win out here as well.

return on investment (roi) was calculated based on the total value of all samples received divided by the the total cost including tax. in other words, the total value of all the topbox samples i received was $162.94 and i paid $45.20 for 4 boxes. this works out to an roi of $162.94 / $45.20 = $3.60. it was very surprising for me that topbox came out at the bottom here - i would have thought topbox would have been 1st or 2nd.

the next comparison table is the most subjective because it involves me rating the products i receive. i didn't do this in the past so i had to go back and rate each sample as i populated my spreadsheet. i used the following rating system:

3 - loved the product - would repurchase
2 - liked the product - might or might not repurchase
1 - disliked the product - would not repurchase

i tried to rate most products a 2, reserving ratings of 3 or 1 for only products that were either outstanding or not to my liking whatsoever. this is why the average rating is so close to 2. topbox received the highest percentage of samples with my highest rating (15%). glymm received the lowest percentage of samples with my lowest rating (13%) - this is probably why i am still partial towards glymm.

// product breakdown //

i found this next comparison table very interesting and hopefully you will too! basically, this suggests that if you are interested in makeup and nail polish, topbox would probably suit your tastes the most.

if you are not crazy about receiving fragrances or if you suffer from scent allergies, topbox never samples fragrances and glossybox has a fragrance free option. glymm does sample a relatively high percentage of fragrances.

both glossybox and glymm provide quite a few hair care and skin care products.

i do have further breakdowns showing what types of hair care, skin care, and makeup products were sampled but i'll probably provide these down the road when i have more data. plus i didn't want to seem too crazy in this blog post. you're thinking, too late!

{assumptions & caveats}

i tried to keep my analysis objective and consistent but of course there are always a few grey areas. just in case some of you are interested in the finer details:

- promo codes were not included in the analysis.
- shampoo & conditioner were treated as 2 separate samples - this made the calculation easier in terms of the sample size and value.
- definition of "luxury" was subjective - i'm not even sure if i agree with my own categorizations.
- definition of "deluxe" was set at 10% or more of the full size product.
- this is a snapshot as of june 1, 2012. since i anticipate that the boxes will continue to change over time, i'm going to try to provide an update every 3 to 6 months.

{other considerations}

while the spreadsheet method is great, there are aspects that i did not capture, such as customer service and general brand perception. in terms of customer service, i would rank the boxes as follows: (1) topbox, (2) glymm, (3) glossybox. i know some of you might disagree with me ranking glymm over glossybox but that is just my experience. i have received very good service from glymm in terms of response time to e-mails, overall friendliness of responses, and delivery times from beauty boutique orders.

general brand perception is a little trickier but i would rank the boxes as follows: (1) topbox, (2) glossybox, (3) glymm. unfortunately, glymm lost a lot of points here when the ability to post on the glymm facebook page was disabled. overall, i see a lot more negativity about glymm, which sometimes makes me hesitant to recommend the service, even though i still really like it. glymm seems to have turned a corner though - starting in may, the subscription now provides a cosmetic bag (instead of a cardboard box), which appears to be well received - but with that comes a slightly higher price for new subscribers.

{the verdict}

the spreadsheet analysis resulted in a few surprises (including how well glossybox scored below) but, overall, my favourite box remains unchanged. topbox is the winner here! glossybox and glymm are tied for second place. i love that glymm provides samples of products i would never think to purchase myself and niche brands that i have never seen. on the other hand, glossybox provides such amazing value and, even though the brands are not as luxe, the products are usually very good. i don't like to sit on the fence though so, if i absolutely had to choose, i would probably lean towards glymm because i find the featured brands and products a little more exciting.

that being said, i strongly feel that all three boxes are great subscription services - it basically boils down to your personal preferences. here is a summary - hopefully, this will help with your decision if you are trying to choose a beauty box.

this was a long post so thank you for taking the time to read it... i hope this was somewhat helpful. if you have any other questions, please let me know and i will do my best to answer!

if you wish to subscribe to any of the boxes through my invitation links, i will receive points (detailed below) and send heaps of good karma your way. :)

glymm - i will receive 50 glymm points if you subscribe using this link.
glossybox i will receive 200 glossydots if you subscribe using this link.
topbox - not a referral link - i can only provide the invitation via e-mail.
julep - use the promo code PENNY to get your first box for $0.01 including shipping! i will receive 1 credit if you subscribe using this link.

click here to read my first comparison (or how i decided to subscribe to topbox).

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

2012 goals // may update

my may goals update video! :)

1. photo-a-day project of hubby and me.
- 100%

2. 100 day thrifting challenge.
- i made two exceptions this month: (a) my boston haul, which was planned and (b) a small asos haul, which i did not expect but justified because it was my birthday gift to myself.

3. savings goal + rewards!
- hooray, i'm at over 30%!

4. one new beauty product per month.
- i still haven't decided how i'm going to modify this goal but i didn't buy very much in the month of may.

5. one litre of water per day.
- i'm still doing well with the water but not so much with the raw vegetarian diet. :(
- 80%.

6. figure out the mess that is my hair.
- in may, i learned the side bun that i wore in my boston haul video and the messy modified ponytail that i've been wearing in my recent videos.
- 100%.

7. decorate, de-clutter & re-organize.
- i finished my clothing re-organization project and i have a few projects on the go for june.
- 75%.

8. keep a better record of events.
- 100%.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

may glossybox canada 2012

once again, my glossybox arrived at the very end of the month - i received the box on may 31st. even so, i don't really mind because i like having the subscription boxes spaced out. i know topbox will be shipping by the 10th of the month and glymm usually follows soon after. a few things i have noticed about glossybox: (1) there are very few surprises in terms of the brands or types of products included in the box - in fact, there are often repeat brands, (2) the brands featured are usually not very high end so the "luxury" aspect of the box is questionable, and (3) the sample sizes are usually very generous. the may box was no exception.

this month, i decided to do things a little differently. instead of recording the unboxing on video, i opened the box on my own and tried the products for a few days first. i'm still figuring out the logistics (not a huge fan of photographing the products after using them but i don't want to set up my lighting twice) - in the meantime, please let me know if you prefer this method!

here is what i received - note that this section may be updated as i continue use the products:

1. curel foot cream

curel is an inexpensive brand i used to see all the time at the drug store. for some reason, i haven't noticed it as much in the last several years so i was somewhat surprised to see it pop up in my glossybox. i don't remember ever using curel products. this is the first foot cream i've received in these beauty boxes so while i was not too impressed with the "luxury" aspect of this brand, i would have to admit i was still happy to receive this product.

impressions: i was surprised to discover that i really like this foot cream! since we've been having summer-like weather, i've been wearing lots of sandals and flip flops lately - leading to somewhat dry feet. the cream applies nicely - it is thicker and heavier than "regular" lotion but not as thick and heavy as glysomed. the scent is reasonably pleasant and appropriate for feet. :) my favourite thing about the curel foot cream is that it absorbs much quicker than expected! i walked around right after applying the cream (because i can never seem to sit still) and my feet were already completely dry... and silky smooth to boot. pun intended. ;) i am very impressed with this cream and even better that it is available for purchase at a reasonable price.

full size and sample size // 100 mL // $3.99

2. simple eye make up remover

simple is an inexpensive brand that's available at shoppers drug mart and walmart. i had received the simple cleansing facial wipes in my march topbox and while i liked them, i was not blown away. i am starting to use mascara again (taking a break from lash extensions) so i will be using eye make up remover more regularly. that being said, i now have three different removers to use up (my regular l'oreal product, the make up forever sens'eyes from my march topbox, and the simple product from this month's glossybox).

impressions: the simple eye make up remover was effective and took off all my eye make up and mascara. it felt nice and gentle. there are no added fragrances but i did detect a light, clean scent.

full size // 125 mL (mislabeled as 56 mL on the card) // $9.99
sample size // 56 mL // approximate value of $4.48

3. simple facial wash gel

i feel like i have received a lot of facial cleansers in my beauty boxes but i must be mistaken because i can't for the life of me remember any except for the vasanti brightenup! from my january glymm box. i was indifferent about receiving the simple facial wash gel plus i didn't really like that we received two simple samples in one box - not that i have anything against the brand. i just prefer more variety.

impressions: this facial wash it lathers up nicely and is gentle yet effective. it also seems a little less drying than other cleansers i've tried - likely due to the gel-like consistency. i enjoyed using it but i still prefer my clean & clear daily pore cleanser - those micro scrubbers are addictive!

full size // 150 mL (mislabeled as 50 mL on the card) // $9.99
sample size // 50 mL // approximate value of $3.33

4. boxx cosmetics cream corrector

this was probably my favourite sample in the may glossybox because i love discovering new brands. i have never heard of the boxx cosmetics line - i did a little research and found the following on the boxx website: affordability, quality-focused, practicality, naturally-enhancing, compact design and environmentally-friendly are the characteristics that set boxx cosmetics apart. boxx is canadian-designed, and all cosmetics are made in canada.

we received a generous full size sample containing 4 grams of product but it looks like you have to purchase a separate magnetic compact to house the product. we received a discount code for 25% off our first order from boxx cosmetics; however, i am undecided about whether i will be making a purchase. i wasn't too impressed with the website - it's refreshing that the photos on the website are not retouched but i think the photography needs significant improvement as the current images are not flattering.

it appears that most subscribers received the cream concealer this month; however, some subscribers received a boxx make up brush or a pandora lipstick or an iman lipstick instead. since i'm on a huge lipstick kick lately, i think i would have preferred to receive a lipstick.

impressions: i received this sample in the colour amber, which is for medium/tan skin. it blended in very well with my skin tone so i am very impressed that glossybox provided me with an appropriate shade! this is a cream concealer that provides more coverage than my current product (maybelline instant age rewind dark circles eraser) but with that comes a little bit more of a heavy consistency. i found i had to set the concealer with powder right away because it started to crease under my eye quite quickly. the coverage lasted reasonably well throughout the day. i like this concealer but not sure if i would repurchase it.

full size and sample size // 4 g // $24

5. sebastian professional volupt shampoo

our third full size product in the may glossybox! i use up shampoo and conditioner samples really quickly so i was happy to receive this product... even though shampoo and conditioner do not get a lot of love from many subscribers.

impressions: the scent of this shampoo is really nice and it left my hair feeling squeaky clean! it did not appear to volumize my hair up top but i felt that my hair did have a little more texture, which stayed throughout the day. however, all of this could be because i slept with it in a sock bun and then tousled it with some hairspray in the morning. :) i'll keep experimenting with this shampoo and provide a further update.

full size and sample size // 250mL // $15.78 (odd price but i'll go with it!)

an update on the fancy labels: based on a response on the facebook page, it appears that glossybox only intended to include the labels in the inaugural box. hopefully glossybox will send us a few more in a future box. although i haven't used my existing labels, i was thinking of using them soon because the number of boxes in my tiny condo is starting to add up. the personalization on the envelope must have also been limited to the first box. one other thing i thought i would mention: although i do not mind receiving the box later in the month, i wish glossybox would be better at giving us updates on the shipping status. updates seem to only be available on facebook via replies to questions from subscribers - i use the term "update" loosely because glossybox's social media reps always replies that they have no clue when the boxes will ship. then all of a sudden, there is a status update that the boxes are being packed or we receive a shipping notification or (like this month) we receive the box in the mail with no shipping notice.

in terms of my feelings towards the may glossybox, once again, i was underwhelmed by the brands but very happy with the sizes of the samples. glossybox is very consistent in terms of providing generous deluxe samples or full size products. i was pleased with the quality of the products received this month, even though the majority are lower end brands.

// approximate value of the products in the may 2012 glossybox: $51.58 //

what did you receive in your may glossybox? were you happy with the products?

glossybox canada subscriptions are available for $15 per month including shipping and tax. it promises a minimum of 5 luxury samples per month and will throw in a 6th sample from time to time. if you wish to join glossybox through my invitation, i will earn glossydots and send heaps of good karma your way.

ftc: i purchased the may glossybox with my own money.

Saturday, June 2, 2012

boston collective haul

my hubby and i went to boston for the victoria day long weekend and i absolutely fell in love with the city! we didn't spend a lot of time shopping but here is a little video on the few things i picked up. thank you for watching! :)

Friday, June 1, 2012

{what i wore} dinner and a movie

just a quick outfit of the day post since i haven't done one in a little while. i'm definitely not very creative with my outfits... i prefer to stick to my standard formula with slight variations. :) anyway, i wore this last weekend to watch the avengers with my hubby. i wore the same outfit later in the evening for dinner with my friend but i added a delicate rose gold chain, MK rose gold watch, and a few bracelets.

- coral lace bandeau (urban outfitters)
- maroon tank top (h&m)
- oversize cashmere cardigan (thrifted) - not shown in photo
- mid length accordion skirt (american apparel)
- brown skinny belt (h&m)
- flat t-strap sandals (gift from sisters)
- candies sunglasses (old)
- balenciaga twiggy bag in sahara (beyond the rack)

{on my face}

- milani baked blush in bellissimo bronze
- annabelle blush in pronto
- hard candy so baked bronzer in tiki
- mac frost lipstick in costa chic
- clear lip gloss from bonne bell lip playset

{on my nails}

- revlon top speed nail lacquer in vintage
- butter london nail lacquer in disco biscuit

{what we ate}

my friend and i went to union for dinner. the food was amazing and i can't wait to go back.

we shared the elk sliders - mirin galangal glaze & pickle on challah:

my friend had the sticky ribs - charcoal-smoked and braised back ribs in home made BBQ sauce. i tried a piece and it was soooo goooood.

i had the parpardelle - the menu changes regularly (except for a few favourites like the elk sliders) and i can't remember the details for my delicious parpardelle but there was pork in it (and lots of it):

the portion sizes for the main dishes were generous and we were stuffed so we skipped dessert. however, we did find room to grab some gelato and sorbet afterward! :)

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