Wednesday, October 17, 2012

October 2012 Topbox - Unboxing and Review

If you follow my beauty box reviews, you're probably aware that Topbox is my favourite subscription service out of the bunch. I had high hopes for the October Topbox but unfortunately, I was not a huge fan of this month's box. I received BOX-6. The brands were great but I was iffy about a couple of the products and sample sizes. Please read on for more details.

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

1. Maskeraide Detox Diva Hydrating Facial Sheet Mask

I had never heard of Maskeraide and I've never tried a sheet mask so I was pretty happy to receive this sample. Maskeraide is a Canadian company started by Karyn (a Canadian makeup artist and model - now in marketing and social media) and Michelle (a cosmetic and skin care addict from Korea). The masks are made in Korea. They are free of parabens, harsh dyes & pigments, mineral oils, artificial fragrances, benzophenone, and glycerins. I don't know what all these ingredients are or their impact on our skin (on my list of future research projects) but wanted to share just in case you're interested.

There are 6 different types of masks included on the Maskeraide website:

- All Nighter - awaken, replenish & refresh
- Detox Diva - cleanse, exfoliate & detoxify
- I Don't Wanna Grow Up - lift, firm & soften fine lines
- Beauty Rest'ore - restore, regenerate & repair
- Weather Warrior - calm, soothe & heal
- Pre Party Prep - brighten, prime & energize

My hubby's a little sad that it's a sheet mask so he won't be able to partake in the experience. I will try the mask this Sunday and report back soon!

full size & sample size // 23 g // $4.99

2. Aveda invati Exfoliating Shampoo and Thickening Conditioner

The only Aveda products I've tried were from the rosemary mint line and I really liked them. My first impression of the invati samples was not very good - this product line has a very strong herbal/medicinal scent that I find very unpleasant. The scent was trapped in my Topbox and invaded my nose when I opened it. I sneezed. A lot.

While I have relatively thin hair and I do lose a lot of it on a daily basis, I don't really think of myself as having thinning hair. I wanted to do some research before using this product. I found mixed reviews online and read a common theme that the shampoo is very drying so be sure to use the conditioner with it.

Impressions: I tried the shampoo and conditioner this evening and ended up using the entire sample. Each tube contained 10 mL of product. The shampoo was on the thin side and did not lather well so I probably used more than I needed. I used up the entire conditioner too because I wanted to make sure to coat my hair very well. So far, my hair feels fine but I'll put an update on my blog in a day or two. I did not like the scent whatsoever so I will not be repurchasing this regardless.

full size // 200 mL // $27
sample size // 10 mL // approximate value of $1.35

full size // 200 mL // $27
sample size // 10 mL // approximate value of $1.35

3. Stila In the Moment Eye Shadow Palette

Initially, I was pretty excited pulling out this card because of the Stila brand name. I thought it was an info card but it turned out to be an actual sample. I was disappointed in this sample solely due to the size as I do not consider this to be a deluxe sample. I thought Topbox had moved away from card samples - the feedback from subscribers in the past was that these samples would be ok as a bonus but not as one of our 4 feature samples.

According to the Sephora website, there are 4 similarly named "In the [Blank]" palettes by Stila - I'm not sure if all of these were provided to subscribers:

- In the Moment - featuring a mix of pretty purples and ultra-wearable, neutral shades plus a Smudge Stick Waterproof Eye Liner in Tetra (deep shimmery purple).
- In the Light - featuring wearable, neutral shades plus a Smudge Stick Waterproof Eye Liner in Damsel (matte chocolate brown).
- In the Garden - featuring wearable, botanical-inspired shades plus a Smudge Stick Waterproof Eye Liner in Starfish (rich black with green-and-gold sparkle).
- In the Know - featuring all matte earth-inspired shades plus a Smudge Stick Waterproof Eye Liner in Halfmoon (matte charcoal gray).

I was most interested in the In the Know palette so I wish I received that one instead but no biggie. The shadows in the palette I received look to be very pretty. I have not tried this product yet but I will try it this weekend and put an update on the blog.

full size // 1 palette // $50
sample size // 1 card // approximately $0

4. Stila Prime Pot in Taffy

I have been receiving a lot of eye shadow primers lately, which is odd because I've never really used them or thought about using them. I know people swear by them but, up until very recently, I had only tried the NYX HD Eye Shadow Base and I didn't really like it (it was a little flake-y on me and I found it harder to blend my shadows with the base underneath). Just recently, however, I've been using Urban Decay's Primer Potion (from the Smoked Eyeshadow Palette) and the Starlooks iPrimer from my September Starbox. I really really love these products! I'm definitely converted so I was a little more excited that I would have been a few months ago to see the Stila prime pot included in my Topbox.

There are 2 colours available on the Sephora website:

- Taffy (pale pink)
- Caramel (beige)

I've only swatched this product on the back of my hand and it felt a little dry. The texture reminds me of concealer at first but it seems cake-y and difficult to blend. It also smells a little bit stale so I'm wondering if I got an old one?

Impressions: I haven't tried this product on my eyes yet - I'm worried it's going to be hard to blend so I will save it for the weekend when I'm not in a rush.

full size // 0.14 oz // $26
sample size // 0.07 oz // approximately $13

Overall, i was not overly impressed with the October Topbox. There was really only one sample I was really excited about - the mask. All the other samples were just ok. The shampoo and conditioner didn't do it for me due to the scent, the eye shadow palette would have been exciting but it was such a small sample, and the eye shadow primer seems a little dry. Of course, beauty boxes do vary from month-to-month so I'm hoping next month will be more to my liking.

// Approximate value of the products in the October 2012 Topbox: $20.69 //

I think a few of you received your first Topbox this month - what did you think of it? If you received a Topbox this month, please let me know your thoughts.

FTC: I purchased this Topbox with my own money.


  1. How do you know which version you have - I can't seem to find it anywhere?

    I have the same products as you except the prime pot.

    1. if you click on your shipping notification through to the Canada Post website, it should be in the tracking information section under reference number... hope that helps! off to check out your post. :)

      Expected Delivery : 2012/10/11
      Updated Delivery : 2012/10/12
      Delivery date changed : Item was received by Canada Post after cut-off time.
      Reference Number 1: BOX-6

  2. It was definitely a little bit disappointing. Maybe they accepted a few too many people from the waiting list this month than they should've. I also think the Stila eye shadow sampler should not count as one of the main 4 samples but rather as an extra. I do really like this sample but because of how tiny it is, it's just not a deluxe sample. I think I got In the Light, it's a mix of matte and shimmery neutrals. I like the colour selection.

    1. i too was thinking maybe they accepted too many people at once. i will definitely use the shadows as i've heard good things about them... hopefully next month will be better!!

  3. I agree with you on everything- love the products but hate the sample size (especially the eyeshadow palette!). I read reviews on the primepot that it dries easily (both the product itself and the product inside the container) but mine isn't like that. I had a hard time opening the jar so that might be why.
    Here is my review!

    1. my prime pot was difficult to open too! it seemed creamy when i initially dipped my finger in to pick up some product but when i blended it out on the back of my hand, it became really dry and hard to blend. i will still give it a try though! :)

  4. We got an identical box! It looks like people got different masks, but I like the one we got :) I love sheet masks though! Asians are like the kings go sheet masks and it's such an easy empty ;-)

    1. i like the one we got too! hooray for easy empties!! :)

  5. Aww that's too bad, one of the lowest value I've seen from Topbox. I would love to try the mask though!


    1. yes, this was the lowest value topbox! it's a good thing the prime pot was included - bumped up the value by a lot.

  6. this was my first month, and while I'm definitely not blown away, I'm still happier with it than I was with the August and September Glymm boxes (October box still hasn't arrived). I got box-3 (which seems to be the only ALL skincare version...), so the mask and eyeshadow are the same. I haven't seen anyone else get this one, so I thought I'd calculate the values for the products that I got. Hopefully I did this right:

    - Two EndoCare skin treatments - one is a "radiance contour" that is worth $14.50(Full size = $59 for seven 1ml ampules, and I got two ampules) and "rejuvenating serum" worth another $14.50 (full size = $72.50 for 15ml, my sample is 3ml).
    - And ANOTHER "rejuvenator" from Vasanti about $5.60 (full size = $34 for 120mL, my sample is 20g).

    So unless I'm calculating this REALLY badly, Box-3 is worth around $40.00.

    Definitely not thrilled about the lack of make-up here, but I do love trying new skin treatments, so I'm still pretty happy about my first Topbox :)

    1. i was actually pretty interested when i saw the endocare samples - i wouldn't have minded trying those especially the one for dark circles! that's a great value - it might be the highest value box that was sent out this month. :)

  7. I got the same box as you but the In the Garden palette and All Nighter mask. It's alright.. I do hope next month's is more exciting though!

    1. the garden palette looks pretty! i think next month will be much better... well, based on topbox's fb comments that we'll be happy next month. we'll see soon enough! :)

  8. The bloopers part was endearing. :)

    I received Box-13. It included everything but the Stila Primer, which was replaced by the Vasanti Brighten Up! Enzymatic Face Rejuvenator. If I'm not mistaken, the value of the box was on the lower end at about $13.56.

    I think that the MaskerAide Mask was my favourite out of the box, both in terms of when I was pulling the products out and when I was trying them out. For the same reasons as yours, I did not enjoy the Aveda products at all. As for the Vasanti product, I found it to be very abrasive, and I was very hesitant to use it again (I'm limiting my usage to twice/week despite the info card suggesting 3-5/week). I haven't tried the Stila eyeshadows yet.

    Overall, not a great start- but the Lise Watier promotion did lift my spirits!

    1. aw thanks! :)

      i've seen a few reviews for box-13 (or something similar) and that value sounds about right. quite a difference in values this month! :( i received a tiny 12g tube of the vasanti product in my january glymm box and i still have some left. i also found it very abrasive. i try it again every once in a while to see if i was mistaken but nope... that stuff hurts! i've even tried to rub very lightly and still it's owwie.

  9. Late comment response but I just found your blog :)

    I got box#3 which was mainly skincare.
    I received:
    Endocare (1 ampoules, and 1 tensage radiance contour)
    Maskeraid (All nighter)
    Stila eye-shadow palette .......... was definitely not a fan at all
    Vasanti BrightenUp! Enzymatic Face Rejuvanator

    I really loved my box because I am very into skincare... however, I was not pleased with Stila sample at all but everything else in the box was amazing :)

    1. thanks for leaving your comment!! i was so curious with the endocare samples... did you like them? i wasn't too excited about the stila sample at first but i've been actually getting a lot of use out of it. i still don't want to get this type of sample in a paid subscription service though haha.


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