Thursday, October 4, 2012

September 2012 Starbox - by Starlooks

Here is my September Starbox review! The box was shipped in a bubble mailer from Los Angeles on September 22 and I received it in Toronto on September 28. This month, we received a white box with the Starlooks logo/name/website in silver. It was tied with a light grey organza ribbon and the products inside were wrapped in light grey tissue.

Here is what we received in the September Starbox (in order of appearance in the video):

1. Quartz Crystal

Similar to last month, I received a small quartz crystal in my Starbox. These crystals are supposed to attract energy and help maintain focus. I suffer from a major case of the winter blues so I'm hoping these crystals will work their magic over the next few months! The other idea is that subscribers can collect them in a glass jar to eventually build a brush holder. The crystal I received this month is teeny tiny so I imagine it will take a large number of Starboxes to gather enough for a brush holder. :)

I didn't take a photo of the little extras so I've used screenshots from my video.

2. Swarovski Eye Jewellery

Each month, Starlooks will include a little gift in our Starbox. I like receiving a little extra - it's definitely something to look forward to... and I also like that Starbox does not include anything edible. As much as I loved the Jelly Belly candies I received in my first Glymm box, I prefer to buy my own sweets and have the beauty boxes focus on beauty products.

In the September Starbox, we received 10 Swarovski flat-back eye crystals. We received 5 each of the opal and champagne colours. My personal favourite are the champagne crystals - they look almost like a topaz shade - and they sparkle like crazy! These can be attached using lash glue and I can't wait to wear these on Hallowe'en or for New Year!

3. iPrimer in Clear // 3 g // $15

I haven't tried a lot of eye shadow primers so I don't really have a basis for comparison. I've used the NYX HD eye shadow base but I didn't really like it. I find I like my eye shadow super blended and sometimes eye shadow primers are so sticky that I feel they don't allow me to blend very well. I wasn't too excited about this product but now that I've used it a few times, I can say that it's starting to grow on me. It has a really pleasant citrus-y scent. It feels a tad greasy (very slick) when you first apply it but it turns to a smooth and silky matte finish on the eye. I tried this with the eye shadows that were also in this month's Starbox - more on that below - and it made a huge difference in the vibrancy of the eye shadows.

4. Monographic 5 Shade Eye Shadow Palette // 9 g // $30

When I read the spoilers for this month's box, I was super excited to see a full size eye shadow palette included in the Starbox. I have to admit I was surprised by the colour selection though. All 5 shadows look very similar in their pans and they are very light in colour. It felt like there was a disconnect with the upcoming fall season; however, the eye shadows were previewed in this month's theme, Running With Wolves, and looked absolutely stunning on the model.

The first time I tried the eye shadows, it was after a long day at work and I had just come home from dinner with a friend. I swatched them all and then put them on over the eye makeup I was already wearing. The shadows looked quite pigmented in the swatches but they disappeared on my eyes so I was a little disappointed. Sorry the palette looks a little weathered in the photo below - I had already used the shadows and I accidentally dug my nail into two of the shades! :(

(From left to right: mint green - blue/purple - pink - opal/white - gold/yellow

It wasn't until the next morning, when I applied the iPrimer and eye shadows again to a clean eye, that I saw the full potential of the eye shadows. All the shades included in the palette have a white base and a different opalescent/iridescent sheen so they have a complex dimension to them. These eye shadows really need light to bring them to life. They looked gorgeous the next day, both in the swatches and on my eyes. I am very glad that we were provided with this palette, even though it contained colours I would never pick for myself. It pushed me out of my comfort zone and, let's face it, I have enough smokey eye palettes.

My favourite shades are the gold/yellow and the blue/purple. In the video, I'm wearing the blue/purple on my lid and the opal/white as a highlight (brow bone and inner corners) - next time, I'm going to try to blend out the edges of the lid colour a little more.

(From left to right: gold/yellow - opal/white - pink - blue/purple - mint green)

Now that I've had a chance to try all the products, I am pretty happy with this month's Starbox. The value was higher than last month; however, the ROI still remains lower than some of the other beauty boxes - I will post an updated comparison soon. The lower ROI is likely a result of the shipping cost to Canada, which represents a whopping 25% of the base cost. That being said, I like the quality of the products and I also like the surprise of having products selected for us... so I will stay subscribed to this service for the time being.

// Approximate value of the products in the September 2012 Starbox: $45 (prices were estimated since these products are not available on the Starlooks website) //

As promised last month, Starlooks' founder and owner, Marci Star, has started a video series called "Why, Marci!?" to give a little more information about the products included in the box each month. I love this idea and look forward to seeing these videos in future months. I am particularly excited about the masquerade theme for the October Starbox!

Last detail I want to note is that the customer service is still excellent. I had an issue with the lip gloss from the August Starbox so I contacted Starlooks and they sent me a replacement with my September Starbox! I was a little confused at first because I received a different shade (Calla Lily instead of Pink Petal Rose) but I am pretty sure this is the replacement because the colours are very close.

While I like that the Starbox packaging changes every month, I've noticed that the product packaging is not consistent. For example, the August lip gloss in Pink Petal Rose was in a completely different tube than the September lip gloss in Calla Lily - the size and shape were both very different. This might be due to Starlooks being a new company but I think consistency in product packaging is important.

(Please see the photo with the eye shadow swatches for a swatch of the lip gloss)

For more information about the company, please check out my August Starbox review.

If you are interested in subscribing to Starbox, please mention ellesy or petitepearstyle when you sign up. I would really appreciate it and, as always, send heaps of good karma your way!

Note: Canadians who wish to subscribe to Starbox have to contact the company directly to get set up. I signed up by filling out the information on the contact form and a representative got back to me very quickly. I asked them to call me and I gave them my credit card information over the phone. I was recently notified by a Youtube viewer that shipping to Canada has changed to $4.50 - please contact Starlooks for a quote.

FTC: I paid for the September Starbox with my own money.

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