Friday, December 28, 2012

December 2012 Topbox - Unboxing and Review

Another disappointing box this month. Topbox has quickly fallen from its position as my favourite subscription service to being on the chopping block. This month, I received BOX-31.

Here is what I received (in order of appearance in the video):

1. Goldwell Jelly Boost

This product is essentially a spray gel. The scent is quite nice and I've been wanting to try a spray gel. The back of the bottle indicates that this product is used "for creating instant body and texture for short hair styles" - I have long hair so I wasn't sure what I was going to do with this product but I was determined to find a use for it.

Impressions: I tried spraying a little of this gel on my roots to hopefully give me some root lift but it seemed to make my hair a little flatter than usual so it probably weighed it down. Now I am using this product to tame my flyaways. I spray 2-3 pumps into the palm of my hand and use my hands to smooth out all my crazy baby hairs. I'm going to see if my hubby wants to try this product as he uses hair gel on a regular basis.

full size // 150 mL // $18.95
sample size // 30 mL // approximate value of $3.79

2. Goldwell Sleek Perfection

This is essentially a heat protectant spray that is intended to be used when flat ironing your hair. I don't straighten my hair too often because I prefer wavy/curly hair on myself but I am hoping this will work even when curling my hair. I still haven't tried this product yet because I haven't heat styled my hair (I've been very lazy over the holidays) but I will definitely try it soon.

full size // 100 mL // $20.95
sample size // 20 mL // approximate value of $4.19

3. Pangea Organics Facial Cream with Nigerian Ginger, Sweet Lavender & Thyme

The first thing I noticed when I took out these packets was the small sample size. It took me a long time to get past this because Topbox has indicated several times that they were moving away from these types of foil samples. Now Topbox is saying that as long as a sample provides 2-3 uses, it will be considered a deluxe sample. I don't really agree with that. I typically classify a deluxe sample as providing 20% or more of the smallest available full size product. That being said, I do enjoy trying facial creams and I love the smell of lavender so I was hoping the sample would be to my liking. Pangea Cosmetics is based in Colorado.

Impressions: I thought this cream was decent. It is not my favourite but it did provide my skin with a reasonable amount of moisture overnight. While I do prefer a heavier cream in the winter, I think this one would be nice in the spring and summer. The scent is very strong but I did not find it unpleasant. I like that there is lavender in the cream as that provided me with a little aromatherapy when I went to bed. There was enough product for 2 uses from each of the packets.

full size // 30 mL // $16 (based on the smallest size available on the website)
sample size // 2 x 2 mL // approximately $2.13

4. Ferro Cosmetics Blush X3 Mineral Color in Suzie's Glow

This product is described as "a multi-use 100% mineral pigmented blush that adds long wearing color to cheeks, as well as lips, eyes and nails" and the shade we received is described as follows:

Created for and named after the founders Mom, who simply couldnt find a Blush to match her seasonal changing skin tone (and lipstick collection). A perfect marriage of warm and cool tones, Suzie's Glow is a perfect match for almost every woman, fair to dark, and everywhere in between. When in doubt, glow like Suzie does.

I generally like products that can be used for multiple purposes so I was pretty happy to try this product. The blush seemed to be packaged really sloppily though - it was a big mess when I opened it, with powder all around the lip of the little jar and in the threads of the container and the lid. I tried to save most of the product when I cleaned it up. It also would have been nice if a sifter were included to make this product more user friendly.

Impressions: I tried this product on my cheek and on my lips (see above video) and I really like it. The colour on my cheeks is really subtle and natural looking. On my lips, the shade is a really sweet, neutral, light pink. I mixed a tiny bit of the product in a clear lip gloss and applied it to my lips with a lip brush. At first, the product went on slightly goopy but once I rubbed my lips together, it settled in really nicely and no longer had a goopy appearance.

full size // 4 g // $17
sample size // 2 g (estimated) // approximately $8.50

As mentioned, I was disappointed with this month's Topbox. Being a holiday box, I thought there would have been something a little special about it - perhaps a bonus sample or even a small candy cane or something. The only indication that this was a holiday box was the red tube (which some subscribers did not receive) and red tissue. There was not even a note on the Topbox card wishing subscribers a happy holiday or thanking us for our business.

// Approximate value of the products in the December 2012 Topbox: $18.61 //

The January box is going to be what Topbox has dubbed the Privé box. This box will feature samples from a single brand. I am hoping this box will make up for a lacklustre December box. In future months, Topbox will periodically offer the option to subscribers to switch the regular Topbox to a Privé box - apparently, the brand and contents of the Privé box will be disclosed before subscribers make their choice.

What version of the Topbox did you receive this month? What did you think of the samples?

Note: I purchased this Topbox with my own money.


  1. why are the canadian boxes so... boring? i've been disappointed with each of them in the past 5 months, and unsubscribed from glossybox recently. i'm now with ipsy which is more makeup oriented, i have high hopes for it. my first box was nice so i hope it won't disappoint in the future!

    1. if i cancel glossybox and topbox, my only canadian box will be glymm! and that's only because i'm subscribed for a year. i do like seasonsbox (based in ontario) but that's more of a lifestyle box. ipsy looks really good but i have to stop subscribing because i never seem to cancel any of them!

  2. I was really disappointed with mine as well. This is only my 3rd Topbox and one of the samples I received was an Endocare skincare duo that was listed on my card as NEW! but it was actually in my October box as well. I emailed them my concern and they promised to add an additional item in my next box. I should also mention that my first/October box only had 3 items in it, clearly missing an item that was listed on the card. After I brought it to their attention, they included it in my November box. So far, not particularly pleased with this subscription so far.

    1. that sounds like a whole lot of hassle for not-so-great products. ack, i'm really thinking of cancelling, regardless of whether the january box is good.

  3. Yeah, this month's was pretty disappointing. I am excited for the Prive Box though, and I hope there is a good brand featured!

    1. i think the prive box will be a good one! i wonder what the "announcement" will be in january... hmmm...

  4. I was majorly disappointed with December's Topbox :( You're right, even a mini candy cane would have been a nice addition! I got the Pangea samples too and I was shocked at how small they were and that they were considered samples at all!

    1. i'm usually easy to please but this month was very disappointing! i loved BB5 this month though! :)

  5. i was sooo dissapointed with my box this month
    I received Box #9, which included: Balenciaga Paris (eau de parfum), Ferro Cosmetics (ultimate hd foundation), Goldwell (hot form spray), Kellett Skincare (moisturizing gel) and I'm kind of bleh to this month's especially because the HD foundation is too light for me :O. Fingers crossed for a better box next month.

    at least the tubes are awesome for our bunnies to play with :)

    1. the hot form spray sounds kind of interesting. i think i just like the name! :) i've received the balenciaga fragrance before and i ddn't mind it even though it wasn't in a pretty bottle.

      haha both truffle and lulu like the tubes! they get bored of them kind of quickly now though because i've given them so many. :)

  6. I can't remember which box I got (might have been 18), but I am BEYOND disappointed in it. I wasn't excited about anything in it. Contents were:
    - the same Goldwell spray that you got for straightening hair
    - 2 tiny kellett moisturizers
    - the ferro blush
    - a tiny Chloe eau de parfum
    The only thing I was kind of happy about was the Chloe perfume, because I know it's a long-lasting one that I find pretty. And after the necessary clean up, the Ferro product is quite pretty. Otherwise, total disappointment. First of all, I have super curly hair that doesn't straighten, so the spray is useless. The Kellett moisturizers are supposed to be multi-use, but there's no way to reseal the sample once you open it, so I don't see how I'm supposed to keep it...

    I was sooo excited when I finally got off the waiting list for Topbox, and now I'm thinking that I will probably cancel after the January box :(

    1. the chloe perfume was probably the best sample that i saw out there! everything else was really mediocre. :(

    2. Oh, I forgot to mention that the chloe perfume was clearly marked "free sample". So much for deluxe!

      So sad for a holiday box! They could have done something fun, but instead everyone was disappointed.

    3. eeps! i read about the "free sample" on the chloe perfume. that's a little tacky. :(

  7. Usually with those mini perfume bottles they have to write that- even in the sets you buy at the store like Shoppers.
    The "free sample" perfume is something you would get as a bonus if you bought something at the store.
    You can't go to the store and get a 4ml perfume free.....

    I think they put free sample so companies will not resell it- like those cosmetic warehouse sales wehre they ask $5 for a not for resale item.

    1. perhaps that is the case and that would explain it! with the mini perfume samples i've received in other beauty boxes, i haven't seen any marked with free sample... not sure what the right approach is though as i am not up on my labelling regulations. :)


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