Thursday, January 17, 2013

January 2013 Topbox - Unboxing and Review

A little while ago, Topbox announced the launch of the Privé box, which is basically a Topbox that contains samples from one particular brand. Topbox indicated that all subscribers would receive the Privé box in the month of January but the brand itself was kept a surprise. The brand for our inaugural Privé box was Clinique. I was neither excited nor disappointed about this - as I've somehow accumulated quite a number of Clinique samples / gift with purchases that I've never used! Nevertheless, I was hopeful that we'd perhaps receive Chubby Stick in this box. Unfortunately, no Chubby Stick but read on to see what was included.

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

1. Clinique Rinse Off Eye Makeup Solvent

This product was well-reviewed on the Sephora website so I'm hoping it will work well... without stinging my eyes. This is a generous sample! I used to enjoy receiving eye makeup removers but since I have so many I still need to try, it's hard for me to get excited when I receive another one. I have (but haven't yet tried) a sample of the Clinique Take the Day Off so I am happy I will be able to try both formulations.

full size // 125 mL // $25
sample size // 60 mL // approximate value of $12

2. Clinique Colour Surge Eye Shadow Duo

This was my favourite product in the box. The packaging, though very prone to fingerprints (as you'll see in my photo below), is very attractive to me! I love shiny things. I received the duo in Strawberry Fudge. The brown shade is very pretty - it's also got a soft and buttery texture! I don't normally like pink shades on my eyes (makes me look sleepy or like my eyes are swollen) but this light pink shade has a little bit of gold iridescence to it, which will hopefully translate nicely on the eye. There is a satin, almost metallic finish, which is quickly becoming my favourite finish - even beating out matte shadows! I haven't tried this product yet as I wear very minimal eye makeup to work but I will be digging into this duo very soon.

full size // 2.5 g // $25
sample size // 1.6 g // approximate value of $16

3. Clinique Clarifying Lotion #3

Although this product got decent reviews, I am worried it will be too drying on my skin. I have combination dry skin and this product is for combination oily skin. There is alcohol in this toner and I generally look for toners that are alcohol free. Maybe I will try it in the summer on my t-zone as I do like to try all the products I receive in these beauty boxes. I will be reading more about this product before I try it.

full size // 200 mL // $16
sample size // 30 mL // approximately $2.40

4. Clinique Repairwear Laser Focus Wrinkle & UV Damage Corrector

The Repairwear Laser Focus line was featured on the tube so this was the star of the Privé box. This feels like a serum and has a very nice, light scent. I am actually pretty excited to try this product. As I've mentioned before, I don't purchase anti-aging products because they are so expensive - I do like trying them in these beauty boxes. This one is supposed to minimize fine lines and UV damage - I've read mixed reviews as to the effectiveness. I do have a line developing under my left eye so I already have my test site. :)

full size // 30 mL // $57
sample size // 7 mL // approximately $13.30

Overall, I was reasonably happy with this month's Topbox - certainly more pleased than I've been in the past 2-3 months. I will stay subscribed for the time being but Topbox is still near the bottom of my list so some improvements will be needed for me to stay subscribed in the longer term.

// Approximate value of the products in the January 2013 Clinique Privé box / Topbox: $43.70 //

In future months, when Privé boxes are available, subscribers will be able to preview and choose whether or not to switch the regular Topbox for the Privé box. Note that choosing the Privé box does not guarantee you will receive it as there are limited quantities. If the number of subscribers electing the Privé box exceeds the number available, Topbox will use a random lottery system to decide who will receive the Privé boxes. Whew, that took a while to explain!

For February, there were 3 Privé box options available: Benefit, Lippy Girl, and Miracle 10. I was only interested in the Benefit box so I put my name down for that one... I hope I get it because I really want to try the Dandelion powder. Topbox mentioned that there are "thousands" of the Benefit boxes and "hundreds" of the Lippy Girl and Miracle 10 boxes.

What do you think of the Privé box concept? What version of the Clinique box did you receive this month? Were you happy with this month's brand and samples?

Note: I purchased this Topbox with my own money.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

January 2013 SeasonsBox Review & GIVEAWAY (CLOSED)

SeasonsBox is a relatively new subscription service that promises 3-5 full-size luxury products for your home, body, and spirit. The box ships out of Ontario, Canada and is available to Canadian and U.S. residents. Besides curating boxes themed with a particular season (i.e., winter, spring, summer, fall), SeasonsBox will also be curating boxes themed with specific holidays (e.g., Valentine's Day, Mother's Day, Halloween). The contents of every box are intended to stimulate your senses with the scents and flavours associated with a season or holiday.

SeasonsBox provides high quality, luxury, and full-size products (versus samples) with a focus on natural and responsible products. The products are also sourced from various places around the world and most of them are not available in commercial stores. SeasonsBox provides a preview of the products at the beginning of the month. Each box will also include a little surprise as a bonus. To access the preview, you can visit the SeasonsBox website or like the SeasonsBox Facebook page. You can also sign up for updates.

// Price //

The price of a monthly subscription or a one-time purchase is $29.95 plus $4.95 shipping. The prices per box decrease if you purchase a subscription for multiple months (i.e., 3, 6, or 12 month). The current prices including shipping are as follows:

- Bill monthly for $34.90
- 3 months for $99.70
- 6 months for $174.50
- 12 months for $250 (note that this is an introductory offer - there was a pricing error on the website but SeasonsBox will be honouring the lower price until the end of January. The regular price for the 12 month subscription is $349.)
- One time purchase or gift for $34.90

SeasonsBox confirmed that you will be allowed to skip months under the 12 month subscription plan (you just have to send an e-mail noting which month you'd like to skip).

// January SeasonsBox //

I was really impressed with the January SeasonsBox! This month, we received a box tied beautifully with a brown ribbon. The theme for the January box was "the season of cozy" and all of the products in the box were from either Thailand or the U.S.

1. Vance Kitira Handmade Woven Scarf

1 scarf // $15

This gorgeous, cozy scarf is made of 100% cotton and hand-dyed with natural products such as bark extract. The scarf is handmade by members of the hill tribes in Northern Thailand. This would be great as a shawl or a scarf and I noticed on the Vance Kitira website that it can also be used as a table runner! This was my favourite product in the January SeasonsBox because I have a mini obsession with scarves.

2. Vance Kitira Scented Cathedral Candle in Caramel Pear

one 3x4 candle // $11

This is a hand-poured candle that is made in Thailand with premium food grade paraffin from Taiwan. It is a drip free candle with a burn time of approximately 55 hours. It smells just like caramalized pear and I cannot wait to try it. I literally just bought the Brandied Pear candle from Bath & Body Works so the scent is right up my alley.

3. Unearth Malee Organic Bath Tea

two 1-ounce bags // $8

Herbal bath teas are apparently a stable in Thai spa treatments. This product contains certified organic herbs such as lemongrass, eucalyptus, mint, galangal root, and ginger. It also contains kaffir lime leaves and dead sea salt. There is a strong herbal scent - the eucalyptus and mint definitely stand out. Similar to the peppermint soap we received in the December 2012 SeasonsBox, the envelope housing the bath tea is made of seeded paper so you can plant it to grow wildflowers. :)

Even though I previewed the contents of the January box, I guess I was so focussed on the scarf that I didn't read much about the bath products. When I opened up the envelope, I was surprised (in a good way) to see what looked like two huge tea bags! This is definitely not for drinking... instead, you steep a bag for 5 minutes in your bath water before soaking/relaxing in the "tea". I love it! I am very excited about this product as I've never seen anything like it.

4. Whispering Willow Whipped Shea Butter in Peppermint

1.2 ounces // $8

Whispering Willow is a company based in North Carolina that sells natural, handcrafted soaps, lip balms, and related products. I received a whipped shea butter in peppermint, which smells divine! I am loving body butters in the winter because my skin is so dry. I really like how the body butter is packaged nicely in a little box - it's perfect to give to a friend or loved one as an I-was-thinking-of-you gift... that's if you can bear to part with it!

5. Perfumessence Breathe Shower Bath Bombs

1 bath & shower bomb // approximately $1.65

This was our bonus sample and it was also previewed on the SeasonsBox website. I was happy to receive this as I've been taking lots of baths lately and bath bombs always fascinate me when they start to dissolve. This bath bomb contains eucalyptus, mint, rosemary, and lavender essential oils. This product is neat because you can use it in the bath or in the shower. To use this in the shower, you simply place it on the floor or on a shelf but out of direct water or steam - then you can enjoy its aromatherapy properties for up to 3 showers.

// Summary //

Overall, I was extremely happy with this month's SeasonsBox! The total value was $43.65 so again there was not a huge return compared to the monthly subscription or one-time box price; however, you are getting a lovely curated box that is packed full of goodies and shipped to your home. Note that the value of the box each month will differ. The value will never be below $35 and some months will have a higher value (e.g., $50-$75).

SeasonsBox also mentioned that an online store will be available soon... past boxes will be available for purchase at the retail value.

// Giveaway //

SeasonsBox has very kindly offered to give away one of the February boxes! The theme will be "love yourself" so I think this box will be filled with a whole bunch of goodies that can be used to pamper yourself. I can't wait to see the preview. If you are interested in winning a February SeasonsBox, please enter the giveaway via the Rafflecopter widget below. You can earn multiple entries - all the different ways to gain additional entries are also shown below.

Note: I want all your entries to be eligible so I just want to provide a reminder to please ensure you follow the instructions included in each option to enter:

A) Your comment on this blog post should answer the following question: What is your favourite season, holiday, or occasion and why?

B) Your comment on the SeasonsBox Facebook page should mention that Petite Pear Style sent you and also answer the following question: What would you like to see in a future SeasonsBox and for what holiday or season? Feel free to be creative! :) EXAMPLE: "Petite Pear Style sent me... for St. Patrick's Day, I'd love to receive a few varieties of green tea!" OR "Petite Pear Style sent me... it would be great to have a Back-to-School box with some cute magnets or stationary."

C) Your comment on the giveaway video should answer the following question: What is your favourite item from the January SeasonsBox and why?

The giveaway will close on February 2, 2013 at 11:59 p.m. (EST) and the winner will be selected on February 3, 2013.

Here are the giveaway rules:

1) The giveaway is open to residents of Canada and the U.S.
2) You must be 18 years of age or older or have parental permission to enter.
3) The winning entry will be validated. Ineligible entries will be disqualified and another name will be selected.
4) The winner will be selected on February 3, 2013.
5) The winner will have 72 hours to claim the prize before another name is selected.

Good Luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

UPDATE: Thank you to everyone who entered this giveaway! I have contacted the winner... congratulations to Nancy P.! :)

FTC: The January box was sent to me for review purposes. SeasonsBox will be sending the February box to the giveaway winner.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

December 2012 Empties

Lots of empties in December... let's get right into it!

I'm going to try a new style of describing the products as my traditional paragraph style is very time consuming to craft... and I'm sure it's also tedious to read! I will be using the following ratings:

* = Would not repurchase
** = Might or might not repurchase
*** = Would repurchase

Here are the products I finished in December - in order of appearance in the video:

1. Lys Parisien Moisturizing Shampoo & Moisturizing Balm
Source: November Glymm Bag
Thoughts: I liked the mild scent but the product was too heavy and weighed down my hair.
Rating: *

2. Carol's Daughter Repairing Shampoo & Repairing Conditioner
Source: Sephora sample
Thoughts: Better than average on my hair but I didn't like the scent (can't place it).
Rating: *

3. June Jacobs Citrus Clarifying Conditioner
Source: Hotel sample
Thoughts: I loved the scent! The conditioner itself was ok but I really enjoyed trying this product.
Rating: **

4. Rainspa Conditioner
Source: Hotel sample
Thoughts: The conditioner was ok - nothing too interesting to note.
Rating: *

5. Molton Brown Radiant Lili-Pili Hair Condition
Source: Hotel sample
Thoughts: I liked the scent and enjoyed trying this conditioner.
Rating: **

6. Sachajuan Hair Repair
Source: Sephora sample
Thoughts: This stuff did wonders for my hair - made it soft and silky for days.
Rating: ***

7. Maskeraide Pre Party Prep and I Don't Wanna Grow Up
Source: Purchased by me :)
Thoughts: I love these masks but they are a little on the pricy side. If I do re-purchase these, I would buy the Detox Diva mask.
Rating: **

8. Curel Foot Therapy
Source: May Glossybox
Thoughts: I love this foot cream - the texture, scent, effectiveness, and price are all great.
Rating: ***

9. Pangea Organics Facial Cream - Nigerian Ginger with Lavender & Thyme
Source: December Topbox
Thoughts: I thought this cream was alright - it's got a strong scent and it's a little too light for me in the winter.
Rating: *

10. Cuccio Naturale Butter in Pomegranate & Fig
Source: November Topbox
Thoughts: I used this as a hand cream and absolutely loved it. This cream is non-greasy, fast absorbing, and has an amazing scent.
Rating: ***

11. Clean & Clear Daily Pore Cleanser
Source: Purchased by me :)
Thoughts: My favourite facial cleanser! I love the little micro scrubbers.
Rating: ***

12. Biore Balancing Cleanser
Source: June Glossybox
Thoughts: I was not a fan of this cleanser so it took a while to use up - I just kept it in the shower and I think my hubby used it too. The texture is very thick and gel-like so I found it a little hard to wash off. There is a strong, sweet scent that I didn't mind.
Rating: *

13. Nivea Gentle Toner
Source: Purchased by me :)
Thoughts: My favourite toner - it's alcohol free so non-drying.
Rating: ***

14. Benefit Hello Flawless Oxygen Wow Liquid Foundation
Source: Sephora sample
Thoughts: This foundation is very lightweight and comfortable on the skin. It provides light coverage but really helped even out my skin tone.
Rating: ***

15. Urban Decay Naked Skin Weightless Ultra Definition Liquid Makeup
Source: Sephora sample
Thoughts: Same comments as the Benefit foundation but I think I liked the Benefit a touch more.
Rating: ***

16. Hourglass Veil Fluid Makeup with SPF 15
Source: Sephora sample
Thoughts: I thought this product was ok. Perhaps it was the colour or the sunscreen but this foundation did not blend very well on my skin. I also found my nose got a little shiny throughout the day when wearing this.
Rating: *

17. Nivea Hydro Care Lip Balm
Source: Favourite things swap - thanks Keltie!! :)
Thoughts: I love this lip balm. It goes on so smooth and it's very moisturizing.
Rating: ***

18. Crawford Street Skin Care Lemon Deodorant Cream
Source: Purchased by me :)
Thoughts: I really like this deodorant! It's all natural and aluminum free. It does apply a little oily/gritty due to the ingredients but it does a great job at moisturizing your underarms and also controlling odor.
Rating: ***

19. Rexall Baby Wipes
Source: Purchased by me :)
Thoughts: I would not recommend this product (at least not in this size). The wipes dried out unbelievably fast - I think within a week. I still finished the product as I would just wet the wipes a little bit before using them.
Rating: *

19. Sally Hansen Salon Effects Real Nail Polish Strips in Snow Bunny
Source: Holiday swap - thanks Sarah!
Thoughts: This product was so much fun! I've never had a manicure last this long - my nails did not chip even after 1 week of wearing this product. My nails did grow a little bit so I had a little gap near my cuticles but I was amazed that there were no chips as my manicures usually only last 1 to 3 days.
Rating: ***

20. Slatkin & Co. Mini Candle in Caribbean Escape
Source: Holiday swap - thanks Sarah!
Thoughts: I really loved the scent of this candle and the burn time was reasonable at 10 to 15 hours!
Rating: ***

21. Bath & Body Works Mini Candle in Frosted Gingerbread
Source: December SeasonsBox
Thoughts: Same comment as above even though it was a very different scent.
Rating: ***

22. Method Laundry Detergent in Lavender & Cedar
Source: Purchased by me :)
Thoughts: I really like this laundry detergent. The scent is mild and interesting - different from your typical detergent scent.
Rating: ***

That's it for December! I'm doing pretty well so far in January so hopefully I will have lots more empties to share. :)

Monday, January 7, 2013

Glossybox Canada Reponse - An Update

Warning: This is going to be a long winded post that may come off as a bit of a rant. This is not my typical style for posts but I thought this issue merited an update. As much as I tried to make this post seem non-ranty, this was the best I could do.

Further to my review of the December Glossybox, here is the response that was posted on the Glossybox Facebook page in reference to the discontinued Avon products that were included in this month's box:

I am glad the overall tone of the message is apologetic and does not come across as defensive for the most part. However, I believe the only reason for this is because of the public relations maelstrom on Facebook - I think Glossybox was essentially backed into a corner to provide an apologetic statement. Note that subscribers who are not on Facebook (or who do not read reviews of beauty boxes) would likely be unaware of the whole old/discontinued product issue as Glossybox did not send out any e-mail updates about this.

I just want to make 3 points about this message:

1) The message does not provide any real information. The only information that Glossybox actually confirms is that it sources products from third party suppliers. We already knew that because Avon and Revlon themselves indicated that they did not partner with Glossybox - thanks to the diligence of a few subscribers who contacted the brands and posted the findings on Facebook.

2) The use of third party suppliers makes me feel that the price increase (and higher price in general) is due to Glossybox having to pay for "filler" in our boxes because the company does not have enough brand partnerships in place. The use of a third party supplier worries me a little because Glossy box does not seem to have a lot of information about the products being sent to us and can dodge accountability by pointing to the supplier. As an extension of this, I feel that we as customers can neither rely on Glossybox nor the brand itself for reliable information when products are provided by a third party.

3) The kicker for me is that this message further indicates that Glossybox is in denial about its products. First, Glossybox responded to one of my e-mails telling me that they do not believe they include drug store brands in their boxes. Oh, ok. Now this:

... We’ve communicated with our supplier in Europe, who has been a reliable GLOSSYBOX provider in the past,
and they have reassured us that the product is in date, new and unopened, but we are devastated if our GLOSSIES are upset.

What? In what world are these Avon products, some from 2005, "in date"? Sure, they may be new and unopened (hopefully) but they are certainly not, by any stretch of the imagination, "in date". Glossybox seems to have a knack for downgrading the credibility of its entire message with one little nuance.

I understand that only 2 of the smaller items in this month's Glossybox were the focus of this public relations nightmare but, to me, this whole situation speaks volumes about the company's business practices and integrity. I have cancelled my subscription. This is the first time I've "broken up" with a beauty box and if you follow my blog, you'll know this was a long time coming. I will be receiving the January box (as I was charged for it today) but that will be my last one.

A lot of people are very upset with this issue but, on the other hand, a lot of subscribers think the issue has been blown out of proportion. How do you feel about it? What did you think of Glossybox's statement? Will you be giving Glossybox another chance?

Sunday, January 6, 2013

December 2012 Glossybox Canada - Unboxing and Review

There were a few things I really liked about the December Glossybox - I received a golden ticket box and I also really liked a few of the products. However, overall I was disappointed in Glossybox this month for a couple of reasons:

1) Drug store brands. As I've mentioned in the past, I prefer receiving higher end or niche brands in these beauty boxes - even if it means smaller sample sizes... as long as the sample sizes aren't teeny tiny foil packets.

2) Unknown product sourcing. It appears that two of the samples in this month's box were not sourced from the brand itself. There is a lot of backlash on Facebook because it appears that a lot of the Revlon & Avon products sent out this month are very very old (discontinued) products that may have been purchased in bulk from a discount-type store. Glossybox is giving us the runaround regarding the Revlon nail polish and has promised us an update on the Avon product on Monday. I will be very interested in the response as I think subscribers have a right to know where the products are coming from.

Anyway, this video is longer than usual because I wanted to address item #2 in particular.

When I first opened the shipping box, I was very excited because we received a beautiful silver box this month. Inside, the contents were wrapped in a grey/silver ribbon with a silver & white Glossybox sticker and a hot pink LouLou sticker. This month's box was apparently curated by LouLou magazine. Again this month, we received a copy of GlossyMag - I like that the magazine contains some Canadian content but overall I wouldn't mind either way if this magazine was included or not.

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

1. Nobia Tiny Mint Earrings

All subscribers received these little stud earrings in the December Glossybox. I like these earrings but wish that subscribers would have received different earrings (rather than all of us receiving the same style). That being said, jewellery is such a personal choice that I guess these earrings were the least risky choice. This was a bonus sample that was not listed on our product card. It's interesting to note that Glossybox subscribers in the U.S. received a Jewelmint piece - I guess this is Glossybox Canada's way of making the boxes a little more equitable.

Full size and sample size // 1 pair of earrings // $14.99

2. Nobia Necklace

This was my golden ticket item! 50 subscribers were randomly chosen this month to receive a piece of jewellery and I was surprised to find that I was one of them. The necklaces that were given out in previous golden ticket boxes (this is the 3rd month) were hit or miss so I haven't been too broken up about not receiving a golden ticket in the past. This month's necklace was actually something that I'd wear so I was pretty happy with it.

Full size and sample size // 1 necklace // $14.99 (I didn't see this necklace on the Nobia website so I just assigned the lowest price)

3. Tresemme Fresh Start Volumizing Dry Shampoo

This is the only dry shampoo I've tried that I didn't like. I will still use this product since I don't have a spray dry shampoo at the moment and sprays are quick and easy (plus I hate wasting products). Hopefully I'll get through it quickly since it's a small bottle. I reviewed this product in my All About Dry Shampoo post.

Full size // 161 g // $7.29
Sample size // 56 g // $2.54

4. Tresemme Split Remedy Shampoo & Conditioner

I like trying new shampoo and conditioner so I didn't mind receiving this sample. I didn't even mind the small sample size since this was a bonus and not counted towards our regular set of samples. I think I'll get 1-2 uses out of these packets.

Shampoo: Full size // 700 mL // $6.99
Sample size // 9 mL // $0.09

Conditioner: Full size // 700 mL // $6.99
Sample size // 9 mL // $0.09

5. Aveeno Positively Ageless Day Lotion with SPF 30

I love Aveeno products so I was happy to see this in my Glossybox even though I'm not crazy about receiving drug store products in these beauty boxes. I haven't used this moisturizer yet but I tried it on the back of my hand. I really like the pump bottle and it seems to aerate the lotion so it comes out with a whipped consistency. There is a mild scent that does not bother me.

Full size & sample size // 75 mL // $25.99

6. Aveeno Positively Ageless Tinted Moisturizer with SPF 30

I was most excited about this product as I enjoy trying tinted moisturizers, BB creams, and foundations. I received this full size product in the shade light to medium. I like that this is in a pump bottle.

Impressions: I've been using this product for the past 3-4 days and I am loving it. It saves me so much time in the morning because it's a moisturizer, sunscreen, and very light foundation all-in-one. I find the product a little bit dry so I will be using it in the winter with a moisturizer underneath but I think this product would be perfect on its own in the summer. This is a product I would purchase. This product also has a mild scent.

Full size & sample size // 50 mL // $25.99

7. Glossybox False Eyelashes

Another set of falsies! I am ok about receiving these. They are very dramatic so I will likely be cutting them in half because the full set will probably overwhelm my eyes. The lashes come with a tiny tube of glue. I tried the glue on New Year's Eve when I used it to apply the Lashem false lashes I received in my December Glymm bag. Unfortunately, the glue was not very good quality and I found it did not hold the lashes in place very well and the false lashes also came off very easily.

Full size & sample size // 1 set of lashes // $12.50

8. Revlon Nail Polish in Demure

This nail polish is from the Fire and Ice collection, which I believe was released in February 2011. While I'd rather receive a product from a current collection, I don't mind receiving older nail polish shades.

Impressions: I thought this shade would clash with my skin tone but it was actually reasonably pretty on. It's a mid-tone pinky peach colour. I'm wearing this shade in the above video.

Full size & sample size // 14.7 mL // $5.99

Other comments: This is one one of the products that is causing an uproar on Facebook. Many subscribers received old, discontinued nail polish shades - I believe some were from 2008? Some subscribers also reported that their nail polishes had clearance Rite-Aid stickers on them. Revlon has indicated that it has not partnered with Glossybox so these nail polishes were clearly sourced from a third party - perhaps in bulk from a discount store. This is a little disconcerting as I thought Glossybox was supposed to be partnering with brands to bring us the latest products. While I liked the nail polish I received, I think we subscribers have a right to know the source of these products. Glossybox has tried to sweep this issue under the rug and posted this message on Facebook:

GLOSSIES, we are sorry that some of you were disappointed with your full-size Revlon nail polish. We were careful to send you colours that would be universally acceptable and all-in-all great additions to any nail polish collection. We hope that you can enjoy your nail polish and if you have any further questions, we are happy to have you email our customer service department.

9. Avon Color Trend Mini Lip Gloss in London

The only link I could find for this Avon product was a UK Ebay listing. This product is made in Poland and was apparently sourced by a UK partner (or perhaps by the Glossybox head office?). Some of the Avon products that were provided to subscribers were discontinued in, get ready for this, 2005! So some of these lip and eye products are 7 to 8 years old... at a minimum!

Impressions: Unfortunately, this silver/grey colour was so shocking that I actually put this on immediately after opening this product, without knowing that the product could have been over 7 years old. This grey makes me look dead. I could see this perhaps being used to tone down a brighter lip colour but I would not wear this product on its own. And now that I know how old it is, I definitely would not wear this product at all.

Full size & sample size // unknown size // unknown value

Other comments: The Avon products are also causing a lot of unhappiness on the Facebook page and, while I've stayed out of the melee, I am very disappointed in Glossybox. It is typical for this company to try to gloss over issues but I am not sure how it is going to weather this public relations storm. The logical course of action would be to be transparent and apologize but this is Glossybox we are talking about so I sense that a defensive response will be forthcoming.

Overall, I was not pleased with this month's Glossybox despite the fact that I did enjoy some of the products. The point of these beauty boxes for me is to try high end or niche brands so I don't really value repeatedly receiving drug store brands, even if they are full size. I will be cancelling this box later this month.

One last note: although LouLou apparently curated this box, there was no sign of this except that some tips were included on the Glossybox product card and a subscription offer was tucked into the envelope. I would have thought a magazine at the very least would have been included in this box (or perhaps mailed separately). This partnership seems to be a bit of a farce.

// Approximate value of the products in the December 2012 Glossybox: $103.17 //

I received the V1 box this month. Did you receive a Glossybox this month and, if so, what did you think of the contents?

FTC: I used my Glossydots to redeem this box.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

2013 Goals

Happy New Year! Hope you are all having a wonderful start to 2013. :)

The new year never feels quite right until I've formally set my goals for the year. I always have an official goal setting session with one of my friends in the first week of the year (we also take this time to look back on our 2012 goals). This year, I set some of my goals a little early so I could record this video. Gotta love my sleepy eyes in the below screenshot.

My main themes for 2013 are decluttering (continued from 2012), health & fitness (I took a break from this in 2012 but I think I'm ready to make some changes this year), and YouTube (new in 2013). When I set goals, I always try use the SMART criteria as that typically helps me to stay focussed. I've set 9 goals for 2013 and here they are!

1. Reduce contents of home by 25% (Decluttering)
2. Reduce beauty box subscriptions to 3 (Decluttering)
3. Implement a beauty ban for 9 months (Decluttering)
4. Fit into my Browns knee-high black boots (Health & Fitness)
5. Eat 5 servings of fruit and vegetables per day (Health & Fitness)
6. Plan 6 videos around a holiday or occasion (YouTube)
7. Film 2 reviews and/or tutorials per month (YouTube)
8. Savings goal + rewards (Miscellaneous)
9. Take a photo a day and post to my Tumblr (Miscellaneous)

This year, I will be doing quarterly video updates because I found the monthly videos a little too overwhelming and repetitive. However, checking in on a monthly basis really helped me stay on track so I will still be doing monthly blog posts with my updates.

My 10 days of holidays are coming to a close and I cannot believe it's already time to head back to work tomorrow. I made an impromptu, unspoken goal of blogging every day during my holidays and I did pretty well as I only missed posting on Christmas Eve. I love blogging more frequently but alas, with work commitments, I will have to return to my regular schedule of 1-2 posts a week.

Have you set any goals or resolutions for 2013? If so, please let me know! If you haven't set your goals yet, I fully believe you can set goals at any time of the year... so happy goal setting!

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