Friday, February 22, 2013

February 2013 SeasonsBox - Unboxing and Review

The theme of the February SeasonsBox was Love Yourself and it was filled with amazing products to indulge and pamper yourself. We received 4 full size products this month and I loved each and every one.

This month, we received a box tied with a beautiful pink ribbon. I really like that SeasonsBox uses a high quality grosgrain ribbon to wrap its boxes. Let's open this baby up and see what's inside!

1. Kaia Naturals Juicy Bamboo Facial Cleansing Cloths

30 cloths // $17.99

This is a product that I consistently re-purchase because these are my favourite cleansing cloths (although I usually buy them in the individually wrapped travel format). I was first introduced to Kaia Naturals when I received a sample in my January 2012 Glymm box and I absolutely fell in love with the product. These cleansing cloths are gentle yet effective and they smell great. It's definitely a bonus that they are all natural and environmentally friendly. I was running low on these and planning to make a re-purchase so it was great timing to receive these in my SeasonsBox.

2. Bambu Earth Salt Glow Sugar Cookie Body Polish

255 g // $18

I am not exaggerating when I say that this is quite possibly the most amazing scent I have ever smelled. It's a sweet mixture of sugar cookie, lemon, and almond - it makes me salivate! I keep this jar beside my computer and smell it a few times every night. This product smells so good that it can actually serve as a dessert replacement for me. No, I'm not going to eat it... but I would seriously forgo a variety of desserts in exchange for a whiff of this product. It smells that good.

3. Dream Organics Rose Water

100 mL // $22

This is probably my favourite product of all - and that is saying a lot considering how much I love everything in this month's SeasonsBox. It is a rose water mist, made from the essence of premium organic Bulgarian rose petals. This product has a light and natural rose scent that is not at all artificial or cloying. It is quite literally the perfect rose scent and it reminds me of the rose ice cream and sugared rose petals I ate in France. I initially thought this was a body mist but it can also be used as a makeup setting spray, to reduce redness and improve your complexion, and for relief from bug bites, sunburn, or rashes. I didn't realize rose water had so many useful properties!

4. Galerie Au Chocolate Fair Trade Bar in Cappuccino

95 g // $5

I think I have seen the Galerie Au Chocolat store in Montreal but I don't think I have ever gone inside... I definitely won't be passing it by the next time I'm in Montreal! This Belgian milk chocolate bar contains 36% cocoa and tastes rich and decadent. There are little bits of cappuccino crunch suspended in the chocolate, which gives the sweet treat a nice kick.

Overall, I am really loving the February SeasonsBox! I believe this box is still available on the SeasonsBox website if you are interested in trying the products yourself. The total value of the products included was $62.99 so this box was a great value.

About SeasonsBox

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. Please visit the SeasonsBox website for current pricing.

If you would like to subscribe to SeasonsBox, I would be grateful if you would use my referral link... of course, I will also send heaps of good karma your way!

FTC: The February box was sent to me for review purposes. I also purchased a one year subscription to SeasonsBox with my own money.

Monday, February 18, 2013

January 2013 Empties

My January empties are long overdue!

I normally take my empties photos on my balcony but it's way too cold for that so I reverted to my white background approach.

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

1. Tresemme Split Remedy Shampoo & Conditioner
Source: December 2012 Glossybox
Thoughts: These products were ok but nothing exciting or special
Rating: *

2. Kiehl's Superbly Smoothing Argan Shampoo & Conditioner
Source: These products were included in a gift set that my hubby bought me last year
Thoughts: I wasn't a fan of these products. They weighed down my hair and my roots seemed to get greasier more quickly than usual. I also didn't like the scent of these products (medicinal).
Rating: *

3. Pantene Pro-V Aqua Light Shampoo
Source: 2012 Beauty Board
Thoughts: I thought this shampoo was pretty good for a drug store shampoo. It worked well at cleaning my hair and had a nice, pleasant scent.
Rating: **

4. Redken All Soft Argan-6 Oil
Source: June 2012 Topbox
Thoughts: I like this product a lot. I use it as a pre-shampoo prep treatment... I basically apply it to the ends of my hair and leave it for 3-5 minutes before shampooing and conditioning. It leaves my hair really silky and soft. I find this product has a very interesting scent. It reminds me a little of ferrets haha. I used to have ferrets so I don't think this is a bad thing but some people might. :P
Rating: **

5. Seventh Generation Chlorine Free Baby Wipes
Source: Sample included with my order from
Thoughts: I didn't like these wipes. They are supposed to be unscented but I detected quite a strong vinegar scent. There were only 3 wipes and I ended up using them to clean my shoes.
Rating: *

6. Balea 3-in-1 Cleansing Cloths
Source: These were included in my goody bag from the Shoppers Drug Mart grand opening at Eaton Centre
Thoughts: These cleansing cloths were ok when I first started using them. Unfortunately, the more I used them, the more they started to irritate my skin... I eventually had to stop using them for a bit.
Rating: *

7. Clean & Clear Makeup Dissolving Facial Cleansing Wipes
Source: These were included as a freebie with the purchase of a Clean & Clear face wash
Thoughts: I liked these cleansing cloths as they were gentle, yet effective, and did not irritate my skin.
Rating: **

8. Maskeraide Sheet Mask in All Nighter
Source: Purchased by me!
Thoughts: I love these sheet masks. I find them all equally effective so the differentiating factor for me is the scent. All Nighter and Detox Diva are my favourite scents so far (I think I've tried 4 or 5 now).
Rating: ***

9. Scottish Fine Soaps Company Seaweed Soap
Source: Purchased by me (actually, my hubby paid that time) from Winners
Thoughts: This scent of this soap was nothing special but I loved the tin so I had to try it. It's a decent bar of soap that lasts a long time.
Rating: **

10. Bambu Earth Handmade Soap in Peppermint
Source: December 2012 Seasonsbox
Thoughts: I love this soap! The scent is divine and the bar is rough so it's great for exfoliation. I'm going to have to find a place to plant the wrapper as I want to grow wildflowers! :)
Rating: ***

11. Soak Essentials Bath Salts in Spiced Chai
Source: December 2012 Seasonsbox
Thoughts: I liked these bath salts - especially the scent. Unfortunately, when I added the product to my bath water, the scent completely disappeared.
Rating: *

12. The Hawaiian Spa Hawaiian Sea Bath in Jasmine
Source: Volcano Teapot Cottage - if you ever get a chance to go... RUN, don't walk, to this amazing little cottage.
Thoughts: These bath salts are ah-mazing!! The scent is incredible and I was so relaxed after using this product. I think I used too much though as I used the entire bag. The website says only a "seashell scoop" is needed. Oops!
Rating: ***

13. Aveeno Invigorating Body Wash in Grapefruit & Rosemary
Source: Purchased by me!
Thoughts: I love Aveeno body washes and I love the smell of grapefruit so it's no wonder this product was a winner for me!
Rating: ***

14. Julep Pink Grapefruit Body Frosting
Source: November 2012 Julep Box
Thoughts: Another winner for grapefruit scent lovers! This is a lovely product with a texture like whipped body butter.
Rating: ***

15. Lilly Pilly Natural Kakadu Plum Hand & Body Creme
Source: February 2012 Topbox
Thoughts: I really like this cream but I wish we received a larger sample size to try. We received 2 packets of this cream from Topbox but I did not feel this was enough for me to determine whether I want to purchase the full size.
Rating: **

16. Kiehl's Ultra Facial Cream
Source: These products were included in a gift set that my hubby bought me this year
Thoughts: I love the texture of this cream... it is very soft and silky. It's a little light for me for the winter though so I think I will purchase the full size of this product for summer use. :)
Rating: ***

17. Shiseido BIO-PERFORMANCE Advanced Super Revitalizing Cream
Source: Shiseido makeup sessions (no longer held)
Thoughts: The more I use the Shiseido skin care products, the more I like them. I find them a little too expensive to purchase the full size though so I will continue to use up my samples. This particular product has a very thin formulation but it still does a good job moisturizing my face. This product has a bit of a mature scent but I don't mind it.
Rating: **

18. Shiseido BIO-PERFORMANCE Super Refining Essence
Source: Shiseido makeup sessions (no longer held)
Thoughts: Compared to the previous sample, this one had a much thicker formulation. Even so, a little goes a long way and I enjoyed trying this product. I used up 2 of these samples in January.
Rating: **

19. Jouviance Radiance Booster BB Cream with SPF 15
Source: Glossy Party TO
Thoughts: I had high hopes for this BB cream but, unfortunately, it did not apply well and end up rubbing off my face in little balls. :(
Rating: *

20. Marcelle Essentials Gentle Eye Make-Up Remover
Source: I received this from Marcelle as I was testing the product packaging
Thoughts: I liked this product at first but it started irritating my eyes the more I used it.
Rating: *

21. Julep One-Step Polish Remover Pads
Source: Julep boxes (various)
Thoughts: I am very impressed with this product! I used 3 of these polish remover pads when I was on vacation in Hawaii. One pad removed all of the cream polish on my toes. I had glitter polish on my fingers so I had to use 2 pads but I was pleasantly surprised by how easy it was (relatively speaking) to remove the glitter. I was expecting to either (1) not be able to take off all the glitter polish or (2) be rubbing at my nails for hours. As a bonus, the remover pads did not dry out my nails.
Rating: ***

22. Dove ClearTone Skin Renew Anti-Perspirant
Source: September 2012 Glossybox Canada
Thoughts: This deodorant was ok. I liked the scent but I prefer natural deodorants. This product claims to lighten/whiten your underarms but I didn't notice any difference.
Rating: *

Whew, I feel so much better now that the majority of my January posts are done!

Sunday, February 17, 2013

January 2013 Starlooks Starbox - Unboxing and Review

Starbox is one of my favourite subscription services. I find I always reach for my Starlooks makeup because it is such high quality. I loved the January box! It was filled with great products... one in particular, I have been really really enjoying.

The box this month was a light green with the Starlooks logo in gold. Once again, there was an elasticized ribbon - I love these! The theme for the January box was Eden. The Eden theme represents a new year... and a new life.

1. Blush in Cuty Peach // 6 g // $12

This is the product in my Starbox that I have been LOVING! Not only is this blush such a pretty colour, it is also highly pigmented and lasts all day. A little goes a very long way - I typically take the excess product off my blush brush with a clean paper towel before applying the product.

2. Eye Pencil in Brown // 2.4 g // $8

The first time I used this eye pencil, I thought it was really hard. It definitely tugged on my eyelid. The more I used it though, the creamier it got. Now I try to warm up the eye pencil before I use it - I either cup the point in my hand with the cap on or I hold it near my lighted mirror without the cap on - and I am finding it much easier to apply. It is still not my favourite formulation but I find I do use this eye liner quite often.

3. Diamondline Eye Pencil in Fancy // 2.4 g // $8

It boggles my mind that this eye pencil is only $8. It is so creamy and pigmented. We received this eye pencil in the shade Fancy, which is a beautiful shimmering pale green. I like to wear this on my waterline, lower lash line, and inner corners; however, there are little pieces of shimmer that get everywhere so keep a few cotton swabs handy to clean up the glitter if you decide to smudge it out. I wish there were smoky shades available in this eye pencil formulation... I think there is only one (myth), which was already included in a previous Starbox before I subscribed. I may have to buy that one but I am waiting for Starlooks to update the website with real life swatches.

4. 858 Soft Small Dome Fluff // $15

I have received one Starlooks brush in the past and I really liked it. It was very high quality and I have been looking forward to receiving more. The brush we received with the January box is wonderful. It's super soft and made of cruelty free pony hair. This brush is great for blending and packing on colour.

5. Green Ivy Bracelet // $15

I was very excited to receive this bracelet when I saw spoilers of the January Starbox. [Incidentally, Starbox is the only "surprise" box where I look at spoilers before receiving mine... I just can't wait!] However, after trying this bracelet on, I realized it doesn't look very good on my wrists. It's a little chunky and awkward on me, which made me sad because the bracelet is such a pretty colour and design. I love the emerald colour (Pantone colour of the year and my birth stone!) but it just doesn't work on me as a bracelet. I saw a blogger wrap this around her bun though and it looked amazing so I will be giving that a try. :)

Overall, I really loved my January Starbox. I have been waiting to receive a Starlooks blush and we finally did! I was thinking of putting this subscription on my chopping block because I have so much makeup and it's one of the pricier boxes; however, I don't think I can give it up just yet. Did you receive a January Starbox and, if so, what did you think of the products?

// Approximate value of the products in the January 2013 Starbox: $58 (not sure how the $63 value on the card was calculated) //

I forgot to mention that I also received two teeny tiny crystals but they were so small that I didn't see them in my box and I have since lost one. Anyway, here is the January edition of "Why, Marci!?".

For more information about the company, please check out my August Starbox review. The February theme is Abyss and it's a special edition box curated by make up artist, Lauren Clark. I love her blogs and her looks so I am very excited for the February Starbox!

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.

Note: I paid for the January Starbox with my own money.

Saturday, February 16, 2013

A Kiehl's Gift Set

Hope you are all having a lovely weekend! My hubby bought me this Kiehl's set a little while ago because he knows I enjoy trying new products. I love that he is supportive (and even feeds into) my addiction! So far, I've tried the Ultra Facial Cream, lip balm, and hand salve. Have you tried any of these products... if so, please let me know what you thought of them.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

January 2013 Glossybox Canada - Review and Unboxing

This was my very last Glossybox and I wasn't too pleased with it so I'm not going to spend too much time commenting on the products. The main theme for this box was generous (many full size) samples of mass market drug store brands. I felt a bit bad about giving such a negative review because a lot of the products included in this month's Glossybox are very good; however, my personal preference is not to see these types of brands in beauty boxes as I prefer receiving higher end or niche brand samples... even if that means smaller sample sizes. With that being said, here is my review of my last Glossybox.

Back to the signature pink box this month. It looks like Glossybox will be changing it up again next month for the anniversary or birthday box. Here is what I received (in order of appearance in the video):

1. Nivea Essential Lip Balm

I love Nivea lip balm but I didn't really want to receive one in a beauty box as it is nothing new or exciting.

Full size and sample size // 4.8 g // $2

2. Curel Hand and Cuticle Therapy Cream

I really like this hand cream but I received the exact same product in my November Glossybox. This was my 3rd time receiving a Curel hand or foot cream from Glossybox in my year of being subscribed. Too much repetition!

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

3. Beauty So Clean Cosmetic Sanitizer Wipes

I like these wipes but this is my 3rd time receiving them from Glossybox.

Full size // 48 wipes // $12.50
Sample size // 12 wipes // $3.13

4. Burt's Bees Milk & Honey Body Lotion

I've tried this sample before (from Glymm) and was really turned off by the scent. I may give this to my hubby as he doesn't smell anything icky about this cream.

Full size // 70 g // $6.99
Sample size // 25 g // $2.50

5. Wella Professionals Brilliance Leave In Mousse

This is the 4th time I've received a Wella sample in my Glossyboxes and while I really like the products, it is too much brand repetition. I haven't tried this particular product before so I was happy about that. I find mousse doesn't do too much to my hair but I am oddly fascinated with it. I've now used this product once and it made my hair very soft - I also really liked the scent.

Full size & sample size // 190 g // $17.99

6. Too Faced Lip Injection Extreme

This was the product I was most excited to try but after reading scary reviews about severe tingling/burning, I am hesitant. My lips can be quite sensitive and I don't really want to irritate them. I'm still thinking about whether or not to try this product. It is a tiny sample but I think it will last for quite a few uses if you can bear the pain! There is a very sweet (almost sickly) scent.

Full size // 6 mL // $39
Sample size // 1 mL (estimated) // $6.50

Overall, I was not happy with this month's Glossybox. I think this is the lowest value Glossybox I've seen to date. Very disappointing as other countries receive such good boxes! I am glad I have cancelled this subscription... but hopefully Glossybox will improve future boxes and maybe one day I will resubscribe.

// Approximate value of the products in the January 2013 Glossybox: $36.11 //

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 paid for this box with my own money... but I wish I didn't.

Saturday, February 9, 2013

January 2013 Glymm Bag - Unboxing and Review

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

When I first opened this month's Glymm bag, I wasn't too excited about the contents. The nail polish stood out but the rest of the products weren't too exciting. Now that I've had a chance to try most of the products, I am very happy with the Glymm bag! Please read (or watch) on for details. :)

I liked this month's cosmetic bag... it's a very pretty colour. I did end up cutting the Glymm tag off of the gold makeup bag from my December Glymm bag but I can't seem to find the photos as I took them before I went on vacation. I will post them as soon as I find them - you can definitely see the holes but I don't think they are that noticeable because the bag is textured and slightly reflective.

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

1. La Fresh Travel Lite Facial Cleansing Wipes

I like receiving facial cleansing wipes because I find them so useful when I travel. I haven't tried these yet and I will likely wait until I take a weekend away or something like that. I've calculated the value based on individually wrapped wipes.

Full size // 3 wipes // $2.49
Sample size // 2 wipes // $1.66

2. Coolway Boost Repair Serum

This is a hair treatment that is the first step in a low heat "system" called Coolway. I'm not sure I buy into this, mainly because I am skeptical of "systems" and the Coolway website looks like an infomercial. Not that there's anything wrong with infomercials - I do enjoy watching them from time to time! Here is the description of the hair serum from the Glymm website:

Get ready for professional beauty results at home that last for days with Coolway Boost. This innovative hair serum, is a restorative and repair treatment when activated by low heat from your blow dryer or flat iron, giving professional results to hair that will last until your next wash. Coolway Boost infuses moisture into your hair and locks it in with a unique blend of Silk Proteins and Botanical extracts, providing silky-smooth shiny, soft frizz free hair that will hold for days. Clinically tested to reduce hair breakage by 75% and strengthen hair by 300%.

Impressions:This product has a nice scent and the texture felt similar to the EvolvH conditioner as this product also seemed to absorb fairly quickly into my hair. You have to use quite a bit of this product (the directions recommend 2-3 teaspoons!) so the 1 oz tube will only last for 2-3 applications. As for the effectiveness, it was alright but I prefer the EvolvH conditioner and also the Joico Revitaluxe. Turns out I didn't use this product properly though because the serum is activated by low heat and I did not heat style my hair after using it.

Full size and sample size // 1 oz // $14.95

3. 360 Skincare Lavender Mint DMAE Firming Serum

This is quite a generous sample of eye cream and I was happy to receive it as I enjoy trying eye creams and other anti-aging products. I like the scent of both lavender and mint. I wasn't sure what DMAE stood for... apparently, it's an ingredient patented by Dr. Perricone. It is intended to reduce the loss of skin elasticity. I am loving the Perricone MD Face Finishing Moisturizer and now I see that both products contain DMAE, which is probably part of the reason I had the same positive experience with both products.

Impressions: Similar to the Perricone MD Face Finishing Moisturizer, I noticed a difference after only one use of the 360 Skincare eye cream. I hadn't read anything about this product before using it but I wanted to test it quickly before recording my Glymm bag review so I slapped some on one night before going to bed. In the morning, as I was putting on my concealer, there was a very noticeable difference in the texture of the skin under my eyes. My skin felt firmer and smoother... yes, this was after one application. I've since continued to use the product and there is indeed an improvement. I have never noticed a difference with any eye creams or anti-aging products so this was a real eye opener for me, pardon the pun.

Full size // 1 oz // $34
Sample size // 0.2 oz // $6.80

4. Lashem Double Trouble Mascara

At first, I thought this sample was a repeat of the lash serum I received in my December Glymm bag. Even though I prefer not to have repeat products, I was kind of happy about that because I wouldn't mind giving the serum another try. My first try with the serum yielded no noticeable difference in my lashes but I wasn't using it on a daily basis. When I looked more closely, I realized that this was in fact a teeny tiny sample of mascara.

I didn't realize this when I recorded my video but the full size mascara is actually duo ended. One side is the black volume mascara and the other side is the black lash lengthening fiber mascara. We received a tiny sample of only one of these sides. I can only assume that it is the black volume mascara as I did not notice any fiber tubes in my sample... which I'm happy about because I'm not really a fan of fibers in my mascara... they get in my eye and it hurts.

Impressions: I've used this mascara around 5 times now and I really like it! It is not clumpy whatsoever, keeps my lashes looking natural and separated, and it does a reasonable job at both volumizing and lengthening my short, barely there lashes. Most, if not all, of the mascara I've been trying lately are very clumpy so I was pleasantly surprised by this product. I am considering purchasing the full size but the fiber side of the mascara is making me hesitate. I know I don't have to use it but I don't like paying for a product when I'll only use half of it.

Full size // 4.2 mL // $20
Sample size // 0.5 mL (estimated) // approximately $2.38

5. Burt's Bees Milk & Honey Body Lotion

This was a bonus sample but I could have done without it. I've received this sample in a previous Glymm bag and did not like it. There is something about the scent that I can't stand. I think it is a specific ingredient because my hubby thinks this lotion smells pretty good.

Full size // 70 mL // $6.99
Sample size // 7 mL // approximately $0.70

6. Sheswai Lacquer in Totally

Yay, my bonus nail polish was great this month! I've never heard of Sheswai... this company is based in the U.S. has a line of 3 free nail lacquers. The nail polish caps are made from sustainably harvested wood, which is grown on family owned tree farms. I like it!

Impressions: I am really enjoying this nail polish. It is very pigmented - I barely needed 2 coats for opacity. The colour is really pretty and the polish itself was so shiny, even before I applied my topcoat. Very happy with both the colour and the formulation.

Full size and sample size // 15 mL // $16

Once again, I was pretty happy with the Glymm bag this month; however, it's mainly because I am still paying the lower price of $10 plus tax and I receive a bonus nail polish every month. Now that I've received 4 months of nail polish promo bags, I can safely say I am pretty happy I signed up for a year. That being said, Glymm's monthly subscription price recently increased to $15 plus tax... I do not think this subscription is worth the higher price.

Are you still subscribed to Glymm? If so, what did you think of the samples this month?

NOTE: Just a heads up if you are still subscribed to Glymm that you should check your points balance every month as there is a glitch in the system. I have been missing around 100 points for the past 2 months or so! :(

// Approximate value of the products in the January 2013 Glymm bag: $42.49 including my January bonus nail polish //

If you wish to join Glymm through my invitation, I will earn 50 points and send heaps of good karma your way!

Note: I paid for this subscription with my own money.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

January 2013 Beauty Box 5 - Unboxing and Review

Wow, it has been a very long time since I've done a blog post! I'm finally back from vacation - I was on the Big Island for 2 weeks and it was absolutely heavenly. I wish I were still there... especially when I hear about the massive snowstorm that will be heading for Toronto starting tomorrow. I'm currently curled up in my zebra print Snuggie and determined to catch up on my beauty box reviews. Today, I bring you my review of the January 2013 Beauty Box 5.

Beauty Box 5 is a monthly subscription service that promises 4-5 beauty samples in each box. It ships out of Austin, Texas. The samples are shipped in relatively small cardboard shipping box. There is no additional pretty box or makeup bag inside but the samples are contained in a small mesh drawstring bag. I like this minimalist approach.

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

1. Pencil Me In Cosmetics Eye Accent Pencil in 24 Karat

I have never heard of Pencil Me In Cosmetics... this company is based in New York and offers a line of 30 different shades of eye pencils. Apparently, this product is infused with vitamins and anti-oxidants. This eye pencil also comes with a built-in sharpener in the cap that works really well. I received a gold pencil in my Beauty Box 5. I have a couple other gold liners but I'm always happy to try a new one. After swatching, I actually noticed that the liners are all very different. My Pencil Me In eye pencil is brighter and more yellow.

Impressions: I like this eye pencil a lot. It applies very creamy and smooth - it doesn't tug on the lash line. I used this as an accent on my waterline and smudged it out a little on my lower lash line and I really like the colour. The pigmentation and colour payoff of this liner is excellent.

Full size & sample size // 1.8 g // $6.99

2. Model Co. Colorbox Lip Pencil in Pomegranate

When I initially saw this product, I thought it was the same brand as the Pencil Me In product because they are so similar in terms of design. This is actually a lip pencil by Model Co. I've tried the lip gloss / lip stick duo from this brand and I enjoyed it so I was happy to try another product. This lip liner also has a built-in sharpener in the cap that works very well. This lip liner looks like a very bright pink based on the colour on the outside of the pencil but it's actually a much more muted pink/rose. I took a look at the Model Co. website after recording my video and it appears that this line of lip pencils all have the same bright pink colour on the outside - so I guess it's a branding thing!

Impressions: I'm happy to have received the liner in a more muted shade because I think it will be more wearable on a day-to-day basis. The only issue I have with this liner is it feels a little hard and doesn't go on as smoothly and as pigmented as I would like. The colour is buildable but the texture is hard so it's a little rough on the lips.

Full size & sample size // 1.6 g // $18

3. Ferro Cosmetics Blush X3 Mineral Color in Desert Rose

This product is essentially the same sample I received in my December 2012 Topbox but in a different shade. It 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:

One of our NEW 2013 shades, Desert Rose is one of our most exciting Blush X3 shades yet! A gorgeous pink with a kiss of coppery warmth, it looks AMAZING on every skin tone.

Since the product and packaging are identical to the sample I received previously, I have the same comments: 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: This blush is a very pretty shade indeed (I wore it on my cheeks and on my lips in the above video). The colour lasted a long time on my cheeks and the pigment did not settle into my lip lines so that was definitely a plus. I find the easiest way to apply this product is to dip my blush brush into the pigment in the lid - I still sometimes pick up a bit too much but I just dab off the excess on a clean paper towel.

Full size // 4 g // $17
Sample size // 2 g (estimated) // approximately $8.50

4. Perfumies Solid Perfume Stick in Femme Fatale

I normally don't like receiving fragrances in beauty boxes but I have such a fascination with solid perfume that I was very happy to receive this product! Beauty Box 5 does a great job at sourcing out interesting fragrance samples - I was also very happy with the Demeter roll-on fragrance we received in our December 2012 Beauty Box 5.

Impressions: I absolutely love this perfume stick - I think it is my favourite product in this month's box. The scent I received is a very pleasant, youthful, and sweet floral scent. The fragrance is very easy to apply - it is not at all waxy. I find a little bit of the fragrance goes a long way and the scent lasts about 2-3 hours on me. I've already tucked this fragrance into my make-up bag and I reach for it periodically throughout the day. I've tried solid perfume pots from Pacifica and also from Fragonard (purchased in France) but this one wins out because of the ease of application. Here is the official description of the scent I received: A truly perfect sweet floral scent. This scent is as fragrant as a flower show with roses, magnolia, gardenia, tuberose, and arris blossom.

Full size & sample size // 0.07 oz // $7

5. Pur-Lisse Pur-Delicate Gentle Soy Milk Cleanser & Makeup Remover

For our 5th product this month, Beauty Box 5 provided us with a surprise sample from its 2012 favourites (read: leftover stock). I was pretty happy with the product I received because (a) I've never tried it, (b) I've been curious about this brand, (c) this product is useful, and (d) even though I have my favourite arsenal of products, I actually don't mind trying new cleansers.

Impressions: I've only used this cleanser once and I liked it. The cleanser feels soft and gentle on the skin. It does not foam and has a very light milky scent. It feels slightly more drying than my regular cleanser (Nivea Gentle Cleanser) but I will try it a few more times to see if this is truly the case. I probably would not purchase the full size of this though due to the price.

Full size // 165.6 mL // $36
Sample size // 50 mL // approximately $10.87

The January 2013 Beauty Box 5 was another winner for me! I subscribed to this service for a year so I am only paying $8.33 per box (including shipping), which I think is an absolute steal.

// Approximate value of the products in the January 2013 Beauty Box 5: $51.36 //

Are you subscribed to Beauty Box 5? If so, what do you think of this subscription service?

If you wish to join Beauty Box 5 through my invitation, I will earn a credit and send heaps of good karma your way!

Note: I paid for this subscription with my own money.

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