UNBOXING: Glossybox July 2013 – Seaside Splash

Standard

We got this box free with our gorgeous September 2014 Karen Millen Glossybox. Using the code LUCKYDIP, Glossybox were offering a free past box with minimum 3 month subscriptions.

This is a sun/holiday themed box.  Upon opening, we were pretty excited as this box is stunning. With the matching tissue and ribbon, Glossybox really excel with their presentation.

This is an unboxing, we’ll list the items and come back and review them later 🙂

BeautifulTruthsBlog1409GlossyboxSeasideSplash_8961

BeautifulTruthsBlog1409GlossyboxSeasideSplash_8962 BeautifulTruthsBlog1409GlossyboxSeasideSplash_8964


INECTO: Pure Coconut Refreshing Dry Shampoo, 150ml
Value: £2.49
BeautifulTruthsBlog1409GlossyboxSeasideSplash_8965

“Looking for a quick pick-me-up on your way from the beach to the bar? Inecto’s Coconut Dry Shampoo instantly refreshes hair between washes, adding body and texture and – most importantly – leaving your hair smelling irresistably fresh and exotic”

BT INITIAL THOUGHTS: Blah. The inevitable dry shampoo that comes with summer-themed boxes. Whilst this will be used, this is terribly un-exciting. The irony is that a sample-size would be more useful than the full-size product.


ALTERNA HAIRCARE: Bamboo Style Boho Waves Tousled Texture Mist, 25ml
Value: £4.60
BeautifulTruthsBlog1409GlossyboxSeasideSplash_8968

“Your perfect “Seaside Splash” summer companion! FOrget perfectly primed hair, and instead opt for effortlessly tousled, “just-back-from-the-beach” waves with this weightless mist. Adds texture, volume and healthy shine to all hair types.

BT INITIAL THOUGHTS: We look forward to trying this as we love beach and salt sprays, and this is a handy purse size – will be interesting to see how this performs for the money.


CIATÉ: Paint Pot, 13.5ml
Value: £9.50 (full size product)
BeautifulTruthsBlog1409GlossyboxSeasideSplash_8971
“We’re excited to feature one of our all-time favourite nail brands, Ciaté. WIth a range of on-trend summer shades, you’ll be hitting the beach in style. Ciaté‘s wide range of amazingly pigmented and long=lasting shades guarantees a flawless, even finish every tme. The cherry on top? We can’t get enough of the iconic satin bow gracing each beautifully designed bottle.”

BT INITIAL THOUGHTS: Wut? Who wrote this copy? Glossybox cannot get enough of the ribbon on the bottle?!! Well we do actually love Ciaté, but this metallic orange-red-coral colour is pretty hideous.


COOLA ORGANIC: Mineral Face SPF20 Unscented, 7ml
Value: £0.92
BeautifulTruthsBlog1409GlossyboxSeasideSplash_8970
“We love this tough but gentle multi-tasker. Coola Organic’s Suncare Collection is hypoallergenic, free of parabens and packed with antioxidants. It provides complete UVA/UVB protection and fights free radicals, while soothing, toning and minimizing pores. Organic Acai Oil delivers powerful anti-ageing benefits, while organice Evening Primrose And Linseed Oils reduce inflammation and balance moisture. We’ve truly fallen for this suncare hero.”

BT INITIAL THOUGHTS:  Hard to get excited about this one – this sample is too small to really test a sunscreen. A waste of space, even if the product might be good.


ILA SPA: Face Oil for Glowing Radiance, 1.75ml
Value: £1.50

“Winner of Harper’s Bazaar Hot 100, ila’s Face Oil for Glowing Radiance has become a cult product worldwide and has been named ‘a little miracle’ by celebrity make-up artists. It’s easy to see why!” Argan oil and rosehip seed oil are high in anti-oxidants, repairing skin cells while combatting premature ageing. You will soon notice a healthy glow to your face with visibly improved texture and radiance.”

BT INITIAL THOUGHTS: This is a product we’re pretty happy to try to see how it compares to Kiehl’s Midnight Recovery and the like. However, the sample is very tiny!


 

BeautifulTruthsBlog1409GlossyboxSeasideSplash_8996

OVERALL VERDICT: Whilst we absolutely LOVE the design of this box, we would have been sorely disappointed if we had paid any money for it. Whilst the selection of the products is pretty good, the two premium products being absolutely tiny samples (one being useless) really makes the box redundant. We were unlucky with the nailpolish colour, but this is a prime example of why we left Glossybox in the first place. We got this free with the Sept 2014 Karen Millen box – which is a million times better, hopefully a sign of good things yet to come.

Box price: Free with the Luckydip promotion (usually £9.50 on a 3-month subscription + £3.75 shipping)
Total value: £17.97

Note: We received this Glossybox free as part of a promotion

Interested in trying out Glossybox UK? Click this link or the banner below.

glossybox-banner-800x230

UNBOXING: Glossybox September 2014 – the Karen Millen one with the Mythic Oil

Standard

We’ve not been fans of Glossybox UK in the past. The reason for this was tri-fold…the focus on makeup rather than skin/haircare, the poorly curated selection of low-value products, the wildly varying boxes (some people getting very poor, low-value boxes and others getting superb high-value boxes). In the past, You Beauty Discovery and Birchbox have reigned as our UK subscription boxes of choice.

Other than the gorgeous box design (we think we would actually pay just for empty Glossyboxes!!) However, we have been wanting to try Mythic Oil for a long time. This box came with the guarantee that you’d get Mythic Oil or Mythic Oil Mask to try. This would pay for a good proportion of the box and we’d heard that Glossyboxes had started to improve recently, so we decided to take the plunge.

We took up a Glossybox offer for a free past box by entering LUCKYDIP at the checkout (valid on 3-month+ subscriptions). Ours turned out to be the not-very-good-but-gorgeously-boxed-Seaside-Splash-Box (click to see the unboxing)

This is an unboxing, we’ll list the items and come back and review them later 🙂


 

L’ORÉAL PROFESSIONNEL: Mythic Oil, 45ml
Value: £5.75

“This lightweight oil cares for and pampers all hair types. The formula leaves your hair looking shiny while feeling nourised and supple.”

BT INITIAL THOUGHTS: Available from salons only, we’d been wanting to try this oil for a while as our skin and hair responds better to oil and serums. We’d heard really good things about this oil. This is a generous sample that should last a while. We had taken a bit of a gamble, hoping to get it so we were delighted to see it in my box!


 

MODELCO: MORE BROWS Fibre Gel, 3.5ml
Value: £14.95 (full size product)
BeautifulTruthsBlog1409GlossyboxKarenMillen_8958

“This innovative brush-on fibre gel gives the appearance of fuller, thicker browns instantly.”

BT INITIAL THOUGHTS: We’re not really into the HD brows looks, so whilst we’re curious to see how well this product works, we’re glad we don’t have to pay for the privilege! A decent inclusion for the box though.


 

NAILS INC: Westminster Bridge Matte Top Coat, 10ml
Value: £12 (full size product)

“This matte effect top coat gives you two very different looks for every one of your nail polishes. The perfect way to add a unique twist to your favourite shade.”

BT INITIAL THOUGHTS: We’re super excited to try this out! This is bang on matte trend and can be used with our existing nail polishes. Plus we’re Nails Inc fans…what’s not to like?


 

GOSH COSMETICS: Silky Cream Blusher
Value: £6.99 (full size product)

“The texture of this smooth cream blusher leaves the surface of the skin with a flush of soft colour and a comfortable silky feeling.”

BT INITIAL THOUGHTS:  Whilst we rarely wear blusher day-to-day and this is not a brand that excites us to much, this is a useful inclusion that we will put to use. Full size, great for popping in your handbag – we’ll see if the colour suits. Nothing to complain about.


 

SKINPEP: Enzyme and Acid Peel + Peeling Gel, 7ml + 2ml
Value: £9.50 (£3.50 + £6)
BeautifulTruthsBlog1409GlossyboxKarenMillen_8956
“This highly effective peeling gel uses Pineapple and Papaya extracts to create gently exfoliated, soft and bright skin.”

“This powerful dark circle eraser uses anti-oxidant ingredients to boost collagen in the delicate undereye area.”

BT INITIAL THOUGHTS: What incredibly expensive tiny sachets! Nice to try some high end products, however we are sceptical whether a sachet can ever give you enough product to really know if it performs well.


 


OVERALL VERDICT: This box was a strong all-rounder. With hair, skincare, nail, eye and face makeup products that we REALLY want to try and can probably afford (bar the sachets) to incorporate into our regular routines. We like that these products are all on trend and do not rely on being gimmicky. The products fitted with the ‘classy highstreet’ Karen Millen brand too.  This is probably our best ever Glossybox – well done guys! If Glossybox are able to maintain this kind of standard, then we will consider extending our subscription past the initial 3 months.

Box price: £9.50 (on a 3-month subscription) + £3.75 shipping
Total value: £49.19

Note: We paid for this Glossybox with our own hard-earnt pennies

Interested in trying out Glossybox UK? Click this link or the banner below.

glossybox-banner-800x230

UNBOXING: Birchbox August 2014 – Away We Go!…the one with a mini-book

Standard

This month’s theme was Away We Go!…we tend to find summer-themed boxes an excuse to skimp on luxe products and this Birchbox was sadly no exception. A slim offering from Birchbox…

Instead of the usual drawstring liner, this month’s offering came in a handy zip lock pouch.

BeautifulTruthsBlog1408BirchboxDreamDestination_8887 BeautifulTruthsBlog1408BirchboxDreamDestination_8888


NUMBER 4: Super Comb & Protect, 30ml
Value: £3.00

BeautifulTruthsBlog1408BirchboxDreamDestination_8889   

“A leave-in conditioning spray to detangle and protect against heat and sun damage.”

BT INITIAL OPINION: Useful purse-sized spray. That’s about all we can say about this. Not particularly exciting.


VASANTI: Brightenup! Enzymatic Face Rejuvenator, 20ml (it says grams, but I think this is a typo)
Value: £4.34

BeautifulTruthsBlog1408BirchboxDreamDestination_8890

“A multi-action exfoliator to ensure a renewed, refreshed complexion.”

BT INITIAL OPINION – Also a useful but not particularly exciting item.


 

NUDE: Progenius Omega Treatment Oil, 5ml
Value: £9.66

BeautifulTruthsBlog1408BirchboxDreamDestination_8891

“This nourishing oil is rich in omegas 3, 6, 7 and 9 for hydrated, smooth skin.”

BT INITIAL OPINION – The one item that piques our interest in this box. For a luxe product, the sample packaging feels very cheap, but we look forward to giving this a try and seeing how it performs against other recovering/miracle oil treatments.


SUPERGOOP! Daily Correct SPF35 CC Cream, 3ml x 2
Value: £4.09

BeautifulTruthsBlog1408BirchboxDreamDestination_8892

“A natural shade-adjusting CC cream with SPF to smooth fine lines and even out skin tones.”

BT INITIAL OPINION – These samples are so tiny, they had to include two! We like BB/CC creams, so don’t mind trying more out, but even with two tubes, it’s a small sample.


CHELLA: Highlighter Pencil
Value: £15.95

BeautifulTruthsBlog1408BirchboxDreamDestination_8894

“Highlight the brow bone, cheekbones and inner corners of eye with this chunky pencil.”

BT INITIAL OPINION – We’ve already given this one a quick whirl. We’ll trial it more extensively and report back, but initial try was very disappointing.  We like the idea of this product, but its performance was poor akin to a product from the 80s.


LIFESTYLE EXTRA:
“Chapter One of this spellbinding and romantic novel, which spans 1950s London and present day NYC.”

BT INITIAL OPINION – we don’t mind this being included in the box, but it shouldn’t be in the place of a lifestyle extra as in effect, it is just advertising. If it were a complete short story or novella, then this could be considered an extra…


 

BeautifulTruthsBlog1408BirchboxDreamDestination_8897

OVERALL VERDICT:

This is the worst box we’ve ever had from Birchbox! A combination of a poor selection of products, tiny samples and a poor lifestyle item makes for a disappointing box. They did at least source unusual brands. We have serious reservations about the value of the Chella pencil being £15.95 – we wouldn’t even shell out £2.00 for it. Without this, the box seems pretty poor value.  The inclusion of a book sample as the lifestyle sample in addition to such a poor offering added insult to injury. No advertising dressed up as free gifts please Birchbox!

Box price: £10.00 plus £2.95 shipping (rolling month by month subscription) – although we got this on a discount offer
Total value: £37.04

Note: We paid for this Birchbox with our own hard-earnt pennies

Like the look of Birchbox? Subscribe at www.birchbox.co.uk and you’ll get £5 worth of points! You’re welcome 😉

UNBOXING: You Beauty Discovery August 2014 – Summer Essentials

Standard

The theme of this box was Summer Essentials.

The selection varied wildly in value this month. We were lucky enough to get the premium products we wanted which was lucky as they were the only two we would have been really happy with. Hopefully YBD will improve the options in future.

 BeautifulTruthsBlog1408YouBeautyDiscovery_8878

BeautifulTruthsBlog1408YouBeautyDiscovery_8886


 

EUCERIN: Sun Mattifying Face Fluid SPF50, 50ml
Value: £15.00 (full size product)
BeautifulTruthsBlog1408YouBeautyDiscovery_8879

“A sun fluid for the face that has a three-dimensional protection system: It provides high UVA protection, UVB protection and biological cell protection which strengthens skin’s own cell protection and DNA repair mechanisms. The light fluid is suitable for combination to oily skin, and provides a non-shiny and non-sticky feeling, leaving a mattifying effect on the skin. Also suitable for sun sensitive skin.”

BT INITIAL THOUGHTS: We’re interested to see how this performs and how it looks/feels on the skin. We’re not entirely sure why you would want this above any other skincare product with high SPF or a normal sunscreen.

THE BEAUTIFUL TRUTH (review): This seems both a good product undergoing identity crisis…after using it during a period of 3 weeks alongside a normal sunscreen on our bodies and with and without makeup, we are not really sold on it. Mainly because we are not sure when/why to use it or therefore why anyone would buy it. Maybe we are missing something?. It is not without its merits – it is not oily and feels great on the skin (compared to an ordinary sunscreen). You can apply makeup pretty well on top of it, but it does feel heavier than a lotion with SPF and with continued use, made our combination skin slightly more oily. If it were waterproof, then we’d totally understand the benefit as it would be perfect for the beach, but as it is, we’re not sure why you’d use it in place of a high SPF BB cream or moisturiser, especially at the price. £15 for a relatively small bottle (which is plenty enough for a 2 week holiday)? we’d rather buy some Clarins 🙂

Score: 3/5…mainly because we can’t figure out why you’d buy it


 

GAZELLI: Triple Youth with White Oil Duo, 10ml (5ml x 2)
Value: £16.00
BeautifulTruthsBlog1408YouBeautyDiscovery_8881
“Gazelli’s Luxury Discovery Set is the perfect one-week introduction to the Triple Youth Range, and includes an Ultimate Firming Serum and Intensive Age-Repair Cream to give your skin the ultimate rejuvenation.”

BT INITIAL OPINION – This has to be our first beauty product made in Azerbaijan! Just on this basis and the product’s luxe feel, we are excited to try this 🙂


 

EXTRA TREATS:

JIMMY CHOO: Eau de parfum and MAN Eau de toilette (2ml x 2)
Value: £3.59 (£1.92 + £1.67)
BeautifulTruthsBlog1408YouBeautyDiscovery_8882

“Luxury in a bottle.”

BT INITIAL OPINION – We’re always happy to receive mini-sprays as these are useful when travelling and much better than tiny one-use samples. We like the inclusion of both the men and women’s variants. Nice touch 🙂


 

4-way Nail Buffer
Value: Unknown, £2 estimate
BeautifulTruthsBlog1408YouBeautyDiscovery_8883

“On-the-go nail perfection.”

BT INITIAL OPINION – Some people got a lipstick instead of the nail buffer. As it’s just an added extra, we’re pretty happy with this nail buffer as it will get used, even if it is a bit bulky.


 

FACED 3-LURONICS: Instant Effect Cream Serum, 2ml
Value: £1.66
BeautifulTruthsBlog1408YouBeautyDiscovery_8884
“Visibly reduced wrinkles and expression lines”

BT INITIAL OPINION – What a crazy named company! This product might be good, but doubt we’ll be wowed by this little sachet. Still, a nice extra.


 

OTHER OPTIONS:
Peggy Sage: Nail Polish (Summer & Nude Collections)
Rose & Co: Cherry Kiss Lip Balm
Daniel Sandler: Long Lasting Waterproof Eye Liner (Aqua)
Marsk: Gold Eyeshadow “Rich List”
Louise Galvin: Sacred Locks Treatment Masque
Justbe: Hydrating Serum

OVERALL VERDICT:

We think if we hadn’t got the items we’d really wanted, we would have been slightly disappointed with YBD this month. Not because it doesn’t deliver value for money, it always does – but because we’ve been so spoilt in previous months that we’re used to having a hard time making a decision between lots of fabulous products. As we managed to get the Eucerin and Gazelli, our luck was in this week…together with the 4 extras! The summer theme was tenuous, but we loved our box regardless. We would never have tried products like the mattifying sunscreen or potions from Azerbaijan without this service and YBD remains our favourite subscription beauty box.

Box price: £6.95 inc shipping
Total value: £38.25

Note: We paid for this You Beauty Discovery Box with our own hard-earnt pennies

Like the look of You Beauty Discovery? Sign up here http://www.youbeautydiscovery.co.uk

UNBOXING: MeMeBox Superbox #47 IOPE Box 2

Standard

What’s this? A MeMeBox Superbox dedicated purely to Korean IOPE skincare products! What is a Superbox? Superboxes contain full size products only. We usually don’t like the idea of having a lot of full size products that might go to waste if we don’t like them, so usually buy the usual MeMeboxes that offer a mix of samples and full size products.

Having not heard of IOPE before, but we googled for reviews and saw that it was generally well-regarded, somewhere between highstreet and high-end. MeMeBox released two IOPE Boxes and gave you a picture of each of the contents – the only difference between the two boxes seems to be this one also had an Air Cushion and therefore cost a bit more. We were keen to try an air cushion as well as some better quality Korean skin care than you typically get in MeMeBoxes so we went ahead and ordered a box!

This is an unboxing, we’ll list the items and come back and review them later 🙂

   


 

IOPE: Essential Skin Boosting Serum, 40ml
Value: $84 (full size product)


“This boosting serum instantly hydrates the skin when used as the first step of skincare routine, preventing any possible dehydration after cleansing. It also works to maintain just the right balance on your skin by strengthening the natural healing power and moisture lock-in capability.”

BT INITIAL THOUGHTS: Serum’s usually work well with our combination skin – moisturizing without causing oiliness or dryness so we look forward to this.


 

IOPE: Essential Tone & Wrinkle Care Eye Cream, 25ml
Value: $86 (full size product)


“Enriched with shea butter and jojoba oil, this moisturizing eye cream will fill in between the fine lines and wrinkles around the eyes and create a protective moisture layer on top to prevent further sagging and wrinkle formation.”

BT INITIAL THOUGHTS: This might not be a great match as we tend to get along better with eye gels than eye creams. We’ll try it and report back!


 

IOPE: Lip & Cheek 01 Rose Pink, 4g
Value: $42 (full size product)


“A dual item for both lip and cheeks, this rosy lip & cheek stain comes in a neat, compact packaging with a mirror as well. Blend it into your lips and cheeks to add more colour and radiance to your overall complexion.”

BT INITIAL THOUGHTS: We don’t usually go for items as pinky as this, but will definitely try it. The build and look of the compact was not ugly, but not very sexy either!


 

IOPE: Essential Face Oil, 30ml
Value $90 (full size product)

“This thickly spreading yet quickly absorbed facial oil creates a thin, protective layer over the skin for a softer, smoother skin tecture. Organic argan oil and macadamia oil contained also deliver deep nourishment and hydration to the skin.”

BT INITIAL THOUGHTS: We have yet to try a regular facial oil (just rescue treatments) and have been wanting to try one for a while. We look forward to this one!


 

IOPE: Air Cushion CP SPF50+/PA+++ N.21 30g: 15g x 2
Value: $48 (full size product)


“Packed with highly concentrated mineral water and skin beneficial nutrition such as Vitamin B5, Vitamin E and Vitamin P, the latest edition of IOPE’s famous Air Cushion works to cool and moisturize reddened, stimulated skin and it’s a quick, easy-to-pat-on item for in-between fix-ups. Experience a nturally glowing skin with IOPE’s all time bestseller!”

BT INITIAL THOUGHTS: One of the main reasons why we bought this box…the compact is a bit bulky and comes with a replacement cushion. We don’t get along that well with foundation in general, so will be interesting to see how this performs.


 

IOPE: Essential Moisture Relief Cream, 50ml
Value: $87 (full size product)

“A light-textured moisturizing cream especially suitable for the summer time, the Essential Moisture Relief Cream soothes, moisturizes and tightens up the dried, worn-out skin overnight for a refreshing revitalized condition the next morning.”

BT INITIAL THOUGHTS: This sounds good, looks like we’ll be doing lots of skincare layering. We find lightweight lotions good for carrying the richer products into the skin.


 

OVERALL VERDICT: This seems like a well-rounded colleciton of skincare products. We think the inclusion of the lip/cheek colour is a bit random though and would have preferred a moisturising toner/lotion for the full layering effect. The truth with this collection will be told in the performance though so watch this space! As with all skincare, it will depend on whether the range is a good match for us, but the products seems on-target so we are optimisic 🙂

Are IOPE products really worth the stated prices? If two of these products perform well, the box will have more than earnt its money back. As a final point, the packaging isn’t ugly, but didn’t feel at all luxe…think IOPE would do well to work on this.

Box price: $78.99 + $6.99 shipping
Total value: $437.00

Note: We paid for this MeMeBox with our own hard-earnt pennies

Interested in trying out MeMeBox? Use the link below to get $5 off all orders over $100 or check the referrals & deals page for other offers on specific boxes.

UNBOXING: Memebox Luckybox 7 – the one with two of the tiniest samples in the world

Standard

So excited to have my 3rd MeMeBox on the same day as receiving Global 13.

This is my first Luckybox – they are billed as being a selection of the most popular products from past boxes…seemed a good place to start as a relative newcomer to both MeMeBoxes and Korean Beauty.

This is the box  http://us.memebox.com/luckybox-7#.U9MB5rHLLEQ – it’s probably sold out, but they do restock boxes now and again so if you’re particularly interested in a box that has already been released, then it’s worth signing up for updates. We’ll do a proper feature on Memebox services in general soon

We’re so excited to share this box with you that we just wanted to post the blog – and we’ll come back and review them later.


 

Illi: Green Tea Brightening Mask
Value: $3 (full size product)


“This 100% cotton mask drenches the skin with green tea, amino acids, minerals and organic acids, while working to revitalize, comfort and provide intense hydration. It immediately replenishes dehydrated skin, leaving it refreshed and cool.”

BT INITIAL THOUGHTS: What’s a Korean box without a sheet mask? Lol. This will get used, even if it doesn’t excite us all that much


 

Botanic Hill: Boh Radiant Youth Ampoule Essence & Boh Moist Youth Ampoule Essence 4ml
Value: $6.40 ($3.20 x 2)

“Touch up anytime with this sebum control convenient compact, specially is an anti aging essence that combines ampoule, essence and oil all at once”

BT INITIAL THOUGHTS: So what’s the difference between an ampoule and an essence. We don’t know but look forward to finding out! Tiny samples tho…


 

Hanskin: Bio Origin Royale Ampoule BB SPF 30 PA++ 5ml
Value: $7.72

“Hanskin’s famous Royal Ampoule BB cream is packed with rich nutrition from royal jelly extracts and it lightly glides over your skin when applied, leaving a visibly silkier, brightened complexion.”

BT INITIAL THOUGHTS: This sounds like a hardworking product that has a lot of great buzz words in the description. We look forward to seeing whether it delivers!


 

Charm Mud: Green Pearl
Value: $70 (full size product)

“This mud pack is composed of mud extracted from ancient bedrocks and thus extremely rich in all sorts of natural deep sea minerals. It works to deep cleanse and tighten up your enlarged pores, leaving your skin silky soft and without visible pores and excess blackheads.”

BT INITIAL THOUGHTS: We’re not mad about mud packs, but like them more than sheet masks! 😛 Will give this one a whirl. Generous size product.


 

Mise en scene: Curling Essence 2x 150ml
Value $12 (full size product)

“Enriched with argan oil and cedar wood oil, this two-in-one hair essence provides deep nutrition and helps define your curls all at once. It will instantly make your sagging curls bounce with luster and elasticity.”

BT INITIAL THOUGHTS: We’re excited to try this! Especially if this product suits Oriental hair more than UK products.


 

Illi: Cleansing Oil & Foam Set 15ml
Value: $2.93 ($1.65 + $1.28)

“Illi’s total age care Cleansing Oil and Foam set is infused with oriental medicinal extracts that brightens skin tone, enchances skin elasticity and provides a healthy glow to your skin. The powerful yet gentle cleansing oil dissolves all traces of makeup and impurities and the gentle cleansing foam rinses off all oil and makeup residue.”

BT INITIAL THOUGHTS: Having combination skin, we are fans of oil cleansers. We love the look of this, but it’s such a tiny sample! 🙁


Elle Girl: I Say Tint You Say Gloss 5.5ml
Value: $23 (full size product)

“I say tint you say gloss is a sheer ultra-moisturising lip gloss with less thick texture that also gives a lip tint feel to the gloss.”

BT INITAL THOUGHTS: This will be our first Korean lip tint. Yay! We love the sassy design and the gorgeous deep red colour.


 

23Yearsold: Air-laynic Pore Mask
Value: $14 (full size product)

“This unique pore mask is in the form of a syringe which contains gel-type ampoule for tightening enlarged pores and fighting against any blemishes on the nose and the cheeks, the most sensitive and oily part of your face. It’s different from other pore masks in that it’s actually a 20 minute long home therapy for a cleaner, more resilient complexion.”

BT INITAL THOUGHTS: Exactly the kind of quirky Korean-ness that we buy MeMeBoxes for!


 

OVERALL VERDICT:

We doubt the claymask is really worth $70, so the stated value of this box isn’t as brilliant as other MeMeBoxes. Having said that, we think this is a really great curated selection of items that we are really looking forward to trying. It excited us much more than the Global 13 which was worth a lot more money. Everything will get used. Although a couple of the samples could have done with being bigger, we’ll definitely be ordering more Luckyboxes in future as they seem a great way to sample Korean trends without taking too much risk as they are tried and tested products.

Box price: $23 + $6.99 shipping
Total value: $133.05

Note: We paid for this MeMeBox with our own hard-earnt pennies

Interested in trying out MeMeBox? Use the link below to get $5 off all orders over $100 or check the referrals & deals page for other offers on specific boxes.

UNBOXING: MeMeBox Global 13 – the one with the tampons

Standard

MeMeBoxes are all the rage at the moment. They are Korean non-subscription boxes that you buy blind based on a brief description. They release themed boxes as well as Global collections of which this is one.

My first ever MeMeBox was the Global 12 Collection and I have to say, I was disappointed. I’ll write a review of that box soon and link it so you can see why. Having ordered a ton more, I was hoping that MeMeBox would live up to its reputation.

So this is the box I am writing about http://us.memebox.com/memebox-global-13 – it’s probably sold out, but they do restock boxes now and again so if you’re particularly interested in a box that has already been released, then it’s worth signing up for updates.

As this is an unboxing, I’ll just list the items in the box and come back and review them later 🙂 The box seemed to be focussed mainly on skincare which was great for us, but this box will always be remembered as the one with the tampons!!


 

23yearsold: CX Detoxifying Air Therapy
Value: $50 (full size product)

“Made from carbonated water, this Carboxy pack creates sparkling bubbles on your face, minutely massaging the skin while you’re wearing the mask pack. It may prickle a little bit as the bubbles penetrate deep into the skin and cleanse away all the impurities clogging up the pores. The mineral-rich carbonated ater also helps brighten and firm up your overall skin for a revitalised feeling after use.”

BT INITIAL THOUGHTS: You syringe out the product and apply it to your face and put a mask sheet over it for half an hour. I’m interested to try this just because it looks fun and quirky. I wonder if it will perform better than a standard mask – hugely pricey for one application!


 

Donga: Tempo Eco Natural Super x 3
Value: $2.07

“Dating back to the 1970s, Donga was the first Korean brand to product women’s tampons – for providing busy, outgoing women the freedom and comfort to engage in their lives even through their monthly periods. Tempo Eco Natural is made from 100% purely organic cotton and thus very gentle and comfortable.”

BT INITIAL THOUGHTS: Seriously…tampons? Useful, but unless the Koreans are doing something no other tampon manufacturers are doing, what is the point of putting these in the box?


 

CNP: Derma-Scalp Shampoo 25g
Value: $2.70

“It only takes 4 minutes a day to maintain your scalp healthy and well-nourished! The CNP Derma-Scalp Shampoo will deep cleanse into your scalp to unclog the pores, remove excess impurities, and cool and refresh with tea tree oil extracts. Suitable for sensitive, troublesome scalp.”

BT INITIAL THOUGHTS: Not too excited by this, but it will be handy for travels. It is not really a large enough sample to see whether it will help scalp issues. I have long hair and it’s good for two treatments at the most. It has a fairly pleasant menthol smell.


 

CNP: Tone-Up Protection Sun 15ml
Value: $10.20

“An SPF42/PA+++ sun block for protecting yoru skin under the scorching sun, this smart sun block contains powdery components for maintain your skin silky soft while the deep sea water works to prevent skin dehydration in the summertime”

BT INITIAL THOUGHTS: Not too excited by this one either but at least it’s also practical. This can also be used as a makeup base, which is a bit more exciting than having a little tube of sunscreen that won’t even provide a full application


 

Yufit: Eon Wheat-Germ Cream 75ml
Value $48 (full size product)

“Over 75% of the cream consists of organic wheat bud extracts which work to hydrate, firm, brighten and fight signs of aging all in one! It’s gentle and lightly absorbing texture does not irritate even the most troubled skin, and instead helps to tighten pores for an overall healthier and younger-looking complexion”

BT INITIAL THOUGHTS: Always interested to try new skincare. This is a generous (full size) tub. Have never tried a wheatgerm cream so pretty happy with this! If it’s not a great face moisturiser, can always use it as a body cream.


 

Soy Bio Plus: Fermented Lumpoule 5ml x 2
Value: $24.86


“This ‘lumpoule’ is a word combining two words – ‘lump’ and ‘amoule’ – and is basically a facial ampoule made from real Korean fermented soy bean lump. It’ll work to prevent formation of fine lines and wrinkles and also brighted up your overall complexion.”

BT INITIAL THOUGHTS: We’re excited to try this! We’ve never tried any fermented products and would love to see if this works particularly well with oriental skin…hoping that the two lumpoules will be enough as they’re usually sold in sets of 14.


 

Nuganic: Customised Sun Base Colour Control Cream 40ml
Value: $54 (full size product)

“Enriched with snail mucus extracts, aloe vera leaf, lemon and various plant extracts, this easy to use CC cream works to balance out the skin’s oil/moisture level for a silky smooth finish to your makeup! It will cover up major skin imperfections and leave your skin glowing with a natural shine. Also, the high SPF helps protect your skin from the scorching sun for a long period of time.”

BT INITAL THOUGHTS: This product claims to do a lot! We love a good BB or CC cream and as Korea is the home of BB creams, we’re excited to try this and see whether it lives up to any of its claims.


 

OVERALL VERDICT:

This is a great box, even if they did play it a bit safe. We’re skeptical about whether the products are worth the stated value, but it’s a good mix of fun (items we don’t usually come across here) and functional products (things we will use!) A couple of samples were on the small side, but were still practical, so nothing will go to waste in this box. Our faith is restored in the Global Boxes! We’ll get back to you with reviews of the products soon.

Box price: $23 + $6.99 shipping
Total value: $191.83

Note: We paid for this MeMeBox with our own hard-earnt pennies

Interested in trying out MeMeBox? Use the link below to get $5 off all orders over $100 or check the referrals & deals page for other offers on specific boxes.

UNBOXING: Birchbox July 2014 – the one with a Porefessional (if you were lucky)

Standard

This month’s theme was Sun, Sea & Sand…very loose theme we felt!

We forgot to cancel our second Birchbox subscription, so ended up with two of these boxes and are able to do a side by side comparison! They were slightly different and we do have a favourite. See what you think…

BOX A:


 

Weleda: Millet Nourishing Shampoo 18ml
Value: £0.85

“Keep hair in top condition this summer with this natural organic fortifying shampoo.”

BT INITIAL THOUGHTS: Weleda is a good brand that we’d like to try, but this isn’t really a useful sample size, other than for perhaps a night or weekend away. We don’t think it will be enough to determine how good the shampoo is, but at least it’s still useful!


 

Balance Me: Wonder Eye Cream 7ml
Value: £9.34

“A light, hardworking formula to brighten the eye area and keep wrinkles at bay.”

BT INITIAL OPINION – This is a great brand, but we tend to find that eye creams don’t work as well as eye gels or serums on combination skin. We will still give this a try anyway.


 

Laqa & Co: Sheer Lip Lube Pencil, Bees Knees 2g
Value: £14 (full size product)


“A high-gloss pencil to add a pop of sheer, nourishing and wearable colour.”

BT INITIAL OPINION – We were really looking forward to trying out this chubby stick-esque lip tint. However, we were dismayed that Birchbox clearly ignored profiling as both the boxes we received had this colour tint, which was lighter than our own lips, rather than the dark pink that was going around and would have been much better. Sad pandas!


 

Gilchrist & Soames: English Spa Sea Kelp Extract Mineral Bath
Value: £1.91

“This delightfully foamy gel contains marine nutrient sea kelp to invigorate the skin.”

BT INITIAL OPINION – Erm. This is like OK…the kind of thing you get at an OK hotel? Not really at all exciting, but it is at least useful.


 

Compagnie de Provence: Mediterranean Sea Hand Cream 30ml
Value: £0.85

“This luxe, hydrating lotion direct from Provence hydrates hands and leaves them silky-soft.”

BT INITIAL OPINION – Again, just OK. Pretty indifferent towards this…but we’ll try it.


 

LIFESTYLE EXTRA:

ULTRADEX: Fresh Breath Oral Spray
Value: £3.65 (full size product)

“A handbag-friendly spray that kills harmful bacteria and keeps breath minty-fresh.”

BT INITIAL OPINION – Lol. Breath spray? Really? This would be an OK extra if the other items had been more exciting.


 



BOX B:

Whish: Three Whishes Lavender Body Butter 22ml
Value: £2.13

“Not your granny’s lavender – this sweet-scented antioxidant-rich lotino nourishes skin.”

BT INITIAL THOUGHTS:


 

Balance Me: Wonder Eye Cream 7ml
Value: £9.34

“A light, hardworking formula to brighten the eye area and keep wrinkles at bay.”

BT INITIAL OPINION – This is a great brand, but we tend to find that eye creams don’t work as well as eye gels or serums on combination skin. We will still give this a try anyway.


 

Laqa & Co: Sheer Lip Lube Pencil, Bees Knees 2g
Value: £14 (full size product)


“A high-gloss pencil to add a pop of sheer, nourishing and wearable colour.”

BT INITIAL OPINION – We were really looking forward to trying out this chubby stick-esque lip tint. However, we were dismayed that Birchbox clearly ignored profiling as both the boxes we received had this colour tint, which was lighter than our own lips, rather than the dark pink that was going around and would have been much better. Sad pandas!


 

Gilchrist & Soames: English Spa Sea Kelp Extract Mineral Bath
Value: £1.91

“This delightfully foamy gel contains marine nutrient sea kelp to invigorate the skin.”

BT INITIAL OPINION – Erm. This is like OK…the kind of thing you get at an OK hotel? Not really at all exciting, but it is at least useful.


 

Benefit: The Porefessional 7.5ml
Value: £8.36

“An award-winning primer that magically erases pores and leaves skin velvety.”

BT INITIAL OPINION – A great sample that we look forward to trying! Have heard great things about this and given we have combination skin, this is bang-on target for us. Yay!

LIFESTYLE EXTRA:

CHIA SHOT
Value: £0.49

“Bonafide superfood, packed with health-boosting omega 3, protein and more.”

BT INITIAL OPINION – This is a nice little extra that we’re curious to try. Would never had thought about buying this, so a great inclusion!


 

OVERALL VERDICT:

Well we only ended up with two boxes by accident but am pretty surprised by the marked difference in the boxes…the actual value weren’t too far apart, but Box B was so much more exciting in general, not just because it had a Benefit item, but because the actual selection was a well-rounded box, whereas Box A came across as containing unimpressive small samples of no particular quality.

We used to like Birchbox because everyone got the same thing – our general feeling is it that it’s fair enough for people to get different things but that should be in accordance with their profiling (didn’t get lipglosses that suit our colouring). But the products that differ should be of equivalent quality/value – here, rather than a Porefessional, in box A we got an 85p moisturiser (the equivalent in Box was the handcream!) Terrible.

Considering both boxes – this was an average offering from Birchbox. Judging solely by Box A, this was a lame month. Judging solely by Box B, this was a pretty good month!

Box price: £10.00 plus £2.95 shipping (rolling month by month subscription)
BOX A total value: £30.60
BOX B total value: £36.23

Note: We paid for this Birchbox with our own hard-earnt pennies

Like the look of Birchbox? Subscribe at www.birchbox.co.uk and you’ll get £5 worth of points! You’re welcome 😉

UNBOXING: You Beauty Discovery June 2014 – Beauty Heroes

Standard

The theme of this box was Beauty Heroes.

The selection this month wasn’t as good as usual (especially considering the theme), so we were glad that we managed to get the items that we really wanted. YBD always delivers great value, but the curation of products left us choosing practical items that we would use rather than exciting new items to use.

 

Transformulas: Face Contour & Tightening Creme 15ml

Value: £31.40 (full size product)

“As the leading British cosmeceutical brand that specialises in anti-ageing and lifestyle treatments for the face and body, this cutting edge treatment goes right to the heart of the skin-ageing problem. Potent ingredients help life, define and sculpt; the appearance of the face looks instantly elevated and more refined, giving the skin a more silhouetted, lifted look.”

BT INITIAL THOUGHTS: We’ve heard some good things about this product, so look forward to seeing whether it delivers on its promises and whether it’s worth the pricetag.

L’Oreal: Infallible 24H Lip Colour, 121 Flawless Fuschia
Value: £9.99 (full size product)

“Looking for that perfect lipstick that doesn’t stain your champagne glass? L’Oreal’s new lipstick ticks all the boxes. The combinatino of replenishing hyaluronic gel and high intensity pigments, finished with an illuminating balm, provde 24hr infallible colour, hydration and comfort for your lips.”

BT INITIAL OPINION – We originally ordered this because we didn’t like any of the other options and this was just a practical choice as you can never have too many lip glosses! However, we look forward to testing the durability of this new product from L’Oreal – it’s a lovely shade for oriental colouring too!

THE BEAUTIFUL TRUTH (review): Generally, we are a fan of lipglosses. This was the first longwear lip ‘gloss’ that we had tried. It proved to be a bit of a different beast. The colour/gloss itself did not apply very evenly, so you needed to use a mirror and apply quite a thick coat for even coverage. You then had to use the other end, which was a clear balm that ‘sealed’ the colour in. By its nature, appying a lot of the pigment, meant that you ended up with deeply coloured lips (very on-trend right now, but not what we had expected). This also meant that when the colour did wear off, it was quite obvious. Having said that, it did last quite a long time (maybe a couple of hours), but nowhere near 24 hours! We generally prefer lip products that look more natural than this as we don’t have to worry about reapplying, but it was interesting to try it. We think this product would have been way better if initial application was either way sheerer or even more pigmented so that you did not have to apply so much. We suggest trying standard lip velvets instead.

RATING: 3/5 – fairly middle-of-the-road

EXTRA TREATS:

Montagne Jeunesse – Dead Sea Mud Spa
Value: 99p
“Breathe life back into skin with intensely invigorating and revitalising Dead Sea Minerals. Having harvested the ocean’s nutrient-rich Seaweed and Kelp right from the source – the Dead Sea Mud is a satisfying boost for thirsty skin to penetrate deep into pores and draw out impurities.”

BT INITIAL OPINION – We tend to find that clay masks overstimulate combination skin and would have preferred a different type of mask to try. However this is still a nice addition.

Expandable Face Cloth
Value: Unknown
“The luxury of a cleansing ritual everyday, TBD have created a unique soft, expandable facial cloth. The ideal cleansing accessory to gently remove cleansers, makeup, exfoliators and masks. Just run your expandable face cloth under warm water and watch it expand!”

BT INITIAL OPINION – Nice to have a functional item

OTHER OPTIONS:
Cowshed: Slender Cow Extra Firming Body Butter
Herbacin: Hand Cream for Protection and Care
Rituals: Zensation Organic Rice Milk & Cherry Blossom Foaming Shower Gel Sensation
Her: 200 Trecento Rivitalising Hair Treatment
Urban Veda: Daily Purifying Facial Wash

OVERALL VERDICT:

Not the most exciting selection this month, but we still love YBD for sheer value for money and generally offering a decent quality choice of products. We’ve been exposed to lots of ‘new’ (to us!) premium brands through this service. Although this box wasn’t as good as ones in the past, it remains our overall favourite subscription box.

Box price: £6.95 inc shipping
Total value: £42.39

Note: We paid for this You Beauty Discovery Box with our own hard-earnt pennies

UNBOXING: MeMeBox Global 12 – the really bad one!

Standard

We cannot put into words how excited we were when this hot-pink package landed on our doorstep! We’d loved every review of MeMeBoxes that we’d seen and only heard brilliant things about them!

For the uninitiated, Memeboxes are Korean non-subscription boxes. They sell out very fast and you have to buy them blind, without knowing the contents. Often the description is very vague, but sometimes the boxes are themed. This was one of their more general Global collections. Or so we thought.

As we have a focus on products that work well for people of Oriental ethnicity, we were particularly excited to try out products from Korea as they might suit us better. For our first box, we thought we’d play it safe and get a Global box as it should be suitable for everyone…right?!

However, to be brutally honest, we were disappointed and surprised by this box, because:

a) the general low quality of the products
b) some very specific products that were USELESS to us (and we felt shouldn’t be in a Global box)
c) nothing particularly ‘Korean’
d) poor selection

They often don’t ship until sometime later, so you end up in a situation where you may be waiting for several boxes. We has already ordered more boxes because of this and it made us really nervous about what they would contain.

This is an unboxing, we’ll list the items and come back and review them later 🙂 This one will always be remembered as the bad MeMeBox with the anti-hairloss treatment!


 

Ryo: Anti-hair Loss Treatment 50ml
Value: $3

“Infused with biota seed, coix seed, green tea and gold extracts, this hair treatment will not only prevent hair loss but also re-energize and strengthen thin, damaged hair. Its excellent cooling formula will gently soothe and noursh your scalp at the same time.”

BT INITIAL THOUGHTS: What is this doing in a global collection? This is a very niche product that is also very hard to gift to a friend. Great if you do have problems with thinning hair (if it works), but we will have no use for this product so is a waste of space and money. This type of product should only be included in a specific hair-related box, or should be hinted at in the description. Bad MeMeBox!


 

Banila Co: Claypatra Mineral Salt Clay Pack 12g
Value: $2.52

“100% pure mud extracted from the Dead Sea (consisting of 32% salt and minerals) effectively removes any excess sebum, dead skin and external pollutants clogging up your pores. The mineral-rich formula also delivers deep hydration and nourishment to the skin.”

BT INITIAL THOUGHTS: This is the only product we were particularly excited about receiving. We’ve heard good things about this mask and look forward to trying it out. At least the box is not a total write-off!


 

Plagentra: White Mark Cream 15g
Value: $5.70

“Ever been stressed over stretch marks on yhour melly or on your thighs? Plagentra’s White Mark Cream will be your life-saver. With its scientifically approved formula to treat overly stretched skin and balance out any uneven skin tone on your body.”

BT INITIAL THOUGHTS: Erm, pretty indifferent to this. Will try it but again it’s pretty specific. Might be useful if it works on age spots though.


 

Plagentra: White Mark Lotion, Cream, Massage Gel (3 x 3ml sachets)
Value: $3.42

“Ever been stressed over stretch marks on your belly or on your thighs? Plagentra’s White Mark products will be your life-saver, with its scientifically approved formula to treat overly stretched skin and balance out any uneven skin tone on your body.”

BT INITIAL THOUGHTS: Meh. These samples are not big enough to be worth including. Especially as this type of product only shows benefit over long term use.


 

L.vida: Nail Polish 10ml
Value $7 (full size product)

“L.vida’s popular nail polish line comes in vibrant, trendy colours, each packaged with a lovely flower bouquet around its neck. These nail colours are highly acknowledged for their high-end, long-lasting fnish as well”

BT INITIAL THOUGHTS: If it is long lasting, then this would have been OK if we hadn’t received Neon Orange…but still hardly exciting


 

Inter-cos: Smooth Sensitive Removal Cream 250ml
Value: $43 (full size product)

“This unique spray-type removal cream allows you to remove any unwanted hair from even the most sensitive areas of the body.”

BT INITIAL THOUGHTS: Another item that is useless to us (is not our chosen method of hair removal), cannot be gifted easily and we feel should only be in themed boxes. And worth $43? Really MeMeBox?


 

Palan: Crysence Organic Essence 120ml
Value: $72 (full size product)

“Highly praised by beauty experts and hair designers, Palan’s famous hair essence is a non-greasy lotion type treatment for dry, damaged hair that you don’t have to wash off. Made from natural herbal ingredients, it’s extremely gentle and deeply moisturizing.”

BT INITIAL THOUGHTS: The second (of two) products that we are looking forward to trying…if it works at all. The design looks cheap, but we will keep an open mind and report back 🙂


 

OVERALL VERDICT:

What a terrible box! With MeMeBox Global boxes, we think most people hope to get a combination of Korean beauty trends that can be used by most of their customers. This box had too many specific products that meant it was mainly a waste of money. Luckily we had already ordered other boxes as otherwise, we would not still be a customer of MeMeBox. MeMeBox – you really let yourself down with this box!

Our main conclusions were a) you you should be including some higher end products or having a better overall average of quality as most of these are the types you would find in the ‘junk beauty shops’ in Asia b) if you are including very niche products in a ‘general’ collection, you should hint at it in the description or keep these items for themed boxes c) you cannot just chuck any items into a box – you need to curate them so they are an exciting collection. We know this is not normal for MeMeBox and hope this is not a sign of things to come.

On top of it all, there is a type – the introduction sentence on the card describes Global 10 not 12! Only way it could be worse is if tamp;ons were included (see Global 13!!) Bad MeMeBox! Go away and write 100 x “Must do better…”

Box price: $23 + $6.99 shipping
Total value: $136.64 (however, we find it hard to believe the $43 quoted value for the hair removal cream)

Note: We paid for this MeMeBox with our own hard-earnt pennies

Interested in trying out MeMeBox? Use the link below to get $5 off all orders over $100 or check the referrals & deals page for other offers on specific boxes.