19 December 2011

Make Every Month Feel Like Christmas

I'm too much of a Scrooge to want to have Christmas every month but it was Glossybox's advert in last week's Stylist teasing me with the excitement of receiving a box full of beauty treats every month that pushed me into finally signing up (well, and the fact that you could get £5 off your first box with the code stylistdec1411). I've been following the growing trend for beauty box subscriptions since the end of last year when I watched a few videos from beauty fanatics in the US opening their Birchboxes. The concept is as simple: you pay a small monthly fee and receive a beautifully packaged selection of five luxury beauty samples; the samples are usually a pretty decent size and you often get at least one full-size product in each box. You get a little card telling you about the products and, in the case of Glossybox, a QR code with a link to buy them online.

December 2011 Glossybox
The boxes finally hit the UK this spring and although a number of different companies are now available, I was put off by the price--at £10 plus P&P per month, they are more expensive than the $10 Birchbox. Carmine were doing an offer where you could get £3 off a single box, without needing to subscribe, and because you could see which products you would receive, I bought one but didn't subscribe. Meanwhile, I persuaded my beauty-loving boss to sign up to Glossybox and recommended the service in my Christmas gift guide. When I saw my boss's December box, however, I gave in and subscribed. We got a slightly different combination of products but my two favourite products from her box also appeared in mine. So, here's what I got:

1. Deborah Lippmann mini nail varnish in Razzle Dazzle. I've been wanting to try a Deborah Lippmann varnish for a while but had never got round to it. I saw this colour in my boss's box and knew I had to try it. It's a glittery raspberry shade and looks great with my new Daunt Tote. £16 for the full size. Bonus product: one pack of Deborah Lippmann's Stripper To Go nail varnish remover.

Sparkly nails!

2. Rituals foaming shower gel in Yogi Flow (200 ml). Shower gels are one of the products I always buy cheaply so it's great to get a full-size Rituals product. This one, containing sweet almond oil and Indian rose, smells great and I'm looking forward to trying it. £6.

3. Blink+Go make-up compact in grey. I haven't heard of this brand but I like this palette, with six eye shadows (greys and greeny browns), two blushes (coral and pink), a mirror and two brushes. The green and orangey eye shadow colours aren't me but the other shades and the blushes are pretty but I will probably keep the compact in my desk at work to top up my make up if I'm going out after work. £14.95.

Cargo lip gloss, Blink+Go compact, Deborah Lippmann nail varnish

4. Cargo lip gloss in Morocco. Another new brand to me and Morocco is a pretty, rose pink, which gives nice shine and isn't too sticky. I don't think I got a full-size gloss (which are £10), but it was a reasonable sample and I'll definitely use it.

5. Bionova eye wrinkle treatment. This was the only product in my box that I didn't really like, mainly because I don't yet have wrinkles; I also have sensitive eyes and I find that anti-ageing products really irritate my skin. I might try to give this away, if I can do so without offending. They use lots of sciencey words on the box, like "nanocomplex" and "polypeptides," which annoys my inner science press officer, but who knows? Maybe it works. The sample is 4g, or about one third of the full size (which costs £43).

Overall rating: 4/5. This was a great box for me. I know I'll be lucky if I like four out of five products every month (I'm sure they made an extra effort with the December box, given the Christmas gift potential) but I'll give Glossybox a go for six months and if the average score drops below 3/5, I'll reconsider my subscription.

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