Monday, January 30, 2012

TOPBOX: January 2012

hello hello hello!
im excited to have finally caught up to this month's boxes! whoohoo! also if you scroll down, you will notice - dun dun dun - i've switched to black frames! maybe next time it will be even crazier and i will do patterns or something :D i wouldn't mind some feedback!
so i'm always excited when i see Topbox in my mailbox. it means that there are more boxes soon to come. i got this box on January 17. the second i picked it up, i was very surprised by how heavy it was.
the exterior of the box was exactly the same as last month's, with the pretty purple design. i didn't even have to open the lid because it pretty much popped right off. guess it's because of the heavy products inside and the fact that it was stuffed to the top! also, all the liquid products were frozen solid. who knows, the box may have been there for only 2 minutes since we were having -30 degree weather in Calgary (without wind chill!)

it came with the usual Topbox card and 4 samples. i must say the size of these samples are impressive! i know Topbox says they are deluxe-sized and i completely agree.

January's samples include:
1) Principessa Beauty dry shampoo - first of all, YAY! i've always wanted another dry shampoo. i only have one by TRESemmé but everytime i walk into Sephora, I want to buy Oscar Blandi's dry shampoo. i don't wash my hair every single day since the natural oils in your hair are actually good for you so dry shampoo can help your hair look more voluminous and less greasy. i'm excited that this was customized according to my hair color (which is black but in the sun, it looks brown). i found it a tad difficult to open especially since i didn't want to spill it everywhere. i had to twist the cap and then just wiggle it back and forth until it came off. the product itself smells pretty nice.
size: 30 g
retail value: $24 (125 g)

2) Shu Uemura shampoo - the title of this shampoo is "full shimmer illuminating shampoo for color-treated hair". this confuses me since with the previous product, it was customized for me, but this one is not. i have not colored my hair... ever. i grew up with strict parents who would not allow me to color my hair back in junior high and high school. and now that i'm 24, i haven't had a strong desire to do so. but if i were to dye it... hmm.. maybe a really dark purple or blue? the kind of blue you'd only see in certain lighting? anyways, i tried the shampoo and it smells good. when you rub it in your scalp, it doesn't get soapy (you know, when you lather?) - i find i had to use more product because it felt like it wasn't enough. if only i had analyzed my hair beforehand i could tell you if it actually made my hair any shinier. oops.
size: 75 mL
retail value: $45 (300 mL)

3) Cake Beauty foot creme - after receiving a few hand creams (as well as the following sample), i was delighted that i received a foot creme - and from none other than Cake Beauty, which i've heard great things about. it is a white, non-greasy formula and smells just like spearmint gum.
size: 100 mL (full size!)
retail value: $16

4) LillyPilly hand and body creme - this one came with a seal. the second i opened the seal, the creme wouldn't stop coming out! i had to run to my sister so she can help me use it up. anyways, we both have to say that the smell is not the best - it reminds of me of old ladies (i apologize!). i'm thinking this is what rosewood smells like? however, it is moisturizing and doesn't feel too greasy.
size: 50 mL
retail value: $22 (150 mL)

even though there was no makeup in this box, i enjoyed the samples - especially the dry shampoo. i like how i can get plenty of uses out of these samples as well. definitely looking forward to my next Topbox! unfortunately for those who are currently unsubscribed, i heard on the grapevine that Topbox is sold out til June :(

Saturday, January 28, 2012

COMPARING: Glymm, Loose Button, Topbox & GlossyBox

hi there - i have finally completed 3 posts about the beauty products i received from December. thought that this would be a great time to do a quick comparison of the 3 companies i subscribed to for these products, as well as a 4th that has recently emerged.

i signed up for Glymm, Loose Button and Topbox all on the same day (November 7, 2011).  please keep in mind that these are all monthly subscriptions. once you sign up, they will continue charging you until you unsubscribe. also, if you prefer, certain sites allow you to sign up with quarterly or yearly subscriptions. with a yearly subscription, Glymm offers 1 free box and Loose Button offers 2 free boxes.
recently, i signed up for GlossyBox on January 25, 2012 which means that i do not have a lot of information about them yet. will let you know more when i finally receive it in March.
please note: to receive these boxes for the next month, you will need to sign up before the 31st of the current month.

Glymm & the Glymm Box: 
price: $10/month ($10.50 including taxes)
contents: 4-5 "luxury" and "deluxe-sized" samples (oddly enough, under FAQ, it says 3-5 instead); personally, i received 4 in December and 5 in January
delivery time: from Montreal to Calgary: in December, it took 5 days (shipped on the 15th); January - 11 days (shipped 13th).
other bonuses: can shop online, now offers glymm for men as well (7-8 samples for $20/quarter), loyalty program where you can earn points to receive a discount when purchasing products online, can complete surveys to allow company a better understanding of your tastes
more infowebsite or if you don't mind helping me out with some loyalty points, please click here. i appreciate it! :)

Loose Button & the Luxe Box:
price: $12/month ($12.60 including taxes)
contents: 4-5 "deluxe-sized" samples; still waiting for my January box, but received 5 (including the perfume sample for men; otherwise 4) samples in December
delivery time: from Mississauga to Calgary: December - 5 days (shipped 16th); January - N/A (shipped 27th)
other bonuses: can complete a beauty profile to tailor future products to your interests, current promotion: free 3-month subscription to Flare magazine, referring friends can earn you free boxes, can reserve a product each month - however, the reservation limit is reached SO quickly (i've tried 2 hours after receiving the email but to no avail)
more infowebsite or help me earn a free box here. please and thank you!

Topbox: *currently sold-out* (not sure until when)
price: $10/month ($10.50 including taxes)
contents: 4 "deluxe-sized" samples (this has been consistent in December and January)
delivery time: from Toronto to Calgary: December - 9 days (shipped 6th); January - 6 days (shipped 12th); has been the first box i receive each month
other bonuses: complete a beauty profile to customize products for you, invite friends to earn a free box (however they don't provide a link - you need to email them instead)
more infowebsite

GlossyBox: *sold out until March*
price: $15 (including taxes) - most expensive $$$
contents: according to their website, 5 samples
delivery time: N/A
other bonuses: complete a beauty profile, earn GLOSSYDots towards a free box when you refer your friends 
more info: website or help me out here please!  

what are your experiences with these companies? thank you and have a lovely day!


Wednesday, January 25, 2012

LUXE BOX: December 2011

hi hi hi again! i am slowly catching up in posting about the sample boxes i received last month. today's post will be on Loose Button's Luxe Box, which i received back on December 20, 2011.

it arrived in a square-shaped cardboard box with the logo on the side. the products box itself was a sleek black color and opens by sliding off the cover (sort of like a drawer). i could definitely find another use for this box since i'm sure these will soon be piling up in a corner of my room.

i also love the fact that the products were all wrapped up in tissue with a sticker that said "Made for Helen". it made me feel special! even though none of the items were customized for me, i just liked how Loose Button went a little further in personalizing their box for their customers.

within the box was a card about December's products, a card about one of the products in particular, a card about the company, tissue paper and a bunch of the blue crinkled tissue paper.


products received:

1) DDF firming cream - definitely have not began to use this yet. at this stage in my life, i am not really interested in any anti-aging products. i hope that by completing some surveys on not only Loose Button's website, but also with Glymm and Topbox, i will begin to receive products i may be able to use. i'd hate to waste all these products. on the plus side - this is a good sized sample, especially since for a little over 3x the sample amount, the retail value is a whopping $140! ... so my sample is worth ~$41?!
size: 14 g
retail value: $140 (48 g)

2) Yves Rocher shower gel -hmmm shower gels... i do not really know what to say about them. i keep receiving them as gifts or part of some spa set but i never use them. i find that i just like to use soap or at most, body wash. i don't really understand the benefits of a shower gel; besides the fact that this one smells pretty yummy, like something you would like to eat.
size: 50 mL
retail value: $12 (400 mL)

3) Paco Rabanne Black XS for her & Black XS perfume sample - i haven't had a chance to crack these open yet but taking a look on the back of each, the one for males says "a fruity woody oriental" and for females "a fruity floral woody". i'm not experienced with the fragrance language - i don't really understand "woody" and "oriental". guess i will see for myself! however, i do not think my boyfriend would wear it - we have been together 6 years and i have yet to see him wearing cologne. he prefers to just wear deodorant and use some manly-smelling body wash.
size: 1.2 mL each
retail value: $56 (50 mL); $68 (80 mL) each

4) Lise Watier gloss in "Nude" - i haven't tried Lise Watier before but i have been tempted to so i was glad that i got this gloss. i must say i was sent a ton of glosses in December! anyways, the gloss is not sticky and like it's name, it does go on nude but it also is a tad sparkly. i like certain kind of nude lip colors, however this one makes me look ghostly sick. sadly, i do not think i will be picking up this lip gloss anytime soon. (bare lips on the top right, lips with the gloss on the bottom right).
size: 1.5 mL
retail value: $20 (6.2 mL)

one really great thing about the luxe box is - dun dun dun - the candy!! this one is a Belgian chocolate coin!! i loooooove chocolate. the logo on it is so cute too. maybe i'll actually eat one when i get my next box (so that i can keep one - is that weird?).

and so, my overall impression of Loose Button is: meh. i'm not very impressed by any of these products. they were not really geared towards me. it has been said that Loose Button sends anti-aging products often so perhaps they are focused on an older audience. for now, i have decided i will keep my subscription until i receive my march box and decide from there.

and now... BIG NEWS! i have discovered that another company has ventured into Canada and have started the monthly beauty samples subscription business - GlossyBox is now here!!! i believe they started in the UK first? anyway super exciting - but also sad to find out that they've already sold out for February! i signed up yesterday but i will have to wait for March - if only I had found out two days ago! anyway, still stoked since i've heard good things about GlossyBox. want to know more? click here. :) these boxes are really starting to add up - guess i will soon be forced to make some serious decisions. if you have any input, please let me know! stay tuned!!
for more information on Loose Button & the Luxe Box, please click here. thank you kindly!

Monday, January 23, 2012

GLYMM: December 2011

HAPPY CHINESE NEW YEAR!!!
and so the year of the dragon begins. i am very glad that i am here making another post so soon - i am glad i did not get tired of blogging and just give up after two posts :)
today, i will be discussing my first Glymm box which arrived December 19, 2011. 

it came in a pretty pink box, and i am glad it was marked fragile. i find that when i order online, some of the items appear to be tossed around quite a bit. i found out this was definitely necessary since it includes *spoiler* a jar of jelly beans!! 

after opening the pink cardboard box, you find another pink box - this one with the Glymm logo on top. upon opening this box, i like how everything is wrapped up neatly with white tissue paper and a bow. there is the Glymm card that tells you all the items that were in this month's box, an advertisement card about some products that can be purchased online, as well as a $10 off coupon with any purchase - oh! and some of the crinkled white paper... i am not really sure what to call them.

products received:
1) Caudalie mask - don't let the picture fool you - this was a super tiny sample. on the back of it, it says to use twice a week and i have yet to use this enough to see results. i currently use a face scrub that works in a similar way in that they both remove dead skin cells. 
size: 3 mL
retail value: $40 (40 mL)

2) Ahava hand cream - you definitely do not need to use a large amount because just a tiny bit of this hand cream will make your hands really smooth. the formula appears to be very mousse-like and non-greasy. it looks similar to whipped cream. it also smells very nice - sort of reminds of flowers and clean babies.
size: 20 mL 
retail value: $20 (~101 mL) 

3) Yves Saint Laurent "La Parisienne" perfume - i have not own anything YSL before and when i looked at the packaging, it sort of looks like it was geared towards more mature women. i'm not very good at describing perfumes but i do enjoy the smell. it doesn't smell musky to me - maybe flowers? again, i don't know how to describe perfume scents - it's usually just nice or not nice. the sample is not one where you can spray on but just dab on.
size: 7.5 mL
retail value: $85 (~ 88 mL)

4) Sula Beauty lip gloss in "In Disguise" - i have encountered the Sula brand only once before - i purchased a paint & peel nail polish that didn't turn out too good. the color was nice but didn't work as expected. this lip gloss color was a light baby pink and the packaging is really pretty. really girly. with my lips, the gloss only looks like gloss; it does not give my lips any color at all. (if you want to see my bare lips, please check out the previous post on Topbox!). one good thing was that it was not sticky so my hair didn't get caught in it.
size: 2.69 g (full size!)
retail value: $8

lastly, Glymm is known for including a jar of different flavored jelly beans each month! for december, they went festive with white and red jelly beans. they look super tasty but also so cute in their jar i'm not sure if i want to eat them. 

all in all, i am pretty pleased with the variety of products in my very first Glymm box. again, i received a full size lip gloss which i am not complaining about since i use lip products all the time. i also go through a lot of hand cream. living in calgary means that we have some cold winters and hand cream is a must! i enjoy receiving samples of perfume since you can never really tell what it smells like on you until you wear it for a few hours. and jelly beans - candy is never a bad thing! i am also super duper excited to say that as i type this, there is another Glymm box right behind me that i just received today, just waiting to be opened! i will let you know very very soon on the contents - hopefully this subscription to Glymm will continue to impress me :)

thanks for your time again! to find out more about Glymm, please click here.

TOPBOX: December 2011

soooo thank you all for staying tuned!! i am happy to say that this is my first ever review - and it will be about the first beauty sample box i ever received. this box came from Topbox on December 14, 2011. needless to say, i was super excited to open it after seeing many many videos about similar sample boxes from Canada, US and England.

i find that it is interesting to check out what people received in their boxes since it seems that some people receive different items according to where they live. (reminder: i live in calgary, ab).
let's begin!!

it came wrapped up in in a cylinder shape with a large Topbox sticker. underneath was a pretty box with a purple design.


besides the samples, it came with some matching purple tissue paper, crinkled black tissue (not sure if there is a proper name for these!), the Topbox card, and a coupon for shopper drug mart points if you purchase Cover FX products.

apparently, Topbox ran out of the Bella Pella soap so instead i got a Dr. Brandt eye serum. i heard that this was included in the november box but since i wasn't subscribed then, i didn't mind too much.

products i received:
1) Cargo Cosmetics gloss in "Big Sur" - came customized for me as well as in full size. it came with something called TimeStrip technology which tells you how much longer the lip gloss is good for - according to Cargo, the lifespan is 9 months. i took a picture of it just a couple of days ago to show you how surprisingly accurate it is.

the color is alright with me: it looks like i'm wearing just a hint of gloss since my lips are already quite pigmented. (i apologize for the lip pictures - i find that close-ups of lips are really strange looking!). the left picture is of my bare lips, and the right one is with the gloss on. i've used it a couple of times and it doesn't feel too sticky which is a plus. sadly though, the plastic tubing around the gloss has come off so each time i use it, i have to pull off the tube and then twist it open. it gets a little messy around the edges now.
size: 4.75 g (full size)
retail value: $25

2) Cover FX primer - i haven't actually used this product yet but when i went to test it, the tube felt quite empty. i love using primers since my skin is often oily and makeup doesn't tend to last long on such skin. hopefully, this doesn't turn out to be too greasy. i've tried it on my hand and it comes out as a clear liquid, but as for staying power, i will have to find out.
size: 7 mL
retail value: $45 (30 mL)

3) Skinceuticals gel - i have never used a gel before and was a little confused as to what to do with it. i went online, and it was suggested that i use it before applying makeup as it helps create a smooth surface to work on. i found it made my skin really soft. i will definitely keep using it, but as for purchasing it in the future - not likely. it is very expensive for a full size product and i have not yet seen long-term benefits that will convince me to fork out the money.
size: not sure - but quite tiny.
retail value: $78 (30 mL)

4) Dr. Brandt eye serum - i find that i do not really have a use for collagen eye serums yet since i am 24 and have not been developing wrinkles just yet... still, when i went to test it, i had to really squeeze the tube in order for some product to come out. did anyone else have the same problem? i am not sure if this is a common thing... or if the tubes are not supposed to be fully filled? anyway, it comes in a white liquid.
size: 2.5 mL
retail value: $65 (~14.8 mL)

all in all, i was slightly disappointed with my first Topbox. none of the products really wowed me. i will continue to use a few of the products but only because i have them, otherwise i would not go out and purchase them. it was also unfortunate that two of the products seemed to be empty. however, with this said, i kept my subscription since i feel that i should not judge a company entirely based on one month's review. seeing that i have already received the january box, i will update you about this soon!

please note: i have heard that Topbox is sold out for the next couple of months but they are working on shortening the wait time.

thanks for reading!!

Thursday, January 19, 2012

WELCOME!

hello everybody!!
... i'm sure there isn't actually anybody reading my blog just YET but i am very excited to start this project. i decided last month that i should start a blog - i know it has taken me quite some time to actually get started so i do apologize for the next few posts that will probably take place within the week. once i get adjusted i will make this a more regular thing.

just to let you know what you are in for:
i decided to dedicate this blog to one of my favorite things: makeup! since i've subscribed to all (as to my knowledge, 3) canadian companies that send out monthly samples of beauty products, i've decided that it is a great opportunity to write about the products i receive. these companies include: topbox, glymm, and loose button (luxe box). i will also occasionally review other beauty products i have decided to add to my ever-expanding collection.

a little about me:
as mentioned earlier, i am from canada - more specifically, calgary, alberta. yes - where the calgary stampede is held. go flames! i got my degree last year and am still ... sort of postponing "real life" - just for a bit longer!! it's both an exciting and scary time, and right now, i am enjoying all this free time - i'm actually reading for FUN! besides harry potter, i'm not sure when i was able to do that during university years. i love shopping - for makeup, clothes, anything really! i especially get excited when i find something for a great deal. i'm often on ebay for this very reason. i'm also very thorough - i will check all the winners in calgary if there is a certain pair of shoes i want.

anyways, i hope my future posts can be useful to my readers in that they will provide pictures, accurate information and honest opinions.
see you very soon!! please hang in there while i play with the layout and everything. i'm new to the blogging world!
thanks for taking the time - i appreciate it :)
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