I recently signed up to Glossybox as part of my dive into beauty blogging and reviews, and this weekend I received my first box - the March Harrods Edition. The box arrived in striking monochrome packaging, with Harrods ribbons, stickers, and lots of amazing black raffia. Swaddled inside were six sample products, which was a surprise in itself since supposedly you only get five.
Since this is my first box, I don't have anything to compare it to. However, I would assume that as they go, this box is fairly middle of the road. There were two very meager samples, and four decent sized ones.
Before we get started, skip to the end of this post for details of a great giveaway over at Sea of Daisies.
1. Valentino – Valentina Eau de Parfum
My initial reaction to this sample was, "Is that it?!". The tiny spray holds about five squirts on the scent, however despite the stingy size I must admit that this is a really lovely fragrance. It's feminine and floral, but not too sickly sweet. It fades to an almost powdery, fruity scent, and it very wearable. If I weren't already a devoted fan of Jean Paul Gaultier, Classique, then perhaps I would consider adding this one to my wish list. If you do happen to be a girly girl who likes girly scents, then I highly recommend you go and try this - it's perfect for spring!
Retail price for 30ml - £30
2. Shu Uemura – Cleansing beauty oil
Another measly sample. I have yet to use this product since there is just the one sachet. I'm not quite sure what I'm saving it for, but for some reason I am. Their website describes it as follows, 'Contains catechin, derived from green tea, botanical oils, depsea water, and a calming aroma based on watermelon, jasmine and sandalwood. The formula has anti-oxidant properties, and helps to hydrate and soothe skin. It also naturally provides moisture to skin, and helps to enhance skin transparency and improve skin quality'. Sounds good, but I'm not sure I can give it an accurate review from one try. Then again, who knows. I might be back after using the sample singing it's praises. Only time will tell...
Retail price for 150ml - £21
3. Lancôme – Hypnose Drama mascara
This is one of my favourite products from this box. The sample is a really decent size; I've been using it since Saturday and it's showing no signs of giving up on me just yet. I'm really funny with mascara - I usually hate brand new tubes because they tend to go on too thick, which general equals clumpy, blocky lashes. So needless to say I was very impressed when this one went on like a dream on the first use. I used to be of the opinion that the mascara doesn't matter; it's the technique that makes or breaks good lashes. However this product has converted me. The brush is perfect size and shape, the formula is amazing, and the results speak for themselves. Two or three coats and I have the most incredible, voluptuous eyelashes. No doubt I'll be hurrying to Debenhams to buy the real thing once my sample dries up.
Retail price - £17
4. SK-11 Skin signature
This was the mystery product of the bunch. I had never heard or the brand, let alone the product, however I have been pleasantly surprised with the results. Admittedly, for the price you pay you would expect it to do good things, and it really does deliver. Recently I've been using Avène Skin Recovery Cream, however I've switched to this for the last few days and it definitely beats Avène! My skin feels soft and dewy, even underneath make up. It's like my skin is perfectly balanced. I've been using it morning and night, and it goes on a treat. The cream is fairly watery and soaks in quickly, but you can feel it working all day. I've definitely seen a noticable improvement in my skin, and only wish that this product were cheaper!
Retail price for 80g - £85
5. Clarins- Extra Firming body cream
Seeing as I'm only 19 and in fairly good shape, I would like to think that I don't need too much 'lifting and toning' as this product offers. However, I have been using it on my arms in the evenings and it is a nice product. It smells lovely and the cream (although very thick!) goes on nicely. I can't see myself falling head over heels for this product, however if you are someone looking for a good firming product then this might just be for you.
Retail price for 200ml - £28
6. Molton Brown – Vitalising vitamin AB+C Bath & Shower
My initial reaction was along the lines of, "Meh". I'm not too fussed about my bathing products, as long as they do the job and smell good whilst they do it! Not to mention I'm still working my way through the mountain of Lush products I got for Christmas... I used this in the shower this morning, and whilst it may not have the amazing candyfloss scent that Snow Fairy (my favourite shower gel <3 why must it be seasonal?!) offers, it does have a gorgeous, rich fragrance that stays with you all day. It lathers wonderfully, and supposedly it has deodorising properties. Not to mention all of those lovely vitamins at a fairly friendly price. This brand might be one for when I'm a little older and have a bit more disposable income for bathing products!
Retail price for 300ml - £20
Whilst I'm at it, here are a few other products I've encountered over the past week...
1. L'Oreal Lumi Magique Foundation in Rose Pearl
I have been using L'Oreal True Match Foundation for years, so whilst I was in Boots the other day I decided to give their new foundation a try. I tried two shades on the back of my hands; my usual Rose Ivory and the similar Rose Pearl. The latter was a little warmer and gave my skin a lovely, healthy glow, so I decided to give it a try.
Unfortunately, I wasn't impressed with the overall results. Whilst the shade is gorgeous and the coverage is great (pesky red patches - gone completely!), the product became very dry, very quickly. It got worse throughout the day until I could see it visibly flaking. Not a good look. In the future I'll be sticking with True Match.
Retail price - £11
2. Rimmel Stay Matte pressed powder in Transparent
This is such a great pressed powder, and really good value for money. I've been using it to set my foundation for years, and it gives my skin a great matte finish with a silky touch. The colour is lovely and it brightens my skin with the slightest of shimmers. It needs the odd touch up, but other than that is fairly long lasting. It's one of my make up essentials and I would recommend it to anyone looking for a bargain product that really works.
Retail price - £4
3. Clinique Moisture Surge Extended Thirst Relief
Maybe I've been spoiled recently with Avène and SK-11, but when I got this product free with the latest issue of Cosmopolitan, I was very disappointed. It soaks in quickly, and there doesn't seem to be any lasting effect. If anything, it dried my skin out further, adverse to it's description as 'extended thirst relief'. I've encountered far better moisturising products that cost less than half what this did. Maybe it works for some skin types, but for me and my (very slightly) sensitive skin, it's definitely a big red cross.
Retail price for 50ml - £24
Before I go, I must mention an amazing giveaway going on right now at Sea of Daisies. The lovely Quinn has teamed up with quirky legwear store DADDYLONGLEGZ to give one lucky winner four pairs of their stunning tights, in four beautiful designs. Head over to her blog to check out the conditions - it's so easy to enter and you definitely won't be disappointed by her blog!
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