Before we start, I have to confess I am not a GlossyBox virgin. I first subscribed to the beauty samples monthly delivery service about two years ago but abandoned it after a few months - I felt the product selection was slipping a bit and my bathroom cabinet was literally overflowing with stuff I was never going to use.
But I still thought that the idea, in essence, was a good one. GlossyBox is probably the best known of the fashion and beauty subscription services out there and it's pretty slick. For a monthly fee of £10 (plus P+P which takes it up to about £12 ish), you get a beautifully presented box of goodies delivered to your door or desk. Part of the fun is not knowing exactly what's inside.
In theory, the boxes are tailored to your requirements and wants - you create an online beauty profile by answering a few basic questions about your skin type, colouring, product preferences and fragrance preferences. So when the product selection is good and everything works for you, it feels like a real treat. There were a few products I discovered through GlossyBox that I loved enough to buy again - especially this moisturiser by Monu.
But when it's a bit off mark it's pretty disappointing. Which is why I left. After a few lack lustre boxes, the final straw for me was, I think, a box sponsored by Harrods which had namby pamby little samples of products so expensive I could never afford them in a million years, none of which suited me.
But recently, a colleague in my office and a good friend have been using products they got from GlossyBox deliveries so I thought I'd give it another whirl.
This is the first box of my new subscription and I'm happy to report it's a good one!
With great timing, GlossyBox have delivered a package filled with goodies that are perfect for the almost-heatwave we're having in London right now.
My Seaside Splash box came in pretty themed packaging - I'm in the middle of a big wardrobe clear out so the box is being put to good use as a sock organiser in one of my drawers.
Anatomicals: Spray Misty For Me facial spritz
This is my favourite of the lot - I had a facial spritz revelation in Paris (more on Paris on the blog soon) and my tiny Avene face spray has just run out so it's arrival is perfectly timed. And it feels and smells quite fresh, perfect to shake off that horrible muggy tube feeling that always leaves me craving a shower. Me and this spritz could develop a really meaningful relationship. If only the packaging was just a tiny bit more tasteful and expensive looking. I know looks aren't everything, and being lilac does make it easy to find in my bag and the plastic bottle helps make it cheap (£6). But I do like some quality packaging.
It's got rose, lavender, peppermint and witch hazel in it so should stave off some of the greasiness and spottiness I'm occasionally prone to when it gets hot in the city and pollution gets all clingy like a dog with a deep fear of abandonment. I've been spraying it on myself all day, I can't stop - I think maybe they put some kind of crack in it.
Ciate: paint pot (nail varnish for those who don't speak marketing) in Island Hopping
I don't normally go in for this sort of thing to be honest - nail varnishes just chip and my nails are nearly always different lengths because they break or get bitten so painting them seems a bit silly. Plus glittery nail varnish is a bugger to remove. But this one is really pretty and summery and goes on much, much easier than most glittery nail varnishes do. The pigment is really good too - I only put on one (quite thick) coat. I'm not entirely sure how to take a nice picture of my hands, but I've tried so you can sort of see the effect...
The bow on the front of the bottle is a tiny bit twee, but we can let that slide.
Nip + Fab: Shine Fix
I was a real fan of Nip + Fab's Spot Fix when I got it in a previous GlossyBox delivery. But their moisturiser was a disaster. The Shine Fix makes lot of claims, as these things are wont to do. Apparently it contains 'microsponges' which target and prevent shine. It also has something called Seboclear (tm) to 'target visible pores'. Both of these sound like those pseudo scientific things they attach to beauty products to make you believe in magic (this does occasionally work because despite all evidence to the contrary I am a sucker for magic).
Shine and visible pores do not bother me overtly, although I do suffer from both occasionally as I have skin and skin does get shiny and it does have pores... but I'm trying it out anyway. Thus far the difference isn't hugely noticeable. My nose might be a bit less oily if I really pay attention. But it hasn't brought me out in instant spots so I'll persist. If it does anything significant I'll let you know.
Alterna: Bamboo Style Boho Waves
This is one of those 'beachy hair' effect sprays that's supposed to make you look like you've just spent the day surfing and your hair has dried in the sun. Like bed-head hair, this is an ideal that is hard to achieve if your hair is quite fine like mine. This spray doesn't work miracles, but I like it. I applied it on partly damp hair this morning, and even after being smushed with a cycle helmet before it had completely dried my hair does seem a bit more oomphy. I like tiny bottles of hair product - I'm more likely to use them because I can carry them around with me. And this one smells nice.
Coola Suncare: mineral sunscreen tinted moisturiser
This was the only real miss for me. It has a decent texture for a tinted moisturiser, but I'm actually not a fan of them usually. Laura Mercier is possibly the exception. I did like the idea of a tinted moisturiser with a mineral suncream included so was willing to give it a go but the colour was a bit off. I didn't even fully apply it before pulling out the Bioderma for a quick removal job.
I'm looking forward to getting the next delivery, but I do need to be vigilant about keeping the bathroom cabinet under control... I'll be giving away any unused products every now and then so stay tuned!