A few weeks ago I finally decided to jump onto the Glossybox bandwagon. Glossybox is a monthly service that sends you five luxury samples in a box so you can try out new brands and products from the comfort of your own home without having to commit to a full size and the price tag it may carry. It costs £10,00 for the box itself plus post and packaging, which is £2,95 in my case. You can currently cancel at any time.
I subscribed thinking I'd get my first box delivered next month, but they still had some left from September and it arrived within three days despite the fact it ended up at the wrong address at first. (The address on the label was correct by the way, so it was the post's mistake.)
I've now had enough time to try out all of the samples that I got, so here's my honest opinion on them. I forgot to take pictures of the packaging, which is absolutely gorgeous, but then there's loads of those out there already, so shouldn't be too hard to find if you haven't seen it yet. Also, apologies for the quality of some of the images. I injured my arm a while ago and holding a heavy camera is difficult at the best of times. Anyway, let's start with the first product on the list:
The first sample I got was a 10ml tube of GreenPeople's Day Solution which retails at £13.95 for a full-size, 50ml product. The size of the sample is decent, as I've still got a little bit left. The cream itself is 94% organic and can be used on all skin types. It has a delicate scent of chamomile and a dense, but light texture, a little bit like Vichy's Normaderm.
Now, I have rather normal skin which gets a bit oily on the t-zone in summer but dries out a little in winter. I only break up if I seriously neglect my skin, for example if I don't take my make-up off before bed. However, I've had a bit of a skin nightmare lately, as I kept getting impurities that never fully broke out. Instead, they formed lots of tiny little lumps under my skin which drove me completely mad.
After using this for a couple of days the lumps disappeared and my skin cleared up. I'm not entirely sure if that's because this moisturiser is amazing or whether it's because my previous one was awful. Either way, it sorted out my skin and makes it feel all lush and wonderful, so I am considering buying the full-size product. Being mostly organic is also a bonus, but unfortunately it doesn't have a built in SPF, so you'd have to wear a separate one on top.
The second product was not a sample, but an actual full-sized brow and eye palette by HD Brows which retails at £19.95! I'm not going to lie: seeing this product in other people's boxes is one of the reasons I signed up for Glossybox in the first place. This one's called Foxy and apparently there are others, but I could not find any on HD Brows' website. Rather, you have to call a hotline if you want any product information or if you want to order one of these yourself.
Some people's palettes came in a box and padded with bubble wrap to protect it, but mine unfortunately didn't and the outer casing was a little bit scratched as a result. The inside was fine, however, and that's all that matters. There are four eye and brow powders, which are called from left to right: Nude, Carbon, Warm Brown and Ash Brown. As you can see the colours are very, very densely pigmented and matte. I use Ash Brown on my eye brows which gives a lovely amount of definition without making my whole face look scary. I also use a short, flat brush on Carbon and use it as an eye liner and it has the most amazing deep colour. These powders cling on to hair like nothing else and after a long day they still cling on to my eyebrows and eyelashes for dear life.
I tried using the other two as eyeshadows, but unfortunately both creased after about four hours of wear and they're not such amazing colours that I'd use a primer underneath. It also said that Nude could be used as a highlighter, but as I'm quite pale (I'm a MAC NC15), it was actually darker than my natural skin tone, so that didn't quite work out. All in all it's a lovely product and though I'm not sure I would have bought it in a shop it certainly meant I got my money's worth with this month's box.
Another organic product was The Green Balm by MOA. It doesn't say how much was in the sample, but it was teeny tiny, so I'm guessing about 5ml if not less. This is meant to be an all over skin "miracle product" that helps pretty much anything. It has a waxy texture in the pot, but melts into an oil on your skin. It smells noticeably of tea tree oil, which is one of its main ingredients.
I can't really say much about this product, as I haven't had any skin "emergencies" as of yet - I tend to get those as the temperatures get closer to zero degrees. I've used it on my lips and it felt really lovely and nourishing and I've also put little bits on other parts of my skin and it feels a lot like Eight Hour Cream by Elizabeth Arden. I'm thinking about buying a full sized pot of this as I've just run out of Eight Hour Cream (boyfriend keeps stealing it!) and this product costs less than half at £9.99 for 50ml. This is the one with lots of potential, but I'm just not too sure about it yet.
This one's a little bit of a joke - a 1.5ml perfume sample, like one of those you'd get in a department store without even having to buy anything, or with your weekly magazine if you're a subscriber. Then again, as it's perfume you either like it and wear it or you don't like it - in which case you haven't got much use for a sample no matter how big it is.
The scent is a bit weird in that I can't quite figure out who it's aimed at. It smells very, very sweet and rich at first and then descends into warm and spicy undertones. It reminds me of sweet, mulled wine and Christmas markets. It's far too musky and spicy for a younger audience, whereas I'd imagine that more mature women will find it too sweet and sickly. Personally I don't mind it, but as opposed to other perfumes I haven't received any compliments while I was wearing it and certainly won't be purchasing the full size.
The final sample were four little sachets of Rahua Shampoo and Conditioner. Again, something you'd find in a magazine sometimes, but at least you got two of each and they were actually filled rather generously, so that there was enough in each sachet for longer hair as well. AND they put it in a pretty little tulle bag.
This one's by far the most difficult for me. The first time I used it I HATED it and the second time I loved it. I think it might be because I didn't manage to get all the product out of the sachet the first time round and there simply wasn't enough there for my hair, whereas the second time I used some scissors to cut it up lengthways and got every last drop.
This is another product that boasts organic and 100% natural ingredients. As a result, the shampoo does. not. lather. at. all. It will still get your hair so clean it actually squeaks when you wash it out (no, really, it does squeak), so it's great for people who use a lot of styling products because it will get them out without a problem. The conditioner then made my hair the softest and shiniest it's been in ages (that was the second time I used it, mind you). I did, however, notice that both products made me shed a lot more hair than usual, which was a little bit worrying.
It seems that if you use a generous amount these two products are absolutely amazing. My hair is so soft I want to touch it all the time, it smells gorgeous and I could easily skip the shine serum that I usually use after styling. Here's the problem though: A full bottle of shampoo (275ml) retails at £26 whereas the same size bottle of conditioner will set you back £27.50. Even with the discount you get on the card that comes with the Glossybox that's still way too expensive considering I get through a bottle of shampoo and conditioner each month. If you've got the budget then go for it, because these are really fantastic products, but I think I'll be sticking with my trusted Pantene for a while.