Tuesday, December 31, 2013

- - Luxe Box | Winter 2013 Review - -

Hello everyone! I hope you all had a lovely Christmas! I celebrate Christmas on January 7th, so it's still coming up. Although the holidays are coming to a close, there's still so much to do before New Years eve and there's just not enough time in the day to do everything. On top of that, one of my jobs has been kind of stressful. In any case, I'm surviving and I'm happy that I'm slowly but surely getting through the reviews that I would like to share.

Today I wanted to show you what I received in my Winter 2013 Luxe Box. As mentioned a few times before, Luxe Box is one of my favourite beauty subscription boxes (right up there with Saffron Rouge). This is my second season receiving this box and it surely did not disappoint. For a full review, please click "Read more"...
What is Luxe Box?
Luxe Box is a seasonal subscription service (once every 3 months) that provides you with 7-8 trial size beauty and lifestyle products.
  • Frequency: every season/3 month
  • Membership:
    • Quarterly -- $26, every 3 months
    • Semiannual -- $50, every 6 months
    • Annual -- $96, every 12 months
  • Contents: 7-8 trial deluxe sized samples *
  • Shipping:
    • Cost -- FREE (shipping & handling are included in the prices. Taxes may depend on your location. I am in Toronto, and I did not have to pay anything extra.)
    • To -- Canada ONLY via Canada Post
    • International Shipping 
      • US subscriptions seem to have been available for a limited time some time ago; it may be brought back.
      • There IS a mailing list that you can join that will notify you when international shipping becomes available for your country. 
After filling out a beauty profile, Luxe Box strives to curate a box that is specifically for you. Instead of a product card in every box, you have a product dashboard when you sign into your account online. 

A kind thank you to anyone who would like to use my referral link when signing up for Luxe Box.

My Luxe Box Reviews:

Winter 2013 Luxe Box

This month, there were two cards accompanying my products. One of them was the Luxe Box card introducing the Winter 2013 box. The second card was a promotional offer from Luxe Box for $25 towards a Panty By Post subscription. This is a pretty interesting offer, but I don't think it's something that I'm necessarily interested in right now.

Sneak peek of products.

This month, these were the products that were curated for me:

Compared to my first Luxe Box, where there were only a few products that I used on a regular basis, this box has only about 1 or 2 items that I haven't incorporated into my daily beauty routine.

1 | Gel Eye Pads (Loose Button)
     (FULL SIZE: $30/1 pair) 

"Close your eyes and relax with this soothing eye mask; warm or cool. May also help with headache and sinus pain."

I think the gel pads are a pretty cool product to get in this box. I've included a picture of the instructions because I haven't really been able to find a close-up on any of the other reviews. I haven't tried these out so I'm not sure how well they work, but basically these eye pads help you relax and reduce under-eye swelling. There are two ways you can get them prepared - either by warming them up in warm water (relaxing effect) or by freezing them (reduces swelling). In terms of cost - I'm not sure if I'd ever pay $30 for something like this. I think this product is a great idea, but the price is pretty steep. I've read somewhere that apparently the price of these pads is inflated and they actually don't cost very much at all. I wouldn't be surprised. Nonetheless, I'll let you know how these work out!

2 | Ultra Facial Moisturizer (Kiehl's)
      (Sample: roughly $6 for 30mL  | Full size: $22 for 75mL)
      (Link to product

This is one of my favourite products in this box! As soon as I am able to purchase it, I will be getting the full sized bottle. This moisturizer absorbs well and it doesn't make my pores feel tight like my previous moisturizer did. There's a Kiehl's at the mall that I work at and I have always passed by it, but never gone in or tried any of the products. I am happy to try out one of their products now!

3 | Shea Butter Hand Cream (L'Occitane)
      (Sample: roughly $2 for 10mL | Full size: $30 / 150 mL)
      (Link to product)

I am actually quite ecstatic about this sample! It has now been just about two weeks since I received this box, and by using it at least a couple of time a day, I am now just about finished with this sample. For those of you who remember me talking about the Vanilla Rose Hand Cream from Simple Pleasures in the Fall box, you'll remember that I typically shy away from hand creams because I hate it when my palms get oily and I can't do anything. This hand cream hasn't left my hands greasy at all and the smell is quite heavenly. I've actually purchased the full-sized bottle a few days ago at L'Occitane as a gift for me for New Year's because I have fallen for this hand cream so much.

4 | LipPerfection Jumbo Gloss Balm in "Ruby Twist" (CoverGirl)
      (FULL SIZE: $10)
      (Link to product)

I haven't used this product too much, but I do find it to be a nice shade of red...to be used when my other shades of red run out! What struck me about this product was the video from CoverGirl that was posted on the product page - it includes a few useful tips! Here is the video for you here:

5 | Your Present Required (China Glaze)
      (FULL SIZE: $6-8)
      (Link to product)

Indoors -- natural lighting
Believe it or not, this is my very first China Glaze nail polish. I was so surprised when I uncovered it! I was immediately drawn to the sleekness of the bottle. The colour, although not necessarily for every day use, is very festive and goes well with the month of December. I believe this nail polish was available in the Luxe Box upgrade box that centred around the theme of New Year's.

6 | Complexion Enhancer in "Pizazz" (No Dark Shadows)
     (FULL SIZE: $20)
     (Link to product - product can also be found in Shoppers Drug Mart as of November 2013)

Just like the brand name, No Dark Shadows, suggests, this is a concealer meant to cover up the dark circles under the eyes. You can also use this to highlight your complexion, provide a primer for eye shadow, and use around the lip line to enhance the lip shape . I have pretty dark circles under my eyes and they are something I struggle with on a daily basis. So naturally, you can imagine how happy I was to receive this product! I got this in "Pizazz", which according to the product description is a yellow tone. The shade is pretty close to my skin tone - it's maybe just about slightly darker, but I can make it work with a lot of blending. Nowadays, I'm not using this product as much as I was in the beginning because I've got another concelear that's doing the job. I am pretty excited to be using this product nonetheless.

7 | Pivoine Flora Eau de Toilette (L'Occitane)
      (Sample size: $14 for 5mL / 0.16 fl.oz  |  Full size: $47 for 80 mL)
      (Link to product: travel size | full size)

Although I am typically not a fan of eau de toilette, I am happy that this one is from L'Occitane. The scent is a pleasant one but has a slight tone of spicyness (if that makes any sence). According to the product description, the scent is one of the peony.

8 | UltraShine Moisture Conditioner (EVOLVh)
       (Sample: roughly $7 for 75mL/2.5fl.oz  | Full size: $25 for 250 mL)
       (Link to product)

I have purposely left this product till the very end of the review because I have quite a bit to say about it. This was my absolute favourite product in this box and it is one that I have incorporated into my daily routine more so than any of the other product on this list. As a few reviewers have pointed out, there was no accompanying shampoo/conditioner with the shampoo/conditioner that the Luxe Box recipients received. Although it struck me as strange that there was no shampoo sample with it, I didn't think too much of it and was willing to give the conditioner a try. Boy, what a difference this conditioner makes for my hair!

This is the product description on the Luxe Box website:

"UltraShine will be unlike any conditioner you've used before. It will feel completely different, because it is. Rather than coating hair (as most other conditioners do), UltraShine penetrates the hair shaft to moisturize and repair hair from the inside out. Specialized amino acids rebuild damaged hair, gradually returning hair closer to its ideal composition. When you apply the conditioner it will feel as if it is vanishing. This is because it is being absorbed rather than just sitting on top of the hair. UltraShine will also balance the pH of your hair to its optimum level of 4.5 - 5.5."

Sounds like a commercial, no? Yes -- like a commercial for a product that actually works though! I read the description after I actually used the conditioner and because of this, when I was trying to wash out the conditioner it felt like I couldn't and there was barely anything there on my hair. I realize now that it was because the conditioner (to an extent) actually absorbs into the hair. Because of the weird effect this conditioner has on your hair when washing, it can actually be really tempting to put more product on your hair. But like the back of the bottle says: "Less is more, as the product is highly concentrated." Using less isn't really a problem because the product is fairly thick in terms of its consistency, so I find it sometimes difficult to get it out of the bottle. 

The moment I knew that I loved this product and that it actually works was when my hair dried after a shower and I realized that it felt soft and - more importantly - incredibly light. I loved that.

The next thing I want to point out is that this product has a really nice smell. In fact, it actually smells like a professional product that would be found in a hair salon - which, in fact, this product actually is!

Alright, so past the effect of washing it out and its the lovely smell, I love the fact that this product is: gluten free, paraben free, AND it's vegan. What a combination! I'm not too picky about any of these things, but I know a lot of people are. It's great to know that what I'm using is organic though.

What is this all leading up to? Well, basically, the UltraShine Moisture Conditioner is definitely going to be the third product that I plan on purchasing in a full-size. Typically I wont purchase a full-sized product unless I think its worthwhile, and I've definitely got three products that I believe are.


Alright, so I have gone over a lot of the good. Now I would like to take a moment to focus on a few things that worry me about the Luxe Box subscription. 

Concern #1: I definitely know that it's impossible for me to know exactly what all of the Luxe Box recipients thought of their Winter 2013 box, but I have read a few reviews that weren't so positive. Having said that, of course it is impossible to please everyone.

Concern #2: * Next, it was pointed out by someone, but I did also notice that Luxe Box slightly changed the description of their service. Their description used to say that  "7-8 deluxe sized samples" could be found in their boxes. Now, it states that "7-8 trial sized samples." It's not a major change, but I do hope that it doesn't affect the products in the box too much.

Concern #3: For the Fall 2013 box, after my dashboard was updated with the latest products, I had the opportunity to review all of my products. It's been almost two weeks and there is still no button to review them. Not a big deal, but I am still concerned. Update (Dec. 31): I received an email this morning asking to review my products. I guess it just takes a while for them to set everything up.

Concern #4: Payment date. This is a big one that should probably be on the top of my list. When you first log into your account on www.loosebutton.com, all the information relation to your boxes is listed there (e.g. the shipping date & the payment date). Well, the payment date keeps changing! I've signed up for the semi-annual subscription and I thought I was supposed to be charged in March 2014 for that. It turns out that I was charged shortly after I renewed my subscription. Then, my next payment date stated March 2014. So I figured that was for the next subscription period. If it is for the next period, the date changed again to January 2, 2014. What?? I'm happy to keep paying for my subscription, but I just don't understand what Luxe Box is doing. Update (Jan. 2014): At the beginning of the month, the pay date changed to March 2014 again and it has remained like that ever since.


I think that this was yet another great box from Luxe Box! After taxes, I paid $28.25 for this box and I received roughly $97 worth of product. Even if we bring the possibly-inflated price of the Loose Button gel eye pads down to $5, that is still basically a $70-ish box. I'm really happy that I was introduced to some awesome products this month and I'm happy that I was able to fall in love with most of them. It's a really long time to wait, but I am looking forward to the Spring 2014 box and I really do hope that it will be as stellar as the Fall and Winter 2013 boxes were.

If you would like to sign up for Luxe Box and wouldn't mind using my referral link, you can do so here.

As always, thank you for reading, and I wish you all a Happy New Year!

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