Wednesday, January 08, 2014

- - Saffron Rouge Inner Circle | December 2013 Review - -

Happy Wednesday! How is everyone getting through the week? I'm in the middle of my first week back at school and already I've got an assignment due tomorrow. Putting that aside, I'm excited to talk about what has quickly become my favourite beauty box subscription - Saffron Rouge's Inner Circle. For a full review, please click "Read more"...
Saffron Rouge is an online eco-friendly & organic retailer, whose monthly subscription, Inner Circle, provides deluxe samples of products from organic beauty brands around the world.

Frequency: monthly  
Cost: $24.99 + tax (in total, I was charged roughly $28)  
Ships To: Canada, U.S., internationally  
Added Bonus: A 10% off discount comes with every box.

Unlike many subscription services, Inner Circle products are not curated for each individual. Instead, the products are curated around a theme. Although everyone gets the same products (colours may vary), the items are pretty versatile in their use.

December 2013 Box:

Unlike the November package, which actually came in the form of a box, the December package was reverted back to its original shape.

I have to be honest - I was really nervous to open the Inner Circle package this month. Seeing how awesome the November box was, I was truly afraid that I'd be disappointed with this month's box; I just had no idea what to expect. One of the things that I noticed right away, which kind of scared me, was that the December package was a lot lighter than the November one had been. I was thinking that I would be getting foil packets again, which sometimes aren't that great because there's not enough product to try out. Holding my breath, I finally decided to open the package and this is what I saw:

It's a bit blurry, but inside the package was a surprising collection of welcoming holiday colours. It was wrapped up pretty tightly, so I didn't even recognize what I was looking at right away. It turns out that what I was actually looking at was the product brochure:

As I mentioned above, Saffron Rouge doesn't curate boxes for individuals; instead, products are hand-picked to fit a certain theme. With Christmas and New Years just around the corner, this month's products revolved around the idea of looking your best during the busy holidays. Quite appropriately, this month's products were wrapped up as a present (inside an Inika bag, which is quite nice, sturdy and versatile):

I didn't want to unwrap it - that's how pretty this package was! After taking a lot of pictures though, I finally opened it up:

 Overview of Products

1 | Vernissage Mini 3-Free Nail Lacquer in Scandal (Vapour)
      (FULL SIZE: 0.25 oz for $12.00 CAD)
      (Link to product)

Interestingly, I've checked around and Vapour has actually upgraded their nail polish bottles to fit .30 oz, and these now cost $16. The link I've provided above takes you straight to the page of their updated bottles. I'll update this post with swatches a bit later but from what I have seen, this polish has a good consistency (not too thick and not too watery) and looks quite nice on.

2 | Luscious Lips Trio (Suki)
      (FULL SIZE: $33.75 CAD)
      (Link to product)

Indoors; artificial lighting
Indoors; natural lighting
Indoors; natural lighting
Indoors; artificial lighting

I like this product a lot. Being so used to lip glosses and lipsticks, I find it really interesting that these lip/cheek stains require a brush for application. I've never really used cheek stains before, but I'll give it a go sometime. So far I've only used these on my lips, and I've found the two colours, Wineberry and Sugarberry, are really creamy and moisturizing. Wineberry is a lovely mauve, and Sugarberry is a soft pink.

Another thing to note about this product - it's fairly small in size. This compact measures roughly 7.7cm x 1cm x 7cm. I understand that Suki products can get quite expensive at times and I do understand that this is an organic product, but I'm not really sure if I could justify spending $30+ for this compact.

What I also disliked about this set was that the lip repair butter is almost useless. Contrary to what its name suggests, the lip butter isn't as creamy as Wineberry and Sugarberry and that makes it all the more difficult to get any of it on the brush. Moreover, using a finger for application doesn't help too much either. You have to be really determined to get a good application of lip butter. I will try my best though.

The last few things that I liked about this product - it's a convenient, sturdy compact that can basically go anywhere you go. You can easily slip this into your purse and apply any time you want a little colour. I also really liked that it doesn't have an artificial/synthetic scent like some beauty products. Overall, I'm really glad to be trying this product out!
 -   -   -   -   -   -   -   -   -   -

An aside -  part of the reason for why this review took a bit of time to get to was because I initially received a defective Lips Trio. I was really excited to see that this came in my package, but when I opened it...I found the container totally empty!

Whoops - the package came empty!
I emailed the customer service team at Saffron Rouge right away and - can you believe it? - I received a response to my email literally 10 minutes later (I sent my email at 3:46pm and received a response by 3:56pm the same day)! Lovely Karen, who took up my case, apologized and informed me that the manufacturer would be contacted to send me a replacement. It took about a week for a replacement to be sent out to me and I happily received it before December 24th. Along with the "good" Suki lips trio, I was sent a keepsake bamboo travel case, which included a washcloth and nine 4mL foil packets of Suki products. 
Thank you kindly to Saffron Rouge, Karen, and Suki, for going through all of this trouble!

3 | Flocked Sponge (Alima Pure)
      (FULL SIZE: $6.00 CAD)      
      (Link to product)

Unfortunately, I haven't used this sponge yet, but I will update this post when I do. I have read quite a few good reviews about this sponge, and it is incredibly soft.

4 | Eye Pencil in Midnight (Living Nature)
      (FULL SIZE: 3g/0.1 oz for $22.00 CAD)
      (Link to product

I'm just about finished with the eye liner that I typically use, so I have not tried this product out yet, but I will soon enough. I've swatched it above and because of its creaminess, the colour goes on like a dream. There are two other colours that this eye pencil is available in: Flax seed, and River stone.

5 | Mineral Bronzer in Sunloving (Inika)
      (FULL SIZE: 3.5g/0.12oz for $36.40 CAD)      
      (Link to product)

I actually don't use bronzer, so I passed this product on to a co-worker who does. She actually ended up using it as an eyeshadow as well and it worked out quite nicely for her. I love that this bronzer is available in cheerful colours: Sunkissed, Sunlight, Sunloving, and Sunseeker. Right now, there's even a "Buy 2 Get 1 Free" promotion going on for the Sunloving shade.

6 | Eye Solace (Dr. Hauschka)
      (Sample size: 2x5mL/0.17fl.oz for $7.20 ($3.60/each) | 
       Full Size: 10x5mL/0.17fl.oz for  $36.00 CAD)  
      (Link to product)

Front & back.

I've only used one of the two vials, but I already really like this product! As I mentioned in several of my posts, the dark circles under my eyes are the biggest problem area for me, so products that help with reducing puffiness and calming irritated eyes are always welcome. This is my first introduction to the Dr. Hauschka, but I have heard quite a lot of great things about the brand.

The product description states that you only need to keep the soaked eye rounds on your eyes for about 10 minutes. There's a further note that says: "...or longer if no one can find you." I thought this was hilarious! Kudos to you, Saffron Rouge, and your sense of humour!


Despite my initial worry, I was totally blown away by the product in the December package! Moreover, this month I was really impressed with Saffron Rouge's customer service team, who I now know is reliable and obviously care about their customers as well as their brand image and products. 

In total (after taxes), I paid about $28 for this package, and I received roughly about $117.35 worth of products. More importantly - most of the products in this package were ones that I know I will use.

What do you guys think about this subscription and this month's products? Let me know :)

Thank you kindly for reading! -A.~

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