Monday, February 24, 2014

- - Topbox | February 2014 Review - -

Hi friends!

Last month I finally got the chance to get off of the waitlist for Topbox. The whole waiting period took about a month, but it was one of those things where I didn't remember that I had signed up until I got the email letting me know there was a spot available. This was actually the second time I had to sign up because I wasn't sure if the first time went through since I was waiting close to about two months. In general, based on all of the reviews that I have across for Topbox, I haven't really been too impressed with what I have seen. However, the products in my regular Topbbox this month weren't too bad actually. For a full review, please click "Read more"...
What is Topbox?
Topbox is a sampling service that provides you with 4 deluxe sized beauty products for $12 every month.

Frequency: monthly
Cost: $12 (subscription plans are available)
Waitlist: roughly 1-3 months
Ships to: only Canada right now
Shipping cost: FREE
Shipping date: 15th of every month

Every month, you have the option of opting in to get a "Privé Box" instead of the regular Topbox.

This month I chose the regular Topbox. It shipped on February 15th and I received it by February 17th.

Topbox ships your products every month in an elegant and recycable cylinder:

Product card.
* Prices are in Canadian dollars. *

1 | Double Ended Sumptuous Bold Volume Lifting Mascara in Black & Pure Color Gloss in Rock Candy (Estée Lauder)
      (Sample size: gloss = $19.50 for 4.5mL || mascara = ~$12 for 2.8mL)
      (Cost of sample: $19.50 + $12 = $31.50!)
      (Full size: gloss = $26 for 6mL || mascara = $26 for 6mL)
      (Link to product: lip gloss | mascara)

This is my favourite product from this month's selection because it's literally two products in one. Moreover, one of these products (the lip gloss) has a volume of 4.5mL, which is more than half of its full sized counterpart. I can see myself using both sides for quite a long time. 

The lip gloss smells really sweet like a candy, and the applicator is so smooth that swiping this gloss across my lips is like a dream. The colour is a kind of peachy-pink, but the lip gloss is quite sheer overall. Hopefully you can see the colour better in the pictures above. The lip gloss is also a bit sticky.

It will probably be a while before I use the mascara side full-time because I do have a couple of other mascaras to go through still. Mascaras remain welcome though. :)

2 | Blush Powder in Libertine (Lise Watier)
       (Sample size: $16 for 3.5 g | Full size: $27.00 for ?) 
       (Link to product)

I haven't really tried out this blush yet, but the blush powder I was using recently broke on me, so I'll be experimenting with this one soon enough. :)

A quick note - although I was able to find this blush on the official poduct page, I can't seem to find the weight of the full sized product. I got the price of the sample from the Topbox product sheet.

3 | Eight Hour Cream Skin Protectant (Elizabeth Arden)
      (Sample size: $13 for 30 mL | Full size: ~$22 for 50 mL)
      (Link to product)

I'm not really sure what to make of these last two products. For this Elizabeth Arden cream, the product says that I can use this to "add shine to eyelids, cheeks, and lips." On the official website it is claimed that this cream "soothes, restores, calms and helps relieve chapped, cracked, dry skin. Soothes roughness, redness and minor skin irritations." It does certainly seem like this product is a classic and it appears to be loved by many (see reviews here and here).

Personally, I remain a little skeptical. What throws me off is the presence of petrolatium, which is a mineral oil jelly that locks moisture in the skin. Although petrolatium on its own isn't too dangerous, it can possibly be cancer-inducing when it's contaminated by "polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs)" and exposed over a long period of time to the skin. If you'd like to read up about petrolatium, you can find some information about it here.

I feel like this product has the consistency of Vaseline. I used it on my hands just before going to sleep and I did wake up to find my hands soft and moisturized. I find that the scent bothers me. Last night I tried to keep my hands away from my face to not smell it too much.

While I do think that I'll give this product a fair try, I don't think I'll be using it on my face anytime soon.

4 | Bee Venom Moisturizer (Rodial)
       (Sample size: $15 for 5 mL | Full size: $148.21 for 50 mL - Amazon)
       (Links to product: official | Amazon | Nordstrom)

This is a super interesting product! The idea behind bee venom products is that they "fool" your skin into thinking that its been stung so that your body increases blood flow to the "affected area." This product helps primarily in decreasing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, and I'm finding that this moisturizer is ainly aimed at women who are going through menopause. 

Interestingly, actual bee venom is used in a variety of medicinal treatments. You can find some interesting information about this here and here.

I haven't tried this product yet, but I've noticed that the tube is filled only about halfway:

Product is below the stars.
Bee venom moisturizer is quite expensive to buy full-sized, so this sample is quite pricey despite how little there is of it. I find it interesting that Topbox didn't include the price of the full-sized bottle of this moisturizer on the product card. Although to be fair, you can find this product for a variety of prices all over the internet.


This was an interesting collection of products. It's a bit unusual for me to receive only 4 products in a box, but overall the samples were quite interesting and completely new to me. At a value of $75.50, this box seems to be a lot better than the previous ones I've seen from Topbox over the past few months. 

Having said that, I don't think I'll be sticking with Topbox for much longer. I think there's something off about how the company is operating, and I was hesitant to sign up in the first place because of the disappointing boxes I've seen in the past. I got billed for the March box before I even received this one, which isn't a problem for me but it makes it difficult to decide whether to stick with this subscription or not. I'll give it till my April box to make a decision.

What do you guys think of Topbox and the products this month? Let me know in the comments below!

Thank you for reading! -A~

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