Wednesday, March 26, 2014

- - Luxe Box | Spring 2014 Review | Prada Luna Rossa Upgrade - -

Hey everyone,

Gosh, it has been soo long since my last Luxe Box! Three months feels like forever to wait for a box; however, I pulled through and here it is at last! I have a special place in my heart for Luxe Box because while Julep was my first subscription box, Luxe Box was the very first sampling service I signed up for. Three boxes later, I am still happy with the products I receive. 

For my spring box I selected the Prada Luna Rossa Upgrade, which added a complimentary deluxe sized sample (9mL) of Prada's Luna Rossa cologne to the regular 7-8 samples in my box.

Just a warning - this is going to be a pretty long and picture-heavy post. Hopefully you find it helpful though.

Let's look at the products after the jump...

What is Luxe Box?
Luxe Box is a seasonal subscription service 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 sized samples 
  • Shipping:
    • Cost -- FREE (shipping & handling are included in the prices. Taxes may depend on your location. I am in Mississauga 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 specific to you. Instead of a product card in every box, you have a product dashboard when you sign into your online account. 

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

My Luxe Box Reviews:

Much like Topbox packaging, I adore the sleek and sturdy box from Luxe Box. It really adds to the luxurious experience of receiving this subscription.

Although I know some people received it, there was no card from Luxe Box this month for me. However, there were three offers: 2 from Stila & one from Fekkai.

Each season the products come wrapped in a silky Loose Button dust bag:

First peek at the products

* All the prices are in Canadian dollars. *

1 | Assorted Mints in Wintermint (Xyla)
      (Sample size: $3 for 1 Tin/100 tablets |
FULL SIZE: $15.99 for 6 Tins)
      (Link to product


"Xyla mints are 100% xylitol sweetened. Xylitol is a natural sweetener derived from 100% North American hardwood. It's vegan, gluten free and GMO free, and contains 40% fewer calories and 75% fewer carbs than sugar. Wintermint, Peppermint and Lemon Lime flavours taste great, help fight cavities and freshen breath!"

Although this was the last item that I took out of my Luxe Box, I am going to start with it first. When I saw these, I thought to myself: "Sweet!" Funny enough, I always carry around mints (or at the very least, gum) in my purse and I had recently ran out. How did Luxe Box know??

I know that some people were less than impressed with receiving mints in their "beauty box." To that, I have to say that it's probably best to carefully read the description of what a service is providing for you when you sign up. According to the very short blurb on the first page of its website, Luxe Box states that it is a service that brings you "7 to 8 trial sized beauty and lifestyle discoveries every season." Meaning, you won't only be receiving cosmetics in your boxes, but also other items you can use every mints!

Anyways, I just finished my box of these, so I feel fully confident in reviewing them.

I love that the mints were wrapped up in tissue. I also love that there's a quote from Albert Einstein on the lid. As someone who often looks to quotes for inspiration, I though it was neat how Xyla was introducing a deep aspect to something rather mundane. I think the quote also makes the tin a little more special.


What I'm wondering is this - are there different quotes for different flavours? or are there different quotes across the board? I'd love it if you could let me know in the comments below what quote you found when you opened your container. :)

Overall, the mints aren't too bad. They're small and I like the "wintermint" flavour that I received. However, at best, these mints last approximately 5 minutes - and even then that's if you don't bite down on them. If you do, they completely crumble. I actually tried out several experiments where I would take two mints and see how long they would last without biting into them. Both would be gone at either the 5 minute mark or just before.

I carry around mints all the time (typically Excel) because I like to freshen my breath once in a while. So for me it's really important that my mints last and produce a pleasant taste/scent after they're long gone. With Xyla's mints, I didn't find that happened at all. Sure they freshen your breath, but I didn't find that the "freshness" - if I can say that - lasted too long.

As a side note - do you find that you're eating mints too much because they taste good? Purchases flavours such as winterfresh/peppermint to pace yourself!

Nonetheless, these aren't just regular mints. I've enlarged the picture below so you can check out the back of the tin:

There's a dosage? Shoot...I should've read the back before I stuffed a whole bunch of these in my mouth! 

The mints contain xylitol. What is it? Here's a really good overview from


Xylitol has some amazing benefits; it's used to prevent ear infections and tooth decay (especially in medicine). The reason there's a dosage is because - as the warning on the back states - having large amounts of xylitol can cause diarrhea. 2 tablets 6 times a day seems like a fair amount. I feel like counting how many mints you eat every day might take a colossal effort though. Just don't eat a lot, okay? :)

2 & 3 | PrX Reparatives (Fekkai)
               (Travel size: $5 for 59 mL/2 oz | Full size: $20.00 for 236 mL/8 oz) x 2
               (Link to product: shampoo | conditioner)

"Help repair and protect hair daily with the indulgently effective care of PrX Reparatives Shampoo/Conditioner. Fekkai's masterfully crafted repair shampoo/conditioner fortifies and provides strength against damage."

Well, what do you know? After receiving an individual EVOLVh shampoo or conditioner in the Winter Luxe Box, I'm sure that many people were pleased to see a shampoo/conditioner duo. It's nice to get both because oftentimes you need to use one after the other to truly evaluate the effects.

Fekkai, the company founded by Frédéric Fekkai, a French master stylist, is a fairly well known hair salon brand. I have to admit that this is my first time hearing about and trying out the products from this brand. So far, the experience hasn't been too bad.

First off, I have to start off with the scent. Both products contain argan extract, which comes from the argan tree. Not sure if that actually helps you understand the scent, but I thought I'd mention it anyways. It's difficult to describe the scent, but I absolutely love the one that the shampoo has. I simply adore it. However, it's equivalent? Not so much. The smell of the conditioner isn't bad, but it reminds me of Play-Doh. Not in a bad way though, I guess?

My hair feels kind of light after using these products. However, unlike the EVOLVh condtioner, which absorbs into the hair, the Fekkai conditioner stays on the hair and I can feel that I'm washing off the product when I'm showering. This isn't really any different from many other conditioners, but I think I will forever be using EVOLVh as a point of comparison.

Although I have split ends, I like that my hair looks pretty healthy after using this duo.

4 | Head Over Heels Nail Lacquer in Cadmium Rush (Teeez)
       (FULL SIZE: $21.00 (according to Luxe Box) for 7 mL/0.24 oz)

I don't believe that this nail polish is $21. Luxe Box has assigned it such a price, but they haven't put up a link to where it can be found. Based on the prices of several reviews I've come across, I'm going to assume that the cost is closer to $12.

It's so funny how closely the bottle shape resembles Julep polishes. I compared the two and the Teeez bottle is slightly bigger. I tried to pop off the cap and - what do you know? - the Teeez cap comes off as well! I'll probably put a Swatch Me sticker on the top of the cap.

The colours is kind of interesting. It's not something I would've picked out on my own. I'll try it out one of these days.

As for the design of the box, I love it! It's so colourful and unique.

Here's a better look at the shape of the box:

5 | Stay All Day 10-in-1 HD Beauty Balm (Stila)
       (Sample: $5 for 5 mL/0.17 oz | Full size: $49 for 45 mL)
       (Link to product

* Luxurious beauty balm glides onto skin and leaves a silky, powdery finish
* High-definition formula helps reduce pore size and provides oil and blemish control
* Features an exclusive complex, which helps reduce redness and skin irritation
* Help diminish the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles
* Uses the smallest particle size of coated pigments for seamless, smooth coverage
* Ideal for all skin types and skin tones
* Oil-free, paraben-free and dermatologist tested

L: artificial lighting | R: natural lighting

When blended in, the shade matches my skin tone very well. I'll have to experiment further with this sample.

6 | Midnight Recovery Eye (Kiehl's)
       (Sample: $8 for 3 mL | Full size: $40 for 15 mL)
       (Link to product)  

* Diminishes the appearance of fine lines
* Reduces puffiness
* Reduces dark under-eye circles
* No parabens, fragrance, mineral oil or silicones


Dark under-eye circles are a concern of mine, so I am always happy whenever I get a product that helps reduce their appearance. Not to mention - this product has some fantastic reviews! 

I've been using this sample for the past 4-5 days and I'm not sure if it's because I've been using too little, but I haven't really seen a remarkable change in the appearance of my dark under-eye circles. Sigh...

7 | Headband (Titika)
       (FULL SIZE: $6 - 10)

"Whether you are heading to yoga or hiking your favourite trail, tame those flyaways with this flexible go-to accessory."

Here we've got another lifestyle product. This is probably the most - not disappointing, that's not the word, but perhaps - the most uninteresting product out of the bunch. I've never had a headband like this, so that's kind of neat that I get to own one of these now. I've never heard of this brand, but their clothing/activewear is fairly expensive. 

The problem is that I honestly don't know how to use this headband. I have pretty short hair and side bangs and because I can't tie back my hair, this headband looks silly on me.

Since Luxe Box gives me a price range that this headband falls into, I'm going to assign it a price of $6.

8 | Luna Rossa Eau de Toilette Spray (Prada)
       (Sample: $12.24 for 9 mL | Full size: $68.00 for 50 mL)
       (Link to product)

It is finally here - the complimentary bonus product that I was raving about a couple of weeks ago! I definitely wasn't disappointed when I saw this cologne in person. One thing that I didn't really expect is for the sample to not have a spray applicator. It took me about a minute to figure out how to open it.

Since there is no spray, you really do need to be careful about how much you're using to not waste the sample.

One of the top notes is lavender. I'm happy to report that it is not overpowering at all. In fact, I would describe the scent as "fresh." I may just end up purchasing the full size bottle for Andrew for his birthday!


|| Total Value: $56.24 (CAD) ||

I personally think that this was another great box from Luxe Box. With the exception of the Titika headband, which I will probably donate or give away to anyone who wants it, I'm pretty sure that I will be using all of the products. In terms of the value of this box, it comes out to almost double what I paid for it. I have the semi-annual subscription, which means that I pay $25 per box.

As always, I am really looking forward to the Summer Luxe Box! 

There have actually been some spoilers given out about the Summer box. Luxe Box has revealed that the following brands will be featured: Butter London, Barefoot Venus, and Eyeko.

As a side note - I'm not sure why I never paid attention to this before, but Luxe Box actually has the values of each sample on your dashboard. I'm going to have to go back in the coming days and fix the two previous reviews.

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

What did you think of your Spring 2014 Luxe Box?

Thank you for reading! -A.~

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