Thursday, March 20, 2014

- - Topbox | March 2014 Review - -

I hope you all had a lovely Wednesday. :)

I received my Topbox package on the same day as Beauty Box 5. Just as with last month, I went with a regular Topbox for March. I had mentioned at the end of my February review that I was debating whether or not to stay with this subscription. I still go back and forth a lot but I think I've made my final decision. I'll let you know what it is at the end of this review.

For now, let's take a look at this month's products...


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. 

Previous Topbox reviews:


I adore the Topbox packaging. It's pretty and eco-friendly! Plus, you can take the patterned paper off and use it as a background when taking pictures of your products! :)

Each month the products come wrapped in purple tissue paper:

With the product card, I like how Topbox gives a brief description of the products you're getting. The prices of the full size equivalents are often provided as well.

* All the prices are in Canadian dollars *

1 | Advanced Night Repair (Estée Lauder)
      (Sample size: ? | Full size: $72.00 for 30 mL/1 oz and $105.00 for 50 mL/1.7 oz
      (Link to product)


This product promises that it "slows down the look of premature ageing, dramatically reduces the appearance of lines and wrinkles and significantly improves the appearance of skin radiance and evenness of skintone."

Although I have a couple of slight lines on my face that I think are typical of people in my age group (almost-22-year-olds), I feel like women that are older than me would benefit a lot more from this product. So, I passed it off to my mom, who, to be quite honest, is quite beautiful on her own.

From my limited point of view, my only complaint about this sample is that it doesn't come with a dropped like the full size version does. It's still fully usable without it, but would sure be easier and you could save a lot of product.

Judging by the high price of the full sized bottle, I'm guessing that this sample is worth a bit. Since I gave it away to my mom earlier today, I wont be able to get if back before tomorrow (rather, later today).  For now, I'm not really sure how much volume this bottle holds, but I'll update this post when I find out.

On another note - I was looking at the Estée Lauder website to find the link to this product, and I have to say that I really like its design. One of the things that caught my eye right away is that you can "shop [skincare] by concern," which I think helps really well in zeroing in on the product you're looking for.

2 | Blackhead Facial Mask (Belvada Cosmetics)
       (Sample size: 1? for 8mL | Full size: ??) 
       (Link to product: ???)  


You can find a really good article about blackheads here. I actually have never even heard of blackheads until last week. I guess I can consider myself lucky that I've never had to deal with something like that. I know a lot of people do though, so if you're one of them, feel free to reach out to me at and I will send these packets over to you - free of charge!

Otherwise, these samples are useless to me.

As a side note, I was trying so hard to find the link to the product without much success. What I did find was more interesting. First off, I've never heard of the brand Belvada Cosmetics. When I went to check out their website, I found out that: 

a) I couldn't find the product above, and 
b) the brand is so expensive!
c) the prices from Topbox are different from the ones on the Belvada Cosmetics website...
d) on most of the skincare products, the browser tab will say "Buy Best Eyelash Curler" (o.O)

Looking into the matter further, I found a post on reddit by someone who had expressed their scepticism in the origins of the product above and the involvement of Belvada Cosmetics with it. The product itself is fine; there's nothing wrong with it. But if this throws you off from contacting me about it, I totally understand, haha.

3 | Almost Lipstick in Black Honey (Clinique)
       (Sample size: ? | Full size: $19.00 for 0.07 oz) 
       (Links to product: Clinique | Sephora)

Now we get to move on to my favourite products from this box!


This product was interesting. I was sort of confused by the concept of "almost lipstick"...did they stop production on it or something? ("Oh, I'm sorry, but you could have been a lipstick..."). Just kidding, of course. :)

This is what the product card says:

"Transparent pigment merges with the unique, natural tone of your lips to create something wonderful and yours alone. Sheer, glossy. Emollient-rich and very lightweight."


I've had a chance to try this out a few times, and I actually like it very much. At first I thought that this colour would be way too dark, but then I swatched it and realized that it comes out as a sheer burgundy shade. What I love is that this product gives you total control. Since it goes on quite sheer, it's totally up to you how dark you want your lips to be. The swatch below was created with only a couple of swipes:

L: natural lighting | R: artificial lighting
Unlike Topbox, I'm not sure if I would go so far as to describe this product as glossy. It is fairly moisturizing though.

My only complaint about this "almost lipstick" is that if you want a darker shade, you're going to have to apply this quite a few times on your lips, which decreases the amount you're left with pretty quickly.

4 | Lip Balm in Citrus Kick (Epic Blend)
       (FULL SIZE: $3.49) 
       (Link to product)  

I have loved these Epic Blend lip balms ever since I was first introduced to them!

Epic Blend is a Canadian company and I have had a chance to order twice from their site. The first order I placed about a month ago. The second was last week. Why does this matter? Because, sadly, the order that I made last week included this flavour. I had never tried it before, so I wanted to get it. It's so disappointing / frustrating to receive something that you just bought. Sigh...

This is no fault of Topbox, of course. On the bright side - I now have two lip balms in Citrus Kick! Any takers for one of them?


|| Total Value: ??? ||

I don't think I'm going to bother calculating how much this box is worth. It's just way too frustrating this month. Besides, what use is calculating the value if I'm only going to be using half of the products this month? This was the same kind of story in February.

Verdict? Cancel subscription.

I would have liked to give Topbox a fair 3-month trial, but I just don't think it's worth it anymore. Judging from the reviews I've seen in the past, the two boxes I got weren't even half bad. To be fair, these have been the regular Topboxes; however, keep in mind that although you get to place privé boxes on your "wishlist," there is no guarantee that you will get them. Moreover, there haven't really been any privé boxes that have caught my eye. On the bright side, if you would like to check out a Topbox Privé Box that worked out quite well this month, I strongly recommend taking a look at the 24clearit Privé Box review by Amy of Michi Mochi.

In the meantime, I think I'm going to reactivate the Mystery Tackle Box subscription for Andrew.

What do you think? Am I making the right decision in cancelling my Topbox subscription?

Have a lovely Thursday! -A.~ 

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