I'm sure that everyone has by now heard of Glossybox, the subscription beauty box service available here in the UK. I've always been intrigued by these beauty boxes, but I've never tried one; so when I was offered the chance to experience one for myself, I thought I'd give it a go.
Glossybox is a monthly subscription box containing five beauty related minis. You can sign up for £12.95 per month including postage and packaging. Is it worth it? I received the January box*, and this is what I think.
First of all, I know it's been spoken about before but I like the packaging. Yes, it's very 'feminine', in a soft pink box, the products wrapped with tissue paper and tied with pink ribbon, but the box is sturdy and can be used for other things, which is great.
But what about the products themselves?
Elemis Fresh Skin Skin Glow Facial Exfoliator (£12 full size 100ml. 30ml sample in box).
I've tried a couple of Elemis Fresh Skin products before (liked the moisturiser, hated the cleanser) and this falls somewhere in between. The grains are not too abrasive so it didn't aggravate my sensitive skin, but I really hate a foaming face wash, which this is. That's just personal preference, though, and this is neither a total dud nor amazing.
Paul Mitchell Super Strong Daily Shampoo (£11.50 full size 300ml. 100ml sample in box).
I like Paul Mitchell's ethos as a brand but I've never tried his shampoos. I've spoken before about how fussy I am with shampoo - a lot seem to irritate my scalp or leave my fine hair greasy, so I tend to stick to ones I like plus a clarifying shampoo once a week. This was, again, neither a thumbs up or down. It was fine - it didn't do anything spectacular - it is merely a shampoo after all - but it did smell very nice.
I haven't used it for long enough to comment of the claims of strengthening your hair.
Monu Aromatic Mask (£24.95 full size 100ml. 30ml sample in box).
If you are a regular reader, you'll know that I'm part of the Monu Preview Panel, which means I've tried Monu products before and I have liked them. This mask was pretty good - it smelled nice, as it contains beeswax and coconut oil, and is made with clay which I've heard it good for the skin. This felt more like a cleansing mask than anything I've tried before and it didn't make my skin feel sensitive or aggravated like other masks I have used. My skin did feel softer and clean, but no 'wow!' moment.
Jason Lips Bee Healthier (£1.99 full size 4.6g. Full size in box).
Here's a brand I haven't heard of before, although it seems like a cheaper alternative to Burt's Bees. This lip balm has Vitamin E, Green Tea Extract, Aloe Vera Gel, Shea Butter and Sweet Almond Oil in it to moisturise your lips. It has a strong mentholly smell which I personally enjoy, and if I thought the Carmex lip balm was moisturising then I had set the bar too low.
This lip balm is incredibly moisturising and hydrating, to the point where if you put too much on it can feel a little greasy. Whereas Carmex has a stiffer, waxier texture, this is a lot more malleable. I think Carmex is great if you want a finish you can dab down to matte, whereas this is hydrating, moisturising and a little slippy.
This was my favourite product in the box.
Duck Island Limited Body Lotion (£24.95 full size 2x250ml. 30ml sample in box).
This smelled so amazing - of mandarin and bergamot - and the lotion itself felt silky and a little luxurious. Apparently Duck Island is a brand previously only available in hotels, but now they are selling it publicly. This doesn't beat my favourite moisturiser (Soap and Glory Sugar Crush) but it has the things I like in a moisturiser - quickly absorbent, hydrating, and citrus scented.
So, was it worth it? I didn't love everything in the box (in fact, my favourite product was the cheapest, and only full-size product.) I liked a few things, and I'll probably use up all the samples or give them to friends who would really love them. I think I was a little disappointed that there were no makeup products in the box (since that's my first love) but it fits with the theme so I see why.
I think the only issue with boxes like this is that you can't please all the people, all of the time. There are products I will continue to enjoy and use (the Duck Island Body Lotion, the Jason Lips Bee Healthier) and some I wouldn't have picked for myself.
That said, the concept is fun, and I love the idea of getting a surprise package in the post every month! It allows you to try out brands and items you might never have tried before, and for a fraction of the cost of a full-size product. If there's anything you don't like, you can always give them to friends and family who will enjoy them.
My verdict? If you have the disposable income, then why not try it out? You might find you love the lucky-dip, present-a-month aspect, you might not. But it is fun!