Topbox – September 2014

Wow, it’s halfway through September already! Jeez, where does the time go?

Anyway, it’s already the mail time of the month and I’ve decided to review Topbox first because it’s got the least amount of things for me to write about and I’m lazy tonight.

I get points for honesty, right?

What is it?

Topbox is a Canadian monthly beauty box subscription that features 4 deluxe samples for $12 per month, shipped right to your door via Canada Post. Some months even include full sized products! Keep in mind that they do have a waitlist of about 2-3 months from initial sign-up before you start your subscription!

Here’s what I got in the September Topbox!

Topbox September 2014

I actually really like this box even though it’s got another nail polish in it. I’m starting to get back into nail polish and I definitely don’t have a forest green, so I’m pretty happy with it!

Topbox September 2014

Lancome Visionnaire Advanced Multi-Correcting Cream (15mL sample = $27.60) – $92 for 50mL

Does this even count as a sample?! This thing’s gigantic! Not to mention, the retail value of this is more expensive than most other full sized items I’ve BOUGHT.

It’s really smooth, light and silky, too! I’ll definitely be trying this for a week to see how it does.

(PS – Molecules are usually referred to by their unique IUPAC name or by their chemical structure, not an acronym. Funnily enough, the term Lancome uses looks more like a code used in astronomy when naming new discoveries in space.)

Amika Perk Up Dry Shampoo – 156mL for $29, 30mL for $11, only at select professional salons

Oooh, dry shampoo! I’ve always wanted to try it out since my bangs tend to get oily much faster than the rest of my head.

It smells really lovely and definitely carries a faint sea buckthorn berry scent that I actually quite like! It’s also really light and soaks up the oils, so it looks like a pretty good investment if I ever see it in a salon.

Topbox September 2014

Bioderma Sebium Purifying Foaming Gel for Combination/Oily Skin (15mL = $1.50 sample) – 200mL for $19.95

It might not be a very high value or large sized sample, but I can definitely get some good use out of 15mL for a face cleanser!

It definitely has a distinctive “soapy” scent in it from that type of fragrance that they tend to use in gel face and body cleansers, but it’s not slimy or goopy at all and my face feels reasonably clean afterwards.

Teeez Scandalous Nail Lacquer in Spa Retreat – 8.5mL for $15, Full Sized!

Even though it’s another nail polish, it’s from Teeez and I really like this brand! The colour’s a deep forest green that I didn’t have in my collection before and it’s perfect for the chilly months ahead.

The formula’s really nice and pigmented, not like some cheaper nail polishes that you can get for like $4. I’m looking forward to wearing it for a while after my demo on Thursday!

Topbox September 2014

Verdict: 4.5/5 – Even though there’s not a lot of colour cosmetics in this box and there’s yet another nail polish, there’s something about it that I really like about September’s offerings! The dry shampoo smells great, I know I’ll get a good use out of the Bioderma and the Teeez, and I’m actually pretty curious to try the Lancome. All in all, a good box at the perfect time for me!

Did you get the September Topbox? What did you think of it?

xoxo,

B.elle

Limited Edition Chatelaine Topbox – Blogger Swap

I did another blogger swap with Chris over at The Other Side of the Box!

We decided to swap subscription boxes this time. She definitely knows her way around the beauty subscription boxes, so I wasn’t too surprised at what she got me!

Limited Edition Chatelaine Topbox

It’s the Limited Edition Chatelaine Topbox! It came with a 12-issue subscription to the Chatelaine magazine, but that won’t be showing up until July. I cost about $40 and, because it’s part of their Limited Edition line, it was available to non-subscribers as well.

It’s wrapped up so cutely! It actually reminds me a lot of how Petite Boite a Vie wraps their boxes.

Limited Edition Chatelaine Topbox

The box is PACKED! The weight should have tipped me off, but I haven’t really been paying attention to any of the email promos that I get, so it was a nice surprise to see so many full sized things in this box.

Let’s dig in, with no particular order!

Be Delectable’s Ultra Nourishing Hand Cream in Strawberry and Cream – $12 for 118mL (Full sized)

It actually smells like a strawberries and cream cake! It goes on really nicely and it take too long to be absorbed into the skin, either.

Aveda’s Smooth Infusion Style-Prep Smoother – $24 for 100mL ($9.60 for 40mL travel size sample)

My hair is naturally straight without ANY frizz at all unless it’s an ultra-humid day, so this one will probably go into a swap pile or I’ll give it away to a friend. It’s a really generous size and it smells pretty good if not a bit herbal.

Yves Rocher Grand Rouge Lipstick in Bordeaux – $19 for 3.7g (Full sized)

How elegant is that tube? I love the plated gold finish because it makes it seem so Chanel-y and I’m sure I’ll feel more classy than I really am when I put it on! 😉

It doesn’t look too bad on me either, but it’s so pigmented and it’s darker than what I usually wear for every day chores. It’s perfect for special events, though!

Sweet Pea Soap in Mango Papaya – $5.95 (Full size)

This soap is actually really light in scent, which I prefer, and it’s made with all natural ingredients. It doesn’t feel like it would leave a strange residue like some other bar soaps and it’s also earth-friendly! It really does smell like I could eat it, too.

Good thing it’s fruit season!

Ceramic Glaze in Blueberry Bubblegum (blue) and Honolulu Hibiscus (purple) – (Full size, exclusively at Shoppers Drug Mart)

This is a new brand that’s exclusive to Shoppers Drug Mart and it’s supposed to be packed full of pigment and long lasting wear. I really like this duo of colours since it’s so tropical and summery but it can do really well in the fall and spring as well!

Can’t wait to try it out!

Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Oil-Free Gel Cream – $32 for 125mL ($1.79 for 7mL sample)

For some reason, I’ve managed to stay under a rock about Kiehl’s until about last year but I’ve also never really had an inclination to try it. Still, it feels pretty moisturizing but I can’t tell yet if it actually reduces the appearance of oil on my skin. I try not to sweat and when I do, I don’t really care about it!

Be a Bombshell’s Eyeshadow Quad in Bora Bora – $16 for 4 colours, 4.8g total (Full size)

The colours are much richer and more intense than what you see in the picture. I couldn’t really get an accurate photo that day for some reason…

The shades sort of remind me of what the BH Cosmetics line was trying to do, but Be a Bombshell does it a lot better and a lot cheaper, too! The colours are really pigmented and the shades are vibrant and playful without looking too gaudy.

So Susan’s Intense Eye Shadow Palette – $29.96 for 4 colours, 8g total (Full size

I really like how the two palettes in this box are so different! I’d totally rock this palette when I want a more professional, classier look compared to the brighter, more energetic one from Be a Bombshell. This one’s also really pigmented and silky and also cruelty free!

(How did Chris know that I was starting to think of getting more eyeshadows? Psychic creepiness…)

Jewels & Aces’ Crystal Triangle Cuff – $28

Can I tell you how much I absolutely love this bracelet? It’s my new favourite accessory for all occasions! Their other pieces of jewelry are really gorgeous, too. Plus, they’re a Canadian company!

The Shopping Channel $50 Coupon

I haven’t really decided what to get from them, but I do know that they don’t have a minimum purchase order for this voucher! Oh-my-gawd, this is gonna be too much fun.

Verdict – 5/5! I really, REALLY like this box because there’s just so much variety, great value and it’s a perfectly balanced box that has familiar and new brands to try out! Plus, it comes with a magazine subscription for some extra reading!

Thank you so much, Chris! Don’t forget to check out her fabulous blog here!

Did you get a Limited Edition Chatelaine Topbox? Would you get one of Topbox’s LE boxes? (So many “box”-es in one sentence…)

xoxo,

B.elle

Topbox – June 2014

Last week was crazy at work and this week is less so, but not as calm as I’d like! At least I got to go to a fancy gala event where there was really good food and discovered that Rockport’s heels are really comfortable for fancy nights.

It was so busy that it was kind of a surprise when I got home that my Topbox was waiting for me on the table! Of course, since I got home at around midnight, I had to wait until today.

What is it?

Topbox is a Canadian monthly beauty box subscription that features 4 deluxe samples for $12 per month, shipped right to your door via Canada Post. Some months even include full sized products! Keep in mind that they do have a waitlist of about 2-3 months from initial sign-up before you start your subscription!

Let’s see what’s in the June Topbox!

This looks like a pretty decent box! For once, the full sized versions of the products in the box are actually kind of affordable and they’re things I’d use pretty much every day or regularly, which is really nice to see. I’m not complaining about getting deluxe samples of high-end luxury brand cosmetics, but I just don’t use them as often.

China Glaze in Wait N’ Sea – $10-12 for 14mL, full sized

I think this makes the third nail polish that I’ve received from Topbox. But, this one’s from China Glaze and it used to be the most hyped up brand back in my high school days, so I’m looking forward to seeing how the brand is now.

I thought it looked kind of similar to the LA Splash nail polish that I got a few months ago, but it’s clearly a lot lighter! Perfect for the summer!

Topbox June 2014

La Roche-Posay’s Anthelios XL Lightweight Lotion SPF 60 (3mL sample = $0.84) – 100mL for $28 at London Drugs

This sample is TINY! I may just use it on my face tomorrow because there is absolutely NO way that 3mL of sunscreen can cover anything besides my face or one of my hands.

The little bit that I managed to squeeze out to try on the back of my hand is pretty thick at first, but went on like silk and it wasn’toily or filmy. There’s some hope for this sunscreen!

Vasanti Cosmetics’ BrightenUp! Enzymatic Face Rejuvenator (20g = $5.67 sample) – 120g for $34

This is a nice sized sample for a face cleanser!

It’s actually pretty grainy but the particles are pretty fine compared to other microbeads in the market. I’m worried that the sheer amount of particles would be too aggressive in the long run, though.

On the plus side, it smells pretty!

Bioderma’s Atoderm Moisturising Stick – 4g for $6.95 Full Sized!

It smells like raspberries! It really does!

I don’t really like the way they have the mouth slanted inside because I tend to twist my lipsticks and chapsticks with one hand. When I do it with this, the whole thing twirls around like a madman on a carousel and it’s kind of weird trying to turn it around so I can put it on!

The balm is actually VERY moisturizing, but it tends to sit on my lips like a layer of wax instead of something like EOS where you can practically feel the balm seep into your lips in a good way.

But, it’s not oily or feel like it’s melting off my lips like some other lip balms, so it’s a win!

Verdict: 3.5/5 – Third nail polish in a row and the La Roche-Posay sample is really too tiny for an effective sunscreen sample. It’s not Topbox’s fault, but it does leave you wanting a little more.

Did you get the June Topbox? What did you think of it?

xoxo,

B.elle

New Spring Style with Black Nail Polish?!

I saw a similar style on Julep’s Facebook page, but I’m not nearly patient enough to do nail art. However, I do love me some neon-bright shirts and vintage-y jewelry!

Bright Spring Style

I love the contrast of the softness from the bright feminine pink sheer top, lace trim and vintage rose motifs with the edginess of black nail polish and metallic accessories! It’s great for going out after work and very easily dressed up with an elegant updo and blood red lipstick.

What I’m Wearing:

Express – Convertible Sleeve Portofino Shirt in Neon Berry

I got this on sale in the Eaton Centre and I’m always keeping an eye out for more now!

Erica Weiner – Bat Jaw Necklace

Magic Pony at the Design Exchange (at the time of writing this post) was carrying this when I went in to check out the This Is Not A Toy exhibit and I couldn’t resist how exquisite the molding is! Erica got a beautifully preserved bat skull and made the jaw into a necklace in two variations: Bronze with Gold-filled Chain and Sterling Silver.

Butter London – Union Jack Black

I’ve been waiting for a chance to do my nails and this shade of black is just warm enough for my skin tone and the ultra shiny top coat balances out the soft lace.

Ring I found in my jewelry box (I totally forgot where it came from!)

I’ve had this ring in my stash for a while and I’ve only recently started wearing it out to round out a cute outfit. I’ll have to watch out for more vintage rings!

What new styles will you be trying this spring?

xoxo,

B.elle

Topbox – May 2014

I didn’t sleep well AT ALL last night because of a minor nightmare/panic attack about one of my product trials, so seeing my Topbox nestled between my doors was a welcoming sign!

Also, happy Victoria Day weekend (aka, May 2-4 long weekend!).

What is it?

Topbox is a Canadian monthly beauty box subscription that features 4 deluxe samples for $12 per month, shipped right to your door via Canada Post. Some months even include full sized products! Keep in mind that they do have a waitlist of about 2-3 months from initial sign-up before you start your subscription!

Topbox May 2014

In honour of Earth Month, Topbox announced that they’ll be switching the regular cardboard tubes for an organza bag and donating the difference to the [World Wildlife Fund] for the May Topbox. Considering the enthusiastic response on their Facebook page, I wonder if they’ll make a change soon?

Topbox May 2014

Kinetics Nail Colour in Splatter It! – $9 for 15mL, full sized

More nail polish! I’m going to have to start planning an organization system for my collection!

I have a similar colour to this from Sephora X and I LOVE playing with effect coats! It’ll be interesting to see how it holds up compared to Sephora’s brand especially since it looks like a relatively new brand, too.

Lancome Paris’s Hypnose Doll Lashes in 01 So Black! (4mL = $19.38 sample) – $31.50 for 6.5mL

Holy heifer, this is a big sample even for a deluxe size! This particular mascara’s also a new product from Lancome and it’s always exciting to try the newest line, you know? The wand looks really user-friendly, too!

I heard that Lancome has really great mascara formulas and I’m actually very interested to try this one on and compare it to my current favourite, Bourjois Paris’ Volume Glamour Max mascara.

(I’m starting to see a trend here with the May Topbox and my current makeup inventory!)

Topbox May 2014

Elizabeth Arden’s Visible Difference Skin Balancing Lotion SPF15 for Combination Skin (5mL = $4.80 sample) – 50mL for $48

Okay, I don’t have a dedicated “skin balancing lotion” that also has SPF in it. Definitely no repeat for this one!

It actually has instructions in the box! No more guessing for me! According to the sheet, you “smooth onto cleansed face and throat before sun exposure” and “it leaves skin looking healthy and balanced with a radiant appearance.”

So… It’s a moisturizing toner with some sun protection. Right on, I can get behind this.

I love how the sample has a little pump, but I kinda feel like that’s overkill for a little teaspoon of face cream. It took a dozen pumps, but when I finally got some out, the lotion’s actually pretty runny! At least it doesn’t have that characteristic sunscreen smell, but that’s probably because it’s only SPF15.

It really is super light on the face, too. Good job, Elizabeth Arden!

Benefit Cosmetics’ Posiebalm – Hydrating Tinted Lip Balm (0.5g = $3.67 sample) – 3g for $22

BENEFIT! I absolutely adore this brand and this is one of their absolute newest products that I have been dying to try! I love lip balm, but it always makes lipstick so hard to put on afterwards, so I’ve been hoping for a decent lip tint that works well but won’t break the bank.

Interestingly enough, the shade is similar to the Tarte Amazonian Butter Lipstick in Coral Blossom that I already have but it’s way more sheer and a bit more pink than coral. They’re both so moisturizing, too!

Topbox May 2014

BONUS! Lancome Paris’ Empty Sample Jar

That sounds GREAT, doesn’t it? But, the box/bag came with a card that you can redeem at a Lancome counter at any Bay to get a 10-day supply of one of their foundations in your ideal shade.

I don’t think I’m going to redeem this because I already have a foundation from bareminerals that I don’t react to and I’m not even a quarter of the way through.

But, I can see how this might be better than sending out foundation samples because you’re not guaranteed to get a matching shade! There’s almost no point!

Verdict: 4/5 – It’s the second month in a row that I’ve gotten nail polish, which is a little meh even if it’s a completely different shade. But, I’m definitely going to be using the mascara and Posiebalm and the quality is phenomenal! What a great box!

Did you get the May Topbox? What did you think of it?

xoxo,

B.elle

Topbox – April 2014

I got my April Topbox on the 15th, right after they went out the previous evening! Talk about quick service! Can’t say the same for me, though… Better late than never, right?

What is it?

Topbox is a Canadian monthly beauty box subscription that features 4 deluxe samples for $12 per month, shipped right to your door via Canada Post. Some months even include full sized products! Keep in mind that they do have a waitlist of about 2-3 months from initial sign-up before you start your subscription!

Here’s what I got in my box.

Topbox April 2014

I love how it’s a nice assortment of colour cosmetics and skin cleansing/treatment products! It’s also a pretty good bonus that I’ve never heard of any of these brands, too!

Topbox April 2014

Pur~lisse Pur~Moist Hydra-Balance Moisturizer (15mL = $16.50 sample) – $55 for 50mL

This is a face moisturizer to put on after cleansing and toning. The card also says that it can be used as a face primer!

It says it’s for normal to dry, sensitive to anti-aging skin? I’m not overly familiar with face products, but what the hell does that mean?! My best guess is that they’re saying it’s for every skin type besides oily and acne-prone. (That sounds about right, right?)

Pur-lisse Pur-Most Hydra Balance Moisturizer

I do like how it’s been sealed off to prevent contamination and leakage during transport! I remember hearing about the So Susan product Topbox had sent out a while ago and how several of them got to people completely broken or smelling strange or both!

This one actually smells really nice with some woody and floral notes, and it goes on pretty smoothly. It seems to moisturize pretty well, but it might be too heavy for the heavier areas for combination types… which now makes sense if it’s for normal-dry skin.

I already have a dedicated face wash system, but this is a pretty good product!

Sweet Pea Soap Co.’s French Green Clay Soap ($3 sample?) – $5.95 each full sized

Ingredients: Coconut oil, olive oil, palm oil, castor oil, distilled water, sodium hydroxide, French green clay, green tea and liquorice root extract, matcha powder and peppermint essential oil.

Before I even opened the tube, I was wondering what that herbal, fresh-y kind of smell was and it was this! It’s made with natural ingredients, including French green kaolin clay, green tea and licorice root extract.

When I found out that there’s licorice root extract, I immediately knew that it was the main culprit of that particular scent! I don’t really like how licorice smells and I would almost describe the smell as medicinal, but I will say that I came home after a full day of experimenting with flavours and fragrances, so I may have been negatively biased with the soap’s smell.

According to Sweet Pea’s website, it’s meant to clean the face. But, I tried it on my hands and it’s pretty good if you have sensitive skin! It doesn’t leave any strange residue or “squeakiness” that harsher soaps can leave behind. Also, it ends up being kind of moisturizing, too!

Topbox April 2014

LA Splash Nail Polish in Curfew – $7.50 Full sized

I do prefer more subdued colours to wear on my nails because my skintone doesn’t get along with a lot of shades, so this is actually pretty good for me! I think I actually own a denim jacket in this teal colour, too.

It goes on pretty nicely and, once doubled up, it’s very even and opaque. Let’s hope that it doesn’t chip too quickly like some others I’ve tried!

The only thing that bugs me is that it seems like a lower-end brand compared to other luxury that Topbox has featured like Elizabeth Arden and GlamGlow. But, I’m not REALLY complaining since it’s a full sized nail polish!

BH Cosmetics Eyeshadow Trio in California Collection (1.5g sample each?) – $18.95 each

I heard that this particular sample’s been making the rounds in all the beauty boxes, but since I only subscribe to Topbox, this is a first for me!

At first glance, I do like the colours! They’re bright and summery and I love using bright colours as accents for my everyday looks when I have time in the morning to play around with eyeshadow.

BH Cosmetics California Collection Palette

The payoff isn’t the best, even with some primer underneath, which is pretty unfortunate. I will probably end up using the brown and gold most often as subtle accents, though.

BH Cosmetics California Collection Palette

Would I buy one of them for $18.95? HELL NO.

Verdict: 3.5/5 – I really like the soap, nail polish and moisturizer, but I’m disappointed in the eyeshadow trio! I know it’s not Topbox’s fault at all, but the quality really isn’t good.

What did you think of the April Topbox? Are you looking forward to May’s? I know I am!

xoxo,

B.elle

Topbox.ca – February 2014

More subscription mail today! I got my very first Topbox!

Topbox February 2014

What is it? Topbox is a Canadian monthly beauty box subscription that features 4 deluxe samples for $12 per month, shipped right to your door via Canada Post. Some months (like this time), they include full sized products for customers to get! Keep in mind that they do have a waitlist of about 2-3 months from initial sign-up before you get a box!

I got back home pretty late today, so it was a pleasant surprise to see it at my door!

Let’s take a closer look, shall we?

Topbox February 2014

essie Nail Lacquer in Headmistress – $9.99 for 13.5mL (Full Size)

I’ve never had essie nail polish before, so I was really excited to see this in my box! The only problem that I’m facing now is where to stash all my polishes.

I could only tell after comparing it to butter London’s Come to Bed Red, but it’s more of a classic cherry colour with a slight blue undertone to it that’s really quite lovely in proper lighting.

essie Headmistress

The lights in the room are way too warm to really show off the true colour. (I need a manicure soon!)

So Susan Lip & Cheek Sublime (moisturizing lip & cheek stain) – $18 for 2.5g (Full Size)

I’m naturally blushing most of the time, so I doubt I’ll be using it as a cheek stain. But, it feels really nice to apply and the colour is a cute peachy pink that I’ve been wanting to try out for spring!

It looks like it might bleed a little bit on me, but it feels like it’ll double as a lip balm at the same time.

Here it is swatched with my Givenchy Le Rouge (301) for comparison…

So Susan Lip & Cheek Sublime vs Givenchy La Rouge

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Topbox February 2014

Elizabeth Arden Eight Hour Cream Skin Protectant (30mL sample) – $25 for 50mL

This is such a generous sample! Taken at retail value, this is already $15!

This skin protectant looks perfect against winter this year especially with some mild eczema flaring up, but I’ll have to wait for it to thaw out before I can try it since it was completely frozen. I hope it doesn’t affect it!

Epic Blend Lip Balm in More Moisture Unflavoured – $3.49 for 4.2g (Full Size)

More anti-winter goodness! It’s even better since it’s made out of organic moisturizing ingredients with a bit of vitamin E and rosemary extract to round out the ingredient deck. Nothing else needed and nothing else wanted!

What’s even better? It’s a Canadian company and Canadian-made!

I just bought a new EOS the other week, but I might save that one for summer since this one will probably melt off my face in the hot sun.

Verdict: 5/5 This box is AMAZING! I’m sure I’ll be using all of the products in the next little while and I’m ultra excited to do so!

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Did you get a Topbox? What did you get?

Want to sign up? Click here! Don’t forget to check their Facebook page for the latest updates!

xoxo,

B.elle